Thursday 18 August 2016

Demo Still Life

This is my demo from yesterday.
A lovely lady is coming to me once a week to learn to paint in oil.
She is an interior designer so has an eye for colour and can really see the tones so I don't believe she will need many lessons. 
Just mixing the colours is really the best exercise I can give her. 
The first week, we started off with a basic vase of flowers , sweet peas from her garden...she instantly loved the whole process of mixing...okay she might not have managed to get the colours she had hoped for, but she could see the tones.
Last week I set her a couple of exercises I use in my weekly winter classes, painting two small paintings from black and white photos and using only two colours , not black and white obviously. My students all love these exercises, some asking to do them again and again.
This week I feel my lady made great strides as we sat, side by side, I was mixing from my palette, she was mixing from hers. I really enjoy mixing muted tones .
Next week we will be using palettes knives as well as brushes on a small seascape. I do love teaching what I know!

Tuesday 16 August 2016


It's been nearly four months since I posted on my blog....I do feel ashamed to have left it so long.
It's been a busy summer, I am happy to say, my painting mojo came back....a health issue is now resolved, my mind at rest.
I have been using this year as a year to experiment and I have , not dramatically so, but I can say I have progressed in some aspects!
I have been painting with acrylics......painting boats, I am loving this medium but only after purchasing more heavy bodied paints. I missed the meatiness of oil paint.
I love how I can glaze with acrylics, place it on thickly too,  how quickly it dries ( that used to be the thing that stopped me from using them) is amazing how if you just allow yourself to relax and be open minded , where it can all take you!
I won't leave it so long till my next post....I will open up about another little bit of experimenting I have been doing

Friday 22 April 2016

Feel the Need in Me!

Feel the need in me....I'm singing this my head! This year, the year I promised myself, I would NOT paint flowers, this is the year of experimentation ......I just had to .....I needed to.....paint flowers!
I've never stopped peering in the florists window, just checking what they had in stock.
Everyone who knows me, knows I love the colour " magenta", so I really couldn't walk past these chrysanthemums!
I had a long narrow prepared board, larger than I normally paint and it just felt right for this painting!
I've had two days at it now and have decided to have a break and come back after the weekend and see how much I want to add or change. I have loved painting them and I can tell you I have thrown chrysanthemum paintings in the bin before now, as I have never rendered them in a way that excites me!
I'm happy with these ones

Friday 8 April 2016

Hare Today....

I feel I'm still settling into my new studio, even though I got the keys just before Xmas! 
Lighting has been an issue, even though it is basically a light space, with roof window and a large bay window, there are places , under the sloping roof, where it can be challenging to sit and paint! I'm conscious of my students comfort and have clamped my IKEA bendy lamps to table easels etc. The rep for the building, offered me some slightly larger clamp lamps, with a bit more power. 
 Hubbie got roped in to fix a clamping rail to the wall, to hold these lights. This morning we had our first class with the new lighting. I pushed the three large tables together and have the lights shining down on them. 
The new system seems to work for most of the students, it needs tweeked a little , but overall I'm pleased with the result! I have portrait and life drawing workshops coming up this summer, so I need to  have great lighting for those too.
I've been drawing and painting hares for a little while , experimenting with mediums and supports. The last couple I used acrylic inks initially. Number one, I roughly rendered the basic hare shape with yellow and orange/ red, then did a pencil drawing over the top. Number two, I literally splashed around with the yellow acrylic ink, then some sepia ink. The yellow dripped though the sepia, I then drew the hare with a sharpie marker pen. I had a fun morning! 
In the afternoon, a group of French tourists, came to see my studio and hear me talk about my work I don't speak French , luckily, Helen , the lady in charge could translate for me! They left a bottle of French perfume as gifts for Lizzie and I. Lizzie is a willow artist, who has a studio downstairs - she organised the visit.

Thursday 18 February 2016

Life Drawing and Summer Workshops

I have spent the winter running two life drawing groups, all untutored. Both groups are held on a Wednesday this winter, thankfully. So no need to set up fourteen easels, chairs, two large plinths out two days! I set up in the afternoon for the 3pm group and leave everything in place for the 7pm group!
I do find it very difficult to relax completely whilst drawing from the model, I'm always thinking about the next pose, putting the kettle on for the break, etc etc.

This summer I have a whole programme of tutored workshops, including beginners life drawing , being held in my new studio. It is a beautifully sunny space, not large, right at the top of the building.
If you are interested in any of the workshops listed below, please go to my website for further details etc.

Tuesday 9 February 2016

Pastel Pleasure

I haven't moved all my art materials into my new studio yet...I don't want to clutter the space..It helps to find some space in my head to think.
My beloved Terry Ludwig pastels moved in today...I bought them in the US five years ago. They are so luscious and full of pure pigment and when I use them, they bring back happy memories of the artists I met across there, sadly one no longer with us.
I use Unison pastels too, made very near where I live. All you artists in the US are so lucky, the range of gorgeous pastels is fantastic plus the variety of paper available is vast. I envy you all! I wish we could get Kitty Wallis paper here in the UK
I now find I need my pastel pencils.......where are they? In my old studio of course!
My colour choices are in the dish on the to get started, it's been a while.....

Monday 1 February 2016

2016 Workshops and Studio

I spent last week painting in my new studio, I had great fun, just experimenting. It has taken a good month to feel settled. I am still bringing the odd item from my shedio, my hand mirror, for instance, crucial, especially painting portraits. It is amazing how you can work on a piece for hours and think you have captured exactly what you intended but a quick look at it through the mirror and the mistakes are glaringly obvious! It is a very useful piece of kit!
I have a new venue for my first workshop of 2016, Glentrool Gallery and Craft Shop, my tried and tested , "Painting in a Day" one day oil painting. If you live in the area, why not give it a go!