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the A to Z Art Glossary: # 1 - A to D

First published Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Earlier this year I took part in a

smallandsupercharged social media group A to Z about my business. Then I got really, really busy and it was sort of abandoned at T. I have since revived it, but thought I might post the whole A to Z (in manageable chunks) here for people to refer back to. So here is the first installment - A to D:

A is for Art.

Some of my earliest memories are of something I made or drew, or a painting that captured my imagination and made me want to learn to paint. There is always more to learn and that is a great motivation. I have taken side-trips along the way, but the same things that inspired me then still inspire me now.

Here are two examples.

I destroyed most (over 100) of my sketchbooks but one survived the cull so you have drawings from 1982 of a polo player and a French street scene, and paintings of the same subjects from my more recent art practice.

B is for Buchanimals.

My own companions often act as model and muse. These are three much missed boys who shared our lives, and all of whom we lost in 2015/16.

‘Whatever’ (top left) is our beloved Parsons Jack Russell, Riley, my studio companion who we lost far too early aged 11.

‘Hawa My3a’ (bottom left - literal translation, ‘our muse’) is Boris. Just the most generous horse ever and whose huge heart finally gave out when he was 27.

‘Counting Sheep’ (right) is my cathartic painting when I knew that my boy Atlas’ legs were failing after 20 years of a hugely active and enjoyable life together. I knew I had to let him go aged 23.

We had all too short a time together but they live on in these paintings and our memories. Now the following generation of Buchanimals are providing the continued inspiration for paintings and making new memories.

C is for Commissions.

Here I am not talking about the 40-70% commission that most Galleries or Agents take from a sale, but when someone asks me to paint their horse, dog . . . goats . . . cows . . .

This is my main income but also an inspiration and privilege in seeing first-hand, (and hopefully expressing in my art), the bonds between humans and their companion animals.

I predominantly work from my own sketches and reference photos (plural). As well as the final painting, my clients get to keep the drawings they see to choose which ones goes forward to a painting. Most also have these framed as artworks in themselves.

D is for Demonstration.

This image is my watercolour demonstration painting from a workshop in York. I still find demonstrating difficult - to focus on painting while being watched, and talk about process and technique at the same time - a big ask for an introvert more used to working in isolation! It is getting easier with practice and accepting that the painting will be looser and more akin to my painting from Life rather than my studio painting has helped.

The pencil below is a bit of the value sketch for this artwork.

My thanks to Les and Judy Packham for encouraging me to demonstrate and teach. Les is much missed but his photo watches me paint in the studio and I know he is there in the front row (in spirit) every time I paint in front of people as he did in Life.

Keep following my blog for more in the A to Z next week, and please comment below if you have enjoyed this post or want to have your own say, ask a question etc.

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The contents of this article or blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article or blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article or blog. Ruth Buchanan disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article or blog.

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