Monday, 30 March 2009

Eight Tones for Wane!

I'm just getting ready for tonight's evening class and I'm going to do a session on tonal values, I do think in watercolour these are really important so using a limited palette of Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine lets see if we can get 8 tonal shades? I have a clever little device that I invented that helps? The watercolour weekend went well it is amazing seeing the difference in students work improve over two days, I'm enjoying these sessions and the hall I use at Millbeck is situated in a beautiful peaceful spot. Today I've been answering emails and writing a watercolour article and trying desperately to get a paypal button on my web site!! I have built and run my web site myself and considering 10 years ago I had no idea how to turn a PC on, I've not done to bad, but I 've got some friends that do know what their doing with computers and they occasionally get a 'help' email. Check here to see my new button!!
I've just got one tiny whinny problem paypal have given me the business name ' WANE WARD'
luckily my brother is Simon, thou could you imagine Jane and Wane Ward!!!! It does make me giggle.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Lambs in Jackets

It's horrible outside just made the last post and couldn't resist a twirl (chocolate) when I got the stamps, it's only 5 degrees outside, blowing a howlie and there was fresh snow on the mountain tops this morning, springs here! The Poor little lambs and all the lovely Daffs will be blown to bits, over here in Cumbria the Lambs have little jackets for nasty weather conditions, I do hope they have them on. Today has been all go painting, printing and answering emails, I'm getting some excellent online paintings back from my Landscape course and it is great seeing students work come on, the painting of Bluebells is part of the 2nd Landscape course there is so much to paint here in the Lakes this Wood is near to Grasmere on the walk down to the Lake from White Moss Common. Anyway it's Friday night and when I was a kid it was ' Crackerjack'(80's tv programme) but now it's a glass of wine time down at the local.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Ferrero Rocher

What a bright painting!Don't worry it's not finished yet. I'm trying out the new Winsor and Newton Acrylics and they are scrummy, very similar to oils but without the turps the colours are gorgeous and the best bit is that they are much slower in drying, before when I've worked with Acrylics they seem to dry fairly instantly but these you could still move round and soften for quite a while. I started this painting at my 'Tuesday painting group' I think they thought I'd gone mad!! I really laid the Acrylic on thick as an undercoat and for some texture with a palette knife and yesterday I started painted in with a brush. I use a 'ferrero rocher' box for my palette I find these excellent and 'cheap'. I've got a new colour in this painting ' Green Gold' my friend Jenny told me about this one and it's a real winner, mixed with blue's to darken, burnt sienna to earth it (a Jane technique word) yellow to brighten and white to send back.
I'll keep you posted with the finished painting. I've had some lovely comments this week about the blog, it really does keep me focused, I really enjoy doing it and getting feedback is great for a lonely artist!!

Monday, 23 March 2009

The Amalfi Lemon

A still life for my evening class tonight, I asked them last week to bring an Orange, Lemon and something Blue I'm looking forward to seeing what they bring to paint, it should be a fun class tonight. I went yesterday to 'Booths' our only biggish supermarket in Keswick only to find no lemons left but they did have a tray of expensive Amalfi lemons so one of these would have to do for the still life and also for tea! It was a different class of lemon, stylish and full of taste of course it was Italian! I put chilli, Cinnamon, Parmesan and lemon zest into my homemade meatballs which are very tasty.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

I enjoyed that!

I think it's finished, it's signed so yes it is! I really enjoyed painting this scene, totally different to mountain vista's, but it's all about been inspired. I spent quite a bit of time last year down at the bowling club, I'd wanted to paint Keswick cricket team, but every time I went down they were either playing away or the light was not good, or it was raining!!! Fitz park is a lovely sheltered old fashioned garden with tennis courts, bowling greens and even an ice cream van outside the gates. I was telling my friends Hilary and Andy over a glass of wine last night about the painting and they were sure they knew some of the characters that I'd painted, I tried to give each person a little bit of detail and personality. So now back to the real world the garden needs weeding!!

Friday, 20 March 2009

Living on the edge

Another beautiful day in the Lakes, I hope this sunshine lasts it just makes you feel so much better, even with a touch of cold ( not man flu) I've been busy with this painting for the last two days, spent most of yesterday sketching it out, most of the night thinking about how I was going to paint it and since lunchtime today painting it outside in the garden, there's been alot of thought and figuring out of colour and been scared of actually getting on with it. I suppose because it took so long to sketch and also I don't often paint this type of scene. So why 'living on the edge?' well because I have entered this painting into an exhibition opening 31st March at the Keswick Museum, I left it to the very last moment for sending in my entry form, but dare I say it 'I've got a good feeling about this painting' keep watching and lets hope the stress does not rise drastically!!! I've still got two places for 28th March two day watercolour workshop just get in touch if you fancy a bit of watercolour therapy it nearly beats retail!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Che Bella Giornata ' What a beautiful day'

Under Catbells
Manesty woods

Otter Island, Abbotts Bay

Abbotts Bay

Well the Daffs are certainly featuring in this weeks blog, maybe they should be painted again! I had a lovely walk today from Rosthwaite down along the river to Grange in Borrowdale a coffee and flap jack stop ( it's good flap jack they put Corn flakes in like my Grandma used to!) then down to the lake by Manesty stopping at Abbotts Bay and then back to Keswick alongside the Lake and through Portinscale. The lake was a dream with fantastic reflections, if this weather keeps up my Four day April course in Keswick will be lovely it's a fantastic time to paint the leaves on the trees are just opening up with lots of spring yellows and soft greens.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Is winter over? I think Spring is here!

1st Stage Acrylic underpainting

2nd stage starting to apply pastel

Well Spring is here I think! it's lovely to sit outside and have a coffee and listen to the birds singing, working from home the kettle is nearly always on. I find taking frequent breaks from painting and looking at it from a distance helps me see mistakes and things that are emerging out of the painting naturally. I'm working on a Striding Edge in pastel with an acrylic under base, it still needs a bit of work but it's starting to take shape. I used my new Acrylics from Winsor Newton they seemed much easier to work with and more move able. Tuesdays I try and paint with my artists friends and on the way to the hall I couldn't resist these Daffs with Skiddaw in the background, I think the photo is so 'the Lake District in spring'

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Holiday cobalt blues

I've been quite busy this week the watercolour workshop went really well at the weekend, it's amazing watching students work improve and gain confidence I still have two places left for Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th March if you would like some watercolour intensive therapy just get in touch. Leisure Painter have printed this month, one of my articles on pastels it's a two part phase, it's come out really nice I was a little worried about it as my English language at times is a little hit and miss! And the other thing this week was Becks beer got in touch about a promotion they are doing on art courses, been self employed you never know what's round the next corner!! And so in amongst all of this I started thinking of Italy, the food fantastic homemade pasta at Villa Rosa, Ice cream two scoops in a tub please! and then the painting oh were do I start! warm sunny days sat on the edge of the pier dangling feet into lukewarm clear water an Olive tree giving a little shade, you can hear Mama rustling up a pasta sauce
from an open window and then a perfect view with pastel shade reflections. Well it's 14 weeks till we go and I do still have a couple of places left to visit this special place. And now I must get on with some work!!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Basking in the sunshine

I had one hour yesterday in between jobs at Glenriding, it was a glorious morning so I quickly made my way up the fell side, I would have loved to have gone further round this mountain to see the start of Helvellyn range and the start of Striding Edge, there is still a lovely dusting of snow on the tops and the shadows were fantastic. So I made my way along this path, thinking of what the tops would look like and trying to get round the next range to see the view, But I had to retreat and as I did, I was quite taken by the view on the way back down.A photographer friend once told me 'always look behind, there could be a better view' and today he was right, now you might not think so! I liked the way the light hit the wall and led you into the background, Ullswater is the other side of this wall but what really caught my eye are the puddles, stones and grasses in the foreground, I sat for a few minutes basking in the sunshine just taking in the scenery.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Mrs Tigglewinkle

This is the second attempt at this watercolour of a farm in Newlands valley, I used yellow Ochre to start, I'm not a big fan of this colour preferring Raw Sienna because it is more translucent but using Y.Ochre as a base seemed to work well. I'm using this painting for my next online course, the 1st six online projects have gone really well, with students from all over including Canada, Turkey and North Yorkshire, sometimes been stuck for what to paint, or giving yourself that precious time but above all the course seems to have given students more confidence in their work. 
Why Mrs Tigglewinkle!!!, well for those you haven't read Beatrix Potter this famous hedgehog collected washing from Newlands Valley, but I can't remember who from!!

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Way out west

Decided to take it easy today, I've got a two day Watercolour workshop this weekend, so we had a ride over to Wastwater it's about one hour from Keswick, the terrain is more like the Scottish Highlands than the Cumbria Fells, this is a classic viewpoint and where the AA or was is RAC advert was filmed. The weather today was changeable we left Keswick at 7 degrees drove through snow showers and 1 degrees and then sat on the beach at Seascale in 10 degrees warm sunshine, weird! I can't wait to have a go at painting Wastwater on big piece of paper to give it all the drama it deserves. I liked the atmosphere of today much better than sunny green days in Summer.

First there was one........

Can you believe this was taken just 35 minutes after the photo above!

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Mrs Robinson

It's been a bit mad lately, but feel back on form today, sometimes been an (so called) artist you want to paint everything in sight, but there's never enough time and I run around like an headless chicken with a paint brush under my wing! Drew ( excuse the pun) back the curtains this morning to a sparkling white Blencathra and blue skies. So I packed the ruck sac with painting gear and headed up Latrigg one of Keswick's nearest hills, caught these little Daffs on the way. It's another of my favourite walks and it never fails to impress, so with ipod on I hummed my way up, stopping half way to take in this view, I can't resist the third hill from the left it's called Robinson, because Mr Robinson owns the fell or he used to when it was aptly named. I did a quick sketch in pastels sitting in the sunshine it was a joy I even had a little Robin for company.Derwentwater below Catbells, Hindscarth, Robinson and the side of Grizedale Pike from Latrigg
Hindscarth and Robinson