Thursday, 26 March 2015


Daffodils 8" x 8" oil on board

I love Daffodils and always intend to paint them when in season. Usually I miss my chance so I was determined to get some in this year.

For sale at £75, unframed, in my Etsy shop

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

On the Other Side of the Fence

I love running workshops and yes, I do learn as well, from the students. Sometimes though one needs to be pushed and stretched. Where to go?? The answer came in the form of a wonderful tutor and artist - Hugo Grenville. I have long admired his work and knew him to be a good tutor from things I had heard so along with a good friend and fellow artist we booked ourselves onto a four day course called 'Making your Mark'.

We had to travel to Bristol so found a hotel. very conveniently situated just off the M5 and 10 minutes from the studio.
The first morning we painted intuitively to three pieces of music. The results when we all laid them out were interesting, you could immediately tell the difference between the Brahms and Janice Joplin paintings. Next exercise was to paint a memory, I chose to paint myself aged about 5 with my first dog sitting in a cane chair in the garden with a bowl of water. I can still remember Mum telling me off for sharing the water with the dog (eeeww!!)
These exercises loosened us up and got rid of inhibitions. After this we painted with complimentary colours, Primaries, painted without white, from black and white pictures of old masters using our own colour. a painting with only 20 brush strokes, painted from sketches made in local park, repainted in different colours - the list goes on, talk about outside of comfort zone.
Hugo throughout all this was very encouraging. There were eight of us on the course of varying abilities and he gave the same amount of time and encouragement to all.

I would recommend any artist to go on something like this. I'm not sure how it will affect my work in the future but for now I am loving playing with colour.

Happisburg Lighthouse Oil on board 8" x 8"

Friday, 13 March 2015

Flowers n Things

Several artists were approached to help promote the South Holland open art exhibition by giving a talks and demonstrations in local venues. .John Gray gave a well attended talk about his work at the Poacher last Monday and my contribution was a talk and demonstration at Flowers n Things, our local florist.

People bought tickets at £5 for the talk, tea and cake. I was pleased with the turn out as it wasn't that well advertised. I had done most of it via Facebook.
What to paint, well I could hardly stand in a shop full of beautiful flowers and arrangements and paint a landscape. So, flowers it was then. I chose one of the bouquets that had been prepared for Mother's Day. Now I do have to say that flowers are not really my 'thing' so I was a bit apprehensive as to how it would turn out, especially as there were quite a few artists that had bought tickets.
I had to work fairly quickly as Frank and I had to be at a friends house in Louth (an hour 15 mins away) by 6pm and I didn't start to paint until 4pm. I soon warmed to my subject and fortunately had a good range of colours with me. Magenta and King's Blue proved to be very useful for the hyacinths and tulips.

18" x 14" oil - Flowers for Mother's Day

All in all I was pleased with the results and Frank arrived at 4pm to help me pack away and hit the road to Louth . I was now relaxed and ready for an evening wine tasting with some very good friends.
We arrived in good time at Julie & Phil's house with enough time to spare for a glass of Prosecco. Our taxi dropped us off at Magpies in Horncastle at 7pm
Before dinner we sampled four white and four red wines and were talked through the regions and vineyards of France.. After this we had the most amazing four course meal - a different wine to accompany each course and finally a dessert with a very fine dessert wine. Back at Louth again I declined the offer of a brandy and I have to say - I slept very well.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

More Demos

Last Friday I traveled to Norfolk to the East Rudham art group. They had asked for an acrylic landscape. I tried to take my time over it as I usually end up finishing too quickly. It obviously isn't my style as it ended up tight and too many colours and  - no you can't see it. The group were very polite about it and I suppose it did look better in  a frame.
They were keen to have a go so they will be meeting this Friday to have a go in the style of...
I wish I was able to call in but have to be elsewhere on Friday.

From there it was on to the cottage for a relaxing weekend - huh!!!
We tackled the garden, trimming hedges, borders, cherry tree and lawn. Sunday morning was gorgeous weather so we got up early to stretch the muscles out with a walk at Cromer , then back for a cooked breakfast.. I was looking forward to going to Norwich in the afternoon as my dear, talented friend Liz Balkwill was having a private view at Mandells Gallery. There was a very good turn out and several red spots.. A successful and impressive exhibition - well done Liz. Looking forward to the 28th when the exhibition comes down and I can collect my own purchase.

Wednesday night I set off to Newark to give a demo in oils. I do like using oils for demonstrating. Most groups ask for acrylic. There was a good crowd of approx 30. I chatted for a while before giving the first demo.

14" x 18" Oil Frosty Fields

I used one of my oil sketches from January. The group have a cmaera and projector which means it is easy for everyone to see and I don't have to worry too much about having my back to folk. The colours on the screen were a bit odd though.

After coffee I did another from my sketches

14" x 18" oil Late Afternoon, Moulton

I was quite pleased with this but felt the sky was too blue, I was tempted to change it but the general consensus of opinion was to leave it - I may just get it on the easel and have a another look.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Downham Market Art Group

Don't you just love sat navs??? Having set off in good time, I arrived at Downham Market and spent ten minutes driving around a housing estate. It was like a rabbit warren, I totally lost sense of direction in the dark and was being told to take a U turn every twenty yards. When I finally emerged onto a main road, I pulled in and put in the name of the road, no need to put in the Academy bit, I mean, how can you miss a school?? Answer - easily. About a mile out of town a nice man in a garage pointed me back in the right direction. Had I not had to slow down for a chap turning right I might have missed it again but I followed this car into a dark car park and 'bingo'.
As it happens I wasn't late and had plenty of time to set up.
There was a very good turn out, didn't have a chance to count heads but there must have been 30/40 there.

I worked in acrylics and to be honest I think I spent too long on it, I went back into the sky and fiddled with the foreground - I must learn to paint slower.

Hunstanton Demo 14" x 18"

 We stopped after an hour for coffee and then I was asked to do some trees so I chose to copy a plein air study I did in Dedham last year.

Cows at Dedham 10" x 12"

This 12" x 10" picture took even less time so I had finished well before 9pm so I fielded a few questions and gave a few more hints and tips about painting plein air

Landscape demo

All in all a successful evening and I have a feeling it won't be the last time I see the group at Downham Market. They are a great group and there was a lot of interest in my painting holiday too.
At least I know how to get there now.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Busy with Workshops

Two days after my demo at March I was off in the other direction to Northampton for a Saturday workshop with Network Art. This was my second visit and once again I was made to feel very welcome. There was a good turn out which kept me very busy. I fully meant to take a photo of everyone's' work but before I knew it the day was over and people had packed up. I was impressed by the high standard of the group. It is worth looking at their website to see their programme of events.

Network Arts

Last Saturday I was back on home territory at the Lincolnshire gallery, Spalding. Not such a good turn out - that's Spalding for you.  One lady came from Norfolk and three others from Peterborough. The other five were local. Everyone had a good time with some marvelous feedback. I won't give up on the local front as people have since said they wish they had come.

Oil demo - Daffodils

Off to get packed up now as I am off to give an acrylic demonstration to Downham Market Art group.