Friday, September 29, 2006

Less Work, More Play.

I have not done very much art work over the last week as I have spent most of my time watching over Roma and her babies.
She gave birth two nice pups on Sunday morning so I have spent a lot of my making sure the new family have everything they need, mainly warmth, peace and quiet at this stage. She had a dog who will be known as Remy (Glenspey Shooting Star) and a bitch Roxy (Glenspey Heavenly Star).
Roxy will stay here with us at Glenspey if all goes well and Remy is already spoken for, so the stress of finding the right home is removed this time.
I will take a photograph in a few days.

I did however finish my cat on black and called it 'Dark and Dainty', prints will be available from the end of October. The original will go to America to be exhibited in our first Fine Line Artists exhibition.

Now I don't need to sit with the pups all the time, I have started another cat on black stonehenge, this time I am adding to my 'up close and personal' series.

It is amazing how much faster I can work on black, I have only taken about eight hours on this one so far.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Colourful Black

Roma's litter has still not arrived so I am carrying on working in a small format.
I decided to create another ACEO on black, but this time I decided to go colourful. It was a great deal of fun putting blues and violets into a black cat and the result was quite pleasing, at least it was to me.

As I'd brought a huge sheet of black stonehenge down from the loft, I decided to carry on working on black, but go slightly larger.
The Fine Line Artists first joint exhibition is in December so I thought I'd do something for that.
This is all coloured pencil and is approximately 9 x 7.
I nearly always put in the eyes first, but once they were done I abandoned my usual way of working one small area to completion and worked over the whole cat.
This first stage makes the poor cat look a little evil because the bright eyes glow in the middle of all that dark.

I then added some brighter colours, blue and a bright orange to give it some punch and started work on the chest fur.
This one is starting to look a lot less menacing as the fur colours start to brighten.
Because this is much less detailed than my usual way of working it is also much faster, I might be able to acheive my eventual aim of producing a new piece of art every week.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Small is Beautiful, and Collectable

As I am spending most of my waking hours watching Roma for any signs of impending labour, I decided to try something small, and easy to pick up and put down if necessary.
The perfect thing seemed to be to create an ACEO, or to give them their pedigree name, Art Cards, Editions and Originals. (I am busy thinking about pedigree names for Roma's pup(s) )
These cards can be created in any material, using any surface, and cover any subject material. There is just one rule, they must be a uniform size of 3.5 x 2.5 inches, this is the same size as a trading card.
These little cards are immensely popular as they are a way of collecting original art at affordable prices. If you put ACEO into google you will find out just how popular they are.
They can be mounted and framed in the same way as larger works of art, or put in special collectors albums.
Some artists specialise in ACEO's and some just create them as an addition to larger works perhaps when time is limited.
Several members of our Fine Line Artists group produce ACEO's on a regular basis and sell them on eBay, have a look on eBay for katherinellis, caulfieldfineart and greywaren, as well as my own identity, glenspey1a.
This is one I did a while ago and sold.

This time I wanted to do something fun, so with Halloween not to far in the distance I created this one. It is coloured pencil on mountboard and is on eBay now.

Although I enjoyed creating a fun piece it is not something i would want to do very often so my next one is back to my usual macro cat portraits, coloured pencil and acrylic on black pastel paper.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Sunshine and Ice

It's a beautiful day here in Yorkshire, too hot in fact for poor Roma whose puppies are due next week.
I even saw a Hummimg Bird Hawk moth in the garden this morning, I'd never seen one before and had to 'Ask Jeeves' what sort of insect looked like a Hummimg Bird. Sadly by the time I got the camera out it had gone to find a more tasty variety of plant.

I decided it was time to get a move on and finish my gesso experiments, so out came the penguins.
I completed the feet in coloured pencil and then added more acrylic to the background, a mixture of Ultramarine Blue, Payne's Grey and White.
The bodies need some colour adding to develop form, but then I'm going to varnish them, frame them and let my son have them. I have been fighting with the grain, I didn't put enough layers of gesso on, or sand well enough, so I'm not sure if I will repeat the exercise.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Introducing the Fine Line Artist Group

This is a brief introduction to a group of eight artists called 'Fine Line Artists' , a group that I helped to create in September 2005.

Since then we've worked together to help develop our art and artistic ambitions. We have now decided to launch a new website to promote the members to a wider audience.

Fine Line Artists is a group of eight artists who live on three different continents, in four different countries, and in five different parts of North America. Their ages cross four decades and they have very different backgrounds but they nevertheless share common goals.

The group was formed in September 2005, primarily to provide support both for the development of their art and, for some, the business of being an artist. Their aims have been to achieve artistic growth through honest dialogue and to provide help and support at all times - in dealing with the challenges presented by their artwork, the art business and life generally.

The artists met one another in an internet art forum and subsequently developed close friendships through e-mail correspondence and the subsequent formation of their own private forum in September 2005. This year, some of them have been travelling very many miles to meet up 'face to face' for the very first time.

Since forming, they have met many personal challenges, supported much development and celebrated very many achievements.

They are all unequivocal that they have achieved much more by being a member of this group than they might have done pursuing their art as an individual.
The other members of the group are:-
Nicole Caulfield - New Hampshire, USA
Katherine Ellis - Maine, USA
Louise Sacett - California, USA
Maggie Stiefvater - Virginia, USA
Katherine Tyrrell - London, UK
Gordon Leverton - Ontario, Canada
Wendy Prior - South Island, New Zealand
If you want to find out more then visit our website:-

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Society of Feline Artists Exhibition - 4th - 23rd September

Yesterday saw me travelling to London to meet my friend and fellow artist Katherine Tyrrell to attend the Private viewing and opening of the Society of Feline Artists (SOFA) annual exhibition.
The exhibition is held at the LLewellyn Alexander Gallery in Waterloo and was opened by David Grant MBE who is the patron of the Society. I remembered him from the TV programme 'Animal Hospital.
I have had two pieces accepted into the exhibition 'Sitting Pretty' and 'Stepping Out'

Sitting Pretty
I actually had my photograph taken outside the gallery, make the most of it because it doesn't happen very often.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Cheetah continued

I'm continuing to layer acrylic to build up the fur and finding that I am really enjoying painting after spending so much time with dry media.
I keep adding small fur strokes then glazing with a darker colour and the fur is now starting to show some depth. The close up of the fur is actually larger than it is in RL.

Friday, September 01, 2006

What do Colourfix primer, Gesso and canvas have in Common?

The answer is, that I've been combining them to try to find an ideal surface to use coloured pencil on that I can then varnish and send abroad without the need for framing under glass.

With thinking Roma might be in whelp I've stopped using pastel unless she is well away from any dust, and started this.

The first experiment was applying colourfix primer to a canvas board using a small roller. I tinted the primer with Raw Umber Chromacolour liquid acrylic as I didn't want to work on white.
This proved to be far too rough for my way of working, I could not get the fine detail for fur, although the eyes came out well.

I abandoned that one as a failure.

I then got some white gesso and again using a foam roller applied it to another canvas board. This time I let it dry and then lightly sanded it down before applying another coat and resanding. The surface this time was much smoother and the coloured pencil went on easily. As I've been promising to paint my youngest son some penguins for at least four years, I used his photograph.
The penguins are coloured pencil, the background is acrylic, it will be finished later.

I decided to carry on with the experimenting and did the same thing, but this time used a black gesso. I found it to be thicker than the white, really nice to paint on and it came out a lovely rich matte black. Again I sanded and applied another coat.
This time I found it harder to get the fur strokes in coloured pencil, so I used the pencils for an undercoat and painted on top using acrylic.
I am happy with the gesso on canvas and aim to produce some smaller pieces that I can send abroad.