Tuesday, 17 March 2009


I have had a very good weekend!

One of my paintings and one of my prints were both sold at the shop, and it is always nice when a stranger buys your work without you there. I sold another painting to a friend whose son has been on at her to get it for him and was even prepared to give up his bike at Christmas in order to have the painting. I also had someone agree to buy one of my larger pieces of work. At this rate there will be nothing left on my walls.

I finished my BP National Portrait Award entry in time (just) and then yesterday when I was on my way up to London to deliver it, I received a call about the awkward personal situation which has already had a partial resolution. Everything is working out for me right now.

I was happy with my artwork until I arrived at the drop off place and there was a beautiful painting propped up against the wall; huge, moody and captivating. My work looked like the crayon drawings of a two-year-old by comparison. I unwrapped my entry and handed it over, telling them that it was very off-putting to have something so good within view, but they said, 'You just never know what they are going to pick,' and told me not to worry about it. One woman put on her white gloves to handle my artwork, which made me feel a bit more special!

After meeting an old friend in Covent Garden for a brew, I popped into my favourite bit of the National Portrait Gallery on my way back to Charing Cross station and looked again at the paintings in the contemporary section. My favourite artist had two pieces in there and I spent ages studying them. What surprised me is how small they are. My postcard of John Hurt is larger than the original painting and I didn't expect it to have been painted on a block of wood. I also noticed that there were some effective paintings done on aluminium. I intend to do a bit of experimentation over the next few weeks. Tomorrow is gesso-purchasing day.

So now I'm having a day off, then I am back to the large painting to finish it off ready for shipping, and then I will be combining my writing with some new commissions (with no time limits) and in three months I will be starting my Hilary Halpern commission. I was sitting having coffee with Hilary last week before he went on his world tour and he casually mentioned that he used to sit and have coffee with Picasso...

Thursday, 12 March 2009

It's all getting a bit hairy...

This week has been the last possible week to work on my BP National Portrait Award entry.

This week has also been the week that both my children decided to get ill.

I know it is probably very picky of me to want to do my work during daylight hours but I feel that 4am is not my most productive time.

I've now worked my way through the facial hair and the head hair and am trying to do the chest hair... my subject is way too hairy.

It is being framed on Sunday and delivery day is Monday.

I will be having Tuesday off!

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

And If You Wanted More...?

...here is hairy close-up.

One Week to Go

I could not be panicking any more than I am about how little time I have left to finish and frame three paintings. If I knew for certain that the school would not call me and stop me working at any given moment, I would panic less. I have been working most evenings as soon as hubby comes home and not getting back until two or three in the morning. I am wiped out!

I've discovered that the work goes along better if I do it while listening to audio books rather than music. I don't know why. Maybe it is harder to stress about things or be self-conscious when you get into a story. Maybe it enables me to be freer in my painting. I am now halfway through the BBC's adaptation of Lord of the Rings and for some reason, listening to Gollum and Sam bickering makes me more able to paint hair...