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Getting it right

One of the most common questions I’m asked is “how long does it take?” So, I thought I’d quickly run through the process of the creation of a recent piece – “Razzle dazzle”
Painting zebras is always a bit of a headache inducer – all those stripes, and five together was ambitious. I started with a small sketch 25x25cm, which went well, and was pretty straightforward.

Zebras, £350

So, an expensive sheet of 70x50cm paper is clipped up onto the easel and I start on a big version.

Started well..
But soon joined the growing pile of rejects on the floor…
There were several versions of charcoal on white paper, each more disastrous than the previous. I just couldn’t get the light as I envisaged it. Finally, I scrapped about £30 worth of paper into the bin and tried on a dark grey paper. This version I was pleased with, the zebras really standing out from the background. It’s hard to keep the looseness of the original sketch, but working from drawings rather than photos really helps.
Herd of Zebras 70x50cm £850

Then I moved onto the oil, the background took ages to get right, I started with an ochre/blue/pale cream combination, but then changed the background to red which I felt conveyed Africa a bit more, that red dust. Also the ochre was too similar to the foreground colour. The blue doesn’t really show up in the photos, as it is so close in tone to the top layer, but it’s very clear in the flesh so to speak.

Razzle dazzle
It’s not a huge painting, 24x18inches, but I felt any bigger and I’d lose the freshness, although getting enough detail proved a little tricky. 
Framed and ready for sale £1500
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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
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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!

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Affordable Art

A.A.F.  Battersea

At last spring is ambling into view. I always view the art season as kicking off with the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea park in mid March. I was lucky enough to get tickets for the private view, and so I duly trotted along with the talented Tania Still for company. As we made (very slow, as one or other of us knew someone in almost every stand) progress around the fair, I was really struck by how many fresh pieces of work were on display. I absolutely LOVED these pieces by Alan Kingsbury on the Panter and Hall stand. Apparently he had a bit of a revelation a couple of years ago, threw all he knew into the air, and started producing these massive, simple, but so striking still life’s.

Alan Kingsbury 30x40inches £4,850

Affordable Art Fair – Hampstead

VERY excitingly I am going to be exhibiting at the next A.A.F. at Hampstead in the 11th-14th June with the Eduardo Alessandro Studios  I am busy burning the midnight oil producing some really cracking pieces that will be shown at the fair. I’m afraid I’m going to keep most of them under wraps until then, but can share this bulldog with you…

Bulldog 28×28 inches £2775

I really admire the EA Studios, they represent some incredible artists and I’m honoured to join the team. I particularly love Ron Lawson’s work, an artist I would  love to own a piece by!

Ron Lawson

HENLEY ARTS TRAIL 2-4th May

I’m honoured to be one their front cover this year. I have a lot of new work, and as we invested in a gallery hanging system for the studio last autumn it will look great when it’s all up. There’s a fresh team at the helm of the HAT committee, and a few new venues, so let’s hope for a weekend of fine weather!

BBC Big Painting challenge

I’ve been totally hooked on this series, and can’t wait to see who wins. My money is on Paul or Claire. I’ve also been surprised at the general low standard (these 10 were the best from 6000 entries?!?) and the outcry over the judges critiques. I realise I also now sound critical, but drawing and painting is as much as skill as any other discipline and some of them have not the slightest grasp of perspective, proportion or composition. To use an example, we would expect a competition featuring Britain’s best amateur musician to feature people who have a reasonable grasp of playing an instrument. I think it demonstrates the fairly dire state of many of our art schools in this country, the loss of basic draughtsmanship, with a few notable exceptions, (lavenderhillstudios.com, drawpaintsculpt.com) elsewhere the trite view ‘art is subjective’ is parroted. So is music subjective, but I doubt you’d want to listen to a musician who had never practised the basic skills of playing…. Believe me you don’t. My daughter is learning the recorder, she thinks she sounds amazing. I’ve rediscovered the joys of earplugs.

But perhaps you don’t agree? Maybe art is best left untaught, and everyone should develop at liberty, free from from the constraints of the past? Let me know….

Work in progress 400x500mm
www.catherineingleby.com
Twitter  @inglebyart
Facebook www.facebook.com/inglebyart

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Henley Arts Trail

And breathe…

The Henley Arts Trail is over for another year. At this point I’m usually thinking “never again”, but it’s always a great weekend, and I know, worth it in the long run. I had four other artists at my studio this year:

Andrew Prewett

Andrew Sketching
 

Claire Howlett

 
Waves by Claire Howlett
 

 
 





Vivian Marnham


 

 

 

and last but not least John Loader,

who won the Molly Stanley award at the Henley Arts and Crafts Guild exhibition this year.

 
 
We hosted a drinks party on the Sunday afternoon, which was crammed with people, enjoying the prosecco, some amazing canapes by Vivian’s wife Liz, and of course, the art.
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
I even managed to get started on some of the material I have from Longleat and produced a couple of Zebra charcoals. They are strangely compulsive, and satisfying, to draw. I have an idea to do a complementary pair of zebra charcoals, on A0 sized paper…

www.catherineingleby.com
www.catherineingleby.com
 
 
I have also come to the conclusion that I would be better selling Limited Edition prints at the Henley Art Trail, rather than originals. I think people make mostly impulse buys, which tend to be under £500, and I have misjudged my market by having the expensive gallery work on display. For all that, I did pick up a couple of commissions, which makes all the work of the weekend worthwhile!
 
www.catherineingleby.com