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Picasso at Gloss

Had the pleasure of viewing dozens of original Picasso prints at Gloss Gallery, Exeter last evening. To my surprise and delight, I had not only not seen these works before, but they were priced at a level that I could afford (in instalments, that is). I didn’t buy, but I had mentally narrowed it down to one particular print for £950. It was a beautiful colour line drawing of a female life model and an artist- both had faces which implied they were wearing masks. It was wonderful. Temptation to buy was strong, but I know I can’t afford it yet. Heck, I just about fainted to see my Federation of Small Businesses renewal come out of my bank account, so I think I’m a way off buying a (however affordable) Picasso.

I was accompanied by my best buddy, Pete, and after reintroducing myself to Lucinda (head honcho at Gloss, whom I’d gone to see in mid-2013), Pete and I wished her success with the sales and headed off for tapas. It was a good evening and an inspiring one to boot. I’ll be putting a lot more of my own drawings online in response to what I saw there. I am also going to make more time for drawing for the sake of drawing because too often I find myself in the mindset that “I must paint” and in reality I need to shift that mantra to “I must create” and who cares the medium.

Long overdue revamp

I spent yesterday completely revamping this site. It’s been a long time since I did any web work to this extent, and I must admit, it felt pretty good. I was having a lousy day and art was frustrating, so I thought I’d take the time to solve some issues with One thing led to another, and I rapidly found myself doing the whole thing over with a new theme. It’s responsive (meaning it’ll look nice on your mobile devices), and I think it showcases my work in a more modern and snappy way.

It’s all part of the unfun “business” end of art, but necessary. I dislike marketing, but it is a necessary evil to get my work in more hands – or rather – on more walls. Let me know if you find a bug. Thank you.

DIY Painting Drying Rack

After ages of taking up the guest room to dry my oil paintings, I took my best friend’s old wardrobe shelving (he has just upgraded to lovely new drawer units) and redesigned it into a very functional drying rack for my work. It’s rock solid, holds most of my small to large work, and is portable. I could easily put casters on it to make a moveable floor unit should my studio space change. Best of all, I designed it, built it, and it surpassed my expectations. At £39.99 for a new shelving unit, I’d even consider buying one to make a second rack.

Before and after:

Back to it

Now that the local play is done and dusted, my focus is once again returned to the huge backlog of work I have going on. I’m illustrating a children’s book for a local first-time author, always painting a number of works, and wrestling a never ending mountain of completed works that need photographed, scanned, priced, and added to this website.

The amount of work I produce is massive, so massive that I consciously hold back from making all I could. I am already buried in stockpiles of drawings and paintings, and the workload of cataloguing them gets me down. I don’t sell as much as I should, but that’s largely down to the crippling task of getting things prepared for sale. I am my own best saboteur.

This is part of my journey as a professional artist. I’ll get the hang of it one day. I managed to get six works uploaded over the weekend, and at that rate, I just might get caught up around the year 2025…

Amateur dramatics

It’s that time of year again, where I paint up the sets for the local productions. The current play is Move Over Mrs Markham, and although the sets are less detailed than the last I painted, the disruption to my work schedule invariably throws my brain into a bit of a tailspin. I’m managing a little time in the studio while all this is going on, but the project most suffering from my lack of attention is the children’s book I’m illustrating for a local author, which requires hours of solid focus per day. The play runs its course this week and I’ll be glad to get back to a more solid “Jen Dixon” schedule.