Thursday, 20 July 2017

Preparing for an artists demo

Reposting one of my most popular blogs

There's no doubt about it, if you want to be a full time artist, eventually you are going to have to do a demo. The first time I did a demo it was on a scorching hot day in July and I was painting in fast drying acrylics "Plein Air": Certainly a trial by fire.

There are different kinds of demos
Demo at a show or event, which is all about painting and just needs courage and supplies.
Demo with talk, which is more varied and needs to be well prepared.

This is a check list of things to do to prepare for a demo with a talk. Remember people are there to see you paint, so keep the talk to 30 mins and demo at least 30 mins. Be brave and remember that people are already on your side by showing up. They want you to succeed. As well as an intro you will also be talking when you paint, but that will be about process and answering questions. Leave time at end to answer personal questions.

A list of good traits and bad traits in presenting.

Good - Sound knowledge, prepared, on topic, open and sharing, engaging, good voice and pace,start on time

Bad - Boring, no control, poor voice and speaking, knowledge of equipment, not set up.


1. (a) Pick a topic and a catchy title
Something you're passionate about
Something you are knowledgeable about
Something people are interested in -
Personal discoveries, techniques
Don't have too broad a topic

Possible Topics
Light and shadow
Finding style
Fur and feathers
Depth in water

1. (b) e.g Negative Painting for Positive Results

2. Collect material
Progress photos including prep drawings
Any visual material
What inspires you
Supplies and equipment
Slide show - 10 - 20 slides - no more than 6 bullets on each page, no more than 6 pages - not longer than 30 mins

3. Create short bio
How you took up art
Your personal journey as it relates to your art
Successes and failures
Keep it brief and think about what people want to hear not a list of achievements

4. Prepare an outline
Place everything in a folder on computer (make sure to number in order)
Focus on topic and gather visual aids
keep adding ideas - better to have too much than too little
Create Structure
Visual elements

5. Prepare for Tangents
Questions - Answer question and return to topic
List of supplies
Knowledgeable hijackers - Thank them and go to topic
Balance time versus interest

6. Assemble items
Power cord, lights
Several progress paintings to work on
Bring finished work

7. Plan Room
Best way to seat people
Rear tilted mirror
Easel (blocking view, which side to stand)
How equipment works
Arrange visual aids in order
Size of demo piece? According to size of room

8. The Demo
Be organized with tools and visuals
Paint for at least 30 mins
It's easier to prepare several progress canvases
Answer questions
Pass things around

Ending - allow people to come up and see
Answer questions
Leave time for off topic questions to be addressed personally

Saturday, 8 July 2017


DAVID HOCKNEY OM CH RA (born 9 July 1937) is an English painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer. An important contributor to the pop art movement of the 1960s, he is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century. 


In December 1985, Hockney used the Quantel Paintbox, a computer program that allowed the artist to sketch directly onto the screen. Using the program was similar to drawing on the PET film for prints, with which he had much experience. The resulting work was featured in a BBC series that profiled a number of artists.

Since 2009, Hockney has painted hundreds of portraits, still lifes and landscapes using the Brushes iPhone and iPad application, often sending them to his friends. 

Sea says "I'm not so fancy, I use the limited app that comes with iPad "notes". I must say though that it's very addictive. Lately I must have my iPad drawing fix every day and for someone that was criticized for not having enough drawing in my portfolio, I think that's pretty fantastic."

Hockneys show "Fleurs fraîches" (Fresh flowers) was held at La Fondation Pierre Bergé in Paris. In 2011 a "Fresh-Flowers" exhibit opened at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, featuring more than 100 of his drawings on 25 iPads and 20 iPods. In late 2011, Hockney revisited California to paint Yosemite National Park on his iPad. For the season 2012–2013 in the Vienna State Opera he designed, a large scale picture (176 sqm) on his iPad, as part of the exhibition series Safety Curtain, conceived by Museum in Progress.

"Strangely, I don't ever remember studying his work before. Of course I knew the name and had a vague idea that he was gay and either British or American. I also had a residual memory of swimming pool paintings and water.

When I started my iPad drawing journey, many people I spoke to pointed out that David Hockney was now almost exclusively using his ipad. I was excited by that, but in my usual independent way I didn't want to be influenced by his style and avoided looking for them. 

Now I'm starting to develop my own iPad drawing style it's safe to sneak a peek at Hockneys iPad work. Wow! Wonderful stuff.

And one of my latest iPad abstracts available as a limited edition 8" x 10" canvas print by contacting me here."

And I can't resist sharing one of my latest pool images with a nod to David Hockney.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Everything Maple

True North
6" x 8"
Acrylic on Canvas Panel

If you're in Canada, you've heard nothing else for months (unless you've been off grid), for my other readers, on July 1st 2017 Canada celebrated it's 150th birthday. As a result, I'm currently working on a submission for "Proud to be Canadian", a Canada 150 exhibition. It starts August 1st, which seems a little late, but I'm running behind on most things lately, so this exhibition is in sync with my life.

The two completed paintings shown here are from my current catalogue and are available to purchase, but are sadly not the right size to submit to this exhibition. I've had many ideas, but none have gelled, so at this late date I find myself clutching at straws and researching all things Canadian. Here are some interesting things I've uncovered during my research. Happy reading/viewing/eating!

Morning Coffee Video - All you never wanted to know about Maple Syrup
Recipe - Yummy Faux Maple Syrup
Maple Trees - Some of these are quite surprising 13 Species of Maple Tree
Toronto Maple Leafs - Ice Hockey Team of course - International Baseball Team???
The Maple Leaf Forever - Canadian Flag

Maple Cascade
3.75" x 5.25"
Watercolour on Cold Pressed W/C paper

I will share the painting I'm submitting soon.