Read more about the article Paint4Fun Group Winter Term
'Suffolk Church', after John Constable

Paint4Fun Group Winter Term

The Paint4Fun Group winter term of 2024 started in early January with an enthusiastic focus on the Impressionists. We looked at a famous artist each week. We started with Constable and Turner who were an inspiration to Impressionists and who are seen as pioneers of Modern Art. Interestingly we discovered that both artists died some 20 years before Impressionism emerged. Constable and Turner used broad brush strokes and rough (almost violent) movement of paint. They added energy and emotion using vibrant colour.  They were the first artists to paint 'en plein air,' taking their paints, easels and equipment outside. Before this only drawing and watercolour were used out of doors.  Here are some of my paintings below which were copied from Impressionists' famous works using their brushwork techniques and using a similar palette wherever possible. 'Suffolk Church', after John Constable 'Snow Storm Steamboat,' after JMW Turner The group then studied Pissarro, then Renoir and finally Van Gogh. We discovered that working outdoors (without the benefit of a camera!) there was not much time to capture fleeting moments of reality before it passed before the Impressionists' eyes. They focused on the effects of natural light upon the landscape and sought to make an impression of the scene in front of them rather than seeking realism. Impressionists usually painted using limited palette of vibrant, bright clear colours and they avoided browns, black and muted muddy colours. The group enjoyed copying some of each artists' best known paintings using techniques such as choppy short brush strokes and vibrant colours. 'Haycart' after Camille Pissarro 'Boating on the Seine' after Pierre August Renoir 'Wheat field with Crows' after Vincent Van Gogh All in all this was a most interesting and enjoyable term. As much as anything we enjoyed researching the artists' works and lives and…

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Paint4Fun Group Autumn Term

Paint4Fun Group this Autumn term focused on painting still lifes with a limited palette. We started the term with a simple subject, an egg and eggcup. Next session was onions on a wooden board and finally a still life with a white jug. White we discovered is actually many subtle tones from quite surprisingly dark to the brightest highlights. We struggled with the electric lights in the village hall to get light coming from one direction and this made shadows difficult to gage. Some students found it useful to take a photo first with the electric lights off, with light coming from one direction only. They used this image as a reference to help decide lights and darks before painting the objects on the table. All good practice!

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Read more about the article Late Summer 2023
10" x 10" Acrylic on board

Late Summer 2023

This summer has gone very fast. The garden has got away from me again, every year it happens.. We have three new rescue hens who have been laying well, lovely dark brown eggs.  I wanted to continue my reduced palette work with just red, yellow, black plus white. This still life of two eggs and an eggcup was made using just these colours. I think it makes for a rich but muted tone where colours are harmonic.

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Summer 2023

The Wylye Valley Art Trail in April was great fun and we met many old and new friends while we dished out soup and cakes and juggled the cash box and my new gadget, the card reader. All in all a successful couple of weeks and we made many sales and quite a number of commissions - which have been keeping me from twiddling my thumbs  over the summer! For a bit of R and R in July we took ourselves off to Devon for a few days. The sun came out every now and then while we walked along the cliffs above Sidmouth; what a view! We also enjoyed eating delicious fish and chips sitting outside while warding off the seagulls. Those birds are really big and their beaks with those orange red tips are long, and very sharp looking.

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Wylye Valley Art Trail 2023

This year's Wylye Valley Art Trail is certain to be an exciting and vibrant event spanning 10 days over the two bank holidays in April/May. Please do make a note in your diary to come and visit some of the venues. I promise it will prove to be a wonderful day out if you do! We will be hosting a venue here and my husband Crispian will for the first time be exhibiting with me.  More info to follow in due course!

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Read more about the article Collage Work
Not for Sale

Collage Work

The images below show my sequence towards a finished piece of collage work. I started by cutting up images from a magazine and placing them onto a paper and gluing them down. Next I painted four or five pieces of paper with different colours. I tore them up and glued them on to make a landscape. Finally I painted over the top with a glaze. A glaze is a thin layer of watered down paint which allows the colour below to show. All in all a most enjoyable afternoon 'playing' with cutting, gluing and sticking. All this practice was put to the test with two small grandchildren. On the left is our collage picture of rather scary looking sheep.  We first collected the wool from the gate down the lane by the ford. After much splashing in the ford we came back to stick pieces of magazine onto a page. Sometime in quite strange positions.. Needless to say the children got bored after a short time and wandered off long before it was finished. But I noticed that they came back pretty quickly to do the fun bits of sticking the wool and the eyes on the sheep! The two paintings above of local scenes were my next experiments using collage and mixed media.  I used texture paste to prime the boards before I started. This gave nice raised textured areas that were quite fun to paint over. I cut out shapes and strips of watercolour paper iand stuck them on as I painted. I painted over these with ink, oil crayons and acrylic paint as though they were not there and like that they made strange edges and raised areas. The painting on the left is my final effort and I used actual bits of grass with seeds and…

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Read more about the article Glazing technique
For Sale, £135

Glazing technique

I have never painted a picture using the Grisaille method so I thought I would practice on oranges, a half lemon and a few jars of marmalade. The colours are complimentary, orange and purple. Using black and white paint I covered the canvas with four tones, black, mid tone, dark tone and white. I painted in the jars, oranges and lemon trying to be as accurate as I could and looking carefully at the light and dark shapes. Now for the exciting bit! Using glazing liquid and a small amount of paint I glazed each area of tone separately. I had to wait for each layer to dry before glazing again so it took time and patience to cover the whole canvas. I enjoyed painting the jars of marmalade using red and yellow mixed to make orange, as I glazed layer over layer I could begin to see the rich colours emerging. Here is the finished painting. I enjoyed the experiment and was pleased with the resulting richness of tones. I like particularly the way the oranges glow out from the dark background and that marmalade looks good enough to eat! I am not certain that I have the patience to build up layers with glazing but it was certainly fun to try. My preferred way to paint is Alla Prima - which is all in one go.  This way seems to suit my desire to make intuitive marks for a painting which is full of life and vigour.

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Spring Bank Holiday Weekend Exhibition

Thursday evening at 6pm we waited anxiously in the hall to see if folks would turn up to the Preview. The paintings were hung, the catalogues printed and everything looked great. By 6.20, there was a good gathering of friends, neighbours and art lovers in the hall enjoying a glass of wine while moving up and down looking at my work. In fact there was quite a buzz and by the end of the evening I had already had reservations on 20 paintings. There was a steady flow of visitors throughout the bank holiday weekend and cream teas were enjoyed outside in the spring sunshine. All in all it was a brilliant weekend and well worth the effort. It felt good to get my spring collection out there!

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