Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Well..that's it then....

The Studio sale last weekend was a resounding success. I am very grateful to all those lovely people who came into the gallery and supported us. We had a lovely collection of work for sale from Stefanie Moss and myself, Donna Howard and a couple of others.  Stefanie and I manned the gallery and were inundated with with buyers on both days, despite the grim weather. We arrived with boxes laden with paintings and textiles of all shapes and sizes on the Friday to set up for the sale. As we were hanging our work, so people came in, hoping to get the best of the bargains before Saturday morning and they weren't disappointed ! Even as we arrived on Saturday to open up, there were a few people waiting to get in. How wonderful it felt to have such a response.

It was a real pleasure to see old faces, people who had bought work before and wanted to see what else they could buy. Old customers who I had never actually met and now wanted to wish me luck. New customers came who were not familiar with our work but had heard about the sale on the grapevine and wanted to check us out. Everyone one was interested in the stories behind the artworks and all were very generous in their purchasing. It was so lovely to spend the time chatting to people who were genuinely interested in what I will be doing in the future and my mammoth move out to Gozo.  In the mix were a couple of paintings that I had rather forgotten about, left over from an exhibition a few years back. They had been lurking behind canvases in the studio. My inspiration had come from an earlier trip to Malta when I had become a little obsessed with narrowness of Maltese streets and the closeness of the buildings, with only a slither of blue sky visible. This is a theme I may well revisit in the coming months.

This view above was the basis of a couple of paintings. One below, but the colour is not really representational of the original. They were muted but not that misty !



By the end of the weekend we had almost completely sold out. How pleasing is that ?! What a relief that I now don't have to take anything with me and I can truly start afresh in Gozo. There, the light will be different and the colours more vibrant, the contrast between light and dark will be stronger and it will take me a while to get used to a different way of seeing. One customer who bought a couple of paintings. who incidentally was also an artist, was talking to me about how different it is, painting in the Med. He pointed out that the clarity of the sea allows one to see through quite deep water and all that lies below the surface. Rocks, fish, sand etc and this becomes an important and very different perspective. (That's what I love about being in the gallery, I always meet such interesting people).

So that's that then. That was my last event in Brightlingsea. It's been lovely living here, I have made some great friends (who I hope will keep in touch) and have really enjoyed being a part of this great community. This is also my last post here so if you are interested in keeping up with my adventure please move over to my new blog Paint Gozo. See you there.


Sunday, 8 September 2013

How distressing

Saturday was spent transforming a pretty ordinary pot cupboard into something significantly chic'er. Painted Country hold workshops on upcycling unloved furniture using Annie Sloane paint. I took along a pretty battered piece, with dodgey legs and a saggy bottom to practice on. The end results were pretty pleasing for a first try and with a little more practice I felt I could produce some very saleable pieces.

Annie Sloane paint is wonderfully thick and luscious. It will adhere to practically any surface, making the job a whole lot easier as the surface does not have to be sanded or treated before painting.

Time was spent choosing a base colour from the extensive range. This was was then applied in a thick textured layer. This was allowed to dry and then touched up, where areas had been missed.

While we waited for the furniture to dry, Steve has us work on smaller areas on board to give some ideas of how different effects might work.

We tried layering two colours and then waxing and rubbing back. A motif was drawn on one section. A method easily implemented on to furniture to give a rustic look. An area that just had a dark glaze added on top, producing a leather like effect. Lastly a section where the paint was applied in a thicker layer and then dried with a hair dryer to process a cracked effect.

The last application was a layer of wax which produces a patina, giving 'age' to the piece.

A second layer of paint was applied to the cupboard. In my case I chose a lovely French Linen colour. Wax applied and then a light rubbing back with sand paper to show through the layer of paint underneath. I quite like a little of the wood to show through too.

A dark wax was the final layer, giving a worn look. This final wax can be polished to give a really hard wearing and glossy finish.
I hope when I am in Gozo I will be in a position to continue with this. I absolutely love the idea of upcycling pieces that someone has thrown out.

The range of colours of Annie Sloane Paint . The paint can be bought from Painted Country in Bury St Edmunds.