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Sunday, 30 January 2011

25th Birthday.. A special horse's special day

Last Friday, I was invited to Florestan I 's 25th birthday.
It was a really nice afternoon and the occasion celebrated in style.
Apples and carrots for the birthday boy (and bubbly for the two legged guests.)
Being a part of this was humbling, memorable and quite simply very special. I took my Eos and let it do the talking. Here is what it had to say.

Susanne Schmidt-Rimkus, Andrea Stricker, Herr&Frau Schulte-Boeker

Florestan was on fine form and looking amazing for his years.

Florestan I
Rheinlaender, born 1986, Bay, 170 cm

Press lens and pens captured the moment in pictures and words.

The first two Limited Edition Prints of my drawing "Holding On" were presented as gifts to his breeder Herr E. Schulte-Boecker and rider/groom Andrea Stricker (pictured here)

Sun + smiles + special equines= Perfect moment.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

"Art is In" and "Conquista": commissioned drawings.

One month ago Xmas trees were into their last week of shining glory and seasonal gifts making their way to new homes.
Here are another two action portraits, Christmas commissions, which found their way under a glimmering pine tree.

Always enjoy drawing show-jumpers especially when they are in full flight and have that extra special look in their eyes.
Both of these successful equines offered me just that as well as a lovely walk down memory lane.

"Art is In"
Pencil on Paper, 32x28 cm
Sheona Hamilton-Grant. All rights reserved.

Pencil on Paper, 32x28 cm
Sheona Hamilton-Grant. All rights reserved.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Hot mugs and sketched circles

With each new winter, my right hand slows down just that wee bit more.
Decades of "poo shoveling" and hard outdoor equine management is starting to take it's toll on my joints - more importantly my right hand.
I'm not too worried (strong images of work produced by Renoir while crippled by arthritis remind me of what can be achieved when the passion is strong!)

Knowing that I am not the only artist relying on a fully functional, mobile hand, I would like to share my home remedies of how I try to overcome and beat the frustration of drawing with a slow, overworked hand.

A big chunky hard-wearing mug filled to the max with piping hot water is held a few minutes. This is too let the heat seep in and warm-up the whole of my hand. The warmth generated helps to relax it and get a better grip of my pencil. Bliss.
Once the warmth is in deep, I move on to a few warm- up exercises. Circles of all shapes and sizes are sketched on scrap paper. Paying special attention that they are produced at speed in nice flowing swoops in every direction.
After which, mug is re-held tight, fingers jiggled and "serious" drawing begins.
The process does take long but the relief and effects hang around for a good part of the first session.
If you have any other tips you would like to share. I would love to hear them.

"Reunion dans le jardin" (unfinished)
Auguste Renoir, 1911-1915
Despite the vivid colours and strong movement , this Renoir painting was no doubt created through pain and frustration.

"Renoir peignant"
Albert André, 1919

This painting by Albert André shows Renoir painting with his brush strapped to his badly damaged arthritic hand.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

"Post Your Artwork Online Anytime" by Michael Cash

Post your Artwork Online Anytime

by Michael Cash

Uploading artwork onto the internet is something that has been available to many for the past decade, but only in the past several years has it been quite so easy. With the latest smartphones, laptops, and tablets on the market, it is easier than ever to upload media onto the internet instantly. While uploading music onto the internet has become quite mainstream, it can be difficult to find a means of uploading fine art pieces onto the internet. Some sites cost money in order to upload artwork, and some web sites are merely for display only.

Of the plethora of modern devices which are capable of uploading artwork from practically anywhere, the laptop is definitely the most robust device. It does not offer the same degree of mobility as some of the smaller devices, but most laptops do have access to wifi, and use hardware that is much more powerful than the most powerful tablet, or smartphone. In addition to a larger storage capacity, laptops offer access to a greater diversity of software. Smartphones such as the iPhone, or Google's Android offer advanced access to the web in a hand-held device. Most smartphones offer quality cameras which can be used to take photos of artwork. After the picture is taken, the media can then be uploaded to any site on the web in a matter of seconds.

Tablet PCs have become quite popular in recent years, thanks to their multitude of uses. One such use is the ability to access the internet using a connection to a wireless internet service. One of the most prolific tablets, called the iPad, can be used for a variety of different purposes thanks to the enormous App store offered by Apple. Not only can the iPad upload images from the device onto the internet immediately, but there are Apps which allow users to actually create their own art pieces, using the touch screen of the tablet.

Quite a few web sites allow art to be uploaded and displayed. Not all of these web sites serve the same functions, however. Some, such as allow artists to simply upload their work. This web site also gives its users the ability to maintain a personal page which can display a short resume and portfolio. Those who are looking for talented artists can post wanted ads on the site as well.

Fine Art America is one of the largest and most successful websites which allows artists to display their pieces of art for the rest of the internet to see. Over a million pieces of art are on display, and nearly 50,000 artists belong to the web site. A great variety of fine art is on display, including sculptures, reliefs, canvas prints, and tapestries. Joining the website costs nothing, and the option to sell, buy or market yourself through this site is something that not many art related web sites offer for free. There are scores of different options for artists to showcase their work, such as the custom shopping page which allows an artist to create a storefront for their own work. There is even a Facebook application which can be attached to a Facebook profile. This application allows one to sell works of art to their friends and family through the social networking site.

Keep in mind when uploading photographs of artwork, that the size of the picture matters. The larger the file, the longer the file will take to load. Uploading an image that is 5000 pixels by 5000 pixels will give the viewers a clearer image, but the picture will also take two minutes or more to load onto the screen.

Michael Cash is a twenty something freelance writer and internet consultant residing in western Michigan. When he’s not coaching people out of 1990s era web practices, amateur astronomy and hiking take up his time. A completely random fact about Michael is that he used to “ghost hunt” as a youngster.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Nelle - pencil driving portrait

Driving four wheels, loads of PS and fast down German motorways is my idea (and experience) of driving.
You can imagine how intruiged I was to discover a little more about the lower PS driving last summer.
Horses, controlled, focused, beautifully groomed and on a mission to win, greeted my Eos and I over three days at the annual Ostenfelde driving show.
Understanding a little more of the in's and out's of equine driving helped me no end in creating my first driving portrait.
Nelle is a 6 year old Haflinger/Welsch Cob mare with a massive heart and beautiful manner. Her blond looks and pretty movement are deceptive: she's a real "go getter". She won her categories not only at this show but also the over regional Westphalian Cup.
Her owner and driver found this portrait of her under her Christmas tree as a great big bonus success.

Pencil on Paper.
Copyright Sheona Hamilton-Grant.
All rights reserved.

Next week, Black on Grey on White, will feature a guest post by freelance writer and internet consultant Michael Cash. Micheal will let us in on how to post our artwork online anytime. For those of us "on the go" a useful option to have up our sleeve.

Monday, 10 January 2011

A new year, a new decade, a new ...

2011 is going to be a great year, a year of change, challenge, growth, inspiration and prosperity.
How do I know?
I don't.
Giving it my most serious shot will kick start it to being just that.
We all have the same: twelve months, 52 weeks and 365 days.
10 days have already been spent at this end working on the change, facing the challenge, feeding the growth, nurturing the inspiration and preparing for the prosperity.
355 to go... here's to a cracking 2011!