Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rose Desire - black feathers

Rose Desire - black feathers
Oil on canvas 18" x 14"

I've had a happy, happy day today. Firstly, my Artist of the Year prizes and certificate all arrived in the post - unexpected! Here's a photo of my beautiful crystal goblet!

Secondly, I had this gorgeous burlesque performer to pose for me! It was fantastic, and I can't wait until she can come back again!
This is the second of two paintings that I managed to complete during our sitting! In case you are wondering, her arm has a tattoo 'sleeve', which is much more intricate than I have painted it - all pinks and turquoise.

I didn't blog yesterday because I was out shopping for a special outfit for the Jubilee Pageant - red, white and blue!
The weather doesn't seem to be playing ball though... latest reports are predicting 12 degrees, rain, and lots of wind on the bridge! I may have to rethink the dress....

Only three more sleeps...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ice cream shed

Ice cream shed

Firstly, thank you so much all of you who have left me lovely lovely comments about my first attempt at filming a painting video! I'm really glad that people are enjoying seeing it!

Yesterday I painted in my friend's garden in the sunshine. It was very hot and I was glad I had my Jullian umbrella to fasten to my easel! I was absolutely spoilt with fresh coffee and homemade biscotti - thank you Ferg!

I've had several comments about this next painting and you're absolutely right - I'm not going to do another thing to it, I consider it finished! I really like the abstract qualities and the juicy colours!

In fact, I'm going to put it up for auction! If you would like to know more about the auction, click on the link below the painting. It comes with free delivery to anywhere in the world!

Expressive flowers
Click to bid or find out more!
Detail from Expressive flowers

Only five more sleeps until Jubilee Pageant day!! :-)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Ooh! It's a video!

I'm attempting something new here! I'm trying to show you a link to my very first video! I painted by the river in Newark yesterday and Tim did bits of filming on his phone and Milly put it all together and edited it for me. A family affair!
I hope you enjoy watching the painting take shape and I hope you bear in mind as you watch that I've never done this before! :-)
Just click on the video below and hopefully by the wonders of modern technology you will be able to see what I got up to just a few hours before...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Newark line river cruises

Newark line river cruises
Oil on canvas panel 30 x 30 cms

Another gorgeous day here today so I decided to get a little practice for the regatta! I painted in one of our nearest towns, Newark-on-Trent. It was beautifully sunny and warm as you can see, and it was so nice to have the whole family with me!
I only painted one stationary boat so I'm not sure how effective that was for Jubilee practice really!
Today Tim and Milly have been filming me producing this painting, so I'm hoping to be able to show you that shortly via the wonders of YouTube. The marvels of modern technology eh?!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Very grand news!

Houses of Parliament at sunset
Claude Monet

Here's my new exciting news!!

I can finally tell you that I've been selected by the BBC as one of a small group of artists who are going to be filmed on the 3rd June standing on the Millennium bridge over the river Thames painting the Queen's diamond jubilee pageant as the boats sail beneath us!
There will be one thousand boats sailing in the flotilla with the Queen and other members of the Royal family on the Royal barge. It is going to be the largest collection of historic vessels ever assembled on the Thames. The lead vessel is a floating belfry with eight church bells on board ringing! One of the boats taking part, the Amazon, also took part in Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, in 1897. Two million people are expected to gather in London to watch the procession, and I am so, so excited that I will be there to paint the events as they unfold!
It's really happening and it's happening next weekend!
Click here if you'd like to see more information about the Royal Pageant :-)

Expressive colour workshop

Here's the girls slaving away enjoying the Expressive Colour workshop today! Great work done by all and some huge strides towards freeing up the way that they use colour in their paintings.
That's Sue's gorgeous Venice pic you can see nearest to you in the photo.
It was a beautiful day outside (as well as inside) and I promise if the weather's this nice when I do the plein air workshop (20th June) - I will bring Pimms! Maybe a few strawberries too!
(Yes there are still places available - don't all rush at once!)

Tonight my little chap Oscar played the drums at his first gig! (proud mum)
He only started learning in January and he loves it! I managed a quick sketch...

I must tell you my big news this weekend but not now because I'm too tired and ever-so-slightly deaf...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bold and bright!

I've been thinking about how much I love to use bold bright colours and I wanted to work on something really bright. This pot plant has survived, incredibly, in my hot conservatory studio for about four weeks now! I can hardly believe that a) I remember to give it water and b) it hasn't died of heat exhaustion!

This is oil on canvas, around 10" x 12" and it isn't finished, but I don't plan to do much more to it. I like the abstract qualities of it and am afraid that I will do too much 'describing' if I carry on much longer!

On Friday I will be teaching an 'expressive colour' workshop, which is going to be great fun! There are no spaces left on this one but there are still places available on my 'plein air' workshop on the 20th June.

BIG EVENT in June will be the Patchings Festival, near Nottingham, 14th - 17th inclusive, where I will be exhibiting and demonstrating for the first time! Do please come and say hi to me if you are coming along!

(pssst, there's another big event in June which I am going to tell you about shortly I promise!)

Other news today - Maisie escaped from the garden and went AWOL. When I finally picked her up in my car an hour later she looked like this... (and I won't even try to describe the smell to you!)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pêche à pied

Pêche à pied
Click to bid

Oilbars and oil paints on canvas board. 27.5 x 45.5 centimetres.

What a busy day! What a hot and sunny day! I finished this painting in amongst all the other things - supermarket shopping, lawn mowing, dog walking and picking up six new frames from my lovely picture framer.
I have a feeling this subject would be good on a larger canvas, maybe a square format with lots more wet sand in the foreground. What do you think?

Detail from Pêche à pied

Monday, May 21, 2012

I'm back!

I'm back! Back from Bréhat and back to eating, drinking coffee, painting and blogging after a week suffering from food poisoning!
Today I've been experimenting with Oilbars, a medium I haven't used for many years! At first it felt so strange using something different! It's good to leave your comfort zone though and shake things up a bit! The subject is our group of family and friends attempting to 'pêche à pied' on the Ile de Bréhat, searching for seafood at really low tide. We weren't very successful in finding any though! A couple of cockles was about the haul, fun trying though!
It's not finished yet, but I thought you would like to see the stages...

Exciting new set of Oilbar colours!

I started out broadly sketching the shapes with yellow ochre and cerulean blue.

Adding more colours, placing the figures and white to lighten things up.

Then I used a brush and sansodor and my finger to blend the sky and dilute and soften the Oilbar colours on the wet sand.

Now I am starting to pick out the figures and details with a brush and oil paints. I'll work on the rocks some more tomorrow. Quite pleased with how it's going.

I have some more very exciting news to share with you soon, it's been hard keeping it from you! ;-)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Final day and sunshine at last!

We've had a great last day of the painting holiday here on Bréhat... sunshine! All day!
Breakfast outside, lunch outside... and going out to a restaurant for our final dinner together.
What an amazing bunch of paintings everyone will be taking home as souvenirs!
This quick sketch is of flowers we picked from the garden to place on the table, when we painted the remains of our petit dejeuner.
Here's a photo of Pearl painting the moulin du birlot - in the sunshine!
And a photo of us painters before we head out to dinner...
Bon appetit everyone!

Friday, May 11, 2012

The pink rocks of Ile Nord

We walked up to the Phare du Paon at the north of the island today, with paints and picnic!
Everyone did great work and enjoyed themselves. We bought some apple juice, radishes and basil from François' vegetable stall on the way past. We even benefitted from times of sunshine and some of us have burnt our cheeks and foreheads!
I did this quick watercolour and used a little candle wax on the sea.
After a leisurely walk back we had aperitifs in the garden before dinner. Very civilised!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Aprés le petit dejeuner

We had wind and storms during the night and several hours of rain this morning so we stayed at the house to paint a still life.
Rather than setting something up specially I declared the remains of breakfast to be a fit subject!
It kept everyone absorbed for hours!
I wanted to capture the effect of the light spilling across the table from the open door behind in this fairly speedy watercolour.
Beforehand I did this sketch of Brenda silhouetted in the doorway.
Later we went out to sketch in the port area and even had a little sunshine!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wind, clouds, sun and rain!

I'm blogging from my mobile phone this week, and I'm trying to attach three images here but I'm not sure if you'll receive three or one! On va voir!
We've been battling the elements on Guerzido beach all afternoon. Sun, wind, clouds and rain, we've had it all!
The girls are true plein air painters now!
The final photo is a painting of a boat I started in Paimpol harbour yesterday- a very brightly coloured boat! The painting isn't quite finished yet. The wife of the owner of the boat came along halfway through and expressed an interest in buying it. Again, we shall see! I'll have to finish it first!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Shipwreck before downpour!

After a lovely sunny morning seeing the local sights and drinking coffee in the bourg we went out to paint this afternoon.
The sky had clouded over in gloomy fashion, which seemed a good setting for painting the shipwreck it has to be said!
I was trialling my new Jullian easel (which I have christened Jubilee, in honour of the Queen's diamond jubilee) and patriotic umbrella. Thank goodness I had the umbrella is all I can say!
Luckily the others had left the beach and made it safely back to the house when the real downpour happened...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

They've arrived!

My intrepid painting ladies have arrived - and so has the sun!
Here we are on the way over to the island! We didn't expect to be having aperitifs in the garden after all this rain so it was especially marvellous!
Fingers crossed for some fine weather for painting tomorrow!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

It's raining!

We've finally arrived on the island after a crazy journey of nearly two whole days!
It's pouring with rain and I did this self portrait in oilbars, I realise I'm looking quite cross!
Tomorrow we'll drive to Dinard airport to pick up the wonderful intrepid painting ladies!
No matter what the weather tomorrow evening when they arrive, the large house they'll be staying in is absolutely splendid with an open fire and underfloor heating and we will eat, drink and be merry for sure!
It's going to be a great week!

Friday, May 4, 2012

On board!

Well we're on board a ferry but it's not the one we booked onto, which couldn't sail due to a technical fault.
Now we'll be arriving in Caen instead of Cherbourg three hours later, which means it's extremely unlikely we'll make it to the island tonight.
It's unfortunate, but I'd rather not be on a boat with a technical fault! Hey-ho!
Here's a sketch I've just done in the bar.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Paint magazine!

May's Paint magazine

The article inside

I've received today the latest edition of the SAA's Paint magazine with my painting 'Fin du jour' on the cover, and a nice little article inside about my work!
In between phone calls and emails and social media and dog walking I did get some painting hours today but what I'm working on is so far from finished I thought I'd just show you the magazine today! I am a busy girl at the moment, my head is spinning!
I won't be able to post for a couple of days because tomorrow and Friday we'll be travelling to Bréhat for the painting holiday of the year! On Saturday we'll be buying supplies from the mainland and making sure we're ready for the lovely ladies' arrival on Sunday!
I'm sure I'll be able to keep you up to date with everything we get up to next week!
A big warm welcome to you if you are visiting my blog for the first time because of seeing the article in the magazine! Please become an email subscriber and feel free to have a good rummage through my old posts - there are nearly 160 out there, floating in cyber space! I hope you enjoy them! :-)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Meet the baby!

Oh my. New baby member of my easel family arrived today! How exciting! I bought it because I wanted the capacity to work larger when painting outdoors. Much as I love my pochade box I can only paint up to 30cms square with it and it's not too good with canvasses. I didn't realise quite how large and heavy this Jullian box easel would be, but it does what I want it to do. It's great for large canvasses, I just won't be able to carry it far!
I now need to decide whether to take it to Brehat next week for a road test or take my familiar friend, Mabel. A new easel takes so much getting used to...

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