Wednesday, 27 January 2010


As I am going away to Anitas for a few days in the morning, I had to take a photo under electric light tonight to post so that the finished work has come up rather more golden than it really is. I did not put every figure in, which left me with the problem of deciding how to fill in the gaps between players and instruments, but I soldiered on. Needless to say, I had to add one of the wonderful church flower displays around the chapel and think it adds to the depth of the piece (it also covered a lot of area I did not know what to do with!!!! ) All in all, my first return to oil painting for months proves to me how much I love this soft, blendable medium.

Over many weeks now I have been returning to this oil painting on a 16" x 16" box canvas using my yummy Michael Harding paints and at long last have finished all the detail, which has taken ages. It is a scene I have wanted to paint for over 2 years now, ever since I photographed the players rehearsing in St Nicholas Chapel during the Kings Lynn Festival. The West Norfolk Art Association I belong to were having their annual show there and concerts were being performed during lunch times. I was invigilating when the musicians came in early to rehearse and I strolled down the aisle to capture them with my camera. I do so wish I had taken more, as I feel this could do with a pair for the 2010 Festival event.
Here are some of the stages
1 Just beginning to see how it would pan out using 4 different photos to combine a single composition

2 Blocking in the floor and the base of the organ

3 Blocking in the organ pipes and archways

I am really looking forward to a few days with Anita at her home in Cambridgeshire, especially using the new Atelier Interactive acrylic paints she bought me for my birthday. They do not form a top skin when dry and can be softened with water mist spray to blend in another layer and to also keep the paints malleable on the palette. Wonder how like oils they will be.

Friday, 22 January 2010


Via one of my favourite blogs ( I was told by Margaret that a campaign to help raise funds for the Haiti cause was being organised by Laure Ferlita. Please go to her special blog address at OR click on ART HEARTS FOR HAITI badge on my sidebar to get full details of this plan to get together as many ACEO 3.5" x 2.5" cards created by blogging artists.

I sent off my effort created with Inktense Pencils on watercolour paper which I have not posted here, but thought you'd like to see another design I put together in my zentangle sketchpad to help advertise this campaign in my blog.

Here are a couple of close ups of the bells proclaiming heart felt thoughts from England, the text of which was used on both pieces and describe the two designs of hearts and tears and in this one a basket at the bottom to capture them all -
' our tears are shed for your children and our hearts bleed for your loss' .

Maybe it will inspire you to have a go at creating a small card.

PS - DONT' TELL ME - I have made a colossal error by spelling Haiti back to front and its in both pieces of artwork. Oh! dear - but maybe it will make my card I sent so unique it will sell for more!!!!

Monday, 18 January 2010


In the hope this image will enlarge with a click, you might spot the background wood effect better.

During Anita's stay we decided to play, play, play and thus this iris was created on the third day!
First day we just sploshed with acrylic inks. turning out some rubbish, or getting more creative turning the resulted play into something it inspired to be. On the second day (I think) we had watched a video of Jenny Tufts working with inks creating a floral study, so we took up a display of artifical blooms I had on the firehearth - but it did not work doing it her way.
On the third day we decided to be more in control - Oh yes!!
Initially drew in the iris shape from a photo of one of my garden irises from last summer. Then created dark greens, purples and blues and filled in the background letting all the colours blend together as they wanted, leaving the lighter shades to create the leaf shapes. Then I spied what could be tree trunks at the back so worked on this area becoming a wood.
The main work was quite detailed when I eventually got round to painting the petals, etc of the flower. This was the controlled bit!

Saturday, 16 January 2010


Guess who's here? My lovely Anita arrived Wednesday and we have been painting together ever since!!

We started by using my new Liquitex acrylic inks and playing. Here is the result of one adventure into sploshing, dripping, printing onto a YUPO sheet.

1 - close up No 1 of the middle left hand area

2 close up of some of the background trees

3 - close up of ground area bottom right

4 - close up of my favourite mid area of gold on purple

We have had so much fun every day in my tiny cosy warm study, where somehow we managed to create another long working area propping a work surface onto a pedestal and raising it high enough with boxes of paints - Ah now I realise where my box of oils are I need today!!!
Will post a more controlled acrylic ink of an iris in front of a woodland area tomorrow.

Saturday, 9 January 2010


Well, here is the finished product. Somehow lost the greater contrasts I had in the earlier stages, but felt the figures needed to be more 'closed in' by all those majestic trees and thought the gap I had originally was rather contrived at the end of the pathway.

Had fun with all my texture overlays for the woods keeping the path and figures smoother, as can be seen from the following closeups.

In this post I am glad to say all three images can be enlarged by clicking to reveal the thickly layered paint and variety of colours used.

Now I wonder what will happen with my next practice effort of playing with squirted colours.

Thursday, 7 January 2010


I said yesterday that I would post the work I played with at Sandra's yesterday when we got together for the day in her garden room to paint and inspire one another. .. sorry its still in the car and I don't plan to crunch my way up the front path to the cold, cold, ice bound and snow covered car to get it for you!!!!!!

So instead have been taking photos of a new piece I started this morning all from playing. I had shown Sandra one of my old 'tools' - a roller with pattern that when pushed over lots of thick acrylic paint turns into tree like patterns. So thats how I began with this 30" x 12" canvas. I used a little bit of a plan by squirting blue and white at the top , then greens, yellows, browns mid area the whole width and softer colours at the bottom. Then rolled to give me a background to work on.

The first image shows the whole piece after I had cut back into the thick paint to create tree trunks. I used a soft spongy brush sold to use for masking fluid and it worked a treat.

In the woods first stage

Close up of portion of first stage

Then I added foliage yellows, greens and blues and darks into the interior of the wood

Stage 2Close up of portion of wood stage 2

I now plan to add figures and have searched my image archives and come up with two of my grand daughters walking in the Walpole Gardens a few years back. Shall place it - once decided on the right size - at the bottom left golden mean ie 10 inches in from left and 4 inches up from bottom.

It has quite an interesting textured look for the woods and I shall look up some photos I took in the woods at Felthorpe last summer to give me ideas to develop the foreground. Its almost a good thing that we have snow forecast for the next 5 - 10 days - I can stay in my cosy little upstairs study and play, play, play, having food shopped on Monday to stock up. Hurrah for freezers!!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010


In January 2008 when I was running a GALLERY as well as a BLOG site, I posted the above gold and cream version of snowdrops in my series called BY THE WINDOW.

Since taking the girls back home after three days with us over New Year so that our daughter could really celebrate without any family commitments and staying to celebrate their other nanny's 70th birthday, I have wanted to get my acrylic paints out and play. Here is the result of using an image in my archives of the original snowdrops and simply playing with colour and texture - and I even cut strips of a leather type fabric to create striped curtains. I added patterns to reflect all the other colours in the painting.

Here is this latest version. It was fun just doing whatever I fancied and they certainly look very different. More painterly I feel and less decorative.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010


Just made an error by posting into my closed down GALLERY instead of my BLOG SITE. Don't know how to copy it across. Its about snowdrops - perhaps if you are interested you could link across or tell me how to move it. At the top is the finished recent more painterly version .