Friday 27 December 2013

Lay Figures - Part 2

Conté on black paper (A4)
Meet Jack, aka Sportylay. He's quite a bit smaller than the bigger figger in part 1, but he's not stuck to a pole. He's magnetic - well, his hands, feet and ball are.

Lay Figures - part 1

Conté crayon on black paper (A4)
Perhaps not every artist has one, but many do. I'm not sure if they get used very often, though. Mine doesn't, although I do like him (actually, I have two; this post is devoted to the larger one, which is affixed to a pole). The Twitter event / hashtag #stilldecember (still life) encouraged a few of us to treat our lay figures, or artists' manikins, as subjects in themselves.

Vote - Best artwork on an art blog 2013 - Making a Mark

Thursday 26 December 2013

Friday 20 December 2013

Dippping a toe into the world of fine art printing

We're not talking greetings cards. We're not talking posters. We're miles away from Vistaprint or Bonusprint.

Thursday 19 December 2013

Hot Wheels 2 - "Meyers Manx"

It's pink (and purple) and it's a dune buggy - it's a model of a Meyers Manx, which is a real vehicle (many Hot Wheels designs are invented for the toys).

Acrylic on canvas, 7 x 9 cm
18 December 2013

Previous Hot Wheels painting

Wednesday 18 December 2013

If you go down to the woods today...

2013 - Derwent Drawing Pencil on black paper (A3, cropped to ~A4)
Teddy bears can make interesting subjects. Many seem to have a character all of their own - especially the well-loved ones. Only one of the bears in this post dates from my childhood - but I had him before I was one year old, and he is certainly in the "well-loved" category. He's worn pretty well, though - I wonder if he's obviously the elder bear?

1998 - Derwent Drawing Pencil on white paper (A5)

1998 - Conté pastel pencil on white paper (A5)

Sunday 8 December 2013

Pumpkin Half

So, I finally got around to making my "Autumn Soup" (it's still bubbling in the pan; I can't tell you what it tastes like yet).

The Beeches - SOLD

With your back to Watership Down, you are looking down the line of The Beeches and the footpath to Ladle Hill (the footpath is part of the Wayfarer's Walk, a long distance path). You can see the sloping side of Ladle Hill through the trees to the right.

I took a few liberties with fences (largely removal thereof) and I also took a tree out to improve the view.

Oil on canvas 33 x 55cm

EDIT (20 December 2013): High quality "giclée" prints will be available of this painting in the new year.

Friday 6 December 2013

Meta Painting Knife

So, when I finished Claret, there was an unaccountably large quantity of blue left over. It seemed like a shame to throw all of it away, so I turned it into an abstract-ish background for a knife painting of a painting knife.

Oil on commercially prepared canvas board, 5 x 7 "

Claret - SOLD

This was a commission, painted yesterday and finished just as the light was failing. I'd forgotten how complicated those blue squares are to paint...

Sunday 1 December 2013

The Domestic Painting Knife - a book

Hot off the press: published today.

So hot that it, er, hasn't been printed yet.

The Domestic Painting Knife by Amanda Bates | Make Your Own Book

The book preview shows all 52 pages for a limited time only (until I change it). 

Friday 29 November 2013

Trig Point on Watership Down (November)

We were up on Watership Down last weekend, and this is from a photograph that I took then. The cow parsley seed heads are quite difficult to render with a knife, but they do add interest to a bleak November scene.

Oil on canvas, 9 x 12"

Thursday 28 November 2013

Mural Brush is a Painting of the Month for December

Well, look at that! My Mural Brush is one of Painters Online's Gallery Images of the Month for December. That's two months in a row, what with the sunflower being in November's selection.

I do notice a certain wintry colour theme running through the selection.

I rather like Mural Brush - in fact, I had already framed it, in a rather ad hoc manner:

Autumn Soup

The pumpkin isn't going to last much longer, so I had to paint this last night. It's always slightly chancey under artificial light, I find, but it still looks okay this morning.

30x30cm, oil on stretched natural linen canvas.

Friday 22 November 2013

Icy Day on Wokefield Common - SOLD

"Wokefield Ice"
in-progress shots
It has turned cold lately, but this is from one of last winter's photographs. The iced-over pond on Wokefield Common has been on my list of subjects for a while.

Oil on linen canvas, 30 x 40 cm
21 November 2013 - SOLD
(I put the wrong date on the canvas!)

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Squash Sketches

A pumpkin that survived Hallowe'en and a butternut squash that survived soup... three sketches in different media.

Saturday 16 November 2013

Friday 15 November 2013

Mural Brush

With able assistance from some of the school children, I have been working on the next phase of the exterior school mural.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any photographs, so you'll have to make do with this painted sketch of my favourite mural brush until I do.


Saturday 9 November 2013

News from the Twitterverse

November is #portraitnovember this year on Twitter. And then some of the artists ran out of people to make portraits of (or something like that) and started #artmypropic, which means "turn my profile picture into art".

Thursday 7 November 2013

And just in case you were wondering...

I think this might be the painting on the easel in my triple self portrait...

Triple Self Portrait at Eleven Years' Remove (Portrait of the Artist as a Younger Woman)

2002. 11 years ago.

A sketch; a curiosity.
I was working on a self portrait and I noticed that, with the curtains open after dark, I happened to have placed the mirror (hung on the easel) such that I could see my side profile refelected in the window and the mirror. The reflection was too delicate, too obscure, to capture with a camera, so I drew it.

Saturday 2 November 2013

Drawing in makeup

This is me, in the makeup that I rarely wear. I'm not wearing it in the picture. I drew the picture using the makeup. I used: eyeliner, lipstick, concealer, some of that stuff that you put all over your face as a base layer and I've forgotten what it's called, mascara, and eyeshadow. There was also a bit of cheap white facepaint.

Friday 1 November 2013

Monday 28 October 2013

Not on canvas any more...

Something to make you smile, I hope...
Thankfully, the promised storm seems to have turned out to be a bit of a damp squib in this area.

Friday 25 October 2013

Micheldever Shopping

That Micheldever Christmas thing.

A Bit Like Portreath

This 5x7 inch canvas was painted with two wintery photgraphs of Portreath, Cornwall, in front of me, but is only loosely based on them.

Oil on canvas, 5 x 7"

Micheldever Woods

I've got a Christmas craft fair in Micheldever next month, so I thought I'd do something with the best photograph from our visit to the woods that share the village's name. It's really about the way that the light catches the leaves, making them glow.

Oil on Canvas, 20 x 50 cm

Things I Have Learned From Making Self Portraits

1. Conté on blue Murano paper
It's quite an education, doing self portraits.

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Inktense Sketches

"Inktense" is one of Derwent's brand names They found a way of locking up strong ink pigment in a solid form that could be released with water. A bit like blocks of watercolour, but using ink, not paint. And the colour can be used dry as well.

Derwent are best known for their pencils, so - naturally - they encased this interesting material in wood and sold it as Inktense pencils (as well as bars). I was a bit slow in picking up on Inktense, but I recently bought a tin of 12 pencils, and here are a couple of my exploratory sketches.

Friday 18 October 2013

Thursday 17 October 2013

Thatcham English Barn

This barn - a grade 2 listed building - is right in the centre of the town of Thatcham. It's still there, but now there is hoarding around it and a residential home behind it; this is from a black and white photograph that I took around 10 years ago.

Acrylic on canvas, 5 x 7"

Thatcham Bluecoats School, A4 side

When I lived in Thatcham, I grew rather fond of the old Bluecoats school building. Back then, it had a sign proclaiming "Antique Pine" (although it never seemed to be open) and all views of it were partially obscured by street furniture - roadsigns, pedestrian crossing controls, barriers...

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Sunflower Square (Last Sunflower)

It was our last remaining sunflower, and it's a square painting... as it's part of a short series of close-up flowers outdoors but with no sky, the "Square" title takes precedence.

I think Sunflower Square would be a lovely address. So would Bluebell Square, of course...

Acrylic on canvas, 20 x 20 cm
08 October 2013

Bluebell Square

An acrylic / palette knife treatment of one of the many source photographs from my successful bluebell painting expedition in May.

Acrylic on canvas, 20 x 20 cm

Sunday 13 October 2013

LEGO Minifigures 87: Skeleton

Well, it is Hallowe'en in a couple of weeks...

Acrylic on Canvas, 7x7cm

Rock, Canvas, Painting Knife ... and some other books

7" (showing the front on the book)
and 12" (shoing the rear) versions of
Rock, Canvas, Painting Knife
My new book has arrived!

In plenty of time for Christmas (and upcoming Christmas fairs).

It has 32 pages of rocktastic paintings and drawings, all inspired by stones in various forms.

Saturday 12 October 2013

LEGO Minifigures 86: Veni Vidi Vici

He came, he saw, he conquered. But the Roman Senator - or is it Julius Ceasar himself? - doesn't look very happy.

Acrylic on canvas, 7x7cm

Friday 11 October 2013

Avebury Evening

Well, it was late afternoon, early evening.

School Mural Project: Second wall done

I spent yesterday morning applying black lines and highlights to "Heart of the Village," on the front of the local primary school.

LEGO Minifigures 85: Centurion

Looking at this fellow's face, and considering the sudden temperature drop, I'm not sure if he's saying "Grrr" or "Brrr".

Acrylic on canvas, 7 x 7 cm
10 October 2013

Monday 7 October 2013


After discovering the effectiveness of my "secondary"palette, I decided to reapply it. The subject was a largely monochromatic one (a bit like a portrait): my sturdy leather walking boots (which were made by Scarpa, and have been in my possession since January 1993).

Friday 4 October 2013


I don't usually post all of my self portraits, although I might slip one of them in as a profile picture every now and then.

Wednesday 2 October 2013

A bit of car

This is an alternator that my husband acquired, disovered it was non-functional, and left in the garden.

Tuesday 1 October 2013

Bradgate Heights - not for sale

This is based on a photograph of my two children at Bradgate Park, Leicester. The image stood out from the many photographs that I took; it was full of rich contrast. It was begging to be painted.

Sunday 29 September 2013

Friday 27 September 2013

School Mural update

Passing enthusiastic child: "It looks just like a picture of our village."
Me: "It is a picture of our village."

Thursday 26 September 2013

New Book - teaser and special offer

I'm just putting the finishing touches to a new volume of paintings. The lefthand Hurlers painting was crucial to Rock, Canvas, Painting Knife, but there's room for something painted with a brush, too, and that's one of the finishing touches I'm working on ...

I'm hoping to take advantage of Blurb's "Flash Sale" - 25% off for the rest of September.

And should you also wish to get money off at Blurb, you will need to know the discount code, which is 25AUTUMN. Offer details here.

Wednesday 25 September 2013

More Hurlers

At Easter, we visited Bodmin Moor's Hurlers; in July I painted some of them. The painting seemed lonely, and seemed to need a companion piece It's taken me a while to get around to doing it, but I've finally painted a second Hurlers piece.