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Decorating for art with Farrow & Ball

This month Farrow & Ball have kindly agree to collaborate with me, sending some ideas and advice on decorating with art in mind. 

Being bold with colour

The Head of Creative at Farrow & Ball, Charlotte Crosby suggested the following:

“Rich colours are the ideal backdrop for gallery walls. Strong shades like Preference Red or Paean Black really complement eclectic pieces of art, particularly those with gold frames.

The calming lavender tones found in Brassica provide a softer alternative to darker shades. Take the wall colour up and over the ceiling to keep the focus on the art.”

 

Stronger wall colour is becoming more fashionable these days and those dark blues, and vivid shades are a godsend for art, as they really make it sing. I honestly think that ‘gallery white’ does no favours to art, it is often used so that the art is seen with no distraction, but equally can make it hard to envisage the work in a domestic setting. Try to avoid colours clashes, generally people lean towards a palette in their house, favouring a range of blues or greens, neutrals or reds so try to choose work that doesn’t fight with the background. Orange or pink/red tones in a painting will stand out against blue walls for example, while greens will be more muted. 

I happen to have F&B Brassica in my study, and while initially I thought the purple seemed a little overwhelming, once there were several photos and paintings on the wall it recedes into the background, and harmonises the various works. I used predominantly gold or black frames so that there was a theme to the variety of art and photos. 

 

 

Keeping things neutral

For those who prefer a more muted palette in their home, monochrome work, such as charcoals, drawings, or etchings work with everything, and are always easy to hang in any setting. I use ‘F&B Archive’ a warm neutral in several rooms, which is very sympathetic to all work, important to me as the paintings and drawings are changed on such a regular basis. Houses that are decorated in greys, and subdued colours are the perfect backdrop for a really vivid artwork to act as a focal point of the room. 

 

Matching colours

Purists will throw up their hands in horror, but I see nothing wrong in choosing work to match or compliment decor or colour scheme, after all it has to fit into your life and home. Berkshire Life recently published a lovely article on the work in my house and we talked a lot about how I choose decorating schemes to complement and showcase the work. In some cases, like the bathroom, I started with the painting, a large seascape by John Benton, and choose one of the blues in the work as the paint colour for the wall (Farrow & Ball Cook’s Blue)

In other rooms I choose the colour first – a muted yellow (India Yellow by Farrow & Ball) in the kitchen, and then hung work, predominantly monochrome, that is set off by the strong background. I have found this colour tricky, as I have to be careful when hanging coloured paintings. They need to be either predominantly neutral, or have a pop of colour that doesn’t clash with the yellow. Greens, reds and pinks are completely out!

I would love to hear your successes (and fails!) of hanging paintings. My worst was, ironically, my studio walls, which I initially painted a green yellow white. Hideous, and completely flattened any art hung on it…

 

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Art – the ultimate christmas gift.

 

Limited Edition Giclée Prints

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 catherine@catherineingleby.com for pricing.

Aonbárr (Framed)

 

Blind Retrieve (Framed)

 

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.

Kwandwe Quartet

 

Jump for Joy

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.

 

WWW.CATHERINEINGLEBY.COM

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What to say to an artist

At the many private views, exhibitions and fairs I’ve been to over the years, I often find people are at a loss as to what to ask me, and say the first thing that comes into their head, which is often, mostly unintentionally, rude. 

So, a light hearted guide of suggested questions;

1. Where do you get your inspiration?
2. What materials do you use? (Do not get an artist started on types of paper, unless you want to be there all night)
3. How do you achieve …. insert suitable aspect of painting (colour/effect/perpespective/technique)
4. What brought you to this subject?
5. Have you always painted in this style?
6. Which other artists influence your work?
7. Apart from yourself which artist would you invest in? (Artists often buy art, I love collecting work by others, and often am in a position to know whos ‘up & coming’. Phrase it carefully though, implying that you’d rather buy someone else work is rude…)
8. Which is your favourite gallery/museum? 
9. What is your studio like? (This could be another long rant)
10. May I get you another glass of wine? (Dear god, yes.)

Here are a few questions I’m asked a lot – in order of popularity! Not rude per se, but asked so often they make me want to scream, or at least reply sharply…


1. How long did it take? (There is no right answer, it takes a lifetime to learn a skill, the better you are, the faster you can do it.)
2. Is it for sale? (That is WHY we’re here.)
3. Is it in oil? (It does say ‘Oil on canvas’ on the label)
4. Can you teach my son/daughter/aunt? (Artist, not art teacher)
5. Have you always been an artist? (Every child is born an artist – Picasso)


And these are just plain rude. Expect a retort in kind..



1. How long did it take? (It’s too annoying)
2. It must be lovely doing your hobby full time. (ITS MY JOB, only about 20% of my long working hours are actually spent painting.)
3. How much do you make? (How much do you make?)
4. It’s like a photograph (It’s a painting/drawing so it’s really not)
5. It doesn’t match my walls. (That was never my intention)
6. Are you any good/famous?(Define that for me…are you judging me against Kim Kardashian?)
7. Can I buy it more cheaply direct? (You want me to jeopardise my business relationship with my gallery?)
8. Can you do x for free, it will be great advertising. (A very dangerous question likely to make an artist boil over, try it out on your plumber to gauge a likely reaction first. On the flip side I often donate work for charity, so it’s always worth asking in the name of a legitimate cause.)
9. You’re so lucky being an artist. (It was mostly hard graft and bloody mindedness. It certainly felt more like a curse at times.)
10. When are you going to get a paid job? (A parental prerogative to ask this one….)
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Art competitions

Submission and rejection

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….

Sun glare

Shadows Kiss

Society of Equine Artists

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. 
Stormrunner
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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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Aladdins Cave

Russell-Cotes Museum

Finding myself at a loose end over half term I booked myself and the kids into a hotel in Bournemouth for a couple of days. I wouldn’t really recommend the hotel but my main reason for being there was to visit the Russell Cotes house and gallery. It is fabulous, like the home of some wonderfully flamboyant old uncle, perhaps an immensely wealthy Monty for Withnail, who has stepped out and let you in for a wander. The house is a work of art in its own right, the couple of lived there clearly had no budget restraint and went to town, every room a homage to decorative arts. 

Russell-Cotes House
The central Hall, Hugh contemplating the morrocan influenced fountain, now bereft of goldfish.

Charles Walter Simpson

I was not familiar with this artist, but this huge  – 8 foot square – canvas is extraordinary, it’s such an incredible study of light and pattern. Looking through his body of work, he clearly was drawn to abstract light patterns, and his painting of seagulls in late evening light ‘Silver Wings’ is stunning. His paintings seem remarkably contemporary for his time.

The punt gunner by Charkes Walter Simpson 1924

Lucy Kemp Welch

Not one of my favourite artists as her subjects tend to be quite twee, but still recognised as being one of the great equine artists of the 20th century.

The Gypsy Horse Drovers 1895

 Maud Earl

I know Maud from her prolific dog portraits that adorn many a country house, but this is the first big painting I had seen of hers. A stunning composition, very unusual having cropped the deer in the foreground.

Add caption

 Henry William Banks Davis 

Sheep are such unappealing subjects to paint being lumpen shaped, idiotic and with very little expression (sorry sheep!) but here Henry Davis has made them magnificently noble and dramatic.

Approaching Thunderstorm in Picardy 1869

Munnings

Ah, Munnings, I don’t see any in the flesh for a while and fall out of love with his work. He’s a one trick pony, endlessly repeating the same composition, the paintings seem crude and slapdash. Then you see one and remember why he is so justifiably famous and revered. They are extraordinary in real life; the size, the fury of the application of the paint and the insane use of colour, yet you stand back and it all falls into a harmonious painting with an exquisite handling of flesh. 
Dod Shaw on Patrick 1912
Brushwork up close. Mental.

And the rest

We ended up spending four hours there. they have a fabulous cafe and programmes for children. This is the sort of place art should be viewed with none of the sterility of modern museums. It’s when you works like the one below that you realise this is how they were designed to be displayed, not on a white wall under harsh spotlights, look at that wallpaper!!I urge you to go and have a look, their website is pretty basic with little info but it is worth the trip. I saw paintings by Farquharson, Lavery, Landseer, Henry Moore, and many more. Here’s a few more photos – but the BBC ‘Your Paintings’ collection has a comprehensive catalogue

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Society of Equine artists

So this is for a bit of fun, but the Society of Equine Artists has opened its annual exhibtion this week, award ceremony this Sunday. These are my picks for the prize winners, not including myself obviously!!
You can see the whole exhibition online at www.equestrianartists.co.uk although the slide show is maddeningly slow. It would be much better formatted as a gallery, so it could be more easily browsed.
I’ll post the actual winners next friday!

Best drawing – “Crusader” Rebecca De Mindonca Pastel £1,900 38″x31″

I haven’t come across this artists work before, and it’s stunning, although I think the shoulder needs to merge more softly into the red background. The racing paintings on her website are fantastic, so I’m suprised they havn’t been included in the SEA exhibtion. 

Best contemporary “Irish Draft Stallion Gortfree Hero” Sara Hodson ASEA Oils £800 21″x21″

Sara has submitted a very strong trio of works. See more at
https://www.sarahodson.com/

Best Group of works by full member – “Guards” Kristine Nason SEA Pencil £580 20″x24″

Best hunting work – “Kimblewick Hunt Leaving the Full Moon” Dennis Syrett SEA PPROI RBA RSMA Oils £8,000 32″x40″

I like Frderick Haycocks work as well, also a strong contender. 

Best coloured horse (!) “Zebra” Kim Thompson Acrylic £1,800 21″x41″
This might not count being a zebra, so technically not a horse, but it’s a lovely work. Realistically Malcolm Coward will probably win. Again.

Best in show -“Seventh Wave” Rosemary Sarah Welch SEA Oils £2,200 42″x38″

Best Sculpture – “The Chaser” Amy Goodman ASEA BA(Hons) Bronze 1/8 £5,250 20″x20″x8″

Best racing work -“Headway” Michelle McCullagh SEA Oils £2,800 25″x18″
Hard one to call this, as Michelle won last year I think, but to me this one stands out. 
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Horses for courses

Equine Art

Summer is fading, and the kids are about to start back at school, including my youngest in her slightly too big pinafore and pristine white socks. I feel sad to see her go but it does mean I will now have five days a week to work, uninterrupted. Five days!! It’s been a long time since I had that. 
Horses have taken star billing this summer, kicking off with the Society of Equine Artists, who posted their selection at the end of July. I’m delighted that all three of mine got in, initallialy being exhibited at the Sally Mitchell Galleries and two were cherry picked to go onto the Osborne Studio Gallery in Knightsbridge for an exhibition of Equine art in September.

Espirito Gitano

Phaeton

The Midas Touch

I was hugely honoured to have the opportunity to go and photograph the “Golden Horse” Pearl of Peace at his yard, along with two other stallions. This extraordinary stallion is one of a kind, with an incredibly rare genetic combination that gives him his reflective, metallic gold colouring. He is still a youngster at three but such a character, and a real performer, clearly going to love the spotlight his life will entail! I am hoping to create a series of paintings from my time there, and will post progress on my FaceBook page.

Society of Wildlife Artists

I am currently framing “Monkey Business” in order to present it to the final selection for the society of wildlife Artists in mid September. I was pleased, and a bit surprised to have a piece accepted at the first round, as their emphasis seems to be heavily in favour of bird paintings, particularly those in a natural setting. Fingers crossed for the final round at the Mall Galleries!


So back to the grindstone in a few days, I’m looking forward to really getting my teeth into a new series, I feel as though I have been away from my studio for too long!

Video Games

I’m slowly getting to grips with making short videos, and the timelapse ones seem to be the most popular. Here’s a link to a recent painting of a dark grey arab.
YouTube video of Catherine painting

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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!
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Finding the creative spark

What makes an artist ‘talented’?

I recently watched this Ted talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the bestseller ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ It touched a nerve, as I really empathise with her subject, that an artist does not have to be a mentally unstable genius in order to create brilliant work.

https://ed.ted.com/lessons/your-elusive-creative-genius-elizabeth-gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert

5% talent – 95% hard graft

Art is a job, a job like any other when you have good days, bad days, days when you want to do nothing but work, and days when you wonder why you are there at all. Success is dependent on turning up and sticking at it. I suspect we do have steeper peaks and troughs, but it’s a temperamental business. There is no barrier to being both creative and business like, which artists and buyers are waking up to, harnessing the selling power of the Internet.

Two of the most common questions I’m asked are ; “where do you get your ideas from?” and “How do you price your work?”

I get my ideas from every day, I see ideas every time I leave the house, in every programme I watch, every book I read. For example I visited Windsor Horse Show yesterday and was flooded with ideas for paintings, this photo I took would make a fantastic sketch for example.

Sadly I have to balance every idea, with whether or not I think will it sell, and how many people will it appeal to. My art is a business, and I have to approach it as such, so sadly this idea will be condemned to the closet, as it will have too narrow an audience to make it commercial. (By the way, big congrats to my sister who won Champion Polo Pony with her little home bred mare, Tinx)

Tinx, Champion Polo pony at Royal Windsor 

I do think there is such a thing as ‘talent’ there are some days when that elusive genie really does just show up, but talent is nothing without hard work. I am listening to a new song in the studio at the moment – ‘Bills’ by Lunchmoney Lewis, I know how he feels, and the video is hilarious! Bills Video

I’ve just finished this piece, and I’m pretty sure the genie was on my shoulder for this one.

Needs a title?!

Abysmal photos, I know! They’re off to the print studio to be professionally photographed next week!

Comments, as always, are very welcome. Love to know your thoughts, esp on the Ted talk, do you agree with her?

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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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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…
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drawing to a close…

The past year

Christmas is nearly upon us and I have been reflecting a bit on the past twelve months. 2014 has been a fantastic year here at Ingleby art HQ, Madeleine joined me early in the year and has been a godsend managing a lot of the areas I’m weak in (basically anything involving organisation or sitting at a computer..)
We have built up to a dozen galleries, and showed at around twenty exhibitions in the ten month period, with one more solo to come in the New Year. I have taken up printmaking once a week, which I’ve loved, well loved etching, not so much the other forms!


www.catherineingleby.com
Camel Etching

 

Inspiration from elsewhere

I’m being inundated with posts form various blogs I follow about reviewing your year as a business, and making plans for 2015. Some of these have brilliant tips, and I take great inspiration from them. www.makingamark.com and www.artbizblog.com are two of my favourites, and my old colleague Marc d’alessio also writes very well about life as painter – www.marcdalessio.com
As some light relief from all these worthy material I also follow www.cupcakesandcashmere.com which pretty much represents the polar opposite of my life, so is fascinating to peek into (and occasionally snigger at – cannot wait to see the havoc a new baby is going to wreak) I must stop accumulating pets though…


My studio mates – Ivy and new puppy Jazzy.

Plans for 2015

My plans for 2015 are going to include more of the gundog series, which has been very popular, a lot more wildlife, especially as we are planning a trip to South Africa in late 2015. I also want to build up the illustration business which goes from strength to strength (due to Madeleine!) We launched the new website and last month and have had steady sales
www.inglebyillustration.co.uk



www.inglebyillustration.co.uk
www.inglebyillustration.co.uk

The prints are also being snapped up very quickly, I am doing a set of 50 of the Tigers as canvas prints 70x70cm, and they are proving very popular. The print quality is so good I really can hardly tell the reproductions from the originals!

www.catherineingleby.com
www.catherineingleby.com

So, Happy Christmas to all, a huge thank you to all those who have supported me over this last year and looking forward to 2015!

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Never stand still.

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.

Printmaking at SouthHill Park

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.