I was not a child prodigy Ha Ha

As promised I am posting some images from my earliest days which happens to be from when I was at secondary school in London.

I first started to become interested in art when I was at St Michael’s Church of England school. I joined the school in 1970 when we moved back to London from Ashford Kent. As I hadn’t passed the 11 plus exam, I had the choice of the brand new school, Pimlico Comprehensive or a much smaller school. Comprehensives weren’t getting any good publicity at the time so Mum chose the C of E school. Big mistake as it was one of the schools which were later referred to as a ‘sink school’, massively underachieving.

I had come from a really good secondary school in Kent (also brand new) where science and art were treated equally. Unfortunately, the lower ratings of school became which was the way St Michael’s was going, the less money was expended on it, so science went by the way. By the time I left in 1973, we had one science teacher for the whole school and his special subject was physics. To do physics, you need a good basic math background. Unfortunately, we ended up with a teacher who didn’t want to teach maths but torment kids, especially boys. So while he would humiliate them, we would chat, play and copy the answers from the back of the workbook. To be honest I would have preferred a career in science and even visited the lab at a hospital as I was interested in becoming a Medical Laboratory Assistant. It was not to be. I got a grade 5 in Physics and a 3 in Maths (if I remember correctly). There was no fail in CSEs (certificate in secondary education). Pointless piece of paper!

Instead I fell into art. Even then, as the school only offered CSE, the consolation prize in school exams, the standard wasn’t that high. Due to some timetable conflict, I ended up doing a class with lower year. So I was in a corner, quietly getting on with my work while the class was creating havoc with the art teacher who was an ex military person and had no idea how to control riotous teenagers. I remember him one time, getting so angry he threw something out of the school window. His basic standard was to yell at them as if they were soldiers.

At least, he just let me just get on with my work. My big project was about abortion and the sanctity of life. I created a Plasticine model of the lower part of a woman with the area where the baby was situated, craved out and then I created a fetus.

I was very confused at the time as I had just learnt my mother had another child before me and had him adopted. She made it clear she blamed me for that event. I would later learn the truth of the situation and it was somewhat different from the story I had been given. She had also revealed when she was pregnant with my sister, who is 13 months younger than me, she tried to abort her several times That was going to lead to years of anguish on my part and my sister. Now in reflection, I can see how much my mother suffered. 3 pregnancies in 3 yrs, she was must have been going out of her mind. My Dad was in the navy and his family was not very supportive at the time, although they later became very close. This was well before the pill and her own Mother was going through her own issues with a husband who was suffering from PTSD although it wasn’t known as that then and terminal TB, so was of no help to her. If Mum had been born a decade later, I am not sure she would have gone on to have 2 more kids as she was much more career minded than I ever was. I suspect for most of her 20’s she was suffering from some form of post natal depression. Of course, yet again, that wasn’t known about for many years after that.

Abortion, although legal by 1973, was still a controversial option especially with the publication of photos of the fetus in the womb in the late 60’s. I am not sure what the art teacher thought of my ‘sculpture’ but he never stopped me. I am not sure what I was trying to convey now as I am not against abortion, far from it but maybe at that time I was. I definitely a confused 15 yr old. For my efforts I got a grade 2. So not a prodigy!ūüėāūü§£

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I don’t have any pictures of my grand project but I do have these from that year.

Sewing was my nightmare subject at school plus music. Both for different reasons. Music lessons were just a period where everyone ignored the teacher, walked in and out at will and basically we did anything but music. The teacher in sewing however was no walkover and most of us were scared of her. Not sure why I never learnt to sew given it one of my passions now but I still cannot understand patterns or those diagrams we get in the instruction booklets. Just had to take my sewing machine to the repairs because I misread a diagram in the instruction booklet.ūüėĮ Much better with videos. I was also scared of the sewing machine. Most machines scare me, especially power tools, even now. Fortunately, I have got over my fear of the sewing machine.

However, I did learn to embroider in her class. I had seen a magazine with the design and that was my project in my last year of sewing which was 1972 as I didn’t do the CSE in that. As the rest of the class got on with making various useful items like a blouse or a skirt, I concentrated on my embroidery. I must have been proud of it as I still have have it in the bottom of my stash.

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Never thought 47 yrs later, one of my passions would be embroidery.

In August 1973, I started at Greycoats Hospital, the local grammar school in the hope I would get my O levels and maybe A levels. It was obvious from day one, my previous education had been woefully inadequate. As as consequent, no math or science classes as I was so far behind in even the basics. English was a struggle as grammar was not taught at St Michaels , my spelling was appalling (still is) and I suspect I was the first person in the school to fail my oral exam! However the English teacher, Miss Lloyd had great faith in me and encouraged my ramblings, a couple of which I still have in one of my many boxes.

I was put in the secretarial class, so at least I learnt to type properly however as I had no idea how phonetics worked, Pittman’s shorthand was a non starter for me. I was also put in the sewing class. I was useless at it! Art was my one bright spot. ūüėäūüėć

The art department had an arrangement with Camberwell school of art where promising students could attend classes on Saturday morning. That was the beginning of my life in art. In the next blog I will post work from the Saturday morning classes and my some of my work from my Foundation year at Camberwell.

In the meantime, some of the work from Greycoats.

I was a huge David Bowie fan at the time and this was the based on a poster I had. My sister was a T Rex fan. I thought they were rubbish at the time. Now I like both.

I was a big soccer fan at the time and this was a drawing of a player in the newspaper. Can’t remember his name now but think it was Allan Clarke
part of my O level exam. We were given objects for a still life. This was done with those horrible school paints they had then.

I am working on this

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and not very well. In fact it would be more like working on avoiding this painting. I am just not happy with it but I am loath to give up on it. I will give it another week and see what develops as I think I have found a solution.

I have worked on it since this image and  the little daisy flowers and stars have gone.  In the original form, it was just a green ground in the front but it just seem too much.  But the small daisies and  beads I had in my stash, seemed too small so I scrapped them.

To be honest I placed the Buddha too centrally and the green cloth too high up.  So on Friday, I went to the local Hobby Lobby and looked for inspiration which I found in the scrap-book aisles. Paper flowers.   It seems to work but will my painting skills be up to it.  I have been working in the water solvable oil paints I got a few months back.  I am not keen on them. I think I will stick to acrylics from now on.

Once I have finished this painting, I am going to stop doing the fixed still life format and draw things around the house that inspire my interest and then translate them into a painted image. This will give me more flexibility to maneuver the objects and create a more dynamic image.  I am looking forward to shaking things up and hopefully I will not be avoiding the studio so much.

Battling with drawing

Drawing has always been a struggle for me and the older I get the harder it gets. My eyes no longer focus as well as they did (my right eye has never focused as it’s lazy LOL) and if I concentrate too much, I get a headache.

 

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This was the first drawing of doing this setup which was piece of fabric from Ikea and ¬†part of my grand daughters tea set. Originally I was going to paint it but looking at the complexity of the fabric design I decided to draw it first. ¬†My other motivation being the fact I have a stack of drawing paper from when I first arrived in the US. I ordered a 100 sheets 36″ x 24″ but ended up getting 3 reams instead by mistake. Contacted the seller and they said keep it as it too expensive to return. ¬†I was only charged for the 100 sheets so it was a bonus for me or so I thought. ¬† I still have about 2.5 reams left!

 

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So this is my second drawing as  I was not happy with the first drawing as the angles seemed wrong. Well I never did manage to get them right as you can see from the drawing below.   The table I was using was well below my eye level so I was looking down on the set up.  Ignoring the maxim of never erasing your drawing marks, I continued to make the same mistakes time after time.  Surprising even though I studied at Camberwell for nearly 3 yrs (foundation and Saturday morning classes) I never learnt how to use a plumb line, pencil or whatever to gauge proportion or angles.  I am trying to teach myself that now, carefully drawing a mark for where my foot is position whilst I draw and trying to remember not to move my head too much. I am pretty sure I will not continue to do that but it might give me more of an idea how to assess these things instead of blindly blundering into the subject as per my normal method.

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So I have spent the past week drawing this whilst reading numerous books about drawing. ¬†Hasn’t helped! ¬†Eventually I would love to have the freedom to use the drawings as basis for painting so I am not restricted to setting up a still life. I have a long way to go.

So its back to the drawing board again but this time I also plan to paint the still life.  Once the cooler weather comes in the Fall, I will go out and draw from life but at the moment with temperature in the 100f/38c plus range, I will contend myself with still life set ups and looking at objects around the house.

 

 

 

 

Reorganising my art room and my life in the process

This pass weekend, I decided to tackle my art room (I hate the work studio, seems so serious) and it took me that long reorganised all the groups and junk.  It has been bothering me for a while and as I have managed to tackle putting myself on track, it was time to make this very important room into some order.  So now I have a large open space without clutter and my tables a clear of the junk I had loaded onto them.

Last week after another disappointing session at the life drawing room, I have decided to put that aspect on hold for the moment. To be honest I am not sure why I was doing, other than as exercise as I have no control of the pose, the model or even the lighting.  The lighting or the no existence of any natural light was really beginning to get me down.  We are lucky that unlike the UK we have almost constant sunshine, so it amazes me that the most available of life drawing sessions are done in an old stable converted into a studio with one small window which has a blind that is permanently closed. They have painted the brick walls white but for the past fews that has been negated by someone putting up a flimsy, grey/black backdrop which sucks the life out of anything.

However, realising my drawing abilities are poor due to lack of the use of that particular brain muscle, I have tried to start sketching random things around me. ¬† I decided to do a few drawings where I didn’t look at the page as I drew but just let my eye follow the object, moving my pencil along as I did this. ¬†I ended up with some interesting results.

This past week I have been revisting a few artists I like. Shani¬†Rhys James, ¬†Mary Fedden, Elizabeth Blackadder and Eileen Cooper. ¬†Unfortunately, none of these artists are available locally so I am restricted to books, a tv show (What do artists do all day) and available online videos. ¬†I will confess I am not particularly knowledgeable about US art. What I have seen does not particularly appeal to me. ¬†Looking at my bookshelves, it is dominated by British art and for that matter, British art magazines, as I have been a fan of Artists and Illustrators since it started in the 1980’s.

Any time to revisit the art room and decide on my next project, a portrait of my grand-daughter or a selfie, haven’t done one recently.

 

Yellow figure with floral background

This is the painting I have been working on for quite a while. Most of the time was spent on drawing the floral fabric in the background. I began by thinking I could do my normal procedure of painting and drawing at the same time until I realised I would go cross-eyed and lost doing this. ¬†As I started drawing the flowers I considered the fabric I had placed the figurine on, a green fabric, it just didn’t seem right. Searching through my fabric stash I came across this old favourite. It was a remnant from a duvet cover I had made for one of the kids years ago.

At the moment, I am considering this finished as I found I was fiddling with it and I know once I get to that stage, I will not improve what I have. I might go back to it later, once I have had time to absorb it. Now it time to go onto the next project.

 

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I think I am beginning to identify which direction I am going. ¬†I am going to continue to do ‘still life’ but it is not going to be fruit in a bowl or flowers. I might include those subjects eventually as fruit in particular is part of my life but not something I particularly relate to. Fabric and pattern will have a strong influence and I seem to prefer single objects to groups of objects although I have a couple of knick knack type things I like to group together. ¬†I am not ready to move away from the arranged subject yet but I don’t discount the possibility that I will in the future.

This painting is done on a prepared 16×18 canvas, using oil paints. This is also a big change as I have used acrylics since my time at BAA so it was a bit daunting to say the least, ¬†but as I was using fairly thin layers of paint, it should be OK. ¬†If I continue to use oils, I will need to read up and talk to other artists on how they use them.

On the whole I was happy with this still life.  Like exercise,(another area of my life that I am trying to improve), the more you do it, the more comfortable you feel with your progress.

Per the image, the red is not quite as red as it appears, apart from that it seems from this screen to be fairly accurate.

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After the last post, I had a  terrible session at the AVAA  where I ended up doing an almost cartoon life drawing of the model.  I finished the session early, feeling defeated and broken. The above drawing is from this week. Again I struggled.  This was the 3rd and most successful drawing. Below is the worse.

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I can’t even think ¬†what was ¬†I was considering as I drew this. It started off as a very poor drawing ¬†in pencil and then I decided in the last 20 mins to add colour. ¬†I was desperate for it to work.

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This was my first drawing, at least the feet look like they stuck to the ground! ¬†It definitely feels like I am going backwards at the moment. I can see good points in this and the top drawing but both are disjointed, in that parts don’t seem to be connected to each other. It like I am creating several drawings on one page to create one drawing.

My new venture is plein air painting with the Plein air Austin group ¬†and that is tough, not just because of the Texas heat. Again, my drawing skills suck. My first venture wasn’t too bad but I only painted for about an hour as it had taken me longer to find the location than anticipated. ¬†Ironically it is about a 15 min drive from my house but it took me over an hour to find it! I intend to go back as it is a great location.

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This is a very small painting – 6×4 inches and done in oils. After painting in the garden recently and tackling acrylic paint that dried too quickly in the Texas heat, I decided to try out oils for the first time in over 30 yrs. ¬†Yep, now I remember why I ended up painting in acrylics! ¬†I am a messy painter and oils have a tendency to spread if I am near them. ¬†However, I intend to continue and on this Thursday’s paint out, I discovered MUD.

 

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I realised after an hr and a bit ¬†I started out too tentatively and I really couldn’t see the wood for the trees LOL. I was concentrating on the pattern the trees were making. ¬†In the last 30 mins of this painting , I decided to hell with it and just started to load on the paint (still pretty thin to be honest). ¬†I can see I will need lots of practise with oil paint as it so different from acrylics.

Plein air is also reminding me how nerve-racking painting with a crowd can be. On ¬†the first paint out I was able to concentrate as we were in the middle of nowhere but this week we were in the middle of a very public garden with tours for young children and mothers trying to entertain toddlers for the summer. ¬†On top of that, there were the very loud peacocks wandering around. Memories of my days at Corsham abounded with the ‘theo’ calls that were constantly in the background.

This week I will task myself to go to the  local park several times and just draw as I seriously need to just draw and observe more.  Now I know I can tackle the heat, it might not be so bad. I am also working on a still life which has taken too long basically because my drawing skills are so poor.  However, the basic drawing is now done, so now the painting can commence.

 

Chicken still life in pastels

I have used watercolour pastels (Caran d’ache Neocolor II) and oil colours before and loved using them at college. ¬†I have not really used soft pastels before (too expensive when I was student), so this is a new direction for me and its going to be long journey I suspect as I am a messy painter. You can not be messy with pastels, as I have discovered. ¬†Leaning on your painting (its considered painting, rather than drawing) leads to messy finger marks all over the place. ¬†Also instead of mixing your colour on a palette which allows you to keep adjusting, with pastels you are mixing on the paper or whichever media you are using. This can lead to rather dull colours as you create mud. ¬†A razor blade can help if this happens but obviously you can’t keep doing that.

So this is my first full soft pastel painting on Mi Teintes Pastel paper 98lb.

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It’s not great but it’s not a complete disaster. I used a combination of mungyo soft pastels, Nu pastels and ¬†Conte pastel pencils. Despite having what seem to be lots of colours ( I also have a lot of cheap hobby pastels), I found I was struggling to find the right colours. ¬†I haven’t quite got use to the idea of mixing on the paper (although that is what you do with the watercolour and oil pastels as well so I am not new to the idea).

Anyway, the chicken will be there in 3 wks when I return to Austin as I am travelling to Brittany to visit my elderly parents. As I am going on my own (emergency visit) I am going to take my pastels with me. If the weather is co-operative I am hoping to do some landscape painting with them.  I have only done plien air painting in passing before as I find I struggle to focus on one particular spot. Seems to be too much to take in, so this will also be a new direction for me. Fingers crossed the weather in Brittany improves whilst I am there.

As I am new to softs pastels I am busy looking up bloggers who work in pastels and the one that stands out for me, is this blog РPainting my world РKaren Margulis.  I love the free and easy way she uses the pastel and she has lots of good advice. Another blogger work I am enjoying at the moment is the plein air paintings of  Haidee Jo Summers and again a blog with lots of good advice.

when to call it a day?

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In the studio, working

So this week has not gone smoothly and my time at the easel for various reasons has been limited.  Sunday, no painting as it turned out rainy and cloudy, making the studio too dark by the time I got up there. Monday playing with Grand-daughter and her nap time is now more like an hour instead of the previous nearly 3. Got back to the easel on Tuesday and it was like starting again. Wednesday, dental surgery. so no painting.  Back on Thursday and Friday (only an hr as I work Friday pm).  Exhausted myself gardening yesterday, not painting, so back today and again it was like starting again.

In fact I have gone back, several times in the past week.  Constantly redrawing and repainting.  Deciding do I want to make it a purely decorative motif?  How do I tackle the glass?  Wine cooler still looking flat but red vase coming along.  I have finished for today but I am not happy with it. Yesterday, I thought it was coming along fine but having redone the fabric under the still life to concentrate on the pattern by scrubbing it out (including the fruit), I realise the wine cooler is not quite right.  The red jug is still OK, sigh.

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As it was on Thursday 1/16/2014

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today 1/19/2014

Tomorrow (no Juniper tomorrow ūüė¶ as public holiday) will be the last day for this still life. ¬†Whatever its problems which it will have, constantly working will only lead to discouragement. ¬†It has shown me I need to draw more, use my eyes rather than dart all over the place or as I have tendency to do, focus on one area without relating to another. ¬† Once the drawing is done, build up the colours rather than draw with the brush.

Tuesday I will make myself go outside and look at my garden.  Also need to do more drawing.  However, not all disenchantment, as I have still managed to continue to paint for the 3rd week in January. Now to make it month, then another and soon it will be a year. I will manage to do it this year.

still drawing

So a couple of step more forward. Today was more of dealing with the drawing, in particular the fabric under the still life. At first I was being too timid as the pattern is not a solid black. Eventually I decided I would tackle in much like I did with the stripped pattern fabric of the last painting. However this time I have put the darker colour on first. Some of the oranges were removed and repositioned as I progress. In fact you can still see the original position of the bottom right hand orange.  The margarita glass has all but disappeared at the moment as I worked on the fabric design and becoming quite abstract.  Gradually the objects are become more solid as I work with the colour. Next I have to deal with the light.  Still just using acrylic paint but tomorrow I think I will start adding in pencil and pastels (water soluble and soft)

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Still life with wine bottle Jar

Yesterday as promised I started a new still life. ¬†I like the background fabric on the last still life so much I decided to reuse it in this painting and then I coordinated the rest of the still life to complement the fabric. ¬†I feel I am going to struggle with the base fabric as it also has a pattern on it and at the moment, I am not sure how I am going to deal with it. ¬† It not a bold pattern and it’s not striped like the orange fabric. ¬†The pattern is actually leaves which are textured stripes and blackish, so not solid and reflecting light.

So I managed to get the basics done on this painting before the light faded completely. As I was drawing it in I wasn’t too concerned about the light but it actually turned out to be quite a bright afternoon, after the morning fog and showers. Looks like today might be the same but I will working this afternoon so the light will be fading by the time I finish, so will probably continue tomorrow when I know the weather will be sunny.

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Today I think I will try to draw something as my drawing skill definitely need brushing up. When I was Camberwell, I constantly used my sketchbook, even for the Saturday morning classes and was actually a requirement in my foundation year. I sort of kept it up at Bath but with the lack of encouragement from the staff, it wasn’t a high priority (in the painting dept anyway.), it soon became an infrequent habit. So really my sketchbook has not been a priority since I was about 20, so its time it regained its importance, if only to reinforce the habit of looking, rather than roaming with my eye.

That is one thing I was always doing in my painting, redrawing, you can sort of see it with the wine bottle as I reaslised when I was working on the background fabric, that it was much taller than I had originally drawn it.  The little red vase is also a little more squat and fatter than I have it here, so  that will be altered  as will the some of the small satsumas. Still I have plenty of time as next week the weather is returning to the normal TX sunshine so I am not going panic.

So far, I am happy with what I have on the painting board. ¬†Materials used so far, Daler Canvas board 16×12 ¬†Golden acrylic paint and some primsacolour pencil.

Better coloured in this photo

So I looked at the original photo and this is closer to the painting.

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So the last 2 days have been non painting days. Yesterday, I just had to kick in  to the filing as tax year is beckoning and much as I dislike that task, it has to be done!  Still needs to be done but half way there.

Today, was a unusal day for us, Scottish dreich weather ( dark, mild and drizzly) and by the time I had arranged the next still life, the life was way too dark. However, I will draw in the structure before I start work at 7 pm tonight (only 2 hrs) and tomorrow I will be ready for the dull weather. Will need to do it in next 2 days as the weather will be the usual winter sunny day on Saturday.  The best time for the room I am working in, is about 3 hrs after sunrise as its  east facing with only the east wall having windows. So once the sun is high enough above the horizon, the light is pretty steady until about 2 hrs before sunset.

Anyway, time to make dinner. Looking forward to starting the new painting tomorrow.

On a roll, finished

well, this one is for now. I can see areas (lots of them) for improvements but time to move on another still life.

Today, I was looking after my young grand-daughter and normally that would be an excuse not to paint. However, I determined that housework, cooking etc could be deferred whilst Juniper slept and I could work on this during that brief window of opportunity. Wow, a break through for me!  To be honest, it was not that brief as she is still at the longer nap stage at the moment.

The one thing that I had been struggling with was the stripped material the still life was sitting on.  As can be seen in the previous stages of this work I had been painting in the stronger colour and then attempting to put on the yellow/mustard colour. Totally the wrong way to do it and in sudden flash, decided to cover the red/orange completely with  a yellow pastel and using a prismacolor pencil, drew in the stripes.  I just drew them as I saw them, the perspective is all wrong I know but somehow it works.

I worked on the problem area at the top of the painting, scrubbing in white, greys, reds, blues with pastels and pencils. It looks better but it still not quite right. looking at it at the moment, it definitely the large green area to the left that is the issue, more than that area. It lacks substance, maybe that is something I could work on.

I also work on the flower arrangement itself and the material immediately below the still life. The flower arrangement is better but I could never get the shadows on the material to work. I just ended up with a rather ill-defined shape with no real body, it just float very badly.

I added a few touches to the boldly patterned material in the background but not much as it seems to work apart from the odd triangle in the far right.

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Wow, looking this image on the screen and its way too bright. My camera really doesn’t capture reds well. Safe to say it’s not as bright as this image. Think I will need to invest in learning to use my husband’s DSLR. Photography is not my skill.

Anyway, tomorrow, another life to create. This one is finished (maybe work on the bottom material) as the flowers are now too dead!

 

 

progress slow

but its progress. Today I dispensed with the paint, using the pastels, Prismacolor pencils and some Derwent aquatone pencils. Not my best by any means but I’m happy as its only the 5th and I am actually painting. I will probably work on it one more day and then tried out another still life. I am even think of painting a view of the back garden as the weather is meant to improve considerably this week. Unfortunately that also means the Cedar trees will be in full pollen explosion stage. Like most people who live in this area, I am very allergic to it! At the moment it is mainly affecting my eyes, like tiny grains of sand grinding against my eyes. Hopefully that will be the full extend as I take all the allergy meds I can to fight against it.

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So the painting is on ¬†Strathmore Watercolour paper, 140 ¬†11″x15″. Acyrclic paints, Prismacolour pencils, Derwent aquatone pencils and Mungyo soft pastels. ¬† Bit I dislike the most, the grey area at the top above the flowers and the bit I like most the orange star in left bottom, followed closely by the green patterned material in the background.

As to the comment about overwhelmed by the number of colours available for pastels yesterday. Today I realised 60 is not enough! LOL

The New year starts and the anxiety kicks in

So I have actually started a still life – on 3rd Jan. ¬†Set up the still life in a burst of enthusiasm¬†on 31st Dec . Set up an easel on 1st. ¬†Then the anxiety set in and last night it got so bad I couldn’t sleep. ¬†So I got as far as a rough sketch in pastels. They are my issue at the moment because Gordon bought me them as Christmas gift after my bout of excitement with them before the festive season started. Looking at the big box of colours, 60, I suddenly thought what do I do with them!

So today, the 4th, I abandoned the pastels and taking up the brush.  Still anxious but I know I will get over this.  Need to be quck before flowers are completely dead!!!!

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Yes, I know, blue sticking tape is not going to help. Brown tape on my shopping list tomorrow.  Once I have completed the underpainting I will use the pastels again. Monday I start my new shift so most days from 9-5 I am free to do what I want, so no excuses this year but there will be.

A new look and a new beginning

Any regular visitors will see I have completely revamped this blog.¬† I decided this year I was going to devoted my time to relearning how to create using paint and brush.¬†¬† Well it taken me until about 1/3rd of the way through the year, to get started on this but now I have actually gotten there, I decided it was time to devote this blog to it, rather than create yet another blog.¬† So in preparation I got all my old posts printed into a book from, via Blog2print .¬† I have had the book for a few weeks now but it didn’t include all the lovely comments from other readers, so I had print them out. Fortunately WordPress have a handy view comments by page, so I manage to print all the comments a page at a time, rather than each comment which would have been very time consuming.¬† So today was the day, to delete all the old posts and start afresh.

To anyone who didn’t know, I started out as a painter, beginning with Saturday Morning classes at Camberwell¬† school of art and crafts at the age of 16 (almost 17) and ended up with a degree in painting from Bath Academy of Art (now sadly defunct)¬† Unfortunately, my time at Bath was not the most productive time spend and as soon as I left, that was my painting career finished before it had even started.¬†¬† Since then I have struggled to continue to paint but due to family commitments, space and general lack of effort, I have never worked on painting full time.¬† In the meantime, I have continued to be creative in other ways with my kids and latterly my beading.¬† However, in the last year,¬† with the kids gone from the house, I realised that beading wasn’t challenging me as much as drawing and painting does.

I have no great plans about  what I am going to paint or any great theories.  I have no interest in all this art speak crap that pervades the modern art world and never have done.  My biggest challenge to convey what I see onto the canvas in the way I see it.   Basically I am starting from the beginning, going back to the challenges I met at Camberwell  when I first started painting and drawing.

I have been painting for some months now but basically very unsatisfied with what I was achieving.¬† Then looking a good friend’s website, Drawing my way around London and another favourite, Hobbs Blog, I realised I needed to get back to basics and that is observing and drawing.¬† So for the next few weeks I will concentrate on that aspect while continuing with my current painting.

Below is the  first painting I produced October 2009 and then my most current finished piece.

paintings 004

blue white caferia 004