Monday, 28 June 2010


What a weekend - from the moment we arrived at Ruth and Tony's cottage by the sea at 12 noonish on Friday until we left last night at 8pm it was glorious sunshine racing up into the 30s. Lived in swimsuits and shorts for 3 whole days. Had a lovely outdoor lunch with Ruth and Tony when we arrived, so they could tell us the ropes before leaving us to their idyllic little cottage with a lake just outside the front door and the seashore outside the back door!! Amazing views of constant changing scenes of the tide coming in and out and boats bobbing in the water.

We sketched the whole time, dabbled our toes in the lake seated on the new landing stage decking at the bottom of steps all recently built by Tony. Paddled in the sea, walked along the seashore to the yacht club, across to the lake and one of the causeways. Walked on Sunday morning to the RSPB centre and other than that lazed away the time in the sun, eating and sipping our favourite rose wine.

Here is my sketch of some of their boats moored in the lake.
Late afternoon sketch down on the water's edge as the tide was going out.
Sketch Sunday morning at the RSPB gateway near the Rotary Hide.

Friday evening sketch of one of the causeways crossing the three lakes.

... and the last one I am planning to post is of Friday evening in the cottage, when we got together some of the lovely object d'art to create a still life painted by CANDLELIGHT as there is no electricity in the cottage only small strip lights in each room run on batteries. !!

An amazingly happy three days in a wonderful setting all to the generosity of my friends Tony and Ruth who allowed us to stay in the family cottage that used to be owned by Tony's grandma and where he spend every summer holiday as a boy playing 'Swallows and Amazons' with canoes, rowing and sail boats. Our grateful thanks.

Thursday, 24 June 2010


My trio of seasons have now been delivered and I thought you might like to see the final one on Spring which was commissioned after purchase from the Reepham Gallery of summer poppyfields and autumn harvest time. All three works were acrylic paintings on stretched canvas 20" x 44" .

I really enjoyed creating this one from ideas gleaned from stopping off at woods on my way home and thoughts of springtime wild flowers even though it was well into May. Hurrah for my natural history background that always seems to get into my work. It sort of created itself as I painted along, starting with the pair of central silver birch trees, then the idea of creating a 'dell' in the foreground for the wild flowers and somewhere along the process deciding on a pathway through the wood. The thought of the broken tree trunk on the right for the ivy arrived as I felt it was a little bland just petering the pathway off the canvas on the bottom right. Wonderful what imagination can do once you have the references and ideas in your head and heart.

Not the easiest of formats to work with, but by having full closeup detail at the bottom it seems to work.

Here's a photo of the wild flower detail in the foreground:

... and here's the complete work.

Now I am all packed ready to leave for Ruth's cottage by the sea to meet up with Anita for three full days sketching, chatting, sipping and just being girls!!!

Friday, 18 June 2010


Here I am again ages since my last post. Where do the days go?

Clive went away for a week by the sea in the Med and the time just flew by. Half way through Laura and Wayne came over with the girls for a day and night, and then left the girls with me for 5 days so they could have a little break together travelling and staying around Norfolk and Suffolk. There are so many wonderful places to visit. The girls and I had a lovely time particularly our day at the seaside at Mundsley - I'll post some of the lovely photos I took of them playing in the sea and of the local surfers one day soon. Before we knew it , it was time to go to the airport to pick grandad up. On the Monday I took them home to meet up with Laura in time for her birthday on the Tuesday.

So, the only thing I have to show you is two small watercolours I did from photos taken at Wells Next the Sea North Norfolk coast. I needed to mount them up for a gallery browser of coastal scenes.

Here's number one - a memory of a weekend at Sandra's cottage when we strolled into the quayside to watch the boats come in. This one had landed crabs and quite a crowd (I only used a few figures) was watching them unload. Number two is of a day spent on the beach sketching with Anita where some children were playing cricket by the beach huts. Afraid I made a mess of the little girls face so she doesn't look as young as she actually was - probably playing with her elder brother. It was a lovely afternoon together and I tried to sketch the beach huts in their glorious full row that seems to go on for ever. The main problem both times was trying to get in all the steps and railings.

Finished my large trio of Spring, Summer and Autumn scenes now and will show you once they have been delivered.

Monday, 7 June 2010


If you read right through my previous post on this mixed media day, you will remember I was having problems with adding additional images. I thought it was a shame for you not to see some of the finished paintings, so here they are :
a great result using quite a large proportion of collage.
wonderful result from one of our newer ladies- doesn't the black lace and fringe of the Spanish shawl provide a strong base to the brighter colours.

and lots of contrast with this lovely lady with her jewelled necklace and hat trim from glitter and beads. The tissue papered orchids and patterned paper strips skirt really work as well as the added pastel over the mid ground grey.
Well done ladies attending my first mixed media workshop at Coltishall.


Had a small group this Saturday. I think I made a mistake in choosing the first Saturday of every month, as the dates coincide with Bank Holidays and now school holidays.

We began with choosing our individual subject, sketching in and adding first layer of watercolour washes. Where wanted, patterned papers or tissue were glued in before moving onto acrylic layers, with added glitter, beads, etc. Then deciding on adding pastel over the acrylics and penmarks where appropriate. Each piece of work took the whole day to develop.

This still life subject became a wonderful painting, the artist using watercolour washes with added acrylic, glitter for the grey shiny evening shoes, gutta silver to help create the pearls, torn grey leather-like papers for the shoes' bows and lots of other imaginative applications. I can't upload the finished work - such a pity it was stunning.
this subject became a very colourful work from the original sketch and water colour washes through to addition of acrylics, pastels and penwork.
My system won't let me upload any more images, but this early creation of a lovely lady came from a statue in front of a silver vase full of white orchids. These blooms were added with torn small strips of white tissue with added tones of yellow in the highlights and blues in the shadows. Again I can't show you the finished work.
This subject started with this first watercolour wash.
We break now for the summer with a sketching garden party in July and sketching by the local river in August.
I'll post and then see if I can edit. Great day by all, however small in numbers.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

very busy - so here's my garden!!

At last summer has arrived and we are basking in warm sunshine - correction - hot sunshine!! This is a corner of our rear garden with packed herbacious border leading up to the little gardenhouse with steps up to chairs and table - a very sunny corner all morning. Great for breakfast coffee and toast.

The garden parasol Clive bought me last May was made of wooden poles and has been a real pain with the struts breaking, so we ordered a posh new Acamp metal one that tilts and also has a crank handle. It arrived this morning and here I am already in its shade reading a super book about Queen Elizabeth's childhood - just popped in for a cool glass of sparkling rose delivered this afternoon by our dear neighbours to celebrate our 51st anniversay this weekend!! .

I've had winter pansies all through the darker months and now they are blooming their little hearts out and growing taller and taller in a raised bed full of blues and purples.

I bought these aliums when visiting Amsterdam flower markets some years ago and was able to dig them up and bring them with us for our new garden.

I used to have the most incredible passionflower in my Cherry Trees garden (photo below) , but somehow they don't seem to like this soil at our house in Coltishall. I do so miss these beautiful unusual flowers.
... and finally a view of the front garden steps up to the garden gate passed the garage and flower bed where the lovely big white poppies grow - remember I painted them last summer in my garden sketchbook - and they are just coming out.

Sorry have not been posting of late or visiting/commenting your own , but have been very busy creating a new commission 20" x 44" entitled Springtime in the Woods to make a trio with my Summer and Autumn acrylic paintings on canvas. Thanks DJ for your concern , but all is well just a busy bee!!