Showing posts with label artists. Show all posts
Showing posts with label artists. Show all posts

4 Apr 2015

Naomi Nevill - following in her g-g-g-grandfathers' footsteps?

Here is my talented grand-daughter Naomi Nevill's website where you can see some of her jewelry and design processes. Interestingly, two of her maternal great-great-great-grandfathers were goldsmiths/jewelry makers in London in 1800's - their names were Herbert Sparks and Jean Adolphus Leeuw, each having their own business/workshop.
At 23 Naomi is already an award winner! Last year she won a Commended Junior Award in the Goldsmiths' Craft and Design Awards 2014. This year she is one of six finalists in the Jewellery & Precious Metal section of the Craft & Design Selected Awards 2015. Each section's finalists have been selected by Public vote but must now wait for the judges' decisions as to final placing.
WELL DONE done, Naomi! ..... we are all SO PROUD of you xxx heart emoticon
Please visit her website and take a look at her work and designs ........

16 Sep 2012

SPEED on a Sunday Afternoon!

Today, having finished some "office stuff " on the computer, I settled down to some serious Sunday afternoon escapism ..... videos of other artists at work!! As people and faces are my most favourite things to paint I was drawn to tasting the delights of some very SPEEDY painters at work ....

Agnes Cecile - painting 'One in a thousand'

Voka - painting 'Marilyn Monroe'

Takeshi Sato - painting 'Live Paint Act - Dancer'

Just loved watching them!! Hope you will too.

6 Oct 2011

Pastel Artist - Julie Greig coming here!

How exciting! .... pastel artist Julie Greig has an exhibition opening at The Artist Room Gallery, Dowling Street, Dunedin from 8th October 2011.  Her work is exceptional and I am really looking forward to visiting the show!

3 Oct 2011

Moments of abstraction ..... just love these two abstract artists!

I keep finding myself wishing that I could paint in a freer, less literal way, and I know that I have written about this before!  But it is well over a year since I tried painting some 12" x 12" abstracts on canvas and probably even longer since my other attempts at abstraction.


But today I found myself idling away the time whilst the 'floor man' re-laid our kitchen flooring (which had come unstuck! ......... but that is another story), so I began searching the web for  information on abstract painters and paintings. Of course, there are thousands of articles and videos to choose from but following two artists just seemed to take my breath away!!!

Zaman Jassim is a Saudi-Arabian artist and photographer who can be seen in the following video creating an art work. He is just amazing! The finished painting titled 'Memory of Places' can be seen here.

Artist Zaman Jassim - creating 'Memory of Places' (You Tube video)

And Isabelle Zacher-Finet is another fine artist who is enthralling to watch at work. I defy anyone not to be impressed!

Isabelle Zacher-Finet creates 'Melodioso II' (You Tube video)

Wonderful stuff!!

11 Jul 2011

looking for inspiration ...............

I am having a "sponge" session ...... by which I mean looking through my art books and visiting my favourite art blogs hoping to 'soak up' some creative energy and ideas!

I have had it in mind for several weeks now (if not months or even years) to begin experimenting with media in an abstract style but, as yet, have not managed to get started. Hence the current pleasurable business of exploring the creativity and ingenuity of others!

I don't often take the time to 'art surf'' but it is so rewarding and well worth neglecting the housework for!!!

Here are just a handful of artists that I touched base with again today:

1. C. Robin Janning .... her most recent posting If I Look Up is a fine example of her skill with colour and texture, and so very evocative.

2. Beautiful work in water-based paints from Elis Cooke.

3. Vibrant colours and unusual viewpoints from William Wray.

4, Plus the energy and inner vision of New Zealand artist Elizabeth Love.

These are examples of those artists who I find inspiring - take a look, I am sure you will not be disappointed.

25 Sep 2010

Searching new horizons .........

I am feeling strangely at odds with my paintings at the moment. This is not a sudden thing because, now that I stop to think about it, I have been a bit 'lost' for quite a while!

I feel that I want to branch out and experiment, that I should 'move on' from representational renderings to something a bit more original and expressive. Although I don't think my paintings are exactly 'photographic', to my mind they don't show much imagination or originality.

Imagination and original ideas do not come easily and I often wonder if such things are innate or if one can cultivate them through trial and error! Two books that fill me with hope for better things, if I can only keep on trying, are:

The Creative Artist by Nita Leland and The New Spirit of Watercolor by Mike Ward and I find both wonderful sources of information and inspiration, and surely as relevant today as they were 20 years ago. The first version of Nita's book came into print in 1990, and she launched a further book The New Creative Artist in 2006 (this one I have yet to get hold of).

Both Nita's and Mike's books (which I have written about on this blog before) are filled with ideas and advice, and are illustrated with examples of work by many exciting contemporary artists. However, I have to say that looking at paintings produced by others can not only inspire but can sometimes lead to feelings of despondency!! But I suppose its all about experimentation and, should one fall down, having the courage to pick oneself up and having another try ...........

Some of my problem lies in 'artistic constipation' ..... i.e. I have great difficulty moving out of my rather rule-bound mind-set. By this I mean that I tend to get so caught up in the process of producing a recognisable image that all spontaneity and/or imaginative interpretation tends to gets lost. I must also admit to other artistically stultifying traits such as 'fear of failure' and a certain miserliness with paint and materials!

However, there have been occasions when I have managed to produce something which I felt was a bit 'different' and more creative than usual. So I am really pleased that a recent 'abstract' painting of mine has been selected for the Anderson Park Spring Exhibition in Invercargill, while a more realistic painting 'The Red Shoes' entered at the same time was not selected. The successful painting was originally called 'Hear us, See us' but I have renamed it for this exhibition, and now feel encouraged to try my wings at something new!

'Girls night out' (Mixed Media)

2010 Annual Exhibition of Art
Anderson Park Gallery Inc.
Invercargill, Southland

3rd October - 25th October

21 Apr 2010

24 Feb 2010

NEWSFLASH ,,,, here's a great site!

Here is a site well worth checking out - 100 Best Places to Appreciate Art Online ! Links to SO MUCH that will enthrall those interested in art ..... galleries, museums, portfolios, artist sites, image collections, reviews, art blogs. ENJOY.

15 Jun 2009

Drawing Workshop

I'm booked to attend a figure drawing workshop next month (July) with artist John Badcock. I had not seen anything about him until recently but a look around his website is both startling and intriguing!

From Wikipedia

John Badcock is a New Zealand artist, based in Geraldine, South Canterbury. Badcock comes from a very artistic family. His father Douglas Badcock and two brothers Brian and David are also painters. Where the other family members specialise in landscape painting, John has become more renowned for portraiture. His art is described as Expressionist, and has been compared to works by artists such as Otto Dix. His work has encompassed many media - oils, watercolours, charcoals and acrylics.

Born in Queenstown in 1952, Badcock has been a professional artist for three decades. His accolades include solo exhibitions throughout New Zealand since 1985, and more recently the exhibiting of The Last Supper at the Christchurch Cathedral. He has been a finalist in the New Zealand Portrait Awards in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006, and the subject of two New Zealand Art Films (John Badcock - a Film by Brian High, and A Changing Landscape – A Film by Simon Pattison). Badcock's recently published first book 'Passing People' provides an in-depth look at his latest series of 100 portraits. The following public galleries currently have collections of his work, Christchurch Art Gallery - Christchurch, Aigantighe Art Gallery – Timaru, and Anderson Park Gallery – Invercargill.

Here is an example of his work from his 100 portraits exhibition "Passing People".

His more recent paintings are more abstract and his work can be seen at NobleBoyd Gallery .

7 Oct 2007

Art, Artists and Galleries

I have just been introduced to a great blog written by Texas artist Todd Camplin called Art, Artists and Galleries. Todd writes about his own art plus all sorts of other interesting things art related, and is well worth a visit (or several, in fact)! He creates paintings from names and words .... many of which are truly amazing pieces. Todd is also past editor of Soujourn - a journal of the arts, also worth checking out .....

6 Oct 2007

New York, New York!

The winners of the New York, New York 2007 art awards at have just been announced. Entries from the 50 finalists can be viewed, together with those of the four winners, HERE. These include abstract and contemporary paintings, photography and installation art. I can't pretend that I understand, or can even fully appreciate, all of the pieces but I like the work of Masha Ryskin, John Westmark and Jessica Snow very much. Overall the show leaves me with the feeling that I come from another planet, and a rather boring one at that!

24 Sep 2007

Ed Labadie - Creating from Chaos

Perhaps I need to write a little something about what we were actually doing at Ed Labadie's abstract workshop. Ed paints mostly in watercolour or oils and his process for creating abstracts is the same for both mediums. He calls this process 'CREATING FROM CHAOS' - follow this link for the demonstration DVD and/or a booklet about his method available for purchase.

Basically this involves dropping colours randomly onto a wet ground, then allowing them to mix and mingle by tilting the support this way and that. When this initial layer is dry there follows a stage of contemplation, - viewing the painting from all angles and allowing it to 'speak' to you. How does it make you feel? What can you see? What are the important shape? Once you have made some decisions it's time to start developing different areas of the painting, eliminating distractions and accentuating your important elements. This is done with overpainting and glazing.

Sound simple? Well, think again! Even the initial stage is difficult .... its not easy to mingle wet colours without creating mud! Paint has to be the right consistency, the support must be receptive to this way of working, not to mention the difficulties of keeping ones application of colour and brushstrokes completely 'random'.

Ed was demonstrating with watercolour on paper but around half the class were working in acrylics. I attempted something on 3 different types of support. The first was a small Reeves 'oil painting board' (9" x 12") - the paint would not flow around very well unless extremely diluted and the area of the painting was far too small. Next someone in the class offered me a sheet from her 'canvas pad for oils or acrylics' .... this was a big improvement over the oil board and is what I used for 'Girl at the Bar'.

Mulling things over that first evening I decided that perhaps acrylics might work well on watercolour paper and this is what I used on the second day for 'Night and Day'. However, I found it impossible to get that richness of hue found with watercolour because the paint had to be diluted a great deal for it to flow across the paper, but possibly this was due to my technique. Those artists using watercolour got deeper hues but were a little disturbed at the amount of paint that they used up! Interestingly enough, my colours came out far richer on the sheet of oil paper than on either the board or the Bockingford paper - so I will have to try out other supports and mixes before I can really decide what gives the best results with acrylics. But I definitely think that watercolour on heavy paper has the edge.

Ed Labadie is a good tutor - full of good humour, anecdotes and willing to share all his 'tips and tricks'. He was also quick to point out that his method for painting abstracts has taken him about 20 years to develop ... so it is hardly surprising that we were unable to master it in just two days!

18 Sep 2007

Update on a Bright Spark!

You may remember my post about the 'artistic gene' running through the maternal side of my family - the SPARKS? Well, my grand-daughter in UK has just sent me these photos of some of her latest work. I think you'll agree that she has made great progress in the past year .....

Her name is Naomi and she will be 16 years old next month. Naturally, I am very, very proud of her!

7 Sep 2007

Sally Strand - outstanding American artist

On September 16, 2007, California artist Sally Strand is to be inducted into the Pastel Society of America's Hall of Fame at their 35th Annual Awards Ceremony. Each year PSA selects an outstanding pastelist who has made a major contribution to the medium and to the world of art. A selection of Ms Strand's works will be on display.

Sally Strand's work is all about the effects of light, and her paintings of everyday life reveal the hidden elements in commonplace situations. I first saw her work about six years ago in a book on working in pastel and was immediately impressed and enchanted by it, and my aim became to emulate some of her magical way with light.

Her work has developed a deep richness of colour and tone while remaining what I would describe as impressionistic in style, as in 'Warm Day' and 'At the Table'. Although sometimes her paintings are almost abstract in execution, as in 'Poolside', - which is my current favourite of those on display on her website.

She is also equally at home working with oils, - 'Chefs, Finishing Touch' and 'Man in Suspenders, Blue Hat' are wonderful examples of her work in this medium. As you will notice if you browse her site she also does lovely still-life work, but my own preference lies with her figure paintings.

And for those lucky enough to be able to get to the PSA 35th Annual Exhibition - a juried exhibition of over 200 pastels by artists from all over the world, here are the details:

September 7 - 30, 2007
National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, New York City

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8 Aug 2007

from the heart .... Leah Hager Cohen

Writers are artists, that much we know. But what is it that makes one person's words meaningful to another? Then again what is it that makes one person's painting resonate with another?

Today I found a beautifully written blog called Love as a Found Object by American writer Leah Hager Cohen. What is it about? Well, in her own words:

"This blog is inspired by my mother, who was found to have ovarian cancer in April 2006 at age sixty-two. She has seen me for a writer my whole life, ever since I could make up stories and dictate them to her. In many ways, it is because of her that I am a writer. "

I find reading Leah's posts is like reading a succession of short stories .... each one paints a little picture in my mind's eye and I am almost there with her and her family. It is neither morbid nor sentimental and, as a 62 year-old mother of grown-up children and a grandma myself, it definitely touches my heart.

Leah Hager Cohen's author website can be found at

6 Aug 2007

Ed Labadie workshop .....

Have got my name down for another week-end workshop ..... this time on painting Abstracts with Ed Labadie. And I am really excited ..... ! Take a look at his work and you will understand WHY.

Have also decided to do some more to Hot Gossip painting ... its really getting on my nerves still sitting there on my easel!!!!

7 Jul 2007

Ben Ho - New Zealand artist

Next weekend I will be attending a painting workshop with New Zealand Artist Ben Ho. More of his work can be seen online at Fishers Fine Arts. Although he works mainly with oils or watercolour this particular workshop will include acrylics. On the first day we will be painting a landscape and on the second the subject will be the human figure. I particularly like Ben's figure paintings, - for examples see one in oils here and in watercolour here. As figures are my very favourite subject my main interest is going to be in Day 2.

Of course, if we get a lot more snow we may not even get there at all!

22 Jun 2007

an exhibition by Lois Isaacs

'Rain on my window'
by artist Louis Isaacs

I am always thrilled when I find a contemporary artist whose paintings inspire and delight me, and today I attended an exhibition that did just that. It is being held at The Art Boutique, Tauranga and the works are by New Zealand artist Lois Isaacs. What I found so fascinating was Lois' preoccupation with things that I am very interested in myself, - particularly the human figure, musical themes, drawing, textural effects and 'lost and found' techniques. Photographs of her work do not really do it justice .... the impact is so much greater close up and personal! For a long time now I have been thinking about how to marry drawn figures with a more abstract approach and so today, when I looked at Lois Isaacs work, I thought 'YES! ... it CAN be done!'

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19 May 2007

Tagged by the Queen of the World

I've just been tagged by artist friend Jo Castillo in a new meme started by Maggie Stiefvater. I don't often participate in memes but here I am joining in with the second one in a month!

How it goes is:

1. I post seven things about myself that are a habit, unusual or that no-one else knows. I also give the link to the person who tagged me and information on how the meme works.

2. I also 'tag' seven blogger friends in a list in this post, and then leave a message on their blogs telling them that they've been tagged (giving the link back to this post).

3. These 'tagees' then post seven things about themselves, repeating steps 1 & 2 ........

Sound a bit confusing? - It's not really and I am going to do the whole bit here. It should be fun running round looking at people's lists!

Participation is entirely voluntary of course ..... But I hope it results in a widening circle of blogging pals for everyone who gives it a go!


1. I did not stop looking under the bed every night before getting into it until I was about 25!

2. I am author of 5 chapters in a nursing/medical textbook - McCulloch (Ed), 'Infection Control: Science, management and practice'. London and Philadelphia, Whurr Publishers Ltd, 2000.

3. At age 14 two of my friends and I auditioned for a British TV Talent Show .... we sang a medley of three Everley Brothers' songs - 'Dream', 'Let it be me' and 'Bye-Bye Love'. We were not successful! ... our heat was won by a girls Scottish Pipe Band. But it was a great day out!

4. On the night of the Talent Show audition we went to a concert and saw Adam Faith, Cliff Richards, and the Shadows all together on the same bill at a local theatre. They were all just starting.

5. I have several recurrent nightmares. In the worst one it's night time and I am trying to secure this old house from a dangerous intruder, but as I frantically run to secure all entries points I cannot get any of the windows and doors to latch or lock properly. How neurotic is that!

6. I once laughed so much that I wet myself and created this huge puddle in the street. I was 8 years old at the time .... but you never quite get over a thing like that!

7. Well I really think I have said a bit too much already so this last one is very innocuous! ... I just adore soldiers ...... Marmite ones. (Brits and Kiwis will know about these!)

And should anyone be interested (and I can't think why) .... I once posted another list of Thirteen Things about myself here.


I am tagging art friends spread across the globe - just to prove what a wonderful networking tool the Blogging world is for artists

Annaig - FRANCE. Beautiful watercolours, acrylics and digital art.

Philip Edson - Alicante, SPAIN. I'm hoping that he will put down his brushes and palette knives for a while and come out to play! Great abstract art.

Nita Leland - Ohio, USA. Artist, teacher, author. Is a great inspiration for me (and many others).

Bee Skelton - CYPRUS. One of the happiest blogs to read that I know of. Full of sunshine, and lovely art.

Viv King - Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA. Another sunny blog - full of vibrant colour.

Diane Cutter - PUERTO RICO. Wonderful art from this fine artist and printmaker. Met up with her first at Wet Canvas.

Susan Borgas - SOUTHERN AUSTRALIA. My nearest 'neighbour' in the seven - just about 4 hours flying time away! Another super artist and someone who has been a quiet support to me since I have been blogging.

Go see their lovely paintings and find out their seven secrets when they post them!

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