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This is what I mostly paint, and things have gone pretty well this year.  I've not been on Deviant Art so much recently, for which I apologise.  Hope to invest some time into uploading a lot of this year's paintings this autumn
Happy New Year everyone!

This new painting is adapted from two photos by Peter Pedonomou.  I've tried to create an elegant, airy composition whilst making the best of the light and detailing. The challenge was the abundance of competing whites, broken up only occasionally by stronger tones from the wood and her hair. This provided some rather tricky issues with contrast. I find this kind of painting challenge easier to deal with in the poor natural light of the winter, when colours are muted and tones stand out better to my eyes. 

This large figurative painting took just over 25 hours to complete and will hopefully be one of a short series of similar work in the coming weeks and months - while the poor winter light dominates.  

23.5" x 31.5" (with 1.5" painted sides) 
Acrylic on canvas board, January 2014
Busy, Busy, Busy.  Now it's Springtime I feel really energised about art, and creativity.  Just as well with the annual Cheltenham Art in the Park looming.  Hope to put some some more new work in the weeks ahead to share with my DA friends and fellow artists.
In a couple of weeks I'm giving an art demonstration to a local art group. It's the third time I've done this kind of thing, and am feeling pretty confident about it.  Last time, the room was packed with folk - about 60 people showed up, and I found that I little tough going, trying to keep all those people entertained for two hours while I painted.  There's lots to talk about, of course - techniques, paints, styles, and also quite a lot about how artists can make use of the Internet through sites like DA and others.  But the main thing is to create something that impresses the audience in less than 2 hours - and given how it takes me about 10 hours + to create a painting, that is tough going. So I'll prepare for the event by drawing the picture and putting some washes onto it before starting the 'proper' painting at the demo. That will help to steady the nerves a bit too!!
I exhibit in only two places each year - I have a running 'show' in a dental waiting room in my home city of Gloucester, which gets seen by a large number of local people; and I also take part in an annual Art in the Park festival in nearby Cheltenham (which I also help organise and run, too).  This year, I enjoyed some success in my painting sales at this exhibition, as well as having a great time meeting with fellow artists and art-loving members of the public.  I sold 9 paintings altogether, which was a particularly good year considering the totally crappy weather we've had in Britain this summer (and I use the word 'summer' advisedly), and the impending threat of Eurogeddon.

I stewarded with some young artists, just starting out.  They made some sales, too, I'm happy to report, and are constantly looking for ways to market and show their talented work.  Not easy.  The internet provides many opportunities to do this, and Deviant Art is a terrific place to share art with others, of course, but I don't think you can beat the experience to selling original work directly to a member of the public who loves it so much they want to hang it on their wall.  Artist cooperatives creating exhibitions like Art in the Park are an invaluable way for new talent to get their work out there.

One of my fellow artists mentioned that he regularly sees my work at the dental surgery. The downside?  He associates my art with root canal surgery.  Ouch... ;0)
Thank you to everyone who has favourited and commented upon my mermaid painting.  I realy enjoyed creating it,  although it took such a long time, and many thanks to La Esmeralda for letting me work from her delightful photo.
We in the process of organising this year's Art in the Park event in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England.  It will take place over 4 weeks in June/July 2012 and artists can hire a full screen in the gardens in the centre of Cheltenham for just over £20 for a week.  It's a great way of exhibiting your art in public, and selling work too, and is open to anyone resident in Gloucestershire.

Please visit www.cheltenham-art.com for more details.
OK, so after a year of being a part of Deviant Art, I've FINALLY figured out how it really works.  Boy. talk about being SLOW!  I promise to make up for lost time, contribute more art, and continue to return comments as they come along.  A belated New Year's Resolution?  Sounds that way
thanks to everyone who wrote comments on my new 'Cali Love' deviation.  I'm really overwhelmed.  I'm trying to make comment replies to you all, but it'll take a while!  I should also mention that I accidentally added this deviation to a competition in the 'Paradise of Artists' group and should have added a note about it here.  Which I guess I now have...
Merry Christmas, and a happy 2012!
Up to my ears in commissions for Christmas at the moment, none of which are really suitable for uplading onto here. Hopefully will have a new piece to show early next year.Merry Christmas to all!
I'm currently working on some wildlife paintings - it's exhibition season and these kinds of paintings are always popular.  African wildlife is a big hit - elephants, big game etc. Great fun to paint too :0)
I'm not sure what it is about old style Italian architecture, but I love painting scenes of Italian buildings and towns.  My newest adition to Deviant Art is of Bassano del Grappa - a town I've painted a few times now.  Several coincidences link me to this place.  A good friend of mine - an Italian astronomer - is from there.  My job also brought me into contact with a family from the town, and the daughter ended up being a teacher who has taught my sons on several occasions.  Remarkable coincidences given that the town is a two hour plane flight away from my home in England.  

But really it's the look of the town itself which is so spectacular.  The dark mountain behind offers a strongly contrasting backdrop to the town's hillside facade, and the old wooden bridge is a wonderful subject to paint in its own right.
I love painting,but I also dabble in digital photo manipulation using the wonderfully versatile Paint Shop Pro.  It's useful to create images I can then use as source material for paintings - like making a digital sketch before embarking on the actual painting.  Other digital images go onto my Dark Star website (www.darkstar1.co.uk), usually astronomy-related.
This new painting is a bit of summer sunshine to brighten up the winter.  It took about 12 hours to paint. Most of that time was taken up with the dress!  I've tried to create depth by defocussing the background, and some movement with the shimmering water around the gondola.  Mostly, though, it's the beauty of the subject that captures the eye.  I've tried to keep her expression neutral, with just a hint of boredom!
Women have always been my favourite subject matter to paint, and there's inevitably a sexual dimension to my work.  I prefer to keep the composition elegant whenever possible.  This new painting ("At the Window") is a study of light as much as anything else, but is also an attempt to capture a beautiful woman looking gorgeous.

I ftoen collaborate with models when producing these types of paintings - making use of their photos as source material for the painting.  A great way to collaborate with models on-line is through the 'Model Mayhem' website, which brings together models and photographers.
This new painting - "Why the Long Face?" - is based upon a photo I saw in a French magazine, although I've made the background more English.  It was a tricky piece, mostly because of the crochet knit on the shawl.  Very challenging to create the right combination of texture and tone.  The woman's face took on a life of its own - for the entire life of the painting she wore this strange expression on her face, which would not budge no mater how I altered her features.  It's toned down a bit now, but she's still looking at with that enigmatic expression.
Most exhibitions of art take place in the summer.  This is a consumer-led reality for art - most people buying art do so because they're fixing up a room, moving house, or just enjoying the light of summer, and feel closer to art.  

Come the autumn, there is not as much demand for art (until Christmas, of course), but actually the light and colour of the landscape is often much, much better for actually painting scenery.

I often paint my best work in the darker half of the year.  This is partly because the dimmer light allows the eye to pick out a greater degree of subtlety, particularly between tones.  Creating the correct tonal contrast is a very important thing to accomplish, and bright summer light often makes this quite difficult.  

Also, the sun is lower in the sky, and the colours created are more vibrant as a result.  Contrast this with mid-summer, when the sun is high and bright, and colours are often bleached out in the glare.

So, this is a great time to crack out your paints!
Thanks to everyone who has welcomed me to this site with such enthusiasm. I was recommended it by another artist on 'Model Mayhem', and he turned out to be spot on.  This is an excellent arena for sharing creative artwork.  I'm looking forward to making some positive contributions to this community of artists and artisans.

For those visiting this webpage from my galleries on the Cheltenham Art website - welcome!  Deviant Art offers the opportunity to order prints of my work, which is something I have not done before.  It creates a new and highly accessible possibility to compliment my offering of original canvases.  I hope you'll find something that interests you as I build up my portfolio here.
  • Listening to: Manic Street Preachers