Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Nearly here!!

The all new Billy Showell website is nearly here, as with all things it has taken much longer than I thought but it is better than I had hoped. The book is in its final stages and the new dvd is in it's final production stage. I am of course just about dealing with all this and no doubt I will have overlooked something which I will be glad to hear from you if you think or spot something. What has been amazing is the encouragement from all over the world, I am suitably humbled, thank you. I did make one huge error with my 'sponsume' offers, I forgot about adding in the postal costs, so I will take a sizeable hit posting parcels to the US and Australia but one lives and I guess I will eventually learn. All sponsume gifts will be in the post within the next 2 weeks.

Any hoo, lovely people, below are the new class dates for Christmas and early spring 
(email Julie classeswithbilly@gmail.com) and for those of you too far afield my new Subscription Channel will be launched in December. Details of which will be posted like this and will also feature on the new website BILLYSHOWELL.COM

With much respect and best regards Billy

December 3rd Tuesday 10am- 3.30pm Finishing work, please bring unfinished work One Day Course £60
December 4th Wednesday 10am- 3.30pm Finishing work, please bring unfinished work One Day Course £60
December 13th Friday 10am- 3.30pm Finishing work, please bring unfinished work One Day Course £60
December 14th Saturday 10am- 3.30pm Finishing work, please bring unfinished work One Day Course £60
January 14th and 15th Tues/Wed 10.00am -3.30pm Painting leaves with emphasis on mixing colours Two day course £120
January 23rd and 24th Thurs/Fri 10.00am -3.30pm Winter Blooms Two day course £120
January 26th Sunday 10.00am -3.30pm Orchid Flower Study One day course £60
January 29th and 30th Wed/Thurs 10.00am-3.30pm Drawing including tonal painting, excellent for all levels Two Day Course £120
February 4th and 5th Tues/Wed 10am-3.30pm Orchid Special (plant to take away included in the price) Two Day Course £135
Feb 24th and 25th Mon/Tues 10.00am-3.30pm Early Spring Flowers Two Day Course £120

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Events so far and class dates

Hi, here are my summer/fall dates for classes at my studio, you will need to email classeswithbilly@gmail.com for the full form and details of what spaces remain. My Blog continues below.

August 12th and 13th  Mon/Tues                           10am- 3.30pm       
Two Day Course                                                                      £120
September 11th and 12th Wed/Thurs                 10am – 3.30pm
Drawing and light washes                                                              
Two Day Course                                                                      £120
September 17th and 18th  Tues/Wed                 10am – 3.00pm
Late flower composition                                                              
Two Day Course                                                                      £120
September 26th and 27th   Thurs/Fri                     10am -3.00pm
Two Day Course                                                                      £120
October 1st and 2nd  Tues/Wed                           10am -3.30pm
Fruit study
Two Day Course                                                                       £120                                     
October 11th    Friday                                               10am -3.30pm Seasonal vegetable                                                                                One Day Course                                                                       £60
October 20th  Sunday                                              10am-3.30pm                                                                                                                                                                
Autumn Leaves                                                                        
One Day Course                                                                       £60
October 29th and 30th Tues/Wed                           10am-3.30pm
Painting Squash   
Two Day Course                                                                       £120       

Well it is lovely to be in some fine weather finally, although today it is raining, I suppose the farmers need that as well as sunshine. This year has got off to another bumpy but non the less exciting start. In the first few months of this year I taught in Cheltenham, Darlington, Chester, Devon, Hampshire, Birmingham, Wisley, Colesbourne and Battle, oh and Wisley again, Phew!

 The weather was not kind at all throughout my tour but I was able to put my metal to the test with an all night slog through heavy snow and winds and I live to tell the tale, it was 'real' as the kids say. After that I could cope with anything but on arrival to Birmingham, I realised that I had turned up a day too early, I could have wept with exasperation of my doolally ways. Those who know me will say "no surprise there" but I was very lucky to have Sue Wilson and her husband come to the rescue, they put me up for the night and Sue and I had a fabulous day shopping in Birmingham, I loved it and bought 2 new dresses, silver lining, not on the dresses, just on the free day spent shopping. La di da.After that I was back on track, Jane had organised a lovely girly supper, fabulous and we were able to have a good laugh at how I had travelled all that way on an invalid ticket!!must be my innocent face.
I am very busy writing my next book and trying to find time to paint in between but there are so many distractions. It's a huge time for our family at the moment as Will my youngest has been asked to sing at the Rolling Stones Hyde Park concert!! We are all very excited, look out for him on line as Will Joseph Cook and my eldest Son Charlie, has a song out with an artist called Tigger, he calls himself Momur. There have been lots of meetings, tooings and frowings and all in amongst a'levels and gcse's. The house is jumping with music, thank heavens for the studio, 'a place to escape the bass'.
I am waiting desperately for the new Billy Showell palette to come out, I am promised soon, it is a long frustrating wait. BUT the book is on the way and all being well will be published October 2014.
The new dates for summer and autumn are above so do have a look and see if any will suit your diaries.
I am sorry to have not made Patchings this year, the list of things to do is so long and sometimes some things have to give.
The SBA AGM was interesting, it was sad to see Vicky Marsh leave as president but good to welcome Sandra Wall Armitage as the new boss. Exciting times for the SBA with some new blood on the committee, with talk of twitter, facebook and such like being used for promotion. I even put myself forward to organise some outings, bearing in mind the Birmingham fiasco you may wish to watch this space.

detail of 'Paloma shoe'

Friday, 8 March 2013

Painting as a Cure

March has started at 100 miles per hour, chasing around after the boys, Charlie with University interviews, a part-time job!!!! and Will with concerts right left and centre; along with my business and the house stuff cleaning, gardening, shopping etc, I am never quite sure how I remember everything but I do and that is the main thing.
In the back of my mind are all those lovely people asking me about painting and working out how I can share more of what I know, so with that in mind and at a very "baby steps" stage I am devising some lessons on dvd or to download. Now you will have to bear with me on this as sadly I think I am part of that lost generation who still think of computers as newfangled. I have the content ready but it is a few months off delivery but it is exciting and will hopefully help those of you who are too far away to attend my classes. You may of course already had enough of me and have found a new direction and that is as it should be, art is a journey and there are many paths; now I sound like Confucius!
If you know me you may know that I have the craziest dreams, really crazy and yes sadly I tell people about them. Don't worry I won't bore you with any now but must warn you that I am 'dream painting'. Yep, I am actually painting in my sleep and have luckily remembered the compositions so don't be surprised if next years SBA submissions are a little off the wall. I can't tell you what they will be or I will chase them away like a dream but am hoping to get something on paper soon, you have been warned. Luckily most of my dream painting is pretty so no headless chickens or similar I am sure you'll be relieved to hear that.
So onto March and my new colours, I have swapped my usual Winsor and Newtons for Sennelier, I know this will trouble many as you may have purchased the W&N colours but haver no fear the Sennelier can gradually be introduced once you have painted your way through the W&N, OR added to mixes if you please. To make things simpler I will be posting a conversion chart and have liaised with Sennelier to create a Billy Showell palette, which will be out very soon. The new Sennelier paints have honey in the mix, they are soft and dreamy to work with and largely transparent and luminous so they will make a great addition to your art box. The first 12 come in a specially designed box and there will be other small additions for the extra colours us flower painters need, so no excuse for not using the real artist colours.
Finding time to paint seems to be a real problem for me and for many other painters and students; the way I see it, is that one actually needs to make the time, as the peace and focus of the mind that painting brings is so beneficial, that it is essential to seeing off the blues that can creep into every day life. I find that time painting actually stimulates my imagination, I have time to think about the process and switch off from the mundane. Admittedly time is the issue but we are all guilty of wasting time, telly, window shopping, browsing freeby magazines full of stuff you don't need and dare I say it 'browsing the internet'..... there I said it, it wastes your precious creative time.
So without further ado find some space on a corner table prepare the paper, lamp, pencils and paint and every time you find yourself wasting time, stop what you were doing fetch something to paint (it could even be your coffee mug and a half eaten apple) and paint, paint!! Even if it is only 15 mins a day the improvement will be tremendous and the satisfaction of finding that little bit of creative time will be time well spent.
Life is really simple, but men insist on making it complicated. (Confucius)

Saturday, 23 February 2013

'Back' on track and discussing copyright

Hi, I can't believe we are into February already, my back is on the mend so am feeling ready for the world. Quite zingy really,despite having just recovered from flu, I managed to get together some work for the SBA show, which is always stressful. My theme is 'work in progress a snapshot of the painters desk', this may or may not be a success but I am always trying something new, I really hope they get in but it is never 'in the bag' as they say.
Hoping to spend the weekend painting but with teenagers about anything could happen, we are supposed to be painting the living room/ extension ( a big moment in this house) only 6 years in waiting.
Any hoo I thought this blog could be 'a sharing of info' blog, recently an acquaintance of mine has been badly treated over a copyright issue so I thought I would share my rant on this subject, please correct if I am wrong, or share your experiences. Us artists should share any experiences that should be avoided, there are so many sharks out there waiting to rip us off. I have certainly had my fair share, mainly when I was working freelance as a fashion designer but also as an illustrator.
 Donating/selling your painting does NOT give the recipient/customer any ownership of copyright. That remains yours and can only be theirs if there is a separate and written contract to purchase the copyright. Copyright would then only be sold for a fixed amount of time, ownership of copyright for life would have to be a large sum of money, as it would continue after your death ie forever. If the owner of the painting wanted to make cards or prints they would need your permission and or have to pay you and they will have to negociate how long and for what purposes. If you sell or give or donate the copyright you can't use it yourself (there are various agreements you can make) but if they own the picture and not the copyright, you can make cards, books or whatever from your scanned image. Spread the word.
If you sell a painting or give it away the copyright is yours they can not reproduce it without your permission or a contract and or payment.
All to often, we as artists are so happy and relieved when people like our work and can sometimes be persuaded to part with a treasured piece of work for a poultry sum, not a problem if both parties are happy but in situations where the recipient of the work has the ability and a plan to really profit from the painting, be wary, they will have done this before and will know how to manipulate the situation. We should value our work, if we value the time spent learning and then painting, we can at least expect others to respect the value we put upon the finished artwork.

Now then lets not be too gloomy, research is the key, ask questions, be honest with your fears and explain to anyone interested in having your work, how long it took to create and how important it is to you and your livelihood. I have the habit of photographing my work as I complete it and emailing the images to myself as proof and date of ownership, it is a small thing but does give me  little peace of mind. I try to keep a record of all the people who buy my paintings, so that if something exciting happens with the image, I can let the owners of the original know. 
I am always flattered when someone is inspired but one of my paintings but disappointed when copies are made and sold, that can be wounding. I do realise however that imitation can be sincere flattery, it is nice to see paintings that have been created from my teaching. In this situation the inspiration source should be credited and the piece shouldn't really be sold. 
So in conclusion keep a log of your work, mark the reverse with a note saying you retain copyright and be politely savvy, don't be afraid to discuss your rights when you feel they are at risk, even if it's a hobby your work should be protected. 
billyshowell copyright 23/2/2013 :)