Monday, 26 October 2009


Back from our time with family in Luxembourg and, as promised, here are some more sketches from my weekend trip with Anita to the north Norfolk coast.

We spent the whole day Sunday at Holkham Hall finishing with a yummy pub/hotel dinner on the way back to our caravan.

This is a sketch of part of the mansion I enjoyed doing in pen late afternoon seated on a rise above Holkham Hall and sharing the bench with us amongst the trees was a magnificent bronze seated figure of Thomas Coke (pronounced Cook) the founder of the family fortunes and builder of the house in the 1750's. This is a classic 18th century Palladian style mansion with many artistic treasures and home to seven Earls of Leicester. Other delights are the deer park with many interesting architectural features from an obelisk to an ice house and church and a large lake.

please click to enlarge for detail

Here are the last two sketches on Saturday evening as the sun went down, leaving some delightful skies. We stopped off at Hunstanton lighthouse and walked down onto the beach for a quick standing up sketch and some photos of the sunset but it was getting cold and blowy.

We walked up the slope to see the lighthouse in more detail and found this little expanse of clifftop grass with a round flowerbed and a wolf made of twigs beside three slim young silver birch saplings. When Anita kindly went back to fetch the car, I sat on a bench and quickly put this next sketch together as the light disappeared leaving a pinkish glow.

I added the colours to both pen sketches when we got back to the caravan. They were sketched in my new soft cream suede bound journal, rather like a Moleskin to look at but made by Derwent I purchased from my village gallery for £7.

Monday, 19 October 2009


Got back around lunch time from a wonderful sketching weekend with Anita, meeting up at the Norfolk Lavender Centre for tea and cakes (of course!). Managed a quick sketch in the gardens before driving onto our weekend accommodation. We stayed in a caravan at Heacham Beach and toured along the coast road stopping at various little harbours and beaches to sketch on Saturday.

We started at Holkham Beach - very, very, very, very WINDY!!!!but found a spot at the edge of the pine woods looking out over the vast beach with the tide way way out in the distance. There was this unusual red plant growing alongside the sand adding to the wonderful soft colours.

Here is a double spread in my Saunders Waterford Artcoe spiral 11" x 8" pad . Got too cold to trouble to add lots more of the pine trees along the bank in the left front before heading off to our next port of call.

We then travelled back along the coastroad stopping at Burnham Overy Staithe for this next double spread. Afraid the right hand page scanned rather darker for some reason, but laying them side by side still gives you the effect of the panoramic watercolour sketch of this busy little harbour and jetty.

Sorry, but this has all been done in rather a hurry, as Clive and I are off tomorrow for a trip to see our son and family in Luxembourg.
When we get back will post sketches from our Sunday at the wonderful Holkham Hall, when we had a stunning bright day sketching outdoors and touring the warm friendly family home.

Thursday, 8 October 2009


Need your help folks. The Norfolk Contemporary Art Society are running a Biennal Auction to raise funds (50/50 sales to society and artist). So I decided to rummage through some of my older work and found two rather large iris acrylic paintings I did a few years ago but (I thought) I never completely finished.

Now I have had a good look at them with all their textured, basic raised shapes I feel I rather like them as they are. Maybe these past few years I have seen so much 'contemporary' work I feel there is no need to put in too much botanical detail but just hint at it. DO YOU AGREE??

I am adding a close up of a small area as well as the whole work to give you a better idea of the style of work.


I also have a smaller framed Iris painting on silk from many moons ago using gutta paint tubes. Its the only silk painting I have left. Do you think I should enter this as well?? I like the idea of just submitting the one subject.

Now I have put all this together, I rather like the idea but will wait for your comments but please note I need to deliver to my pal next Tuesday for submission to the NCAS, which I recently joined and looking forward to their next monthly meeting on Chinese Art.
The auction is at the Old Bally Shoe Factory, Hall Road, Norwich , which is often used for large art events, on the 27th November viewing from 6.30 pm and a catalogue will be available in advance.

Sunday, 4 October 2009


We were rather low on numbers this month due to various understandable reasons, but the four workshop group members who turned up I feel had lots of fun with acrylics on Saturday.

We started the morning discussing the various acrylics available on the market from Liquitex Heavy Duty and Soft Body both available in good size pots and their latest edition of Liquitex inks and the creamy Finity created by Windsor and Newton in tubes. Then onto less expensive fairly thinned paint ranges such as Inscribe for £1 a time!! We discussed the use of the various gels and mediums from crackle, pearlescent, modelling paste and the lovely texture range of beads, pumice and sand gritty pastes. I know there are plenty more such as the mica flake and black lava, but I did not have samples of these. I also supplied some sheets from confetti presses to give circular patterns layered upon previously dried acrylic.

So the morning progressed using various tools from soft and stiff brushes large and small, palette knives, toothbrushes, trowels and rollers. Everyone simply applied paint in various thicknesses, layering and cutting back patterns just to get used to the feel of acrylics and their versatility. Before lunch break I asked each one to produce a background with mixed colours or tones that could be used for images to be added in a thicker application. Here are some examples of their ideas.

For the afternoon I had set up a collection of images based on the blue ceramic wizard my son had created for me, together with stars and moon ceramic pyramid, bronze cat, black soft cat, copper kettle, angel booklet, Aladdin's lamp, a wand, all set up at various heights produced by piling up books and boxes and covering with dark cloth with silver stars. After lunch it was great to see each member creating their chosen background from a creamy pink with a 3 inch soft decorator's brush, to blues applied with a soft sponge roller.
Here are some images of the works in progress.

I was able to share my tubes of silver acrylic and pots of sprinkly silver glitter to help create the 'magic' effect for the subject.

With our usual supply of naughty biscuits and cake with copious cups of tea or coffee, we had time to natter and relax in between our efforts and the results show what fun we all had.