They say as you get older that time goes quicker but this is ridiculous!
I don't think I've stopped since I last wrote way back in May and suddenly, nights are drawing in and it's almost August.
Norfolk Open Studios in May and June were very successful and it was lovely to see so many friends and collectors. I was part of the trail, South of Sheringham. In all more than 100 sculptors, painters, printers and other artists took part.
Painting in Norfolk
This is the second year that I have been based at The White House near Burnham Market. I had such a lovely group that it didn't seem like work at all. The weather was kind to us and we were able to get out to the coast and surrounding area every day. We made a return visit to Wiveton Hall with kind permission from Desmond (of 'Normal for Norfolk' fame) which was very well received by the group.
I'm already looking forward to next year. 14th May - 19th May 2023 This course sells out very quickly as there only ten places so a quick heads up if you are interested - you can book now (+44) 7785 439727
Wiveton Hall Demo, looking to the sea
Those of you that follow me on Instagram may have noticed my absence for the last couple of months. This is mostly because I haven't been painting much.
I have taken time to catch up with friends. It was so easy after lock down to continue to isolate so, I made a concerted effort. One of the things we did was to get together 40+ people that we hadn't seen in some cases for as many as 50 years. This involved a lot of detective work and we eventually had people coming from Cornwall, Cumbria, South Coast and London. It was lovely to see sooo many smiling faces as everyone renewed friendships.
Another reason for lack of painting is of course the garden.
A couple of weeks ago we opened our garden for the village's annual Garden Crawl and Scarecrow Competition. We put many hours into the garden making it as good as we could.
The event was a huge success with 43 scarecrows dotted around the village. Our garden had a constant stream of visitors too. Fortunately it was before temperatures hit 40c then we watched as the garden visibly wilted. I have however managed to keep the hanging baskets and pots alive.
I cheated a bit with our scarecrow by buying a ready made outfit and stuffing it. I had a good excuse though as I had just fractured my ankle.
Garden A few pots Our scarecrow
This month I am offering this 10" x 12" painting of Weybourne, framed at the special price of £250 with free P & P to the UK.
It's hard to believe we are halfway through November. The leaves are still hanging on and we are yet to have our first frost. I did have to do a double take the other day as I drove past a house with a fully decorated Christmas tree all lit up in the window. It reminded me of how quickly Christmas is creeping up on us so, I have turned my attention to creating a few festive still life paintings. It's also been a real joy to be able to visit art clubs again and also to be able to teach face to face. I hadn't realised how much I had missed it.
A Trip to France
Frank & I had a very pleasant few days visiting Sue & John, the new owners of Le Marroniers. A farmhouse and 3 gites in central France. The weather was perfect for driving around the area, seeking out places to paint for when I return next year to run a course there. The studio has had an overhaul and is now fitted with a woodburner in case of any cold wet days we may have. Mostly though I intend being out and about.
Here are a few of the locations we will be painting.
Gargillesse le Celle Dunouis
The proposed dates are 7th - 14th June 2022 (to be confirmed) Prices start at £710 and is inclusive of all tuition, accommodation, meals, drinks, transport to and from Limoges airport. Do let me know if you would like more information or would like me to reserve a place for you and a friend - no obligation at this stage.
I have visited two art clubs this month. The first was a last minute stand in at Spalding and the second was a trip to Wymondham, Norfolk. It must be two years since I last stood in front of a live audience. I soon got back into the swing of things and really enjoyed chatting and answering questions.
A festive still life at Spalding Art & Craft Society
Brancaster Staithe, oil demo for Wymondham Art Society
Norfolk Creative Arts
Last weekend I ran a workshop at Norfolk Creative Arts. Unfortunately there were quite a few cancellations. due to illness - yep, the 'C' word! This did mean that after doing a demo for everyone I was able to work on a second painting in-between going round to see everyone. Lunch as always was fabulous and we were all quizzing Hans for the recipe for his amazing vegetable lasagne.
Hellebores & Macaroons Satsumas & Nuts
Both paintings are 10" x 10" and are available here at just £250 unframed
My next course at Norfolk Creative Arts is on 22nd May 2022 10am - 4pm The price is just £99 and includes, all materials, tuition, lunch, teas and coffee only 12 places available
Recently I have seen some fabulous paintings in Gouache by artists I follow. I dug out a load of tubes that I'd bought a few years ago when I'd tried painting with them but, being disappointed with the results, they were relegated to back of the cupboard. I signed up for an online demonstration by the talented Jenny Aitken. I learned a lot from her and been having a play myself. I do feel I'm getting somewhere now. At the moment I am experimenting with different surfaces, Gessoed watercolour paper, board and various watercolour surfaces. It is always good to try something new and step out of our comfort zone. Interestingly, when I switched back to oils I found that I had taken some of what I had discovered and was applying it to my oils
I have been taking advantage of this fine weather to tidy up the patio and tucking all the tender plants up safely in the greenhouse. I have a tray full of bulbs sitting in the garage still waiting to be planted, (it's amazing how many other jobs you can find to do!)
As happens every year, my holly tree which is always covered in berries is now being stripped by the blackbirds. This typically happens a few days before I go out to pick some to decorate the hallway. This year we have had an unusual visitor - a white blackbird. We did have four white fledglings in our garden over ten years ago but none survived. This looked to be very heathy as it tucked into my berries.
Thank you again for your support and for following me. It really is much appreciated.
I'm off to the studio now to try and paint a still life that I'm pleased enough with to use as our Christmas card this year - have you done yours yet?
I think this September has been the busiest month of the year for me so far with, the exhibition in London, teaching in Harwich, Open Studios and the Strada easel challenge - painting from life every day throughout September
I'm looking forward to a slightly quieter October but it has already started off with a big bang as I reached a certain milestone birthday on the 4th.
Strada Easel Challenge
Well I don’t know how but I did it!
A painting from life every single day throughout September and, on a couple of occasions, just before midnight. It is a very good discipline and I would encourage anybody to have a go because, even though we all make excuses and find other things to do, it just proves to yourself that it can be done
Here are just a few of my favourites
I haven't really had much time recently for my You Tube channel so I decided to film my self doing this painting for the challenge. The video is 20 mins long with a bit of commentary if you're interested
This was my first visit to The Old Bank Studios. I had a very warm welcome from Bev & Nigel Caleno that own it. Everything was very organised and I had the most lovely group. We were lucky with the weather and went out to the beach or to the pier each day. I have to say it was rather windy and having given everyone advice - my easel fell over twice whilst I was going round seeing the group. I'm pleased to say that I have been invited back for next year, watch out for the dates.
butter side down brushed off when dry and overpainted in places
Norfolk Open Studios
This weekend 8, 9 & 10th October is the last weekend for open studios. It was very quite last weekend as I think everyone was conserving their fuel and not wanting venture out in the cold. There was one exciting moment - I had been asked if I would be the last clue in BBC Radio Norfolk's Treasure Quest. It was great fun listening to people solving the clues. The final code was hidden behind my sunflower painting
Julie from radio Norfolk unframed work from £200
All the paintings from the challenge are now on show at my studio in Norfolk.
OPEN THIS WEEKEND 10 - 5pm Friday 8th - Sunday 10th
Don't forget to mention you are a subscriber to get an extra discount
I'd love to see you.
Prices start at £200 for an unframed picture.
click here to be taken to the open studio website where you will be able to see all the artists taking part and directions to the studios
A Birthday Treat
For my birthday Frank treated me and some friends to lunch at the George Hotel in Stamford. I was thoroughly spoilt but I think it might be another ten years before I go again, it'll probably take Frank that long to save up again.
I'm hoping to catch up with the rest of the family later on this month for hugs and more celebrations, meanwhile I'm milking this one, lunches out with friends is on the agenda.
Have a good month everyone and thank you for your support
Love Mo xx
celebrating a milestone birthday at The George, Stamford