Monday 26 January 2015

Planning my painting holiday

Going on a painting holiday is always exciting if not a little daunting. What will the other participants be like? Will they be better than you, will you make friends, all these questions go through your mind, especially if you are travelling alone.
There can also be a fear of what to expect, how you will manage and if you have never painted outdoors before, how on earth you will begin!
As a tutor I have heard some horror stories over the years of people being left on their own to just get on with it (great if that's what you want) and others who didn't like their tutor (always look at your tutors website so you know what to expect) Some tutors are happy to demonstrate whilst others prefer not to, so ask!

We all want different things from a painting holiday, but what all the participants have in common is that they are all on holiday - the tutor however is not. 

Every tutor is different. I like to find out what people hope to achieve during their holiday and how skilled or otherwise they may be, only then can I make sure they succeed.

I am tutoring a painting holiday in Portugal 14th - 21st March 2015, organised by Alpha Painting Holidays.
I went along as an observer on one of their UK painting holidays to see how they ran things, Matt and Gill are wonderful hosts, they take care of everything so that you can concentrate on enjoying yourself and painting.
This is the kind of watercolour technique I will be demonstrating, its at the venue in Portugal, so this will be the kind of thing I will begin with on the first day - just to get you into it.

I am so looking forward to meeting those of you who will be joining me. I have a few ideas to help you and some nice techniques to inspire you. I'm also going to help you with the drawing element of things... oh what fun you will have, sunshine, good food, fab painting locations and me to jolly you on!

Tuesday 20 January 2015

Frosty morning walk

This morning was glorious, -2 and crisp underfoot.
I love these mornings especially if its sunny, we headed off to my favourite spot with little Maggie May. I was here with her yesterday evening as the sun was setting, and it was fabulous, so this morning Terry came along with me to experience the early sunshine. I know he is keen to paint this view in its various seasons, so I shall watch his painting with interest. (He is longing for a snow fall!)

This is the river Windrush, it meanders slowly through the countryside and is just a short walk from home. If I painted landscapes, this would surely be on the top of my list of choices for local scenes.

This is what Maggie May looks like if its wet... I call her a mud magnet! she likes to bring lots of it home!

Sunday 18 January 2015

Exhibiting in the Longitude Art Gallery

You are perhaps wondering if I am ever going to show you the finished painting that I abandoned when I wasn't well in the New Year.
Well, I once I began to feel better and the sun shone in my working area I finished it - and this is it. 

I rarely leave a painting half way through for more than a day or so but this one was so appealing as it sat on my easel, I just couldn't wait to finish it.

This is one of a group of paintings which are now exhibited in 

Longitude Art Gallery
Lee Carter House
off Castlegate

This is a lovely Gallery, a really unusual space, full of inspirational pieces. I loved the sculptures that are on display, its really worth a visit if you are in that area.

Monday 5 January 2015

Using Collage ideas

The February issue of Leisure Painter magazine arrived this morning and in it is my article on using collage. There is a really nice simple little idea for you to try if you haven't used collage before, as well as some nice little still life ideas, well... cute tea cups. January can seem gloomy at times so having something bright and cheerful to paint, that doesn't need sunlight is so important to keep up our creativity levels.
I've also included an example of a more complex painting which I recently did wet into wet. I enjoyed doing this so much that I am planning to do more.

We had to sit on a railway station in France for a couple of hours this summer (I won't go into that one) and I began watching the people come and go, the shapes became quite fascinating, especially the contrasts of the sunlight through the station glass roof and the movement of colours. I made a note of a few ideas, did a couple of rough sketches and peacefully whiled away some delay time, which turned out to be the start of the holiday I want to forget. At least SOMETHING came out of it!

Saturday 3 January 2015

A speechless new year!

Happy New Year to all of you who read my blog from time to time. We had a lovely Christmas with family as I hope you did too.

As you know I have been off painting outdoors quite a bit over the last couple of weeks and I think the damp air has got to me... last night I had a bit of a cough and a sore throat and this morning.... no voice. Not a peep!  Maggie May just can't understand why I am not chatting to her, calling her and giving her treats. Terry on the other hand is enjoying the quiet!  He seems to ask me a lot of questions!

Maggie May on Christmas Day

I am half way through a painting I began outside, I decided to add some snow, but today I just haven't the energy to stand at my easel and finish it, so I think today will be a 'planning day' or perhaps a napping day.

This is how far I have got with it. Its looking good so its something to look forward to doing soon. I'll show you how it turns out when its finished.