Affordable Art Show, Smithy Gallery

Yesterday was a busy day at Smithy Gallery’s Private View, and I loved the way my paintings looked. Here are four of them grouped together on one wall.

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While the two below were also on display, I just forgot to take photos – oops.

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Rider, soft pastel on board
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Allium Field, soft pastel on board

You can find out more about Smithy Gallery here. The exhibition runs until the 15th July.

Bluebells I

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Bluebells I, 16 x 23cm (6 x 9″), gouache on watercolour paper, £30

No matter how often I paint them, I never get tired of bluebells. I think purple has definitely got something to do with it. I have to admit I love the contrasting colours of purple and orange together.

Sunset I is for sale on Etsy, Artfinder and artgallery.

Sunset I

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Sunset I, 16 x 23cm (6 x 9″), gouache on watercolour paper, £30

I’m happily working away on lots of wee paintings just now. It’s not a size I’m used to, but I’m loving the spontaneity of using gouache and just going with the flow, as it were.

Sunset I is for sale on Etsy, Artfinder and artgallery.

 

New Website Design

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I have always created my own websites, but the last one was a nightmare to edit and keep up to date. Now I have new software and I settled to work on something that is so much more manageable.

I’d appreciate any comments you have (especially if you find links that aren’t working), and let me know what you think.

You can visit it here at www.tracybutler.co.uk.

Website Design – A Closet Nerd, That’s Me

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I used to design and build websites (it was my own business), but moving to S Korea for 4 years made it impossible to continue. And I have to admit that, while I was there, I didn’t actually miss it as much as I could or should have.

Now a days, from time to time, I only put sites together for close family or friends as a favour, which is probably taking the pressure off and I’m really enjoying it as a result.

Web design for me, is a different kind of creativity. I love (don’t laugh now) getting down and dirty with coding and fiddling about with technical stuff. I can spend a whole day splashing colour, pattern and images about, and I don’t get all messy. If I make a mistake, I don’t have to chuck paper or canvas out either, I can just click the mouse a few times to go back a few steps and do it again.

Don’t get me wrong, I love painting, but doing something completely different on the odd occasion is utterly refreshing.

Then again, I used to be really sneaky and combine drawing with my site designing, creating entirely hand drawn sites, just to keep my painting hand in.

Come to think of it, after reading through the above gush of enthusiasm, maybe I do miss it. Just a little, tiny, tiny, wee bit…

Above is an image from one my old sites, Tramp2Vamp, now known as NHJ Style Consultancy – I loved working with her but didn’t design her new site.

 

Loch Garry, work in progress – defeat

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I’m too ashamed to show you the latest version #utterlyhumiliated

Yes, this is the painting I wrote a post about in my last post, and it just hasn’t worked.  And I’m so hacked off, I can’t face trying to solve it’s problems for the moment. I also think it’s too awful to show you at the moment.  Colours are garish, the sky is blotchy, clouds are nondescript, the loch is flat and uninteresting and the shades I used when preparing the background just aren’t shining through – I think that’s enough for now.  There is nothing more frustrating than working on a painting and not liking it.

I am feeling both defeated and deflated, but it won’t last long.  I’ll start working on the Loch Garry painting again (no idea when though), and suddenly, out of nowhere, it’ll start to work, and everything will be rosy, birds will be singing and I’ll accept that I can still paint after all.

That’s what I hope, anyway.

Loch Garry, work in progress 1

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I’ve just started a new painting of Loch Garry.

I am working on especially cut MDF board because I already have a frame that I need it to fit. I painted the board with purple and gold acrylic paint, squeezing the colours directly onto the board and mixing them as I messed about with my brush.

When it was dry, I sanded down the surface to give my pastels something to grip onto and then sketched on the outline of the landscape using a pastel pencil.

I’ll be working on it all tomorrow.

Happiness is a red dot

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Blossom Avenue, mixed media on board, sold

I was at a private view a while back. It was for a group show at Smithy Gallery, and I have a couple of paintings exhibiting.

Just about anybody can go to a private view, you don’t need an invite, really, as they are all about selling the artists’ work; and they are what they seem to be on television, lots of people milling about talking about art and to artists, drinking champagne. A group of passing backpackers turned up and were welcomed with a glass and a catalogue list – I think they bought cards and prints.

However, from my point of view, private views can be something very different. I am a nervous wreck before I even arrive, and when I walk in, the first thing I do is look around trying to find where my paintings are hanging; then I check out if there are any red dots (meaning they have sold). I try to avoid looking at anyone while they look at my paintings (will they buy, won’t they buy), then there are the people who just glance at my work and walk on (obviously no taste). I don’t know why I put myself through them. It’s much more fun doing something else and receiving the good news by phone from the gallery.

My Dad coined the family motto, “Happiness is a Red Dot”. So true, but I like to think of it with additional small print – “…but only when you are not present”.