Thursday 28 January 2016

2016 Workshop dates

I have some lovely workshops to offer you this year, two of which are on a new and exciting surface which I haven't taught before.
I first used this smooth synthetic paper about five years ago when I saw it in the USA, I bought some large sheets and began experimenting, but its only recently become available to buy here in the UK so Im very excited about showing you how to use it.

It doesn't cockle, no matter how wet you paint on it, it won't crease, its completely smooth and the results are quite luminous. You can also erase any watercolour from it, even if its completely dry! Don't worry, Im going to provide the paper for you to use on the day, so you don't have to buy anything especially to do the workshop.
The two dates I am offering these workshops are 6th April and 24th May all the other workshops I am using my usual watercolour paper.
These are the two subjects I am offering on this new surface, it is difficult to show on a photograph just how luminous and lovely these are, I hope they inspire you to try this great surface.

6th April workshop

24th May workshop

I anticipate that these two workshops will book up especially quickly, and as only 9 lucky people can attend each one, be sure to check your diary so you don't miss out.

So many of you want to paint flowers, especially in the Summer, but just incase you think all I'm offering is flowers, you'd be wrong, Im also going to be painting lovely street scenes as well as children. I am only able to offer a limited number of workshops in 2016 as my diary is already filling up with Society and Show demonstrations, group workshops, painting holidays, and Gallery paintings - oh, and in between all that.... there is also life!  

I do hope you can join me and enjoy a days painting sometime this year here in the Cotswolds.

Monday 25 January 2016

Off to a new home

Its always nice when a painting finds a new home, this one sold in Clitheroe and has gone to someone who is now enjoying it on their wall.
I saw this ram at the market there last year, I loved the hustle and bustle of the auction, all the sheep jostling and shoving each other, running around the ring and looking their very best. I have been a couple of times now and always enjoy it, especially the wonderful pie they do for lunch! ( I mustn't say that too loudly)

'Looking at Ewe'

The reason I wanted to show you this one, is because I used some rather fun techniques in the making of it. Lots of spraying, tilting and moving the pigments to achieve these lovely textures. (similar effects to the image Ive put on the background of this blog) Colour plays a big part of course, but if you want to try out these techniques for yourself, do take a look at my DVD which has some great projects in it, they are all fully explained and demonstrated in  my book too, so why not try something different and expand your skills?


Tuesday 19 January 2016

Frosty morning walk

I couldn't wait to get out for my early morning walk with Maggie this morning as we had a heavy frost overnight.
This is a barbed wire fence which looks absolutely beautiful today. Most days I wouldn't even notice it, but today.... well, its stunning.

I love these mornings, cold, still and beautiful, it must have been quite misty and damp overnight for the frost to be so thick, even on the tall grasses. The light is such a golden colour, its wonderful to be able to get outdoors and appreciate it.

I walked across the fields and to the river, this is Maggie in her little red coat today, she raced about, sniffing like mad and has had a really lovely couple of hours without getting muddy today! Result!

What ever you are doing with your day today, I hope you find time to 'smell the roses' and have a great day.

Thursday 7 January 2016

Hello 2016

Hello 2016... I know you are probably thinking....bit late, and you'd be right, but things have been pretty manic since Christmas what with our boat race on Boxing day and a boat to make. (made from the Christmas packaging, plastic bottles, bits of recycling and LOADS of tape) they sailed down the river and it was my job (short straw) as usual to wade into the water in my wellies (these, if you are unfamiliar to the term are wellington boots) and fish out all the boats as they pass under the 'finish' bridge.
The water was extremely high this year due to all the heavy rain, so as I waded into the river, trying to meet each boat as it floated by, it was a bit more difficult than I imagined and of course with passers by all watching, I was even more determined not to fall in.

I didn't win this year but came second, it was so close that it was actually a 'photo finish' then came the query, is it the first tip to appear under the bridge, or the entire boat crossing the line. The tip of mine was first, but as it was much longer then the winning boat, I came second.

Boat making aside, this year has begun with so much to do and such awful dull days to do it in!

I had two commissions to, I don't usually take on commissions, I am in that wonderful position of being ably to paint what I want, so I usually turn down any commission, but these two were different.

Its an allotment painting... yipee, right up my street. 
Well, I must first tell you that I visited the said allotment back at the beginning of December. The owner told me exactly where the allotment was and which one it was on the site - no numbers or anything  - just a description. It could have all gone terribly wrong, imagine if I had painted the wrong allotment! HA
I wandered about the allotment in the heavy frost, decided I had definitely spotted the right one and took lots of photos from different angles, then emailed the owner to make sure I had the right one! 
The day I went the light was very low and the photos were a bit dark, but at least I knew which one it was and where it was so I could go back.
blocking in the basics

Anyway, it seems that we have had so much rain and the days have been so dark that any painting at my easel stops by lunch time, today though, it was sunny and I managed to paint until about 2pm in the sun! And this is it... I think its finished. I'll live with it for a few days and make any adjustments if I think it needs them, but basically I am happy with it. 

 the finished painting

I really enjoyed painting this, I love the little houses on the hill and the clutter of the sheds and glass houses on the slope. 
Its my third painting of 2016, I have finished two watercolours which I plan to offer as workshops in late Spring... more about that soon. many of you have already been asking about these and I promise to schedule in dates soon.
I have been having some exciting discussions about new projects to explore this year, so watch this space!
Meanwhile my New Years Resolution is to try and find the time to write my blog a bit more! I know I have neglected you but I just don't know where the days go! 

May 2016 be a healthy, happy one for you, and if you paint, then may your creative journey continue with success!