Wednesday 15 May 2013

Painting in Cornwall

Our 5 day trip to Cornwall had been planned for while and despite the weather, which wasn't great, it was great to switch off, paint and visit places.

We began in Mousehole, arriving in the evening, the weather forecast looked a bit gloomy for the following day so when I woke up at 6am to bright sunshine, that was it, we were off and painting by 6.30 This is often the best time of day, which it proved to be.

I was so excited to start painting and chose too much really, I spent a little too long on it and was starting to fiddle. I stopped looking at the general view and began to notice the details. What I wanted to convey was the reflection on the wet sand, I just loved it and although I first placed the board on its side (its just a small 8 x 10inch board) covered it in a warm ochre, then whilst I got my eye in, and thought more about it, changed my mind and painted it portrait format instead. I was fairly happy with my first effort, but determined to simplify things next time.

The weather changed dramatically after this though, this blue sky disappeared. The clouds rolled in and my next subject was the gap in the harbour. I kept this one much more simple, there were steps, other boats and all sorts of stuff which I left out. I like this one because it is so simple, its all about 'the gap' you hardly notice St Michael's mount in the distance, but if I had painted it standing just slightly more to the left, the whole composition would have changed, the boats filled the gap and the painting would have become totally different.

We set off to Sennen Cove, what a fabulous little place it is, with its tiny harbour and fishing boats and although I would have loved to paint there, we needed to get to Fowey and there is only so much you can do each day.

Fowey was wonderful, and our room overlooked the harbour which was pretty special. The car parks are about a mile away though and as our painting gear was all in the car it wasn't easy to quickly set up our paints. We used it as a base and went out each day.
This was my next painting, it was a stunning cove and after some very wet blustery weather the sun came out and glistened on the water. It didn't come out for long though so there was a mad dash for the camera and I took a photo when the sun did come out. It was very useful to have this to check the lighting once the painting was underway, and the tiny screen means you can just see bold shapes which is ideal.
It was a real fun painting with a lot of flicking and splashing. Great because it didn't matter as the paint just wet into the grass.

This was my final painting and in many ways my favourite. This is Crackinton Haven, we almost didn't go there as it was raining so much. We got soaked as we walked on the beach, but it was so secluded and stunningly beautiful. We stayed and had a coffee in the little cafe to try and dry out then suddenly the skies brightened, the rain stopped and this is the result. The rain seemed to bring out all of the colours in the rocks. Its painted fairly quickly and I nearly didn't put the little figure in it, but suddenly, there he was, walking into my picture and he looked so tiny I thought it gave great scale to my painting.
I came back from Cornwall all enthused with lots of painting ideas. Its now time to catch up on other things though, so the moral of this trip is to get out there, no matter what the weather, paint when you can and don't leave till tomorrow what you can paint today, for who knows what tomorrow will bring!
In our case, 10 miles from home the suspension went on the car, thank goodness it happened when it did, that was SO lucky!

Friday 3 May 2013

New Workshop dates

suitable for beginners/ or confidence booster day
I have at last launched some dates for my workshops later this year!
I know, you were beginning to think I wasnt going to do ANY this year.
I don't offer many workshops, last year for example I just offered four. This is because I just don't have enough time and although I always enjoy doing them, and its especially lovely to paint with others, my diary always seems too full.

This year I am offering three, the first is a beginners class or indeed suitable for anyone who feels they want to enjoy a day learning what watercolour paint does when it mixes and merges. We will be painting a glass vase of flowers, its lovely and simple and is achievable, which is very important if you want a confidence booster. I love it when watercolour runs but for many people this is the scary bit about painting, this workshop is designed to get you working wetter and taking more risks, it will all pay off and you will see how it does in your results!

The second one is a follow up day or indeed for those of you who feel you want something a little more challenging.

suitable for intermediate skill level

Again its flowers but this time Peony and Blossom, a more complex composition, and more control needed to succeed.

The third workshop is a fun day painting chickens and cockerels, now for this one you do need a bit of painting experience, so beginners may find this one too tricky. Its all about brush handling, double loading colour and looking for shapes. Its watercolour but also we are going to achieve some really nice textures using water soluble pencils.

if you fancy a fun day in the Cotswolds then get in touch with me either by email or phone and I will email you the information letters.

You can also visit my website  this has more information and a photo of the lovely village hall.