JACKSONS ART SUPPLIES BLOG

I wrote a blog on cold wax medium for Jacksons Art Supplies  reviewing Zest-It cold wax medium and comparing it to other brands. This product is made in the UK, is safe environmentally and easy to use. Read about it on their site.  Since I wrote the blog I have used several other products made by Zest-It including wax solvent, painting medium and  liqui blend wax. They are amongst my favorite products to work with and combine exceedingly well with dry pigments and effectively dissolve damar varnish. Let me know what you think of the Blog? 

SOCIETY OF WOMEN ARTISTS 2018

This was the first time I have applied to the SWA open show held at Mall Galleries, London and the painting they chose to hang was this painting based on the Villa of Livia in Rome. The Romans had a fascination with gardens and sought to bring the outdoors – in and painted their walls to simulate being in a garden.  Plants and trees held much significance to them and the peach was a symbol of loyalty and love. I worked layers of dry pigment with oil and cold wax to create the feeling of old walls.

ROYAL INSTITUTE OF PAINTERS IN WATERCOLOUR 2018

What a delight to get into the Open RI show 2 years running. This was my take on Durer leaning down into the long grass and noting all the different plants that grow low down. All this happening under the protection of an old Oak tree.  These trees provide a haven for wildlife and harbour unique species of plants within their branches. Two times lucky that this also sold at the preview event! The foliage of the tree is built up using dry pigemnt and binder. 

SUVRETTA HOUSE ART WEEK 4

Lots of hard work goes into being an artist that is for sure but there are times when doing your ‘job’ is just plain fun. This was on the 4th painting trip I have run in Switzerland. We were painting in the middle of summer on top of one of the highest peaks at St Moritz – elevation 3330m. There was still snow and ice on the deck which we had to be mindful of but the light and air was clear as a bell. Unbelievable views right across to the Jungfrau on a good day. 

COLD WAX MEDIUM BOOK

As we are still in 2016 it might also be a good point to mention this book by Rebecca Crowell and Jerry McLaughlin. This book is the tome of cold wax which I had started to use way back in my student days in Australia 2003. There are many brands on the market and Rebecca Crowell introduced me to Gamblin Cold Wax Medium.  I fell in love with its smooth paste quality adding translucency and substance to oil paint.  I can thoroughly reccommend this book (no I’m not being paid to say it) and am proud to have one of my paintings displayed in the book. I now use cold wax predominantly in my oil paintings and run workshops on this medium across the country. I am very grateful to both Rebecca and Jerry for their hard work on this project – check it out.  

BALLINGLEN ARTS FOUNDATION FELLOWSHIP 2016

Continuing with my out of order theme to bring up to speed my Oil paintings with Watercolour – this painting was chosen by the Ballinglen Arts Foundation to hang in their permanent collection. I’ve been told it hangs by the front door as it is a way for people to see the balance in abtraction and realism. The concept of duality has long been one of my interests when I wrote a paper on it at University in 1986 and probably stems from my music/maths study. The Fellowship at Ballinglen awarded me 6 weeks in a cottage and a studio where I had time to develop work that probed deeper into the landscape and our relationship to it. 

ROYAL OIL PAINTERS INSTITUTE 2016

I just wanted to include this painting in the Watercolour line up as I also use oil paint to paint plein air and in the studio.  This painting done at Ballinglen Arts Foundation was 1 of 2 paintings accepted into the Open ROI show of 2016 at Mall Galleries, London. The other painting is the image accompanying my workshop for 2019 at Ballinglen. The concept of the fractured landscape features frequently in my work signifying our separation from the land and our attitude towards it. The angularity is reniniscent of paintings by Kirchener.  

WATERCOLOUR ARTIST DECEMBER 2017/2018

This was another painting of the River Avon – again in the later part of the year when the light is low.  Dew hung on the bare branches of the tree and glistened in the silvery light. I kept to a minimal palette for this painting to enhace the mood. Delighted to sell this painting at Little Buckland Gallery, Broadway. I am very grateful to Gallerist’s who do the hard work for me! 

WATERCOLOUR ARTIST DECEMBER 2017/2018

Here is a copy of one of the pages to small to read but you can see the Roman Bridge appears again – it was good validation for me that my new technique with Watercolours was gaining traction, I did have something different going on so it now becomes my job to consolidate that. 

WATERCOLOUR ARTIST DECEMBER 2017/2018

At the end of 2017 I recieved a notification that i had been chosen as one of 5 Watercolourists to watch in 2018. So excited to see my work published in this excellent publication with endorsement of my work by Stephen Quiller – an artist who I have long admired for his technical skill and devotion to the environment. ‘Nicki is a risk taker and I feel the elements when I see her work’. No better praise for me I was so delighted that my work was reaching out to people. 

ROYAL INSTITUTE OF PAINTERS IN WATERCOLOUR 2017

There are many old stone bridges close to where I live.  This one crosses the River Avon and lies on a road near the Fosse Way. Its earliest origins are Romans and there is a Roman Camp near by where many artifacts have been discovered. The mist and sun beams were stunning in the cool winter light. I was delighted to sell this at the opening preview of the 205 RI Open show at Mall Galleries, London. 

TETBURY ART SOCIETY 25th ANNIVERSARY PRIZE 2017

Coming home from choir practice one night I was drawn to the image of light coming from the lit Church and deep shadows cast on the path. The painting was built up into thick layers using dry pigment and impasto paint. It caught the eye of the judge (Stewart Geddes – President of the RWA) for the TAS 25th Anniversay show and won first prize! The painting also sold on the night but thanks to Pegasus Arts I had a box of paints to carry on my trade. 

SAVING BIRNBECK PIER 2017

After a devastating storm a large part of Birnbeck Pier was damaged and fell into the sea. Much of this beautiful old Pier is in a fragile state and I took on the task of painting several views of the Pier and donating this painting to the Save Birnbeck Pier Trust to raise funds. This was accompanied by an exhibition at LT Gallery in Weston Super-Mare. Some of the paintings can be seen on the Collections page. 

SKY LANDSCAPE ARTIST OF THE YEAR COMPETITION 2016

The painting ‘ABERYSTWYTH’ was the submission painting for the Sky Arts Competition. Stowe was the location for the 5th Heat in the series. I painted with 7 other people in a Pod that was filmed and open for public viewing. From which I chose to paint the Palladian bridge and a view of trees. Only one contestant goes through from each Heat and I was delighted to be part of the final 3.

MALMESBURY EXHIBITION FEBRUARY 2016

I recently held an exhibition at the John Bowen Gallery in Malmesbury, Wiltshire which featured a collection of works based on coastal views in Ireland and Wales. These paintings are Oil and Wax with pigment. I was delighted with the response to these paintings and the very positive comments.