Thursday, December 17, 2009
I have about 6 weeks left in my Web-design course, so that will keep me occupied until the end of January. I will get back to painting seriously again in February, just as the light starts improving again. I am looking forward to it at the moment, I've been missing my studio time- but not enough to give up the occassional day's fishing....
Thursday, December 3, 2009
I seem to have work in nearly every group exhibition this Christmas! I guess the new work has gone down well where it has been shown.
Life is Good.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I leave a few more works into another group show tomorrow. If it goes as well as the other I will be very happy. My new work has been received very well, with lots of interest in a quiet market. Sales in general have been down, but my works have sold very well, with further buyers who have shown interest in some of my pieces still to come back to make their purchases according to the show curator.
It has been a pleasant surprise, as there was always the doubt, in that dead fish were not an ideal subject matter to garner sales in a hard market. On the other hand, the old motto still stands true, Quality sells! And the fact is I was happier with this work than I have been for a few years, I feel I am back from firstly my lay-off due to ill health and then further strife with the studio in Marlay Park.
Leaving the studio was the best move I could have made, since then it has improved and lightened considerably. Looking back the latter works from the Marlay studio were all very dark and depressing. Since I moved into the new studio by the pond my work first brightened, and then became free-er and less contrived, I have now come back to more structured work again, but I have managed to keep the life and energy within it.
I am looking forward to 2010, and the promise of a very successful year, both in output of work and sales.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
I am still progressing with my web-design course, but not really able to do much work in the studio. I am hoping I will get a few commissions after Christmas. I usually do in early January, and my web-design course finishes in mid February, just in time to let me get stuck in to any commissioned work that comes in.
I am going fishing tomorrow, I need a day's R and R. The weather is going to be wet and very windy again though, but still, the fresh air will do me good.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I haven't changed the content as such, but I just replaced the tables with CSS and a bit more design with the images and layout. I also have a full page image on the index page which will switch into the content homepage automatically after 5 seconds (If the link isn't clicked beforehand). All work was done purely with raw code using plain notepad.
I've finished playing with the site for now and it is a lot cleaner than the older one. I am now considering re-working my art gallery site, and replacing the template I am currently using with a completely new build.
If I've any sense I'll wait a while first..... LOL. Well at least until we start using dreamweaver.....
....but who said I was sensible?.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I built the header image in fireworks, but I have built the hotspots for the links in the image using pure code. The fish is the near 7 pounder I caught late last year, I have another composite image built for my index page but I don't have a copy of it on this computer to upload.
I have a few paintings to collect from my framer this week, they have to be delivered to a group show at the week-end, it will be nice to have a few exhibited, it seems ages since I had an opening.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
It's funny, I managed without all the bells and whistles for years, but I notice that the new browsers are not showing my angling site properly due to the outdated way it operates, so I need to learn the new techniques and css.
My dog is sulking because she is being left alone all day while I am at the course. The goldfish are nearly jumping into the studio to get their food when I come home in the afternoon... so much for Mr Dependable... LOL. the critters don't know what is going on. I guess they will have to get used to it too.
I need to drop some works into the framing shop this week for a group show in North Dublin in November. I spent last night deciding which works to send. Unusually I was trying to keep the numbers down instead of wondering what would go with what. I have a few little series of works after this years endeavours. But still no landscapes....Oh! for a dry summer!.
I will probably not get a lot of painting done over the winter (other than any commissions I get pre Christmas) with the coursework but I can still go back to my sea-bream when the course is over. In the meantime I'm getting my creative fix from fireworks/photoshop.
I'm going to sign off now, Thursday's Lads night out was postponed to Friday....
order one for me...I'm on my way.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
To be honest at the moment CSS script etc. is all new to me, but I hope to be up to date by February when the classes finish.
To be honest I was not even competent on photoshop, or similar programs. I use paint, but that is about all. (There is no substitute for a brush and paint. )
So I am in the middle of learning the ins and outs of Fireworks at the moment prior to moving on to Dreamweaver.
As I get more up to date I will probably have more time to post to my blog, and, more importantly, paint in the studio.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Because the works are much more stylised I am able to work from my earlier fish studies, and some reference photographs without the need for the actual fish on a plate. I may change my mind later and repaint the fish more realistically, or I may even take them further into abstraction. Yes, I am having fun!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
And speaking of fish I have been working on one of the fish paintings derived from my previous posted ideas. It is coming along but it still needs more work. I need to go to the artists supply shop tomorrow to get more canvases to continue working. I have plenty of canvas, but no stretcher bars or stretched canvases. I'll keep the pics coming as I gather momentum with the works.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I ended up with these few pieces. I then created a few composites, and varied them slightly. I had come to an impasse as to where I wanted to bring my fish paintings. I think I have discovered where I wish to go.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I have been tied to the house for an extent for the last week as Dubh has had to have an operation at the vets. Because of this I have to keep an eye on her when she is not wearing the plastic collar to stop her biting out her stitches. She doesn't relax or lie down with the collar on, but winges and whines (throughout the night) so I don't get a lot of sleep either. We will have to wait for the results of her tumor biopsies. Hopefully the vetenary surgeon managed to excise it all if it is malignant.
Dubh is not just a dog, she is more like a child, but with more tendency to have cuddles and not let you out of her sight than most children.
She is lying on the sofa beside me, snoring away, looking cute and quite comfortable. I know that if I stand up she will come alert immediately, just to make sure she doesn't miss anything. I have my work cut out to stop her jumping off/over the back of the sofa in an effort to catch up with me... She has already pulled a couple of stitches, and vetenary bills are expensive......
I managed to get into the studio yesterday, now things have settled down a bit. Dubh is quite happy to spend time in there with me while I work.
I finished off another piece, Filleted Fish II. 40 cm square, oil on canvas.
I now have to decide whether to carry on with the series or take a break from it. I will be away for the weekend, so I'll make a decision when I get back. I have a busy week ahead so I won't get much painting done anyway, unless I get the weather and time to do some studies while on my travels. I am going up to Northern Ireland tomorrow, I have meetings on Thursday. I have another meeting in Dublin on Friday morning, before I head west to Mayo again.
I have to go now, I am due at my framer's I need to sign one work before he finishes off the framing as it will be behind glass. He has the others ready for me now.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
This is one reason why I haven't posted recently, as I am getting behind in my work. I hope to print the latest lino-cuts tommorrow, and hopefully I'll be happy with the effects. I will post photos when they are done. In the mean time, I'm off out this evening....lad's night out so I'll keep this short.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
I have had to tidy my studio up today. I was trying to work and kept finding I had no space! I still have two glory hole corners that need sorting out, but at least I have enough room to work! m I have other commitments all next week so the art will have to wait, hopefully my ideas for the ex-libris will improve in the meantime.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I then reworked them and at this stage I have over-painted the fish four times, each time altering the balance between the fish as they are, and how they need to be for the painting.
Top, Sea-bream, unfinished
middle, Sea-bream, finished study.
bottom, Goldfish fry in my pond.
And speaking of fish, the fry in the pond are coming on in leaps and bounds. Today the fish are spawning again for the fourth time that I know of. I have at least three stages of fry in the pond at the moment. You will see two or three different sized fist in this photo of them, and there are more tiny pin-fry evident to the eye (less than a quarter of an inch, .5 cm)
The older fry are almost an inch long now and are happily shoaling in the pond, and ignoring the adults presence so I assume they are now of a size that makes them safe from predation.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
I will work on the design over the next few weeks, and then I can start cutting lino blocks by the end of the month.
Working with print is a nice change occasionally too, My painting has been going well, so I can afford to take a little break and work on the print. I had considered trying an etching, but to be honest I haven't really got the experience in the method to do it without a few practice pieces.
I will post the working sketches here, and the final prints.
Friday, June 19, 2009
I came home yesterday evening raring to go paint my fish..... like a child with a new toy, but alas I only have large canvases left in the studio, and they are just too big to paint little fish. I am looking forward to working from them next week though. It's nice to get stuck in to work that interests me,-- but it is also great to have the commission work coming in.
Some of the fish we bought have seen the grill instead of the studio, being fresh it was beautiful. I didn't even feel guilty about not painting it first.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Work has been going well, but I have stopped with the dull cold wet conditions....I'd need to wear wellington boots to get down the garden at the moment....
Saturday, May 30, 2009
I will have to try and net them out of the pond though. Gold fish are not adverse to eating little fish. I will try to remove a lot of them into a smaller tank, upstream of the main pond, and leave them there until they get a bit bigger.
None of the fry survived last year, I had three left at the beginning of winter but they have not appeared this year, so I assume they died in the cold weather. Either eaten or from lack of microscopic food. The fish spawned very late last year because of the cold summer (about September) so the fry were very small to overwinter.
The painting has been a little slow..
I am working on two commissions and they are proving a little difficult, mainly because I want to get back to my fish paintings. However the two commissions are needed fairly soon, so needs must.
I am waiting to hear back from the venue for my Maltese show, but I suppose they are busy with other things, but I would like to know if they want some more larger works than I have suggested. I'd like to firm up the date also, so I can book flights etc. for the opening.
In the meantime I'm going back out to enjoy this weekends sunshine, this is proving to be a scorcher, 24-25 degrees C. A big change from 10 or 11 last week.!!
This is a video of the fish charging around, the cock fish chasing the hens to start them spawning. Those at the edge resting are all spawned out.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
We have decided that we are just going to soak up the sun on a beach this trip, instead of trying to cram more culture in. I'll need to be rested for my fishing the following week anyway. :)
Ok! I'm off to work now.............
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I had a nice surprise yesterday when I learned three small works had sold. They were in a venue that while I hadn't forgotten about, were not expected to start selling for a month or two.
They now want more works, and since they are all of a standard size have said they will organise the framing of the pieces.
Another pleasant little chore for me. Consequently, this will be another short post....things to do, people to see..and painting to be done.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I may get finished tomorrow, because I'm otherwise occupied for Friday and the weekend I need to. Then I can get back to painting next week.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
You can see the difference in colouring from the as yet unfinished work. It is still unfinished because the light keeps changing. It hasn't been helped by the fact that I really need fresh subjects every couple of days rather than trying to keep the one fish moist for a week. However catching identical looking fish can be difficult at times...
Thursday, April 2, 2009
I am finding it hard to do work today. It is too peaceful and pleasant sitting in the sun watching the fish in my pond. Even inside the water draws me. I may give up soon and give in to the temptation of a lazy afternoon.
It's either that or go fishing. LOL. I may even do both.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Now I want to get back to painting.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I started off by finishing the trout's body. When that was done I added highlights and finished off the fish's eye. Finally I scumbled in the background glaze over the dark olive under painting.
Friday, March 20, 2009
This morning I decided to paint one of the trout I caught while out fishing yesterday. It was taken on a fly, fished from a drifting boat, lough style.
It is a nice silvery fish of about 1.25 kg, a Rainbow trout, grown on from fry stocked into the lough. I kept this one because it was so sleek and beautiful. It was also late in the day, so I wasn't worried about it laying in the sun for hours.
I started off by painting a quick oil paint study, rendered in about 3 hours. Painted alla prima I was more concerned with the light and colours on the fish than with the outline. Consequently the fish is a little too narrow and long in proportion. I also am not really happy with the tail shape after a long look.
The study is painted on a 35 by 25 cm canvas.
For the second work I have used a canvas 80 cm by 60 cm. I started this canvas by being much more particular in my drawing. Although this was done in paint with a brush, the sketching in was done by measuring proportions to ensure they were correct. I then adjusted the drawing slightly, to emphasise the perspective by moving the dorsal (top) fin back a fraction.
You will notice that I have taken a different angle with the second painting. I moved the fish nearer eye level to allow more of the underside of the fish to be visible.
Today, I have blocked in the background and shadow, and painted in the tail. This was important as the tail fin has started to dry out, even with regular damping. This effects the light and reflections, I also have taken some close up photographs for reference if needed. I continued working on the head, catching the colours and light playing around the gill covers, and finally I have blocked in the body tone to allow me to reposition the subject correctly for the next day so that the same area is subject to the silvery highlights.
I am not going to be able to continue tomorrow due to other commitments, but I hope to get back to the painting on Sunday. My fish will keep in the Refridgerator, covered so it doesn't dry out.
Monday, March 16, 2009
There are areas of the canvas unworked, but I like the effect, and I have decided to leave them as is.
It is a beautiful area of the river, the weir itself used to have a carrier from it years ago, but it hasn't been used for as long as I've known it.
The river itself is a free-stone trout stream, which runs from the Dublin Mountains above Bohernabreena reservoirs, down through the reservoirs, through Tallaght, Firhouse, Rathfarnham, and further through the suburbs at Miltown, Clonskea, and Ballsbridge until finally it runs by Landsdown road and into the sea at the mouth of the liffey by Ringsend. There are wild brown trout throughout the river, a fact the local Angling club is justly proud of, as they have protected the ecosystem for the last 50 years. The angling club have fought against pollution, culverting, piping underground of small spawning streams, and generally have protected and cleaned the river while in most other major cities the river systems and fishing has been destroyed.