Posted on

Opening my studio

Henley Arts Trail 2015

The doors opened on Saturday morning and a sure but steady trickle of visitors flowed through the doors until Monday evening.

Studio looking stunning in the early May evening sun.
I have to come clean here, for the previous six or so years I have always thought of opening the studio as a pleasant exercise in meeting local folk, and other artists but never as profitable endeavour.

Inside the studio looking super clean
This year however I decided to put in a lot more effort, and have a wider range of art for sale, something for every budget. We renovated the studio, bought a trade stand and installed a gallery hanging system. I invested in prints, framing and print browsers and rather a lot of sundries besides…

My lucky horseshoe
It paid off, or, at least, paid for itself. We sold a lot of prints, cards and several large oil pieces. It was as ever great to meet all those who had made the effort to visit and fascinating to watch them react to the work on the walls.

Jazzy keeping watch.
I did a demo piece over the course of the open weekend, something which was very popular, and it sold on the last day. 

“Conquest” oil on natural linen
The Maidenhead advertiser wrote a lovely piece about the trail featuring a photo of yours truly. In all well worth the effort, and now we have the artists after party to look forward to!
Tina & Dolly – sure that the HENley arts trail was all about them
Posted on

How and where to buy art

Buying art can be daunting for many people, so here are some suggestions!

Visit the artist

Painting is a solitary occupation and we are only too delighted to break for coffee and a chat with anyone who’s vaguely interested in our work. You will get a first hand look at where the work is created, the process and often be able to pick up pieces that would otherwise not be up for sale. The Salt Studio shop is an excellent example of a collaboration of artists selling preparatory or non gallery work.

Open Studios

Henley Arts Trail

Open studios are a great way to visit artists in a much more casual atmosphere. I am part of the fantastic Henley Arts Trail which runs for three days next weekend, and typically we have about a thousand people through over the bank holiday (this year is the 2-4th May). It’s fun, there are plenty of venues, and an enormous variety of art and artists to see.

Prosecco & Paintings party on the Sunday of H.A.T.

Online

Look at artist or gallery websites. Decide what you like then you can either visit the artist or the gallery to view it in person. I find a lot of people buy prints online, but most prefer to see originals in the flesh before committing to a purchase.

Print Sales

In a gallery

Ask them their advice! Tending a gallery can lean towards being a bit dull if no one talks to you! Most gallery owners or managers will be only too delighted to help find something to suit your taste and budget. There isn’t the pressure of engaging with one artist and the gallery owner will have a broad knowledge of art, able to source work outwith their current exhibition or published list of artists. Penny at Oil and Water does the excellent ‘try before you buy’ scheme, meaning you can take the work home, live with it for a day or two and then decide.
A lot of galleries are signed up to ‘own art‘ meaning you can pay in instalments, from as little as £10 a month until the work is paid for. Most artists are also happy to do this, several of my original sales or commissions are paid in 3-6 instalments by standing order.

Trade Fairs

The Affordable Arts Fair and similar are the best way to immerse yourself in the art scene without the obligation to engage with galleries or artists. You can browse thousands of artists, glass of wine or coffee in hand, until you find work that captures your attention. My work will be at the Hampstead Affordable Arts Fair June 11th-14th, showing with Eduardo Alessandro Studios

Bulldog 

Tip: Sign up to a few galleries and you may well be sent tickets to the private view the following year!

Posted on

BBC radio interview & Scotland

Easter in Aberdeenshire

My favourite tree
I’m up staying with parents in Aberdeenshire at the moment, in wall to wall to blue skies, wondering why we live anywhere else. (Conveniently forgetting the 6 month winter and periods of endless sleet & drizzle!)

House of Bruar

I called in at one of my galleries, the House of Bruar en route north, they have had a major revamp since I last visited, and met the very enthusiastic and capable new gallery manager. I dropped in some new work, had a browse through the existing exhibition, Bob Rudd‘s work particularly caught my eye. 

BBC Interview

I was whiling away some time on Twitter and the producer of a show on BBC Berks got in touch asking if I’d like to take part in Paul Miller’s evening show. They did a live interview with me, broadcast that evening. It was great fun to do, although I was very nervous beforehand. He threw me completely by asking if, in the context of collecting art, I had a couple of Turners in the bedroom? My married name being Turner I was momentarily foxed, there indeed being, at that point one Mr. Turner upstairs in the bedroom!
You can hear the interview by clicking on this link

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02nn17h

Back to work

The view from my parents house. Extraordinarily special.
It was a great week away, I forget how drawn I am to Scotland and how much I miss it, so I am back in the studio, refreshed, recharged and ready to complete my series of jumping dogs. Now to find some more jumping dogs…
Posted on

Post exhibition

Oil and Water Gallery, Wandsworth

A very successful run of private views at the newly launched Oil & Water Gallery  in Wandworth. The paintings held their own on the walls, surrounded by several other stunning paintings from a variety of artists.

340, Old York Road SW18 1SS

It’s been fantastic to be involved with a gallery from its set up. The amount of work and expense that goes into the setting up is staggering. Galleries have an enormously important role to play in the art world, bridging the gap between artists and clients, and while the Internet may have made artists far more directly accessible nothing makes life easier for an artist than a good agent or gallery owner. I do think galleries need to become far more interactive spaces, as the book selling trade has cottoned onto so well, holding literary festivals, author led evenings, book signing events etc. the art world has made a start, but there is still a long way to go. With this in mind, Oil & Water are holding a ‘meet the artist’ night on the 14th November, please contact the gallery if you’d like to attend.

I sold various paintings over the private views, the jumping dogs were enormously popular, and the battle for the charcoal of Ivy was won by a friend of mine. Lovely to know where a painting will end up. I’m now back in the studio and will be definitely be exploring the theme of the jumping dogs further, I have several charcoals and oils planned, the pressure is now on for the solo exhibition in June!

 
Lion Leaping – Sold

I’m now looking towards the Christmas countdown, always my busiest time. Burford Gardens have sold out of the chicken prints and so need more stock, plus they’d like a drawing of a “Burford Brown” hen. So that’s in the pipeline, and the usual rush of Christmas commissions are beginning to roll in.

The Wandsworth gallery is holding a limited edition prints show in the run up to Christmas, so I’m busy framing and mounting for that.

Posted on

Art Competitions.

I’ve been spreading myself far and wide in the past couple of months entering pretty much every art competition going. My painting ‘Stags in Rut’ was awarded ‘Commended’ in its category in the BBC Wildlife Artist of the year, and I was given a lovely certificate, (though frankly would have quite liked the free safari and/or some cash!) and I got to spend the day in Marwell Zoo with the immensely talented Fran Sanders , who is a genuine wildlife artist.

I did wonder if I could stretch the boundaries of truth and enter the Sky.com portrait competition which is offering a very lucrative prize pot. Ironically I trained as a portrait artist, but quickly discovered I wasn’t best suited to that career; the best portrait artists leave their clients half in love with them, whereas I think my sittings were more akin to spending time with the Gestapo. I can’t chit chat while painting, listen to Shania Twain on loop and am not very tolerant of ‘suggestions’. Suffice to say, it was a short stint, and I moved into painting animals, which are largely silent and un-opinionated. Here’s an example of one of my early portraits (paid model – did as was told.)

This brings us back to horses, and the next big competition on the horizon is the Society of Equine Artists which is held in the Mall Galleries in London. The racing paintings are progressing really well, creating the spray of paint and movement has been challenging, but despite a paint splattered spaniel have been mostly successful. Loving painting on a bigger scale too, the one below is nearly 4 feet wide.

The Henley Arts Trail was a resounding success, hundreds people trooping through the studio doors, viewing and buying art. However next year, to save time, I might equip myself with one of these T-shirts….

Posted on

Art world Snakes and Ladders

It really does feel like that sometimes. I get an enormous boost up the ladder from something – selection as a finalist for the BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year competition, or a couple of great commissions, but then the next week, an agent or gallery rejection will send me slithering back down the snake to square, if not one, then further from the finish.

Being an artist is not an easy career choice, it is very personal, and requires an extremely thick skin, and a limitless amount of self belief. I am learning to enjoy the journey, and celebrate the successes, and write off the ‘failures’ as just another stepping stone. In many ways, being an artist is not a career, but a life, and as the great Winston Churchill said
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts”

So philosophising apart – being selected for the BBC Wildlife AOY is fantastic, the next round of judging is next week. This is the painting selected, which is in the ‘British Mammals’ category. Fingers crossed, but to be selected at all is an honour.

 
 
 
 
It is also ‘open studio’ time for the Henley Arts Trail this May bank holiday weekend. An event I love, not least for the interaction with so many talented local artists, and the opportunity to meet art enthusiasts from the region. It also forces me to to do an annual studio spring clean, without which I would vanish under a tide of wrecked brushes, dried out tubes of paint, and empty turps bottles.
 
 
I have been working on a new series of racing paintings, developing new techniques using an airbrush, (rescued from immense frustration with it by Andrew Breeze) and I am pleased with the results. They are more contemporary than previous work, and pretty big, but I have so enjoyed painting them, which always shows in the final result.
 
“Over the Last” Oil on Canvas 40×30 inches

Posted on

Art competitions

The beginning of the year has been all about entering art competitions; the David Shepherd wildlife art competition, the BBC wildlife art competition, the i-book open submissions. They are a great way of gaining exposure and sometimes creating work that’s slightly outside my comfort zone.

 
This painting is of a King Vulture at Chessington zoo, somewhere I visit a LOT with my children. It’s earmarked for the BBc competition, alongside 3 others. I’ve also submitted two pieces of Chessington animals to the David Shepherd competition, but I’ll keep those under wraps until I hear whether they’ve been accepted or not. The waiting is always frustrating, you want to know immediately – or maybe I’m particularly impatient! However, it never does work good to hang around in the studio, and it’s useful to be able to plan where they’ll be placed next.
 
In other news, I’m beginning to get a real handle on ‘social media’ and have set up both facebook and twitter accounts for my art. ‘Ingleby Art’ for facebook, and @inglebyart for twitter.  I really enjoy the artist communities on both site, painting is a solitary occupation and it’s great to be able to bounce ideas off others, and ask advice.
 
Another community project that is getting underway is the 2013 Henley Arts Trail, I’ve accepted two other artists to exhibit with me this year, clearing the neighbouring shed out to give them their own space. It’s always a fun event, and this year involves several interactive projects, to which I’m very much looking forward to seeing the results.