Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My 2013 year review - April to June

August evening on Bréhat

Settle down for a long post as I take a look over the second quarter of the year...

Back in April something of a sea change was underway. After several years of painting almost exclusively from life and most of that outdoors I began to produce some paintings in the studio that I was pleased with. A large part of the 'secret' seemed to be that if I had already painted the subject on site I could draw on the experiences of actually being there observing and could also muster up something of the enthusiasm and excitement that I feel whilst painting plein air.
Previously attempts to paint purely from photos had resulted in frustration and boredom for me, and stiffness in the finished work. This really was a breakthrough.

Here are a couple of those studio works together with the plein air studies that kicked them off -

Sketch painted at the fish market, you can see that I was very interested in the WC sign!
8" x 10"
Fresh fried fish, Essaouira
Studio painting
16" x 20"
Sketch painted on site at Belmont tower
10" x 12"
Sledging at Belmont tower
18" x 22"
In April I had a week in France with my family with a bit of painting time thrown in, and travelled to Bristol to give workshops for the SAA again.

The month of May brought the most wonderful painting trip when I was invited to Florida as one of the featured artists in the Forgotten Coast great plein air paint out. Whereas 2012 will be remembered for painting in the rain 2013 was shaping up to be a year of sunshine!

Early morning at the marina, Mexico beach

Sunrise over the marsh

I had such a fantastic time and was made to feel so welcome by all the other artists and event organisers. I met so many kind and lovely people. The subject matter was great, the weather was great, I was fed and watered and driven everywhere by my great friend Lori Putnam. What more does a girl need?

Best pals- me, Lori Putnam, Sandie Yarbrough and Dawn Whitelaw
One of the sweetest plein air painting events ever happened to me during this trip to Florida, with the watermelon man. You can read the story if you want to by clicking here!

Me and the watermelon seller

Watermelons for sale

One of the highlights of the trip was the Quick Draw event. Unfortunately for the morning of the event it was pouring with rain but that didn't deter all the invited artists and many other keen painters from coming along and joining in the fun! There was music, dancing, coffee and doughnuts! How like me to remember the coffee and doughnuts... 
Anyway the rain didn't dampen our spirits and I was thrilled to win an honourable mention award amongst such prestigious company!

Me with my medal and the painting titled
'View from the restroom'

Here are a couple of other paintings from the trip -

Early morning shadows on Mexico beach

Morning light at devil's elbow

Greg La Rock and other artists painting at Cape San Blas

Lazy afternoon at the marina

Oyster boats in the early morning light, Eastpoint

Shrimp huts on Water Street
Also happening at the time I had a painting accepted for the Society of Women Artists exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London, and another article published in The Artist magazine. The subject this time was painting cats in acrylics and I used my own three cats as models.

Ginger Charlie and Pumpkin

Firmly back in the UK June was Patchings Festival time. Again I had taken a stand in the Painters marquee for this four day event.

I was enormously honoured to have all three of my entries accepted for the Patchings/The Artist magazine annual exhibition, the opening of which coincides with the Festival and takes place in the Barn gallery. I'm so fortunate to have Patchings art centre almost on my doorstep, at around 40 minutes drive from home. I've met many good friends through being involved with the Patchings festival.

I was even more delighted to hear that one of my paintings had been selected for a prize in the exhibition. I won the Royal Talens award which was £250 worth of art materials of my choice. I decided I could do with a new studio easel and the other nice thing about that is that the easel I'd been using for the past 20 years was also a prize that I'd won with a small self portrait on the Channel 4 show 'The Big Breakfast'!

Workshops continued apace in this quarter with 'Painting from photos', 'Figures in a setting', 'Still life with flowers in acrylics' and 'Introduction to gouache' amongst others.

Daler Rowney System 3 workshop at Patchings Festival
They did so well!

Corner of the Barn gallery
Painted as a plein air demo during Patchings Festival 2013

That brings us right up to UK summer time, what an action packed few months that was! Tomorrow I'll have a look around the July to September period, lots more travel still to come...



  1. Fun to see your reviews with many months of beautiful works!

    1. Thanks Linda, I'm having fun looking back!

    2. Love it! My goodness you've been a busy girl! Can't wait to see what you'll be painting in 2014!

    3. Thanks Cory, happy new year!


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