I’m in the fortunate position of having a long list of commissions to do at the moment, and am trying to get them done before Easter. First up were three labradors, two yellow and one black. The sharp eyed might spot that the yellow lab portraits are in fact the same dog.
They are still works in progress, I have at least another week to do.
I’ve moved into the house to work as the studio is just too cold. I may never move back out….
I’m not sure what triggered me to do a painting of my local pub, I had been researching Cecil Aldin on t’internet, one of my favourite artists for dog portraits. I came across a book of his called “Old Inns’ and found a drawing of my local, which I was already familiar with. The etching puzzles me, its signed ‘Cecil Aldrin’, and is is very accomplished, but I can find no record of him producing etchings.
The Bell Inn – Cecil Aldin
Etching – after Cecil Aldin
Anyway, we had a week of extraordinary light in November, and most mornings that week were spent photographing and sketching, delaying the school run several times!
I’ve really enjoyed painting landscapes again, and if it’s successful may well explore the idea of a series. My husband works in the pub industry so I suppose I have a added interest in them.
I’ve released an small edition of canvas prints of The Bell in Waltham St Lawrence. Canvas prints can be bought here
Cecil Aldin is really blame for my current dogs – I saw this sketch many years ago, and decided there and then that when I had spaniels, they would look like the one in the sketch, despite never having seen a roan and tan cocker before. It took a few years, but now I have Ivy and Jazzy below, who are much loved for all the chaos and fun they bring to our lives.
There’s been a fair amount of discussion in the art world about the validity of various ‘open’ art competitions recently. Kathryn Tyrell who writes the excellent and very informative blog Making a Mark has published an article covering the main points.
Choose the right competition
I think information and transparency are the key factors. Inform yourself as to the nature of works that are accepted for competitions. I had a few frustrating years submitting to the Society of Wildlife Artists before really studying their exhibition and realising that my work simple doesn’t suit their overall theme, which is heavily based towards printmaking, birds and British mammals. I do wish society exhibitions would publish their numbers more transparently, so artists have a clearer idea of entries, sales, and costs/spend.
My favourite competition by far is the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year. This year I have submitted the following two works. ‘Shadows kiss’ is a huge piece for me, and took me way out of comfort zone. Fingers crossed….
This is another regular one for me, although there has been considerable chopping and changing with venues recently. It is now based at Palace house in Newmarket instead of London, and I’m a little doubtful as to whether it is going to be able to ensure enough sales to make exhibiting worthwhile, but we shall see.