The Art of Sandra Busby...
Painter of Playful Light in Glass and Still Life

Fresh from the Easel...

'Spillage'


18" x 26" Oil on Stretched Linen Canvas
Available on my Website


I'm beginning to wonder if my love for colour has something to do with the significant amount of grey we have been experiencing over here. It might be summer, but this angry sky has not been playing ball! 

Even though we live in the 'sunshine coast' of England, it seems that up to now, there has been four seasons everyday... And for the most part, it's been Autumn! Humph!

It's all a bit pants, because I was born to be in the sun. I should have lived somewhere hot; Somewhere where everyday is a barbecue day... Somewhere where there is no need to wear anything other than flip-flops and a sundress! Give me 30 degree heat any day! I LOVE it!

So maybe these bright colours come from my need for some sunshine. 
Well you've heard of 'colour therapy', right? Perhaps this is mine!

Pondering on this possibility, I had a look at how the colours of my painting might affect mood. It seems that mostly they invite serenity, tranquillity and positivity. I'm happy with that :0)

Anyway, apparently things are now going to warm up... Fingers crossed for some blistering heat! 
Meanwhile it's time to get my wellies on and take Sherlock for a wade through the swamp!

I hope you enjoy the new piece!
Time to start a new one!





An Update!


I haven't fallen off the planet... Things have just been a little manic around here!

My latest painting is almost complete... Another layer should do it. As soon as it's ready I'll finally be able to share it here :0)

Meanwhile on Wednesday, I spent the day at the SAA (Society For All Artists) headquarters, where I had been invited having made it to the final of the Artist of the Year competition!








It turns out that my painting 'The Night is Young' actually reached the top 1% (50 chosen out of 5,000 entries) and those 50 had been divided in to 4 categories (junior, beginner, amateur and professional) and there was a mixture of hyper-realism, realism, abstract, landscape etc ... 

To top it further, I was one of those that won an award!
 It's my first award and I can't begin to tell you how much it means!! 

I'm sure most have you have already heard about this on my Facebook page, but of course I wanted to post it here too.

Meanwhile, I have MORE exciting news to share!!! But I'll share that in another post... not just yet though! Watch this space!!





New Glass and Marble Painting in Progress...



Having finally come back down to earth having won my first award, I am finally back at my easel, where I have been longing to be for the last 3 weeks as I faced an unavoidable break from painting due to some of life's other distractions!

Anyway, let me tell you, I am loving every single brush-stroke of this one!
It is everything I LOVE to paint; Distortion, refraction, reflection and beautiful colours!

Here it is at it's skeletal stage, just my lines mapped out... 






...I am already a lot further in to the process and so far it is going just as I had hoped. 
All I can wish for now is that it continues to go so well.

It's not the large, complex painting I had originally planned, but it is still an 18" x 26" and some things are just meant to be I think. Besides, I have new plans for the larger one now and I'll be starting on that as soon as this one is complete.

Anyway, since I am working on larger paintings, I decided it was time I had a Mahl Stick in my Studio. 
Now I have one, I really don't have a clue how I ever managed without it! 
But, Sherlock had other ideas when he clapped eyes on it. For those of you who aren't familiar with Sherlock, he is our loopy Labrador and he has an obsession with sticks! The bigger the better, as you can see in this photo...




...It was quite some wrestling match I had, in order to reclaim my Mahl Stick! 
In the end it was a piece of cheese that finally swayed things my way. 
Thankfully my stick was unharmed! Phew!





An Award!


Remember the exciting news I shared with you a few posts ago, having made it through to the final of the SAA Artist of the Year, 2016 competition? The painting was initially one of 160 chosen out of over 3,000 entries, to make it through to the final round of judging. (You can read about it here)

Well I have been expecting my painting to arrive back at some point as I never imagined for one moment it would make it any further... But I was completely gobsmacked when instead, I received a letter in the post telling me that my painting was one of the final (48) paintings picked, to be hung in a 3 month exhibition!

And as if that wasn't enough, I also learned that I had received an award!

Out of over 3,000 entries, it's quite some achievement and I have been smiling so much about it that my face actually hurts! 

...'Sandra Busby, Award winning Artist'... 
Lol, Sorry, I just can't help it! Please feel free to give me a slap ;0)

Needless to say, I have been singing it from the roof tops, so if you follow my Facebook Page, you have probably already heard, but naturally I had to share it here too...






...I'm so looking forward to going to the open day and seeing all of the other paintings too!

Anyway, it's time to get my head back down from the clouds and get back to my easel after an unavoidable 3 week break. There's nothing like receiving that kind of news to inspire me, that's for sure! :0)






Exibition (and other distractions)...


And... breeeeeath....
The 'Worlington Movement' exhibition, which was held at the Edmund Gallery, Bury St. Edmund's is over!



Window Display


...And a good time was had by all involved.

I could share so many photo's with you, there is so much wall space in there!
In the end I decided that just a few would do... 





...And I sold three paintings, which was cool :0)

And before I have even had time to collect my thoughts together, the 2017 exhibition dates have already been set! This one will be held much closer to home, at the Birley Centre in Eastbourne and the details are on my website on the 'Events' page.


So, what now...?  

Well, I have had to take a break from the Studio for a couple of weeks because of various other distractions and in fact I'm not going to get back in there for at least another week! 
I had planned to do a highly complex large still-life, but I just can't get the reference I'm looking for, so it's back to the drawing board... Literally!


 Meanwhile my 'Fish Out of Water' painting made it safely to it's new home on Gozo Island...




...I was so relieved to receive a photo showing it had made it there is one piece! 
It's always a fine balance between protecting the painting as much as possible, whilst keeping the weight to the minimum. It's tricky! 

One thing I can tell you is that I am going to be painting a lot more LARGE paintings from here on. I have a few new ideas in mind and I'll be playing with those over the next week or so, so I can hopefully get something started when I get back to the Studio.

So in case you thought I'd spontaneously combusted, or been abducted by Aliens, I haven't! I'm still here but I'm taking a break for a bit while I concentrate on getting some more reference material.

Back soon!





Fish out of Water...



'Fish out of Water'...

2ft x 3ft, Oil on Stretched Canvas
SOLD



...I'm sure most of us can relate to that feeling at times?


Detail


...And in my case, never more so than when I'm in charge of a camera! 
It proved almost impossible for me to get a perfect colour match, so I am sharing two more photo's below, which are closer in colour than the ones above...







...I could actually call this a 'Self-Portrait'... after all, I painted it when I was feeling just as the title suggests! And I find no therapy like painting how I feel...





...Anyway, I have sploshed back in the water now and with that in mind, I will shortly be starting another even larger painting; This time a 'watery' still life and a highly complex one at that.

Might take me a while, but watch this space!!





Exciting News...


So there I was on Friday morning, casually opening the mail over a cup of tea... 
Nothing unusual (so I thought); a Bank Statement... a South East Water Statement... some junk mail...
...And then there was an envelope marked 'SAA' (Society for All Artists).

Well I almost spat my tea across the room when I opened it and read the first sentence...


'CONGRATULATIONS! Your painting entitled The Night is Young has been selected to go through to the next round of judging in the SAA, Society for all Artists, Artist of the Year Competition 2016.'


...It turns out that out of more than 3,000 entries, the painting was one of 160 chosen to go through to the next round... My jaw practically hit the floor! In fact I was so certain it wouldn't go any further, that the painting had sold... thankfully to someone who was really happy to lend it back to me for as long as I need. Phew!!


So here is the painting that is now on it's way to Nottinghamshire for the final round of judging...


'The Night is Young'

8" x 8" Oil on Canvas


...Regardless of whether it goes any further, I am so thrilled to be one of those chosen, because the competition is seriously good! And I know that the chances are tiny, but then again I thought the same about this bit, so who knows???

Anyway, I'll keep you posted! Meanwhile, wish me luck!






Painting of a Brandy Glass...



Ahh... Doesn't a drop of Brandy always look so smooooth, so sophisticated and so warming?

I've always fancied myself as a bit of a Brandy drinker, but it's pure fantasy, since every time I attempt to drink one it doesn't taste 'warming' at all... more like burning... yes, that's it... like the entire top layer of skin has just been stripped from my oesophagus... like I have just unwittingly swallowed a mouth full of  Nail Varnish remover, or accidentally swigged a mouth full of turps instead of tea (and I speak from experience there)!

The same applies to wine. It doesn't matter how expensive the bottle is, £5... £20... Have I ever detected a 'delicate hint of oak' or 'fresh spring meadows' or 'fruity citrus notes'...? Um... sorry, but nope! All I get is the taste of vinegar.
Period.

So, I might have the palette of an Artist, but clearly I don't have the 'palate' of a wine connoisseur!!
As uncultured as it might make me, I'm afraid the only alcoholic beverage I truly enjoy is a nice cold Lager! Straight from a bottle, straight from a can, in a glass, in a dog bowl, whatever - I am truly not fussed. That is just what I like!
Lager!

So there it is.

Anyway, I may not be able to enjoy drinking Brandy, but that's not to say I don't love to paint it!

And here it is, the only way I would ever drink it willingly.
Purely for...



'Medicinal Purposes'

9" x 12" Oil on Museum Quality Gesso Panel

Available on my Website





Salute!
(See? I can be cultured!)






Spitting the Dummy...


So it's been two weeks since my last post and since then, I started one painting, which I just wasn't feeling and I destroyed another, which simply went wrong... And by 'destroyed', I mean I snapped it in to four pieces (I don't do anything by halves)!

And BOY did I spit my dummy out of the pram!
It was clearly the end of the world and so I crawled in to a dark corner for a while to lick my wounds.

I finally crawled back out of it yesterday when my creative Mojo re-appeared and I had a ponder at why this had happened in the first place.

So, the first painting that I 'wasn't feeling', I abandoned completely. 
This is because it had been inspired by another Artist and as much as I love his work, I began to feel as though the painting wasn't really coming from me. Had I have finished it, it may have got a few 'Oooh's' and even perhaps a couple of 'Ahhhs', but I always want to stay true to my own style and so I decided to treat it as more of a lesson ...and bin it.

But the second painting went wrong because of one simple mistake in the initial drawing, which I should have noticed before I even put brush to canvas, but didn't. I had other distractions going on at the time so I think my mind was simply elsewhere and my painting unfortunately paid for it.

Now, a lot of Artists will say that there is always a way to 'fix' an oil painting and when working with opaque colours this is mostly true. But often as in this case, I work with transparent colours, which leave very little room for error. Yes, I could have gone over it with opaques to 'fix' it, but the glow would have been obliterated and it would have lost it's luminosity. I wasn't prepared to accept anything less than what I had been aiming for so I decided to get rid ...and have an Oscar winning tantrum instead.

Anyway, I was going through some old letters written to me by my Uncle Danny yesterday and in one of them he wrote...

'When you are in a trough of a wave, everything seems hopeless, but by the very nature of things, you can't stay there but must rise up on the crest of the next wave.' 

...And there it was. The very thing I needed to hear.
So with that, I picked myself up, brushed my sorry arse down and got back on the surfboard!

And now I have three canvases laid out in front of me. And I'm excited!
Two are entirely new paintings which I will start today and one will be the one I trashed, which I want to do again - only right this time!

And not painting for a while wasn't a bad thing. Because when I crawled in to my dark hole I took my sketchbook and pencils with me and just had fun sketching for a while.
I copied from drawing books and from life and sketched objects around me. So it wasn't all a waste of time. Here are just a few of them...


...A Peak Inside my Sketchbook

Back soon!





'Virgin Cocktail'...



'Virgin Cocktail'


9" x 12" Oil on  Museum Quality Gesso Panel

Available on my Website


I am quite partial to a cocktail or two... And when I'm being extra good, I might even go for a Virgin one... like, never!!  Hehe!

I'm afraid my halo is a little dented in this department - largely due to the number of times I have fallen over, having enjoyed one too many of said cocktails! 

Ah well, what can I say? I am definitely more of a glass half full kind of a girl... even though this glass is clearly, well... empty! 

So, apart from, 'Oops' and 'Hic', what can I tell ya?!

Chin Chin!





An Inspiring Weekend


I have just returned from a weekend in London, painting alongside the amazing Artist and living 'Old Master', Rosa Branson.

To call her inspiring is an understatement! I am going back for a weekend each month to paint alongside her and consider myself one very lucky lady to have such an amazing opportunity!

Here she is in her Studio, standing with some of her 'smaller' works... 


 

...And yes, I did say 'smaller'... many of her paintings are 6ft x 5ft!

Meanwhile, it's back to my own studio!
Roll on March!





Work in Progress...

...Sometimes you have to be willing to take a huge step backwards, in order to take a baby step forward. 
This has certainly been the case with my latest work in progress, which I have now wiped off and started again, not once... but TWICE!!

As I was once told, paintings can't always fall off the brush! But it is frustrating when things don't go as planned and I have splurged more than a few four letter words over the last couple of days!!

 Never mind... when things go wrong, I just wipe it off and start again... as long as I am still liking the subject of course. Once I've fallen out of love then there is usually no going back!

In this case, I do still love my subject and I really just want to get it right. It's all about patience.

Right now I am working on what I call, the 'muscle' layer, though even this mid-layer is not yet finished! As you can see, some of the warm under painting is still showing!

This is what I find to be the 'scary' layer; when it is SO bad, that I can almost no longer visualise the end result.

Anyway, I am going to share this scary stage regardless. It is pretty 'dead' looking right now... but when I add the 'skin' layer, hopefully it will begin to come to life!


The Scary Stage!


...Oh, and by the way, I finally got a reasonable photo of the Rum & Lime painting!
Here it is...


'Nightcap'

9 x 12 inch Oil on Gesso Panel



Cheers!
See you next week!!





'Nighcap'



So here it is. After many layers and glazes, my latest glass painting is finally complete...

'Nightcap' 

9" x 12" Oil on Gesso Panel
SOLD



I haven't yet manged to take a proper photo, simply because trying to eliminate the glare is proving to be a nightmare! But I have just ordered a new gizmo for my camera, which should reduce the problem significantly. As soon as I've got it and have taken the right photo, I'll post it here.

Meanwhile I have a new glass painting in progress, but this one will be on a lighter, brighter background. Just look at these quirky glasses...


Aren't these cool?

...And it's one of these guys that features in my next painting!

So, watch this space!!





Progress...


Following on from my last post, today I'm sharing the progress of my latest Glass Painting. 

Oils can be a slowwww process when painting in layers like this, but I think it is worth spending the time, not least to say that this painting, when it's done, will last longer than any of us... Oh, and it will age better too!


So, this was the next layer...


The 'Skanky Teenage Stage'


...And this is where it is right now...


Looking Better


...And there is still a way to go yet!


It's true that you need patience to work in this way, slowly building, layer by layer  *yyyaaaawn*. And there are times when I am so tempted by Acrylics as they dry so quickly!

Speaking of drying, here is a nifty little find I bought for less that £5.00! 
It's a dish rack and I am using it as a place to stand my paintings at their various stages as they dry...



A Nifty Gadget


...Better still, it usually sits under a net, which also prevents the dust from settling on the wet paint!

As you can see, there is another painting at it's very first stage sitting at the back. I'll be sharing more on that one soon, so watch this space!






Work In Progress...


Following on from my last post, I have finally got that brush to canvas! The under painting is done and I'm about ready to begin my colour layers...


Under painting

It's always nice to get rid of that scary white canvas...


Scary White Canvas

...Ahh... The blank canvas... So many possibilities it holds!
But it doesn't stay blank for long...


Under drawing


By the time you read this I will be about mid way through the painting.
I also have another one drawn out and ready to roll and a third Still Life set up in my Shadow Box. So it's all happening here!

I just love having a few things on the go at once. It's a great way of keeping a regular flow of new work trickling in. Right now it's a case of waiting for the first drip to come down the pipe! Well, those pipes did become a little rusty during the studio relocation!

...But, not long now!






Lights, Camera... Action!

I just love the feeling I get when I have an inspiration for a new painting! I can finally start setting something up! And that 'oh so clean' white canvas comes with so many possibilities... 

Yes, I love it when my brushes call me... and I am right there as we speak.

Right now I am at the very beginning stage, trying to manipulate the perfect light to create something warm and atmospheric. This is when my Light Box comes in to it's own...


Light Box in Action!


This will be the first painting I begin in the new studio and I already have a plan for the second, which I want to get going at the same time. So watch this space for more progress shots!

Back soon...





New Studio, New Website, New Goals... New Year!

2016!! Can you believe it came so quickly?

And with this New Year comes my brand new website, my revamped blog, an Instagram account and a brand new art studio! What more could I have possibly wanted to start the New year??

So, I thought I'd share some photo's of the new space!


One VERY happy Artist!!!


The Easel and Light Box


The Drawing Station


The Painting Station





My Nifty Paint Organiseer!


The Runway to my Easel


Hurrah! Running Water!


The Light Box



The Drying Area with Removable Brackets


...I just LOVE the new space and I feel very lucky to have such a wonderful Husband and Dad who made it happen! I did make them a LOT of tea :0)

I have set myself some HIGH goals this year, since the relocation of the Studio has made it possible. The fact that I can now spend some time in there every day is key. 

I will certainly produce new work more regularly but I'm also seriously upping my game when it comes to my paintings. This year I intend to explore 'realism' painting a lot more deeply, now that time allows. 

This means that some of my paintings will take much longer to paint, but if I make sure I always have other small pieces on the go at the same time as working on larger pieces, this will help keep a regular flow of new work. 

I have other goals too. Entering competitions more regularly and posting more frequently on my blog and social media sites among others... But the focus will fall mainly on producing paintings I love, at a steadier rate. 

I want I'm going to 'smack my own gob!'

I'm really quite excited!

So, I'd love to hear your goals for this year if you care to share?
Meanwhile, I wish everyone a happy, productive and creative New-Year!

Back soon!



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