Getting serious with my art?

So, yesterday, Sunday, I spent most of the day dismantling my office and then putting it back together in order to create a small but distinct art studio space.

This was no mean feat given that my office was already an office, a library, a brewery storage area and general dumping ground! But with lots of shuffling and juggling and the addition of some dedicated art storage furniture I have manged to fit everything in and carve out a corner of the room just ready and waiting for me to get serious about my painting.


So, now I have an art studio and have relocated almost all of my art materials to this space – today (Monday) was the day to test it out!

The first lesson was that it pays to prepare the night before – otherwise you spend the first hour of your day, sorting out what you’re gong to do and what paints/equipment etc you’re going to need. The second lesson was that despite being very organised in my storage I can still spend lots of time just trying to find where I put things! No doubt, over time, I will reorganise the set up and get more familiar with where everything is.

Having overcome the above and the inevitable frustration that I couldn’t just get on with it I’ve manage to start 4 new pieces. Normally, I would only work on one piece at a time but one of the tips I’ve picked up from other artists is that you can be more productive/waste less time waiting for pieces to dry etc if you have more than one piece on the go – and so it has proved.



The first piece is a still life in oils. I love working in oils but find them a bit frustrating as it can take a long time for them to dry sufficiently before you can build up the layers – but, the base layer is down and hopefully will be ready in a couple of days for the next layer to be added.

This is the first still life that I’ve tackled in a very long time – normally I prefer abstract but I’ve had this photo for a long time so it seemed timely to get on with it.


The next 3 pieces are all abstract and use acrylic paint although one will incorporate pastel.


Here I’ve used a white box canvas, painted in a black border and made various markings using palette knives and card.

Once dried, the next stage will be to fill in the colour using various scraping techniques.

The plan is to use a limited palette – basically Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine, Lemon Yellow and White and scraping back in places to allow the black markings to show through.




This piece is much more the style that I’ve been working in over the past few months. A limited palette – Cadmium Yellow, Lemon Yellow and White – applied using card and palette knives to a hessian covered board pre-painted black.

I like the way the colours, merge and blend at the same time as keeping their own identity.

Further layers, added once the base layer is dry, should add even more complexity


20160822_141945The final piece is an abstract landscape, loosely based on a number of photos taken on local walks.

Colours used include Burnt Sienna, Cerulean Blue, Lemon Yellow, Rose Madder and White, applied in blocks using card and palette knives to a hessian covered board, pre-painted black.

The plan is to overlay the acrylic paint with pastels – using the same colours – once the base layer is dry.

All in all a very enjoyable and reasonably productive day and the best bit is that my studio is all set up and ready for me to walk in and get on with the next stage of creating art. Future posts will show how I progress!

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