Postcard from MV Ventura: Art on the stairs

The MV Ventura has many decks (18) and many lifts, to save passengers from walking up and down stairs.

However, the staircases provided yet more art to enjoy. At every landing – halfway between the opportunities to board a lift – there were dramatic displays of works.

There were t0o many to show them all here, but I selected three artists whose works were particularly stunning.

 

Art on the stairs: Johnny Bull

Johnny Bull was born in 1949 and the work he has on display are a series of colourful images produced from photographs taken in various locations visited by MV Ventura. They are unique images: inkjet print on paper, mounted behind a lenticular lens. So, the image moves – comes alive – as you walk past!

This is just one of many of his works of art.

Johnny Bull | Postcard from SS Ventura: Art on the stairs

Art on the stairs: Paul Critchley

Paul Critchley originates from Merseyside but now lives and works in Barcelona. Both parents were art teachers and he is much travelled. His works are oil on canvas mounted on aluminum.

The 3D effect is almost alarming. He presents familiar objects but in such a way as to provoke the viewer to see them differently. This one, called ‘The Daily Commute’, is relatively tame.

Paul Critchley newspapers | Postcard from SS Ventura: Art on the stairs

Others were more exciting and sometimes shocking. This one is called ‘House of Stories’.

This one appealed to the artist in me.

Paul Critchley easels | Postcard from SS Ventura: Art on the stairs

Hexagonal art: Vanessa Ballard

Vanessa Ballard has a passion for patterns. For the images on board MV Ventura, she travelled to 15 countries and spent hundreds of hours creating 100K digital images for these works, all created from hexagons. Close up, you could see how each hexagon was differently coloured.

From afar though, the intention of the artist becomes clear. This one, called ‘Setting Sail’,  is of MV Ventura.

This one, fittingly, is a glass of champagne. It is called Paradise Island I.

 

Art in the cabin: artist unknown

Even in the cabin, we had art … and decided the style – with a wavy perspective – made complete sense aboard a ship, especially when we were crossing the Bay of Biscay. I omitted to note the artist’s name for these pieces … apologies!

This post is one of my POSTCARD series, sharing all things ART with you when I go travelling. My previous postcard was all about Whitewall Galleries.

Next week’s blog shares more of the art we discovered aboard MV Ventura, and ashore too.

Postcard from MV Ventura: Whitewall Galleries

Anne and I spent two weeks aboard the P&O cruise liner SS Ventura, enjoying Christmas and the New Year celebrations, and some art, courtesy of Whitewall Galleries.

 

Whitewall Galleries

Whitewall Galleries offer beautiful and innovative original paintings, collectible editions and sculptures from internationally acclaimed artists, alongside the most exciting emerging talents through a nationwide network of galleries.Network of galleries | Postcard from SS Ventura: Whitewall GalleriesWhitewall Galleries can be found in 36 locations on land, with several on ships, including SS Ventura.

 

Whitewall Gallery aboard SS Ventura

P&O’s SS Ventura provides space on Deck 5 for Whitewall Galleries to display their wide range of works.

As part of the entertainment programme, Jada, the Whitewall Gallery manager, gave several talks and presentations. I attended three:

  • A talk on Jack Vettriano in the Gallery itself
  • A presentation on LS Lowry in one of the theatres, attracting a much larger audience
  • A talk on the Impressionists – back in the Gallery

 

Jack Vettriano at the Whitehall Gallery

I was aware of Jack Vettriano’s work and his images which have proved ideal for greetings cards. This one is called The Picnic Party. (Apologies for the poor lighting and reflections!)

The Picnic Party | Postcard from SS Ventura: Whitewall Galleries

One favourite of mine is The Singing Butler. I love his use of umbrellas.

The Singing butler | Postcard from SS Ventura: Whitewall Galleries

On the cruise, we had to resort to an umbrella now and again and most especially on New Year’s Eve, while watching the fireworks in  Madeira.

Fireworks in Funchal | Postcard from SS Ventura: Whitewall Galleries

Like Vettriano’s dancing pair, we were not deterred by the weather.

Umbrella time | Postcard from SS Ventura: Whitewall Galleries

Born John Hoggan, this talented artist never had any success with that name, so Madonna-style, in 1989, he reinvented himself and took an Italian surname. Makes me wonder if I would sell more paintings if I were to follow suit?!

This post is one of my POSTCARD series, sharing all things ART with you when I go travelling. My previous postcard was from Stratford-upon-Avon.

Next week’s blog shares more of the art we discovered aboard SS Ventura, and ashore too.

Holiday time!

Yes, I’m taking a holiday … a long holiday!

First, Anne and I have a big birthday to celebrate, and then we are escaping for a while to recharge our batteries.

I’ll be back to blogging on Monday 7 January.

In the meantime, I wish you festive greetings: a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Work-in-progress: Watercolour classes with Michael Hill

Michael HillI attend watercolour classes with Michael Hill at Salcombe Art Club every Tuesday during term time, October through to Easter.

Michael arrives with source photos and proceeds to show how he would tackle each painting. We can choose whether to work in acrylic or watercolour and Michael demonstrates both. This is done in stages, so we watch Michael for a short while and then we work on our own paintings, watch again and paint again, and so on. All the while, Michael comes around the class giving encouragement. His strategy works …

I have three work-in-progress watercolours at present. All three are executed under time pressures.

What you’re seeing here is how far I  got during a class session. It’s up me to complete them in my studio at home.

 

Watercolour WIP 1: Cawsands

This is the source photo. Source photo Cawsands | Work-in-progress: Watercolour classes with Michael HillThis is my work-in-progress watercolour painting.

Cawsands | Work-in-progress: Watercolour classes with Michael Hill

The lateral structure was enhanced – made to look more interesting – with the use of pen and ink. I don’t usually use pen and ink, so this was a departure from my normal style.

 

Watercolour WIP 2: Grumpy old man

This is the source photo.Grumpy photo | Work-in-progress: Watercolour classes with Michael Hill

Not a usual subject for me. No water. No boats. No sky. Just a grumpy old man!

This is my work-in-progress watercolour painting. Grumpy painting | Work-in-progress: Watercolour classes with Michael Hill

I’m glad I have him on paper. It’s nowhere near finished and I wouldn’t want to see him in a nightmare.

Again, this was an interesting exercise, but I don’t imagine completing this painting until after I’ve done another workshop on portraiture. I have much to learn.

 

Watercolour WIP 3: Snow scene

This is the source photo. Michael often provides snow scenes at this time of year. Snow is particularly difficult to capture so this adds an extra dimension to the task.

Snow scene photo | Work-in-progress: Watercolour classes with Michael Hill

The grid lines help me to place the buildings and other features proportionately.

This is my work-in-progress watercolour.

Snow painting | Work-in-progress: Watercolour classes with Michael Hill

I still have to improve the tree line behind the cottage and behind the barn in order to give a sense of recession.

 

Watercolour classes in 2019

Salcombe Art ClubI’ve signed up to continue classes with Michael Hill in the Spring term. He is very popular so there is a waiting list.

You have to be at least a lay member of Salcombe Art Club to benefit from Michael’s classes. All the details are here.

Work-in-progress: Oil paintings

I have two oil paintings in progress at the moment. One is a ‘normal’ scene with moored boats and little going on. The other is action-packed.

 

Oil painting 1: Salcombe Harbour

This first oil painting is a Salcombe Harbour scene taking in Cliff House through to the Ferry Inn as seen from the Venus Cafe on the East Portlemouth side of the estuary.

This is one of my source photos, showing the grid pattern I set up for my composition.

This photo also reveals which craft were present when I took the photo, and which ones made it on to the canvas. Notice that the yacht on the right of the photo is on the left in my painting. Also, notice that I’ve introduced some other smaller craft to my composition, to create balance.

The source photo above is one of many photos I took that day, in changeable weather: some with cloud cover; some with the sun breaking through. I’ve tried to capture sunshine on the scene – and that colouration will have come from my other source photos, not shown here.

In all, for anyone painting, I may have a dozen or more photos to inspire me. I draw from as many of them as necessary to arrive at the composition and my palette of colours.

 

Oil painting 2: Merlins racing up Salcombe estuary

This is the other work-in-progress oil painting – four Merlins racing up the estuary.

My source photo for this one included a view of the Venus Cafe umbrellas, which I decided were a distraction, as I wanted to focus on the action on the water.

Notice that I changed the relative position of the boats, and eliminated one. My aim was to capture the sense of speed through the water. I maintained the colour of the spinnakers, but only because they worked in this combination.

These two paintings should be completed in time for the 2019 exhibition at Salcombe Art Club and will keep me busy during the dark days of winter.

 

New card designs

Apart from painting, one of the tasks over the winter is to select new card designs.

Usually, rectangular ones are cropped to create a square. For the Salcombe Harbour image, we might have two cards. Which do you prefer?

 

Giclée prints: available to order

Every original painting is professionally photographed so I have the opportunity to use the image for giclée prints, fine art wall plaques, coasters and place mats – and my fine art greetings cards.

 

What is a giclée print?

Giclée is used to describe a fine art digital printing process combining pigment based inks with the highest quality acid free papers to achieve prints of superior archival quality, light fastness and stability.

Using Fine Art papers, the result is very similar to the original. They are more expensive to reproduce than the bulk prints made using traditional lithography and they are priced accordingly, but, it goes without saying, that they aren’t as valuable as original works.

 

Limited edition prints

I have a range of limited edition prints. Five images.

Each print may be purchased as a rolled canvas, as a cellophane wrapped double mounted print, or as a framed mounted print behind glass. 

  • Smaller print prices: £65 rolled (29cm square with a 6cm border), £95 mounted (50cm square) or £195 framed (55cm(h) x 54cm(w)).
  • Larger print prices: £95 rolled (40cm x 51cm with 6cm border), £145 mounted (62cm x 71cm) or £240 framed (67cm x 76cm).

Plus P&P at cost.

Giclée prints of other images

It’s possible to order a giclée print of any of my images, whether the original has been sold or not. The print is supplied as a rolled canvas. Price available on application.

I recommend you visit Tidal Gallery in Kingsbridge and talk to Anna Ventura about available options for mounting and framing, and costs too.

For the SHAF trail, I created this poster with example costs for a single sample image.

So, if you’ve seen an image you like and it has already been sold, don’t despair. You can purchase a high-quality giclée print.

If you’ve seen an image you like and the original is too pricey, don’t despair.  You can purchase a high-quality giclée print!

To order a print, contact me.

Spring Courses at Salcombe Art Club

2017 exhibition scheduleI know, it’s not even Christmas yet and I am booking my place on several art courses for next spring.
As a member of Salcombe Art Club, I enjoy many courses with highly skilled tutors.

How can you join Salcombe Art Club?

There are three categories of membership.

  • Lay members may take part in workshops, courses and social activities and generally assist in supporting the club but may not exhibit.
  • Associate members may take part in most club activities including exhibiting in the Little Studio section (but not the main gallery) of the Annual Summer Exhibition. Associate members also have voting rights at the annual AGM.
  • Full members may take part in all club activities and exhibit their works in the Annual Summer Exhibition when they are required to carry out their share of stewarding duties. Full members also have voting rights at the annual AGM.

The first step is to enrol as a lay member; it only costs £12 per annum. After that, there is an annual selection process to become an associate member or a full member. For full details, check the How to Join page on the SAC website.

What courses have I applied to join?

Several!

michael hill

Acrylic and Watercolours with Michael Hill

I always take Michael Hill’s Painting in Acrylics or Watercolour courses. Michael is such an experienced and highly accomplished painter and teacher. He demonstrates both acrylic and watercolour in all his classes, taking in a drawing, painting techniques and composition. It’s a friendly and informal class welcoming beginners and more experienced painters alike.
We meet on Tuesdays; eight sessions starting 15 January and ending on 12 March (not half term week).

Life drawing

I also try to attend as many life drawing classes as possible and have put myself down for the untutored classes as well as a weekend course with Martin Brooks.
Having attended a recent course with Martin Brooks, I much admire his teaching style and feel I can learn a lot from him.
His life drawing class is a weekend workshop: 9/10 February. Martin says:  “We will look at the structure, finding strategies for constructing and understanding the human form. We will be using toned paper and pastels, using tone and colour with an expressive line to create dynamic yet accurate life drawings.”

Portraiture

Having already attended one weekend with Martin Brooks, I’ve signed up for another. I have a lot to learn!
This is a weekend workshop, 16/17 February. And Martin says: “On both days, we will warm up with some pastel drawings and then work directly from the model (a different subject for both days) in oils with an emphasis on conveying the sitter’s character and presence.”

What haven’t I signed up for?

Salcombe Art Club offers a wide range of courses: printmaking, bookbinding, woodcuts, plus drawing, and working with various mediums (pastels, watercolour, acrylic and oils, and mixed media).
There’s something for everyone. For more information, visit Salcombe Art Club’s website.

Originals: Available for sale?

I often receive phone calls and emails asking if a particular original painting is still available for sale.

It is possible to find out, by clicking on the image to bring up the image page. The Current Status entry tells you …

If a painting is unsold, the current price shows instead, plus where you can view it. Most of my stock is hanging in the Gallery of Beacon House. A few are with galleries.

WHEN CAN YOU VISIT BEACON HOUSE GALLERY?

Beacon House Gallery is open to the public for the SHAF Arts Trail fortnight each October.

At other times, you may visit, by arrangement only. Please telephone ahead to arrange a convenient date and time: 01548 844020

 

Originals for sale – an easier way to find out what’s for sale

originals for saleTo make it easier to see what’s available, I’ve added a new category of MY WORK on my website: Originals For Sale.

So, while Watercolors, Acrylics and Oils show you a gallery of all my work (including the ones which have been sold already), this new category shows you just the original paintings which are available to buy.

The images of available paintings are then listed in alphabetical order.

originals for sale

If you are specifically looking (say) for a watercolour, select Watercolour from the MY WORK menu and make a note of any titles which interest you. Then, go to this new category to see if the ones you like are available.

And if it is not? …

 

High quality giclée prints available

As well as the Limited Edition Prints, you can order a print of any image, whether the original has been sold or not.

limited edition prints

More details about how to obtain a print of your favourite image, in my next blog post!

SHAF Arts Trail Visitor Comments

As I write this, Anne and I are reflecting on a busy fortnight – the past two weeks – and the SHAF Arts Trail.

 

Highest footfall to date

This is my fourth year as an exhibitor for the SHAF Arts Trail and I was delighted to welcome more than 100 people.

It was great to see friends from the Kingsbridge Walk  & Talk group, the Modbury Art Club and the Kingsbridge and District Camera Club (KDCC), and many others who had visited us in previous years and came back for more.

I had 37 original paintings on display, plus examples of the new affordable art range:

  • fine art wall plaques
  • table mats and coasters

plus my fine art greetings cards.

 

Visitor comments

We ask everyone to sign the Visitor’s sheet and it’s heart-warming now to read their comments. Here’s a selection.

  • Absolutely beautiful artwork
  • Amazing!
  • Beautiful
  • Brilliant
  • Entranced
  • Fab
  • Fascinating exhibition and stories
  • Great paintings – fantastic views
  • Interesting and fun
  • Lovely venue for display – very good
  • Spendid display and such a warm welcome
  • Stunning paintings and hospitality
  • Superb!
  • The best yet!
  • Very inspiring – the light is fantastic – very talented
  • Very talented in several mediums
  • We love it! Very impressive
  • Wonderful range of paintings
  • Wow!

 

(I am now blushing!)

 

Michael Hill | Visitor commentsGuest exhibitor at Beacon House Gallery

I shared my gallery space with my tutor Michael Hill and he had 26 original paintings on show, plus a few items in the browser.

I am sure the higher footfall this year is down to him.

So, thank you to Michael for joining me this year.

And, I’m also delighted that Michael will be joining me again next year.

 

Missed the Arts Trail?

If you didn’t find time to come in the past fortnight but would like to view my work, the Beacon House Gallery is not open to the public again until the same time next year, but you may contact me to arrange a private viewing at a time to suit us both.

SHAF Arts Trail: Half-term week

It’s half-term week and Salcombe is full of visitors. We look forward to seeing many of them on the SHAF Arts Trail.

 

michael hill | SHAF Half-term weekGuest artist: Michael Hill

I have attended Michael Hill’s classes at Salcombe Art Club for the past decade or so. I learn something new in every session and look forward to the critiques he gives before we pack up for the day.

His paintings have a magical air to them; dark and yet illuminating. And they are beautifully framed.

There were 26 of Michael’s original paintings on show at the start of the SHAF Arts Trail. There are now 25 and a lady is delighted with her birthday gift.

 

Affordable Art

My new wall placques, coasters and place mats are proving very popular.

They make ideal Christmas gifts.Place mats and coasters | SHAF Half-term week

 

There are all available in designs of your choice.

 

WHEN CAN YOU VISIT BEACON HOUSE GALLERY?

Beacon House Gallery will be open all of the half-term week until 28 October for visitors 10am-5pm each day. (Tuesday: CLOSED)

You don’t need to book ahead. Just turn up and you will be made very welcome.

 

WHERE IS BEACON HOUSE GALLERY?

Beacon House Gallery is within my home – the hall, stairs and landing, no less. It’s not normally open to the public, except by prior arrangement.

 

DIRECTIONS TO BEACON HOUSE

As you approach Salcombe, there will be yellow posters with arrows pointing the way to Beacon House.

We have wheelchair access and plenty of parking space available on our private drive.

Alternatively, you could park in the park’n’walk at the top of Bonfire Hill and walk down. There might also be parking spaces in Bonfire Hill alongside the allotments.

Please do not park on the shared drive.

We look forward to your visit!