Empty paint mug

I use the same glass mug as a water container when I’m painting acrylics or watercolour and I just decided to empty and clean it. Not before time by the look of it! I don’t know when I will be using it again, hope it won’t be too long. I need to shake off my down feelings, try and realise I can do things, get past some of my worries. I don’t have to do everything, just make a start….

Painting scenery

I just chose a random photo from my gallery. It’s a scenery flat for the mystery plays a few years ago. When you are painting on a board eight foot by four foot you don’t need a lot of detail. But I love these iconic bottle ovens, so of course I decided to paint every brick. Plus it means I can give a bit of perspective rather than leaving it flat looking. I also hate when I see scenery and the perspective is wrong. I have seen some that are really weird. It’s distracting (for me anyway). I can spend more time on looking at scenery than at a performance.

A lot of scenery I’ve done for the Mystery plays was painted very quickly. When we have prepared and rehearsed for them the time we can have to use the hall we work in is limited so that we don’t have to spend too much money.

I don’t know what will happen next year? Will there be another one? I don’t know. For me by next summer it could be a real boost to have it on again.

Brushes (new)

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Just got some new brushes, they usually cost a lot, but these were not expensive. They are value brushes, £3.99 each pack. I bought one lot of smallish round headed brushes and one pack of flat ones. That’s eight brushes (nylon) at about £1 each.

Apart from these I must have about twenty or thirty old brushes. I must go through them, maybe throw a few away. But they are like old friends, I use them till all of the bristles have worn away!

Using different shapes gives you different mark making. Round, pointed ones can describe the shapes of petals or leaves. Flat, chisel shaped ones can be used for painting things like bricks, or to fill in larger areas.

These brushes are ‘golden taklon’ by Royal Langnickel. I like them because they are nylon so the bristles last longer and don’t tend to snap or fall out. Also they have rubber grips so they are non slip and easier to handle. They can be used for acrylics, watercolours, oils, temperas and glazes.

I got these from a craft shop in a local garden centre.

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Child’s mural

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I did this mural of Mr Incredible about nine or ten years ago for someone’s son. The paint is acrylic because it’s easy to apply and dries within hours. I think it’s also quite stable. I used clear matt varnish over it and left about a centimeter margin of varnish all around the figure so the paint would not lift off. I’ve recently done a new mural for the family in their new house. I found out recently that my original murals (there were three others, Batman, Spiderman, and Superman) were painted over. Sad I know, but at least I gave some fun to the family while they were there.

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Exhibition ends tomorrow

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It’s amazing how fast a month goes. The last day of the Orme Group’s show at the Brampton museum and art gallery in Newcastle-under-Lyme is tomorrow. Sunday 10th of November 2019. The paintings are in the corridor as you turn left at reception. So if you haven’t been and you would like to see what we get up to on a cold and wet Sunday, nows your chance.

There is a good selection of artists and ainting there. Maybe you will also find an early Christmas present. Maybe even have a walk round the grounds and have a look at the autumn leaves if there are any left on the trees.

Ideas for paintings

Sketching designs for winter paintings that can still be good to have on the walls all year round. I’ve seen a painting with a pottery in the snow, so I’m going to do something similar with Holly and Ivy. The second idea is a cat on a windowledge with a blue and white vase next to it.

Will try and get them painted this week.

Portrait with portrait

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The exhibition is going well and I had my photo taken with my portrait of my husband as a green man. It’s called my green man. I’m pleased with the composition.

What next? Once this is over I’ve booked to put a show up in another local gallery called the waiting room, in Longport, Stoke-on-Trent. That will be in September, not got the dates yet. I’m also going to do a couple of craft fairs in the next couple of months. It would be good to be commissioned to paint for people but I’m not sure how to break into that sort of work. I am happy to paint for people. Just contact me.

Brushes

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Where do you store your brushes when you have been painting? Please don’t store them with the ends of the brushes facing downwards, in water or turps, its a bad habit and can ruin your brushes.

Brushes are not cheap. They come in various sizes, shapes, types of bristles and handles.

They range from the tiniest brush with a good point, to very large flat headed brushes which could almost be used by a painter and decorator.

Types of bristles can be made of sable, hog hair, squirrel and other animal hairs. If these sable is the softest and easiest to get good results with. A brush with strong  hard bristles can be used to roughy cover large areas and block in colours.

For me a synthetic hair works best. It tends to be flexible yet durable. The cost is usually slightly less than sable.

Going back to storage.. Gently clean your brushes under luke warm running water if you can. Sometimes if the brush is still loaded with paint I will swirl the head of it round in the palm of my hand while rinsing it under the tap. This releases the paint. If I was using oil based paint I would use a little substitute turps and rinse the brush in a jar of the first, then to clean it thoroughly I would use a bit of washing up liquid in the palm of my hand and a tap running warm water and just rinse the brush till the water runs clear.

Once the brushes are clean dry them on a little kitchen towel. This also helps to assess if all the paint has gone.

Place your brushes with the brush heads facing upwards and all the bristles smoothed back into the correct shape of the brush head. You can use your mouth and lips to repoint delicate brushes. By storing them this way they will dry better, the brushes will not end up bent almost in half, and the bristles will not end up glued together with paint. Brushes are a valuable commodity and correct storage will save you money by not having to buy as many replacements.