Studio Update

The collection of partially finished or just started work in my studio has been mounting up.  Many of the paintings started as CVP boards but have taken different directions, changing with each layer of paint.  I finished a few with a generous layer of gloss medium and finally a coat of cold wax. In the last couple of weeks I’ve turned my attention to framing these.

Fear of Finishing

I’m not sure why but I seem to be having a complete block on finishing some pieces.  It may be a hang up from pre CVP where I completed and varnished works and then, looking at them again, wanted to make further changes.  The result is my drying racks are full and I haven’t posted any new work on my website for months. I know this is something I need to address before the autumn.


The only completed painting is the one that entered into the RA Summer Exhibition


At the moment this is a stand alone piece but it is an idea I think I’ll return to.  Bizarrely, the idea came out of a walk on the beach – although I appreciate that isn’t obvious looking at the piece.  I’m drawn to organic shapes appearing in nature worn down by years of water and tidal movements of the sea.  You get a really tactile sense of the history and erosion from the shapes themselves.  I wanted to play with a juxtaposition of organic forms from the beach, rocks and sea, alongside bright sharp shapes that you have when bathers and other humans inhabit our beaches in the summer. 

When we have our early morning coffee outside we see the day trippers arrive. They’re normally laden down with cool boxes, wind breakers, towels and buckets and spades often in lurid colours.  This painting was my interpretation of a mash up of the two distinct elements that co-exist.

I’ve titled this Nemesis. As other paintings in my CVP series evolved this piece was a problem child.  Beneath the surface are at least 3 different paintings I couldn’t get to feel right and eventually took a sander to the board. I scraped back layers before an idea formed.

I’ve now framed this painting and marked it up with RA barcodes, wrapping it ready for the submission date in August.  We’ve booked the train travel and hotel and I have an early morning slot at the RA for handing it over.  I’m both excited and extremely nervous about the next stage of judging.

Plan for the Next Week

This week I’ve been catching up on admin so finally got round to creating an inventory and labelling my work. I also received a couple of deliveries of frames, some fully finished and ready to go, others that needed painting. 

I’m hoping to get the first three of my ‘Come Full Circle’ collection finished by the weekend. Then I can spend a bit of time photographing and getting them live on my website.  It is currently a series of 5 paintings although the last two are some way off completion.

I’ve played around with some of the finished paintings, dropping them into frames with the help of some online apps. I’m hoping to have them physically framed by the weekend.

Connecting the Dots

Hidden Beneath the Sea

I have a few boards which I think are finished but I’m not 100% sure. I need to live with them for a little while.  When I’m feeling like this I prop them up in a position in my studio where they catch my eye. I do this hoping I’ll either draw a line and finish them with cold wax, or be struck with inspiration and dive back in. 

sHidden Beneath the Wave

I have a set of three paintings that are in this stage.  All three are inspired by the sea.  From our livingroom we have an amazing view over Cullercoats Bay.  If I open the velux window in my studio I also get a birds eye view of the bay.  Across the course of a year you get to see how the sea changes with different weather. It’ll go from a calm, deep, rich blue to a murky grey with crashing waves.  When its calmer it’s fun to spot the bobbling heads of cold water swimmers undeterred by freezing temperatures. 

These three paintings emerged when I was playing around with a blue colour palette.  I had the window open, as it was a warmer day, and I could hear the noise of families and paddle boarders shouting.  The lure of the sea influenced my colour mixing so I thought I’d replicate some of the movement of the tide with looser strokes.  I originally thought about adding swimmer like shapes into the waves but instead found myself counting the number of people in the sea or chose numbers.  Probably doesn’t make much sense to anyone else but I like the juxtaposition of the looseness of the water against the defined shape of the numbers.  A large group of swimmers, all with brightly coloured swimming hats and floats inspired the pop of orange.

Drowning Not Waving

That’s my plan for the next few weeks – hope you are enjoying the sunshine!

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