Monday, 3 February 2014

Bands, Exhibitions and Rabbits...

Wildlife animal art Rabbit in gouache NicseARTh
'Salad for One' - Ink and gouache on recycled card 13.5 x 13.5cm

Well, so far this year I've not been very good at blogging - one post for the whole of January!

Hopefully this won't be my only post for the month of February.  My excuses are as follows:

1) I've decided to focus more on gouache animal portraits and less on little illustrations and so I've not been producing a whole lot of art so far as each piece takes that bit longer to complete; and

2) I've been very distracted (in a good way) with my Reiki stage 2 because although I completed the course over two days in January, I have 3 different case studies to complete before I get my certificate which means I am then officially a Reiki Practitioner (if I decided I wanted to make a career of it).

Also, we went to Glasgow on Friday 24 January to see one of our favourite bands from the early 90s (although S and I didn't know each other then it turns out we shared a love for Del Amitri, a band that really should've had much more success than they did). It was in the Hydro - a new purpose built venue - and it was brilliant. We had a fabulous meal in one of the several vegan restaurants in Glasgow as well beforehand so it was like a proper night out which S and I rarely have these days preferring the comfort of a sofa, an open fire and a good movie instead!

On the Saturday we went to the Jack Vettriano retrospective - a collection of over 100 pieces that are all normally in private collections all over the world.  I love his work - to me it's like the flip side to Norman Rockwell - that same wonderful 1950s era but instead of just the innocent bright side, Vettriano's work is more about the dark and dangerous 'film noir' side to that era. S bought me a book on his work and one of the writers described his work as making you feel nostalgic for an era you didn't even live through and that's exactly it.

What I love most is that he is hugely successful despite being self taught and even though the Scottish art world criticised his work (probably because he wasn't classically trained and his subject matter was inspired by actual things such as a song title or a scene from a movie rather than pretentious nonsense).

Anyway, he inspired me to try a little homage to one of his most famous pieces 'The Singing Butler' but with my own favourite subject matter.  It's a work in progress and it may or may not work but I'm looking forward to giving it a go.

In the meantime, you're probably wondering what all this has to do with a little bunny rabbit having a quiet veggie lunch?  I came across this photo on my favourite photo reference site - Paint my Photo - when I was looking for reference photos for the piece I mentioned above and because I'm in love with the several rabbits who are currently living at the rescue centre I wanted to paint it. I take them in carrots or curly kale every time I volunteer there and I swear their little eyes light up when they see me now as they know I come bearing veggie gifts!!


  1. Your rabbit painting is so beautiful - love the eyes! (I also do Reiki!)

  2. I love bunnies(I know I do say that about every animal) and your painting is fantastic!! Sounds like such a wonderful day in Glasgow, and despite preferring the comforts of home once you're out it is a nice change of pace. I'll have to check out the artist you mentioned. I do enjoy the B & W film noir movies so I'd probably like this art. Good luck with the reiki-I'm sure you'll have certificate in hand very soon.

  3. I think you are doing exactly the right thing concentrating on gouache animals, you create such beautiful sensitive paintings, i'm sure this will lead to big things for you. As for Del-Amitri.. wow! loved them, reminds me of such happy days. 'Always the last to know' is now buzzing round my head!

  4. Your rabbit painting is so beautiful, love it Nic. Sounds as if you are having a great time.
    Annette x

  5. Hi Nic. Your work never ceases to amaze me. Wonderful. Love your new hairdo. I'm thinking of getting my hair cut but it worries me that I won't like it. You look great!

  6. Yeah you've been busy. Love your bunny. Great expressive eyes.
    Reiki Practitioner ... wow ... wish I know how to relax. I am one uptight person. I stress myself out!

  7. Well, again, how you do that fur on your animals is amazing. Your bunny looks alive. I had a look at the artist you mentioned, his work is indeed lovely. That's great that he's very succesful despite being self-taught. I get so fed up sometimes with the stuck-up side of the artist world ...

  8. Glad it's not just me! Phew! I have also only posted once during January, gaaagh! Better get cracking!
    You bunny is just adorable! you are a whiz with Gouache! I've never been successful with it myself :0)

  9. What a beautiful bunny! I'm always amazed at all the bunnies everywhere when I'm in England. You don't see them at all here. They're so sweet. I've been wanting to paint a picture of a hare, but it's hard to find a good reference. There's certainly no way of painting them from life. There are some in the wild animal park close by, but I've never actually seen one of them. Will have to look at that website. Love how you use those gouache paints. I bought a box a few months ago, but haven't really given them a proper try yet.

  10. Nic, congrats on reiki. So wonderful for you to pursue. I'd love to hear more about it. You and me over a cup of tea :). The rabbit is fabulous and you are amazingly talented no matter which medium you choose.

  11. The rabbit …. I can feel the warmth of him in your painting and feel that if I hold him (such a peaceful, loving rabbit) I shall be able to feel his heart beating. As for the way you have painted the fur, it is so soft and real, and the shading on it is superb.
    Daughter went to the Vettriano exhibition all the way from South Lancashire. Pity we are not into travelling that far nowadays, I would have liked to go. I agree with the Norman Rockwell link. I saw a TV program when he described his working methods, and like Rockwell he sets up real people in just the poses he wants for a painting and photographs them. An interesting artist, though not one of my favourites. What is wrong with the art establishment that they will not recognise him and include his work in major art galleries!
    Always enjoy coming to your blog and seeing your wonderful paintings.


Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.


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