Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wishing all Happy New Year 2012

The above is a photo I took this time last year as I had to make a journey in treacherous snow conditions to the countryside. We had had a lot of snow and fortunately I was on a bus but at this time of year I am reminded of the poem I showed earlier in the blog "Stopping by woods on a snowy evening" by Robert Frost. Since I first wrote that post I have learnt the background to the poem which you can see by checking out the comments to that post. It is quite interesting. Wishing all the blog followers a Happy New Year and look forward to posting many more and exciting new paintings in 2012. Best Wishes Jim

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bear Hug -- Finished Painting of a Child with Teddy bear

This is another painting which is just finished and yet to sign, but the light was good this morning for photo's so I snapped it and uploaded it here for all to see. That's it for loose ends and I can get back to clearing commission work from off the table. I am not the most prolific of artists but seem to be improving on that score and have turned out two or more paintings a month all this year so that isn't so bad when I consider how detailed and difficult some of them have been. It's now mid-November and I look back on this year, skill-wise and feel I have made good progress. I have attempted a number of really challenging paintings and although they took a long time, I am really happy with them except for very minor parts, and feel that I have pushed onwards a good deal in ability. That said, I have new goals and paths to follow on this artistic journey, which will challenge me even more, so keep following the blog if you want to see the road ahead with me. One of my goals is to create more interesting subjects for my paintings. So I will need to improve my life-drawing and my imagination somewhat. That's all for today, as always I welcome feedback on the above. Thanks and Enjoy it! --Jim

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Finished Painting -- Deer in Pine Forest

I have made some changes to improve this picture which was finished but just needed something else. So I added some deer. I really like how this painting turned out, and consider it one of the better ones of this year. I have to work on commission work this month now, so will have to finish one more, almost complete painting this week and get going on the commissions. Comments welcome on the changes to this completed painting, thanks Jim

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Paintings of Trees -- Sunlight through Pine Forest

Just a quick update to show my latest painting, "Sunlight through Pine Forest", which is based on a photo I used permission for from a scottish photographer. The forest is in the Scottish Highlands. I think I have painted a lot of trees this year and hope to concentrate on different subject matter, people and horses and street scenes and interiors more in coming months. I haven't been painting such scenes before so much and would like to explore them. This was a loose end started back in April, which I have now tied up and at this moment I am down to about two paintings in progress, where I had about six a couple of months back. So now I want to clear the decks before working on some commission work and any new stuff of my own. Enjoy this painting although my photo of it is not the best. I will be in the Marine Hotel Sutton on Sunday at an art and crafts fair from 2-6pm if you wish to see my work firsthand. In the meantime enjoy this latest effort and feel free to comment. Jim

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gormleys Art Auction Current Work on Auction

I have three paintings in the auction online with Gormleys Art Auctions, which will end on Nov 1st. If you would like to see them follow the link. I am currently painting between 20 to 30 works a year and these are of a high quality. So feel free to browse the auction for my work or maybe even bid. I feel sure that my work is equal to most out there and that you will not be disappointed. I am endeavouring to produce a body of quality art that will hopefully appreciate in value for all my collectors. I don't mass produce lesser quality paintings of similar subject matter and hope that will stand to upholding the value of my art. Thanks for your interest in my art. Jim

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Under the Oaks -- New Painting October

The above is the latest painting I have just completed, titled "Under the Oaks". Please feel free to comment on it here, and enjoy it. Please excuse the photo which is a little faded in saturation on the left due to my poor photography skills, lack of proper light, but the painting is even in tone in reality.

I am selling three paintings this month through Gormleys Art auctions which you will be able to view shortly. The paintings are in the affordable art auction which is online from Tuesday 18th until auction day November 1st. Please feel free to view them and maybe even bid!! Thanks Jim

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Paintings of Ireland -- Irish Landscape Art

This is a commission work which I have just finished, posted as always for your enjoyment. This is North Tipperary, and is titled Knockalough from Ballyboy and Gortnaskehe. This is a view of the north side. Here is a view of the south side. Knockalough hill is 1400 feet high and the other names are the townlands outside of Upperchurch village, which is the nearest population centre to this place. All of this landscape lies approx. 10 miles west of the major town of Thurles. In this area a few years ago, maybe 10 or so, one of the locals lived to 108 years of age, and was active until his last months. He was able to read without glasses and gardened well into his second century. Where he lived was to the right of this scene in the hills in the background. Anyway - short post , enjoy - and if you want to keep up with my blog and art progress, why not subscribe via a link to the right. Thanks Jim

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Art Collecting - What to know about collecting art...

Many people who like art but are not artists themselves may be interested in learning something more about collecting art. However, there are so many different types of art that it is almost impossible for them to figure out what to decide upon. What is good value? What will be worth investing in....? Basically there are four steps in the progress of all artists who become widely famous and sought after. Here I will run through them briefly. I might hopefully be at step one. Most artists never get beyond one or two of these steps.

Four stages in the development of a Great Artist and Investing Tips.

1. Recognition by the Artists Peers.

The first step is recognition by other artists, that the artist is above average in technical ability when compared to the majority of artists. Some artists manage to skip this step by being well-known to start from another walk of life, but it will mean that they will not stand the test of time, as in beyond their lifetimes, in terms of being a "great" artist.

2. Critics begin to explain the Artists motivations to a wider audience.

This is the step where the artist can begin to increase prices of the work, if this occurs while they are still alive!! and begins to garner a wider audience. Buying artists work in the hope of a profit at this stage is the best time in their career, but is risky. If it pays off, it will be well worth it.

3. Art dealers becoming interested in the Artists work

This is an important step forward and means a secure future for the artist. Dealers will buy typically at wholesale prices to sell on for a profit. Buying from them will not result in a profit for the investor in the short term. It is better to have found the artist before this stage takes off, as in step 2. However, there-in lies the difficulty. Who will make it to step 3?

4.The wider public recognise the greatness of the Artist.

The final step, and one that is usually achieved when a large body of good work has been created. Most artists will never reach this step. At this level prices will be out of reach for most investors.

Anyway - hope you enjoyed this brief article. I will write more about this topic soon, as there is a lot more to know about art collecting. Jim

Gormleys Art Auction

I have 3 paintings in Gormleys Art Auction - visit to see them when they are posted in the next few days. I am posting them here too.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Landscape Paintings of Tipperary -- Oil Painting of Knockalough from Foilagoul

Irish Landscape Art -- Oil Painting of Tipperary Landscape

This is a view of Knockalough "Mountain" (1400ft approx.) from the south side, in the townsland of Foilagoul, west of Thurles, North Tipperary. The photo might be a little off the reality as I tried to get it even light but the left seems a little in shadow. Anyway I am posting it here to give people a view of this beautiful part of the countryside. Here is a view of Knockalough from Ballyboy, the exact other side of this mountain looking south. Ireland really has some great scenery and not all of it on the west coast! This was a commission work and so is sold. I shall post other work soon as and when I finish it. Enjoy! Jim

Saturday, September 24, 2011

How to Draw a Horse -- Part 1

How to draw a horse

Because of their generally placid nature, and the fact that they quite often stand still for periods of time, means that painting horses or drawing horses can be a perfect opportunity for artists interested in painting animals. They really are a great subject, however that said, for you to learn to paint a horse you have to know a little about that subject too. Getting a good drawing established at the beginning is half the battle to creating a great horse painting. Also horse shape can be adapted too, if you want to paint a fantasy subject such as a unicorn or suchlike. So this series of articles is to help alerting you to the main characteristics of the horse that need to be right, and then to give you a little guidance on colours to use in painting. Here is an earlier post showing how to draw a horse's head.
As with all skills there is no substitute for practice. And it doesn't have to be total perfection everytime. Carrying a pocket size sketch notebook for quick little sketches can be a useful tool for making little reference sketches of the shape and flow of the horses movements.
Create as many quick sketches as you can from observing horses movements. You may not get to complete half of them as the horse moves, but each will contribute a little to learning. Alternatively, get busy with a digital camera, and practice drawing at home. The above is an example of a quick practice sketch. Now I have indicated the points to be aware of when making the drawing. These are parts of the horse that are essential to get right. The bones are forming certain direction changes which result in obvious characteristics of the horse shape. They must be right or the drawing will look strange.

Step by step Drawing -- Proportions of a Horse

If you are not used to drawing a horse it can be made easier by knowing how the length of the head and height of the head are in comparison to the body. From this you can quickly assess if you are more or less correct with your drawing dimensions. The below sketch illustrates this point.I have broken the body of the horse into five areas each the length of the typical head. Also height of the horse is four times the height of the head. This is a fairly standard guide to help you know that your proportions are correct. In the next post on this subject I will go into some detail on how to paint a horse. Here you can see a horse in landscape and also here. If you are interested in seeing some of my previous work check the gallery below. Just scroll down. I will be posting some more tips and advice soon, so check back. Also some new work. That's it for now. Jim

Friday, September 23, 2011

How to Paint Snow -- Having fun Painting Snow

Painting Snow - How to paint snow scenes

One of the easiest subjects to paint must be snow, or so most people would think. Yes, and no. The truth lies somewhere in between, as snow paintings really are fascinating, and great fun to paint. If you really want to capture the beauty of a snow-filled landscape, that chilly feeling of crisp snow just fallen, and make it seem as realistic as possible, then you really have to study the colours that are present on the surface. Over the last two years I have attempted three or four such scenes and learnt something from each. Each snow scene brings new challenges and reveals new colours that are found in the light reflection on the snow. Snow scenes really are something you can be inspired to paint. All sorts of colour is found in the shadows and reflections of snow. In some cases you can throw a wash over the whole surface and in other occasions you can add in warm streaks of colour such as yellow or warm tones. There is a huge variety of possible colours that can be placed in snow paintings, so don't feel compelled to paint just blue tones like many of the examples I have here.

How to mix colours for a snow scene

By looking at many snow scene paintings, you can build up a reference of colour combinations and effects that work well in paintings of snow. In the above paintings, I used combinations as follows: thalo blue and white, raw umber and white with a hint of mauve, and prussian blue and white. These are just suggestions. It is best to gather together a collection of several different snow paintings that you can refer to, to help in future paintings. So far I have used very little variation in the colours of such scenes but I am going to have to find or take a few good reference photos for future work which have good sunlight falling on the snow, so as to be able to include the warmer tones in the painting. Including the warmer tones as well as the more common blue range adds interest to the snow scene and makes for a more interesting painting overall. I hope to be able to show what I mean regarding how to paint a snow scene in a future post after I have completed a more colourful one. For now, don't be afraid to experiment - making mistakes is all part of learning how to paint.

If you are enjoying this blog, please help to promote my art and the blog by sharing it with any friends you can. Also feel free to comment on my art as I welcome all feedback. Thanks Jim

Thursday, September 22, 2011

La Costa Esmeralda - Children Beach Scene

The summer is over and for most of us, all thoughts of holidays are behind us. This was one of several paintings I have on the go, most of which are very close to being finished. This was an idea I adapted from a few photos of time I spent in Sardinia on holiday last year. The title is La Costa Esmeralda, the Emerald coast. This was the region where this photo was taken but in actuality this scene is from a small island in the Magdalena Archipelago of islands. This year I have not been away so have managed to complete a steady stream of paintings -- more than ever before in the so far nine months of this year. Also, many are large paintings and time-consuming. The above painting was one of these. It is 20" x 28" dimension and I did not rush it, but took the time to create what I feel is a quality work of art. I always think of the words of Robert Bateman, wildlife artist in that you should try to push yourself to create difficult work or work that stretches your ability, and that is what I am constantly trying to do. This and another large painting "High Spirits" are so far the major paintings, I have done this year. Also "Wonder" is another more than run of the mill work, from this year. Hopefully, the quality of these works will gain me wider recognition. That's it for this post, enjoy the painting and look below in the gallery for a larger view. More updates coming soon as I have nearly finshed a few other works. Jim

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pre-Raphaelites : John Everett Millais

"Autumn Leaves"


The pre-Raphaelites were a group of like-minded artists who formed a secret art group in the middle of the 19th century dedicated to the painting of works from nature by real observation and looking towards the style of works before Raphael and the Renaissance styles became popular. They were initially secret until they held their first exhibition in 1849 and they were met with rejection initially but after several years their work became more popular. This post is to give a brief history of one of the most well known John Millais.

John Everett Millais was one of the original founders of the movement, (the others being Rosetti and Hunt). He was born in Southhampton on 8 june 1829 into an affluent middle-class family of French descent. He was a naturally talented artist and joined the Royal Academy art school at age 11 where he completed the course by age of 16, being the youngest to do so. He was technically brilliant although he was criticised for lacking imaginative ability.

Isabella, painted in 1849 was the first major work that he painted and Ophelia 1851-1852, was the peak of this earlier period of his work. It is regarded as one of the best of the pre-raphaelite works. He rapidly grew to be a better artist than his contemporaries and gained further recognition with Autumn Leaves painted in 1855 which is seen as one of the greatest of the pre-raphaelite paintings. He had started out as a "rebel" against the establishment but through the 1860's and onwards to 1896 when he died he became more establishment material and gained entry to the Academy at age 24 before rising to be elected it's president in the year of his death.

His paintings were always the subject of much comment and usually praise. He became a portrait artist later in his career. He is regarded as the best of the Pre-raphaelites.

That's it for a brief synopsis of this artist. Check back for more articles about art history and technique which I will be posting on a continuous basis. Also you can see more of my current work as I progress them. Jim

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Portrait painting -- How to Paint a Portrait -- Part 1

The above is a close up view of a portrait I painted last year. Portrait painting is often seen as the hardest area in which an artist can focus. The skills required to achieve a likeness and maintain it as the painting progresses are often seen as insurmountable, causing many to never consider the genre. From my limited experience of portrait painting to date, having taken lessons from a professional artist and also acquired some knowledge from books -- there is a definite way to approach a portrait which can simplify the work involved. This post is just an initial look at what is involved in starting a portrait.

First the drawing needs to be in the right place on the canvas. For a child it can be better to leave more space than the usual above the head. This extra space allows the feeling that the child is small. For an adult's portrait you can just position in the normal way, as per most portraits you see in museums or galleries.

Initial drawing is key. Although you can refine the drawing to a huge degree as you paint, the important part is to carefully get the distance between the features accurate. The distances between eyes, and from nose to mouth and nose to eyes, and height of eyebrows, forehead height and position of ears relative to the eyes, these are all key to creating the likeness.

So the initial stage in creating the likeness is to position the features very accurately. Short of using a blown up photo and tracing it onto the canvas, (using carbon paper or charcoal) - the artist can draw these features freehand if they are very careful to continuously check the position of each line they draw in relation to all previous lines. Check for length of the line, the angle and curves of it, the distance of the extremities of each line you draw from the surrounding lines already drawn. This is the mindset of a freehand artist. Work on the outline shape of the head first if you find it easier, but sometimes I start with the eyes. Then proceed down to the nose and mouth. Then I can see the face easier how wide it should be or thin and height as well.
For beginners it might be better to have the lips together, no teeth.

One idea is to draw onto a paper such as see-through grease-proof paper and then you can move this over the canvas to position it. Then transfer it on using carbon or charcoal. Working on paper allows easier correction of mistakes as it is hard to erase lines of pencil from a canvas. A charcoal pencil is probably the best to draw straight onto canvas as it brushes off, just be carefull of your hand smudging it as you work, or else use a thin amount of raw umber oil paint with a very small brush, which is what I often use. The oil drawing is easily erased with a cloth and some white spirits.

So to get the likeness -- first the distances between features helps a lot. Get them accurate. Next is the shape of each feature. Concentrate on looking at each and say - what shape is that? Is it a thin lip or straight or curvy and draw the shape as you see it not as you think you see it. By this I mean, in the few seconds between looking and going to draw it, the mind holds the shape within and you "know" what way to draw it. But in those few seconds if you "forget" or are unsure even slightly about what you are about to draw, you must not draw. You need to look again. Keep the distance between the drawing and the reference photo close as this helps many people.

This should improve your drawing ability and so distance and shape of features should get a fair way towards the likeness. Next you need to look at complexion and colour...But for today I will end at this, and post again on that as there is a huge amount involved in that area. Check back for more posts on this soon Jim

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Painting a Series -- Focusing on a Subject

The above is a photograph I took last year in December. If it was a painting it would be a good example of a monochromatic colour scheme. We got a lot of snow last winter for a few weeks in Ireland, much more than we usually get, and it was an opportunity to get some good photos. I show it here as an example of a painting idea which I feel has good potential and as I have already done a few similar snowscenes I could be building a small series of this type of painting. I need to start focusing more on one or two particular areas in my art. By this I mean that it is what the market is looking for that an artist is recognisable by their subject matter and also it is necessary that their style is consistent. This doesn't prevent my style evolving but I am feeling for the first time that I have reached a fairly consistent degree of painting style. The thing I want to work on now is brushwork and refining my ability to use varying types of brushwork, smooth or dynamic for various effects. I also want to work on my creativity, something which I am doing as much as possible.

In terms of focusing on one particular area, I feel that I want to tread a path between painting realistically and not going overboard towards hyper-realism which to me seems too much like just repeating what a photographer does. I like a painting to say something different from what a photo does. By that, I will try to include colour and tones that are compatible in terms of colour schemes but which may not necessarily be in any reference photo. A good example of an artist who paints like this is Steve Quiller. He is an expert at colour schemes. So gradually I will try to make more changes in my art, (commissions excepted for now) towards more interesting colour schemes. In a few days I will be posting my latest large painting, so check back to see it. That's it for now Jim

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Painting Irish Landscapes - North Tipperary

Many artists consider the Irish landscape a very attractive subject. For the vast majority, that means basically the western coast of Ireland from Killarney to Donegal and perhaps the streets of the capital , Dublin. The interior of the country is also a worthy subject but just takes a bit more "looking" to find a suitable scene. I have been guilty of going for the low hanging fruit too, in painting many scenes from the west coast. However, I have now been commissioned to do a series of paintings of the wild vistas of the hills around north county Tipperary. So over the next few weeks I will be completing these commissions. I have completed one already just yesterday, measuring 20" x 28" in size. It is of Knockalough mountain which lies to the west of Thurles. The townsland area is Foilagoul and it is an area in which I have been privileged to have spent some time. I won't be posting it yet but have several other works which are new and almost finished which I will post shortly. Above is a photo taken on one of the backroads in this scenic part of the country.

Also I did not post for all of August as I wanted to see if the level of "hits" to the blog was affected by not posting and it seems to be holding steady as in it hasn't decreased or advanced in that time. For all the people who have followed my journey over the last three years I wish to say thanks and hope you will stay following this blog and tell others about my art. I intend to keep pushing my ability level and become a really good artist at painting in oils. I have decided to concentrate more on painting people and preferably in a landscape or landscapes on their own. I realise that galleries are looking for more focus in what an artist paints and that must be my goal if I am to be accepted by any of them. So now I will be concentrating on completing my backlog of commission work before starting any new paintings. Check back to see some more updates throughout this month. Jim

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Swan Painting -- Wildlife Art

This painting was finished last week and is inspired by my interest in wildlife art. I have always concentrated on wildlife as a subject for much of my early work. I always admired the work of famous artists like Robert Bateman and David Shepherd. So in painting this I have tried my best to learn as much as I could and achieve the level of quality that they always managed in their art. I could have devoted much more time to the water ripples and perhaps it would be worth it, but I called a halt at the above degree as I could have created an overworked feel to it all. Now I draw inspiration for my paintings from many areas, and I would like to paint more scenes involving people in the future. As always comments on my latest work are more than welcome, Jim

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Painting people -- People in a Landscape -- Finished Painting

Having just finished the largest painting in years that I have worked on, I am feeling fairly satisfied at what I consider a decent effort. It is not only a large painting for me, 30" x 20" but also a detailed one, so it took quite a while, also because I have other paintings on the go along side it. It is also a step forward in the use of colour / tones on people, as getting the summer glow of skin-tones was a good learning process for me in this painting. I am posting it here for you to enjoy although I have yet to sign it. I will do that during the week, and can then upload the final version. However, this is it as it will be except that this is unsigned for now. I didn't post at all in June, and that was because I was concentrating on one or two other pet projects, so back to more consistent painting and posting the next month or so, if summer doesn't get in the way. Meanwhile I have to think of a good name for this painting. That's it for now, and let me know feedback and comments on this work, -- I really want to know what people think of it, Jim

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Landscape Paintings, People in Landscape Oil Painting Update

Following on from earlier in the month, this is a further stage in what is a large painting by my standards. I still have a lot of work to do on refining tones and background. This is 30" x 20" oils on canvas. In this painting I have to get the tones just right for to allow the bright areas to really glow, as making the feeling of light on a flat surface with paint is limited compared to how bright things look on say a television or with actual light sources. Hence achieving this in a painting really makes them come alive. Hopefully I can get it as good as possible here. I also hope to finish this soon, maybe in the next week or so. Jim

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Painting people in Oils - Painting People in a Landscape

The above is a snapshot of progress in this large oil 30" x 20" of three girls walking along a fence pole. This is a further practice work to get better at painting people and painting people in a landscape. I will post further when it is progressed as always. That't it for now, just to show progress. Jim

Friday, May 6, 2011

Snow Scene of Trees -- Snow Tree Finished Painting

This is my latest finished painting of a beautiful tree in the snow. I have included it for sale in the gallery below, and will be hopefully making prints of this soon. This is a quick post today to include it here. Comment s Welcome -- Jim

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Claude Choules -- Last Link to WW1 RIP

As I have an interest in the last veterans of this war, I mark the passing today of Claude Choules who was living in Australia and was the last remaining living link with what has been known as the Great War. 65 Million were involved in this war and he was the last to pass away at the great age of 110. He was also the only living veteran of both world wars and the 7th oldest man in the world. He was dancing and swimming until aged 100 and wrote his memoir two years ago at the age of 108. It is titled The Last of the Last. He was the last after the death in 2009 of Harry Patch and Henry Allingham, who himself became the oldest living man in Europe and if I remember correctly lived to be 112. I watched a documentary a few years ago about them, and one anecdote they told was standing in line for a meal, one saw a small girl. He turned to another veteran and said "Do you see that three year old girl, I am 100 years older than her!" To which the other replied "That's nothing, I am 103 years older than her!" Amazing to think of the changes that these people have lived through during the course of their very long lives. May they rest in peace.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Watercolour Fairy Painting - The Magic Lesson

I am returning to a loose end (this painting of fairies - the little sprite is receiving a magic lesson from a fairy) which needs tidying up this week, in aiming to complete this watercolour which I inked out a while back, last year if I remember or longer.... Anyway, I am interested in painting fantasy images as some followers have seen in the past. I aim to complete a few more of these type of watercolours while hopefully improving my technique. As can be seen here, watercolour is tricky and I still need to work on the background. I might decide to paint in oils even for these type of images. The main advantage of watercolour is the lovely effects you can get in manipulating the paint with rubbing alcohol, salt or various other methods. Glazing and dry brush technique, etc.. are all great and help to create that atmospheric look. Here I have used salt on the foreground rocks, but I need to improve the background and still a bit to do in getting colours to balance. I will be working on my other oil paintings along side this so check back soon for updates on them. Jim

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Scotland Painting - Cairngorm Forest Scots Pines Painting

Further progress shot of my painting of a scots pine forest in Scotland. This is showing a further level of refinement beyond the initial blocking in and establishment of the main colours. The canvas is 24" x 20" size which is large enough so it will take some time to work on it. I am using phthalo blue and prussian blue for the background. However I will tone that down in the later stages a bit perhaps. I will see how it progresses. I am using viridian green mixed with cadmium yellow pale, or white, or raw umber, for various greens and other shades. I also use naples yellow. I haven't concentrated on the yellow sections much yet, and have a lot to do in getting the right amount of yellow without it being too much. The main focus in refinement of the image is to get the feeling of light correct and establish depth throughout. If you are interested in learning more about this, see my post on aerial perspective. To see a previous forest painting, see Winter in the Woods, my painting of trees in snow. If you want to get regular updates of the blog, why not become a subscriber by clicking on the links on the right. That's it for today. Jim

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Edgar Degas - A short Biography

L'Etoile by Edgar Degas

Hilaire German Edgar Degas was born in 1834 in Paris. He was the son of a wealthy banker. His father hoped he would study law but he enrolled in the École des Beaux-Arts in 1855 where he was trained in the classical style. His mother had died when he was 13, and he had a brother Rene with who he was close. Unlike the impressionists he did not focus on colour and light, but emphasised composition, form and line. He is still often included in the impressionists movement as he exhibiting with them but he was not generally like them in style. He exhibited with the respected Salon until 1874 before beginning to exhibit with the impressionists until 1886. From the mid 1870's he began to suffer from deterioration in his eyesight, and by the time of his death in 1917 he was almost blind. This was also the reason why he began to use pastels more and more and eventually abandoned oils. His art was an attempt to combine the disciplined approach of classical art with the direct approach of the impressionists. His favourite subjects were portraiture, ballet, theater and racetrack scenes.

For a more modern impressionist have a look at the work of William Wendt who was based in california at the early half of the 20th century.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter to all Blog readers!

Wishing all blog readers a Happy Easter. Here in Ireland we are enjoying very nice weather and I have been painting outdoors, although not from life. I was working from a photo for the above. This is an undercoat stage, just finished more or less, so I will be progressing on to the next refinement layer once this has dried a bit. For now, the above is a good start on this image which is quite large, 24" x 20". Getting the feeling of light right in the undercoat is really what I wanted to achieve for now, before moving on. Anyway, I may take a short break from painting daily over the next days, so check back soon to see more. Jim

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Snow Tree - Snow Scene Latest Painting in Progress

This is a partially finished snap shot of my current April painting, which is meticulous and time-consuming but is coming along nicely. I love snow scenes, especially ones with great snow shadows like this one, so am enjoying it a lot, in getting the right colours and tones. Check back in a week or so for the finished version. If you want to see a indepth online demonstration of a snow scene painting browse this site. Thanks Jim

Monday, April 11, 2011

Best Friends -- Finished Painting (Girl with Beagle)

As I have limited time available to post these days, I am doing another short update to the blog. Here is my finished painting of a girl with her favourite dog, Best Friends, which I have finished but yet to sign. I started this some four weeks ago approximately so you can look back through earlier posts to see the earlier stages. This is another step for me in painting people, and I see it as a stepping stone to better works ahead, hopefully. Also the final version of Olive Grove is in the gallery, scroll down the main page to see...That's it for today, comments welcome, Jim

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Olive Grove -- Finished Version

Another quick post to show finished shot of my latest April painting, Olive Grove, available for sale in my gallery section. Just scroll down to see all available art for sale. Thanks Jim

Monday, April 4, 2011

Olive Grove Painting nearly finished

My painting of an olive grove is nearing completion so this is just a quick update to show the almost finished look. It will be just a case of refining some of the colours and detail to finish it. Enjoy, and check back for final version soon...Jim

Friday, March 25, 2011

Current Work - Mediterranean Painting Olive Grove

For those who like to see progress shots of how I paint and what I am currently working on, here are some shots of two paintings which I have on the go at the end of March. I am generally finishing a new painting every week or two now, so will have finished shots of these soon, all going well. Enjoy and bookmark the site if you want to see further shots in a week or so. Jim

Monday, March 21, 2011

Gap of Dunloe - Irish Landscape Art Finished Painting

This is a short post to show the finished version of my Gap of Dunloe Painting. This is a 20"x 16" oil on canvas painting of the location in Killarney, Co.Kerry. As always feel free to comment. Thanks Jim

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thomas Hardy Poetry -- Lyonesse

It's been quite a while since I held a visit to poetry corner so this post is a little diversion from art to entertain a little fantasy type poem. Lyonesse was a place near Cornwall in England, according to the legends of King Arthur. This poem written by Thomas Hardy recalls when he visited this place and met his future wife there. Enjoy...

When I set out for Lyonesse by Thomas Hardy.

When I set out for Lyonesse, A hundred miles away, The rime was on the spray,
And starlight lit my lonesomeness, When I set out for Lyonesse, A hundred miles away.

What would bechance at Lyonesse, While I should sojourn there, No prophet durst declare,
Nor could the wisest wizard guess, What would bechance at Lyonesse, While I should sojourn there.

When I came back from Lyonesse, With magic in my eyes, All marked with mute surmise,
My radiance rare and fathomless, When I came back from Lyonesse, With magic in my eyes!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gap of Dunloe - Aerial Perspective Painting

This is a snap-shot of two hours progress into a painting of the Gap of Dunloe in Kerry. I call it an Aerial Perspective painting as I will have to create that feeling of fading into the distant blue in the centre distance. This is what we see when we look at the far away landscape. Blue becomes more predominant as I explained in a previous post on aerial perspective. The painting is 20" x 16" in size, and I have worked fast using large brushes to get to this stage in two hours. Once I have the canvas covered I will begin colour balancing and further refinement of all elements. I will post a further progress shot in the next few days. Below is another painting which I am currently working on, in order to learn more about skin tone. I will also be posting further shots of this. So feel free to check back to see more of each. Jim

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Swan in Reeds - Finished Oil Painting

This is the seventh painting I have completed to date this year. I have three more paintings on the go at the moment. I am tidying up and finishing paintings which have been started a long time ago and that have been hanging around the studio for a while. In that regard, I feel good that I don't have as many half-finished paintings as before. I have got more disciplined about finishing what I start... So far this year I have sold three of the seven paintings I completed and these were all landscapes. As can be seen, I have diversified from landscapes a little in subject matter, as I think it important to pursue my own ideas. The above is the last of three square canvases I bought a long time ago. The other two are "Symphony of Silence" and "The Dream by the River" which I will try to add to the gallery section. Last I looked they were not there. So all in all, I am gaining some recognition on a wider scale, slowly but surely. As I have written before, my main priority is to improve and continue to ensure each new painting is done to the best of my ability at the time. I hope that the above painting has succeeded in that regard too. Let me know what you, the readers think, as always I value feedback to see what people like and don't like about my work. That's it for now, Jim

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Working on my Creativity now, the next phase...

As I grow in ability as an artist, those who have been following my blog since it started in June 2008 will have seen me changing my subject matter and trying various new ideas frequently. I have now attained a fairly high level of ability as regards painting technique, although there is some way to go yet to be as good as the really top artists. I am talking about Vermeer and Rembrandt, Lavery and suchlike. Their technique is truely amazing. However, another part and probably the hardest part now is to reach a high ability in terms of creativity. Creativity combined with excellence in technical ability is what will push me forward to becoming a really great artist. So I am looking at many different artists now and learning to think differently and look with curiosity at common and everyday things. It will take time to free up my imaginative side to the point where I can generate great ideas frequently. This is going to be hard work. I am definitely going to work on it as much as possible, and hope to be able to get there somehow.
The above painting is unfinished but closing in on the final home stretch. I will post further when finished. I created it by gathering a lot of different ideas together. I look forward to seeing it completed in the next week or so.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Slea Head Co. Kerry in Gormleys Art Auctions Lot 232 Feb 22nd

This is my painting of Slea Head in Co. Kerry. It is for auction via Gormleys art auctions, as Lot 232. The auction is currently live on-line for pre-auction bidding and the Gallery will host the actual auction night on 22nd February at 7pm in the Gallery at 25 South Frederick Street just off Nassau Street beside Trinity College Dublin. Here is the link to my Slea Head Painting. This is your chance to get a high quality piece of Irish Landscape Art at a very affordable price. My prices may not be so low for much longer as when I get a few consistent sales behind me, I will be raising my prices. This piece is framed, ready to hang, in a cream-white solid wood frame. So don't let the chance go, if you want to get a quality artwork by me, an emerging artist at the affordable end of what hopefully will be my successful art career.

Below is a snapshot or two of a current work, which is still in the studio. It is my largest work in oils to date, 24" x 20" on canvas. I intend to paint this size and larger more often.