Wednesday, 26 October 2011


Went to Fakenham races last Friday with my art friend Sandra to not only have fun betting but to do a bit of sketching. Had a great start with a 7-1 winner in the first race! - nothing after that.

When we arrived the bookies were setting up and gave us a chance to sketch them before the crowds arrived.

It was interesting that a young lady was setting up and taking the bets during the afternoon at this first bookie stand in the long line.

After gorgeous soup chowders (Sandra had smoked haddock and I had a crab and lobster one) with chunks soft bread we spent some time near the paddock watching the horses parade and later went across the course to see a race level to the winning post from the other side. Here is Sandra sketching the back drop to a sketch she planned to do of the horses thundering past us at the end of the next race!! Braver than me! So a sketch of a sketcher sketching!!!!

A wonderful afternoon in continuous sunshine and a big thank you to Sandra for treating me into the members enclosure so we could see the races from the best (and less crowded) stand. Unfortunately we were also in line with the first fence when my second race horse fell!

Monday, 17 October 2011


Went across to the western extremity of Norfolk nearly into Cambridgeshire last week to do an acrylic demo for an art group. I took my favourite pot and white orchids, but the rest of the painting is made up including the lace cloth, window, shadows and turning the back wall into a corner to create two tones to give variety. All these things were created as I went along with no preconceived ideas.

Showed them so many different techniques, I never finished the painting completely that evening and due to insufficient drying time was unable to do the final glazes and subtle changes in tone and composition. However a quiet weekend enabled me to complete it.... oh! yes including changing the table from straight to circular, creating a corner to the room, softening the shadows ... all as follows:

Here are some close ups so you can see the different techniques I showed the art group members.

Textured pot: I created the pot shape with palette knife and modelling paste and whilst wet pressed on confetti/sequin waste strip of holes. When dry (used a hair dryer which they found quite amusing) I applied normal acrylic paints in layers of glaze thinned down with flow enhancer to ensure the pattern showed through:

I created the lace with white and Turner's yellow acrylic paint and painted darker holes in lace pattern, then added three layers of different coloured glaze to create the soft shadow.

Finally, here is a close up of one of the orchids.

Their chairlady rounded up the evening by saying it was very rare to have acrylic demonstrated in 2 hours and all they had learned would give them encouragement to tackle this medium. The buzz words to go home with were 'be more adventurous' and 'love colour - any colour not necessarily what was in front of them' .... or something like that!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


Finished this sunflower mixed media painting on Lana Vanguard support a few weeks ago and entered in local Rotary Antique Fair and Art Exhibition and pleased to say sold it together with the white gladiola painting I posted recently. Nice surprise selling a pair of floral pieces to one buyer.

I wanted to soften the background so added some white acrylic ink just tinted with a little light blue and rubbed with a soft cloth until I could see the floral images through - thus creating this rather smokey background.

Thursday, 6 October 2011


Another sunny afternoon in the garden and I could not resist painting the geraniums again in another way - this time wet on wet watercolour on my Lana Vanguard shiny surface.

Decided to add detail of the flowers with fineliner red pen to contrast with the loose wet washes.

Sunday, 2 October 2011


Although turned into October yesterday, we are having such lovely weather I have been painting in the garden, still full of colour and blooms.


Here is the pot of colourful geraniums in the corner of my garden near the little garden house, showing the Japanese anemone in the background in the raised flower bed and part of the lavender by the side of the paving. Sketched in the sunshine in the garden the other day with Helen.

...... and then I painted it close up again as a full watercolour in the garden yesterday.

Here is a quick study of a penstemon in my garden sketchbook. Although tall and lanky spikes the blooms are so delicate.

Plan to put colour to my pen sketch of the full right hand flower bed showing the penstemon, the trunk of the chopped tree which allowed me to plant more flowers there this year, the peony tree, dahlia, californian poppies, phlox, orange large poppy heads, petunias and an acer. Too big to scan, so I'll photo it after adding the colour and post it then.