A Murder of Magpies.

WIP painting of Magpie stack by artist Diane Young

This idea has been in mind for quite some time and it does feel good to have at last completed the painting.

This balancing act has to appear to be believable and so getting each bird in a convincing position was tricky but I think it works.

The above is a  work-in-progress pic and the finished painting is shown below.

Painting of 3 Magpies by artist Diane Young

 

A group of magpies have more than one name – a congregation, or a murder, I have also seen them referred to as a tiding, a charm and a mischief.

Pet Portrait Photo Difficulties.

My portfolio of dog portraits is slowly but surely expanding.

I have taken on a couple of portfolio exercises to get a proper feel for the difficulty rating. They are:

a) a photo which does not have all the pictorial information because the resolution is too low and

b) a photo which is in itself not a great composition but it is the only photo we can get. These are situations a pet portrait artist may find themselves in and with these problems in mind they will then have to decide whether a successful pet portrait will be the outcome.

a) This is Amber.  Most of the photo could be enhanced using the contrast tool to get more information for reference. This worked for all but the eyes.  This was the most challenging and time consuming of my two examples.  I had to make up the eyeDog photo showing Gooner for Pet Portrait Painting by Diane YOung reference material, or cross reference it elsewhere.  This meant it became time consuming and a fiddle mucking about with the “lost” information.  The eyes are the most important focal point (apart from the muzzle also in a dog) and not succeeding in making them look “right” or more to the point “convincing” would spell disaster for the whole painting.  One other point about this photo is the position of the tail gives a very long slim shape to the overall composition and so it was much better to take the important head area instead where there are alot of dynamic shapes to keep the picture interesting.

b) This is Gooner, obviously an older dog, which you can tell by the expression and posture.  The overall shape is not very dynamic and more of an overall circular outline, not the best shape to use for a picture composition.  This painting is taking  much less time on accounDawn Mcniff Gooner 2t I hav all the necessary information in front of me.  I took the liberty of using artistic licence to move the eye gaze so that the image was more engaging. Everything is in place and the painting is almost finished.

Below are the results of my endeavours:

Amber is completed

Gooner to the right is still work in progress.

Pet Dog Portrait Animal Painting by artist Diane Young         dog portrait by artist diane young

There are times when another factor comes into play and that is when the pet owner has produced the only photo they have of their dog and it is just like the Amber example above.  Perhaps this might persuade you as a pet portrait artist to take on the commission.  Of course all these things can be discussed at the outset with the pet owner giving you the commission perhaps with deposit for work up front and other caveats would help mitigate any disaster!

My conclusion is that not having all the information is extremely time consuming and the outcome is not certain. It is up to the Pet Portrait Artist to determine the risk!

Painting, not Cut-Outs for Me.

Despite the fact that I live in a smallish town in the Cotswolds UK there is a significant population of artists.  I nearly said thriving artists.  They are thriving as far as their art might be concerned but I doubt that they are thriving as far as their contribution to their cost of living. There just has to be another job in the mix to enable most artists to “indulge” themselves their creativity.   I digress…..

Matisse Lithograph Painting of flowers

Stroud in the Cotswold Hills (UK) is a town of artists and creativity, music and alternative therapies, alternative remedies and alternative people.  We have Open Art Studios in May and festivals of Music in the Summer and all sorts in between.  Our Museum is the best ever for a small town, and within the same building is an exibition room which celebrates art of all varieties.  We are lucky enough that the Museum In the Park as it is known as  is  currently hosting a selection of art from Matisse.  Cut-outs (collage shapes cut with a scissors) was Matisse’ form of art which he made during the 1950’s.  

Art exhibition Matisse Cut outs

Matisse Lithograph

To be honest, this work which must have been quite a revelation in that era does not do alot for me.  But it must have been quite a development for that time and the evolution of different creative expressions have enabled us to have the freedom to create across all sorts of media and mix them up too,  the ultimate in this being Mixed Media.

Still, even if Matisse is not your bag it is good to be in the presence of original art and have feelings toward different styles and media from the art world.   You might want to buy only what you like, but witnessing and processing what art history and contemporary art has to offer will help develop your own view about your art and your art process and where it sits on the spectrum of creative expression.

My artist friend here is using her creative expression to mimic the art!

Exhibition of Artist Matisse Cut Outs

Following my visit to the Matisse exhibition I then went to the Subscription Rooms in Stroud town centre.  They  have an exhibition space where Mark Amis is exhibiting a number of portraits called Beautiful People.  His work is stunning.  the exhibition was a room full of oil large paintings of people that have “sat” for him including a portrait of Jenson Button celebrating a win.

Artist’s Reference for Painting and its distractions!

I am always on the look out for reference material  for animals and their behaviour for my designs and paintings.  It can be such a distracting task with all the wonderful things to see on the internet!   Having stumbled upon this picture I could not resist but reblog it.  The photograph of this bird is stunning. It is a lilac breasted roller bird and the link takes you an article about the photograph by Dr Merrigan aged 75 years old.  Click the image or the link below.

Fabulous iridescent colours to inspire artists paintings

A lilac-breasted roller bird photograph taken in kenya.

Bird photograph featured in the Telegraph in 2009.

Hares – Original animal painting by Diane Young

 King of the Meadow

The hare will be featured intermittently in a series of my ACEO paintings for the beginning of 2014.

This is The King of the Meadow a new painting  completed today.

An original Painting by Diane Young featuring hares.

The brown hare is an elusive animal, I may have glimpsed one only once here in the English countryside in  my lifetime.  So different a shape and behaviour the hare has to the rabbit, it is in fact a different animal.  A fundamental difference is that the rabbit lives below ground and the hare does not, for this reason the rabbit escapes by burrowing and the hare by running with up to speeds of 45mph.  I found very few good videos of hares – so here is one of the best I found of some of a group of hares having fun in the fields of Yorkshire enjoy…

If you like this painting have a look at more of my art in my painting portfolio, or on my prints shop page.

Inspiration – Daily Paintings in Watercolour.

I cannot remember how I stumbled upon this blog but this artist’s sketchbook paintings are wonderful, spontaneous, light and full of character.  Often you come across such paintings but less often you come across such consistency of skill.

watercolour painting by Shari Blaukopf

Shari Blaukopf watercolour painting

The artist is Shari Blaukopf who is based in  Canada and is  a “ graphic designer and teacher who spends too much time working on the computer and not enough time drawing and painting”.

A fantastic source of inspiration for getting art and sketching into your daily lives.

Follow her Blog here :  Shari Blaukopf Blog.

“Encounters” Art Preview at the Amberley Inn Stroud with Artist Jilly Cobbe

Some years ago I made good friends with the students on my Access to Art course at Stroud College. Many have them have blossomed into proactive artists in different fields of the art world.

Painting by artist Jilly Cobbe at the Amberley Inn Stroud

My friend Jilly Cobbe had the preview of her show of work at the Amberley Inn Stroud yesterday evening.  

Like myself her art is inspired by animals, and this show “Encounters” depicts animals she has met or encountered in a variety of locations.  

Along with meeting other artists there I also witnessed the sale of her largest painting (see above). It is great to see artists reaping the rewards of their hard work and knowing that whoever buys it will hold their purchase dear to their heart.

I did my best but the photos here do not do Jilly’s work justice due to the lighting. Artist Jilly Cobbe on the right here below…..

Local lady tells the story of Stumpy the horse featured in artist Jilly Cobbe's drawing.

Art show by Jilly Cobbe at the Amberley Inn StroudPainting by artist Jilly Cobbe at the Amberley Inn Stroud

Horse Drawing by artist Jilly Cobbe at the Amberley Inn StroudJilly Cobbe Artshow at Amberley Inn Stroud

Click here: Jilly Cobbe for more of her talent for drawing and painting animals and landscapes on her website, also art for sale here and currently at the Amberley Inn Stroud.

Wranglings with Originality

What is an “original” painting?

I challenged google with informing me as to what exactly did the word original mean. The information I found was more of a debate than a definitive answer.  My query centred around the idea that when an individual artist designs draws and paints a new piece of artwork can that artist produce the same painting again and it also be referred to as an original?  For instance in many parts of the world artists make a living painting landmarks like the Eiffle tower, or the Leaning Tower of Pisa, are all their like paintings originals?  Or are they copies?  Would it make a difference if they did it from life on a different day, or from a differing photos with all sorts of weather changes?

Let’s back up for a moment,  what is the definition of the word “original” in this context?

Definitions

The online oxford dictionaries definition is as follows:

“-created personally by a particular artist, writer, musician, etc.; not a copy”

This would be true of many similar originals….

“-not dependent on other people’s ideas”…

The design is original so this is true too.

“the earliest form of something, from which copies may be made”

So in order to create copies, the copies come from a singular original.

Prints would be included here as copies or reproductions.  But surely a painting in another’s likeness is still an original, or is it a copy?

If all the colours and lines were copied absolutely exactly then this would be a copy and not an original.  But if the same drawing or design is made without attempt to replicate the first exactly then the drawing will be slightly different and in the organic process of painting there will always be a slight variation in colours (unless one is striving for exact likeness) and so the subsequent painting will be different.

Intention

So is it intention that makes up the essence of a second or third original of the same composition?   I mean if you intend to make a painting look EXACTLY like the first then there is something deceptive about the end result, as if it might be a trick to make you think one painting is the other and vice versa.  But if you paint a painting using the same design or composition  for a similar picture with the essence of the first, but which is actually different, surely it is still original.

For me each original should have its own right to independent original status and for reproductions to be made from it. Each time an artist creates a painting many many decisions are made. It is a complex process which under usual circumstances creates  a different result from the same (or as similar as possible) drawing.  Are you confused, even as write this it is confusing me also, but really i do know exactly what I mean even if really this is not original thinking :)

What do you think?

World of Colour

Not so much blogging this week as I have neglected words for colour issues and other technicalities on my website.  I struggle with choosing colour  for my website background as I think the artwork images should do the work really,  just like an artists portfolio should actually  speak for itself.  I get the feeling that my preference for black is not terribly popular, although really it is difficult to tell.  Feeback from anyone prepared to look is welcome, the more the merrier.  Let’s hope I am going into a purple patch so to speak to reflect my chosen colour !

Commission Me This

as a site has taken form this week too.  The designs on this page are offered to be commissioned either as they are or with slight changes and at a variety of sizes. ACEO ebay this week The Getaway Todays ACEO continues with the mouse and cherry theme….The Getaway.