The perfect presents for men, those who ‘have everything’ or a just hard to find presents for. I have a selection of prints available to buy on my website, starting from £45. We can produce them on their own, mounted or framed. I also now offer bespoke canvas prints, in any proportional size up to a maximum width of 3 metres, which fills a LOT of wall space (but probably won’t fit in a stocking!) Please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing.
All the Giclée prints are produced using lightfast ink on acid free 360gsm art paper, individually signed and numbered. Each edition is a run of 250. They take around ten days to produce and frame, although possibly longer as we get very busy in the run up to Christmas. The order deadline is the 12th of December, after we cannot guarantee production & delivery in time for Christmas day.
For those who cannot choose between the prints I have also produced gift vouchers. These are embossed, and gilded, and make a wonderful present to give to someone to redeem the blue of your choice against originals artwork, prints or commissions.
I have a horrible feeling this may be similar to last years resolution, but I am full of hope that this year I will stop neglecting my blog and write a weekly post. I will spend less time watching ridiculous videos on Facebook and construct witty prose packed with my weekly news…
|Jump for Joy|
I have finally got to grips with FB advertising, and we were caught completely on the hop by the success of our pre christmas promotions, scrambling to process and ship all the orders in time. Thankfully we succeeded, and now have a fantastic system in place so everything should proceed smoothly from here on out. The biggest sellers by far were ‘Razzle Dazzle’ and Jump for Joy’
Two of my favourite paintings, I think they capture a sense of fun, and humour, and I hope give you as much pleasure looking at them, as they gave me enjoyment in their creation.
|The Bell Inn, Waltham St Lawrence|
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.
So, an expensive sheet of 70x50cm paper is clipped up onto the easel and I start on a big version.
|But soon joined the growing pile of rejects on the floor…|
|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.
|Framed and ready for sale £1500|
This is meant to be my quiet time of year, when I can footle about
faffing about working online in my warm study, instead of freezing in my draughty studio, spluttering in the temperamental warmth of the log burner.
However, fresh back from Africa I had a raft of new images to work from, and the deadline for the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year coming up.
|Now you see me ….|
|Young lion at waterhole|
|The moon, swallows and springbok|
|Male lion, North Pride|
Working to such a tight deadline is always stressful, although a friend did say, with raised eyebrow, “It’s not like you haven’t known about it for twelve months…” I know, I know, but I only got back from Africa at the end of December and it’s tricky to conjure up decent wildlife in Berkshire!
|Dawn Ascending, Oil on panel. 24×18″|
|Lion 75x55cm charcoal on paper|
So, hopefully, the last works should be finished this week and then photographed in time for the deadline on the 13th feb!
|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.|
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.
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.
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
Tip: Sign up to a few galleries and you may well be sent tickets to the private view the following year!
Easter in Aberdeenshire
|My favourite tree|
Back to work
|The view from my parents house. Extraordinarily special.|
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|
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!
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|
Easier said then done in this weather but I have managed to get a surprising amount done this month, and am pleased with my first equine work for a while. It’s a large piece 36×30″ which reminded me how much I enjoy working on this scale. No title as yet, so ideas welcome!
Some months I feel as though I am on a treadmill set at high speed. Work, kids, puppies, exhibitions trade fairs. The downside of having six weeks off for the summer holidays is the mountain of work to come back to in September. I have spent most of this fortnight wading through paperwork, ferrying artwork from one exhibition to another, and figuring out logistics for forthcoming trade fairs and shows.
|Our new Puppy, Jazz.
I actually haven’t painted anything for nearly three months, and so feel I’m probably going to be pretty rusty when I pick up the brushes again in October (after the Country Life Fair on the 28/29th September, no point even attempting to get started before that circus has finished!) They have been a fantastic job of publicising it, organising a very glamorous event at the Natural History Museum, which was attended by many artists in their finery! Do come and visit me, my stand is number 219.
As much I would like to stand still for a few moments, it is all too easy to get stuck in a work rut, and so to that end I have signed up for a printmaking course at the fabulous Southhill Park in Bracknell.
I have never really done any printmaking, and the equipment and range of techniques is bewildering for a complete beginner, particularly as I seem to have joined a very experienced class! The first session was absolutely absorbing and inspiring, and while I have hardly produced any masterpieces, it has been great fun, I’ve learnt a huge amount and realised just how much more I have to learn. These were my first two attempts – simple monoprints, working with etching ink onto acetate.
Perhaps it wasn’t the greatest of timing that the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year and my solo show at Oil & Water opened within ten days of each other. I’m sitting in bed, on a glorious June dawn, having woken early, and having a cup of tea, trying not to worry about tonight, the opening night.
|Kick up your heels by Catherine Ingleby|
I was very flattered to have been included in the well publicised teaser catalogue, and despite the hassles of wrestling two such enormous pictures into London, seeing them hung, in amongst such a strong body of wildlife art, was immensely rewarding.
|Winged Messenger of Death bu Christine Lambeth|
The evening itself was great fun, I managed to nab a photo with the man himself, and although I didn’t win the ten thousand pound cheque, it was good to catch up with so many friends, and meet some new faces.
|Myself and David Shepherd, in front of my two charcoals.|
It was HOT in the mall galleries though, boy, do they need to invest in some air conditioning!
|Moon Bear with Butterflies by Susie Marsh
I was particularly taken with some of the sculptures, there was such a variety, and I could have taken every one home. A sculpture by this French artist win the main prize. Deservedly so.
|Transperence – Rhino by Pascal Cheasneau|
|Rook by Susie Dafforn
Monochrome Category Winner
Catalogue is printed, the work delivered, the walls are hung. Tonight is the private view, and I’m trying to gather myself a bit before the day starts.
|Ready to go!|
I enjoy these evenings, but I feel a large pressure to sell well this evening, and they can feel like a marathon interview, chatting to potential clients, and explaining the work time and again. I am pleased with the body of work, I truly found it a pleasure to paint, and seemed to come, by and large, with ease to me. I hope that is reflected in the art, a friend made a lovely comment “It looks as though the artist has found joy in the process of painting it” which couldn’t be more accurate.
Let’s just hope the clients find enough joy to reach into their wallets!
|Burning Bright by Catherine Ingleby|
|Ivy, my spaniel, with a scuplture by Rosemary Cook|
I’ve been asked recently, a few times, to have students or young teenagers for work experience. This is always as much of an experience for me as I imagine it is for them, as I see my younger self reflected in their faces, and their dreams. I wonder if I had spent any serious time with an artist in my teens whether I would have taken fright at the path I was choosing!
I didn’t stumble into being an artist, it is what I wanted to do from a very young age. I knew, with out doubt, that there was no other path that would give me the same satisfaction and happiness. That is not to say it was a choice without hurdles, my art foundation year at E.C.V. in Paris was at an art school largely geared towards graphic design and advertising, and I saw that this would be a more lucrative path. Luckily, I was hopeless at graphic design, and remained on my road. I then studied at Durham University, and watched my peers go on to quickly earn decent salaries in the city, and buy houses. I wondered if I should maybe get the ‘proper job’ that my mother kept hinting at. A brief detour into portraiture taught me a huge amount (the main lesson being that I was not a portrait artist).
|‘Ivy Leaping’ Oil on canvas|
I think, it was clear in my head that I was unable ‘not’ to be an artist, that being prevented from painting and drawing makes me unhappy and frustrated. I constantly have ideas and plans buzzing around in my brain, I see inspiration in the every day routine of life, be it winter light though the hedge on the school run or watching a wildlife programme on late night TV.
I realise I am fortunate to have known what I wanted to do, and to have had the support to achieve it, but it is both a blessing and a curse. People often say to me ‘Why don’t you paint such and such?’ or ‘Why don’t you draw only charcoals?’ The answer is that I can’t. I have to stay to true to what I want to paint, to my vision as an artist. If I try to paint to please other people I feel I end up pleasing no one, and in the end my art deteriorates.
|‘Blaze of Glory’ Charcoal on paper|
One of the bloggers I read regularly, Making a Mark by Katherine Tyrell, posted this great link to the 2103 BP Portrait winner Susanne du Toit’s Top Ten Tips for being an artist. They resonate with me, and I think I will pass them onto the work experience students.
The other piece of advice that I read somewhere recently was “Learn to live on less” and it struck a chord. Most artists will never earn a fortune, or get serious recognition, but they will be an artist, and that is reward in itself.
|‘Up, up and away’. Charcoal on paper|
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.