Tuesday, September 5, 2017

My new book is here!

My book cover!

Well I've finally finished writing my book on oil painting, and Search Press have done a wonderful job with the design and layout and now it's actually here and I'm so pleased with it!

I've also seen this really lovely review of my book, written by Henry Malt of Art Book reviews, and I promise you I didn't have to bribe him with chocolate biccies!

Vibrant Oils || Haidee-Jo Summers

This is really rather wonderful. The initial impression, picking it up, is that it’s more than usually substantial and, at 176 pages, it most certainly is. A quick flick through reveals a wealth of illustrations and an enormous variety of subjects. Haidee-Jo’s style is loose, relaxed and colourful and this doesn’t, on the surface, feel like an oil painting book, insofar as those are often rather lofty and worthy. The truth is that it’s not really a medium book at all, but rather a guide to the whole creative process that just happens to use oils as its vehicle. I’d even go so far as to suggest that you could find plenty to get from it even if you never had any intention of working in the medium at all.
Investigate further and the next thing you might notice is that, for all its size, there are only 4 step-by-step projects. This is entirely in keeping with the approach, which is to teach you about the subject, rather than simply to train you to emulate it. In the old analogy, it teaches you to fish and feeds you for life, rather than giving you a fish and feeding you for a day. Subject matter is catholic and includes landscapes, seascapes, still lifes, figures and flowers.
Along the way, Haidee-Jo considers composition, colours, light, cropping, the use of layers, tone and more. Some sections are quite short paragraphs, some are sidebars and others simple hints. Everything is accompanied by an example painting and the explanations are commendably clear.
The publisher is trying to sell this as suitable for all levels of ability. I have my doubts. If you were a complete beginner, I think you might find its comprehensiveness overwhelming. However, if you have some experience, or are new to oils, as opposed to painting, it has a great deal to tell you and won’t disappoint.

As a special thank you the first 300 people who buy the book through my website will be entered into a draw to win one of the original paintings in the book. I have also promised (although I am quite possibly at risk of writer's cramp) to sign those first 300 copies! 

Click to see more info

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Yew tree and sun

Yew tree and sun
8" x 10"

March 14th
Mainly sun
4.30 - 5.30

On this late afternoon the sun was lighting up the stone wall of the cottage opposite and the distant trees with beautiful gold hues. Can you just make out the bird box on the right hand side, on the shadow side of the tree?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Yew tree and drizzle

Yew tree, March, drizzle
8" x 10"
March 12th
Dull and drizzly
11.30 - 12.30

A little series of paintings from my front garden last month. I love the way this small scene changes in different light conditions. I used an old board for this which I'd covered in muslin cloth, something that I hadn't been doing in recent years. I enjoyed the texture so much that I ordered some new muslin and made a huge batch of cloth covered boards.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Can I remember...?

Red boots
12" x 9"

Just wondered if I can even remember how to post to my blog, it's been so long. But of course you may not be on Instagram every day like I am so... hello again!

Since I spoke to you last in November I've been elected a full member of the Royal Institute of Oil painters - that's a VERY special achievement for me, and you can read more about the Royal Institute of Oil painters here :-)

That means that over here in the UK I shall now be known as Haidee-Jo Summers ROI, proudly sporting those letters at the end of my name. Now I'll just leave you wondering why the letters for membership of the Royal Institute of Oil painters are ROI and not RIO... meanwhile I need to order some new business cards...

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Allotment hens

Allotment hens

Here's a change, not a November painting of the allotments but one of my very favourite paintings from late spring. Quite a difference looking at those fresh spring greens now. I had a fantastic session painting this one, I was so happy there with the hens in the sunshine listening to the radio and summer stretching out before us.

Rather a special one this, and so I saved it for the Royal Institute of Oil painters exhibition. It's one of three that I'll have on show with the ROI at the Mall Galleries. The exhibition is open from the 30th November to the 11th December and I will be painting in the gallery on the 2nd December. I'd love to see you there :-)

Friday, November 18, 2016

Shepherds hut and geese

Shepherds hut and geese
6" x 10"

A different location today and an extremely difficult day for plein air painting - barely tolerating the cold wind and drizzle I had to retreat to the car when the rain poured down. Luckily the car was very near. Although I had a warm hat and gloves I got very, very cold painting this one. I was so happy to get home and warm up and not leave the house again for the rest of the day!

And I must say, a few cups of coffee and the favourable reaction to this painting from my Instagram followers cheered me up no end :-)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Path to the greenhouse

Path to the greenhouse
8" x 10"

Still loving this series of autumn paintings at the allotments, on this day I made a new friend, and this is Don's greenhouse. Again with the low sun I was looking at a dazzling effect through the glass against the rich darks of the fences, sheds and houses behind.

I really enjoy a lot of the marks I've made in this painting, as well as the colour palette which feels suitably rich and autumnal.


Monday, November 14, 2016

Pumpkins aglow

Pumpkins aglow
8" x 10"

You never know when you head out with your paints if you're going to find something really special. Any day could be the day when you find the proverbial pot of gold. It doesn't happen too often, and you know it when you see it.

Well, picture my face when I reported for duty at the allotments the next day not knowing what I would paint there, and then saw the way the low sun lit up this greenhouse. Not just the blinding light effect through the glass which was accentuated by the fabulous dark silhouette of the terraced houses behind but lo! The fabulous orange pumpkins and yellow squashes sheltering from the frost inside and visible through the glass. Yes, a 'red sail' day :-)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Seeds for the birds

Seeds for the birds
11" x 14"

On the cold crisp and bright morning which followed the bonfire I painted these towering sunflowers. It's funny that when the glorious yellow petals have died away the leaves themselves take on the golden hues, lighting up the soggy autumnal landscape. I loved the contrast with the purple greys of the white house in shadow, and the silhouetted shapes of the seed heads against the sky.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Bonfire and drizzle

Bonfire and drizzle
Oils 8" x 10"

The next day couldn't have been more different, as we entered November. Dark, drizzly, grey and cold, but I headed out to the allotments to see what I could find.

The light was flat and uninspiring but the smoke from a bonfire caught my eye. I knew it would be a good challenge for me because the values were all very close and the colours desaturated. So I decided to embrace the greys and knuckle down to work, and was cheered to see a couple of chickens move into view. 

Making the most of a gloomy day!

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