Thursday 22 August 2013

Football in the River

A normal morning
Its a Bank Holiday coming up this weekend so the village will be heaving with people, especially as on Monday we have 'football in the river'
This sounds weird I know, but its such a fun event and those standing anywhere near the edge get drenched! Two local teams play a match with a fair amount of cheating taking place as well as some antics I am sure.
This is what the village looks like in the morning before the visitors arrive.

This is what it looks like when people visit us. We love it though, its the most fun village to live in, lots going on, especially during the summer but beautifully quiet too.

So all those people lining the river will inevitably get wet, people stand on the bridges thinking they will be safe there, but I know from experience they wont!
So if you fancy a drenching, 3pm on Monday is your chance!

This weekend we also put up our little marquee in the back garden in preparation for our Open Studio event in September. Its always quite a challenge as the poles and panels are laid out ready to assemble and then there is the annual memory test of which bit goes where.... always a challenge! The family come and help though, so the girls can watch whilst the guys build (I nearly used a different word then which could have got me into trouble!)
Information about the Open Studio is on my website News Page if you would like to visit us.

Tuesday 13 August 2013

Lots of watercolour textures

I have been totally inspired creating very textural paintings these last few days. I have been pushing the boat out (if you pardon the pun) with some very experimental ideas,  I've been building up watercolour layers, and using complimentary colour washes with strong colour on top to achieve the effects I'm looking for. Tilting the wet surface is proving an exciting stage as well as quite dramatic, and I now have 3 paintings I am happy with, all of which I shall add to my website Gallery shortly. They are all figurative and inspired by a trip to Cuba some time back.

We are never past learning new techniques, I love it when I discover something exciting - well I say discover, I haven't invented it.... I've just discovered it for myself. Others will of course have 'discovered similar things' in the past, but it will be new to me and therefor I get all excited about it and want to share it with you!

This little painting of Venice was one of my experimental pieces, I love the textures, those little islands of colour are such fun! I like the way this technique says 'painting' and not 'photo' so many publications these days seem to concentrate on paintings that look like photographs which for me, no matter how clever they are, don't seem to have any soul.
At present I am steering more towards abstract shapes and patterns than realism, although I still like to see what the subject is.

This one will be for sale at my Open Studio in September. Come and visit, you can have a close up look at the new things I am working on.

Monday 12 August 2013

Painting Flowers workshop

We had such a fun day  painting in Wyck Rissington yesterday. I had a lovely small group, just six lucky people had almost individual tuition for the day and to be honest, its what beginners really benefit from.

Why is there such a fear of watercolour running in all directions when it only goes where we put it!

Once everyone had relaxed into it, and let the watercolour escape a bit, we really started painting. It wasn't until lunch time that we began an actual painting, but everyone finished and I was delighted with their fabulous results in just one day.

This is what we did.

Friday 2 August 2013

Step by Step photography

with Edd my editor
My last four days have been spent in a photographic studio at Search Press in Tunbridge Wells. I arrived with a car full of boxes packed full of art materials and two port folios. One had all of the finished paintings (over 100 of them) needed for my next book and the other the planned step by step projects.
My lovely Editor Edd, directs the whole process brilliantly and Paul (the wonderful photographer) spends his days going up and down ladders under the hot lights. As I paint, each of the painting processes are photographed while Edd writes down what I have used and what I have just done. Every so often there is a FLASH as the camera takes another shot. We always take far more photos than we need so that the best ones are finally chosen for the book.
It can be quite a challenge because as the paint is wet and flowing perfectly across the paper, that's when the shot is needed, but of course its also the exact moment when I like to drop in another colour, but no! hold on, FLASH, drop in now, FLASH another shot, more paint, or another colour then another FLASH. Then relax, watch the paint move and at that perfect moment a final shot is taken.

So the next time you are flicking through a step by step project, do imagine how it all happens!

Once all of the paintings are complete, the shoot is not over. Its now time for all of the materials used in the book to be photographed. This might seem like a simple job, but believe me, its an art. Juan arrives with his design skills and a wealth of experience then the cameras are all adjusted, milk crates are moved into position (yes, milk crates, the photographers MUST HAVE item apparently) white boards are positioned and then, the materials are painstakingly arranged into stylish compositions. They are works of art in their own right.
Paul, Edd and Juan

You might think a pile of art materials appear thrown together, but no, they are all individually placed, their size, colour and shape is very much taken into account. the image is viewed on a monitor and the items tweaked till the perfect shot is achieved.
It took almost an entire day for these materials because there are so many of them.
For a week before the shoot I was placing items on a table in my studio, checking lists and worrying that something would be forgotten.
This is going to be a lovely book I am sure, so much work has gone into it, I do hope you enjoy it.

On Wednesday evening when Terry and I were in the town, we noticed the local Art Society seemed open and a group of painters were busy working away, so as we have both given demonstrations for the Tunbridge Wells Society in the past, we thought we would call in.
What a lovely group, tea and home made buns were immediately offered and we ended up sitting with them and chatting. The art world is such a small and friendly one.