Thursday, 7 April 2016

BP Portrait Award 2016

Well, there is good news and some not so good news.

Firstly, one of my paintings has been selected for the 2016 BP Portrait Award exhibition, initially at the National Portrait Gallery in London, then touring. Which is, of course, astonishingly good news.

The not so good news is that I'm going to be winding down this blog - I've really been struggling to post here, what with the day job as well as the painting, and I've decided pretty much to stop trying.

Instead you can find me on facebook for works in progress and so on, or (occasionally) on twitter as well as the webpage and there is a newsletter to sign up for, which will have invites for exhibitions.

Hopefully will still see you guys around - it's been fun!

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Painting Frocks (And Some Jackets)

Thurs 4th Feb
On thursday I began to tackle A Century Of Style , an exhibition I'd been to a couple of weeks ago at Kelvingrove. I was very taken by the exhibition, especially the mirror used so we could see right round the clothes, and thought they's be a good basis fr exploring space and composition as well as colour.

Two Frocks

Three Frocks

Masculine Red
These three paintings are the result and I am fairly pleased with them, but am aware they are a beginning - this is very much a theme I will be returning to later.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Inspired by Mackintosh

So the challenge of the day was to make work inspired/based on a particular artist - I chose Mackintosh, since he is such a local hero and his work is quite different from mine, loads of sharp edges and geometry as opposed to soft organic curves.

Relatively pleased with the results, learned a fair bit and the second painting's viewpoint is something I will develop into bigger paintings later on.

Monday, 1 February 2016

The Little Dancer

Degas is one of my art heroes and I knew as soon as I started this challenge I'd be including this little lady. I intend to do a whole series eventually, hopefully with her in various museums around the world, but to start with here she is in the Musee D'orsay.

(Rather enjoyed painted the little paintings in the background of the first paintings, and the man in the second - he really did have his feet in a very similar position to the statue! )

Friday, 29 January 2016

The Threshold, Kelvingrove Museum

The Threshold
Really happy with this one, based on The Threshold by Mary Buchanan at Kelvingrove Gallery.
It is painted on a board prepared earlier with a layer of cadmium red, and the darks were put in first with an inch brush. Then went in the light tones, with most detail for the sculpture. The result is a very warm painting with glimpses of fiery red - which suits the theme.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Colour Crazy

After painting The Red Wall I thought I'd continue the colour theme - I'm on a mission to use all the colours!

Friday, 22 January 2016

The Red Wall

Yesterday was a good day. The main aim of both these paintings was to explore mark making more and think about colour. Happy with the results!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Why Museums?

Why museums? Lots of reasons, not least that I have loads of photographs from The British Museum and The Louvre from when I was there in November. At that point I was thinking a lot about backgrounds and composition as well as wanting to learn more about how different people have imaginatively portrayed the human figure.

These are all things I want to explore and experiment with during the hundred days, along with thinking more about colur and mark making. Other advantages are that there are plenty of museums within easy travel distance for me to get new reference material (particularly looking forward to The Burrell Collection) and that there is a very wide range of possible subject matter, allowing me to explore a sorts of colour combinations and compositions.

However, there are limitations - working only from photographs, not controlling the light or the arrangement of objects. In some ways though these are freedoms - building a database of photos to work from is time consuming but can be done when otherwise tired and means that getting started in the studio is fairly painless. Not having control over the subject matter's arrangement or lighting means I have to concentrate more on composition and colour.

But the main reason is that I just really like being in museums. The only other type of place I maybe like as much (apart from the studio) are bookshops. Take me to a beautiful, awe inspiring landscape and I'm pretty bored. Take me to a museum, and I could be there for days - looking at the exhibits, drawing the exhibits, watching the people, having a glass of something and cake . . . they are like a little world apart, parallel to normal life, each one different and yet the same as all the others. Heaven!

Saturday, 9 January 2016


Seems to be an animal theme today. Sadly the photo's are just too rubbish to share individually.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Getting Into The Swing

For the last couple of days I've been doing non-art stuff mainly so it was nice to get into the studio again today.

This is the first day I've not had to think about my materials too much and could therefore concentrate more on colour and mark making - there is always more to learn but progress is being made - and I'm now up to 11 paintings, which should give me a bit of leeway.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Classic Bahookie

So today I got to experiment with my new brushes and the Michael Harding medium.

First I painted the four lioness ladies, using the soft brushes on a board to which I had applied a layer of burnt sienna.

The paint flowed much better than previously and I was fairly happy with the result. But I was itching to try the medium.

And this is the result - much more painterly and flowing, generally just managed to control the paint better. Using the dark background that I'd prepared a few days ago also let me really concentrate on the lights. Definitely and improvement!

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Day 3 - Shopping!

Today I went shopping, for soft brushes and medium. Some Sap Green and Manganese may have jumped into my basket as well - which is nice as I have recently added both colours to my basic palette, expanding it from seven colours to nine.

Tomorrow I'll give them a spin (and possibly liquin as well - in smaller sizes it is only available in childproof containers, which unfortunately are also Jane proof. However my studio-mate Louise Scott has promised to lend me a little bit).

So look for an update tomorrow!

Saturday, 2 January 2016


Day 2 and I am experimenting with my materials, after having problems yesterday.

Initially I tried again with the same methods and although I quite like the resulting painting (furthest left) it was a bit of a pain to paint.

So next time, the first thing I changed was putting a layer of burnt sienna down and then wiping it off, in the hope that this will make my painting surface less grabby. This worked beautifully for Pericles, which is painted on linen. Then I used dark paint thinned with turps to lay down a drawing and then used paper towel and turps to lighten areas. Next I tried actually painting and soon ran into trouble. Changing to a soft brush made all the difference though and I was able to lay down a fairly solid area. However, the biggest soft brush I have is only about a cm across, so clearly I need to go shopping.

The lack of a big brush showed up even more in my next painting, The Egyptian Duo. This one is on gessoed board and I really struggled getting the paint to flow in any reasonable way. This is a shame as it is fairly easy to get boards in small sizes and generally for my other work I prefer them.

This afternoon I'm going to put a layer of paint onto a few of these boards and let them dry. Hopefully that'll help, along with bigger brushes!

Friday, 1 January 2016

2016 - The Year To Come

The start of a new year, time for new beginnings, and I know that non-art commitments are going to keep me very busy for the next six months at least.

So I have decided that painting at least one little painting every day I can make it to the studio will keep things ticking over. It will also let me experiment quicker with my materials, with methods, with composition, paint application and colour - in short, with pretty much every aspect of picture making.

So I have promised myself to paint a hundred paintings over the next hundred days. Most of these will be small oil studies although I will count bigger paintings and possibly drawings, depending on what I am working on as the time goes on. Each work only gets counted once, though, even if I spend more than one day on it. To start with the little studies will be museum interiors - like the lady dancing above, who is from the British Museum. This is because I have been thinking a lot about composition and depth recently, as well as looking at how different people have portrayed the human form previously. But who knows what I'll be painting by the end of the time!

Anyway, I will be posting them (good and bad) here, facebook and at @glasgwjane on twitter. All encouragement very welcome!