Postcard from Chichester: Ching Piau Khoo

I met Ching Piau Khoo in Chichester. He had a stall in the main pedestrian area. As you can tell from what we are wearing, it was cold and had been raining, but he was full of good cheer and I was impressed by his paintings.

 

Let me introduce Ching Piau Khoo

A self-taught artist, Piau’s been in the UK for over 20 years. Like me, he has a passion for nature.

He uses high-quality professional grade watercolour paints and cotton canvas. His many layers of watercolour are enhanced by delicate use of pen and ink. The net result is most pleasing on the eye – and on the pocket.

According to Piau’s website: his original paintings and prints are now collected worldwide.

Piau says: Nothing gives me greater pleasure than creating a new piece of work. My artwork covers a wide range of topics – landscapes, seascapes, wildlife, and flowers. I make originals as well as limited edition prints in a variety of sized to suit every customer. Commission are also regularly undertaken and welcome. 

Where can you meet Ching Piau Khoo?

Piau sells his paintings via his website, and exhibits in the Chichester Market on Wednesdays.  You can also find him at Lymington Market and Winchester Art and Design Market. And on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/piauartgallery/

This post is one of my POSTCARD series, sharing all things ART with you when I go travelling. 

Christmas gift ideas for an artist

Deciding on the perfect Christmas gift can be tricky.

If you have an artist friend and are still wondering what he or she would like, what about treating them to a gift which lasts all year?

 

Subscription to a magazine as a Christmas gift

I get The Artist and Leisure Painter magazines every month … and received this promotion via email in the past few days. Check out offers for new subscribers on their website.

christmas gift

 

Christmas Holidays …

I will be enjoying the Christmas break – no blog on 25 December 2017 or 1 January 2018.

Festive greetings to my readers: I wish you health, wealth and happiness in the coming year.

135-christmas-camellias

Christmas Camellias

Two weeks until Christmas and the camellias are in bloom already!camelias

This photo was taken a few days ago, a few yards from the spot where you can see the magnificent view of the bell tower and out to sea, from the pathway above Salcombe Yacht Club.

 

Salcombe Yacht Club Christmas Camellias

Salcombe Yacht Club Christmas Camellias is my only ‘Christmas card’ – and it’s the carefully positioned robin which gives it the festive touch.

It’s another of what I call ‘man cards’. Blank inside. Choose your own words!

 

Where can you purchase the original Salcombe Yacht Club Christmas Camellias?

The original acrylic painting is for sale at £500 and on display at Beacon House Gallery.

 

Where can you purchase the affordable-art card version of Salcombe Yacht Club Christmas Camellias?

All of my 59 designs of cards are available at Malborough Post Office.

Selections are also available at other stockists: Bonningtons (newsagents in Salcombe), Salcombe Tourist Information Centre, Salcombe Yacht Club, Bloomers (the florist in Kingsbridge), The Gallery @ Avon Mill, and the Project Gallery (Noss Mayo).

You can also buy direct from Beacon House Gallery, and in quantity – at a reduced rate – if you’d like to use my Christmas card as your Christmas card.

Call me on 01548 844020 to discuss your requirements.

Spring term art classes at Salcombe Art Club

2017 exhibition scheduleYes, it’s time to start thinking about signing up for spring term art classes at Salcombe Art Club.

Although I paint a lot and some would say I’m quite good at it, there’s always something new to learn … and these classes are brilliantly tutored and great fun to attend.

 

Which classes have I signed up for?

I have signed up for five workshops/classes- which will keep me busy on Tuesdays and Fridays – and a couple of weekends – ahead of the start of the Main Exhibition on Friday 30 March 2018.

  • Painting in Acrylics or Watercolour with Michael Hill: Tues 9 Jan – 6 Mar (except 13 Feb = half term) 10am – 3.30pm
  • Oil Painting with Ian Carr:  Fri 12 Jan – 16 Mar 10am – 3.30pm
  • Travelling Light Oil Painting with Ian Carr: Sat & Sun 3/4 Feb 10.30am – 4pm
  • Untutored Life Drawing: Tues 13 Feb, 13 March, 20 March 10am – 1pm
  • Portrait Workshop with Jenny Johnson: Sat 24 Feb 10am– 4pm
Are there other classes?

Yes! Classes are arranged each term – Autumn and Spring. Apart from the ones I’ve chosen there are several others …

  • The Enjoyment of Drawing with Jennifer Johnson
  • Watercolour and Mixed Media with Jennifer Johnson.
  • Woodcuts, 3 day workshop with Rod Nelson
  • Caroline Barker’s Linocut Workshop with Colour

Plus, there are ‘Studio Painting Days’ which provide an opportunity to spend a day painting in the company of like-minded artists and ‘Untutored printmaking’ for experienced printmakers.

To attend, you need to be a member of Salcombe Art Club.

 

How do you become a member?

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. 

Postcard from London: Tate Britain at Millbank

No visit to London would be complete without a visit to Tate Britain. Anne and I traveled up by train on Thursday and had a whirlwind of meetings and reunions before we returned late on Saturday. But, we made sure we had time to fit in one gallery and, this is me, on a bitterly cold but sunny morning, on the steps of Tate Britain.

Tate Britain

 

What’s on at Tate Britain?Tate Britain

Tate Britain at Millbank is, as ever, currently running several exhibitions and offering talks and other events:

  • Art in Focus: Horse Frightened by a Lion – until 30 November 2017
  • Rachel Whiteread – until 21 January 2018
  • Art Now: Marguerite Humeau: Echoes – until 15 April 2018

As luck would have it, and it was our preference, the one to catch our eye was the EY Exhibition ‘Impressionists in London Curator’s Tour’.

 

On at Tate Britain: EY Exhibition ‘Impressionists in London Curator’s Tour’

Having visited the Musée D’Orsay when we were in Paris, and sent a postcard from there, we have an ongoing love for the Impressionist movement.

My knowledge about the influx to the UK, as a result of the French-German conflict in 1870 or thereabouts, and the subsequent domestic political turmoil was only very sketchy. However, it clearly had an impact on the artist fraternity who had fled to the UK  and, to our delight, there were paintings of Molesey, Hampton Court and Kew Gardens.

Many of the work on display, it would appear, were on loan from the Musée D’Orsay. We didn’t mind seeing them again!

Time was limited but I treated myself to an early Christmas gift: a hard back version of the exhibition catalogue. It’s a beautiful book, with hundreds of images and fact-filled accounts for each one. Edited by Caroline Corbeau-Parsons, it’s a delight to read.

 

Highlights of our visit to Tate Britain

Of the paintings we saw, one of my favourites is Sisley: The Regatta at Molesey 1874

Tate Britain

And another Sisley: The Bridge at Hampton Court, Mitre Inn 1874. Both remind me of childhood haunts!

Tate Britain

The exhibition also includes many views of the Thames and its bridges. Lots by Turner …

 

When does the Impressionist exhibition end?

This exhibition continues until 7 May 2108 and is well worth a visit.

This post is one of my POSTCARD series, sharing all things ART with you when I go travelling. 

Work-in-Progress: November 2017

An artist’s work is never done – and here is an update on my work-in-progress.

 

What do artist’s do when the ‘season’ is over?
house portrait

House portrait: preliminary sketch of Anne’s daughter’s home in Melbourne, Australia

Once the SHAF Arts Trail is over – that’s at the end of October – you might think artists put down their brushes and take a holiday.

Most years, that’s precisely what I do!

Every three years, Anne and I visit her daughter in Melbourne. We aim to spend at least seven weeks travelling and, although I take a minimal watercolour kit with me, the time is mostly spent with family, and relaxing. We enjoy a well-earned rest. However, this is something I painted during our most recent visit: a house portrait of their home. This is just the sketch; the finished painting is on their living room wall.

Every three years, we also spend the Christmas holiday somewhere else by ourselves: Malta or Madeira, anywhere warm … and again I take an art kit with me. I tend to spend more time painting on these holidays but only because Anne is usually busy with a writing project. In our apartment, we set up our separate corners – a studio area for me, a writing desk for Anne – and only meet up for walks and meals! It’s a complete break from our usual routine and, even if we are only away for a few weeks, we need that change of scenery to recharge our batteries.

Every three years, and it’s this year, we stay at home – to play host to friends and family at this special time. This is also my chance to catch up on my painting. The real stuff. The paintings I need in stock ready for the start of the next season.

And Anne is very busy, writing her latest NaNoWriMo novel, so I’m grateful she’s made time to type up my blog for me.

 

Studio update

My new studio space

While we were away last Christmas, we had a lift installed so that our home is wheelchair friendly. This was very much appreciated by at least one visitor to our home during the SHAF Arts Trail fortnight in October.

In the redesigned part of our house, I now also have a new studio. It’s larger and lighter than the previous one, and it’s already full of my ‘stuff’. It may look a bit of a mess to you, but I know where everything is.

 

Work-in-progress

You’ll notice, on the far wall, the gallery-style strip at ceiling level. There is almost invisible plastic ‘wires’ hanging down on which, in other areas of the house, I hang pictures that are available for sale. In my studio, I’ve devised a system of bulldog clips to hold my work-in-progress paintings. You can see three of them on the right, and there’s another on the easel.

Yes, there are quite a few! And there are more – mostly oil paintings – drying in the airing cupboard.

At the moment, only one of these paintings is signed. I sign my paintings when I feel that I should do no more to them. A signed painting is, therefore ‘finished’ and ready for the next stage.

 

Are any finished yet?

A finished, signed, painting ready for the next stage

Only the one so far … as you can see, it’s an oil, on board.

My handwritten notes to myself are still visible, as well as the guidelines for the photographer.

It is square in shape and therefore ideal as a fine arts greetings card. No cropping necessary …

 

What happens next?

Good question! Before any of my paintings are varnished or framed and made ready for sale, I have them professionally photographed.

Rather than taking paintings one at a time, I batch them. So, two or three times a year, we book a session with the photographer and trek into Plymouth for the day.

Ahead of that appointment, Anne and I sit down together and confirm the sequential number of each painting – this one will probably be number 136 – and its title. This data is added to the computer records of my art, and also written on the back of the painting for identification purposes.

Because I paint a limited number of scenes, coming up with an original title can be a challenge.  It can’t just be the place name. I need more. Low tide at … Dawn at …

Sometimes, especially when I have decided to paint one scene in different media, or in different sizes, we resort to Roman numbering: Salcombe Dawn I, Salcombe Dawn II, Salcombe Dawn III, …

Having decided on the number and the name for each painting, and recorded it, we forward that information by email to the photographer so he knows how many paintings to expect and can name his electronic files in such a way as to avoid confusion. This is especially important when I have a series of very similar paintings.

 

And then what?

I leave the original paintings with the photographer for a few hours, and Anne and I make good use of that time, shopping in Plymouth.

Then, I return to the photographer to see the results of his work. The images he has taken are printed onto good quality paper, so that I can check the colour match against the original. And, at a later date, I can arrange to have giclée prints made – knowing the print will be as close in tone and hue to the original as possible.

And then we put all the originals back in the boot of the car and head for home.

Job done … except then, I need to make time for varnishing the acrylics and oils and book the framer.

Affordable art: In aid of Hope Cove Lifeboat

I always support local charities and also like my art to be available at affordable prices.

Now, I can now kill two birds with one stone: providing affordable art in the form of my fine art greetings cards and financial support to the Hope Cove Lifeboat at the same time.

 

You’ve already seen this image on charity cards?

Yes. You are correct!

A limited number of cards bearing my image of Hope Cove (as featured above) were printed and sold – in sets of 5 – to raise monies for the Hope Cove Lifeboat, particularly at the Hope Cove Lifeboat Fund-Raising Day, back in August of this year.

 

These cards are new?

Yes. We have now had this design printed …
Hope Cove Lifeboat
These individual cards, of my usual 350gsm quality, with a 100gsm envelope, are presented in a cellophane wrap and will soon be available at the usual stockists and also – NEW! – at the Cottage Hotel.

 

How does your purchase support Hope Cove Lifeboat?

Wherever you see this card – your purchase will result in a donation to this very worthwhile charity. Please buy one. Or two!

And, if anyone would like to buy the original oil painting, costing £450, the Hope Cove Lifeboat will receive an extra donation from me of £50!

 

Where can you buy these charity cards?

My main fine art greetings card stockist is Malborough Post Office where all 59 designs can be found.

But my cards are also on sale at the Salcombe Information Centre, Bonningtons the newsagents in Salcombe, The Gallery @ Avon Mill, The Gallery Project at Noss Mayo, Bloomers the florists in Kingsbridge – and direct from me.

 

Will there be more designs sold as charity cards?

Yes!

I am currently in discussion with three other local charities and will post news as soon as designs are decided and texts agreed and I have an image of the new card to show you.

If you are working for a local charity and you think you might like to adopt one of my designs to raise funds for your charity, please contact me to discuss this further.

Sold! Torcross Sunrise

Torcross Sunrise

Torcross Sunrise

Torcross Sunrise was purchased during the SHAF Arts Trail – a two-week exhibition at Beacon House from 13 October until 29 October.

 

WHAT IS THE SHAF ARTS  TRAIL?

The SHAF Arts Trail is an annual event in which SHAF members open their studios, or inhabit galleries and other exhibition spaces, and welcome visitors to see their art. At each venue, artists were happy to discuss their art-form, explain the processes involved and provide the opportunity for their visitors to view, appreciate and buy unique pieces of work.

Following the Arts Trail also gave visitors an unusual opportunity to explore the glorious South Hams as they mapped their route and discover more and more artists’ venues (as well as cream tea venues).

This was my third year with the SHAF Arts Trail. Having two weeks instead of one – and coinciding with half term week when we have more visitors to Salcombe – has provided us with more than double the number of visitors in previous years.

I’ve also enjoyed greater success in that four paintings have been sold – and many, many of my fine art greetings cards too.

 

Why did I paint Torcross Sunrise?

Prior to purchasing Beacon House four years ago, Anne and I had three years of upheaval. We had a flat which we couldn’t occupy due to renovations imposed by the management, and then our attempts to sell the flat took forever. We had to rent somewhere to live instead. And we had four different rentals in the space of three years.

Seven weeks were spent in Torcross and this view was what greeted me at dawn. How could I not paint it?

 

Are there other paintings done at that time?
Slapton Ley Torcross Sunrise

Slapton Ley

Torcross

Yes, I painted two other paintings during that 7-week rental: Slapton Ley and Torcross.

Between them, they show the view from the upstairs lounge window of that rental.

To the left, Slapton Ley shows the Ley, and the causeway which separates it from the sea beyond.

To the right,Torcross shows the tank memorial and then the houses at Torcross.

You’ll notice that I didn’t include the public toilets!

Both paintings are watercolours and capture the variety of weathers seen from our rental.

Torcross was sold some time ago but Slapton Ley is still for sale.

 

Affordable art

Both designs are available as fine art greetings card, although the images have been cropped to fit the square design of my cards.

Torcoss

Torcross card

Slapton Ley

Slapton Ley card

 

Are there other paintings of that coastline?
074 Torcross Wave Torcross Sunrise

Torcross Wave

Yes: an acrylic called Torcross Wave.

This acrylic painting is still available for sale but is one of the designs that I did not use for a greetings cards.

 

 

 

 

Watercolour

SOLD! Salcombe Dawn III

108 Salcombe Dawn III one-man exhibition

Salcombe Dawn III

Salcombe Dawn III was purchased as a gift for a special birthday.

It’s a delight that this painting was chosen during the SHAF Arts Trail – a two-week exhibition at Beacon House from 13 October until yesterday, 29 October.

 

What is the SHAF Arts  Trail?

The SHAF Arts Trail is an annual event in which SHAF members open their studios, or inhabit galleries and other exhibition spaces, and welcome visitors to see their art. At each venue, you will find artists happy to discuss their art-form, explain the processes involved and provide the opportunity to view, appreciate and buy unique pieces of work.

Following the Arts Trail also gives visitors an unusual opportunity to explore the glorious South Hams as they map their route and discover more and more artists’ venues (as well as cream tea venues).

This is the third year I’ve taken part in the SHAF Arts Trail. Having two weeks instead of one – and coinciding with half term week when we have more visitors to Salcombe – has provided us with more than double the number of visitors in previous years.

I’ve also enjoyed greater success in that four paintings have been sold – and many, many of my fine art greetings cards too.

 

The Salcombe Dawn studies

Salcombe Dawn III  is a watercolour, and one of three studies of the view across to Salcombe from Snapes.

Salcombe Dawn II

Salcombe Dawn II

The other two were both oil paintings and one of those has also sold already. The remaining painting is Salcombe Dawn II – which is available as both an original and a fine art greetings card.

This image of Salcombe was captured very early one morning.  I’d invested in a photography course with Bang Wallop, and a small group of us drove up to Snapes in the early hours so we’d be in position as the dawn broke. I’d never before sat in the dark, with a group of strangers, cameras ready, waiting for the sun to appear on the horizon. It was a magical experience and provided a series of wonderful photographs.

 

Affordable Art

Out of 135 completed paintings to date, 80+ have been sold, but 59 are available as fine art greetings cards.

In Salcombe, my card designs are stocked at Bonningtons (the newsagents) and Salcombe Information Centre (both a short walk from the Loft Studio).

Further afield, my cards are stocked by Malborough Post Office – they offer the entire range – The Gallery at Avon Mill, The Gallery Project at Noss Mayo, and in Bloomers, the florist in Kingsbridge.

Just think: for less than 1% of the sales price of an original painting, you can invest in a fine art greetings card. Send it to a friend or frame it for yourself.

Contemporary passions 2017 Burgh Island

SOLD! The Burgh Island Hotel

Burgh Island is a popular destination and The Burgh Island Hotel – the featured image above – is one of many paintings in my collection which incorporate this iconic view.

In this painting, I have attempted to capture the subject as seen from Hope Cove – using binoculars!

The massive cliffs of the mainland give a dramatic backdrop, while the rocks in the foreground underline its isolation. And, the late afternoon sun turns the Great White Palace into a glorious white beacon.

Burgh Island HotelI painted two of this composition: The Burgh Island Hotel and Burgh Island from Hope Cove.

The Burgh Island Hotel is in oil, on a box canvas –  12 inches by 16 inches – and it was sold, on Day 3 of the SHAF Arts Trail.

The purchaser has kindly agreed to leave the painting with me so it can be enjoyed by those visiting us during the Arts Trail, and number 119 now has a red dot on it to make sure I don’t sell it again …

Burgh Island from Hope Cove is an acrylic. It’s larger at approximately 15 inches square and mounted and framed too.

It is priced at £400.

 

Are there more views of Burgh Island for sale? Yes!

Shifting Sands at Burgh Island II is an acrylic, 12 inches by 16 inches.Burgh Island Hotel

This view of Burgh Island was painted from ground level, at low tide.

The patterns in the sand are the main focus of this composition, with Burgh Island in the far distance.

Both paintings are on display at Beacon House Gallery.

Visitors on the SHAF Arts Trail are welcome to drop by.

 

What’s the SHAF Arts Trail?

This year, the SHAF Arts Trail runs for two whole weeks, including half-term week, until 29 October.

Beacon House Gallery is ‘open’ on Wed/Thurs/Fri from 11am until 4pm, and on Sat/Sun from 10am until 5pm.

 

Affordable art!

I also have various views of Burgh Island available as fine art greetings cards.

If you purchase direct from Beacon House during the Arts Trail, they cost £2 each, or three for a fiver.

And, we have delicious biscuits … no charge!