art classes, Painting Techniques, Paintings, Uncategorized

CREATING ART IN LOCKDOWN

Having managed to run face-to-face, socially-distanced, masked, sanitised, tracked-and-traced classes in the autumn (without any infections arising), it came as a blow to realise that this just wasn’t going to happen in the recent winter course. With rising infections and government lockdowns, there was nothing else for it but to head for the laptop and adapt lessons for online teaching.

Although I have been running private art groups for around 30 years, both here in Northern Ireland and previously in Germany, this has been my greatest challenge. Just when I thought I had earned my wings and could conduct an art course fairly competently, a global pandemic happened! So I delved into my archives (thankfully I had kept notes of lessons throughout the years – slightly disorganised but legible!), collated them and set to work. After many frustrating hours of grappling with PowerPoint, PDF files, demonstration videos, Zoom class meetings and individual video calls, we made it through the course. When I say “we” I mean, of course, myself and my students who were magnificent – logging in each week, trying the zoom password a thousand times until they succeeded, leading me through their house on video calls to view their work and never giving up the faith – I love you all!

The theme of this course was “Reflections” which could either be taken literally or metaphorically (or not used at all!) and the main technique was mixed media, from simple combinations of materials to collage, mono prints, transfer prints, assemblage…

I have put together a selection of just some of the work produced over the past 12 weeks.

Oonagh Catchpole “Donegal Schoolhouse” mixed media; “Donegal Farm” mixed media; “Reflections on the Lagan” mixed media

Janet Clarke “Reed Beds” acrylic; “Autumn Grasses” grasses and oil paint; “North Antrim Coast” oil and grasses; Ink on photographs printed on matt photographic paper

Helen McKelvey “Autumn Seedheads” mixed media on rough watercolour paper; “Killian, Near Malin, Co Donegal” oil on canvas; “Honesty” mixed media on rough watercolour paper (Photo credit The Garden magazine RHS)

Shirley McDonald “David Bailey” transfer print, acrylic and ink; Trace mono prints; “Glasses” acrylic on board

Patricia Burgess Mixed media on canvas; “Remembering Ardglass” mixed media; “The Room” Inks on canvas (work in progress)

Libby Pallin “Botanical Gardens, Melbourne” oil on canvas; “Reflections on Mount Stewart Lake” oil on board

Marie Murray “In Deep I” oil on canvas; “In Deep II” oil on canvas; “Picnic with Pierre” mixed media on paper

Heather Hughes “Early Evening, Victoria Park” acrylic and pastel; “Sunflowers” pencil drawing and acrylic; “Victoria Falls” acrylic, charcoal and pastel

Eilish Smith “Siteseeing in Las Palmas” monochrome collaged painted paper; “Kitchen Sink Chaos” mixed media; “Snakes and Ladders” mixed media using masks

Anne Polland “Mary Anne McCracken, anti-slavery activist” mixed media; “Stile at Ballystokes, near Saul” oil grisaille on textured board; “Emilia, Lockdown Schoolgirl” oil on canvas

Joan Magee “Geranium in a Pot” (inspired by Henri Matisse); “Potted Gerbera for Mum” oil and acrylic; “Splash of Colourful Tulips” oil and acrylic

Margaret Finlay “Roberta” collage; “My Garden” oil on board; Acrylic transfer print

Roberta Lindsay “Skid Row” acrylic transfer, pen on canvas pad; “Twin Brothers” acrylic on canvas board; “The Yard” acrylic on canvas board

Caroline Twemlow Acrylic, wax crayon, collage; acrylic and collage; acrylic transfer, acrylic, ink

Bernie O’Hare “Galway Hookers” oil on canvas (after a painting by Ivan Sutton); “Tra na Rossan ” oil on canvas (from photo by Rita Wilson)

Rosalind McConaghy Acrylic transfer and watercolour; mono print and soft pastel; mono print

Karen Hamilton “Disappearing Footprints” hand appliqué; “Tree” mono print and soft pastel; “Tree” watercolour, mono print and machine stitching; “Covid, covid Reflections” charcoal; “Oyster” watercolour

Julia Simms “Family Ties” mixed media; “Ballyholme Beach” monoprint; Abstract, mixed media; “Reflections of a Wet Dusk”, Ballyholme soft pastels; “Heirlooms, a Reflection” oil on canvas

Barbara Carlisle “Cumbrian Waterfall” oil on canvas; “Boathouse Reflection, Hillsborough; mixed media “Decades of Troubles” mixed media

Katherine Nixon “Skins” oil on gesso panel; “Wrapped” oil on gesso panel

Floresca Karanasou “Dutch Masters” soft pastels, (photo credit Sarah Raven autumn 2020 catalogue); “Lunar Annua” soft pastels (photo credit The Garden magazine Sept 2020)

Paintings, Uncategorized

Days of Isolation

We all have our favourite rooms where we can sit and relax . My sister Geraldine’s bolthole, where she can escape the humdrum chores of everyday life, is her summer house. Set in an oasis of a garden, with lovingly tended vegetable patches, fruit trees, a birch grove, a herb garden and even a labyrinth, this is where she and her husband Alan, the Potter, spend a great part of their summer days. This painting is as much a portrait of the summer house as it is of Geraldine. Here are all the bits and pieces which formerly adorned the main home but, having served their purpose, are loved too much to be thrown out and end up forming an eclectic collection of their family’s history.  Painted before lockdown started here in March this year it nevertheless shows how she spent those never-ending months of isolation.

Geraldine in the Summer house Oil on Linen 100 x 100 cms

Exhibited by the Royal Ulster Academy 139th Annual Exhibition http://www.royalulsteracademy.org

Jackson’s Painting Prize 2020 longlist

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Drawings, Exhibitions, Paintings

Charity Exhibition June 4th – 6th 2015

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Every 2 – 3 years I (with a lot of help) organise an exhibition for my art classes. This is not only an opportunity for members of the classes to showcase their work it’s also an evening where we can get together, meet members of other classes, invite our friends and family to see what we’ve been up to and enjoy a glass of wine (or two!)

It’s also an opportunity to support a charity with 25% of all art sales plus all of the raffle and catalogue intake going to a charity of our choice.

This year we elected to support NIAMH or Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health.

http://www.niamhwellbeing.org/

Some of the exhibitors have not been in the groups long and are nervously showing their work for the first time, others are much more experienced and are members of established societies such as the Ulster Watercolour Society, Arts Society of Ulster, Pastel Society of Ireland, Ulster Women Artists. You may even have seen their work in local galleries.

If you’re in the area between Thursday June 4th from 5pm and Saturday June 6th, 3pm, please drop in and have a look We’ll be exhibiting in

Holywood Library, Co Down, Northern Ireland.

This is a wonderful opportunity to buy a piece of original art with prices of displayed work starting from £100 and unframed work which you will find in our browser-rack below £100.

The raffle will be drawn on Thursday evening at 7pm and prizes will include paintings, drawings, ceramics, silk scarves, art materials and much more…….

In the next week or two I shall be posting mini bios on some of the artists taking part.

Demonstration, drawing, Painting Techniques, Paintings

From Dark to Light

International Artist article

Earlier this year I was flattered to be asked to produce a demonstration article based on my pastel work for the magazine “International Artist” or “ia”.

I am delighted to be included in the October/November issue and-  get me – on the front page!

The magazine is full of great articles from artists across the world with demonstrations of techniques and peeks into their studios.

https://www.internationalartist.com/

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Demonstration, Painting Techniques, Paintings

Spooky!

As a follow up to Saturday’s portrait workshop, I decided to start a new painting. So last night I covered an old portrait that wasn’t working with burnt umber and this morning started taking away the paint with a brush and later a cloth dipped in thinners.

The result is a rather spooky image!

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It won’t stay like this for long I need to let this dry and start working into it. Perhaps I’ll post further stages in the development (and perhaps not….)

Exhibitions, Paintings

Pastel Society of Ireland Exhibition

An Exhibition of full members of the Pastel Society of Ireland 

Venue: Georgian Gallery

Ards Arts Centre

Town Hall

Conway Square

Newtownards

Co Down

Opening: Thursday 28 August 2014 7 pm

Continuing until September 26 2014

Deserted Port 1

Deserted Port  Soft Pastels 80cm x 58cm

Bleak Coast

Bleak Coast Soft Pastels 76cm x 92cm

drawing, Paintings, Workshops

Life drawing workshop

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So good to get the chance after many months to spend four hours drawing – no teaching – no pressure- just drawing with a group of like-minded people.

As usual the session started with a couple of 10 – 15 min poses some 2 min sketches and then into a long one.

I decided to give Arches oil paper another go. It’s very absorbent and the pigments tended to appear much darker than I expected them to be – adding white only made them chalky. By the end of the day I felt I was getting to grips with the combination probably because there was a build -up of paint and the paper was less absorbent. Could have done with another couple of hours!

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First sketch of the day – cropped!

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A series of quick poses

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A few sketches to decide which position I wanted for the long pose

drawing, Paintings, Workshops

Life drawing workshop

A few sketches from today’s life-drawing workshop

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superimposed 2 minute charcoal sketches 0n cartridge paper – warming up time

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35 minute charcoal sketch on cartridge paper – fun with mark-making!

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2 hour oil sketch on Arches oil paper

This is the first time I’ve used Arches’ oil paper and I must say I rather liked it. Not what you would call a “fast” surface and the paint did tend to get absorbed by the paper quite a lot but much preferable to  the usual oil paper block which I find slippery and difficult to build up layers in one sitting. The background colour is Attrament black from Schminke – a favourite of mine at the moment!

Paintings

Memories of Mary in all her Finery

In December 2011 I had three small super 8 films transferred to DVD. I wasn’t sure what I was going to find on them but I did know they were taken by my parents in the 60s. Actually I had hoped I would find a reel with my sister’s wedding filmed in 1969 as I had a funny (guilty!) feeling that it was  rather foolishly put in my care. What did emerge, however, was, firstly, a trip my folks made to Canada to visit an aunt who had emigrated to Winnipeg many years before from dad’s “aul country” of Armagh Brague. The next contained some odd bits and pieces obviously filmed to record every day life in the McClelland household the quality of which had so badly degraded it was frustrating and almost painful to watch through the snowstorm and weird colours which had replaced the old familiar faces of yore. The third was filmed at my sister’s graduation in 1964 outside Queen’s Whitla Hall in Belfast.

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There she was – my sister – a young, newly qualified teacher, fashionable in her navy chiffon shift dress with her hair piled high in a black bouffant – stunning (as she still is) walking towards the camera and beside her Mary, my mum, dressed to the nines in the outfit she had worn to my brother’s wedding the year before! She was always stylish.

Inspired by the Gerhard Richter exhibition I had visited in Tate Modern shortly before I had had the films transferred, I decided to paint my mother  from the archive and this is the result:       (with apologies to Gerhard Richter!)

Mary in her Finery

 “Mary in her Finery” oil on canvas

Paintings

Oranges on a Silver Platter

A couple of images showing the beginning and end result 
of my latest still life which was finished 
this week.
The idea started with a little brown Spanish jug and, 
as can be seen, there are several objects lurking around 
which could have made their way into 
the painting but I decided the oranges/clementines/mandarins/ 
(they seem to have a different name each time 
I visit the supermarket!)
 were just too impressive on their own.
IMG_6306 (1024x683) The photo was taken on one of those rare occasions 
when the sun shone!Oranges on a silver platter
Oranges on a Silver Platter 
Oil on canvas 30cm x 40cm