Lessons and points of note from Bath Marathon 3 and 4

alla prima Bath Experience Bath Marathon landscape painting oil on board plein air

The private view is today! TO SEE ALL 212 PAINTINGS GO TO-THE BATH GALLERY WEBSITE I am presently in Bath, almost tempted to do some snow paintings early tomorrow morning, Bath looks beautiful with the snow! The Exhibition will run till Christmas, DON'T MISS IT!
The Bath Marathon has been a wonderful experience. These are a few lessons and points of note from my last two marathons in September and October. these are follow up to the Lessons from Bath Marathon 1 and Lessons from Bath Marathon 2

1. I know this may sound funny but because I kept sitting and standing for long periods of time on the normal art fold-able stool I started developing some deadly back aches, now this got better and disappeared when I started using ABDO-MEN by Ardyss. My wife recommended it and it has also helped to combat cold too, during the painting sessions which last from up to an hour to 3 hours!

2.A Wobbly Tripod is dangerous. If it is dying, bury it, the first one I bought passed away when I completed the painting number 200! I tried to manage it but it was all in vain!

3. Please and please while painting know exactly how much your paintings cost, people are fascinated when they see artists paint live in all weather conditions and if you are doing a good job, they instantly want to pay cash! I had an experience in London, I was painting Chelsea Worlds End and a guy came up to me and said, "I have been looking for you for 6 weeks, and here you are!" He asked me how much I charge for the work I was doing I told him and that was it, deal sealed! People don't know about art that much, or prices, but they are looking for someone who knows what they are doing and is confident, and as an artist you have got to communicate that to the public.

4. For Winter, please get covered get protected. Below on my bed at the YMCA is a collection of gear I was going to wear in one day. To be uncomfortable while doing painting outdoors narrows your chances of producing a solid piece!

5. Get a taxi or bus to places you want to go to if they are far. Sometimes because of the amount of gear we carry while moving around, it can be weary walking long distances. I'll rather take a Taxi there and walk back home singing all the way!

6. I learnt never to joke with heavy rains. Even though I was prepared to the core, while doing one of my paintings at Queens Square, the rains came down and knocked me flat, washed my paintings to almost under-painting level and I almost cried! But then I'll never be a victim to that again. Get a sheltered place from where you'll be painting if the rains are heavy, it is safer!

7. Ask for discounts from Art shops where you buy your art materials, even though you are not a student, you'll never know what is on offer if you don't ask!

8. Don't drink to much liquid before painting sessions or you'll end up wanting to wee every now and then and that can ruin a day's work!

9. I developed sketching with a brush-marker felt pen before I started painting, now this helps if you are faster in sketching with these than with a brush. Use any method that will help you save time, time is precious, especially if you are trying to nail a certain type of light and you're trying to knock it off in a hour!

10. Give your boards a good priming if you prepare your self like I do. I normally give each board up to 3 coats of gesso and even a top up of transparent gesso too. It's never good to paint on a surface that is too absorbent.

11. Keep testing different brushes, never be satisfied, you'll never know which ones will end up being a PERFECT EXTENSION OF YOUR PAINTING HAND!

12. If the light keeps changing. Start with the things you know are going to change first. Like long shadows and certain angled effects of light on buildings. By doing these passages first, you'll end up being more relaxed for the rest of the painting.

13."ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE"- if you start and attempt it-THE JOB IS HALF DONE!

14. It is only by covering a good mileage of canvas and boards that your style will begin to develop. Don't go for style first, just paint much and your "brush-hand-writing or strokes will come naturally! I was surprised to see a common denominator occur in my work after the first 100!


16. Have a structured way of knowing all you spend on art materials. I learnt from Michele De Campo, he even keeps a record of every paint tube he uses in a year by coding the lids and keeping them. It is not funny, but a lot of artists under value their work because they fail to keep a good record of expenses. Costing and Estimation is essential- I did this as a side course in College and never knew the importance of it until now!

17. Don't have a set formulae or set method of going about your paintings. Be open to the scene before you. Sometimes you may want to build it from dark to light, sometimes you may want to just sketch in detail first or even just going straight into the painting, the scene will sometimes whisper to you how it wants you to do it!

18. If you are doing small paintings like the ones in this marathon, have a nice sturdy rack to store them. They need time to dry and unlike the canvas that has a stretcher beam, the boards are flat.See picture below.

19. If you move a lot around the place like I do, it is best to have a rolling suitcase than a back-pack. It will save your back and shoulders from wearing out too soon in the day!

20. BELIEVE! You can't do it if you don't believe you can do it. The Battle of life starts in the MIND! If you go out thinking, "maybe-----it will be a maybe" but if you go out thinking, "YES!!!!!!!!!--It will be a YES!

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