Thursday, 30 September 2010


Today Anita booked our trip to Italy for May to benefit from an early booking reduction. Whilst discussing all the ideas over the past week on the phone, thought I'd like to do a painting from my sketchbook. So decided to use two sketches and put them together of when I went to Venice last year. I decided to use acrylic inks on YUPO (well that new Vanguard I have been telling you about available from Jacksons of London).

This is the finished piece, measuring 20" x 8". Gondolas look very dark here, hope you can enlarge and see the detail in this corner.

Here are a few cropped photos as the work progressed.

It was lots of fun as the sky changed colour radically and the darker corner (where the gondolas are) changed a lot in respect of shadow, moving water and the addition of the poles.
Clive reckons the light shows the scene as it would be just before dusk.
I think I might try some more another time from the sketches Anita and I have been doing from the BBC Art programme series POWER OF ART. Nothing like getting the feel for Italy 6 months before you go!!!

Monday, 27 September 2010


Had our second Coltishall Ladies Art Group at my home last Thursday, everyone doing something different. I'm taking these Thursday afternoon sessions as a regular opportunity to get back to my sketchbooks I have so neglected this year.

Helen had brought along a cutting from her passionflower to draw after she finished her acrylic canvas of mixed flowers. I liked it so much, I decided to paint it directly into my garden sketchbook - maybe it will encourage my new passionflower to grow in my garden next year!! Philippa and I sat alongside each other so we could share the cutting and both tackled it with watercolour. At the end I added a few lines with Stabilo fineliner water soluble pens. Here's my sketch:

Before the time for the afternoon gathering, I walked up the lane and cut some blackberries which I also painted into my garden sketchbook. Well! I can always imagine the lane is part of my garden!!

Jasmine sketched one of my figurines - an elegant Edwardian looking lady with long flowing dress and big picture hat. Penny tackled the conkers we did the previous week and improved with each water soluble pencil sketch. Maggie had brought along a very funny bouncy chicken ornament to create an acrylic on canvas for a gift.

Lots of comradery, chat and fun by all. What a lovely afternoon it was together.

Monday, 20 September 2010


Had my first Coltishall Ladies afternoon Group meeting last Thursday and Maggie chose some of the conkers, acorns and rose hips I had collected from the lane to paint in watercolour. So today when I found I had an hour to spare, I decided to have a go in my monthly garden flower book, which I have neglected since July.

I realised how much I enjoy painting in this commissioned Sanders Waterford watercolour paper sketchbook, so have decided to get another one done for my Italian trip. At £15, a 7" x 7" chosen cover, size and paper its a great bargain. Just need to remember the name of the website for the lady in Cambridge!!

Was good to play with watercolour after so long. It is such a delightful medium to work in, putting layer upon layer onto the conker to achieve the strong rich warm colour, followed by a quick flick of the brush with blue and purple for the shadow.

Then I put three acorns in front of me with their little cups that we always called pipes when we were small.

A simple little posting today folks, but I am now enjoying so much freedom without any new oils or acrylic paintings to get ready for shows, as I have everything ready for Wymondham. Yarmouth and Sheringham. I shall definitely put the autumn/winter months to come over to sketching practice... although after another sale of a local landscape work at the Rising Sun riverside pub this week, I may need to do one or two more to hang in my permanent show there.

Sunday, 12 September 2010


Last night was our Preview at the Belfry Art Centre after hanging the show on Thursday with some excellent work provided by 18 members of the NOVA Group. They all responded really well to the theme of Inspirations - bringing along items for us to display on differing sized white plinths near their hanging finished works. With Pia's help, our coloured glass maker member, Sandra and I managed to receive, label and hang every piece of work submitted using the last plinth and, more to the point, our very last hook to hang the paintings on fishing wire from the dado rail. !

Here is how the hanging looked down one side of the Art Centre ....

and the other half of the show ???
it seems I'll have to add these to a different posting as the system won't let me upload any more images.

Altogether there were artworks of
- sea inspired work from acrylic on canvas to torn distressed stitched paper
- abstract work on stretched canvas with inspired textile designs on coats and bags
- oil paintings of scenes on the beach in muted warm colours
- digitally enhanced photographs of surfers printed on canvas and put on stretchers
- collage work of such images as a cockerel and water colour teapot
- lace making on circular bases
- views through windows (yes real wooden window frames complete with brass handle)
- a coloured glass witch as a wonderful square electric lamp plus some glass hangings
- fused glass art on tiles
- my public house interior inspired acrylic paintings and
- Sandra's tightrope walkers
It is on until the 26th September and we look forward to a good footfall as a result of the issue of Sandra's press releases and Nick's publicity material.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010


Finished painting 10" x 10" mounted and framed in light wood.

This week I have been working on the third surfer acrylic ink painting for Sheringham Reflections show in October and am very pleased with the result. It reminds me of the days I lived in Dorset and used to paint the sea quite a lot. Now I realise I have missed it as I so thoroughly enjoyed creating the waves and blending all the colours.

Thought you'd like to see some close ups of stages as I worked:

1) I was very pleased how I created the silvery lavender colour for the first background layer all over the Lana Vanguard silky sheet put on with a soft spongey 4 inch roller. I used Mars Red, touch of prussian blue and lots of white acrylic inks with cerulean watercolour:

2) Here I am at my working bench in the little upstairs studio, showing the colours I had chosen for the painting and my original photograph and how I was adding the figures colour by colour using quite soft water colour brushes. size 3 and 8 making them much larger and closer together:

3) Here's a close up of the boy and his blue surf board reflection after I had removed the masking fluid:

... 4) and finally a close up of the main wave showing all the colours I put into the water.


Saturday, 4 September 2010


I have now completed number two of the trio of surfers for the Sheringham Reflections show.

When I visited Mundesley beach with the grand children, they were putting out the colourful flags for the surfers and swimmers and I took many photos. This one I feel reflected (ha ha!!) what I wanted to achieve. It had the dark back drop, against which the figures and flags showed up well and I must admit had staggeringly elongated reflections in the water lapping the beach. I did quite a few adjustments to the original photo, strengthening the colour of the sand and softening the distant buildings. I used a different blue to number one surfer painting, mainly because I had run out of cerulean acrylic ink!! I think I might cheat on number three and add some cerulean blue watercoloour to my mix to get back to the softer blue. You'll also notice that I did not put in any detail to either of the faces.

Here is a close up of the reflections, which I was very pleased with , without too much fiddling and almost exactly as I put down the paint in the first layer. Some of the white ripples were created with what you call in the US of A miskfit and we call over here in the UK masking fluid, which at the end was rubbed off to reveal the white streaks of water across the top of the reflected colours.

Now I have to consider what image number three will be created from. Always decision making this artwork, isn't it??