Roses in January

Roses                   watercolour            95 x 40 cm

In the northern hemisphere the winter can be problematic as far as finding flowers as subject matter for watercolour painting is concerned. Buying cut flowers can solve the problem but not only are they expensive in winter, they are often too stereotype looking and perfect. You can wait a few days for them to open up or wilt a little to let them become more natural or you can do as I did to find roses in January. I went to the nearest flower mart, not to the actual sales area but behind the back where all the goodies are hidden. There the rubbish skip, trash bin or waste bin, whatever you call it, can be a virtual treasure chest for floral artists. 
These were the roses I found, they didn't last very long after coming in from the cold so I had to be quick and concentrated. The background is imagined and the roses, stalks and leaves were actually standing in a bucket of water which for aesthetic reasons, I have omitted.


Showing videos

For several years I've been producing art educational videos on DVD about my painting techniques. A DVD is also great way of presenting paintings and the work behind them and I usually have a computer or TV standing somewhere in the gallery or exhibition hall. Also at the annual "Open Studio" arrangement every Easter the videos are shown. This serves the purpose of adding an extra dimension to the more static impressions of the hanging pictures.
In the beginning I just had a bulky box of a TV with a small screen and a VHS video which didn't really do justice to the artwork. Later when I went on to DVD's shown on a 32" Philips flat-screen TV the image quality was greatly improved. This year I wanted to move on to the MPEG4 technique and bought a Grundig LED TV thinking it would be an even better improvement. I was sooooo very disappointed with the result! As an artist the image quality is of course paramount and you want to see all the tonal differences you've painstakingly put into every painting. With the Grundig all the darks were dead BLACK, hardly no greys at all. Skin tones were magenta and light areas were bleached out to WHITE. I tried everything to adjust the on-screen colours but nothing helped so I returned it to the shop. The dealer then recommended a Samsung*, a little more expensive but the difference is amazing! Now I can show my videos on the TV in normal room lighting, the image quality is superb with vibrant but natural colours and a sharpness I didn't know existed! Being ultra slim it has the extra advantage of being more portable too so it's easier to transport to exhibitions. Apart from full HD it also has a wifi connection thrown in and loads of other goodies and if I ever start experimenting with 3D videos it can show that too.

Excerpts from two of the DVD's can be seen here on my website, I am working on a new one about watercolour techniques which I hope will be finished soon.

PS. *This is not an advertisement for Samsung, just a personal opinion. :-)