We had them all and often in one day. Travelling to Portugal to teach for two weeks at Art in the Algarve was exciting and inspirational. Olhão is south of Lisbon on the coast of Portugal. A fishing town and tourist destination, it has so many paintable places. The art groups sketched and painted street scenes, churches and the harbour. We sailed to Armona (a nearby island), explored the coast and secluded beaches, and painted magnificent skies and coastal scenes. The natural reserve was fascinating... with Roman ruins, birds and animals (flamingoes and eagles)... with gentle exploration through the acres of trees and bushes. We were fed extremely well, had unlimited access to wine (some claimed it helped their painting) and had fabulous accommodation. The class produced two or three works of art a day and even though they commented on how “shattered” they were, they were always excited to pick up the brushes for more painting the following day. For anyone interested, there are still some spots available for my workshop in October next year… please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
After Portugal, the UK was my next painting destination. Painting on the road from Manchester to Wales, from the Dorset coast to New Forest and a few other places in between, before finally finishing in London. There was inspiration and visual excitement at every turn! The highlight for me was stumbling upon a meadow of wild horses drinking from a stream in the New Forest. The amazing weather, magnificent skies and plenty of autumn colours tested the palette and my skills. The plan is (as with Portugal) to return next year to repeat the process (but even better locations and paintings)!
Aqua Pura is the title of my upcoming Sydney exhibition at Aro Gallery in Darlinghurst. November 27-December 8. Water is a central theme, featured in coastal scenes, big skies, lakes and streams and the grand Pacific. I have explored many parts of eastern Australia and Sydney’s northern beaches seeking quiet “out of the way” places and also some very popular and recognisable places to paint. The online catalogue will be released two days before the exhibition starts. I hope you can make it to see the collection. I am looking forward to seeing many of you in person!
Below are 4 paintings still available from my travels... they are 15X20cm and priced at $650 Australian each + postage.
"St James's Park, London"
"The Lake House, Ullswater"
Art in the Algarve
It has been a busy couple of months following the Melbourne exhibition. A time for reflection too. I have put much thought and effort into my artistic practice. The wintry weather has ushered in some broody, moody skies here on the south coast. I have been excited to experiment with colour and markmaking and have branched into new compositions. The florals continue and you may see a few installations and interiors appear amongst the landscapes and seascapes. My fascination with light and water has resulted with some innovative renditions, just to keep things interesting.
My daily walks along the beach have prompted me to begin some studies of the sunrise. Smaller works, more immediate responses and rehearsals for en plain air paintings to come. Intensive painting for the upcoming Sydney exhibition has taken much effort and planning. Thinking forwards, working backwards. I have been painting my way around Pittwater, Manly and the eastern suburbs. When we arrive home from Europe there will be less than two weeks before the Sydney show begins on November 27th at Aro Gallery. So painting has to be all but completed in the next week!
We will be heading down to Victoria for a week in the spring gardens. Then off to Portugal to teach two workshops at Art in the Algarve. More painting and travel in the UK will follow, then back home via Korea. Watch out for the daily paintings from Portugal, the UK and maybe a few random places along the way. The bags will be bulging with art supplies and promise! Watch my travels unfold on my daily posts on Facebook and Instagram.
Finally, Shellharbour workshops for 2020 are now available for booking on my website at Summer Workshops. These sold out fairly quickly last year so be sure to book early if you want to attend the 3 day Shellharbour summer workshops. Thanks as always for your support and I will be in touch with you all again in November!
Melbourne people, you were wonderful. Windy, cold days could not hold back those who braved the wilds to come and enjoy the exhibition at Brightspace Gallery. There were also those who attended the workshops. This year we had two weeks in the gallery. It was great to catch up with old friends and make new ones. There were paintings sold right up to the last hour of the show. Thank you everyone for coming along and for your encouraging words. Thank you to those who travelled far and wide to get there! Perth was the winner for distance but the stalwart award goes to Sue who came in after a delayed flight from Dubai… no sleep and torrid journey to catch the last hurrah. Well done!
For those who were unable to attend the show there are still a few great paintings available now in my stockroom at www.richardclaremont.com/stockroom
The workshops were full and many beautiful paintings composed and completed over the week. Lots of learning, lots of laughs and a few personal triumphs. Some battled through grievous personal circumstances to fulfil their goals. All left inspired in some way to take their art to the next level.
My studio time is now filled with preparations for the Sydney show at Aro Gallery in November/December. Sydney scenes are in there with a few hidden gems joining the more recognisable places we all know and love. Like my students in Melbourne, I am challenging myself to take risks, try new techniques and refine my skills. Paintings are piling up around the studio already. I have my schedule and am rigorous about keeping disciplined and focussed.
Two lots of travel are planned before the Sydney show. The first is a road trip to Victoria where I will be sketching and painting small works of scenes between the south coast of NSW and Olinda. The second is to Portugal in October where I will be teaching two workshops hosted by Art in the Algarve. There were many who missed out this year, so make sure you get in early for next year! Good fun ahead I am sure. Make the most of each day people. Live well and cherish special moments. Happy painting all.
Just a quick announcement that my online catalogue is now available at Melbourne Catalogue. Please contact me if you have any enquiries.
For those in and around the Melbourne area I would love to see you at Brightspace Gallery. Show starts this week and I will be at the gallery most days. Come in and say hi... see what I've been up to this year... 33 paintings from all around Victoria including the Mornington Peninsula, Yarra Valley and Gippsland. There will also be a good selection of my florals on show. All details below!
The past month was planned to be consolidation for my Melbourne exhibition. Instead, and to my surprise it has been a month of opportunity, discovery and experimentation. A change of course and innovative techniques has led to some new paintings and fresh approaches to colour and execution. The planned and careful preparation has been overtaken by vibrant new colours and additional subject matter for what will be a very interesting collection for a wintery southern capital city.
Terra Flora is the title for the Melbourne exhibition. Reflecting the themes for the show, there will be Victorian landscapes and some of the floral arrangements that I have been embracing this year. Earth forms and seasonal flowers. The florals have entranced me, surprised me and taken me somewhere left of my comfort zone. So much so, that returning to landscapes felt a little like foreign soil at one stage. The other change for Melbourne is that the show will cover two weeks. Workshops are slotted in around extended viewing opportunities. I hope that everyone will have the chance to come. I am looking forward to meeting you all!
For those unable to attend, I will be sending out a link to the online catalogue just prior to the commencement of the show.
Melbourne has not even happened and already I am planning and preparing for Portugal and Sydney. The life of an artist is always a fine balance between spontaneity and forward thinking. Paint must dry, frames be made, bookings arranged and promises honoured. I am planning lessons and seeking to inspire both through teaching in workshops and also in my @mystudiodoor posts on Instagram. As always I value your support and welcome questions and feedback. Keep warm those of you in southern climes, and enjoy the summer those of you lucky enough to be in the northern hemisphere!
New York was kind, the people magnificent, the workshops wonderful. Lovely friendships were formed and much painting done around the beautiful lake in Central Park.
Two out of the three days were clear and mild. We looked at the bridges and waterways, light and springtime trees, blossoms and boats. To a magical and musical background the participants used oils, gouache, pen, pencil and acrylics to portray the scenes before them. The third day was just as magical, but bitterly cold and rainy. We had arches for cover where hip hop dancers bopped to a doofdoof beat, followed by some melodic guitar playing. There was a wedding and opera singers. Bethesda fountain kept us company along with curious onlookers who wove through our ranks and photographed our work freely and all-too-closely. Wow! I can see so much improvement and direction. Well done everyone! If you are interested in future workshops (anywhere in the world) please let me put you on our contact list. Just send an expression of interest via email.
Melbourne exhibition looms! Just a few weeks away in July (10-21) at Brightspace Gallery. Central theme will be the spectacular Mornington Peninsula. Arty warmth for a cool time of year in the windy four-seasons-in-one-day city. There will be more workshops. The instruction will take place in the gallery surrounded by the work on the wall featuring still lifes, landscapes and seascapes of areas around Melbourne.
Looking forward to seeing you at the show if you can make it! Or if not, stay tuned to Instagram @mystudiodoor @richard_claremont, Facebook, Twitter and emails. Thanks for following and gratitude for sharing and keeping the buzz going.
Facebook reminded me this week that two years ago I resigned from Australia Post to become a full time artist. Working for yourself is a tricky business, but despite what I feared, the sky has still not fallen in on me yet! My 20-year-old self would have been stunned and incredulous that I could one day be doing what I love full time. And now the opportunity to inspire, teach and help other artists with what I’ve learned. I’d like to thank everyone who has shared my journey, supported me and made this all possible.
Well, New York is here. Packing is all but done and we are off on Monday. I am sure it will be over all too swiftly and a new chapter will begin with the legacy of new friendships, more paintings completed and another New York City birthday under my belt. Watch IG and Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for a peephole into the world of Central Park workshops and connecting with the USA!
Keeping fresh is often a challenge for an artist. Varying subject matter, style or size can be a catalyst for change and I have employed all of these to test myself and progress the artistic integrity of my work. Clouds and mood feature heavily… but you will also see street scenes, reflections and florals in the landscape mix. I love experimenting with unusual or unpredictable background colours and combinations. Anyway, see you all on the other side of the Big Apple!
From the studio this month...
Sleepless in Seattle has been me this summer. Hot weather stifling creativity. Existing on crumbs for sleep. Considering options for cooler environments like moving to Antarctica or southern New Zealand, or getting an air conditioner. The air conditioner won. Much cheaper… well… somewhat cheaper, and better for family. Nonetheless I painted and maintained the work schedule. Florals and landscapes and a few plans for interiors. I have also begun some larger paintings for my series on the Mornington Peninsula. Sunsets have me wondering if art can imitate life and would anyone believe it if I replicated the magnificent colours that I have witnesses lately. Storm clouds too. Amazing clouds and atmospheric conditions.
Preparation for New York Workshops are ramping up too. It is the end of next month, soon to be this month! I am anticipating warm(ish) weather and a cascade of cherry blossoms. Anything less and I will be bitterly disappointed! New York is a special place for me and I have taken to celebrating my birthday there. I welcome suggestions and stories about places that are great to paint and worth a visit. We will be based around Central Park and I have a few plans in place, but if anyone has some local knowledge about great spots to paint... please let me know!
Some new toys for me to play with have been Sennelier oil sticks, Gamblin FastMatte oils and Art Spectrum rubber brushes. New marks, new feel, different strokes. I have blown the budget buying more to increase colour range and versatility. Good fun was had by all. I can’t wait to use all new members of the brush and paint family growing in my studio. They are lined up expectantly in a row, patiently waiting. I am less patient. Keep watching. See if you can pick them.
Meanwhile, here’s a snapshot of this month’s work:
The summer workshops in Shellharbour have ended. The last hurrah was a follow up with a course participant the other day. Wow! What a month it was. We had rain, sweltering heat, seasoned artists, beginners, walks, adventures and a thousand onlookers. Ambassadors for art, teaching on the spot, poster boys and girls and many admiring glances from passers by. Everyone had a great sense of spurring one another on and supporting fellow travellers on the art road. One sold a painting on the spot. Another inspired a new generation of artists in true teacher fashion. Other sales followed and excitement built for more workshops to come. Well done everyone! Thank you for sharing your journey with us all.
My next focus will be on the New York workshops in May. The first one on May 4-5 sold out very quickly so I have decided to run another one on May 6th. If anyone is interested please find all the information here: New York Workshops . I am looking forward to meeting all my American friends and painting plein air in Central Park. The blossoms will still be in bloom and the weather will be wonderful…. I hope!
February has been a month of more florals. Strong light through glass and textured petals have been a highlight. Landscapes have featured as well, but the chance to use colours other than green and blue have enlivened me and my practice. I love the variety of the still lifes and feel invigorated. Thank you to all who have commented and encouraged me (one way or the other).
Meanwhile, here’s a snapshot of what’s been happening this month:
The new year is here. I hope it has been a great start for you all. I have begun the art year by experimenting with floral tableaux combined with light and shadow compositions. I have been looking to add a “new string to my bow” for a while and I am finding still life as exciting as my landscape work. Teamed with my wife’s love of flowers, my duty to buy them each week and a new direction… the results have been pleasing. The new paintings seem to be received well by the comments sent my way and thank you to all who have provided feedback.
Summer workshops in Shellharbour have begun. The two so far have been blessed by suitable weather, fantastic scenery and happy participants. It is amazing to see so many different paintings from similar vantage points! Everyone worked hard and pushed themselves to explore new techniques and styles. All went home armed with vigour and resolve to be better at what they do and celebrate their successes.
I celebrated my son’s thirtieth birthday this weekend. I painted two seascapes at Stanwell Park while we were all away together as a family. Coastal inspiration continues, further north and higher up. The travel will continue this year with the USA, Portugal, Melbourne and Sydney planned. A little more of Australia is a possibility... thinking... thinking. Looking forward to meeting more new and old friends this year at workshops and exhibitions too! Keep in touch and don’t forget to follow @mystudiodoor on Instagram for those wanting a peek behind the scenes into my artistic practice.
Some work from this month: