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Farewell, faithful friend

The time has come..

I have to replace my old easel. I first picked him up in Florence, part of a job lot being replaced by the Charles H. Cecil Studio where I had been studying. I was setting up a realist summer art school with James Napier, in London, and we bought them for a pittance, and, I presume, jammed them into our cars to get them back, I can’t imagine I flew them back, even in the heady days of limitless baggage on easyjet.

Charles H. Cecil Studio

They did service at the summer school, which rolled on for a year or two, eventually developing into the now enormously successful London Academy of Realist Art (drawpaintsculpt.com) which these days is run by James and his sister. I hung onto my easel (sorry James!) and its done a decade or so with me. A year or so in the punishingly expensive studios of London, a thankfully short while sharing what was basically a cave with James in the London Bronze Foundry and then more recently in my studio here.

The old easel with a work in progress

Old age has got him finally, in the end. He shakes and shudders, arthritic in every joint, and is also incontinent, leaking onto my feet (or the spaniels sleeping below) various noxious fluids I use in my work. I had a moment of madness, shopping late night on my ipad and bought a beast from Jacksons Art, a beechwood Chippendale of a model by Mabef. I’m pretty sure it cost more than my first car. It rolls, extends, lays flat, has drawers, but part of me will miss my old, paint encrusted easel from Italy, who knows how many students, and how many works have been created in his rickety wooden embrace?

Mmmm, don’t think he’ll be clean for long!

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How to dress as an artist.

What to wear?

I cannot claim any expertise in fashion world, but it is something I struggle with before every event! ‘What to wear?! How do you marry smart with artistic? Businesslike, but creative? I seem to be trying to balance two extremes.
I googled ‘How to dress as an artist’ and came up with this wikihow link. I can only assume it’s a piss take, but it’s pant wettingly funny. 

Ethnic

I see a lot of outfits like this, fine but a bit ‘I milk my own goats’ although it’s pleasingly named ‘form and whimsy outfit 5’
Blue fish clothing
I love going to art fairs and see how other artists dress, there was a group of three women at a show last year who were wearing between them; a cat ears hairband, neon (pink and yellow), tartan tights, copious velvet, and the obligatory eyewateringly bright kaftan. My gut feeling is that if you want to be taken seriously by buyers or potential galleries then cat’s ears are probably not going to swing things in your favour. 

I’m mad me.

I’m not keen on the ‘toddler in dressing up box’ look either. In fact, I tend to find that the more a successful an artist is, the less they look like an “artist”. Who knows where the fashion for crazy artist dressing stemmed from, Dali perhaps. Picasso always looked a bit like an onion seller to my mind.

Airy fairy

The final group I see alot of are the boho crowd, but it’s not really me. It’s too floaty, and impractical. I think it’s faintly ridiculous on someone the wrong side of 35. 
I tend to stick to less shouty outfits, with as much Anthropologie as I can afford in the sales. Private view at the Affordable Art Fair tomorrow, I won’t be the one wearing animal ear accessories!