For the second time, after failing to get a painting accepted into a prestigious open exhibition, I put it up for sale on Twitter and within an hour, found a buyer. Loose and win, and in many ways I’m pleased with both outcomes, both gone to homes where they’ll be seen and hopefully enjoyed.
We are in the middle of winter here in England, not the coldest place on the planet but chilly enough. Luckily, or perhaps not so as it was by design, my studio is well insulated and warm, allowing me to concentrate on painting rather than jumping up and down to keep from seizing up. My latest paintings are a combination of small works for the gallery in Cologne and some preliminary works with a winter theme for a large painting planned later this year. New York also features in a series of small sketches specifically for a commission. Busy times, and venturing into the world of oil paint and acrylics.
Returning to a very cold England from a pleasantly warm Sydney was a shock. Looking back through the sketches and paintings I made offered some suggestion of remembered heat and bright sun.
Here are a few sketches I’ve made on my visit to tropical Australia, most are from the Northern Territory and Queensland.
Here are a few ink and wash sketches done on. sample paper from St Cuthbert's Mill, makers of my favourite watercolour paper. A mix of Waterford (the best), Millford and Bockingford. The ink was applied with a bamboo kebab skewer which is enormous fun to use.
Recently, I was contacted by Sarah Hornshaw, owner of the Hornshaw Gallery, with a view to selling and showing my paintings. Sarah created the gallery in 2012 primarily to promote emerging artists. We might infer that this would preclude a watercolorist of four years in his early fifties, but not so. Within the first month I had made a sale, followed by two more at a group exhibition in a gallery at Marylebone. Most pleasing, and a pattern which I hope continues. To read more about the Hornshaw gallery, click here.
The two paintings below are framed and for sale
It has been a while since I posted anything here, the reason being that I’ve been very busy creating an enormous number of paintings for the gallery in Cologne. I visited last month with the intention of sketching and photographing scenes to paint which I did but less than I’d hoped to because it rained heavily for most of the day. There is quite a challenge in painting, albeit small works, the large number asked for by the gallery but they are selling so the incentive is there, and challenges are a good thing ... learning all the way.
We all love Italy, don't we. I returned to a cool and very damp England on Saturday having spent two hot weeks enjoying so much of what Piedmont has to offer. I managed to get about 25 paintings and a small chunk of the sketchbook filled during the two week visit, not sure what the family thought but they seemed to like me gone for hours at a time. One of the main challenges for me was creating the feeling of heat in the paintings. The first few looked more like Scotland, with my mind still thinking cooler British hues and soft tones. Once I'd warmed up, higher contrast, reds and ochres came to play and all was well. Another challenge was keeping the painting wet, as even in the shade it was over 30˚C, but luckily no wind, which really dries off the paint. I painted at all times of the day including the stark light of 11am - 4pm but preferring the golden hour where the light creates that magic we all know so well.
After a few attempts at getting accepted into open exhibitions, with a 30/70 success rate, I decided to avoid the expense and disappointment, and not bother with them. I broke that self-created rule earlier this year by entering and having accepted a painting into the RI annual exhibition. This meant a lot to me, as it's not an easy task, and I was even more pleased when it sold. A few weeks later, buoyed by my modest success, I entered and had two more paintings accepted for final judging in the prestigious Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, but with less success, rejected at the crucial stage. I'd have thought one of the two would have got through, I thought they were pretty good paintings, but on getting the elbow email immediately posted on Twitter a photo of the larger piece asking for offers, not for a moment believing anyone would want it. Four offers. Not quite another work on a wall at the Mall Galleries but a pretty good silver lining. The lesson here, if there is one, might be to paint because you want to, and paint for yourself, because someone, somewhere out there will like what you do.
After seeing a series of excellent small sketches, drawn from the window of a moving car by David Parfitt RI, I was inspired to create my own version from a train. It's not an easy process, but both exciting and refreshing as you have no time to dwell, just get down the essence. Try it.
Henry Jones Artist
Working predominantly in watercolour and associated media, from life, and in my studio from sketches. This site displays a small selection of work, some is for sale, others already sold. If you'd like to enquire about a sale or commission, please contact me here for a quick reply.
Gallery 17, Beckenham
A small selection of my work can be seen at Gallery 17, Beckenham. As well as selling original art and prints, they offer a first class framing service.
A2 Gallery, Wells
If you're visiting Wells, couple of my paintings can be seen at the A2 Gallery. www.a2gallery.co.uk