Tuesday, 28 July 2009


Surprised to find its over a week since I added a post to my blog. I know I have been busy with all manner of art matters, but I can now show you some of the actual artwork I have been working on over the past week. These are for a local village who are running a weekend Sculpture Trail and Arts and crafts exhibition in aid of their church roof fund (14th - 16th August).

I am producing four pieces in 12" x 12" natural frames with ivory double mounts, using ink and watercolour. Black and sepia penwork and black, sepia, blue and purple ink for the dark areas.
as usual need to click to enlarge for detail

Number one is of the church (St Botolph's Trunch) from a photo I took back in the winter as I wanted to use the birch trees without their foliage so you can see more of the church building. I fell in love with the soft winter light and long tree shadows.

Number two is of the interior as I felt the notice propped on one of three plastic stacker chairs advising you not to enter due to 'unstable roof' would make a perfect subject for the reason for the event. Here the use of inks for the screen and darker panels makes a great contrast with the soft watercolour washes.

I will create another post when I have completed the other two works which are based on a visit to the village Open Gardens and Scarecrow event last week - and hope you find them amusing!!!

Sunday, 19 July 2009


Here is the story of an art exchange with Robert of the USA and myself in England.

Sunflower Acrylic painting on canvas 20" x 16" inspired by zentangle design
Some of you may remember how I got into zentangling back in the winter and in February I posted one I did of a sunflower. Since then I had promised Robert I would use it to create a full acrylic painting for him, but have been so busy preparing work for shows I have only just got round to doing it.
It was great fun as I simply had the original zentangle (check out post back in February under Zentangle label on right) used it as a guide and just enjoyed myself putting shapes onto the canvas and developing it using acrylics and silk outliners. Here are the colours I used and some of the earlier stages.

Colours used and close up of distant bloom I decided to paint bigger

Close up of early stage with ideas for extra petal on left
and strengthened colour stage
You'll see I finally softened some of the greens in the finished work at the top of the post as well as making other colour and pattern adjustments.

I will now remove the canvas from the stretchers, roll and pack into a post tube and take down to the village post office in the morning when it opens, so that it can wend its way to Robert in Kingsville Mo USA. I look forward to the artwork you are preparing for me Robert, but must tell you all that he is a writer and film maker as well. What talent - go take a peep at his blog at

Tuesday, 14 July 2009


Finished piece called ORCHIDS IN INDIA

I decided to produce some new pieces to use with some work already completed and create a series called FLOWERS IN MY TRAVELS for submission for the Kings Lynn Summer Festival event held by the West Norfolk Artists in the lovely St Nicholas Chapel venue. They are all acrylic on 16" x 16" box canvas.

You may recognize from earlier posts that I had created earlier this year both TULIPS IN AMSTERDAM and PROTEUS IN SOUTH AFRICA. I took a good hard look at these compositions and changed them somewhat so they were not so complicated. I also used an old rough painting as a base for another one about SUNFLOWERS IN S.W. FRANCE from our many stays with friends in a farmhouse out in the country between Bordeaux and the Dordogne.

For this post, I am showing you how I worked on a completely new piece based on our trips to India, when Clive was absolutely bowled over by the TAJ MAHAL. Here are a couple of stages and as you will see from the finished piece at the beginning of the post, I decided to remove the spray of orchids climbing up the right hand side into the sky.

early blocking in

later stage when building/reflection added
As usual, they all show my love of flowers, plus my passion for colour. When I get back at the weekend from staying over near Kings Lynn with my daughter, I'll photo all four together and post the series for you to see and let you know if any were selected.

Sunday, 5 July 2009


It was a glorious sunny day on Saturday if somewhat muggy and I had three lovely ladies from my workshop group come round to paint in the garden for the afternoon. I had plans to offer them three alternatives as subjects from botanical study of a flower of their choice to a more architectural piece selected from such things as the archway, the summer house, the water feature, lovers statue, pond etc. In addition I thought I'd suggest they try something we have not done in the 16 months or so we have been meeting since the first workshop and that was figure drawing.

For some reason, I mentioned the figure drawing first, saying I had large rolls of coloured sketch paper and a good supply of charcoal, chalk, conte and pastels. It was snapped up as our subject. So out came three of my easels (having to carry the studio easel between us it was so heavy and large), backing boards, paper and drawing equipment. ... and the model ? - who else but lazy me. I sat under the large orange umbrella and read a book with my feet stretched out in front of me on our long garden lounger and managed to stay still for 15 whole minutes.

Before we got started I made us all a large pimms with lots of strawberries, cucumber, orange slice and mint, to try to cool us down but the ice melted immediately so I went and got a dish full from the freezer to top up with. Here they are at work, having found some shade from the shrubs and trees around the edges of the rather sad and dry lawn.

Here are some results of a second pose later in the afternoon - when I remembered to take photos!! All very different approach and use of materials.
We've decided that we enjoyed ourselves so much we would have a full day workshop on figure drawing in September when everyone can take a 15 minutes model turn. Meanwhile we finished with afternoon tea comprising Maggies lovely fresh scones, cream and jam.
Then I had a lovely evening with Clive as we went to a beautiful venue called Plantation Garden made in an old quarry on the outskirts of Norwich city, where Sandra was playing (double base) with her 3 piece jazz group. We took a bottle of rose wine and a box of strawberries to see us through the evening. Delightful.

Thursday, 2 July 2009


Hope I am not boring you with these two latest pieces of work but thought you'd like to see them both finished now.

Water towers at North Walsham
I really enjoyed adding all the colours to what seems at first glance in real life just greyish white concrete. Having such strong sun light to give that glorious shadow underneath the big tower, I felt there had to be more colours in the concrete, so introduced yellow, then added greens and blues and reddish browns in the shadows, all colours that appear in the landscape and houses/roofs (or is it rooves?) .
Drainage Mill at How Hill

As I liked the hints of warm colours in the towers, I decided to add some into the grasses and reeds of this painting as well. I had felt all along that there was something I did not like about the composition and I realised it was the parallel path and drain near the bottom (see my post image of 25th June), which seemed to take ones eye away from the main focus... so - simple as it can be with acrylic - I added grasses and reeds over the dark brown drain that had been on the right hand side - and Oh how much happier I am.

They are now varnished, labelled and corded and ready to go.