Monday, 25 August 2008


I have been very involved with family matters for over a week now and have not sketched or prepared any new work to post. The idea for this post came about by me going through a 12 x 16 ins sketchbook whilst I was packing what I needed for my trip to Anita when we shall be painting in Ely in connection with a Sue Ryder project. .. and I came across this last sketch of Wisbech parish church doorway. Knowing I have painted many a doorway, I checked out some images on my iomega stand alone hard drive backup system.
1 St Nicholas Chapel
This is an acrylic painting of the west gate at St Nicholas Chapel Kings Lynn. It was exhibited and sold at the very chapel during one of Kings Lynn's Summer Arts Festivals. It measured 40 x 30 ins.

2 Cypriot doorway 3 Chickens through the old doorway Tochni village
These two were exhibited at different Kings Lynn Festivals and sold at the Doric Gallery. The first is inspired by a painting holiday in Cyprus when I sketched this old doorway and at home decided I wanted to add the spiritual aspect of the island by adding the Cypriot priest coming through the door and wall from the past. Again it was created in acrylic with fabric stiffened by the paint and curled at the edges to create a textured door.

The second Cypriot doorway was amazing at the top of a winding hill in the mountain village where we stayed. It was held together by just about everything, from concrete slabs upright at the sides, panels of hardwood and plywood, chicken wire and string. It was so inspiring I could not resist it - but had to paint it at home in acrylic from photos I took.

3 Wisbech Cambridgeshire Parish church
These torquoise painted wrought iron gates lead into the west doorway of Wisbech Parish Church. This is the one I found in the sketchbook, from which I sold a number of prints during my Cambridge Open Studios weekends. It was sketched during one of the town's summer Rose Fairs.
Do remember to enlarge the images, especially so you can see all the texture on the three acrylic works.

Friday, 22 August 2008


Thought you'd be interested in seeing the chicken acrylic painting (36 x 14 inches) that Lisa 'uplifted' for her farmhouse kitchen!!! (see previous post). It was inspired by a visit to the Skylark Gallery in Lincolnshire where chickens were roaming amongst the flower beds by the side of the carpark area - I added the field and village on the horizon from my imagination and the white cockerels on the left on the fence were from a completely different location. Great what you can do with painting - you really do feel you have become a creator.

Monday, 18 August 2008


Next Saturday we are going with the family to a 40th celebrations party at our close family friends' Norfolk farmhouse. Planning a personal gift, I took some photos of the farm and its surrounds last time we visited and have produced an oil painting for them 24 x 12 inches on a box canvas. The first photo also shows the original watercolour study I did but the house was not wide enough and decided I wanted more interest in the landscape so changed the format size to panoramic and added the barn, more trees and detail to the right. So I started the oil with better proportions using two of the photos to guide me (photo 2). Trees could have been bluer but I have no more time to add another layer.
This is the completed oil painting hopefully drying in time to put a light temporary varnish over it before delivering. I know Lisa likes my canvas work as she 'pinched of the wall' an acrylic painting in the same format of chickens amongs daffodils with farmland behind from my daughter's hallway for her farmhouse kitchen?!!! being family we did not mind - quite a compliment really that she liked it so much!!!

Saturday, 16 August 2008


My three grand-daughters are staying with us this weekend and I took them out on a trip today on the local narrow gauge steam train from Wroxham to Aylsham, passing through the village I live in. Here are some photos of the one we travelled on the 9 miles each way taking 45 minutes through the countryside, over bridges, across the river and through a dark tunnel! It was called BLICKLING HALL after the name of a local manor house. They were taken in the lovely station at Aylsham. We stopped for a lovely cup of hot chocolate and biscuits before getting the train back. Most of the stops were so pretty with little flower beds and hanging baskets.

This one is of the coal to prove it was a steam train.
and this one my eldest grand-daughter Channais took out the window as we were travelling when another train in the fleet was passing us by while we waited in a siding. Best photo of the day!!

None of the grand-daughters approved the photos I took of them, so have not posted any!! We had lots of fun but the train did rattle and shake!!!

Tuesday, 12 August 2008


As you may have seen, my previous post was of the watercolour painting of white lilies in the garden for the city florist and I enjoyed painting them so much I decided to use the same plant for my third entry into my floral studies sketchbook. Sorry if you find it repetitive and boring to view.

I'm really quite pleased with the double spread as above showing the bud and leaves with the Winsor and Newton colours used and a full bloom to the right. In true keeping with watercolour techniques, I left the paper white for the petals and then added shadows and detail. (Dont forget to click on image to enlarge .)

Saturday, 9 August 2008


These wonderful lilies with the yellow central strip have been blooming in the garden since my brother and his wife spent a week with us followed by a 5 day visit from my daughter and her three girls, so I never had a chance to paint them en plein air. So from a series of photos I took as they came out, I selected three and created this composition. The lefthand side came easily by selecting sections from the three photos and adding background leaves, but didnt know what to do with the righthandside, so simply made up the stems with leaves and a single bud I took from popping back down into the garden when drawing to fill the space!!! Not quite the professional approach really but I think it works.
I used my Winsor and Newton watercolours creating greens from Winsor yellow and Winsor blue and the background had a final wash of permanent alizarin crimson to darken but keep interesting. The shadows on the petals were a weak mixture of these colours. So the painting was created from three primaries.

I had originally planned to paint one of these in my new handmade sketchbook, but I needed more framed floral watercolours to hang in a Norwich city florist with other pieces they have of mine.... but I still might also just do a single bloom in my sketchbook this weekend.

Thursday, 7 August 2008


At some of the previous workshops we discussed negative painting and how to paint white objects. As I felt some of the members were ready to tackle this concept, I brought along a white porcelain vase, some white (albeit artificial) roses and a small alabaster statue of a Grecian lady I bought in Athens. To make these light tones show up I also brought in a highly patterned and coloured beach wrap to drape over a pile of books behind.

I think you will agree they made a great start and seemed to really enjoy playing with the patterns and wonderful blues/greens in the fabric background and at this stage leaving the white objects as clear white paper to be enhanced by shadows at a later stage .

The other subject for the day was inspired by some recent sunny days and the feeling of summer and beaches.
and here are some of the works being created with quite large tonal washes.

Good result all round I feel.

Friday, 1 August 2008


As you can see, a most unusual fuchsia. It has grown prolifically in a half barrel on the steps above my little pond, together with lemon nasturtiums called Banana Split. The blooms grow all along the length of each stem - some of which here in my sketch have died and fallen off leaving the 'seedhead'.

Just thought you might like to see the whole plant growing - so've popped out into the garden to take a photo. The one Ive sketched is at the bottom and there are two further types of fuchsia higher up in the barrel.
The funny triangle of stone on the bottom left is the wing of an angel statue.