Saturday 21 August 2010

21/08: Exciting Times!

Earlier this year I agreed with Hubby (David) that I would cut down on commission work with its inevitable stresses/deadlines etc and simply draw/paint 'for fun' or exhibition/competition work - allowing us to be much more flexible to simply enjoy retired life and take advantage of any decent English Summer weather.

My stepson then had a horrific motorcycle accident in April and has been hospitalised since, so all plans went by the board and I ended up accepting more commissions and doing less exhibition stuff than planned.  However, it all seems to have come together now.   I'm just about ready to close my commission order book for Christmas, and I have several pictures on exhibition from now till the end of November..    Total fluke really and I won't pretend this was planned!

Next week I will be chasing up all 'potential' clients who have expressed an interest in having portraits done as Christmas presents.   If they all turn out to be positive I'm oversubscribed and will be burning the midnight oil with all holidays cancelled!   Realistically however I expect to have a comfortable 'run up' to Christmas this year with a little slack in the system to allow for mishaps or perhaps that 'last minute' request with a reference photo sooooo good I just can't say NO :o)

I'm waffling slightly as I haven't got any current work I can show - still working on wedding/birthday portraits (human).   but I thought I'd take this opportunity to show the non-commissioned pictures which will be exhibited at galleries during the next couple of months:

Three coloured pencil pics were juried into the 9th UK Coloured Pencil Society Annual Open Exhibition and will be on exhibit at Stamford Arts Centre, Lincs PE9 2DL  13 September to 1 October 2010

I'm not good at photographing framed/glazed pictures as I usually end up getting my own reflection in the photo, but here goes:

Meerkat - I photographed this little chap at Port Lympne earlier this Summer.   I have lots of more 'traditional' poses but really liked this unusual angle/close up shot.

Coloured pencils on Fisher 400 paper ... mounted/framed at home to reduce costs :o)

This was coloured pencils on drafting film ... mounted/framed at home

This tiger drawing was destined for the bin but having left it to one side for several weeks, I cropped the picture and decided to give it a second chance.   As a non-standard size, this is being mounted/framed by a specialist framer and I won't collect it till next week ... so here it is as the simple drawing:

Just a reminder that this Ragdoll Cat picture (pastels on Clairefontaine Pastelmat) will be on display at the Llewellyn Alexander Gallery, Waterloo, London from 27 August till 17 September.   Again, apologies for the poor photos, I photographed this outside but got the reflection of the fence in my photo.

and this was my very first coloured pencil portrait of a 'human' subject.  It was done nearly 3 years ago but has just been selected by jury for inclusion in the 'Simply the Best' competition and Exhibition at the Art Materials Live show, NEC Birmingham in November.  30 exhibitors have been selected and we'll each receive a £50 HobbyCraft Voucher.  Visitors to the show will vote for the 'People's Choice' from the 30 pictures and that lucky artist will receive a £150 Hobbycraft voucher.

Having done this so long ago, I now see lots of things I want to tweak/change but as the picture has been mounted/framed I've been forbidden by Hubby to touch it!!!

I will also have between 12 and 20 original artworks on display at the 'Made in Whitstable' Exhibition which will be staged at the Horsebridge Gallery, Whitstable in November ... more news about this to follow but arts and crafts from 20 local 'producers' will be on display for a week.   I believe mince pies and mulled wine will be offered at the official Open Evening but will update you when the schedule is finalised.

So, I should have everything mounted and framed by Tuesday and couriers organised to despatch the pictures to their various destinations.

Deadlines are looming for a couple of my commissioned portraits so I'll be knuckling down to some very hard work from tomorrow!


  1. I am at a loss for words, your talent is so amazing.
    Outstanding work!
    I have been under the weather and far behind with my comments, sorry.
    ☼ Sunny

  2. Oh Sue, I had no idea you had been through such a tough time in the last couple of months. I do hope your step son makes a speedy recovery!!!

    I know what you mean about the pressure of commissions - I hope you get the opportunity for lots of 'fun' drawing and painting in the coming months.

    Do you mind if I ask what you do your really large pencil pieces on - they are awe inspiring!!!

  3. Good luck for the exhibitions Sue, and remind me did you use black paper behind your drafting film, if so I don't know how you managed to get the white so bright..which pencils did you use?

  4. Thanks for looking/commenting :o)

    Sunny, I hope your health is improving .. I look forward to seeing your photos and amusing stories each morning .. guaranteed to make me smile.

    Thanks Karen, we've settled into a routine now. Since coming out of coma in May, Richard is making good progress and is now in his fourth and final hospital stage (its a dedicated neuro rehab unit) where he has a very busy therapy schedule. We just visit twice a week now as it takes up to 8 hours for the round trip (London traffic)
    I rarely draw larger than A3. Do you mean the pictures on the right of this blog? That's just 'trick' photography I'm afraid :o)

    Thanks Pauline - same to you re. exhibitions! The 'hunting' tiger on drafting film is mounted with a black backing card. I used white Prismacolour pencil (both sides of the film).

    The last tiger was drawn on black Canson paper with fixative sprayed between layers to enable me to get the colours as bright as possible.

  5. Some very wonderful work Sue. I am glad it is all coming together for you... it sounds like a really tough time. I hope for your sake you don't get all the commissions, it sounds a bit of a nightmare having to juggle lots, I don't know ho you manage it!

  6. Hi Chrissy
    Thanks for commenting.
    S*d's Law isn't it? If I desperately wanted commissions they'd dry up ... because I'm not so fussed they've been coming in regularly - but they are mostly 'human' portraits. I'm having fun with my art again which is what its all about! and I'm being much stricter about not taking on commissions from poor refs

  7. Congrats on all the commissions, shows and exhibits you're experiencing right now. I so excited for you and hope you do have as much fun with your art as you possibly can! Keep us posted on how it all goes!

  8. I certainly will Jan. Thank You.

    And I see from your blog that you are very busy with lots of exhibitions/demos etc. Congrats to you :o)

  9. I've been looking through your blog as I'm happy to stumble upon another color pencil artist. I love this old lady. You did a wonderful job.

  10. Hi Fay, nice to meet you :-)

    Thanks for commenting ... I'll take a visit to your blog later (just trying to get some progress photos of the current portrait before I lose the light)!!


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