Saturday, 31 January 2015
Jac and I have been out a couple of times today and we both agreed its not a time to be tardy. Rushing back to the warmth of the house yes we have got the heating on now. The scene above is quite appropriate.
I was listening to the radio the other day. The subject was bump parking, nudging someones bumper to make more space . Seemed a bit daft to me anyway it reminded me of a couple of stories I had been told . A PC in Welshpool was well known for his practical jokes. He wasn't young by any means and had been in the services during the war. At the time Officers used to park their cars in the grounds of the County Offices opposite. He had come to work and parked his car facing the car park railings.
He finished his shift and walked across in the dark jumped in his car put it into reverse but found it to be powerless. It didn't move. He floored it. This did the trick with a bang he shot backwards. Only his bumper remained firmly tied to the railings. He ran back into the police station in a temper to be greeted by mystified amusement. No no-one knew anything about it. Anyway by the following day he had re-attached his bumper and was in good spirits seeing the funny side of it. Of course no-one owned up.
Did he learn from this? No afterwards he was just the same practical joker he had ever been.
Posted by Mark Cox at 16:20
Friday, 30 January 2015
I was asked if I had ever done any paintings of Llyn Lech Owain the other day. I confessed we had never been there. So first opportunity, a dry day and bit of sun and off we went. The result is shown above. The painting is sold.
Today I have finished another commission. Alex has been a Taxi service and Jac has been to the vet.
Posted by Mark Cox at 14:04
Thursday, 29 January 2015
The above painting is of Whitesands Bay looking across to Ramsey Island. The waters around the Island are quite tricky and should never be taken lightly.
The last time we were here the sun was high and the waters were Mediterranean blue, not colours I normally use for a sea but I thought I would have a go at capturing them.
I am still going through my commissions and am down to four now.
Posted by Mark Cox at 15:07
Wednesday, 28 January 2015
About ten years ago or more I did a series of still life in the vein of Victorian Painters. The painting above is one of the series. They all sold but I never got around to doing anymore. Still life is quite nice as you can get on with it whatever the weather and its always better working from life.
I had been thinking I might do a couple more after Christmas but it hasn't worked out like that as I have more than enough to do but, maybe one of the days for a change?
Posted by Mark Cox at 08:52
Tuesday, 27 January 2015
I have just finished this painting of Broadhaven. Alex and I love the coastal path along this part of Pembrokeshire. There is a great view into the Bay and across to the islands with a constant change of cliff face and little inlets. That being said it is also great to sail across the Bay looking at the coast (provided the weather is amenable).
I said yesterday I have four commissions to do at the moment, it is now five but I have started on them and have the ground work finished on one.
Posted by Mark Cox at 16:03
Monday, 26 January 2015
The above painting is a painting of my mother I did a good few years ago. It was about 4ft by 2.5ft.
Yesterday the family went to Mid Wales to scatter my mothers ashes. It was a large gathering of family and friends saying their last goodbyes. Apparently it was a very uplifting day. I say apparently because I have been laid low by a chest infection and didn't make it. I am making progress now and need to get on with painting as I now have four more commissions awaiting.
Posted by Mark Cox at 11:18
Tuesday, 13 January 2015
Before Christmas I was asked if I had any paintings of Saundersfoot. I didn't and to be honest I didn't have time to do one. Anyway I had a gap in my work and thought I would do one (case of horse, stable, bolt...) but it will come in some time. So there it is above. A different view to one normally done of Saundersfoot but it displays its charm to good effect.
Posted by Mark Cox at 14:03
Monday, 12 January 2015
I like to paint in natural light. I have painted in studios with good artificial lighting but now I just paint when there is good natural light. This naturally has some disadvantages the main one being when the weather is poor the light can be too bad to work, like this morning. This morning then I decided the only thing to do was go to the gym instead, might seem a bit drastic but I felt less guilty having been.
This afternoon I did manage a couple of hours work. Even then the light was too bad to photograph it so I offer an old painting of cattle in the Brecon Beacons.
Jac is still limping along and I have to keep him on a lead when we go out. He is not a happy bunny!
He takes his retribution when we get back. He is now forever stealing shoes and hiding them to vent his frustration. It wouldn't be so bad but I only have a couple of pairs so I am constantly searching the house. All good fun!
Posted by Mark Cox at 15:34
Sunday, 11 January 2015
This week Alex Jac and I got down to Cefn Sidan one of our favourite beaches. This long stretch of sandy beach is at Pembrey and the Welsh "Cefn Sidan" roughly translates as silky back. I wanted a fairly monochrome painting and just used utramarine blue and brown umber with titanium white. I think it works ok.
To record the occasion I did the painting above. Actually we saw a guy on an old bicycle and he would have made a great picture by himself in the foreground but I have just done people in the middle distance. Maybe I will do the guy on the bike again. One for the memory bank.
Posted by Mark Cox at 08:25
Saturday, 10 January 2015
This is one of the paintings I re-worked slightly this week (Kidwelly Castle in Winter). Sometimes it is possible to get things a bit out or not quite to your own satisfaction particularly when not working from any references. In this case I wasn't working from life or a photograph or a snow scene merely an outline of the castle. It could just as easily been a sunny summers day. On reflection I felt that the tonal values were slightly out and the painting required more depth. Anyway job done.
Posted by Mark Cox at 08:47
Friday, 9 January 2015
I have sold most of the works of the Gower that I had tentatively done for my next exhibition so I am having to get some more done. I really like Three Cliffs and there are a good number of compositions I feel I should do. I have finished the painting above this week. It is a similar view to a previous work but this time I moved further back and have included both sides of the bay and the sand dunes.
I have previously mentioned that we have been plagued with nuisance sales calls for several years and although at first I didn't let it worry me it had got to the stage where I was continually putting down my brush to answer the phone only to be greeted from the far side of the world with with,"Hello is that Mr Jones?" The final straw was last week.
"Is that Mr Jones?"
"No it is not Mr. Jones." To then be asked,
"Is that Mrs Jones?"
I have tried a call blocker before which unfortunately didn't work with our phones but I ordered a Call Saint £25 plus postage off Amazon. I blocked all 00 and 08 prefixed numbers, peace has returned and my blood pressure must have reduced as well. Money well spent.
Jac has a bad paw and today I took him to the vet. He was given an injection and I was given a box of medicine by the receptionist. She asked,
"Have you had this medicine before?"
I said, "No, and neither has Jac."
Not a glimmer, it fell on stony ground. Alex always says no-one understands my humour.
Posted by Mark Cox at 09:48
Wednesday, 7 January 2015
Generally it is very difficult for an artist to establish themselves. They either need to work at marketing themselves or have a huge stroke of luck. "Artists are," as a good friend and person who promoted my work in the early days once said,"Ten a penny." Yes there is a lot of competition for a very limited market. The public can afford to be choosy.
On a personal note I mainly make sales through personal contact i.e. people who have seen or bought my work previously, or via the internet. My internet presence has been built up over the years through my website but more particularly through this blog. The views of images associated with both through google now exceed 800,000. Of course it is only a tiny percentage of people who follow up a view but it keeps me going.
I was asked the other day for permission to use my work in connection with a major festival being planned to go across Wales in 2016. The painting above is one of the images that is to be used.
Today I am starting a new work.
Posted by Mark Cox at 07:49
Tuesday, 6 January 2015
The above painting was a commission for a present to Peter and Bethan Burgess from the staff in the shop. There has been a Burgess Jewellers in Carmarthen for over a hundred years but they are now closing down which is a shame. I somehow lost my photo of the painting but thanks to Clive for sending me the one above. I chose to do a night scene for something different and wanted to emphasise the warm colours coming from the shop with strong contrasts.
Yesterday I made a few minor changes to two paintings, one that has been bugging me for a while and although it was framed I couldn't resist taking it all apart to make the change. The other one hadn't been framed but was sat against the studio wall waiting for its final blessing before framing.
Posted by Mark Cox at 09:04
Monday, 5 January 2015
Its quite nice to go to places out of season. No crowds and different light and weather conditions even if in the main I don't do moody skies.. Its not that I don't like them its just I find that bright sunlight and shadows tend to sell better. People admire the moody paintings but buy the bright sunny ones.
Nevertheless I enjoy sketching a good cloudy sky with a shaft of sunlight breaking on the sea...even if it will never make it as a full work. So a day trip to Saundersfoot, Cefn Sidan is on the cards.
The painting above is of boats in Saundersfoot harbour. As far as I recall I sent this one to the paint yard in the sky. I liked it as a painting but it is not a great marketable work appealing to a very niche market I guess. Now the grandchildren have arrived.
Posted by Mark Cox at 08:19
Sunday, 4 January 2015
On Saturday I went to watch the rugby with our son and two of the granddaughters (pictured above).
It was a bit of a shambles to start with as when we came to depart he discovered he had mislaid the tickets. Then the front door blew shut locking everyone out of the house bar the youngest grandson. Anyway everything was resolved and the Scarlets reprinted the tickets for us.
Needless to say a brilliant game with an historic win for the Scarlets over the Ospreys.
I am starting a new commission this week intermixed with childcare as apparently there is another Insect Day for Teachers! (I suppose you have to break yourself in gently after a holiday before facing a class of children). So cutting and priming boards this morning before getting on with Sunday Dinner.
Posted by Mark Cox at 08:38
Saturday, 3 January 2015
This is not my painting, it is the work of B. A . Lewis (1857 -1946) or " Lewis the Gas" as he was known (yes he worked for the Gas company). He was a fine watercolourist although he is relatively unkown outside this area. He was the founder of the Carmarthen Sketch Club which is still active and exhibits annualy. His son was the impressionist Edward Moreland Lewis (1902 -1943) who died in North Africa during the War. Edward is quite well known although his works are very much undervalued at present.
I admire the works of both artists and I have in fact painted the scene above without realising it had been undertaken by Lewis the Gas a good many years before me. I did once suggest that the upstairs gallery in Origin, Carmarthen be named after either artist as a homage - mark of respect but the suggestion fell like a stone to the depths.
Anyway Carmarthen Museum has a few of their works and is well worth a visit in any case.
Posted by Mark Cox at 09:25
Friday, 2 January 2015
The above painting is one I did of, cattle after the rain. I had seen this view as I passed a field whilst Alex was driving. She likes to drive and I like to watch the world pass by! Its not been a popular picture but it appeals to me.
Its another year and I guess we are both getting on a bit but not quite as much as some would think.
Yesterday one of our granddaughters asked:
"Was grandad in the War?"
Thanks for that and to clear up any doubt... No, I wasn't (thankfully).
Posted by Mark Cox at 08:18
Thursday, 1 January 2015
The above painting of Carmarthen in winter sits over our fireplace. It is pretty representational of Carmarthen today so Happy New Year to all from Alex, Jac and I.
We had a good night last night seeing in the New Year with friends. 2014 was a good year for us so here's hoping 2015 will be the same. I haven't made any New Years resolutions as yet but I do have a couple of pounds to lose!
Posted by Mark Cox at 09:28