Monday 30 June 2014

Painting in Lynmouth

We were blessed with perfect weather for our painting trip based in the picturesque harbour of Lynmouth in North Devon. We stayed at Rock House Hotel which has magical views over the harbour and town, I could hardly wait to get my paints out when I saw the sun streaming into the room on our first morning. After a quick rekky I decided it just HAD to be the boats in the harbour with the tide out, great sparkling light and dramatic contrasts, my first washes flood on, after which I was itching to get going again. I suppose this is the down side of watercolour if you use this technique, the drying time, but whilst it's drying I tend to think about the next stages and plan my next colour mixes.

Then I begin to add those sumptuous darks. Confidence is essential because if the colour is too light another layer just doesn't look right, so deep breath and off I go! This proved to be a great place to paint, the harbour wall serves as my table so I stand to paint and have a mini studio all around me - who says painting outdoors is hard?

Once the dark blocks of colour are established I can then add a few details and that's it! after the basic drawing, the actual painting stage doesn't take more than an hour. I don't always draw first, but it like to draw the shapes of the boats, a wonky boat never looks great. The drawing doesn't have any details on it, just the simple basic shapes.

After lunch the tide started to come in so I painted the little rowing boats and their reflections. I found this nice sheltered spot on the harbour steps where no one could see me unless they leaned over the wall. 

This was such a lovely day, sunshine, bobbing boats and the cry of the seagulls. Talking of which... This chap found me very interesting, a bit too interesting really, he was so curious he came nearer and nearer a step at a time. He was much bigger than you might imagine!

This was my finished little study of Boats and Ropes, not such a great photo, but you get the idea I'm sure.

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Patchings 2014

The Patchings Art Festival all sped by in a bit of a whirl again this year. There is a mad buzz of activity on the Wednesday as everyone arrives  with their stand props and art work all securely bubble wrapped ready to set up their areas. 
When the show finally opens on Thursday morning there is a tense excitement as the crowds pour into the venue and hundreds of people all dissipate around the festival grounds. There were 48 coaches and a field of cars on the Thursday alone!
There is so much to see that you could spend all four days here, you just can't see it all.
I was invited by The Artist and Leisure Painter magazine to demonstrate each day in their marquee, five demos throughout the day. The marquee gets very full with people sitting on the floor and standing where they can. Each year I think I will find the time to go around and take lots of photos, but the days just seem to fly by.

This is one of my half hour demos, using acrylics on Bockingford watercolour paper. It shows how I go about beginning a painting outside by looking for tonal blocks. The more time I have, the more the painting builds up.

This is a second example using the same idea but just an extra tonal dimension. I quite like the simplicity of these type of paintings.

Then I did a couple of watercolour demos, this one again a half hour demo with a simple background wash and three figures. That little lad on the right REALLY wishes he had a finishing net!

I did a few flower demos too which always seem popular. I try and pack as much into the half hour as I can, so I don't always finish a painting.

Terry Harrison demonstrates in the Art Materials Marquee at the other end of the show, this was him busy on the first morning. As you can see, it gets really busy and he always seems to attract a crowd.

David Bellamy and Jenny Keal came to say hello, which was lovely, although we only seem to meet up at shows!

There are some wonderfully talented artists who display their work at Patchings, it is my favourite show of the year and a chance to see old friends as well as make new ones.

Haidee-Jo Summers and Michele del Campo, two of my favourite artists.

Monday 2 June 2014

Preparing for the Patchings Art Festival

I can't believe another year has flown by and its Patchings this week once again. It really is my favourite show of the year, this is its 21st year and it seems to get better and better. There are so many talented artists to see, some demonstrating and others willing to chat to visitors and answer questions. 
If you can visit - 5th - 8th June
Patchings Art Centre
Oxon Road
NG14 6NU

I have been invited again to demonstrate on behalf of The Artist and Leisure Painter Magazines in their marquee (number 24) its right in front of the main entrance. The marquee has seating for you, and all of my demonstrations are free, you don't have to book, you just come along, find a seat and watch a demo or two, they last about half an hour.
I will be painting 5 paintings each day. The demonstrations will be at 10.30 11.30 1pm 2.30 and 3.30 the media and subjects will be listed on my black board so you can plan which ones you want to watch.

Ive planned some lovely demos this year which include figures, children paddling, (with nice reflections) boats (with lovely light on the water) and a bit of an experimental demo using mixed media. I have an idea the direction this demo will go in, and am planning on using stencils, sponging, transparent colour and opaque colour. I don't know what it will look like because it will be what ever takes my fancy on the day! That should keep me on my toes, so this one will be an exciting demo for me, especially with 50+ people all watching!

Birthday Tea - mixed media
I shall take photos during the show and put them on my blog next week. If you follow me on twitter I shall tweet from the event (phone signal permitting) with images.