Today is all about getting ready for the next shows and art fairs, so I am doing a stock-check, preparing my canvasses and sorting out my frame orders.
My canvasses are all bespoke, made by a firm in London from Belgian linen. It's a bit more expensive than cotton, but is better in terms of conservation. Having done a course in conservation, I always aim to use the best quality materials that I can. The canvasses are primed, and put onto wooden stretchers. The stretchers have wooden keys at the corners, which can be knocked in with a hammer to tension the linen.
I give the canvasses a coloured ground, usually cadmium orange or magenta, but sometimes a warm grey or lilac. It's good to have a medium tone to work from, and helps to unite the composition. It's also less daunting than working from a huge stark white canvas.
However, having rows of empty canvasses looking at you is also pretty daunting!
It's quite a challenge thinking through what images you want to choose for a show, what size of format is best for each image, and how you want the overall show to look.
A large amount of my time is taken up with the preparation for painting - going out on location to take photos, doing preparatory work, ordering materials, dealing with paperwork and consignments of paintings, and all the logistics of organising a show and getting work at the right time from a to b. However, getting all of that right is the key to producing good work!