Painting the Winter through a Parental Haze

A demonstration for Heswall Artists Association this Saturday provided my first opportunity for an extended painting session since the arrival of our baby Robin. Though feeling significantly rusty after a 2 month layoff, struggling to concentrate fully after several sleep-deprived weeks, and making by no means one of my finest paintings, it was hugely enjoyable…

Painting: a Battle of Wills

This morning I attempted to demonstrate ‘Landscape Painting in Acrylics’ to a lovely, friendly group of amateur painters in Wallasey. This demonstration was made more than a little challenging by a competing crafting group in the adjacent room, the intense volume of whose chatter made my attempts to engage my audience in a riveting and…

Beyond the Madness

I was asked last month to make a painting demonstration for a group of non-artists. Given a challenging time limit of not much over half an hour in which to complete the demonstration I unwisely chose too complex a subject – chrysanthemums in a glass vase. My approach to the early stages of painting can…

Can you hear me at the back?

I was approached earlier this year to do a demonstration in acrylics for the Irby Artists group. The demo – Boat Painting in Acrylics – was held this Tuesday evening, and pictured is the result. It’s a little unnerving making a painting and muttering away in front of a virtually silent group of 50-60 people…

In Praise of Alkyds

These days I like to vary the media with which I paint, in turn embracing the unique qualities of oils, acrylics and alkyds respectively. I’ve been working with Winsor & Newton alkyd paints for over 20 years; most of my pre-2010 work (and around half subsequently) labelled ‘oils on canvas’ on my website (www.birtall.co.uk) was…