New Naturespheres

Naturesphere 3. Acrylic on canvas. 30x30" © Natasha Newton 2017

It's been quite a while since I updated the blog, but it's been a very busy summer with both home and workspace renovations, and quite a lot of artwork to fit in around the mayhem too. Rest assured, my silence here doesn't mean that things have slowed down; quite the opposite! I've been very good at posting on social media recently - mainly because it's quick and I can reach the maximum number of people easily - but very bad at keeping up with the blog and mailing list newsletters. By which I mean there have been no updates for months - I apologise for that. Anyway, I've been working on some interesting paintings and projects, so today I'll start by sharing two new additions to the Naturespheres series. I'm also currently working on a fourth, which is another commissioned piece, and I'm pretty excited about it as I love painting these! I seem to remember telling you that I had plans for this series, and I have managed to paint a really large (for me) Naturesphere at 30x30", in acrylic on canvas. The amount of detail meant it took quite a while to complete and there were times I felt as if it would never be finished! But it is, and it's now on show and for sale at Snape Maltings Gallery in Suffolk.

Naturesphere 2. Watercolour, gouache, and acrylic ink on paper. 8x8" © Natasha Newton 2017 / SOLD

I've deliberately cut back on the number of galleries I'm exhibiting with this year. This is a temporary measure while I settle into my new life, and I will ideally be adding a couple of galleries local to both places sometime in the future; two in Suffolk, two in the Surrey/Sussex area. I'd like to be able to build a relationship with the galleries that exhibit my work, rather than sending pieces to galleries I am unable to visit in person. This way I can monitor which paintings are selling in each place, easily changing pieces around and keeping the collection of work at each gallery fresh. Now, I just have to find suitable galleries!

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Violet Vert: Naturespheres

Naturesphere 1 © Natasha Newton 2017 / VV

Naturesphere 1 © Natasha Newton 2017 / VV

We've been busy during the past week renovating my new studio, so I've had very little time to actually paint and explore the ideas I have for Violet Vert. However, after a painting session on Saturday, which was largely an incredibly frustrating experience where I abandoned and threw away most of the work, I finally hit upon an idea I loved!

Before I started, I'd already decided that I was going to push myself out of my comfort zone and experiment with a different colour palette to the one I would normally use. I was going to make a painting using various shades of GREEN! Those of you who know me will know that I very rarely use green, and I've certainly never used it as the basis for an entire painting. I've been longing to work on botanical patterns as well, so this seemed like a good opportunity. A few hours later, a new series called Naturespheres was born.

This is the first Naturesphere painting, but I have big plans for these. Not only that, but I've already received a commission to create a painting for someone based upon this first piece! I often use Instagram to test out new ideas to see how they're received, and this one exceeded my expectations - it was met with an amazing response from people. It's always a really lovely boost when that happens, as there's often some trepidation before sharing new work publicly.

Naturesphere 1 is now available through the Violet Vert Etsy shop, with more pieces coming soon!

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Violet Vert Is Born!

I've had some very interesting discussions recently with my fiancé and a couple of artist friends, about the art I would like to create alongside my usual work and which direction I should take my work in. For a while now I've wanted to develop a collection of work that is really quite different to the landscapes, birds, trees, and astronomy art I've become known for. To be completely clear, I will still be continuing with these! But in the past, whenever I've attempted to change my colour palette, subject matter or style, I've lacked the confidence to do it. I became concerned that it didn't fit in with my other work, I wasn't sure how to brand or market it, and I wondered whether anyone would even like it or if it was actually any good.

Anyway, I've decided that I really want to go for this; creatively it's what I feel I need to do and I don't want to keep putting it off. Dominic suggested that I should perhaps have an alter ego in the way some artists and writers do when they want to create something totally different to the work they've become known for. At first I was unsure, and then I thought, "This is a brilliant idea!". We tried to think of a name for the Natasha who will create this new work. I've always loved the name Violet, and so Violet Vert was born! (Vert being the French for Green). Essentially this will be the name of the online shop and the name/brand I will create and sell this work under, but unlike a lot of alter egos, you'll know it's me! Violet Vert is courageous, and she creates the work she wants to, without all of the worries and doubts I have. She's totally free to do as she chooses and is brave in her choices.

Would you like to hear a funny story? Yesterday afternoon I'd been working on a logo design for Violet Vert, and when Dominic saw it he said, "Oh, I must show you these!". 'These' being a beautiful pair of wooden glove stretchers, probably Victorian, that he'd discovered in the cellar of the house. As I'd already planned to photograph the logo to share on Instagram, they proved to be the perfect prop at the perfect time - I love them!

The hand in the logo represents me - to my mind it looks more like a glove, and symbolises the persona of Violet Vert that I can put on or take off like a glove. The leaves represent growth and my interest in nature, which is also where I gain most of my inspiration. I look forward to sharing more of Violet Vert with you in the future.

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10 Facts About Me: Part Two

When I posted the first 10 of the '20 Facts About Me' here a few days ago, I mentioned that I'd probably be doing a Part Two, so here it is!

Studio Desk, Suffolk © Natasha Newton 2017

Studio Desk, Suffolk © Natasha Newton 2017

11. I find everything to do with farts really funny. I mean REALLY funny, in the way a 12 year old boy would find them funny. A man farted on the train the other day and it was all I could do not to acknowledge it and/or fall off my chair with laughter.

12. I get bad migraines and have done so since the age of 15, but they were only diagnosed as migraines a few years ago.

13. I love neon pink.

14. I live in two places right now: Suffolk (on the east coast of England) and Surrey (south of London).

15. I lived in Paris for a while between 2010-2014 on a part-time basis.

16. I eat chocolate every day. A little of what you fancy...

17. My work has been published in at least three books and eight magazines so far, and has been used as the cover art on several more.

18. I want to launch a range of products with my designs on them. We're looking into it.

19. I am quiet, very polite, and laid back, but if I see injustice, rudeness, or when someone pushes me too far I can certainly stand up for myself!

20. I believe the most important things in the world are love and kindness. Kindness is hugely underrated.

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