Three reasons why I paint on fabric…

As you might know, I am an artist who paints on fabric. A few people
have been asking why I do this, so here are my top three reasons…

1. I can incorporate the pattern, colour and texture of the fabric into my paintings (aka it will match your curtains).

2. You don’t need to frame the painting, because the edges are covered with beautiful fabric.

3. The painting becomes a dynamic, textured surface that catches the light in different ways.

You can see more of my work at www.nicolawiltshire.com or order through www.newbloodart.com


Painting makes Secret Art Prize long list

My painting ‘Trees At Midnight’ has made the long list for The Secret Art Prize, which is run by Curious Duke Gallery in London. It’s great news, as the gallery has a slightly quirky, street-art sort of style, which I think would be an amazing environment for my work. 

As my painting has made it to the long list, it is eligible for the ‘People’s Choice Award’ and the winner will directly make it through the final selection. The rest of the final works will be selected by this year’s judges, who are Radio 1’s Trevor Nelson, artist Mark Powell, director/curator Anna Smithson, art historian Ana Bambic Kostov, director Frankie Shea and writer Anna McNay. Fingers crossed as this is a great opportunity!

Voting runs until 28th August and you can take part here.


Making my own paint

There are some wonderful paint brands out there (Michael Harding, Vasari, Williamsburg) but I’ve found the best way to get high pigment oil colour is by making it myself. 

Buying the pigments, oil, muller etc is not cheap, but neither is a tube of Michael Harding, which can set you back up to £65 for a 60ml tube. 

Both options are worth the money! Quality paint has a delicious texture, intensity of colour and it dries better. And it has so much pigment compared to the more widely available brands, so it goes a lot further.

Imagine, though, the intensity of colours you can make when your only ingredients are pigment, lindseed oil, a dash of turps and a dot of beeswax. The Prussian Blue I make is almost toxic… I’ve learned to just use a tiny dot at a time, otherwise it takes over!

This weekend, I made an Ultramarine Blue and an Ultramarine Violet. I was painting some trees and felt they needed something more electric (I’m forever referencing Matisse).

It’s so much fun, but also a great way of staying in touch with the traditional role of the painter. Before tubes, artist assistants would visit the pigment shops and make paint for their ‘masters’ using this very technique!

Ultramarine Violet pigment

Ultramarine Violet pigment, after some grinding with oil

The paint in tubes

Early stages of painting (before handmade paint)

Early stages of painting (after handmade paint)

Using Format