Sunday, 17 April 2011

Weekend creativenessiness!

Out in the garden today, building willow structures to grow scented things up as well as borlotti beans! Very satisfying and lovely in the sun... hoping the weather doesn't turn round and freeze it all back again over the next couple weeks...

Matt the man is out building a gorgeous stone wall complete with bbq. Porcupine tree and Dan Arborise blasting out destroying the peace in a beautiful way. Happy Sunday!

Friday, 15 April 2011

Sunny social networking !

Had a lovely morning at I Should Cocoa, Belper, meeting artist/landscape designer Andrew Bird in the flesh!
Connected a short while back via twitter. I love conversation with others treading the artist path; simple chatter about materials and beloved views really brightens up a day. Discovered he has family connections to Alderney - how bizarre!

I recently met up with the lovely Jenny Oldknow, also an artist based in Belper; on this occasion through Facebook. There's negatives to all this online time but I love the opportunity for new communication streams... Sharing of links, ideas, news and general bubble. Ideal for the isolated artist!

Back to the brush this afternoon and here's the latest:



Fort Clonque in Alderney. Calm one minute but utterly wild the next, and huge tides. On the spring tides when the sea recedes you can find Ormers - mother-of-pearl, or Abalone shells - under the rocks in the furthest pools. Its a haven for the coastal treasure-hunter!



Thursday, 14 April 2011

Loosening up again

Bit looser again today!

I feel like each piece is a lesson for me in tonal values, balance etc - at this rate its going to feel pretty challenging going back to the full palette in the studio! I have started some larger work up there though and its always good to brush out deep, beautiful alizarin crimson onto canvas.

Anyway for now its Indigo and titanium white in loose, rushing waves.


And the music backdrop today was Cutty Wren, by Steeleye Span! Hoping to cover this one with my two tuneful friends, Sue and Nansy. Pretty impressed with ourselves for our version of 'Ye Banks and Braes' - though not planning on inflicting anything on the public as yet...

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Pets n Paintings

Had a visitor this week for a couple of days. A small black and white patterdale terrier turned up in the kitchen with no collar and no desire to leave - what with the Duncans staying she ended up being pampered by 8 doggy people. Aside from feeling like a criminal when I phoned Amber Valley Council to report her found, the whole 2-day experience was pretty lovely! Did make me think, though - the freedom I currently enjoy is huge. So very appreciative...

Freely been painting what I felt like painting today, in my kitchen with Maximo park on. Carrying on with black and whites, but looking more at Alderney landscapes as I am dead-set on fitting our yearly visit in soon!! Somehow.


So this is Braye Harbour, in Alderney. Sat on the Breakwater! Ooooh I want another sea trip. Ended up doing this piece much more finely that I would normally... maybe because its such a very strong image in my head. Haven't painted Alderney for a while, looking forward to some looser work; the tides there are incredibly strong around such a tiny, resilient landmass of cliffs, heath and sand. I love it.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Hm. Todays thought: don't cut corners.

I know what I need in order to be able to work. Its pretty simple. A good block of time. A tidy(ish) studio. Music. (the right music!)

But above all... clean brushes, clean solvent, clean cloths and plenty of paint (essential: alizarin crimson, prussian blue, cerulean, titanium white). Because surprise, surprise: beautiful colours and contrasts don't happen with oily mud.

Tomorrow, hopefully, I will have re-re-relearned this lesson and be ready to go. After a good hour of cleaning and prep! The studio is lovely in this weather - all sunlit, airy glaze and the wonderful smell of warm oil paint.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Hobbling ahead

So the knee isn't good but the paintings going well!

Here's the latest two... its all making me want to go back to Cornwall!

The beach at Bedruthan, a favourite subject of mine... Its the mixed sensations of freedom and claustrophobia. A wild place surrounded by precipitous headland and powerful tides that cut off the access. And warring gulls and ravens. Poetry.


Monday, 4 April 2011

Eek. Woke up Sunday with only one working leg... not sure what I've done but its certainly slowed me down!

Rules out a number of things I was going to be up to today but on the plus side, I'm going to have to spend more time sat down with a brush in hand.

I got a delivery back from Scotland Art today of six paintings that have done their time up in Glasgow and Edinburgh - its like welcoming back old friends! They are now available on my mini-gallery site http://www.minigallery.co.uk/Jenny_Aitken/gallery01/ and living happily on my own walls for the moment.

Its not often work stays on the walls - partly because its typically painted for gallery exhibition, and partly because there's always something new to hang! Its really rare that I want to keep a painting. People often ask if there are pieces that I cannot bear to part with. But to keep hold of a painting renders it somehow incomplete - to see it homed is an essential part of the cycle for me. It seems that each piece I deem to be finished has somewhere its meant to go - and only very occasionally, that's with me.

Hobbling off to the docs now to find out what on earth I've done.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Success!

I did it - I managed to pick the brushes up and get going again... watch this space!

So excited!

Have agreed to work with Lorna Mcnee of Art Agent Europe to promote my paintings in London, Ireland and the North East. She is full of helpful advice on the whole marketing malarkey, too - including how to make my cv a lot more interesting. Just not the way my mind works!

My work is available this week at the Chelsea Art fair http://www.chelseaartfair.org/ with Woodbine Contemporary Art too. And i had my first enquiry from my Pet Portrait website, this could all make for much arty busy-ness! Brilliant. The last few months have seen a bit of a rest from the brushes; I'm anxious to move on from that now. Just ordered 24 canvases for my mini-gallery exploits - where I am planning to sell work exclusive to that site.  http://www.minigallery.co.uk/Jenny_Aitken/ Will post new paintings to the blog - they will be black and white oil landscapes on unframed canvas, hopefully :)

On the larger canvases I am going to have to include some Moroccan colour! I really want to go back...