My ACER laptop finally died, a slow inconsistent death. I haven´t buried it yet hoping that it can be resurrected by some genius IT techie. I am now using an HP laptop, not to be recommended. Where´s the Euro character? I won´t go on about it as it will bore you silly and I´m sure you have all had such experiences with your own devices.
A few new paintings started, yet to be worked on to completion. The orang-utan commission and another commission are shown below. These are the only ones completed as yet.
I have recently taken on a number of portrait commissions. These proved to be quite a challenge, especially the hair colour in one of them. The photo I was given showed the hair as a dull green when it was really a very, light fair, almost pale corn coloured hair.
This painting and other new output are displayed on the 'Paintings' page.
A new commission is a photo of an Orang-Utan that won a National Geographic competition. The painting will be a straightforward copy of the photo but on a larger scale. And it will not be as detailed as the photo, that would be close to impossible to achieve and also unnecessary. Hopefully it will work out okay and the client will be happy.
This acrylic seascape has just been completed, varnished and framed. It is 40x35cms in the unique wooden frame.
The painting was created using brushes, palette knives and fingers to create many layers of paint. In some places there must be eight layers. Some were left to dry before adding another layer whareas other layers were applied before the previous layer was dry. Acrylic paints that were used throughout but not all were of the same make. This gave me different textures and made quite a few raised areas that have added a lot of movement to the finished painting. It is for sale at 50 euros.
Since I wrote my last blog (Feb 2014) a lot has happened:
My mother, Ellen James, died at 104 years old in Dec 2014.
I married Susan Adcock in June 2015.
We sold up in the UK and moved to Central Portugal in July 2015.
Although we wanted a house that needed no work, we have spent the last 21 months making changes to both the house and the land (about 2 acres). There are still a number of jobs to finish and some yet to be started. But - we now have an art room. It was the old adega (wine room and, probably, animal shelter) that has been improved with a large window and lots of cupboards.
We will be looking to invite a few creative people to enjoy these facilities with us this year.
This small head was made using a combination of Cernit and Flimo polymer clay. Different colour clays were used for the cap, teeth and eyes, otherwise the head has not been painted it has been left as the original clay colour.
A lot was learnt by making this head and others plus some fun bits with different coloured clay. Some more time is to be spent on getting the eyes, nose, lips, ears (all of it really) modelled more realistically. Only then will I be comfortable with tackling a full model.
These clays are available from the excellent :
Great Ormond St Children's Hospital (GOSH)
Mellis Arts held an auction recently in aid of GOSH and raised £625.00. None of the artists who donated works took any commission and the auction room was kindly provided by The Railway Tavern in Mellis. I was very happy to see two of my paintings sell for a good price.
A quick flower design was drawn on each side of the EPS block and cutting began. Then my new hot cutting wire came apart and was sent back to the supplier for repair. I also bought from them another cutter as back-up. But it is a slow process; the cutter can't be rushed and I need to step back now and again to look and think about the model.
I did try to remove some material by using a soldering iron. Not a good idea. This burns the EPS, which gives off deadly fumes.
This is where I got to a couple of days ago. It is all made up, not modelled on a specific flower. The top or head is much too heavy and large. It was a fine, calm day so I was able to work outside. This made quite a difference as I didn't have to worry too much about the fumes.
The idea is to submit this model to the Mellis Flower Show in July.
For many years I have toyed with the idea of making a model of Pedro. I've gone from 2D to 3D animation to fully jointed model and now back to a fixed model. This is being made using Super Sculpey, which will be baked to make it hard. It can then be filed and sanded into shape. When all the parts have been modelled I will use it to make a mold from which I can produce some Pedro's in silicone rubber. At this point I need to get a better likeness before it's baked.
My website www.royjames.co.uk has moved to Weebly.The reason for moving is to get faster access for updates, plus the option to mainatain a blog,.
Apart from publishing e-books for a number of authors I am getting more involved with various forms of sculpture having already purchased a 1000x500x500mm block of polystyrene (sculpture quality) and a hot knife for carving.
You can see in the photo that I have already cut the block into 3 parts.
Using polystyrene (EPS) is new to me and I didn't want to chance spoiling the whole block, so I will practice on the smaller blocks - might even cut one of these in half.
Care needs to be taken when working with EPS especially when sawing, the dust given off can be harmful if inhaled.
Waiting for a calm, warm day to get started on this new material.