The Portraits for NHS Heroes book is out now and my portrait of Dr Igwe is in it. The book is full of beautiful portraits of NHS staff which were made as a thank you to them for their hard work during the first wave of the Covid 19 pandemic. The wonderful Tom Croft started the portrait and organised this book with Bloomsbury publishers. At least £2.50 from the sale of each book will be paid to NHS Clarities Together. I'm waiting for my copy to turn up.
I was just printing a copy of this and I wondered if I should paint the other Beatles in the same style. It's been about 8 months since I painted John so I need to remember what my method was when I did it because I know I did something different. I remember thinking I should keep a note because I liked the effect but of course I didn't. So this blog is me to try to jog my memory and make a record so that I've got a clue in future. Always remember to note down what you do before time has passed and its fizzed off into a cloud which you can't download it from.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/m000fzmc/age-of-the-image. This is an absolutely fantastic set of programmes for anyone who uses social media, or who loves art , photography. Also it is presented by James Fox in his FBI outfit.
Each episode contains so much info its hard to describe. The first "A new reality" the different uses of imaging and the altering of reality by compositing photographs which started very early on. See Buster Keaton and The girl with the Pearl earring in this episode.
Episode 2 "Power Games" show us how images how to influence us throughout history and how they are still being used to influence us all today, usually without us knowing
"Seductive Minds". Psychology is brought into play to make us dream of a different life and aspire to buy. Learn what makes an image powerful and how to influence people. Soon you will all be in my power whahaha!
Episode 4 "Fake Views" One for any Star Wars fans as Mr Fox walks through their art vaults and explains how some of the scenes were made. Also hyper realism, can we believe anything we see and how images have take over.
Reminded me that you can now look at art galleries, museums etc on google so I went on a bit of a tour since we can't go in reality at the moment.
Enjoy! Let me know your thoughts x
What a slacker I've been. More than a year without a post or any update to my site. I guess its because I'm a prevaricator and a dreamer. I also have really terrible levels of self confidence. Just as I think I am doing well I realise I am inadequate and should just stop. Why would anybody be interested in what I do. So many people are so much better!
Recently I saw an article about imposter syndrome and realised that's what I have. The feeling that you are just not as good as others. BUT even really good professionals get this. The thing is we all have different styles. It's easy to think someone else's style is better than yours. We should all be able to explore our creativity without feeling bad about it.
It's also good to be able to take criticism about your work. Take what someone says, see if it's true and if it's valuable to you. Is there somewhere you can improve? Beware the people who point out your errors and make you feel bad, rather than advising where you can improve. I have comments going round in my head and get upset and angry, sometimes its hard to put them aside but don't let someone put you off doing what you enjoy.
Saying that it is also important to keep improving and learning. I've been going to oil painting classes with the wonderful Nick Logan to improve my skills. He's really encouraging and I have learned so much since last September. The painting of John Lennon I started in his last class before the shut down. For me shut down is an opportunity to paint, and possibly tidy my studio to edit.
“Life in the Clouds” is a painting which started as a doodle using the Procreate App on my iPad. I think my subconscious dragged up a view out of my bedroom window on a summer day, swallows and swifts swooping through the clouds and then imposed my desire to be amongst them. The photo here is not the best but I will get around to posting a better reproduction of it on my website eventually.
I spent a lot of time in the evenings around the age of 11 drawing hawks and falcons, attracted by their beauty and dangerous power after finding a book about them in the library. There weren’t many of these birds around then because of persecution and the effects of DDT, maybe that made them more fascinating. Last night I came across “H is for Hawk – a new chapter” https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09b68wyon BBC 2. Helen MacDonald loves Goshawks with a passion and was training a new bird. I feel the love of that wild freedom, but I’ve always been a little bit uncertain about falconry and keeping birds. Is it any worse than keeping any other creatures? I’ve felt uncomfortable and upset when seeing birds of prey in some falconry centres, tied to perches near the ground and sometimes throwing themselves a cage door, but I do love to see them so close. Helen obviously loves her bird, “Lupin” and I can definitely see the attraction of having a creature so wild trust you. She trained her first goshawk after she lost her father. This is what inspired me to write today. I lost my father-in-law at the end of November after a long-time suffering with multiple myeloma. I realise so far I have dealt with this the same way I dealt with my own fathers’ death 25 years ago, throwing myself into dealing with practicalities, I have felt a little detached but now am starting to feel a darkness lifting from me. Watching birds fly across an open sky, having a sense of joy and freedom, just watching the beauty and magic. Time to put some food out for the poor things and de-ice the bird bath.
Hi. This is my little boy, Arvy. He's gorgeous and bright but as you can see, he has some attitude. I love him to bits. Today we went our first agility training class. I booked the course full of enthusiasm because Arvy and I like to do a bit of training together on his walks. My lovely mum-in-law laughed when I told her and I remembered what Arvy is like in company. Arghh! We left obedience training because of his barking! It's not that he can't do things he just gets so excited and doesn't want to do the boring stuff and sometimes he wants to go home to bed or get so excited he goes to the toilet. So I was a bit nervous about going today but there we were. He was pretty good for my boy. He got fed him lots of treats and played with his ball sitting on his mat but he did bark. He wanted one of the other dogs pink octopus, which was much better than his own pink octopus. He wanted the other dogs treats. I was proud, he did some things really well, he recalled and ran after his ball. Most mistakes were mine. Then on the final exercise, he caught his toy and squatted to have a poo!
I love the style and beauty of paintings by Hans Holbein. His portraits are are so sharp and clear, the people have character. His oil paintings have beautiful sumptuous colours but his sketches are delicate.with a limited colour range. He was a real master of his craft. His work still looks modern apart from the costume of his sitters. This programme "Holbein: The Eye of the Tudors" is by the cheeky and irreverent Waldemar Januszczak, who I always enjoy watching. He discusses the use of the Holbein's art as propaganda, especially the iconic wide shouldered, spread legged portrait of Henry. commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Workshop_of_Hans_Holbein_the_Younger_-_Portrait_of_Henry_VIII_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg#/media/File:Workshop_of_Hans_Holbein_the_Younger_-_Portrait_of_Henry_VIII_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg
It's also interesting to learn Januszcak's take on the painting "The Ambassadors" and it's meanings. You probably know the painting, its the one with 2 men, loads of stuff and a big distorted skull, commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hans_Holbein_the_Younger_-_The_Ambassadors_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg#/media/File:Hans_Holbein_the_Younger_-_The_Ambassadors_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg
This programme was originally was shown when Wolf Hall was on in 2015 but is having a re-run. There's only 16 days left to catch it.
I’ve been taking digital photographs since 2005 when I moved away from film, so I have a lot of photos on my PC. Over the last week I have been preparing to move my 11,000 photos and my Lightroom catalogue from my PC onto my husband’s Mac. By nature I'm a messy person and my photo files were in quite disorganised. So putting of the task itself, I've spent hours trying to sort them out.
Although I knew I could do it, Ive done it before (and I keep a backup) I was a little worried that I would ham it up at some stage and say goodbye to everything. So I tried to convincemyself that this would not really matter. After all I have all the memories the beautiful places, the friends, the photo's that I was proud of at the time and I don’t really need reproductions of my paintings, do I? After a bit of worrying, moving the photographs and Lightroom Catalogue turned out to be much easier than I expected and some photos that didn’t look so good on my very old screen are reborn on the MACs amazing screen. I also found that while some of the photos I kept for photographic reference or love are not out of focus, some of it was caused by the low resolution of the dodgy old monitor,
I would promise to be more organised in future but I know it's unlikely to happen.
Here’s a few notes for anyone using Lightroom
Now I should get on with some painting or photography, or maybe more file sorting.
Kathryn Bell is an artist and photographer. She knows some stuff and wants to learn more which she'd like to share to help us all improve together. She's got a degree in Environmental Chemistry but promises not to bang on about the environment too much!