Pencil Portrait in Progress
This pencil portrait is my current work in progress, and is perhaps half way to completion. She accompanies me on my travels to produce markets, craft fayres and any other opportunities I have to sit and draw in public. This is a great way to demonstrate how I work, the materials I use, and to answer any questions from curious members of the public.
I am passionate about pencil as an artistic medium, so I love being able to show what is possible with such a humble tool. Also pictured is my trusty pencil case and the four mechnical pencils I have used to create all of the graphite pencil drawings you see on this website.
The source image of this Vietnamese woman is an amazing photograph by Réhahn Photography - do check out his work for truly inspirational portraiture photography: www.rehahnphotographer.com
Trenance Art Exhibition Party
I am very excited to see that there are an increasing amount of opportunities for us creative folk in my part of Cornwall to meet one another and share what we love to do. The upcoming Trenance Art Exhibition Party is one such event, generously curated and promoted by artist Mary Clare de Pentheny, and featuring a wonderfully diverse range of art by local artists and makers. It is a chance for the good people of St.Austell to come together for an evening of entertainment and culture, and to showcase our skills with interested people from far and wide.
If you can join us at this exhibition cum party, it would be fabulous to see you there, and I will be glad to show you the two entries I will be sharing on the night, Dalat Girl and A Thirst for Life.
Treverbyn Village Market
The Hall at Treverbyn is home to a great many community events, including the Art Club that I teach at bi-monthly, and now also boasts a monthly produce market with traders all local to the area.
The first ever market was held this month, and it was a great success, attended by regulars of The Hall as well as visitors who had come along for the first time enjoying the range of produce and services available.
I will be a regular stall holder at this market, so will be there each month working on a drawing or pastel painting, and will have for sale greetings cards and perhaps some limited edition prints of my artwork.
It is a great way I find to meet people and hopefully inspire them to pursue a creative skill that they would like to possess, and to be able to share experiences and network with fellow artists also. Do come by and say hello if you are attending the market, and whilst at The Hall you can also enjoy some homecooked food and hot drinks in their super community cafe, or perhaps discover the many classes and activities that happen here in the heart of Cornwall.
Snow Leopard - Commissioned Pastel Portrait
Snow Leopards are magnificent creatures, and as with all big cats, they inspire me to create art which I hope captures some of their strength and beauty.
This pastel portrait was commissioned as a birthday present for a very special woman who also has a great appreciation of these feline friends.
Pastels are a wonderful medium for animal pictures in particular, as when used on velour paper, they have a particularly soft and furry looking finish. When working on the picture you can add many light layers of different colours, which blend together to create a sense of depth and richness which you can see here in the peachy colours amongst the grey.
Many thanks go to Edged Feather Photography for their kind permission to work from their wonderful photograph. You can enjoy a superb selection of wildlife photography on their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/edgedfeatherphotography
Colourful Creativity in Callington
Before I became fully self employed as an artist, I worked with an excellent charity called Pentreath, here in Cornwall. Pentreath deliver a range of projects which support individuals who are experiencing mental ill health, and I am delighted to be partnering with them again and able to work creatively with the local community.
On the 23rd October there will be a very colourful Arty Party in Callington, East Cornwall, where people from all walks of life will come together and learn, create and have fun in relaxed and exciting workshops.
My part in this is facilitating the Hall of Colour workshop, where we will be spending the day getting confident with drawing and painting people and each other, whilst exploring techniques and styles inspired by artists from around the world.
Places are free though booking is essential, so if you would like to join us for any of these events, do get in touch with Beatrice at Pentreath to reserve your place.
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.