Tag Archives: painting

Vignettes of Venice…upcoming exhibitions

Vignettes of Venice: Blue Poles, 30cm x 21 cm, oil on board, by Marion Langford

Postcards from Venice: Blue Poles, 30cm x 21 cm, oil on board, by Marion Langford

Based on my trip to Italy last year, I am currently busy painting for a couple of exhibitions and this is just one of my “Postcards from Venice – Blue Poles”.  My favourite city, I loved visiting there and am really enjoying reliving my trip in capturing these sketches.  While I have a couple of large works on the go, this is one of the small oil sketches (around 30cm x 20 cm). 

Details of the exhibitions will be out shortly so stay tuned.  Ciao for now!

Season’s greetings and best wishes for 2013…

Dear Friends and Friends of my work

With Christmas just a few weeks away, I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you well over the Christmas period and all the very best for 2013.

"Self Portrait:  In the moment" entry in 2012 Portia Geach Portrait Prize

“Self Portrait: In the moment” entry in 2012 Portia Geach Portrait Prize

2012 has been a year of “showing up” for me as an artist.  My goal this year was to enter some of the major art exhibitions for the first time and I am pleased to say that I entered four of these including The Sulman Art Prize, The Blake Art Prize, the Mortimore Art Prize and the Portia Geach Portrait Prize.  While my various paintings were unselected, it was an important milestone to at least enter.  As a number of my art mentors pointed out, there comes a time when you do have to “show up” and then just keep “showing up”.




"Local Hero", 2012 Warringah Art Exhibition

“Local Hero”, 2012 Warringah Art Exhibition







At a local community level, my painting of Bob Blockley, titled “Local Hero” was selected for hanging in this year’s Warringah Art Show. 

Bob is 85 and a resident of our street.  I was keen to paint this dear old soul who for many years has been delivering our Manly Daily newspaper.  Up with the birds (hence the rooster) but in his case quietly going about his deliveries, Bob would pop our paper in our letterbox before heading down to St John The Baptist’s primary school to open it up.  These are just a couple of the roles he has played in our local community so I was delighted to see his painting hung in the exhibition.

"Youth" pastels on coloured paper

“Youth” pastels on coloured paper




This final image is a pastel portrait I did of one of my daughter’s school friends.  Working from an image my daughter had taken while on a school excursion, I loved the way the sunlight was hitting that mass of curly hair so this was just a bit of fun to do.  

As you can see, I really enjoy the portraiture and am continuing to pursue this area.  I had a wonderful trip to Umbria, Italy in October to spend a week at a Master Portrait Class by Andrew James and along with fellow artist friend, Masako Gordon, am hoping to have an exhibition in May next year of works based on our trip.  Stay tuned! 

Since returning to Sydney I have been thoroughly enjoying Life Drawing Classes with Ann Cape at the Royal Art Society and am also looking to undertake the RAS Diploma over the next couple of years.  Always plenty to learn and develop as an artist, and I look forward to keeping you up to date on my progress.  My work is taking a more experimental and expressive path at this stage, which is exciting so again keep in contact.

You know where I am if you are interested in a portrait, whether a drawing or painting, of you or a loved one and they really do make very special gifts.  I am also keen to do children’s portraits so again, if you are interested, please let me know.

Until my next newsletter, I wish you and your families a very happy Christmas and good health and much happiness for the New Year.  May 2013 be a special year for you.

Best wishes, Marion


Grazie…Andy James and Arte Umbria

MasterClass in Portraits certificate photo with Andy James

MasterClass in Portraits certificate photo with Andrew James


Having recently returned from Umbria, a big thanks to Andrew James, our MasterClass Portrait teacher.  I had travelled to Italy specifically to attend Andy’s course and wasn’t disappointed. 

Thanks Andy for your generous spirit in teaching, sharing your expertise, for your constructive guidance and for your inspiration.  I am really looking forward to putting all that I learnt into practise!

For those who haven’t seen Andy’s work, follow this link.


View of nearby Montegabbione from villa

View of nearby Montegabbione from villa

Thanks also to Sara and David Moody, our hosts at Arte Umbria, for making us feel so welcome.  The villa is great, the scenery stunning, the meals are amazing and all in all a great holiday combined with an excellent week of painting and drawing with Andy.

 If you really want to treat yourself… find out more about Arte Umbria and the courses they run, by following this link.

Grazie… Andy, Sara and David!

First entry in Portia Geach Portrait Prize…

Self Portrait: In the moment, Oil on board, 62cm x 51cm

Self Portrait: In the moment, Oil on board, 62cm x 51cm

Another milestone achieved, my first entry in the Portia Geach Portrait Prize. In 2012 I have been focussing on some of the major art prizes, entering first the Sulman Art Prize, more recently The 61st Blake Prize and now the 2012 Portia Geach Portrait Prize. 


“Self Portrait: In the moment” is capturing that moment when all the setting up has been done, problem-solving out of the way, paints are mixed and I am ready to get on with the bit that I love the most, putting paint brush to board and painting.  Will see how I go with my first entry…

A small Christmas gift…making a difference

This morning I distributed a small Christmas gift to my fellow coaching colleagues and the team I work with a couple of days a week, when I’m not painting.    I was reminded of the difference such a small gift had made to a client of one of my colleagues last year. 

As an avid reader and lover of books, for the second year in a row I gave an original oil painting bookmark by me.  To make them even more unique and to give my fellow coaches yet another shared connection, the bookmarks are pieces cut from an overall painting.  (I can’t keep them all!) 

I enjoy making up the little cards that go with these bookmarks, tying ribbons on etc and the responses received are just the delightful icing on top. 

Last year I included on the back of each bookmark the quote by H W Beecher “Every artist dips his brush into his own soul and paints his own nature into his pictures”.   My colleague, John, was doing some work outside of the career coaching space that we work in, and told me how he had been working with a chap going through drug and alcohol rehabilitation.  This man had always wanted to be an artist and when he mentioned this to John, John felt moved to pass on his bookmark to this man as an encouragement to pursue his dream.  The man was most grateful for this small gift and John’s kind gesture in giving it to him.  John sensed this was an important moment in this man’s path to a new life.  I had forgotten about this story until John reminded me.  I now make sure that John gets two bookmarks in case he finds another soul in need of encouragement in his journey.

Inspired by Rosetti: Girl with Red Hair…

Inspired by Rosetti:  Girl with Red Hair

Inspired by Rosetti: Girl with Red Hair

This painting was inspired by the work of  Dante Gabriel Rosetti and our beautiful new model, Laura.  I loved her long red hair and chose to limit my palette to terra rosa, raw umber and a touch of naples yellow.  I wanted to capture the timeless, classical beauty of Laura.  It is such a joy to paint from life and I loved what was inspired in this painting session.

Click here to see more portraits.

Thanks Evert…

At Evert's Workshop

At Evert's Workshop

Another busy week however just wanted to say “thanks” to Evert Ploeg for a great workshop last weekend.  A small group of artists came together to attend the two day portrait workshop with Evert at his studio on Sydney’s northern beaches.    I always like to challenge myself with my painting and to learn new approaches, so appreciated Evert getting me out of my comfort zone and trying a few different things. This is a photo taken during the weekend. 

To see “Woman in a satin corset” click on this link to take you to my figurative paintings.
Again, thanks for a great weekend Evert!


Clearing the space…a creative necessity

On the eve of a touring holiday of southern New South Wales and the Victorian coastline, I have been busy clearing the space – my work, my studio, my home and my overall creative space.  We have been looking forward to this trip and in the process of clearing the way to go, it has reminded me of how important it is to get away at times, to refresh and rejuvenate.  Already in the process of preparing for our trip and for visitors who will be staying in our home while we are away, I have been amazed at the creative space it has opened up within me.  New ideas are emerging.  While I won’t be painting while I am away, my camera and notebook will be constant companions and I can already feel the difference in my energy.  I’m excited about the fresh ideas and new possibilities that are emerging.

Where are we off too?  We are driving south to Eden following the New South Wales coastline and then continuing along the coast into Victoria to Lakes Entrance, camping at Wilsons Promontory, and then heading along the Great Ocean Road before cutting back through middle Victoria to visit family and then travelling inland back to Sydney.  Although I am from Victoria, the section of coastline between New South Wales and Melbourne is new to me so I am really looking forward to seeing more of our beautiful country.