Sunday, February 03, 2008

3rd February 2008: Who's made a mark this week?

46cm x 55cm, oil on canvas, Private Collection
copyright Sarah Wimperis

Who's made a mark on France and the art world with her delightful paintings of Britanny?

I know I am just one of the very many people who now know that part of France so much better - entirely due to the paintings of Sarah Wimperis (The Red Shoes and Muddy Red Shoes). Click any of the months or labels used for Sarah's paintings on her painting blog and you can be transported instantly to the beaches and coastline of the Cote Sauvage or the cafes and streets of Lorient or the woods around and about her beautiful Breton Longere (long house) near Penquesten in southern Brittany. I've previously written about Sarah and her work on this blog here and here.

This weekend, Sarah is saying 'Au Revoir' to Britanny and is coming back to the UK to live and I hope will be reading this post somewhere in the west country.

Camors Forest 2
Oil on Canvas, 120cm x 90cm or 47in x 34in.
N.F.S. / copyright Sarah Wimperis
The forests here are fantastic and full of a deep and ancient magic, I will miss them sharply but will be back to wander through their mossy cathedrals again.
I know I'm going to be sad to not see any more of Britanny - but now for the good news, the good news and the good news.
  • One of the wonderful things about blogs is it creates a record forever and one you can share. By recording her stay in Britanny on her two blogs Sarah and her husband now have a really great record of their lives there. I asked Sarah to nominate two of the paintings which mean the most to her in terms of memories and she came up with these two.
  • The next bit of good news is that devotees of her Red Shoes blogs are now all going to be treated to an artistic insight into Bristol and the West Country - hopefully down as far as Britanny's soul mate - Cornwall! Wonderful country for a wonderful painter - I know she will do it justice - and I know we'll be seeing some new paintings very soon. This time I might even be able to go to the Private Views! :D
  • The final bit of good news for all of you who bought Sarah's work is that you now own part of the Wimperis Britanny series - which I guess will not be expanding a lot. (Monet had a Britanny series too!) For those who would like to own part of it too - or just want a 'virtual visit' to Britanny go and take a look at Sarah's Red Shoes blog and click any of the months in the archives or any of the labels to see a selection of her work.
In the meantime, I'd just like to say 'Welcome back to the UK' to Sarah and her husband - before returning to what else made me stop and look that bit longer when it arrived on my screen at some point in the last week.

Art blogs
  • Two blogs new to me:
    • first a a landscape painter whose blog I'd not seen before. I adored her landscapes straight off and her blog feed was immediately added into my Bloglines blogroll - I recommend you check out the blog of Deborah Paris (Deborah Paris - A Painting Life) and her website (although I've had no success at all in getting into the sub-menus on her site - is that the same for other people?)
"Deborah Paris holds fast to the vision of the Hudson River School painters - that the American landscape is both sublime and divine."
Southwest Art Magazine, Artists to Watch, December 2004
    • Johnnie Scoutten (Johnnie Scoutten Fine Art) is a Creative Director and Web Designer based in Tennessee who also likes to paint. Her blog will delight all those who like animals and using pastels and coloured pencils. (as highlighted by Charley Parker over at Lines and Colors)
  • Last week Maggie Stiefvater (Greywaren Art) asked people questions about reading art books and then gave us a resume of the responses in Thoughts on Book-buying. (For those also following Maggie's career as an author - she landed the agent she wanted this week!)
  • I'm busy collecting blog posts about composition and design by all those inspired as a result of my composition project and will be publishing a composite list contributions by other artists in a blog post at the end of this month - or thereabouts. The best to date is Vivien Blackburn's (Paintings, Prints and Stuff) really excellent post Looking at non traditional composition and quiet vs busy areas in paintings.
  • If you've been stimulated to blog about composition this month - or have written an ace blog post in the past please just comment below (or on any of the composition blog posts which continue this month) give me a link to your post and I'll follow it up.
Art business and marketing
5. Boasting is a waste of time.
Your customer is saying, “Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words.
Don’t tell me what you believe. Show me.”

IN YOUR ADS, do you include “proofs of claim” your reader, listener or viewer can experience for themselves?
From 2008: Year of Transition by Roy Williams (21 January 2008)
  • A big thumbs up to Rose Welty (Rose's art lines) who has ALREADY done her end of January goals review AND posted it on her blog. I still feel like I only created my 2008 goals a few days ago......
  • Counterfeiting is not a recommended career option. The 'Artful Codger' escaped jail
Art exhibitions
About 90% of the Hermitage's collection is not on view, including works that any other museum, city or nation would give a fortune to exhibit.
Simon Jenkins
Female Nude Seated in Water
Japanese, Late Meiji era, 1906
Ichij├┤ Narumi, Japanese, 1877–1910
Place of Creation: Japan
Overall: 8.8 x 13.8 cm (3 7/16 x 5 7/16 in.)
Color lithograph; ink on card stock

MFA Boston, Japanese Postcard collection
The MFA collection of Japanese prints is the largest and finest outside Japan. Made from the late seventeenth century to the beginning of the twentieth, Ukiyo-e prints document the urban popular culture of the early modern period and, later, the rapid industrialization of the Meiji era (1868–1912).
MFA Collection, Boston Japanese Prints
Art process
Art Materials
Which is your favourite brand of soft pastel?
  • Thanks to all those people who went and voted for 'Which is your favourite brand of soft pastel' in the poll on my information site Pastels - Resources for Artists after my request last week. We're now up to 22 votes and it's looking very interesting! Unison is out in front at the moment although Great American Art Works took an early lead. If any of the brands are unfamiliar to you, you can find out more about them in the brands section of the site.
  • However (mea culpa) I forgot to tell you that there is a second poll - a little lower down - which is about your favourite brand of hard pastels! So far's that's only got 4 votes on that one....
Blogging and website matters
  • If you're not already using a feed reader for reading blogs I do recommend that you try one. I'm very dependent on feedreaders to do this post each week and I have very large blogroll of people I keep an eye on and visit. After having experienced a terrible time with Google Reader - which kept 'hanging' on my machine - and previous poor performance by Bloglines (which couldn't show images on Blogger for some reason), I am now absolutely ecstatic that Beta Bloglines works marvellously well - and I highly recommend it. The main differences are:
    • A Start Page
    • 3 Reading Views (very nice!)
    • Drag-and-drop Feed Management (yeh!)
  • Harold Davies wrote on the O'Reilly Photograph Blogs about How I Used Flickr To Power My Blog and Got 1,496,603 Visits. (I bet that made you sit up - I hope you weren't drinking your coffee at the time!) I recommend keeping an eye on the O'Reilly site for tips about photography and other digital media information - but beware it's big and you can get lost in there for days............
  • On the Audio blog section of the O'Reilly site you can find this very popular post by Spencer Critchley from 2005 - 10 Journalism Tips For Bloggers, Podcasters & Other E-Writers
And finally.........


I found a new colour tool yesterday on the site of Eric Meyer - who is is an internationally recognized expert on the subjects of HTML and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and has a great website about webdesign. (He also shoots some nice artsy photos).

The Color Blender (licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0 License) is really useful for anybody using colour - from artists to website designers. #

It performs colour blending and shows you all the tints inbetween two colours. What you do is click on a colour in the grid, then put the cursor in the Color2 box and click on another colour. Then choose how many midpoints you'd like to see - I tried 5 for starters - and click 'blend' and that's it. Well apart from reading the amusing footnote and the fact that if you're hooked on colour you might not get any work done today!



  1. Hello Katherine. Thanks so much for the mention of my blog today! And for the mention of the issue with my web site- it seems to be working on my end but I hope readers of your blog will let me know if they experience a similar problem. Finally, thanks for posting the information on the Dow exhibit and the Japanese postcards. I can only visit virtually but those postcards are a joy to see!

  2. Hi Katherine,
    Thanks, so much, for the link to Sarah Wimperis' blog. I was just blown away by her beautiful watercolors and oils. Her paintings are just suffused with light.

  3. What a nice paintings Deborah makes. And I had no problems with her sit at all!


  4. You have some really wonderful items in here. Thanks for the Deborah Paris link.


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