Sunday, 26 July 2015

26th July

So having finished the chicken house, it is apparently not big enough. I suspect if asked I could have probably come to this conclusion prior to painting and before chickens were installed. It is indeed an attractive structure, but built for the feature pages of 'Country Living' etc. rather than for the delightful habitation of poultry. But fear not. My mother has bought another much more practical chicken house called a small shed. This too will be painted in due course.

Otherwise I have gone back to reworking the picture with houses round the edge and the unfortunate figure in the middle. The houses are looking much better, the figure however is going through a difficult teenage phase and not suitable for public viewing. Indeed it is sulking and as such whilst it lurks in the corner of the room with it's back towards me I've just begun something else before there's an argument.

Before I entirely leave the subject of the small fowl abode, I will tell you what is to become of it as I know you've been wondering.......a garden house for my mother's cat. Yes I know, but there you are.

Monday, 6 July 2015


I forgot to mention dear art enthusiasts. I am teaching a painting and drawing course at the Ipswich Institute next September. It will be fun and exciting and it's cheap. Sign up now. Yes right now. We may look at German Expressionist portraits.
Drawing and Painting for Beginners - at Ipswich Institute

Curtesy of Mr Kirchner

The Appeal of Housework

Since open studios I have been trying to do all those things I excused myself from in the run up to the open. Faced with self-assessment, application forms, book fairs etc. housework develops a charm all of it's own. Forms completed, trousers made (red and stylish), books sold, today I am back in my workspace agonising over the face. The current possibility on this painting isn't entirely wrong, I may just have to alter all the rest of the picture to make it visually fit. The first day back on a painting is always hard and opportunities to procrastinate readily present themselves. Updating blogs for example. 

From next Saturday I will have a couple of paintings and prints in the Freudian Sheep Galllery in Ipswich as part of their Time and Tide Exhibition. It's a group exhibition and I'm very much looking forward to seeing the work of some of the other artists I met at Open Studios who are also contributing. This is the poster, but you can find out more on their website 

Additionally so that you know I don't spend all my time involved in elitist art events, fraternising with the famous and glamorous (I never do these), and filling in forms (I do a lot of these) here is a picture of my mother's chicken shed, art, (depending on your point of view) in progress. My mother is very excited by it (eggsited for those of you that have spotted the opportunity for a lame pun you thought I had missed). 
My mother is soon to move to Wickham Market on the basis that she would like to live somewhere that has action and life. Those of you from Suffolk will appreciate the irony of this, but at least the chickens will have somewhere interesting to go.

Ps. My son has just walked in to say 'Why is that face purple? And those eyes! They're not even physically possible'. I may make him spend the evening looking at German Expressionist portraits until he begs for mercy.

Pps. To those of you not familiar with Suffolk looking to spend a weekend or even two weeks full of excitement and fun, where you just can't decide which of the many entertainment venues to visit next and just stepping out of your hotel is an adventure, do remember to make Wickham Market your number 1 destination this summer.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

21st June Open Studios

This is the last day of my open studios this year, so now is the time, get here early and there may be cake left, get here late and you may have to make your own tea. There are other studios open in Ipswich too, obviously prioritise mine, but don't neglect the others. The Freudian Sheep Gallery on St Helen's St is also open today. A day of art awaits you. And in the evening you could do worse than taking your sketchbook down to the Mulberry Tree to get some drawing in at the folk session. It's going to rain (possibly), forget the garden, enjoy art.

Ps. J.S. As you see advice followed, a room of buildings, a room of portraits........and a dolls house.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

18th June

Open studios again this weekend, bunting out tomorrow. Since last Thursday I've been to the Degree Show in Colchester and the foundation & BTEC show in Ipswich, both worth a look and probably on for another week. Unfortunately I didn't take photographs, but there are pictures on the Ipswich Art Friends FB site if you follow the link. I've also been to the Minories in Colchester where they currently have Tony McCorry in residence painting semi-industrial townscapes with potential menace. Actually that probably isn't phrased well. Tony McCorry is not painting with any degree of menace, rather his paintings suggest an underlying dark narrative. They also have the fantastically named 'the First World War in Biscuits' showing, I wasn't as enthused by this - photographs framed with Huntley Palmers and such like, but such a good name. However should you be an enthusiast for the photographic/baked goods combination, biscuits and menacing buildings ('Towers and Terraces') are both on until the 15th July. 

The First World War in Biscuits

Tony McCorry - Towers and Terraces

I had thought my own painting was plodding a bit this week, but having looked at last week's post despite gadding about at shows, it has certainly moved on. It's not going to be finished for open studios, but that's ok and I haven't actually touched the other painting that I claimed I would finish. This is where it's at now.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

In the studio today

Today I'm working on this:

And rather hoping to finish this:

Whilst listening to Game of Thrones on CD

Monday, 8 June 2015


Thank you to all those that visited over the weekend it was lovely to see you and humble apologies to those who came on Sunday and tried my experimental cakes.

I'm doing open studios again in two weeks, so if you missed it this time all is not lost. Artists studios are open across Suffolk every weekend in June so you can still get an art fix this weekend whilst you wait in eager anticipation for mine to open again on the 20th and 21st. 

Until then: