My largest artwork in 2016 is a commissioned artwork which I’ll be revealing here very soon.
I’m astounded that my blog has been viewed in 82 countries in 2016, I love the idea of my art reaching out across the globe. Thanks to everyone who followed, Liked, commented, bought and visited my art in 2016. I appreciate everything.
I dedicate this post to my dear Grandad who left us this year.
The next post will be looking forwards to 2017. Follow my blog to see that post when it is live.
I’m delighted that I’m all set up for this group exhibition at The Gage Gallery in Sheffield.
My exhibited work has not been displayed publicly to date, the work has been created in the past twelve weeks and includes Acrylic Paintings, Lino prints, Sewn Artworks, Fabrics, Ceramics and my new Oil Painting. The work has been created since my first solo exhibition was hung at Airy Fairy in Sheffield. Watch the Virtual Exhibition Video here.
This week the Inspire by Kim exhibition ended, but the good news is that I now have artworks for sale in the shop at Airy Fairy.
Originals, canvases and framed prints are in the main shop area.
I was pleased to announce that The Little Bean Bag Cafe & Cake Emporium is displaying two prints of my paper cut pictures for sale.
Had a visit from The Small Print Company and tried typesetting and printing old style.
Worked on a new creative on two canvases in acrylic and oil paints. More on that later.
Life drawing – I drew a male model for the first time.
Now I’ll be reflecting on my exhibition, reading the lovely comments from my exhibition visitors and continuing my current project.
Thanks for stopping by. There’s lots of art to try here, and inspiration for your practice. I’d love to hear if I’ve inspired you. It’s not always easy to comment on WordPress, so feel free to comment through my Facebook page.
Later today I am opening my first art exhibition so here is the post I would have liked to have read before I started out. Here’s what I have learned so far and what I wish I had known.
1. Create in standard proportions
Do this right from the start. This will make it easier when framing, reproducing and packaging your artwork and prints. Otherwise you’ll have to lose some of your image, have white space or have to use more expensive customised fittings.
When creating something that you may wish to reproduce on canvas have enough space around the main subject (s) to wrap around a canvas frame, this means that you needn’t lose any of the work and will avoid time spent stretching or mirroring the image to make it cover the frame.
2. Learn how to scan, stitch scans together and colour match/adjust.
Find someone to teach you, this will save time, money and give you more control.
3. Be open to opportunities
In July 2015 I hobbled painfully on my recovering leg on a journey I had planned since the previous December. Whilst skating in the Christmas Show at Ice Sheffield Anwen, owner of Cafe and Gift Shop Airy Fairy, had seen my art on a cosmetic bag and suggested I visit her shop to discuss options for displaying my work.
Major knee injury just days after first speaking to Anwen had delayed my visit to her shop; but on meeting Anwen we discussed my work and she offered a five week exhibition in the cafe.
As my art is bright and sunny so I felt that it suited the month of April, so we scheduled the exhibition. I had seized the opportunity that arose through the chance encounter. I knew I would learn a great deal through the preparation process and would be able to show my art to a wider audience.
4. Measure and photograph the exhibition space
Don’t be shy about getting a measure of the exhibition space. Measure the space, take photographs.
Decide roughly how you will exhibit in the space and then curate from your art. I had lots of doubts, “do I have too many pieces” or “too few”. A scale drawing of the space would have enabled me to visualise the exhibition better, sooner and saved me time on the long run. Ask for a floor plan, your venue may have one.
Visit the venue to see how other artists have worked in the space and consider what works and what you might like to do.
5. Edit your collection
Deciding what to include is difficult, I thought about what would be popular, what would people like, what would suit the customer base. What I should have thought from the start was – which artworks do I like best, which show my skill/ability and are my greatest accomplishments. Those are the pieces to include. I came to under stand that we cannot control other people’s interpretations or how they will respond, not everyone will like everything as art is very individual.
6. Ask for supplier recommendations
I wanted to do as much as the process myself, so that I cold maximise the learning and my understanding of what goes into producing canvases and prints. I learned a about paper stock, print colours, calibration, image resolution, file format, scanning, canvas quality, canvas frames, hanging fittings, fishing wire, labelling, packaging, copyrighting and my nemesis… pricing.
7. Research and Read
I referred to Lisa Congdon’s Art Inc, Kelly Rae-Roberts Flying Lessons and Lila Rogers Make Art That Sells throughout the process. If anything I wish that I could have had a knowing artist buddy by my side who had been through a similar process.
8. Log all component costs into a spreadsheet as you go
Log all the artwork components and packaging elements so that you have your cost prices per artwork calculated well enough in advance. Pricing is challenging, so the baseline cost price is important.
9. Have someone to bounce off
A friend that can give a second opinion and to help you set up the show will calm your doubts and make it more fun.
10. Enjoy the process – stay creative
An exhibition is very personal and is you showing the fruits of your creativity and hard work. I found that when I wasn’t enjoying the preparation process it was because I wasn’t being creative enough. I learned to stop and think of a more creative approach which enabled me to be the artist, to be innovative unique and original. I also liked it when things were more personal and quirky. Our printer decided not to print anything in black ink just days before the event, but I have to say that I am pleased with the results and glad that it challenged me to find other ways and colours to express in.
11. Accept that there will be admin tasks
Spreadsheets, contracts, insurance documents, inventories, price lists, advertising, press releases, invitations, briefing notes. It’s all part of the process, it can be fun when you find a creative approach and know that this is to celebrate your work and give the art the chance to breathe and be seen beyond your home or studio.
12. Don’t over complicate, don’t stress
This is art, it’s not definitive. Focus on showing the best you can, what happens from there is out of your control.
13. Appreciate your followers
Their belief and support is infinitely valuable, remember that when feeling doubtful or confused.
14. Keep going and believe in yourself.
If it is, like me, your first exhibition this is totally new and so it will be challenging but keep going and believe in yourself, who knows where it will lead. There will be set backs, just now I’m waiting to pack the artworks into the car but I can get through the hall as there is a man working on our broken boiler. Hopefully the boiler breaking is the only setback today. Lastly, celebrate how far you have come and be open-minded about the future.
My art exhibition runs for the next five weeks until 2nd May at Airy Fairy, London Road, Sheffield. The exhibition comes after a journey into art, see the blog posts about the 52 Art Challenges that I completed on the way.
Having stretched and prepared a canvas I was ready to give oil paints a second chance.
When I previously tried oil paints I didn’t have a great experience as I didn’t know then about turps, linseed oil, thin and fat.
On this occasion I was fortunate that a local artist guided me through the essentials and I started to paint. I was sceptical that the oil painting experience could eclipse acrylic painting, as I love the bright pigment and neons available in acrylics.
However as I started to paint I enjoyed the feel of the paint on the canvas as the brush passed over it. I enjoyed the line, the texture and how the canvas felt so different than when using acrylic paints.
I was keen to create a painting from a marker (then digital with photo and watercolour elements) piece that I had created of a woman enjoying calm under water. Before painting I drew the lines in charcoal. I did this quickly and in future would spend more time on that stage.
I am normally keen to create swiftly and achieve the end outcome, but as I painted I enjoyed the action and, similar to my experience with life drawing, I found it a very pure form of art. I could have painted with those materials hundreds of years ago, there’s something magical about that.
So here is the final piece, plus the fun little duck (inspired by Jeff Koons) to place the lady in the bath. I’m pleased with the outcome, can’t wait to start my next oil painting and I learned a lot in the process.
I learned to plan the piece out well beforehand.
To think about the layers of the painting.
To have a clear picture of the face that I want to create, trying to oil paint from my head was tricky.
To think about the proportions of the canvas to ensure they are standard, as this will make it easier to reproduce the artwork if you wish.
Not to paint too close to the edges of the canvas as if reproduced some of the painting will be lost.
Set up the easel in a position with consistent light and in a place that you can get far enough back from it so see it from a distance, as this can reveal things not apparent at close quarters.
Developing the artwork
I took the image digital to test out different elements during the process.
I used the key elements of the artwork to create a lino cut for printing. I used Picasso‘s reduction technique to add to the effect. Here are some of my favourite prints.
Thank you for visiting my blog, I have some exciting news imminent so please ‘Follow’ my blog so that you receive updates.