Friday, 4 December 2015

Teaching Drawing and Painting

As I prepare for every new term, I stress about how I will make the classes interesting, challenging not frightening. I need to be encouraging, when the students falter, guiding them on their artistic journey, trying to not push them too hard.
Then I worry , will my regulars keep signing up, will there be enough interest for me to make a living, will I be working for nothing, by the time I have paid the rent etc, how can I draw in new students......... 
Then suddenly, it's the end of term , it has all went swimmingly!
Today was the last day of term, of 2015s classes, students arrived laden with homemade goodies, they painted up a storm!
Here's to 2016.........fingers crossed it all goes well!

Monday, 30 November 2015

Christmas cards

I've been busy with Christmas portrait commissions but I had promised myself that this year I would design and print my own cards.
Printing is still a fairly new skill, if I could go as far as to call it a skill, in my case but I had an idea in my head for a design, based on mistletoe and had even decided on the colour theme.  
On Thursday I had my monthly meet with a group of local artists, where we chat, work and generally catch up. I seldom do any work as I am chatting far too much! This time I went prepared to start to sketch out my ideas. I completed the design on Friday evening, cut the Lino on Saturday evening and tonight I started printing........boy, it's a slow process!
I'm lucky enough to have shared ownership of an old bookpress or it probably would have taken even longer to print.
I am pleased with the outcome, they are not particularly intricate, but based on my skill set , I'm happy with the result, I hope my family and friends will like them too!

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Fabric Printing in Style

Mid September I completed an enlightening and inspiring printing workshop with renounced fabric printer Jenny Stringer.
Drawing up outside her beautiful old Manor House in the heart of the Cotswolds, I felt a little intimidated by its grandeur. Jenny's welcome and the homely interior, soon calmed my first day nerves! The homemade shortbread helped too!
Jenny's studio is up in the attic rooms, the biggest room is the working studio, one tiny room off to the side , holds all her Lino plates, neatly filed away and clearly labelled, in the recycled wooden tomato boxes. A second room to the back is set out like a little showroom, printed fabric, cushions, wallpapers, pillowcases and remnants, displayed in old baskets, draped over an old baby's cot.
In a little recess , off the main studio, hang samples of Jenny's work.
I have always been interested in printing on fabric, the photo shows my design, first draught.


Monday, 5 October 2015

Linocut Preparations

It's been many weeks since I've been in the studio, working. I've tidied up and prepared for my new teaching term but haven't been producing any art!
Yesterday I spent  the day drawing and placing, drawing and erasing, planning a new Linocut design. I love Nasturtiums, which is just as well because there isn't much else in my garden at this time. I love the shapes, how they twist and trail and of course, the yummy colours of the flowers, from creamy yellows through to the darkest reds, with all the vibrant shades in between.
I am heading away next week to study with a printer who specialises on printing on fabric. I have tried a few things in my studio but my lack of knowledge produced disappointing results. Luckily I have found a wonderful  artist who lives near my daughter, who designs fabric and wallpapers! 
I'm happy now the design is complete......all set for next week...I will keep you posted!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Last Open Studio of the Season

I've flying off to the hairdressers this morning then rushing back to open my studio this afternoon. This is the last time for the summer season.
Word must be getting around, I have had many more visitors in 2015. I have been lucky with the weather each time but that might not be the case today!

Thursday, 17 September 2015

The Bonnie Bonnie Trossachs

I'm here in Strathrye with all the family, having fun with the grandchildren and enjoying the last of the warmth from the sun.
We drove to Glencoe yesterday, just us three, B, me and the dug, our first time and it took our breath away, just stunning.
I have brought along painting gear but there just hasn't been a moment to get them out, hopefully I can  use my photos as a reference when I get home. I'm not one for using photos...normally.
My open studio group exhibition started this week too, a dear friend went a long to hang my work. Social media can be a great thing, I have been able to see how the gallery looks, filled with the eight artists work. We are called Stewartry Open Studios and the exhibition is on at Castle Douglas Gallery, next door to the library .
I have to catch up on my sit in duties next week in the gallery , so I'd love to see you!

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Last Sketchbook Saturday of 2015

Our last Sketchbook Saturday of the summer, this weekend, was a stunner! The gardens at Broughton House still looking gorgeous, a feast for the eyes, though there was a bit of nose feasting going on too, heady scents abound!
This has been my second year working in the beautiful grounds of Broughton House, Kirkcudbright, the former home of artist EAHornel. Every month, locals, tourists and fellow artists joined me and every month the sun has shone on us. Feeling blessed .

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Latest Workshop Pics

I am satisfyingly weary tonight after a successful workshop today! I had six lovely ladies sign up to paint a little still life in a day, using Winsor and Newtons Artisan water mixable oils!
I spent the day before, cooking and baking workshop lunch and goodies, set up the hall in the evening with just last minute things to do this morning before my students arrived.
As usually happens when people share the same interests, the girls got on famously. 
I decided , this time. to do my demo in stages and I think that worked well, especially as colour mixing with a limited palette, was relatively new to about half the group. So I talked them through, as I mixed my colours, you could hear a pin drop!  Then they started mixing. I then helped them to place their still life on their boards.
Lunchtime - already! There was great hilarity at the table, fun stories, daft stories and getting to know each other stories!
I did another demo, paint application, how to paint glass....the girls picked it up very quickly! 
As we reached the tricky bits, I decided we should have a break, coffee and homemade cake, more laughs round the table!
They had a finished piece of work each at the end of the day, so proud of them all!

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Every Picture Tells a Story

I have painted these little shoes many times throughout my painting years. my daughter's first pair of shoes. They are well worn, the colour scuffed from the toes, where she tripped, often, in her hurry to be doing whatever her older brother was involved in at the time. The little t-bar creased where her little chubby feet had grown and spread, ready to move onto a bigger size.
Over the years, I drew them before I contemplated colour in my work. I rendered them in pencil, then charcoal.
Sometime later, I produced a pastel painting on canson paper. When I began using sanded paper, I found I could lay so many more layers down, loving the thickness of the medium.
When I first painted in oils, I mixed my reds as best I could at the time. 
This latest rendering of the little red toddler's shoes, in a way, shows where I am now, comfortable with colour mixing, loving painting with oils.
I love this little can be seen hanging upstairs in Kirkcudbright Town Hall till the end of the month.....yes, it is for sale and I don't mind selling it. I have the orginal footwear which I am sure I will paint again, sometime in the future.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Day Three Kirkcudbright Art and Craft Trail

"I have enjoyed the last three days so much! Six artists and crafters, we have had lots of sales, lots of visitors and lots of laughs!
One more day to go, if any of you are in the area, please pop in to see us at our garden venue, down a winding cobbled close. At the opening for the garden two old fashioned roses have been intoxicating us with their delicious scent. I love our little town with its quirky back gardens and higglety pigglety lay outs.
Here are the gang I've spent the last few days with!

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Day One Kirkcudbrightshire Art and Craft Trail

The weather was very kind to us, our marquees looking pretty, swaithes of bunting atopped the six creatives work. We had so many visitors, young and old and many of the four legged variety too. Venue 84, in the Yellow Door, our catchy slogan! Down the cobbled close decorated with many coloured fish (the theme of the trail), some caught in nets, others drifting freely!
The bottom of the close reveals a beautiful secret garden.! Locals and tourists alike were all taken with our setting. They browsed and bought our wares then took a tour of the garden.....Now we prepare for day two!

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Two Days till Kirkcudbright Art and Craft Trail

This afternoon we get the marquees up, this morning I am still framing. My car is loaded with the tent, the sun is shining, for now. It would be great if it could stay like that till we are finished this afternoon!
There are six of us, artists and crafters. 
The close entry is to the right of the Co-op building. Follow the cobbled path to a beautiful secret garden, where we will be showing our wares. I will have some photos soon!

Friday, 24 July 2015

Lemon and Lime

Another painting sold at the Whitehouse Gallery, Kirkcudbright, summer exhibition. This was a new colour combination for me, the blue glass making its first appearance in a painting.
I've just completed a commissioned still life, also a first. I hadn't appreciated the difficulties of placing someone's precious items into a pleasing composition. I couldn't add a little something to pep things up as obviously my things have no place in the mix!

Kirkcudbright Art and Craft Trail commences next Friday 31st July, I have a million and one things to do, to prepare for the four day event. This year I am showing my work , not in my own studio and garden , as in previous years but in my marquee in the centre of town. I'll keep you informed of my progress.....

Friday, 17 July 2015

Summer Workshop and Ballet

This painting is for sale and hanging in the Town Hall Kirkcudbright, peruse my new work as you climb the stairs to the main hall
These are not my ballet shoes, I didn't have dancing lessons as a child, my parents couldn't afford them but I had a cousin who sang beautifully and attended all sorts of dancing and singing classes. I was green with envy as I watched my Auntie sewing on glittery sequins to Maureen's plain old navy gym knickers, transforming them into a thing of beauty!
I used to stuff the toes of my sandshoes (plimsoles to non Scots) with cotton wool and whilst holding onto the bathroom door handle, try and stay on my "points,"that being the nearest I got to ever being a ballerina!

Places still available on my Summer Painting Workshop, please contact me to book, see contact details below

Monday, 13 July 2015

Sketching Selling and Family Time!

It has been a busy weekend. My Sketchbook Saturday at Broughton House on Satuday morning was well attended, we had a fun morning and the weather was kind to us as we enjoyed sketching the beautiful garden. 

Quite a few first time sketchers. Great that they all commented on how they had loved their "maiden voyage" and will certainly be doing it again!
Saturday afternoon I sold this little oil painting which has been on show in The Whitehouse Gallery, Kirkcudbright, in their Summer Exhibition

We had the boys for lunch, the three generation tucking in. I sneaked away with little Logan, we had a super time, coffee out in town too! Sunday B and I walked out to our local yearly Country Fair. 

Friday, 10 July 2015

The Figures Have It !

After spending the last few years painting still life, I feel I am reaching burn out. Painting 50 paintings for two exhibitions, was a tough one!
There were lots of highs and lows in the process but I learnt so much too, added a couple of new colours to my limited palette and I was delighted with the colours I could produce, just with this little tweak, upping the chroma in my work a little.

A few weeks of no painting, a teaching holiday and a short break, I started painting again yesterday.

Figures - my first love! The whole day was a joy! I'm working acrylic on watercolour paper, both challenging in themselves, as I am an oil on board girl!
I have no idea how this piece will pan out, I'm not pushing it, just enjoying the process...I am one lucky woman , to do what I do.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Saturday 11th July - Sketchbook Saturday, Broughton House, Kirkcudbright

Come along and sketch with me, in the beautiful gardens of Broughton House, Kirkcudbright! It's great fun!
Beginners and experienced sketchers all welcome. Should the weather prove inclement, we can sketch in Hornels Studio and the Main Gallery. Refreshments included - the coffee is delicious!
Saturday 11th July - Sketchbook Saturday 10-12noon 
Broughton House, Kirkcudbright - £10
Booking recommended 01557 331313 or email

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Sketchbook Saturdays 2015, Broughton House, Kirkcudbright

It's that time again! Come and join me in Hornel's beautiful garden! We sketch from 10-12noon, we have the place to ourselves!
Should the weather be inclement, we can sketch in his studio and main gallery.
the dates are June 27, July 11, August 8, and September 5th
The cost is £10 per Saturday.
Here are some photos from last year