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So excited finally to share this! One of three ‘secret’ projects which I have been keeping under wraps since the end of last year when I was asked to lend paintings for a Zoffany photoshoot. I love these experiments – there is no payment involved but I get to see my work styled in an amazing setting.

OK, it’s playing second fiddle to a roll of (fantastic!) fabric but still feels good to see my paintings can hold their own against such exquisite design.

Abstract blue painting Alice Sheridan
‘Split Fused’ 90 x 90cm abstract painting on deep wood panel

OK, so this one is a little more “need a magnifying glass”, but it’s still there! Personally I loved to see how all the elements have been pulled together. I’m a sucker for dark walls. My own home has deep smokey blue walls and almost anything looks great on it.

‘Poised Earth’ just peeking through in the new ‘ICONS’ by Zoffany photoshoot
‘Poised Earth’ 60 x 60cm acrylic on wood panel, framed

We may not all be so slick and beautifully styled at home in real life, but if this range inspires you to go a bit bolder that would be amazing! It feels brave, but makes such a harmonious space.

Want a little colour tip?

For stronger colours always go much less saturated to make a space feel sophisticated rather than in-your-face colourful. Choosing a greyed-down version rather than saturated colour will feel more elegant – we really don’t need much colour to ‘see’ it. And then you can have fun with accents, the walls are just the backdrop for your personal things (like paintings!).

Now on display at Gallery Top

I’ve spotted the photographs in a feature in the March edition of Living etc but chance co-incides and you can also see both paintings in real life as part of the current ‘Modern Works’ show at Gallery Top which runs 2-31 March 2019

“this an exhibition of contemporary paintings by a group of artists who have a diverse, though connected, approach to their work. There are five painters in the exhibition and their work has reference to many of the signifiers associated with the development of abstract art – fluid spirituality, geometry, hard-edged and gestural. What unites the exhibition is a passion for painting – for colour and form but also the physical process which the media offers to develop and mould their unique creative identities.”

There will be also be paintings from Andrew Bird, Val Hudson, Brian Neish and Ian Rayer-Smith

The gallery is open in Rowsley, Derbyshire on Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10.00 until 5.00 and on Sundays from 11.00 until 4.00 and you can also visit their website or call and speak with them directly if there is a painting you like.

Gallery Top Modern Works
‘Decorate the Silence’ acrylic and oil pastel on wood 50 x 50cm

You can always contact me directly if you have any enquiries about a painting you see, whether it’s to see more details or ask about shipping. In the meantime, if you see the paintings featured in a magazine or advert, do share it with me – tag me on Instagram @alicesheridanstudio.

One of the joys of my ‘job’ as an artist is seeing people fall in love with art and deciding they want a painting to enjoy forever.

But it’s not always so straightforward. If there are two of you, you have each other’s taste to take into account, or there are more practical matters like “Should it match my walls?” or “Will it fit?” And choosing art as a Christmas present? At once a brilliant idea for the spouse who has everything, and yet potentially very easy to make a mistake.

Art can make an amazing gift at Christmas but how can you get it right? Smaller paintings are easy to fit in but for larger works it can be hard to imagine how a painting might look in your home.

ART GIVING TIP 1:  to help you visualise the space; measure out the size using sheets of newspaper stuck together. This one is for if size matters!

Galleries can totally throw your sense of scale, because, let’s face it – few of us live in plain white boxes! Simply measuring with a tape measure only gives you a linear dimension so the newspaper trick allows you to see the full area the painting will fill. But don’t play too safe; grouping small works together in a ‘gallery wall’ lets you add to your collection, and larger pieces in smaller spaces can have great impact. 

(featured painting: Bloom click for details)

There are two of us showing original paintings and prints from today until 9th December at 1of1 Design in Teddington (click for map location). Two different ‘Experiences of Landscape’ Nadia Day creates paintings from local park and river scenes: Windsor, the Thames and Richmond.

Hanging work in a different space had it’s challenges for us too, so you are not alone in figuring out things will fit! But we did it and it looks terrific!

I do hope you will come and visit. The gallery is open every day, but if you’d like to meet me there, then come along on ‘Lights Up’ night from 5pm on Thursday 29th November when we shall be there (with bubbles!) or send me an email.

 

 

ART GIVING TIP 2: If you are thinking of buying for a gift from an individual artist – do ask them what they recommend. Many artists will let you have work on approval for a short while. Last year I created bespoke gift cards for a husband who wanted to gift his wife a painting, but wished to let her choose. That way she had something to unwrap on the day and he knew she could pick the one she really wanted. 

ART GIVING TIP 3: A painting doesn’t need to match your walls! Choose it because you love it and you will never get bored. An art collection can grow with you and bring personality to your home. Listen to your instinct – when you get that slight tingle, you know it’s right.

 

If you’d like to order a print online as a gift, please take note of the following order times:

Order by Thursday 6th December and prints will be sent out on Wednesday 19th December, courier services allowing. It’s a bit more complicated this year as I’m away 7th-17th. All prints are made to order, and I need to be here to sign and send. Click here to view prints

See more of Nadia’s work at www.nadiaday.co.uk

Part of this post was originally a guest feature on The Chiswick Calendar website

Discovering your favourite art and artists can be a tricky business. You can visit art fairs and meet the artist or see what your favourite gallery has to offer but it’s good to see innovative ways to bring art buyers and artists together.

So I’m thrilled to be part of a new art event curated by The Auction Collective, coming to London this Autumn.

Inspired by John Masefield’s 1902 poem of the same name, Sea-Fever presents 50 sea-inspired artworks direct from 27 contemporary artists. Starting bids begin from £60 and there is 0% buyer’s commission so this is a fun alternative to online or art fairs – you don’t even have to leave home (but there’s ice cream and drinks for you if you do!)

 

 

They have selected a wide-variety of skilled and exciting artists, and have brought together a group of beautiful seascapes and sea-themed works of art. “Photographs, paintings, prints, collages and sculptures make up this auction to celebrate how the water around our island continues to stimulate the artists of today”

The sea isn’t a major focus of my work so I have just one piece showing, but the underlying themes of exploration and open space totally apply. They interviewed me for their blog which you can read here to find out my favourite place by the sea.

inspiration for sea painting

secret place by the sea – yes, it looks cold, but we did swim!

 

 

 

And of course I wanted to invite you along to the event – which is going to be a fun night out:

It’s happening at the Hoxton Arches, E2 8HD
September 13th starting 7.00 pm (and the auctioneer goes fast!!)

You can bid in one of three ways:

  • In person, by coming to the auction on 13 September (I’ll be there, watching nervously!)
  • Through absentee bidding, which closes at 6.00 pm on 13 September
  • Via the telephone on the night of the auction

Visit the Auction Collective website to see the range of work on offer and register.

Sea-Fever

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

Visit the Auction Collective website now

And let me know – where is your favourite sea view?

 

The children rarely hop up and down with excitement when it’s time to take the Christmas decorations down. There is a hesitation to say goodbye and fewer volunteers for this job than the excited unwrapping of the lights and re-discovery of favourite ornaments earlier in December! To me, the house always feels combination of fresh – and a little bit empty. While it’s good to clear and find space, it also feels a little bare and sad for a few days.

This year I’ve kept a set of decorative lights around a favourite painting by Craig Shuttlewood. These are no longer Christmas decorations you understand – I have decided they fall in to the category of mood lighting. Essential!

Candles are the same. We still have a good few weeks of winter to come and anything which keeps spirits high and lets us enjoy the darker evenings is a good thing.

Walking the dog yesterday I saw all the trees stacked up in the park, waiting to be collected and disposed of. The irony is that this is the exact same location they were sold from just weeks ago. How quickly some things can go from being carefully compared, chosen and carried home and then lovingly decorated…. to wasted rubbish.

Thankfully now the children are older there is less temptation for wasteful tat for presents – we were away for Christmas so no one has actually had presents yet! My husband chose himself a new weekend bag – a quality leather one he had had his eye on for a while.

Far better to choose well and pick something you know will appreciate for a good while to come.

I love this time of year for taking stock. I have a list of decorating and maintenance jobs in the house. Some are bigger projects, but making changes to just small items is enjoyable when suddenly the house is clean and clear again.

Moving pieces of furniture, making sure you get photos in frames, a new blanket bringing colour to the arm of the sofa. I’ve moved a few pictures around and have a collection of small art works I’ve purchased which are now ready to be framed and grouped together. ( Simon M Smith, a Mark Charlton collage, an original print by Kathy Hutton and some tiny stiched pieces by Gill Boulton)  Little jobs which are satisfying and make a difference. Things taken care of.

click image to see details of this painting

I’ve also been planning the year ahead… some paintings are currently on show in Laveli bakery in Chiswick ready for anyone looking to fill a bare space on their own wall and the next big event is Surrey Contemporary Art Fair 23-25th February. If you are on the mailing list you will receive links to tickets closer the time.

My wishes for this year?

• a bigger working space
• creating a group or programme to support other creatives
• exploring ways to incorporate photography and more graphic elements back in to my work

I’m not entirely sure yet how any of this will evolve. Maybe you are the same with your plans? If you don’t already, I encourage you to write them down somewhere. Somewhere you can review them in a year’s time – perhaps a journal or the page at the start of your diary.

I’ve been doing this for a few years now and it’s quite incredible how things you write have a way of coming true. Including: unexpected travel (an unplanned trip to Japan), to be featured in a magazine (twice!), in January 2017 I wrote “explore making videos” and there are now more than 26 videos on my Facebook page (click here to view them) which have had 26,000 views!

That’s pretty fun results for an experiment and I’ve had some wonderful conversations as a result of them. So if that’s you, thank you for being part of my year and let’s welcome in new experiments and explorations for 2018.

Do let me know your intentions for the year. In fact a better question may be to complete the sentence and write in the comments below:

“Wouldn’t it be amazing if….”

 

Art fairs are a fabulous way to discover new artists and to buy exciting original art for your home, but they can also be overwhelming. I often see visitors wandering with a slightly glazed expression as there can be so much to look at.

So a few tips to make sure you have a great visit, especially if you are looking for art to bring back home…

affordable art fair

1. Pick the right fair

Fairs where artists show directly to the public are a great opportunity to discover emerging artists who are prepared to invest in their career. If an artist has created a solid body of work, paid for space, invested in framing you can bet they are committed to their practice and growing their art career. You could discover a new talent!

Some fairs (such as Frieze or the Affordable Art Fair) allow only galleries: this gives you the benefit of a prior authority approving their work, however galleries vary according to taste and it does generally mean the prices will be significantly higher. They can be more visually daunting as 100 galleries each showing work from say 10 artists, means 1000 different styles! So it helps to be clear about what you are looking for.

2. Find advance tickets

Get free or reduced entry by joining the mailing list of the organisers or one of the galleries or artists involved. Printed tickets are not usually posted out as a matter of course so make sure to open your emails in the run up… and put the date in your diary as reminder to check!

3. Have an idea of how much you want to spend

Having an idea of how much you want to spend is helpful. Prices can vary hugely depending on how established the artist is, but there are many ways artists try to offer alternatives. You may be fixed on wanting a large original painting, but perhaps a drawing could have the same impact, or a reproduction print?

If you fall in love with a particular work you may be prepared to be flexible about your budget. Remember – that exact painting is a one-off and it won’t be available again – now is your chance! Art can feel expensive so put in context with your spending on furniture if you are redecorating a room, or how much you would spend on an evening eating out with friends. See no.8 for other ideas to help spread the cost…

4. Get out your tape measure before you leave home

If you are looking for artwork for a particular place, be prepared. Take measurements of the wall where it will hang, take photos on your phone so that it’s easier to visualise the artwork in place. But if you fall in love, be prepared to adjust your ideas – small paintings can be hung in groups for impact on a larger wall, and a small space can look amazing filled with a larger painting.

5. Do a fast first route – with a pen in hand

If you give a lot of attention to every stand you will feel wrung out before you’ve covered even half of what’s on offer. My tip is to do a fairly swift walk around the whole venue – certain pictures may catch your eye but don’t stop too long now. Mark artists you like on your map. Once you’ve looked over everything you will have a better idea of the work on show. Maybe your ideas have changed, maybe you feel stronger in your conviction of what you are looking for. If you feel that you haven’t yet seen anything you like you will certainly have a clearer idea of what you don’t like. The second time you will be more attuned to visually pick up on work which appeals to you – and may spot something you didn’t notice at first.

6. Revisit your favourites and talk to the artist!

The second time round you are revisiting particular paintings or artists you liked before. Does it still grab you on a second viewing? Maybe this time the work feels more enticing? Listen to your instinct. If there is a piece of artwork you are interested on, talk to the artist or gallery and let them know. This is the most exciting part of an art fair – you get direct access to the person who made the work so ask away.

Feel free to ask more about the piece. If you feel it’s the one for you – go for it! If you are still a little unsure then find out if they will hold it for you. The last thing you want is to come back and find it just sold to someone else! It’s unfair to ask an artist to reserve a painting for you indefinitely, after all they are there to make sales, however most artists or galleries will give you time to consider.

7. Take a break and restore your energy

Don’t be surprised if you find your energy flagging – its a visual feast but it’s a lot to take in! Take a break, find somewhere to rest your feet and have a coffee. It’s easy now to feel overwhelmed and head home without making a choice – but then you will just be back to square one. Go back to stands you spoke to and let them know your decision – either way. They won’t be offended, no one will try to persuade you, but there may be a way to help you out with some of your considerations….

8. Ask about paying in instalments

Many of the big fairs offer payment plans through the Own Art scheme which allows you to spread payments over 10 months. But even individual artists may be open to this idea for larger work. I have taken payment for work in three parts. Just discuss terms and remember you are both trying to get to the same solution – a way for you to own a piece of work you love!

9. Keep in touch

If you have found an artist whose work you like – congratulations – that’s like a needle in a haystack! You don’t want to lose touch and forget they exist. Even if today isn’t a buying day, what about your birthday coming up, or an anniversary to celebrate? You can always contact them after the art fair too – I can promise they will be delighted to hear from you!

Even if you never plan on buying it’s worth getting on to gallery or artist’s mailing list – in my experience they rarely bombard you with too many emails and it’s a good way to see more about how an astist works, or how their work is developing. And of course, get free tickets for next time!

10. Take home what you love – and have fun!

Last and most important is to choose what you like. Don’t be swayed by your friend who prefers flowers. A painting doesn’t need you to stay the same dress size to continue wearing it. You can’t lose half of it like a pair of earrings. It isn’t something you enjoy just for an evening or a week, like the theatre or a holiday. All those things are wonderful too, but I continue to get great enjoyment from the paintings I have bought over the years. Some remind me of a certain time in my life, or wake me up in the morning, or remind me just to slow down a little and notice the details. Buy what you love and you will never go wrong.

I will be showing new paintings at Windsor Contemporary Art Fair 10-12 November 2017. Join my mailing list below for Free Private View and reduced entry tickets. If you come along be sure to stop and say hello.

Nadia Waterfield Fine Art is a leading art gallery near Andover, Hampshire specialising in contemporary paintings, sculptures and bespoke furniture. Coming soon is their bi-annual Art Fair which draws collectors and interior designers.

Twice a year Nadia builds a collection from artists all over the country and displays them in the Old Dairy building where art is shown alongside painting and furniture. This really helps give you an idea of scale and how a piece may look in your home.

The next event is coming soon:

Autumn Art Fair
Wednesday 11th October – Saturday 21 October 2017

Preview Wednesday 11th October – 6.30 – 9.30pm

  > request an invite <

The exhibition will be open every day from 11.00am – 5.00pm

If you would like some personal guidance she also offers a bespoke art consultancy service to help you select and arrange the best paintings, sculptures or ceramics to suit your home and reflect your taste, need and pocket. They can rearrange and rehang existing art collections, source and acquire new and original art to suit your taste and guide you making those tricky decisions of which pieces will really feel at home in your home.

“Our aim is to work with you to make the most of your love for and investment in art and to create the ‘feel’, impact and atmosphere that you wish to achieve.”

I love the careful approach Nadia takes to find the right selection of work – she focuses on showing new and exciting artists along with more celebrated names so it’s always a varied but carefully collated mix.

This is the second time I have been invited to show work and she has chosen four paintings of mine from this large centrepiece painting down to more intimate pieces.

From Autumn 2017, Nadia is expanding her gallery and will be open three days a week so if you’d like to visit please find directions here (and tips for tempting local places to eat) or drop her an email.

If you would like my help choosing art for your home, maybe you are tempted by one of my paintings but you’re not sure if the size is right, or the colour would look good in your room, then you know where I am. I understand it can be hard to imagine what will work best so let me help. You can always get in touch with any questions and I will get right back to you. You can even send me a photo of your room and I can create an image like the one above so you get a better visual sense of how a painting will look. Fun, right?

 

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ukHandmade is an amazing online publication which features artists and makers from many disciplines – find great textiles, jewellers, potters, illustrators and artists. Actually it would be a great starting point if you want to buy unique and special gifts but don’t know where to start.

I was thrilled when they got in touch and asked to interview me and sent me some wonderful questions…. I’ve included three below which touch on ideas about how work evolves from different influence and the importance of handmade to us as humans…

(PS. this is not me!)

Your work has a strong, graphic feel, how has your training influenced your painting style?

The problem solving element of design always appealed to me. The idea of setting a brief I find helpful too – with art the possibilities are endless so it can be very helpful to set some guidelines for yourself. Limitations encourage you to explore. For example, I have filled a sketchbook with colour notes and small paintings done from only three colours when I wanted to learn more about the mixing properties of different paints.

A couple of years ago I spent time working with different printmaking techniques. In a way it didn’t suit me well; creating an etching plate can be so time consuming and the idea of simply reproducing multiple prints didn’t appeal at all! Some of the more unpredictable processes such as spit-bite (where you paint with the acid) I enjoyed and now bring that freedom back to my painting where I now feel more comfortable with welcoming unplanned elements into the work.

I also included elements of pre-printed graphics within the prints as chine collé (the paper is collaged into the paper as the print is being made) and this has now become part of my practice – both in a small collage sketchbook I use to create compositions, and I include collage within the early stages of many paintings just to break the surface.

Overall my work has become edgier in the way I use colour and tone, and I seem to like paintings with clear definition. At the start I’m always thinking about placement and this reminds of balancing a page layout. Towards the end, the changes I make become increasingly subtle and careful and I think this attention to detail amongst the more expressive marks brings a real focus and feeling of attention. That attention to detail definitely comes from my design background.

What does the term handmade mean to you?

It means someone has put something of themselves into it. I think as we grow increasing digital with our interactions there is more need than ever for something which feels human. People have a strong desire for things which are unique and handmade objects or works of art can be intensely satisfying for people. We need that tactile connection which can be missing from much of modern life. I think there is a move away from mass produced items as people make more conscious choices towards things which they treasure and enjoy.

What are the most rewarding and most frustrating aspects to what you do?

The most rewarding is collecting work from the framer. I love the process of working through a painting, but as they near their end it becomes more anxious for me. That moment when you say “there, that’s finished” you are also saying “that’s as good as it gets” and it’s open to judgement. It can be nerve wracking. While they are at the framer I often dream about them, I forget what I finished, I forget the detail… but unwrapping them I have a sense of distance which really allows me to see them fresh and enjoy them. Hanging them at an event and seeing people’s enthusiastic response is always wonderful of course.

What’s frustrating can be all the associated technology we need to know now. My image storage system really needs some work! But getting to grips with all this stuff makes you feel more empowered and I’m stubborn and stick at it until I get what I need. A few years ago I had to track down a photographer for my work and now I have someone I trust and I’m so pleased with the quality of prints I can offer as result. So the headaches are usually worthwhile.

 

We also talked about advice for those starting a creative business, how to clear creative blocks and how always learning new skills is important to keep fresh. Great questions always make me stop to think – if you have any for me, please ask below or join me over on Facebook 

You can read the full magazine here, for free! Look for the Autumn 2017 edition, and flip to page 58 to read the interview with me. Plenty more wonderful artists and makers to explore so I hope this has also introduced you to a new and inspiring resource.

 

 

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Exciting news that my painting ‘Breakwater’ has been long-listed for the Secret Art Prize run by Curious Duke gallery. UPDATEVoting has now closed

Secret Art Prize Alice Sheridan

As always with a gallery display, this just shows the final painting and I know you like to see all the stuff that happens before I get to that stage….

abstract ideas become a paintingAs is my usual practice now, I started on four 20 inch paintings together which helps me to explore and be a bit free-er. At the beginning they are often similar; usually all pretty messy and jumbled until I have added enough to begin to unpick what’s there.

You can see in the bottom image there is no rhyme or reason at this stage. Anything which disrupts and changes the surface is a good start. I use water soluble colour sticks, and thinner washes of paint and next I usually bring in some really dark tones.

It doesn’t matter at this stage if it becomes too black or too gloomy.

In fact that can be good…

If it feels too dark, that tells me what I need to do next to bring the next round of changes.

There was no plan for these, but I had been working a lot in my collage sketchbook and was enjoying creating many small non-square compositions where the colour blocks of found papers seem to break into the white space.

With a fixed shape panel I have to work within the edges but I wanted to bring in this idea of the painting extending outside the edge of the square.

I added bold white shapes to create a superimposed framework. These immediately suggested space and sky alongside the more complex layers of paint texture.

Colour decisions here are also fairly subconscious. I wasn’t working from this sketchbook page in particular, but maybe the frosty image had settled in my mind.

It was early in the year and the light was cool so the cool blue start and stark black and white is reminiscent of winter.

 

As the painting moved on I added some translucent lime green. The unexpected combination of the white circular forms, the overlaid brightness and diagonal scrapes through the white paint started to feel like sunlight coming through clouds. The dark form had become a mountain and the blues made me think of water.

There is no direct relationship, but a few years ago we spent time in the Lake District. One day we climbed a mountain (well, it was a hill really but we only got the children to join us if we made it a little more exciting!) and when we reached the top, the sun was low in the sky and you could see all the movement of clouds and weather and sunlight on the land below.

I started to think about this moment when I had felt on top of the world. It was a little windy and everything felt alive and full of movement. Using vivid colours like the cobalt blue is quite unusual for me; the british landscape offers a more muted palette. But they bring a more urgent and lively sense to the painting which I enjoyed, it feels vibrant and full of unexpected marks and mini compositions.

 

Although the painting is not directly of that view, it feels that way to me; a mix of those impressions – the sideways sunlight, the bright and dark contrasts. For me the more graphic feel of the shapes brings a harder edge to such idyllic scenery. It creates a crossover of that outside expanse with manmade shapes and my life in London. It makes an exciting combination.

I often turn the paintings as I work on them; it’s one reason why I like a square format. At this point I was’t sure how much further I still had to go, but turning the painting around helps to be sure the whole image is working together, and means when you turn it back you can notice clearly any parts which still need clarity or attention.

The pace slows right down towards the end and I make very considered changes. Edges are defined, colours finely adjusted. I’m very careful to keep the loose feeling of freedom, bit some control is needed. A sharp slice of white against a rough or soft textured area is very satisfying somehow.

what started loose and bold becomes more carefully adjusted. It’s a fine balance!

And here is the finished painting. Next I seal and wax the surface to bring a soft lustre.  60 x 60cm and sits within an off-white handprinted frame.

This painting was a challenge but as often happens, those works which have the most confusion at some point led to the strongest paintings – where you have really pushed and tested and moved forward. ‘Breakwater’ is a bold vibrant and exciting painting. Some paintings feel like turning points and I will really miss this one so I look forward to seeing who chooses it. See more details about owning this painting here.

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Art space reading to hang

Art space reading to hang!

It’s always exciting to see the empty walls of art fair stands transformed during the day into a show with a rich variety of colour and styles as artists hang and arrange their work.

It was my first time exhibiting at Windsor Contemporary Art Fair and it didn’t disappoint; I found it to be a welcoming and well presented art fair – exactly as promised! There was a happy buzz on Friday preview evening and steady visitors throughout the weekend. Many people enjoyed flicking through the pages of my pocket ‘walking’ sketchbook and seeing the transition of drawings done outside, often quickly while on the move, and how these begin to inform the paintings as they evolve.

 

display-space-windsor

You can never know in advance who will be drawn to each painting. As I hang them, I may have my favourites, but that is often a result of the relationship that builds as I make them. Viewers are seieng them fresh and this allows me to see through their eyes too. Commercially it may be tempting to find a style which sells well and stick to it, but the constant challenge involved in questioning and developing each work is a source of great enjoyment when it comes together. So it’s always wonderful to hear when this approach is recognised by people who enjoy looking at my work.

choosing-work-togetherOften as people are looking you can feel if one person is interested and the other is a bit ‘meh’ about it – which obviously makes it hard to arrive at a decision! Many people just choose art as treat for themselves, but this time I was interested to see much agreement between partners together. Perhaps these new paintings appeal equally to a masculine taste with their slightly sharper more graphic edge? Who knows, but it’s good to see when both parties are pleased with discovering work they know they will both enjoy having on their walls.

This week I have been busy having a selection of framed prints made and delivering them to their new homes. Original paintings are being hung and enjoyed in new surroundings and the paintings are now all shown in the SHOP section if you would like to see them before Christmas….

cloud-watching-alice-sheridan-framed-landscape-painting

‘Cloud Watching’ original painting on wood framed size 50cm

logo-ing-discerning-eyeThe other recent show has been The Discerning Eye which is a unique opportunity for showing work in central London. Work is selected by six prominent figures from different areas of the art world: two artists, two collectors and two critics. Each person curates and hang their own choices within the gallery so it has a very personal feel and is different each year.

There were over 3000 entries in this anniversary year so I was thrilled when my painting “ Spaces Between” was selected. When I went along on the opening night it was fun to discover it was chosen by Celia Imrie who had clearly enjoyed putting her display together.

Mall Galleries – on The Mall!

The other thing that makes it special is that all work must be under 50cm in size which means a fabulous range of affordable work and an Aladdin’s cave of choice.  In their own words “It provides an unusual opportunity for works by lesser-known artists (that’s me!) to be hung alongside contributions from internationally recognised names.”

 

It was so busy on the opening night it was impossible to take photos so I will be going back myself over the weekend for a proper look.

This exhibition is open to the public from 17th-27th November 2016 and is free entry so pop along to The Mall Galleries if you can make it and maybe I’ll see you there!

Spaces Between framed 40cm print Alice SheridanSpaces Between is the painting which was chosen, original size is just 20cm but it has been popular as a ;arger print as shown here, available in two sizes…  > SEE OPTIONS

Now, after all this excitement, I’m back in the studio and getting on with new work and planning events for next year!

I’d love to know how you find art for your home… is it through galleries or friends? Do let me know below…

 

Put your brush down – this painting is finished… and you’re done! But not so fast; even once the creative work is complete there are many other task between finishing the work and getting ready to show.

This week I have had to draw a line and stop working on certain paintings which can be frustrating if I feel I have just got into my groove as Madonna might say. But work must be ready for Reading Contemporary Art Fair at the end of April… what? But that’s ages away… Maybe, but there is the small matter of school holidays in between, so I have to be organised, as there is a lot to do in between finishing the work and being ready to show:

6 things to do after a painting is finished

Selecting what is complete & what needs framing

So the first task is choosing what to show. Some pieces have remained in the studio because they don’t feel ‘right’ yet. It’s tempting to put it all out, and in the first years I did just that; showed just what I had. But now I’m trying to be more selective and show what is ready, not just what is done. Some paintings don’t make it. You may love it, but if I don’t feel happy showing it, then it won’t go out!

I have some large drawings on paper that may be the beginning of a new direction, but I haven’t had enough time yet to explore them thoroughly or to create a body of work so that I can be selective. That’s OK – it can be helpful to have something ongoing to return to after a break.

Not everything needs a frame – large canvases I tend to leave unframed so the choice is up to the buyer, but smaller works people like to have ready to hang straightaway.

painting edgesFinished details

Once I’ve decided which paintings I want to show, I paint the edges of the wooden panels. These will be mainly hidden in the shadow gap of the framing style I choose, but a coloured edge gives more depth, even if it is only glimpsed. Next they are sprayed with a satin varnish which keeps the pigments in water based mediums and some of the drawing material sealed.

Photograph finished pieces

Once the varnish is dry I must photograph the work properly before it goes anywhere. That’s a step forward – in previous times I have been so last minute before a show that I never get a chance to take photographs. I believe this is known as ‘getting a system’ and it’s something I’m trying hard to get better at. Somehow though, it’s still always pretty close to deadline….

Finding names

There is always a funny discussion with my framer which goes like this:
HIM: Do we have any names yet?
ME: What, for all ten paintings? Er, no, not yet.
HIM: OK what shall I write?
ME: Put them down as Stormy-Grey-Series, or Cut-Away-Blue-Landscapes or, the best so far, …The-Golf-Course-One
HIM: OK (funny look)

It makes my invoices look quite amusing, but sometimes means I have a bit of decoding to do when I look back through my accounts! I keep a notebook of ideas for names as I’m working, it’s hard to be objective and after a while everything begins to sound the same or ridiculous but I prefer to give names than numbers or ‘Untitled’ as it’s another part of the personality of the painting.

yellow plant formsThat must be all finished, once they are framed?

Not yet… Once the framed paintings are collected I would like to take another set of photographs; of the framed work in situ or close up details. Then these all need checking in Adobe Lightroom, colour adjusting and saving in different sizes before they are ready for the website or just for my own records.

Get your paperwork in order

All work should be catalogued. I currently use a spreadsheet for this but it’s getting fairly unwiedly so I’m thinking of investing in Artwork Archive – any reviews or pointers please let me know!  I must measure and take note of dimensions (unframed and framed) and record date finished, sale price, buyer etc.

Then to create labels for the reverse of each piece and for the display. Ordering packing materials so they can be transported safely, hanging… and finally they will be ready to show!

It’s taken me a while to get to this stage – I would love to know what your system is if you are an artist. Or if you are a collector hopefully this is interesting to see how much more goes into getting artwork ready for you.

Followers on my mailing list get first access to new work so I now have another step in the process before a show: set up special access so they get to see the final works first… I’m working on that right now!

March postcard

I always feel slightly bereft when suddenly the studio is emptier again. OK I have two large canvases still on the go, but today I have also painted another in the Pocket Landscape series that started last spring. So that’s the final thing – much like falling off a horse – pick yourself up and get going again straightaway!

This will be the giveaway gift for one person on my email list selected at random this weekend. So that’s two good reasons to join below if you enjoy my work. No spam, not many emails, just a chance for some real art in your mailbox for as long you stay and occasional art inspiration in your email. You can unsubscribe any time you like x