Monday, October 02, 2017

Happy Artist!

So much work, in and out of the studio, since my last post almost a year ago!  I won't dwell on how terrible I am at this social media malarky, you all know how bad I am ;) So I'll just carry on and pretend I was here only yesterday.

So where am I?

It used to bother me that other artists had a clear voice;  that they produced work in a consistent style and genre immediately identifiable as their own.  Those days are gone.  I've now accepted that my art personna is never going to be like that.  And finally I'm OK with it.

Currently I'm working in 3 different ways.  And I'm in love with each one equally depending on what the day brings:

I love the collaboration with clients when working on portrait commissions inspired by their photos:
commission painting from photo, custom portrait, Bee Skelton,
Custom Family Portrait - oil on canvas

Natural still life and landscape, observed wherever I happen to be, continues to fascinate.  I've always had a thing about rooms with a view, and windowsills are the focus of some recent work using what I call 'happy colours':

anemones, clematis, flower painting, still life, window art, Bee Skelton artist
Anemones & Clematis - oil on board

flower painting, still life, window art, Bee Skelton artist, hydrangea, wildflowers,
Hydrangea & Wildflowers - oil on board

flower painting, still life, window art, Bee Skelton artist, orchid painting,
Pink Orchid - oil on canvas
flower painting, still life, window art, Bee Skelton artist, roses, Cornwall, Mousehole harbour,
Roses & Mousehole Harbour - oil on board

And then the mixed media work that evolves using many layers of different paint, ink, pastel, crayon, graphite, pencil, charcoal and resin has me more excited than ever:

collage, mixed media, art, autumn, Bee Skelton artist,
Feels Like Autumn - Mixed Media on canvas
 You can reach me by email or see more work in my Etsy Shop or website

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Small painting of Golden Hare

Golden Hare - acrylic painting on gessoed board by Bee Skelton
Here in farming country it's not unusual to see rabbits and foxes along with the sheep, cows and horses.  But whilst I know hares are part of the wildlife mix, I see them less often, and when I do they're usually moving too quickly to take proper note.  Imagine my surprise when this one stopped outside my kitchen window, pausing long enough for me to grab a photo!  He is such a big handsome fellow.  I just had to paint him.

Ignoring the barred gate in the photo I composed his portrait on square 8x8 inch gessoed board using acrylic paints.  Although it doesn't show well in the photo, it was late afternoon magic hour, and the light made him appear to glow golden.  I've attempted to emphasise this by contrasting the warm colouring of the fur with the cool blues and greens of the background.

It's now available for sale unframed, so you can choose a mount and frame style to suit your decor.  Here's an idea how it could look with a frame added.  Please check my shops and website for further information or contact me personally. 

 You can reach me by email or see more work in my Etsy Shop or website

Monday, October 03, 2016

Homage to Vincent

The Orange House oil painting 10x12 in on canvas board.

 I love the location of our home.  It's situated on farmland in rural Warwickshire, England.  So it was only a matter of time before it became the subject of a painting.  I painted it in oils with a hint of Vincent on 10x12 inch canvas board.
Sketchbook study in pencil

At a local art group recently, I attended a lecture by Anthony Slinn, about Vincent van Gogh, which made quite an impression.  It was particularly interesting because Prof. Slinn has carefully researched, and physically visited locations of many of Vincents paintings.  From assessing the viewpoints, he discovered how Vincent re-imagined and manipulated the landscape to express his feelings.  Though key features are recognizable in the paintings, when compared with the locations today, it can be seen how Vincents mind and eye re-interpreted them in his unique manner.

Sketchbook study in pencil
 My paintings can begin in several different ways.  With this one, I could easily have set up my plein air easel along the lane, as Vincent would have done for sure.  Alternatively because I know the place so well, I could have used memory and imagination.  However some time ago I'd made sketchbook studies, so on this occasion I referred back to these drawings as a starting point.

 You can reach me by email or see more work in my Etsy Shop or website

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sketchbook study and painting on the farm

Walking the dogs every day I see so many scenes I'd love to paint.  This shady gap through a hedge offered a good view of a wheatfield after harvest.  Farm life moves on rapidly. Straw bales are being shifted into barns already. I needed to to be quick before they all disappeared.  A sketchbook drawing using graphite stick and watercolour did the job.

Back in the studio I tried to develop the feeling of the scene in oils on a small gessoed panel, with composition tweaked more to my liking. Having worked the sketch from life and direct observation, some how the brain retains additional visual information.  You feel back in the moment.  It's a good alternative when time or full plein air painting kit isn't available. 

 You can reach me by email or see more work in my Etsy Shop or website

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Family Art Expedition

My youngest grandson and I walked over the fields to the canal with sketchbooks and drawing gear earlier this week.  We've been having proper hot summer weather in England recently, so while drawing we planted ourselves under the fat shade of a beech tree.  Then Max posed for his photo in the sun.  

He and his brother enjoy getting involved with our homely country activities when they come to stay.  I'm so fortunate we're able to share making art together especially.


That day I had time for just one sketch before we hiked further along the canal in search of lunch.  I thoroughly fell in love with the location.  Inevitably my eye found innumerable pleinair painting spots for future visits.  

A couple of days ago I returned with outdoor painting gear and made a little painting from roughly the same spot.  It's oil on 5x7in canvas.

 You can reach me by email or see more work in my Etsy Shop or website

Friday, August 19, 2016

Plein air painting - travelling light

 I do love painting outdoors.  It's an art making experience like no other; a real challenge that's different every time, one I'm finding challenging and exhilarating. 

I got my plein air easel years ago when on my fine art degree course, but I'm still learning the best ways how to get around with it outdoors.  So far this combined backpack and stool, which I found in a charity shop, is the best solution when I want to travel light.

Here's how my plein air kit looks on location, before set up.  You can just see the scene I'd chosen in the background;  a gap in the trees to a little wheat field, just before harvesting started last weekend.

On this occasion the pack was stuffed with brush roll, small box of oil tubes, Daler Rowney air tight turps container, kitchen towel, tear off palette, small boards, easel tray, and viewfinder, with a few personal necessities like a water bottle and hat thrown in.  The collapsible easel was strapped on with bungee. 

Apart from a chat with the farmers wife and daughter, the company of sheep and assorted wild life, including a low-flying heron, I spent a solitary couple of hours concentrating on that gap in the field. 

 You can reach me by email or see more work in my Etsy Shop or website