On this wet and windy summer day I thought I would post some recently taken photo's of my garden to remind me that we have had some nice warm days so far this year. I use photos I take as inspiration for my paintings so you may well see some reference to these photos in a future painting. When we moved into the house in 2010 the garden was totally laid to grass and even the grass was in a pretty poor state. I dug all the borders out myself and also planted it all singly handed. I am really pleased with how it has grown up and developed over the last three years. We lost several plants over the long harsh winter we had so I have had to replace some cherished plants already. Of course, being a garden its always work in progress. Its a constant pleasure and an inspiration!
Here's my latest painting, an acrylic of Nefertiti, an eygyptian queen. Very apt for me as according to some historians she and her husband allegedlyworship one god "Aten" - the sun god. Apt because I too am a sun worshipper!
It was very satisfying using a different medium for a change. I painted the paper a pinky marooon colour as a base shade before I began to put any other colour down. The background I made up, just went with my own feelings, but chose the predominant colours of yellows and blues to reflect the sands of Eygpt and a blue sea and also the blues within the head gear (I am sure there a technical name for it!), jewellry (although the jewellry on the original busk is not such a vivid blue) and of her eyes. Then I worked the rest of the painting up from there.
I've already got another acrylic painting planned but the sun has been shining a lot here lately and I want to be outdoors making the most of it and of my garden!
I've been inspired to start painting again, putting the bag making on hold for the moment. I have sold some bags which is great and hope to make some more very soon, but felt the need to 'dive into' some paints again. I am trying acrylics again. The first and only acrylic I have ever done was several years ago and can be seen on this site under the headng 'acrylic's' (funnily enough!) - my african tribeswoman who I called Sally. All I can say at the moment is that I am painting a similar subject, a side on view of a person with an eygyptian theme! Who knows, if it goes well she may appear on this website.
Roy and I went to the private view of our old art club, Stowmarket on Monday night. It was really lovely to meet up with old friends and aquaintances and to see the lovely work that is on display. The exhibition is on all week at the United Reform Church in Stowmarket, free entry.
I've been working on more bags recently. I am on bag number four and have been adding my own ideas to the original design - each one is different, but along the same lines. I am pleased with progress. Its a whole new world to explore and theres such an array of beautiful material out there to chose from. I've had to apply the brakes somewhat on expenditure until I know if people are interested or indeed like the bags, otherwise watch out family and friends....you know what will apear on birthdays and in Christmas stockings!!
It been brought to my attention that I neglected to comment on the commission was working on. I think I got carried away with my next creative project - the bag! Two versions of the commission were completed and duly delivered and the person who asked for them loved them both so they are going to keep both, even though they only asked for one. I am delighted.
The weekend will find me back at the local dressmakers shop purchasing my next lot of material ready for more bespoke bags. I am so pleased that there is still such a thing as a local shop as I like to support small businesses. It also means I can go in and say I want a peice of material about 'this big' and they know what I mean and equally don't mind a bit that I don't know the actual measurements. They are also helpful and informative, full of advice and support. I've been looking at the Etsy and Not on The High Street websites to see what is out there and what other people are making - they are so inspiring!
Heres the finished article. I am really pleased with the results. The inside of the bag that can be seen just peeping out of the interior of the bag is lined with a lovely pink polka dot material. I can't take credit for designing it, I used a pattern from a book called the Bag Bible. My sewing machine was my mothers and is at least fifty years old, but it shows that you don't always need the latest gadgets, although of course such an old and basic machine wouldn't allow me to make anything too fancy.
I can't wait to get started on the next one. I think I will stick to this particular pattern for the time being until I really get used to it and don't have to keep unpicking my mistakes!
I love the fact that no-one else in the world has got this particular bag in this particular material - only me! And theres a great sense of satisfaction in havng made it myself, mistakes and all!
I've finished on the commission - a choice of two paintings. I'm having a break from painting and have been making a bespoke shoulder bag today. Its turned out quite well considering its my first attempt. I am so glad that sewing was on the curriculum when I was at school. This means that luckily I already know the basic's. Miss Smith - its down to you and I give thanks! In fact I made several of the the pairs of curtains that hang in our house.
I do seem to be on a creative 'splurge' at the moment though, I'm chomping at the bit with so many ideas still floating about in my head. Its nice to try a different creative outlet from time to time though, like making the bag. Another hour or so of sewing and it will be finished. Who knows I may even persuade the lovely Roy to photgraph it so I can publish it on this site!
Still working on the commission, its slow work balancing work commitments, a social life and being an artist! I am not at all happy now with the first version - the colours are harsh, the need to get going again has made me rush along and now I am not at all convinced by it at all. Strange though how peoples tastes vary. I have had some very positive feedback on my venture into collage with my seahorse, featured on an earlier blog, but it doesn't 'd it' for me at all! Hey ho.
I've been catching up on one of my favourite artist's blog tonight - Ann Blockley. I was also lucky enough to see her work last March at the Royal Institute of Painters n Watercolour exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London. My oh my Ann makes it seem effortless. If I had even a smidgeon of her talent I would be delighted. Her techniques are so loose and flowing and her paintings really appeal to me and inspire me.
I was given some pastels and pastel paper for Christmas whch I intend to experiment with very soon and I have a plan for a new acrylic painting which will be my second ever acrylic painting (see gallery).
The ideas are still flowing, but the time to paint isn't!
The commission is coming along well now and I have decided to do another version. The one I've been working on is very similar to the previous painting and it is so hard to imagine what is in another person's 'minds eye' when asked to paint a similar but different painting. I think I will probably complete both versions before I publish them on this site. Because the first painting that was bought and consequently inspired the commission was painted over a year ago, its a very interesting exercise to go 'back in time' and to paint in a similar style. Reflecting on this has made me realise how mch my style has changed and how much I have learnt over the past year. The old style in some ways is much more simplistic and impressionistic (not of the Impressionists genre, this isn't what I mean at all!). All in all its been quite a pleasant experience really. As always once I am back to it the ideas just keep on flowing...I really ought to keep a log of all my ideas...but back to 'in the minds eye'; a written log does no justice to those paintings that I see in my minds eye (and often neither do the paintings that I produce!!!).
I've had a request for a commision of some poppies that someone photographed in their back garden. They want to incorperate another photo they took of some purple annual trailing lobelia in their hanging basket into the painting. The commission is from someone who previously bought a painting from me and the rich reds and purpley-blues of their chosen flowers will complement that painting of a wild flower meadow which was of popppies, daisies and cornflowers. I'm looking forward to getting started. On these dark dreary wintery nights it will be heart lifting to be painting summer flowers and to thinking of a looking ahead to another summer next year.
I am continuing to work on a watercolour that I started at the Mellis Arts Meet the Artists sessions; visit www.Mellisarts.co.uk . The current painting is one of crocuses
Susan C. Adcock