Gamma cat

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I was watching a video today and remembered one if our old cats, Gemma. Like the cat in the video she would ride round on my shoulders, and was determined to stay near me. I once visited a friend in the street and went in through the front door. I came out the back way after the visit and could not see her so I went through the entry (passageway) back to the front, and there she was, sitting on my friends doorstep, waiting for me.

We first met because she had been going to my friends house and eating the dog’s food there. I had recently lost my old cat, he had died of old age, so I agreed to take her. We booked to have her neutered but she was pregnant. She was fine up until the birth but did not bite through the umbilical cords, When  we got up in the morning the kittens had been born, but one had died. It was a shock as I had not realised there was a problem. We were saddened by the kittens death.

As there were three kittens left we kept two and gave one away. This was because it was an odd eyed white cat, and we didn’t think living by a main road would be good for it.

Her two kittens, a male and a female lived with us too. All of them lived long lives, I think they had a good life with us.

Anyway we had not realised how bright Gemma was. I have a painting I did of her from a photo. If I was outside with her and tapped one side of the gate post she would jump across the gap to me. She was so good at it that I could take a photo of her in mid air, this was the basis of a painting called Gemma leaping.

Her happiest spot was sitting in the sun on the window ledge upstairs. This is my favourite cat painting, and most loved image if her.

Portraits

 

I think I’m reasonably good at capturing people’s images when I paint and draw both traditionally and digitally. I also enjoy painting animals, and again I need to be accurate in representing them.

There are lots of books and videos to aid drawing and painting techniques. But the biggest thing that helps me is practice. Like anything else the more you do the better you get.

That said, having the book you are drawing in or canvas you at painting on placed at an upright position, either vertical or slightly sloping, helps with the resulting picture. If you draw on a horizontal surface thee picture can end up elongated or distorted. Similarly if you have a canvas in front of you too low down you can end up with a picture where the head may be to big, and thevlegd too small. It’s all a matter of positioning so you see the image equally.

I don’t tend to draw out first, I’m really terrible for starting with the eyes then working my way out! I guess I think the eyes hold the character. If you look at a face eyes are not always level. Because a face is symmetrical does not mean it completely matches on either side. Edgar Allen Poe was photographed, and when you take the two halves and multiply them into two new faces it could be two different men you are looking at…

Anyway it’s too early in the morning to be doing this…

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P.S. the paintings here are distorted a bit because of the angles they were taken at. I have tried to straighten them up digitally but they are still a bit “off” I will try and get more photos if I can, but some belong to a relative who lives a fair distance away .

Older paintings

Some paintings I did are at my relatives house so I don’t see them very often. The painting I did of Jupiter is there. I do think it looks a bit “knitted”. I would love to do some paintings based on the latest images. I think that it would be very difficult to accurately copy the atmosphere of Jupiter.  Saturn’s rings would be equally difficult to render.

The other paintings are: a picure of our garden before it got madly overgrown. Two paintings of Bovisand, out over Plymouth sound and looking inland at the geology of the rocks. My husband standing under an old arch on the isle of Portland. A watercolour of a place called Jennycliff, which is on the south east side of Plymouth.

And finally a snow scene that I painted in the 1980’s. It was meant to represent the steppes and has Russian style onion domes in the background. I’m not sure where I got my idea from. I was reading Frank Herberts “Dune” trilogy at the time and I had never seen an image of the steppes…. But to me that’s part of what being an artist is about, pictures in your mind that you are trying to represent.

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Astronomical paintings

I love the challenge of trying to paint and draw astronomical objects. I have painted the Earth a few times, but also the Moon, the nebula shown here, Jupiter, and done digital drawings of the Earth and Moon, and the Veil Nebula plus other objects. I have also drawn Jupiter and Saturn.

I’m not an expert. They were all done without measuring the positions of features or stars, so for a real astronomer they probably look totally inaccurate. Still the universe is a wonderful place and the objects in it are amazing.

So if you can recommend an object I could have a go at painting I would be interested. I can’t promise it will be perfect. But I would have a go.

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Exhibition time

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It’s that time of year when I have a small exhibition of work at Etruria. An area of Stoke on Trent in the Staffordshire.  This year it came round fast.  I didn’t really know it was going to happen till a couple of days ago. I think I was feeling a bit down and so I hadn’t organised things very well.

The building it is in is an old warehouse next to the Trent and Mersey, and Cauldon canals. It’s a very old building, with an old canoe up in the rafters, and half a model canal boat up high at one end I the room. It also has some of the largest long legged spiders I have ever seen….but thankfully once I had set up they went into hiding.

Anyway its happened, its up. I’m selling cards and necklaces as well as paintings. I am not really good at doing that. I can be polite, helpful, and enjoy explaining the work I have done, but I don’t like selling, putting a price on things.

I’ve spoken to a few artists recently and they feel the same way. They want to be creative, because they are creative, not because they want to run a business. …

Anyway I think people enjoyed what they saw at the exhibition, I had some good feedback.

What  want to do now is start working on new art!

Finished painting?

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I’m calling this finished…for the moment, its a question of how much detail I can add….

I enjoyed painting him, but there is such a lot of fur, of different shades, tones and colours, that its hard to get it right. I hope his owner will like him.

I met a lady yesterday who happened to come in to the warehouse at Etruria where we are holding an exhibition and hands on workshops at the weekend at Etruria Industrial Museum – (see my previous blog). She showed me photos of her son’s work, it was stunning! He does paintings of horses, and the attention to detail reminded me of the work of George Stubbs, whose equine paintings are remarkable. We both agreed that Stubbs painting of the horse Whistlejacket is one of our favourite paintings.

So this little fellow will be off to his home soon. I enjoy painting pet portraits, its a challenge to get an accurate image the owner will approve of. There is something about portraits of people and animals that appeals to me.

Late…..

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A few years ago I promised to do a painting of a friends dog.

I did not realise that I would only now be painting it. Why? I honestly dont know, I moved, she moved her work place. We lost touch with each other. The photo sat on a shelf for years. I still had a contact number for her, and saw her relatives at various gatherings, but I didn’t do the painting.

Now I’ve told her I’m getting the photo back to her… I didn’t say I would do the painting, but I will try and get him done in time.

I might post a finished photo here, but if not it will be on my Facebook  Art page. I hope she likes it.