What is RSS?

I just thought that I would try to find out what RSS was.
In the process, I found this blog, and saw a chance to share with you.
Onward and upward.

What is RSS?

25 August 2010 demonstration

The exhibition is installed at Frontispiece in Canary Wharf. It looks fine and is attracting attention.

We met the press who wanted pictures of me painting, so we set up my sketching easel in Jubilee Place for a photo shoot. I met a lot of passers by, and some told me that they collected my work. This chap, saw me painting, and stopped, and told me that he had three already. Surprise all round.

23AUG 2010 Final preparations, and a new exhibition.

I am just making the final preparations for the Frontispiece Exhibition which we hang tomorrow morning in London. All the 22 paintings are available as limited edition prints, so I have been scanning, printing and proofing.  This entails lots of paperwork, entering details onto databases, writing lists etc.

Ten of the smaller paintings are published as limited editions of only 25 plus 2 artists proofs. So, 27 in total of each image worldwide forever. Here are  a couple of the new images that will only available in the small 7"x5" print format. Both of these are blown up from small 3"x4" originals, so the brushwork is really evident.

The larger paintings, are published in editions of 250 with 25 artists proofs.This is a more conventional total.
I promise that none of these images will be available for any further publishing. Not on cards or subsequent open editions.

P.S. Just heard that I have been accepted for the Battle Fine Art Fair next month. I submitted a collection of Venice paintings. More details later. Meanwhile you could look up the Battle Art Fair website www.battlefineartfair.co.uk 

18Aug10 Layout, Canada Tower, Canary Wharf

I am making final preparations for an exhibition of 22 of my new original paintings at Canary Wharf next week. It starts on Tuesday 24th Aug until 4th Sept 2010. This is a thumbnail showing the poster artwork.

The venue is Frontispiece The Gallery in the shopping mall which runs right under Canada Tower. My exhibition is smack in the middle, right under the apex of the tower, but underground! We are showing the paintings in a big glass display unit next to Frontispiece The Gallery.

Here we are laying out the collection on the living room floor to sort out what goes where.

And another view of the same layout.
All the new paintings will be available as prints as well.

10 August 2010 Chateau de Bosmelet, Normandy, France.

The Fiveways Artists  Group from Brighton England are exhibiting a collection of original paintings, prints, ceramics, and sculpture, in a famous 17th century chateau in northern France. 
Chateau de Bosmelet
The Chateau de Bosmelet is noted for the 'Rainbow Potager'. Exhibits from the potager won a Gold Medal at the 2000 Chelsea Flower Show. Go on, admit it, you don’t know what a potager is. Well I didn’t anyway.  A potager is a garden where flowers and vegetables are planted together. The Chateau has two acres of potager, looking like a super sized rainbow coloured allotment, which attracts a steady trickle of enthusiasts. This month the walled garden is enhanced by Fiveways Artists sculpture and sculptural ceramics, while the great reception rooms in the Chateau are adorned with our paintings.
Fran Doherty [Fiveways artist] in the potager

The artists have each agreed to come over the English Channel to share invigilation of the exhibition. For three days it is the turn of my wife Fran Slade and I. So, after exploring the garden we read, paint, sketch, take photos, talk to ourselves, listen to the birds, read a bit more, and write diaries, as invigilators do. Fran said yesterday, “...this is a glorious place to be bored in, or study the meaning of existence”. We are not troubled by too many visitors. Yesterday in sunshine there were 18, today we have rain. The Baron de Bosmelet himself sits in small entry chapel across the lawns by the car park. He collects a seven Euro entry fee and sells vegetables from the potager.
Sweet chestnut tree, age 430.
Yesterday I painted a small picture in the grounds close to the Chateau. My subject was a huge 430 year old sweet chestnut tree. And thereby hangs a tale. Are you sitting comfortably? My earliest childhood recollection is that someone was trying to kill me. In fact my 68 year old memory is that my mother and other grown-ups were looking skyward in alarm at a doodlebug. I heard one of them say, “ ...it is alright while we can hear the engines. When it stops it means that it will crash and we have thirty seconds to take cover in the bomb shelters.”  The first doodlebug was followed over eons of infant-memory-time by many more doodlebugs. They had a distinctive drone, which did occasionally stop overhead.  We did indeed run to the bomb shelter and wait for the crunching thud of the deadly V1 flying bomb detonation.

Colin Ruffell age 71
And yesterday, under the shade of a very old chestnut tree, I saw where the doodlebugs came from. The Germans built V1 launch pads across Normandy. One was here in the grounds of the Chateau. The RAF learned about this site and 103 others, and bombed them, thus preventing Hitler from his master plan which was to send sixty thousand [60,000] doodlebugs across the Channel to London. The Chateau launch pad and bunker were targeted 28 times, with two bombs hitting the 400 year old house amidships.  2400 doodlebugs actually landed in the Kent, nearly half the 5000 that landed in total in the UK. Hitler killed many English children in ‘bomb alley’ where we lived. But he missed me. And the RAF failed to hit the command bunker hidden beneath the ancient chestnut tree, so the tree and I survived. 

6 Aug 2010 Feedjit thingy

You may notice a new thingy on this page. It shows who has been looking at the blog. No big detail, just a record of where visitors come from. This morning, while I have been eating breakfast, I see that we've had visitors from Canada, USA, Sweden, Poland and UK. Wow! How did they know about us?

Yesterday I had a phone call from a super gallery located in the New Forest. A customer wants a painting, to go with one of my originals in the gallery, to make up a pair of paintings.  The existing painting was created as one of a pair but the other one has been sold already. You can see prints of the original pair on my website.


The new companion will not be a repeat of the first companion. It wants to be the same sort of colour, texture, subject, and style, and the same size and surface. That means that many of the creative decisions are already made. I welcome this because I can let my juices flow within these constraints. It actually helps to have disciplines like this.
I like doing this sort of thing myself. However I know some artists hate the idea of the customer 'dictating' what the artist should do.
But this is an interesting challenge. So that is my weekend task. I am looking forward to making a new piece that will go with this one to make up a different pair.

This is the original 'Venice across theLagoon' that I will be creating the companion for.

3 August 2010 Seven things to do in a quiet moment.

Things always slow down a bit right about now. I guess it is the effect of summer holidays. I have only three forthcoming exhibitions in the next month. Most of the paintings required are already finished. So this is the moment when there is half a chance to spend a bit of time 'fixing the roof while the sun is shining'.
Here are 7 important tasks that can be attacked right now.

  1. Tidy up the office, studio, and storeroom.  DONE IT.
  2. Revamp the website. IN PROGRESS.
  3. SEO on the website and blog. JUST STARTED.
  4. System software upgrade. OUT SOURCED.
  5. Re-write my book, turn into 12 part series. JUST STARTED.
  6. Fix the roof. OUT SOURCED.
  7. Networking, joining up to forums, learning new tricks, Fine Art Trade Guild stuff about print standards, Twitter, Facebook, U-tube, make videos, record interviews, write press releases, write articles for magazines, check out various trade shows, prepare PowerPoint presentations for future seminars, upgrade my music store, research marketing strategy and tactics, licensing rethink, get the car fixed, take deep breath, relax, stop adding things to this list. AAARGH!

Studio tidy up using wonderful Stiffy Bags
Storeroom tidy up with small paintings and prints
Office shelving groans under weight of  paper records

2 August 2010 Progress!

The Fiveways Artists Group exhibition in France at Chateau Bosmelet has just opened. Fran Doherty sent us an email today with a progress report. Here is a picture showing a corner of the exhibition with one of my paintings. [It is the little one on the right showing Brighton Bandstand]

Some of the group were at the private view. Here is a picture showing some of the antics at the private view. What are they up to?

The London Lives competition have posted their long list of 200 artists who have succeeded so far in the competition. I was nervous and rather relieved when I saw that my name was in the list. I have spent a bit of time searching Google to see more about the other 199. Crikey, they are good! Check it out here http://www.guardian.co.uk/london-lives/longlist

The new conservatory roof is in place. Steve has done a very good job. It rained a little over the weekend and all is well. No leaks, self cleaning glass OK, oak beams look wonderful. Next step is replastering the living room, and installing a new window in the back room. Maybe we can get our house back soon. We have got to do a load of redecorating before the next Open House, in 14 weeks time. Yikes.