Thursday, September 23, 2010

Croagh Patrick from Delphi Valley Road Update

This is where I am at on the current painting, almost finished, maybe another two hours or so. Still some work to do on the middle and foreground especially, but looking pretty okay already. Will post finished version very soon. This is 12 x 16 inches on canvas. - That's it for a quick update, feel free to comment. Jim

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Art Marketing, Croagh Patrick Painting

I have been researching the state of the Irish Art Market, talking to artists and just trying to get a feel for how things are out there. I talked to artists selling on the railings in Malahide, a small but popular town just north of Dublin, and also on Merrion Square, in the city centre. They sell their art there, week in, week out, through the summer months. The season for Malahide is winding down now, but I believe that Merrion Square is a year round event. There is a long waiting list to get on this venue!! Two years possibly...

Anyway I have just finished reading the book "Sold, the inside story of how Ireland got bitten by the art bug" by John Burns. It is a real insight into who is who around the galleries and auction rooms of this city. I have had dealings with one or two of the people mentioned or interviewed in the book. It really is a worthwhile read for anyone trying to understand how the galleries and auction rooms operate. The main conclusion of the book is how the auction rooms are taking over the primary market from galleries where they used to only focus on the secondary market. Now the galleries are changing their focus too, to compete against them. Now galleries are moving more into art fairs to stay ahead of the auction rooms taking their business. In fact, last year I sold through auction, which is exactly why galleries are losing out. I am now more conscious of how this may be bad in the long run for both gallery and artist, as galleries are the main promoters of artists, not auction rooms. However, most artists that sell directly through auction are like me, unrepresented yet by galleries, so maybe the galleries are not doing too bad. I do see though that many seriously successful artists are also selling in auction rooms. The end result I guess is that the market will decide what eventually happens, although some galleries have closed in the last while.
The above is a shot of one of my latest in progress works, of which I now have several. I will post further when finished. Due to learning and changing from this, my painting technique has got faster. I hope that this will still mean acceptable quality, something I have to be careful of paying attention to. The above is an indoor shot and a little dull due to this. It's also underpainting, and needs more colour adjusting. The place is looking at the back of Croagh Patrick in Mayo, from the road to the Delphi valley. The time is middle of summer. If just a few weeks later, the vegetation colour changes a lot! Enjoy and check back to see further progress...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mermaid Watercolour Painting - Sketch Development


The above is what I have been working on after the last oil painting. As you can see, it is a photo of a printout, which is various pages scanned and stuck together in paint program and my printer only prints A4 so the above is 20 x 16 inches or so.. The creation of the final idea was a gradual process changing and shaping ideas in my head. Eventually I have what is a reasonable idea which I am relatively happy with. Since the above photo, I have made some more small changes, adding in more surf droplets, changing the shape of the mermaids tails to have them all like the mermaid on the left top, and suchlike. I am hoping to have the time to do two versions of this image, mirror images of each other, the above in watercolour and the other in oils. It will mean a bit of dedicated effort, if I am to do it. I may just do one, in watercolour for now, as I want to concentrate on creating more images of fantasy nature. I want to build up a small portfolio of similar work, all based on fantasy themed subjects.

To all followers of this blog, and would be artists out there, I have to say, that creating original ideas like this takes some time and effort, stretching the imagination, but it really is worth it. I don't know how imaginative it is, but it is a small step forward, and the feeling of satisfaction at creating something really original can't be beat!

In the beginning, I had started with the below idea, and it evolved into the above. I may do a version like below at some stage too, but it contains a lot of spaces which I don't find so interesting, such as lower left and top distance, so decided to try a different arrangement. That was what led to the above. As always, feel free to comment on any sketches, paintings, etc. And check out my etsy shop too -- a lot of my art will eventually make it into prints for sale online there.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Teddy Bear Painting - Just Finished!


Childhood Friends
The above painting is my latest, just finished work. I have put a watermark on it, but this is only on the digital image of course! Anyway, this has been a step forward for me in terms of technique and ability, so I am quite pleased with how it turned out. I have been taking classes in oils recently and the above has been influenced by that fact. I have concentrated on improving the tones and colour matching so as to improve the light and feeling of reality in the painting. I took a lot of photos to get the right composition for this painting using my niece's teddies! This painting is oil on canvas 24 x 18 inches. As always I'd like to hear feedback and comments on it, that's why I put it up here. Hopefully I can do the next one as good!