The Goldfinch, after Fabritius - Commissioned Pastel Portrait
The original painting that inspired this pastel painting is a masterpiece in oil by the Dutch artist, Fabritius.
Fabritius was a student of Michelangelo, one of my all time favourite artists, and I came to love this painting thanks to reading the wonderful novel of the same name, The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt.
As life's little coincidences go, I happened to connect with a lovely woman whose daughter adores Fabritius' painting, and at the same time stumbled across the book in a local book swap, and events combined to generate a commission of my interpretation of the image, with the concurrent pleasure of a really good read. Having immersed myself in the novel where the painting is central to the plot, I felt a strong connection to the image, only increased by a love of goldfinches and recent success in encouraging them to visit our garden.
This pastel painting was particularly challenging, as pastel is a very different medium to oil, and the closer I looked at the source image, the more I saw how integral the rough brush strokes were to the painting. This was replicated to some extent in my artwork, and consciously trying to paint in the style of another is very challenging though also enlightening. It is a process I have not undertaken before, though one I would like to do again as it was a challenge that stretched me and taught me a lot.
Now completed, The Goldfinch has settled in it's new home, and is all set to travel to university with it's owner when she takes her next step in life. As a gift from her parents, I am sure it will be treasured and travel with her through the years, and I hope will always be enjoyed.
Hare has Sold!
When I made this pastel painting at a meeting of St.Austell Society of Artists, I had no idea it would prove to be so popular an image. It serves as a reminder to me that the quick sketches where you work with less precision can be just as delightful as the studies. I often appreciate this in other artists' work, though can be less likely to follow that path in my own. This Hare pastel painting has had a number of admirers and has almost been bought a couple of times in previous shows, though has now found a home with an organiser of the exhibition at St.Petrocs Church. As always, I am sad to have had to say goodbye to the picture, though am ever so pleased that it will be enjoyed by others as a part of their home.
Fine Art Exhibition in Bodmin
A dedicated group who make up The Friends of St.Petroc's Church come together every couple of years to create a wonderful group art exhibition as a part of their fundraising efforts. I have had the good fortune to take part in this show twice previously, and am very excited to join again this year in the new venue of St.Petrocs Church itself. With a very high standard of work by local fine artists, ceramists and makers, it is a collaboration of creatives which I am delighted to be a part of.
The exhibition opens with a preview evening on Saturday 26th August from 6:30pm - 8:30pm, which gives you the first chance to enjoy the show, the opportunity to meet the artists and to purchase some original artwork. And with sales being traditionally high at these exhibitions, it is well worth getting in early!
Dalat Girl Wins the Public Vote
During the St.Austell Society of Artists' summer exhibition in St.Mawes, visitors were invited to cast their vote for their favourite artist of the show, and their favourite artwork. Many congratulations go to Amanda Rae Thompson who was the winner of the title 'Favourite Artist' and my thanks are extended to all who chose to vote for my picture as their favourite artwork of the show, Dalat Girl.
Dalat Girl is a coloured pencil drawing, taken from a wonderful source image by Réhahn Photography. This image of the artwork shows all of the colours that were used to create it, using my favourite coloured pencils, the Polychromos range by Faber-Castell.
St.Mawes Exhibition and Craft Fairs
St.Mawes on Cornwall's Roseland Peninsula is playing host to two events this season which I am pleased to be a part of. The first is St.Austell Society of Artists' annual exhibition, and the second is a new Craft Fair featuring a variety of local producers, artists and makers. Each offer visitors a great opportunity to sample the delights of skilled craftmanship and to take a little of Cornwall's creativity home with them. If you would like to meet me and watch as I work on my latest pencil portrait, I will be at the craft fair on the 26th July and the 9th August.
Promas Support Carers through Creativity
Are you looking after someone who is experiencing mental health issues?
‘Pencil This In' is free training delivered by Promas CIC and myself, designed especially for unpaid carers in Cornwall.
The next Pencil This In course is running in Liskeard on the 14th and 15th June.
For further information about the amazing work that Promas CIC do, and to learn more about and book your place on this course, visit www.promas.co.uk/training/free-training
Fowey Art Trail Fun
Fowey Art Trail was a great success and a lot of fun, with visits from international art enthusiasts, local residents and attendees of the Fowey Festival of Ats and Literature. Here you can see us four exhibitors at Taurus Gallery - from left to right, Karen D Needham, Denise Parry, Maureen Bull and myself.
We would like to thank all who supported our show and all the amazing volunteers who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that the art trail was the best it could be for artists and visitors alike.
Fowey Art Trail 2017
It is all hands on deck here at Art HQ as final preparations are made for this year's Fowey Art Trail, part of the Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature. Last year I collaborated with three fellow fine artists, Maureen Bull of Taurus Gallery, Karen D Needham and Denise Parry, and am delighted that we four are once again exhibiting together.
I am very happy to have my pencil drawing A Thirst for Life featured on the publicity material for the art trail, and hope to meet many people and share my love of the humble pencil. With fine art portraiture on show, and daily drawing demonstrations, it is an ideal opportunity to watch artists at work, get answers to any arty questions you may have, and even be inspired to pick up a pencil and unleash your creative potential also.
At last year's Art Trail we welcomed visitors from all over Cornwall and the world, with many visiting the historic town of Fowey for the annual festival. My art found new homes in Canada and Belgium as well as closer to home, and I hope to see both familiar faces and make new friends too throughout the eight days.
I will be working on a new drawing throughout the exhibition, so come and see us at venue no.1 - Taurus Gallery in Gallants Drive, between Readymoney and Main car park.
All the information you need including a downloadable art trail map can be found at www.foweyfestival.com/art-trail-2017
Chewing it Over has sold!
This pastel painting has captured the imagination of a great many people, with greetings cards featuring my favourite giraffe being bought and sent all over the world.
That hairy chin and those big soulful eyes are irresistable, and thanks to its charm, Chewing it Over has now sold so the original artwork is with it's new owner here in Cornwall.
For those of you who want a bit of this giraffe's loveliness in your life, limited edition giclee prints as well as greetings cards featuring the image are available to purchase.
Fine Art at Cornwall Vegan Festival
On Saturday 22nd April, from 11am - 5pm, the fifth annual Cornwall Vegan Festival will be held at Mount Pleasant Eco Park in Porthtowan. I am very much looking forward to being there and sharing my artwork.
The festival is a celebration of the many benefits of veganism, and a great opportunity to learn more about how we can each benefit our environment and improve our health whilst eating well and making small and simple lifestyle changes. A family (and dog!) friendly day, with the most delicious food, local traders, talks, art, demonstrations and fun and friendship. All set in the gorgeous grounds of Mount Pleasant Eco Park and right by Cornwall's dramatic North Coast.
As a plant-fuelled artist, I am passionate about low impact living, eating well for myself and the planet, and of course the natural world which inspires my drawings.
At the festival you will find me on stall 27, where I will be creating an animal artwork so you can watch me work and ask any questions you may have. For more information about everything that is happening on the day, visit the Cornwall Vegan Festival website: www.cornwallvegans.uk/cornwall-vegan-festival-2017