Unfinished Business

My question for today is,what on earth do I do with this painting that I started and can’t seem to finish. There should be a general rule to this – do we throw away, paint over or stick with it and try to make it into something you love? Is there potential there or was the design doomed from the start?

I often find myself getting half way through painting a canvas and realising that it isn’t shaping up how I had imagined. It’s not always a bad thing. My view is that all painting is good practice. Even painting the house has helped me to appreciate the importance of colour choices… But giving up half way through a composition can feel like admitting defeat.


What to do, what to do?

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After a wonderful trip to the Netherlands this week I felt inspired to do a few sketches and post about it all.

Amsterdam is such a beautiful city. We only spent three days there, but we agreed that we could have spent weeks exploring, relaxing and enjoying the food, not to mention the architecture and museums.

For the first two days I felt almost reluctant to visit the museums, as it felt such a shame to miss what was going on outside on the streets and canals. I had read a few guides to the shops and restaurants in advance (this blog in particular was great: http://www.happy-red-fish.com/wordpress/the-best-secret-guide-to-amsterdam-de-pijp/ … This one too! http://www.thetravelingdutchman.com/amsterdam/neighborhoods/de-pijp/ ) and I’m pleased I did because the creativity here was very inspiring. The food was so good too. Here is me eating fries in Haarlem square. It may have been a bit of a rainy day but these fries were seriously AMAZING!




The Rijksmuseum was wonderful. As I was on a budget I wasn’t sure whether to invest in the entry fee, but once I was inside I was so glad I did! I felt like I learned so much about Dutch art and culture in the few hours I spent there. Of course there were big crowds of people around Rembrandt’s Nights Watch and the Vermeers, but I found the Dutch flower paintings and portraiture fascinating. There is also a gallery which focuses on Java, a former Dutch colony which gained independence from the Netherlands in 1949. i think this portrait of Javanese aristocrat Raden Syaruf Bustaman Saleh calls out for its story to be told in more detail. A fascinating man, who left Indonesia to learn artistic techniques in the Netherlands. He became famous in both countries, wearing exotic clothing while in travelling in Europe and painting ‘oriental’ landscapes for the social elite.


Raden Syaruf Bustaman Saleh, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Back home: My little wooden tulips are setting into their vase on the window sill. The sketch is a work in progress… I might have to go for bolder colours next time to really capture the vibrant streets of Amsterdam.

Tulips and sketches

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My Studio.

So in order to make myself feel at home here on wordpress I’m posting an image of my studio setup in real life.

Usually I draw and paint wherever I can (on trains, in front of the TV, sitting on my bed) but now I’ve decided to work professionally it seemed fitting to dedicate a room in the house to my work. It has certainly helped me concentrate for longer periods… Everyone should have an inspirational space if they can!

I've taken over what was going to be the "study" and spread out my art supplies. I wonder if anyone will notice??

I’ve taken over what was going to be the “study” and spread out my art supplies. I wonder if anyone will notice??

Mind you, sometimes the best ideas come to you when you’re not at home… Note to self, don’t get caught out by an idea when there is not paper around…Or perhaps invest in a pocket sketch book??

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