Monday, August 25, 2008

Old paintings, new life!

I started painting one of my favourite animals, the gorilla, a few days ago and its keeping me quite busy. While the layers were drying, I tidied up my studio and came across a few old paintings that I did a long time ago!

"Somewhere in Ireland" was done in acrylics - not my favourite medium as you really have to add dollops of retarder to prevent if from drying too fast and thus getting that flat, dull look that I dislike about acrylics. You also have to add medium to the paint in order to give it a sheen as acrylics is water-based.

But the painting is quite beautiful, despite all the additions. "Somewhere in Ireland" is a place that I imagined I would like to be... a quiet, tranquil little spot, 'far from the madding crowd' and possibly a great fishing getaway too!

The foreground and more colourful areas were eventually touched up with oil paints to give it a more brilliant and softer look.

My paintings are also available as cards, matted prints, laminates, posters, mounted prints, framed prints and canvas prints from one of my gallery websites: Paintings by Avril Brand

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Face the Cape Buffalo

I am so happy to see that my Cape Buffalo is featured on the Exotic Mammals group.

It sits there, surrounded by some of the world's best works by artists and photographers! Wow!

The photograph to your left is just a small bit of the larger painting done in oils on canvas (24 x 30 inches). If you click on the photograph, you will see better detail.

The full painting of my Cape Buffalo, "Danger in the Dust", can be seen here

Thank you, Exotic Mammals.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My walls are bare

Most of my paintings are on exhibition and I miss them! My living room is usually like a scene 'out of Africa'... wild animals and wild places adorn every open spot.

Now there is nothing except for a very lonely falcon, a small painting, hanging on the wall where my leopards used to be. I know its only my imagination, but the rooms echo with loneliness.

My dog is confused because there are no big cats eye's staring down at him.

He (my dog) usually is the boss of us but now he is impossible. He owns the house and we live here by his grace. No enormous zebras, no big cats, no elephants, no buffalo - not even a meerkat. No competition for him.

Artists are really crazy people, I think. We fall in love with what we do.

At least, I think we should.

I must feel the passion, the thrill of creating, the feeling of textures and movement within the canvas. Every painting, whether it be landscapes, buildings, the sea or animals must become a part of my being and a sense of loss when the painting is gone. It is exhausting to feel like this but I cannot imagine painting without that passion.

We have to love what we do when it takes months to work on one painting. All that love, all that painting - the incredible worlds I travel to in my mind when I paint fur, feathers, golden eyes and stripes.

So, while my walls are bare, I am using every minute I can spare to work on my new paintings: lion, leopard, elephants, otters, castles, etc. My studio is filled with works in progress so forgive me while I disappear to add a few more hairs to the otter and glaze my lion.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Rose of Clare

It's been quite a busy time for me but very enjoyable too. Art tuition, exhibitions, finding old friends from SA and the Rose of Clare festival.

So, I hope my blogging friends will forgive my absence and I hope to catch up soon.

Briefly, the exhibition was wonderful, lots of people and so great to see the interest. Congatulations to all my art group friends who sold paintings and thank you to everyone who joined us for a very pleasant evening.

Sunday was my third year of judging at the Rose of Clare festival in Cooraclare - a great day of excitement fun and games for the county of Clare.

My job each year is to choose the Bonny Baby and Glamourous Granny and it's certainly not easy as the county's bonniest little 'uns and beautiful grannies are very difficult to choose indeed...

In fact, and please don't tell anyone, I wish I could choose them all, give out all the trophies and run like hell from the other commitee members... just for fun.

Usually I stay for the end when we all participate in the tug'o war but this year I slipped away quietly as all the other events, courses, exhibitions, etc, have made me so exhausted that I feel quiet zombiefied. (Does that word exist?)

Last year, I was proud to win a trophy as did everyone in my team, for coming second in the tug 'o war event. My trophy has pride of position on the mantel piece. As the second of two teams, we won second place... you do the math. Hahaha.

Anyway, it was a great day and the festival continues for the rest of the week... if you are in county Clare, please come along and enjoy the rest of the events.