January 13th, 2013 – Rediscovered Treasures And New Paintings

Pulled down some canvases I had stashed in a cupboard up North at my folk’s house. A couple of surprise paintings I had forgotten about and one I have not seen in quite a few years.

First up is this double canvas painting. Measuring up at 6ft high this picture went through a number of phases over a couple of years until I finally finished it in 2006. Using a mixture of Acrylic inks and white acrylic paint, some Black acrylic and fine liners, and pencil work on canvas this scene is quite bizarre, folk that has seen this have without exception said the words Lord Of The Rings…. Well, it was intended to be a kind of icy snowy rocky/organic landscape with wee trees growing out of the rock towers with a swirling sea.  The whole thing was pretty experimental in my using fine liner over the acrylics and I did the sea in pencil as the pen would have been too bold & dark. I was very pleased with the sea style.

acrylic painting icy organic japanese landscape

The next two canvases were started around 2008 I think, but I never got the chance to finish them at that point. I had done another two pictures that were blacked-out canvases with very minimal use of turquoise spray paint as a horizon line and starry/celestial skoosh. For these two I had gone for a more star sky idea. The horizon line was going to get left flat or inclusion of a single oak tree shape but when I got them into the studio this weekend I decided to go for a mountainous horizon line.

Landscape Night Mountains and stars
Northern Lights over Scottish mountains painting

The spray paint at the time had not taken well to the canvas and allowed me to brush some of it off creating quite a cool effect.  The third canvas I found I decided to paint over and made this which I called ’13th Snow’ because it’s the 13th today.

snowfall tree painting

This painting has been a bit of a theme recently. Normally I would ink over all the leaves to bring them out more, but I am experimenting trying to make the leaves look less defined in a way. Still looking for something…

The next picture is called ‘Christmas Eve’. I found an old wooden frame which I sanded down and painted white. By chance, a board of wood I had kicking about the studio fitted perfectly so I painted it black and did the tree snow scene. It was painted for my flat as I really need some art up but it’s quite nice so it might have to go back to the studio & be for sale. I really like the old frame, I could have spent longer sanding it and coating it with a few coats of paint & varnishing/oiling it but I really like the rustic outcome of it. It works with the picture.. the photo is from a camera phone so not the best focus but you get the idea.

Snowfall on a tree branch painting

So that’s what I have been up to recently. Easing back into the studio after a Christmas break and I’d like to get some new canvases asap as I have a bucket full of ideas I want to try out.

Oh, one more photo!!  This is where the idea of painting the old frames white had come from… The picture is one of my misty forest series. Probably my favorite of the pictures, I got a mount done and this old frame out of a junk shop. I sanded the frame and gave it a white gesso coating which again came out with this rustic-looking finish. I really liked it, I had no idea it would come out looking so cool and totally fits the picture style. Again one that will have to return to the studio I think but currently at home where I can enjoy it. I got these pictures issued as prints in block mount format on the web page but I might look into getting some white frames made up like this one and issue full-size prints like this cause it looks so good. Again bad camera phone photograph…

drawing in a woodblock style of mist forest birch trees

Looking forward to getting my paintings back from the Skypark exhibition, no sales as far as I know which is disappointing but hopefully someone will come down to the studio after seeing them. Need to get more exhibits organized as I now have quite a collection building up and certainly do not have the wall space for everything I have now, and I plan on painting more asap…hopefully.

It was my 32nd birthday on Friday, I have been considering various things… one thing that I have concluded is although over the last few years I have made rapid developments in my work I am not making much financial development, which is kind of integral to the continuation of my art.

The phrase ‘if you always put in the same, you always get the same out’… the effort I have been expending does not seem to be changing my circumstances so the way I have been going about my career the last few years is going to have to change. I need to put in something different, change tact, and maybe I’ll get something different out.  So I think it’s time to look into displaying through galleries, put less drive on the open studio angle, scrap craft shows altogether, and organize more exhibitions.  Just re-evaluating really, whereby I am focusing the direction of my effort to hopefully better effect.

The web page was a big development and hopefully, that will start to bring in something. Putting on shows could be good but staging something where you get an audience that will actually buy is the problem. I’ve never been keen on exhibitions in bars or cafes, aside from the risk to the work from theft or damage I’m not sure its really targets a suitable audience.

I always wanted to try to organize a one-day art exhibition, kind of like a craft fair but lose the concept of tables around a room.  Make it a one-day showcase of 30 artists each with 2/3 paintings. I think that would be really cool but again attracting the right audience might be difficult.

The gallery route, although accessing the right audience in the easiest way, has the issue of the percentage mark up which I have a major problem with. I lose between 40 / 60% of the sale price. And on an original painting, I’m not sure I can deal with that. The sale price ends up being so high it’s crazy if I am asking anywhere near a respectable return for myself, or I’m taking such a low price for a picture it renders it completely pointless when you factor in the time it takes to make, materials, etc.

So ramble aside the main thought is I have to redirect my efforts into a way where I actually make some money and how am I going to go about that…   How indeed.

And the final news is the second run of my Misty Forest Block Mounts is being made this weekend and should be ready at the start of the week. Available to order from the web page or you can pick them up in the studio. Glad the first run sold because aside from how cool I thought they looked I wasn’t sure if folk in general would take to the format. Well, the first run was snapped up in no time so full steam ahead with run two!


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