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?