When my pencil and brain get together, they sometimes get a bit carried away. That’s great by me…. until it comes time to add the paint. Then I swear about them a lot. Days later, this one is finally finished.“Pickleton” By Claire Shotter
Considering that I only have one painting for sale I shouldn’t have started such a complicated piece. Couldn’t help myself. The girl hugging her knees on the steps is from an idea given to me by a young budding photographer living in New York. Thank you Kayla. If you would like to see her photos please visit her mum’s blog: http://barbaraelka.com/2012/02/16/kayla-in-nyc/
Am in the mood for a bit of French this week. While I paint, instead of music, I’ve stuck one of my all time favourite French films in the DVD player; Wasabi. Once I grew up, I came to realise that the French I learned at school was nothing like the every day French spoken in the country itself. Asking for a cigarette, for example, the way that I was taught would have sounded as bizarre as me walking up to someone on the street in England and saying: “Excuse me my good fellow, does one dare hope that you could spare one a narcotic stimulant?” To learn to speak it more realistically, I bought a ton of French films with subtitles and studied. I am by no means fluent but, at least, now I could go up to anyone in France and say: “Oi, Mate, got a fag?” One problem, most of the films I bought starred Jean Reno, who is actually a Spaniard. This means that I would probably be speaking French with a Spanish accent.
It didn’t take long to realise that my catching up day was turning into a falling behind day. At 11.00 am I remembered that I had parcelling up and posting to do and, by lunchtime, my husband had called it a day at work and tempted me away from the studio by the suggestion of a meal in our local supermarket’s restaurant. It’s pretty bad when the restaurant staff guess what we’re going to order before we’ve asked for it. We’re definitely there way too much. When the kids lived at home I was all about the benefits of healthy eating, practically begging my daughter to eat vegetables. Like her father, she had an aversion to any food that might contain nutrients. Since they moved out, however, my husband and I seem hell bent on seeing who can peak their cholesterol level first. I think I’m probably winning that particular race. As I mentioned in my last blog, my food allergies induce nap times. No painting got done on our return because the artist was dead to the world on the couch in her studio for two and a half hours. I’ve really got to stay off the dairy.
“Bean Street” By Claire Shotter. Up for auction @ www.ebay.co.uk
Not having a painting for sale on eBay doesn’t happen very often and, when it does, if I’ve somehow managed to fall that far behind, I spend a day or two catching up. I rather like the excuse not to come out of the studio. That makes tomorrow a catching up day. This suits me fine because tomorrow is also a dental check up day. I shall cancel the appointment on the grounds that I’m too scared to go, walk the dog then do nothing but paint until it’s time to cook dinner. After that it’s nap dependent. I have a tendency to eat very large meals and with 6 hard to avoid food allergies (dairy, carrots, brazils, all herbs, garlic and corn) it’s likely that I will feel sleepy after said pile of food. Nevertheless, I should have completed one painting for sure by then because it’s already over half way through.
When I glanced down my living room this morning, I realised that it looked as if I still had toddlers in the house. Toys were strewn all over the place, even on the windowsill.
I’ve been dividing my time between three different paintings today, undecided on which style I was in the mood for. I finished one then sort of lost momentum. The fact that I was being so easily distracted by housework is a sure sign that my heart wasn’t in it. Ordinarily I have a one track mind. Even if I’m not painting, I’m thinking about painting. Not today though. Today I actually noticed that the bathroom floor needed mopping. I didn’t do it but, at least I noticed it.
“Looks Like Rain” By Claire Shotter. For sale @ www.ebay.co.uk
Have lost track of when I started this. Must be two or three days ago. Got so engrossed that I forgot to take photos at different stages. All I have to show you is the beginning and the end. This story has a very happy ending though. While I was listing the painting on ebay I decided to add the two lamp posts so left taking the photo until later. (Was watching telly with husband between times). During the adverts, my husband checked my eBay and informed me that I needn’t bother putting a photo on because the painting had already sold without one. I think the word I’m searching for to describe how this feels is “Yippee”. I love it when that happens. Shows such enormous confidence in my work. A big thank you to that buyer and one to all the rest of you too who have my paintings hanging on your walls.
Up for auction on eBay UK. www.ebay.co.uk
Working with a limited palette is not easy for a colour loving individual such as myself. The urge to stick a bit of purple here and there was a battle almost lost about half way through. I, instead, contented myself with some bright red.
Here’s one I made earlier.
I usually list my 12″ X 9″ paintings on eBay with a starting price of £10.00. If this one, although a labour of love, sold for only the starting price, I would probably cry. To be on the safe side I’ve listed it at £14.99. It was a bit like painting fifteen pictures in one and has taken days. “My Post Box Phase” blog has a photo of it at the beginning.
When I first started selling on eBay, my paintings were mostly of country cottages. I’d show you examples but the photos are from about seven hard drives ago and probably buried under a pile of spiders in the loft. I don’t do lofts. I then moved on to flowers, mainly poppies, very wet in wet and without much in the way of detail. Then I switched to naive folk art, the complete opposite where detail is concerned, and I stuck with that long enough for me to consider myself solely as a folk artist. As is my way though, I needed a change. I’d started to find the thought of including people in my paintings interesting. This was a first as I’d always hated paintings with people featured in them. When I was growing up, Lowry was everywhere I looked in the house; on the walls, on the bookshelves, on the coffee table, even a hardback compilation of his paintings on my mum’s bedside cabinet. When she discovered him, she discovered him big time. I’d have been about seven and appreciated her love of Lowry about as much as I appreciated my older sister’s passion for Salvador Dali. Still not keen but, and it’s a big “but”, revisiting some of Lowry’s paintings all these years later helped me realise that figures don’t have to look realistic. So, rather than tear my hair out trying to teach myself to draw the perfect form, I played in my sketch book with all different shaped figures; big heads, little heads, long bendy legs, enormous feet. It turned out to be so much fun that I don’t think I’ve done a painting since that hasn’t included people.