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Collaboration With Sculpd: Finding Your Inner Painter

October 19th, 2022 by

Earlier this year, U.K. pottery aficionados, Sculpd, approached me to try out their up and coming Abstract Canvas Painting Kit. Of course, I said yes. As someone who truly believes that we should all dip our toes in the water of our own individual creativity, I loved the idea of a ‘novice’ or someone who claims they ‘can’t paint’ having a go at building their own masterpiece from scratch, at home.

The team came to visit me at my last exhibition at Sixteen Gallery, where I was filmed putting their kit to the test – building the canvas frame, stretching the fabric and then slathering the soft acrylic paint across the blank surface. But first of all, I experienced the unboxing of the kit, just as a new customer would – and I’ve got to tell you, it’s pretty epic.

You’ll find a thorough but simple step-by-step guide on how to create your own abstract painting, with tips on composition, mark-making and knowing when your masterpiece is finished. In addition, you get a perfect range of painting tools (brushes, sponge and palette knife), a sturdy palette with compartments, five shades of silky soft acrylic paint (in a bold, neutral or pastel colour scheme), a study book to practice your colour mixing and mark-making, all parts to actually build the canvas and hooks to hang it once complete. Honestly, they’ve smashed it.

Once you’ve unboxed the kit and got to know your bearings, the canvas is super simple to stretch yourself – the wood slots together perfectly and the fabric is easy to stretch and manipulate. It’s extremely evident that the Sculpd product team have paid extra attention to the quality of this product. You’ll be seriously impressed with yourself (and Sculpd) by the end of it.

Time for painting – so, before I tackled the large canvas (60x80cm), I made sure to utilise the blank study book included in the kit. With this, it’s a good idea to get the hang of the paint (the colours, how it flows etc), let your hand feel the different tools, practice some mark-making and figure out what kind of composition you want to aim for. The guide included will also help with this – Sculpd developed it with a handful of abstract artists around the world, so we’ve all shared some top notch hints with you here!

When you get to the final piece, remember you’re doing this for fun. Experiment, flip the orientation, throw paint around, step away from it for an hour, head over to Instagram for some inspiration, work from your studies.. There’s absolutely no pressure and zero rules here – do whatever feels right and trust your gut. You can paint.

The three canvas pieces you see above were all made with the materials supplied by Sculpd, and you can totally do the same. It’s a great activity – mentally and physically. If you’re not quite brave enough yet, perhaps get a friend or family member to try it first for their Christmas present. 😉

FYI, the colour scheme I used was titled ‘bold’, but you have two others to choose from.

Oh, and obviously, Gibson met the team. He did his usual ‘crunch face’ at the crew (a.k.a showing them his teefs), but it’s just a hello and he (luckily for me) behaved himself. He even worked his way into some shots. Typical retriever: absolutely hogging the attention (that’s fine with me).

All images supplied by Sculpd (2022). This was a paid partnership. Huge thank you to the team for this incredible opportunity. Can’t wait for the world to start painting.

Collection Throwback: Four Years of Emma Howell Art

November 15th, 2021 by

It’s safe to say that Emma Howell artwork has explored a variety of avenues throughout the last four years; it has climbed mountains, dived down holes, traipsed through lagoons and road-tripped down highways. It’s hard to see where it’s headed, but I’ve no doubt it will continue to take you on more visual adventures in 2022.

As a prerequisite for my last collection of 2021, Fin, here is a throwback post to take you through the art collections created during the last four years.

The How Series (2018)

The How Series is comprised of 75 small original works on paper. Since 2018, this body of work has acted as a point of reference for other works, like a visual dictionary. Each piece is developed by deconstructing colours, marks and textures recorded in my sketchbooks and journals. The very first 10 paintings in this series debuted at my first solo show, Homegrown. For my watchers, this series is to remind you that there is more than one way to view the world.

Homegrown (2018)

Homegrown was the harvest from 18 months of healing after I lost my Dad; it is evidence of rebuilding a new life without him and an attempt to view the world in a better light. Within each work, a quick corkscrewed scribble could be a sudden gust of wind or a rush of spontaneity; a bright block of colour is there to steal your gaze, induce a feeling or give a nod to a certain place – perhaps a field, the sky or a riverbank; repeated lines are meditative therapy, feeling bored or an environmental characteristic – like the flow of a river, rows of flowers or the jagged shape of a hill. These works made their debut at my first solo show, ‘Homegrown‘, which was very kindly sponsored by Hobbycraft.

The 1320 Miles Series (2019)

On the long road from Washington D.C. to Nashville (and back again), I gave myself the challenge to create a small series of work with only pencil and paper. As I sat in the passenger seat of our borrowed Honda Civic, 12 dainty artworks slowly came to life during the two 12 hour drives. A variety of hues, shapes and compositions were taken from landscapes, weather, road signs, mountains, conversations, gas stations etc. and evolved onto delicate pieces of paper. With nothing to lean on but the back of my mobile phone, I somehow managed to develop an entire collection to represent this unforgettable adventure and to pay tribute to a stunning country.

Some Adventures (2019)

These adventures on paper are a sequel to The 1320 Miles series. Rock formations, flowing water, huge moons, opulent forests and nighttime hues come together to form a collection of organic artworks that celebrate all that mother nature gives us.

The Moon Series (2019)

This reflective series of moon paintings exhibited in Fragile Nature, a group exhibition at Groundwork Gallery, Norfolk. The exhibition featured myself, Lotte Scott, Elspeth Owen and Paca Sanchez, and focused on the delicacies of nature by bringing together our organic and diverse practices.

Viewing The Moon Series is a moment to take a step back from the fast pace of life. It’s about observing the landscape, listening to the whistling wind, staring at the moonlight, taking a moment. Light and shapes observed during the blood moon in January 2019 catalysed the conception of this symbolic series.

Three of the moons are currently exhibiting at two local businesses, The Urban Meadow and Pea Green Physiotherapy Clinic.

Raw Honey (2019)

Raw Honey is here to prove that something sweet can come out of trauma. 33 original paintings (on hot pressed paper and canvas) explore and evolve a plethora of perceptions experienced in 2019. Towering Greek mountains, a flooded 4×4, boxes of honey, rolling vineyards and a heated conversation all feature in this honest and adventurous collection.

Mountain (2020)

The Mountain collection is here to pay tribute to the climb and descent of all our life mountains – physical and metaphorical. The physical mountain is jagged, dominant and kingly; an intimidatingly vast landform that is notedly one of the most striking views we experience. The metaphorical mountain is simply the challenge of life, the traumas we overcome and the meandering journey we embark upon to reach our goals. Colours, marks and textures you experience with this collection are sourced from both physical and mental landscapes.

Mountain was featured with Town & Country Magazine in April 2020.

It’ll Be Alright (2020)

It’ll Be Alright, a bold and erratic collection, here to reveal spontaneous and emotive mental landscapes experienced after 47 days of the UK Coronavirus lockdown. Moments of enthusiasm, moments of self-expression, moments of loneliness, moments of frustration, moments of adventure.. It’ll Be Alright takes you on a chaotic journey of impulsive creativity.

My fiancé, Jonathan, became a part of this collection. His mental mechanism is extremely different to mine. He’s not particularly visual and has red-green colour blindness. Aside from this, he is a talented guitarist who channels his creative energy through music.

As Jonathan has – so far – had to endure 47 days of my artistic expression (aka mess) all over the kitchen and dining room, I’ve included him in this project by giving him the task to title all of the pieces.

81 Wild (2020)

81 Wild, a 50-piece collection to visually take you to each state of America.

Aided by landscape descriptions submitted by my collectors and watchers around the world, these panoramic originals are an attempt to mentally, visually and creatively travel to the United States. Gathered words and images were abstractly translated onto paper, putting a spotlight on each state’s landscapes – the weather, colours, textures, flora, fauna, sounds and culture.

This entire collection sold out in a matter of hours, making it my quickest selling collection to date.

50 Paintings In 50 Days (2020)

Autumn of 2020, my Instagram watchers and collectors helped set the challenge of creating 50 paintings in 50 days. This exercise was the perfect opportunity to explore new styles and to take my practice down many different avenues, including still life, fauvism and gestural abstraction.

four year wild fire (2020)

Over the course of 4 months, the intense and eclectic pieces that make up four year wild fire evolved from words submitted to me by my audiences. In the summer of 2020, I asked my collectors, followers and watchers to submit stories, poems, songs, experiences, secrets and memories etc. with the intention to translate them into original abstract artworks. The first 3 years of my art practice was intense, full of my own grief and very me me me.. and four year wild fire was for me to take a breather from being in the spotlight. Instead, I switched on my ears, opened up my mind and put the spotlight on you. Next to each artwork, you will find snippets from the submitted words used to create that particular piece.

The 25 Mountain Project (2021)

Another artwork challenge to kickstart the new year of 2021, The 25 Mountain Project: one mountain every day for 25 days. Each mountain echoes an emotion, an experience or a particular sentiment linked to that day. May the mountain you collect remind you of the strength you’ve built over the last year and inspire you to keep on climbing.

hike up harp hill (2021)

Similar to last year’s American landscape collection (81 Wild), hike up harp hill explored the varying landscapes across the United Kingdom. With help from landscape descriptions submitted to me by my audiences, 75 pieces came to life and are here to shine a light on 75 different places in Britain. Rocky mark making, washes of water, earthy scribbles and bleeding bold colour work together to honour our rolling hills, grey skies, infinite crops, buzzing culture, weaving rivers and rich history.

Café Fiasco (2021)

In the summer of 2021, Café Fiasco broke all the rules and made me push boundaries. After an obsessive bout of still life drawing in my private sketchbooks, I started to get the taste for this very different style of artwork. Being in and out of various lockdowns due to COVID (and turning into a bit of a hermit), I found myself seeking inspiration from my surroundings – plants, coffee cups, books, chairs and tables. My private artwork was changing quite rapidly right before my eyes, putting more emphasis on shading, accuracy and detail.. and there was only one way to go about it: create a collection. However, the abstract painter in me still remains, so it only made sense to balance it out and expose the true versatility of my practice.

Café Fiasco reveals the humdrum of everyday life in the form of still life paintings (views from home, books, plants and coffee), juxtaposed with spontaneous abstracts to unmask the distracted, erratic and creative psyche of an artist. This collection is ongoing, as I still have a few pieces left to unveil.

Raw Honey Part II (2021)

A sequel to Raw Honey, this new body of work digs even deeper and reveals a variety of new perceptions, places and memories that have been translated onto super smooth, hot pressed paper. Why did Raw Honey Part II happen? Well, towards the end of summer, I started to reminisce about past vacations (probably because it’s been a while since my last, thanks COVID).. driving to Balos Lagoon and meandering through mountain roads hunting for tavernas.. Sharp feelings of grief were also reappearing, so the work was pretty impulsive; I went with my mind and hands. Raw Honey Part II just made sense.

Classified (2021)

This year, I’ve had moments where I’ve felt the need to push limits and explore more avenues within my practice. Well, here we go again. As we start to focus on our home’s interior design, the Matisse art prints that hang on our living room and hallway walls have been luring me in. Matisse’s use of bold colour, unapologetic self-expression and his undeniable ability to give boring subjects an aura of radiance and luxury.. is sublime. So, I’ve been nurturing this fiery yearn to dip my toes in this water.

As a result, still life has barged its way back into my process.. but not at all like Café Fiasco. Pieces in Classfied have mostly come to life by pure imagination, and not by objects in front of me. Sure, I take inspiration from typical still life scenes or what I had for breakfast, but every artwork was impulsively composed. The works are still life blended with abstraction, a combination I’ve totally fallen for. Of course, you will still find my characteristic erratic mark making, pools of colour and raw brushstrokes – the abstract painter in me will never falter.

Fin (2021)

Fin is the last collection of 2021 and unites all past collections. This nostalgic and eclectic body of work fuses the past with the present, potentially revealing the paths to future work. Each piece in the collection puts a modest spotlight on all styles explored throughout the years – blending landscapes with breakfast scenes, mountains with emotions, bottles of wine with meditative mark making and coiling charcoal with careful colour choices. The creation process has been respectful to past works, but also venturesome – I hope you’ll agree.

The collection launches Friday 26th November (Black Friday) for subscribers and Saturday 27th November universally. To access the private launch and get the exclusive Black Friday voucher codes, subscribe to my mailing list (button below).

Café Fiasco: A Two-part Collection of Abstract and Still Life Works

July 9th, 2021 by

Café Fiasco (2021) is a two-part collection of 24 original artworks. This eclectic body of work has somewhat of a split personality and puts an honest spotlight on my tendency to “wear many hats” (personally and professionally). 

The origin of Café Fiasco started out as a personal challenge. A challenge to simply create an entire collection from nothing – just my mind, hands and materials, with not much intent or deep ideology.

Seeing as my last few collections evolved from stories submitted by my audience, I felt the need to test my own intuition and push the limits of my art practice. And I’ll tell you what – it’s been hard. One thing I thought I wanted to commit to was naming each piece (before I start them) after negative words that have been said to me (e.g. “bad at maths” and “fragile ego”). This was with hope of turning some common pessimism into rare optimism. However, as 24 blank boards piled high in my dining room, this negative naming situation limited my thought patterns and I honestly didn’t know where to start. My mind was sad/empty and my usual creative urge had left the building. Be that as it may, my commitment to the challenge didn’t falter.

Eventually, as I scrapped the idea of initially titling the pieces, a few of the lifeless boards got slathered with paint and spontaneous compositions started to bloom. Well, that’s what happened with the abstract ones anyway. Café Fiasco also features a number of still life works.

You predominantly know me as an abstract painter, but back in high school and university, a lot of my work (including photography) put heavy emphasis on the humdrum of our everyday and finding beauty in boring. So, after reminiscing about old work, I went with my instincts and changed my hat. 

In both my personal life and professional life, “changing my hat” is something I’m very used to doing. As an extroverted introvert (who has also worked in retail for many years in the past), I often find myself having to very quickly flick a switch between a variety of emotions and personality traits. Nervous > confident, melancholy > elated, devastated > ecstatic, casual > professional, doubtful > certain, opinionated > sheepish, relaxed > constrained, paint > pencil, abstract > realism – you get the idea. My wardrobe is full of hats. How about yours?

Anyway, Café Fiasco not only shows you how my mind frantically fleets from one thing to another, but also the breadth of my techniques, styles and general artistry as a painter. The entire body of work reveals my everyday life in the form of still life paintings (views from home, books, plants and coffee) juxtaposed with spontaneous abstracts that expose my distracted, erratic and creative psyche.

I must tell you that these pieces mean a heck of a lot; I don’t think I’ve ever felt so connected to artwork before. So, the prospect of launching such a personal collection makes me feel uneasy and vulnerable. Today, I even had the passing thought of keeping them all. Now, that’s just nuts. Better change my hat.

The first 12 pieces from Café Fiasco will launch privately (with a password) for my subscribers on Friday 23rd July at 6pm BST, and Saturday 24th July at 9am BST for rest of the world. The second 12 pieces will launch throughout the rest of 2021 – and each work will be released one-by-one. You can sign up to my mailing list here.

Artwork details:
20″ x 22″
Mixed media on high quality 6mm board
£500 each
Optional bespoke bare oak frame (+£50)

Mountain 2020: A Virtual Exhibition To Reach The Summit

April 20th, 2020 by

Mountain (2020)

Mountain (2020), an eclectic collection of 50 original paintings and drawings; here to honour the ascent and descent of all our life mountains.

Throughout life, we all experience the same emotions. Granted, in varying degrees, dependant on what happens during each of our lifetimes.. But at some point, we all laugh until it hurts, we all cry until no tears are left, we all move our body in weird ways, we all shout in anger, we all feel love in our own ways, we all get jealous, we all have our own strange behaviours, we all find life difficult, we all have moments of feeling hard done by, we all get set in our own ways, we all will lose someone we love, we all are in the midst of a health crisis.. we all are climbing a metaphorical mountain. And each of our mountains are different – consider the altitude, flora, fauna, weather conditions, temperature, location, vistas, rock type, climbing difficulty.. none are the same.

The varying works in the Mountain collection represent the challenges we encounter in our lives, the trauma we overcome and the adventurous voyage we take to reach our goals. May they remind you of not only how far you’ve come already, but also how far you’ve got left to go. May they encourage you to keep your eye on the ball, drive forward to achieve your goals and keep climbing your life mountain.

The collection can be broken down into a number of series: 16 Mountains, 8 Hikes, The Diptychs & Triptychs, Pack Your Raincoat, 8 Monochromes, Reaching The Summit and The View.

16 Mountains

The works that kicked off the Mountain collection were 16 paintings, each existing as abstract miniature mountains. Colours, marks and textures you see within these works (as well as others) are sourced from real landscapes and mental landscapes. 

As part of this series of miniatures, I wrote brief “mountainscopes” to match the works with their ideal collectors. You can find out which mountain you match with in this blog post.

OS---Mt.-Fuji
Mt. Fuji, 2020
OS---Mt.-Focus
Mt. Focus, 2020

8 Hikes

To create each of these works, I followed the same route. Every piece began with recklessly applied pools of colour, then followed by journeys of soft pastel to exude varying feelings of enthusiasm, panic, bewilder and calmness; the final trail was a meandering pencil, that leaves behind traces to remember the route.

Bright hues, rough textures and spontaneous marks are there to take you on a visual hike; prompting your eyes to roam and your mind to take a wander. 

Let’s go on a hike.

You can view the 8 Hikes virtual exhibition here.

OS---Night-Hike
Night Hike, 2020
OS---Salted-Popcorn
Salted Popcorn, 2020

The Diptychs & Triptychs

I set a side challenge for myself when I was putting together this collection. I’ve always been slightly intimidated by the idea of creating diptychs (two artworks that exist as one entity) and triptychs (three artworks that exist as one entity). Concentrating on one artwork, ensuring that it boasts its own unique statement and making it stand alone confidently is what I’m used to. So, with these works, I went off piste and pushed my imagination to create works that are comfortable living and working in a partnership.

OS---Bring-Water-Final
Bring Water, 2020

Pack Your Raincoat

The five Pack Your Raincoat pieces evoke quite a wide range of emotions, and also put a spotlight on a few of my personality traits. Some works carry colours that are brash, bold and bossy that are sitting quite contently next to subdued, timid and contemplative marks. Other works focus on a stubborn and moody grey, juxtaposed with an apologetic pink or a fleck of hopeful gold. 

When Jon and I go hiking, Jon insists on preparing for any situation that could occur. In case we are too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, too hungry, too uncomfortable, too itchy, too blistery.. whether we’re going to fall down, climb up, run away, walk, chase, escape, fly.. he needs to prepare. Me, on the other hand, will quite simply just throw on my hiking boots, grab my sketchbook and go sit in the car waiting for him to stop flapping around.

99% of the time, I get myself into some sort of pickle – I’m too hot, I’ve fallen over or I’m not wearing a raincoat. These are my usual issues. Thankfully, Jon’s got me covered.

OS---Pack-Your-Raincoat-#4
Pack Your Raincoat #4, 2020
Pack Your Raincoat 2 Emma Howell
Pack Your Raincoat #2, 2020

8 Monochromes

Like the diptychs and triptychs, I set myself another challenge with these monochrome pieces. Although, the word challenge needs to be used rather loosely here, as pencil drawing comes the most natural to me in the world of art. Sketching, doodling, mark-making, scribbling and shading seems to be an innate behaviour of mine that never seems to fade.

If you’re an avid watcher of my practice, you will be used to seeing relatively bold colour choices. So the challenge here is the vulnerability that comes with exposing my rawest and most natural level of art creation.

These delicate pieces (soon to be released for purchase) have all been fitted into bespoke natural oak frames, which subtly adds to their organic, unfinished and raw aesthetic.

OS---Oui
Oui, 2020
OS---Crunch
Crunch, 2020
OS---Viridian
Viridian, 2020
OS---Antonio
Antonio, 2020
OS---Harvest
Harvest, 2020
Original Painting - Emma Howell - KAO
KAO, 2020
OS---Comfort
Comfort, 2020
OS---Fuel
Fuel, 2020

The Spontaneous Drawing

Whatever I want Emma Howell drawing
Whatever I Want, 17:51pm, 2020

Reaching The Summit

So, we’ve reached the summit of the Mountain collection.

With these five larger works on paper (15″ x 22″) your mind will wander and your eyes will work hard, darting from side to side in order to follow along with the visual adventure in front of you. When viewing these pieces, you’ll be proud of your openness towards the world of abstraction and be confident in your ability to gather your own stories from these conceptual landscapes. Alternatively, you’ll simply enjoy the view.

These works are all fitted in bespoke fresh white frames.

Behind the glass, adventure awaits.

Dippin' Our Toes In The Water Painting Emma Howell
Dippin’ Our Toes In The Water, 2020
OS---Mountain-River-Rafting
Mountain River Rafting, 2020
Never Been Skiing Painting
Never Been Skiing, 2020
Mix It With Rum Painting Emma Howell
Mixing Bourbon With Ouzo, 2020
Looks A Bit Ominous Painting
Looks A Bit Ominous, 2020

All of the colours, textures, marks and compositions within the pieces in this collection are sourced from varying landscapes, mental and physical. Credit is given to the towering mountains of Crete, the vivid fauna of Kauai, the tiring roads and eerie shortcuts between Virginia and Tennessee, the rolling hills around The Cotswolds and the emotional rollercoaster that resides in my head.

As always, each and every piece is dedicated to my Dad (1959-2016).

The View

OS---Take-The-Rain-And-Country-Music
Take The Rain And Country Music, 2020
Wild Feathers And Magnolia
Wild Feathers And Magnolia, 2020

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8 Hikes: A Virtual Exhibition for COVID Lockdown

April 12th, 2020 by

As a lot of us are seeking out things to do during lockdown, I invite you to view this blog post as a virtual art exhibition. Get yourself comfortable, take a breath and indulge in this visual adventure I’m about to take you on.

close up image woah

The number of works in the Mountain collection continues to climb, as 8 more paintings have been released this week.

To create each of these works, I followed the same route. Every piece began with recklessly applied pools of colour, then followed by journeys of soft pastel to exude varying feelings of enthusiasm, panic, bewilder and calmness; the final trail was a meandering pencil, that leaves behind traces to remember the route.

Bright hues, rough textures and spontaneous marks are there to take you on a visual hike; prompting your eyes to roam and your mind to take a wander. 

Let’s go on a hike.

lockdown art exhibition - pretty rusty
?Pretty Rusty, 2020
Acrylic, soft pastel and pencil on paper, £85.
lockdown art exhibition - night hike
?Night Hike, 2020
Acrylic, soft pastel and pencil on paper, £85.
lockdown art exhibition - call me crazy
?Call Me Crazy, 2020
Acrylic, soft pastel and pencil on paper, £85.
lockdown art exhibition - around the turquoise lake
?Around The Turquoise Lake, 2020
Acrylic, soft pastel and pencil on paper, £85.
lockdown art exhibition - kayaking view
?Kayaking View, 2020
Acrylic, soft pastel and pencil on paper, £85.
lockdown art exhibition - salted popcorn
?Salted Popcorn, 2020
Acrylic, soft pastel and pencil on paper, £85.
lockdown art exhibition  - cool
?Cool, 2020
Acrylic, soft pastel and pencil on paper, £85.
lockdown art exhibition - woah
?Woah, 2020
Acrylic, soft pastel and pencil on paper, £85.

Fin.

Collect pieces from the Mountain collection now.
Follow practice on Instagram.

New Abstract Paintings: Healing Wounds with Raw Honey

November 3rd, 2019 by

“Just as bees make honey from thyme, the strongest and driest of herbs, so do the wise profit from the most difficult of experiences.” – Plato. 

The Raw Honey collection will make its debut late November, almost 1200 days after I lost my Dad.

Be that as it may, this collection of new abstract paintings is not an expression of sadness and despair; it’s in fact an attempt to keep my Dad’s creativity, talent and success alive. It’s a celebration of his life and a proclamation that something sweet can come out of trauma.

A word-for-word excerpt from my latest journal:

When you lose someone close to you, you feel like the world is against you, it’s unfair, “why me?” you think. Life becomes dark and meaningless once you’re exposed to death. What’s the point?

Grief works in strange ways. One minute, you don’t want to exist, the next you’ve forgotten; it’s a constant push and pull, which is a constant discomfort. You keep asking yourself “are you healed now?”, “are you over it?” – and the part of you that forgets what has happened makes you believe that you’re free of grief.

Really, it’s the opposite; you couldn’t be more far away from freedom. Your forgetfulness is your brain refusing to process it, ignoring the dark hole that just keeps growing and growing. Painting is a distraction, yes, but it is also an attempt to see the world in a better light.

It’s obviously not working. Stop kidding yourself.

This was written on the coach back to the airport from our hotel in Crete. We had just seen the remnants of a car accident on the road and my mind obviously wandered to the grief part of my brain. I actually remember the urge to write this; I needed to get it out. You know, like that part of us all that needs just one more chocolate digestive biscuit or just one more episode of whatever you’re watching on Netflix (despite it being 00:34am). I had to write it – and I didn’t care about whatever Jon was talking about next to me.

In these moments, I could not be more far away from my painterly and creative self; I revel in feeling negative about my life and pity myself.

Luckily, I fight against this version of me by creating new paintings.

When it came to the production of Raw Honey, I looked back at the latest documentations in my journals.

Words written in these small leather-bound books are always raw, spontaneous and honest; they’re either overheard conversations, song lyrics, words from road signs and building names, colour descriptions, random thoughts or quite often, things I’ve said out loud that I found funny, irrational or haphazard.

Similar to the words in my journals, the marks and shapes I record are raw, and reflective of things I’ve seen, felt, heard or touched (in a variety of different places and scenarios). Textures of rocks, outlines of mountains, patterns of trees and deep colours of the ocean have been increasingly evident in my recordings. The colour of people’s clothing and the fluctuating air temperatures have also made an impact.

But there was one scene that brought the collection together.

Before the collection came together as one and Raw Honey got its name, one experience kept reappearing in my mind: It was a really warm day – you know, when you look ahead and the air is moving from the heat. We were driving through rural parts of Crete, through canyons, alongside vineyards and past elderly couples selling their homemade olive oil and honey on the side of the road – when we came across rows and rows of brightly coloured boxes in the middle of nowhere. I had no idea what they were and I actually found their presence a little eerie.

After looking them up online, their purpose turned out to be rather sweet; they were bee boxes for beekeepers to keep their hives for their honey production. My initial trepidation was quite unnecessary.

At this moment, deep amber yellow and rich violet needed to happen on paper. So, I wrote down the experience and as soon as we got back to the hotel room, our balcony turned into a temporary art studio – I had a couple of new abstract paintings I needed to plan out.

This is the painterly self that I’m talking about.

I’m very excited to release Raw Honey to you later this month. This honest, sentimental and adventurous collection of 33 original abstract paintings will give you an insight into how I’ve evolved as a person and artist over the last three years.

You will be able to view the collection here.

UPDATE: Raw Honey Part II will be launching this October.

New abstract paintings by Emma Howell

The How Series: A Worldwide Art Collective

September 3rd, 2018 by

 

The How Series has been my most collected series to date (both originals and prints). How works have been jetting off to homes and offices around Europe and North America – it’s really quite astounding. So, I thought I’d share with you where each sold How has ended up:

OS - How #1

How #1 – Essex, UK

OS - How #4

How #2 – Cheltenham, UK

OS - How #3How #3 – Essex, UK

OS - How #3

How #4 – Seattle, USA

OS - How #2

How #5 – Cirencester, UKOS - How #6

How #6 – Essex, UKOS - How #7

How #7 – Cheltenham, UKOS - How #8

How #8 – Stockholm, SwedenOS - How #9

How #9 – Cirencester, UKOS - How #10

How #10 – Cheltenham, UK

 

OS - How #11

How #11 – Cheltenham, UK

How #12

How #12 – London, UK

OS---How-#13-

How #13 – California, USAOS - How #14

How #14 – Essex, UK
OS - How #15

How #15 – Leicester, UKOS - How #16

How #16 – Cheltenham, UKOS - How #17

How #17 – Dresden, GermanyOs - How #18

How #18 – Cheltenham, UKOS - How #19

How #19 – Cheltenham, UKOS - How #20

How #20 – London, UK
OS---How-#21

How #21 – Georgia, USA

OS---How-#22

How #22 – California, USA

OS---How-#23

How #23 – California, USA

OS---How-#24How #24 – Georgia, USA

OS---How-#25

How #25 – New York, USA

OS---How-#26

How #26 – New York, USA

OS---How-27-

How #27 – London, UK

OS---How-#28

How #28 – New York, USA

OS-How-#29

How #29 – London, UK

OS---How-#30

How #30 – Vancouver, USAOS---How-#32

How #32 – Market Harborough, UK

OS---How-#33

How #33 – New York, USA

OS---How-#34

How #34 – London, UK

OS---How-#36

How #36 – California, USA

OS---How-#39

How #39 – Kent, UK

OS---How-#40

How #40 – London, UK

OS---How-#42

How #42 – Worcester, UK

OS---How-#44

How #44 – Market Harborough, UK

OS---How-#45

How #45 – London, UK

OS---How-#47

How #47 – Cambridge, UK

 

 

 

 


 

Thank you to every How collector out there – there are no words to describe how grateful I am for your support.

Let’s continue to grow this family of How collectors and see how far we can get them.

 

Join the family

 

Read about The How Series

FAQs: Artist Life, Dogs and Shipping

August 28th, 2018 by

Here are a few answers to the questions I was asked last week on Instagram:

What things do you do other than your art business?

In regards to work, besides painting and running my business, I work part-time in a marketing agency (very flexible, usually 2-3 days per week). Here, my work consists of searching the web for blogs, developing relationships with other businesses and writing emails. I won’t bore you with the details, but this type of work helps me develop my digital marketing skills for my own website.

Outside of work, I go to the gym 3-4 days a week to keep up with a powerlifting programme written by my trainer (and sister-in-law) Hannah Howell. At weekends, my boyfriend and I will try and make an effort to go on mini local adventures – usually hiking, cycling, walking or road-tripping (typically to places where I can sit and sketch/paint). If we don’t, duvet days do happen – or admittedly, I work on growing my business at weekends.

What is the hardest part about being an artist?

Ugh. I can’t name one thing. Despite what most non-art-focused individuals probably think, being an artist is really really really hard. It isn’t just slathering paint across a surface and getting people to buy it. Many do not realise how big the art career jigsaw is (e.g. networking, handling finances, generating leads, sending hundreds of “check out my work” emails, keeping up with social media marketing, sporadic income, artwork inventory, responding to emails, battling with self-doubt, photography, framing, spending all my money on supplies, rejection, rejection, generating new content, constant need to innovate, insomnia, rejection..). Not only is it big, it is also terribly difficult, and there are some moments when all I want to do is give up and throw it across the room. Seriously – despite my successes, I doubt my ability to continue the art career jigsaw weekly. No, that’s a lie – daily.

So, perhaps the hardest part about being an artist is maintaining the faith.

Another hard thing about it is having to walk this earth feeling very misunderstood. Let’s face it, there are so many people out there that have bad things to say about us who make paintings for money. Even in the gym the other day, I was telling someone what I do and they responded with: “That’s not a job?! Is it?!” – a fake smile and laugh moment, I must say. Abstract art, especially, is quite often not well received. But I’m kind of over this one – I think. Until I’m not. Admittedly, I sometimes feel that if I painted fantastically accurate paintings of horses or emotive landscapes, I’d have a much better time showing people my work.. but, I don’t enjoy that type of painting (at the moment, anyway).

Spreadsheets, finances and talking about myself isn’t that easy either.

What’s the best thing about being an artist?

Freedom.

How do you ship your artwork?

  • Artwork that is framed with glass is carefully packaged and shipped with a local courier. Masking tape is applied to the glass in strips, so that if the glass breaks in transit, it will remain in place and won’t damage the artwork. Acid -free tissue paper and a layer of bubble wrap is folded and placed on top of the glass, then cardboard corners are fitted. The entire work is then wrapped in acid-free tissue paper and multiple layers of bubble wrap. Finally, the package is tightly wrapped and taped up in cardboard, so that the work cannot move around. I haven’t had a single breakage reported yet.
  • Unframed paintings are wrapped in acid-free tissue paper, placed in a clear cellophane pouch and shipped in a firm envelope.
  • Canvas work is typically removed from its stretchers and rolled in a tube. However, this method is being reconsidered for those who’d rather it be still on the frame.
  • I ship worldwide and prices vary depending on the type of work and its destination. For larger works or framed works, your shipping cost will be invoiced to you separately.
  • Local pick-up is available and occasionally, I can personally deliver works (in this instance, there will be a cost for the petrol and you’ll be invoiced separately).

Can you recommend any places to visit in the UK?

So, I can recommend a few places, but unfortunately I’m actually not that well travelled within the UK. However, this will be changing soon, as my next art projects involve exploring my homeland. There are many places I want to go, like Durdle Door, the Lake District, Pembrokeshire Coast, the White Cliffs of Dover.. to name a few.

Here are places I have been that I think you should visit:

  • Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (my hometown) – particularly Cleeve Hill at dusk or dawn.
  • Broadway, Worcestershire – go for a walk up to the tower then grab a pub lunch at The Lygon Arms.
  • Pen y Fan, Powys, Wales – hike to the top, the views are incredible.
  • Centre of Liverpool – like a mini London on a harbour, great places to eat/drink and super clean.
  • Bath, Somerset – if I didn’t love my hometown so much, this would be my second choice of places to live in the UK. It’s colourful, friendly and has great markets.
  • Canterbury, Kent – really lovely cathedral city, steeped in history.
  • London – just because you have to go to there at some point in your life.

And a few more.

How do you juggle everything? (E.g. painting, your other job, hobbies, writing a blog)

I don’t. I am forever dropping the juggling balls.

But these help: spreadsheets, an 18 month diary/planner, a boyfriend who is a Web Developer, beer, a free PT sister-in-law, the mere sight of a dog, 9pm bedtimes and 6am wake ups. Just don’t waste time and get shit done – simple. Unless you want to binge watch Orange Is The New Black or Friends because that’s totally OK.

What piece of advice would you give to someone who has lost someone close to them?

I briefly touched on this in my interview with We Heart but I’ll reiterate:

It hurts, all the time. So, for anyone who is suffering with loss and stuck in the crossfire of grief, find an outlet. Particularly something creative (and positive), like painting, dancing, playing the guitar, writing or whatever; something that enables you to feel some sort of control over yourself. Because control is something that you may feel you’re lacking right now – I certainly did. A creative outlet also steers you away from other types of negative outlets (e.g. excess drinking, emotional bingeing, drugs and social isolation etc.).

Life didn’t make sense after my Dad passed away. How could someone be taken away from me just like that? It didn’t feel real, so my everyday started to feel like a hallucination. I can’t explain the feeling, but if you know, you know. I basically had to “find myself” again.

You’ve got to, somehow, redevelop yourself into someone that has to exist without the person you’ve lost. Perhaps think about what they would want you to do.. because they certainly wouldn’t want you going mad and crying all day.

Honestly, however hard this is to believe now, you will be a stronger and braver person because of this. Keep fighting.

What paints do you use?

A bit of a hard question to answer because I use a variety – depending on the surface I’m working on and also what I feel like using. Golden Fluid acrylics are my usual go-to, but I also use Montana Gold spray paint, Lukas Cryl Studio acrylics, Golden Heavy Flow acrylics and Winsor & Newton tubed watercolours.

What one piece of advice would you give to an artist JUST starting out?

Firstly, you may find this blog post useful.

One piece of advice I’d give to artists who are just starting out is: hunt down and ask for opportunities yourself because no one is looking for you. Harsh but true.

Also, get yourself a website and document, document, document.

Which is your favourite “How” painting?

There are a number I’ve warmed to. But the most I’d say is How #31, which is actually still available.

Are there any foods you hate?

Great question. Yes – I really just cant handle raw tomatoes. I’ve really tried – believe me. Cooked tomato and tomato in any other form is absolutely great. But if you give me a raw one, it won’t be well received.

Tell us about your dogs

(This is for my lovely artist friend, Heather.)

My family have two dogs:

rambo-and-willow

Rambo (right), a highly intelligent 5 year old Golden Retriever X Labradoodle. He only accepts affection on his terms and likes to be on guard to make sure no squirrels and cats enter his garden. He’s also absolutely fascinated by balloons and is the ultimate fly catcher. Many people can’t quite understand how he’s part poodle, but if you study him well, you’ll see that he’s got quite a pointy nose and a tail that sticks up quite vertically, just like a poodle. Funnily enough, Rambo looks absolutely nothing like his full siblings, who are much smaller with curly poodle hair. He was a complete anomaly.

Willow (left), Rambo’s half-sister, an almost 2 year old Golden Retriever X Labrador. She definitely doesn’t share Rambo’s vocabulary, but she does try her best to copy his odd behaviours. She will only sleep in human beds, is mad for water guns and likes to sit upright with her legs wide open (very classy). If we buy them both toys, Willow will only accept the one that is in Rambo’s mouth. She’s not a very loyal dog, as she loves absolutely everyone – everyone except for children. She’s not aggressive, but she barks at them and we don’t know why.

Update: This is Gibson, our 8 month old dark golden retriever. He’s very very greedy, obsessed with carrots and absolutely wonderful.

What are your next plans?

I’ve got a few things in the pipeline at the moment:

I’m talking with various UK based universities about the prospects of being a guest lecturer, hoping to talk about life as an emerging artist and ways to get started. I’m working on another exciting painting project with Hobbycraft, which is likely to be shown in stores early next year. I’m planning some trips around the UK, on the hunt for new colours, marks and textures to document for my next series of paintings.

whole-gallery-and-studio-space

The How Series: It’s a Matter of Experience

August 13th, 2018 by

 

How do you experience the world?

Let’s use going for a walk as an example. When you’re walking through a woodland area, how do you experience it?

Do you look up and around, allowing yourself to be engrossed by the height of the trees? Are you taking in the colours: the deep earthy browns, fluorescent greens or rusty oranges? Is your nose picking up the scent of woodland air? Are your ears tuning in to the sound of rustling leaves beneath your feet? What about the temperature of the stream; how cold is it?

Or are you just going for a walk?

Not all of us tune into our surroundings in this way. We’re all different and there is no right or wrong way about it.

 

I tune in as much as I can.

I used to underappreciate the world. I avoided anywhere outside my house and found the mere act of existence to be bleak and taxing. This was grief.

As many of you already know, painting was what flipped life around for me after my Dad passed away. As months of random, expressive painting went on, my need and eagerness to find inspiration grew and grew. Therefore, the outside world became appealing. I’d stare out the window of my studio and my eyes would dart from side to side as I watched the neon red car lights flicker by, again and again. I started to notice the different pitches of car horns, the sound of the weekly runners’ feet pitter pattering on the pavement and the whistling of the wind.

I was tuning in.

This was the inspiration I was longing for.

 

Sights and sounds became marks and colours.

I found the courage to step outside again and my practice has continued to develop ever since.

My journals are where I document the things I experience: sounds, textures, colours, conversations and thoughts. In doing this, I’ve built a deeper appreciation and more colourful affinity towards nature, society and culture, a.k.a. the world.

 

Art Journal How Series

 

The How Series

A fast, corkscrewed mark could be a moment of frustration, the rhythm of the wind or a roughly textured surface; a bold puddle of blue could represent deep feelings of melancholia, a mass of rain or simply, the hue of the sky; repetitive lines could be a meditative exercise, contours of cliffs or a boring conversation; shapes could be sourced from negative spaces, pebbles or rows of trees.

 

The How Series Artwork 2

 

Each work in the series doesn’t necessarily represent one place, at one given time. They’re deconstructions and chosen combinations of colours and marks recorded in my journals.

They represent how I see, how I hear, how I feel and how I understand.

For me, these paintings will act as reference points for future works, like a visual dictionary. For you, perhaps a reminder that there is more than one way to view this world.

 

The How Series Gallery

 

Be a How Collector

After the opening night of my first solo show, where I exhibited 20 framed “How” paintings, I’d already sold 18 of them, locally and internationally (still can’t believe it).

It seemed that many gallery visitors were captivated by their presence, with some telling me what they saw in a piece and how it made them feel. It was fascinating listening to the wide variety of interpretations. We all see things so differently; it’s incredible.

In light of the success of this series, I’ve now released 18 more that are available to collect.

(Update: There are now only 7 Hows left all together.)OS---How-#25

How #25 Acrylic, spray paint, pencil and soft pastel on paper, 5″x7″, 2018. View work

OS---How-#28How #28 Acrylic and pencil on paper, 5″ x 7″, 2018. View work

OS---How-#31How #31 Acrylic, soft pastel and pencil on paper, 5″x 7″, 2018. View work

 

 


 

 

Thank you to all of my collectors. You’re enabling me to continue my practice and I will be forever grateful.