Sunday, 31 May 2009

Grand Art

The weather, we Brits just cant help ourselves we love talking and discussing it whether it be bad, wet, foggy or as the last few days have been very sunny and hot. I do love this time of the year and painting outside in the warm sunshine is heaven. I have one little problem Hayfever! well I think it's tree pollen. Anyway this week seems to have flown by I've been trying out the new Winsor and Newton Artists Acrylics but using them like watercolours, the results were pretty bright but I think ok. I occassionally work a day for a friend in her gallery so that was Friday. I've had some good response this week from the online watercolour course It's proving really popular, I'm so pleased because it was one of those ideas that came to me at 2.30am when you can't sleep and you should be thinking of nothing! But it's been great getting it off the ground and building the new website has gone ok fingers crossed. Friday night we went fishing but not a bite was taken but the views of Skiddaw across the flower meadow was lovely. So yesterday I started on Italian Balcony it's a commission, so this is the the first stage, I'm hoping to get quite alot done today I just hope it goes well it took 3/4 of the day to sketch. I got a text yesterday from my Dad who is on holiday in the Greek Islands to put a bet on a horse 'Grand Art' he was positive it would win, so what do you do? I'm not used to going into betting offices but I couldn't resist so been a careful Yorkshire girl I put £5 to win and the little beauty won!


Ist stage of Italian Balcony

It's not long to we go to Italy, I'm getting really excited especially with the good weather here.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Walla Crag from Keswick

I heard the my first Cuckoo of the year this weekend in the wood under Walla Crag. I was out walking with a friend and I think she thought I'd gone mad! But simple things like hearing the first Cuckoo or seeing the 1st Snowdrops of the year do make me smile inside and it's free! So walking up Walla Crag you pass this lovely field of wild flowers the trees over hanging are a good shape in the middle ground this little wood leads to the Bluebell wood I photographed earlier in the month. Walla Crag is also a popular place for the para gliders to throw themselves off! Braver than me

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

One to One watercolour instruction

Demo of Daffodils at Ullswater 20th May 09

Today I taught three ladies who were celebrating a 60th birthday, and for a surprise they had organised a private watercolour workshop day. So I hired the lovely hall that I use near Keswick with good lighting, nice and warm and tea and coffee nearly on tap! It was ideal as we had talked about painting outside but with one of the ladies been a beginner and just in case the weather was a bit iffy,which it was! We were inside, so what to paint? Firstly we tackled Daffs at Ullswater which has all techniques in from misty mountains, water, masking out and trees! They did really well. Then later in the afternoon we started the snow scene below again with lots of techniques we also kept our colours to a mini um using only primary with a touch of Burnt Sienna in. Again they did really well it's amazing how a day of watercolour and going over techniques ,sticking with a limited palette can really bring students watercolours on. It did help that they had a box of Thortons Chocolates now I wonder if this is the secret ingredient to a good watercolour session!!

Demo of Winter grazing 20th May 09

Monday, 18 May 2009

Exhibition work

Thought you might like to see the finished paintings, you may recognise some, it does take quite a long time to get the work together. It does look nice when you see all the work together and they do compliment each other I've had some lovely remarks and a few sales which is good news for the bank manager.I've been exhibiting a couple of times a year at Moot Hall for about seven years. I tend to man the exhibition myself which can be fun! I'm always interested to know where original paintings go to and like to make sure they have a nice home, I'm never going to be a millionaire with this attitude.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

I see pink in the sky

It's been a lovely Painting course this week, the weather forecast on Sunday said we would have two good days. We managed to paint very comfortably outside all four days sitting in Sunshine Monday amongst Bluebells, Tuesday out of the wind and catching the warm sun rays at Rydal, Wednesday the showers kept away till early evening so a pleasurable morning beside Rydal Water and then at my favourite tea garden on Grasmere shore. Now today we were promised rain! driving over the 'raise' as the locals call it. I spyied beautiful reflections on a calm Grasmere Lake, so with golfing brollies in hand we headed to the lake and guess what the brollies were not put to use.

Lovely reflections on Grasmere

Notice the soft floating clouds they are just perfect for a watercolour approach. I often put pink in my skies, and students often ask 'can you see pink in the sky?' with a mystified look, well I see pink in this sky.
I think these are Milk Maidens or that's what we used to call them.
Now you know that I do like to take my painting to the sink! well one of my students took it a step further and let a sudden gust of wind lift her painting it into the air and let it float majestically into the Lake below, you could see it begin to soften beautifully. It was unreachable even I was not going to venture down the steep rock.
It's been a busy week and I'm looking forward to my exhibition starting tomorrow, it will be great to see the new paintings on show.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Flopsey, Mopsey and ?

I dare not say another beautiful sunny day, because I'm hoping for the same tomorrow, after last week and heavy rain it's been pure joy painting outside in the warm sunshine out of the wind. We based ourselves at Rydal Mount first the waterfall in Rydal Grotto. This proved to be quite a challenge! All the lights and darks and getting the colours we wanted in pastels, and there is never quite that green you need!

Rydal Grotto and waterfalls

Cotton Tail!
Tales of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
A spring field bursting in sunshine with Sheep and Lambs catching the warm sunny rays
An inviting bench in dappled light

Monday, 11 May 2009

Bluebells and 'Pearl the rowing boat'

I took my group of fellow artists to White Moss Comon, near Grasmere, the day was perfect blue skies and plenty of light on those beautiful blue/purple bells, they really are quite purple close up but look blue as in the photo below! The beech leaves were pretty perfect too, unfortunately my hay fever plays up when all these beautiful leaves come out.

The side of Loughrigg fell, it could nearly be a lavender field, the smell was certainly Bluebells.

Sunset over Derwentwater, I love to go down to the Lake to see the last rays of sunshine catching the sides of the fells and touching the tops of the trees. I was captured by the light on the boats especially 'Pearl' and the way the rope acted as a natural lead in

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Keswick Mountain Exhibition

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, Acrylic by Jane Ward
Just finished painting Striding Edge with the new Winsor and Newton Acrylics, I must say 'I like them' I like the way they don't dry instantly they do have a more of a Oil texture and painterly feel. I'm getting ready for my big Exhibition of the year it's running alongside the 'Keswick Mountain Festival' it starts on Friday 15th to Monday 18th May at Moot hall in the centre of Keswick. Today I've also been framing four new originals that will be in the exhibition, it's great seeing them finished, but I will be having a peep at them everyday until the exhibition, it's a strange carry on been an artist you can get really attached to paintings and I do like them to go to good homes!!! But the bills need paying.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Pretty Polly

Dora's field, Rydal Mount named after William Wordsworth's Daughter
What a lovely peaceful corner I found, walking along 'The Coffin Route' from Grasmere to Rydal Mount. Famously called this because they used to carry the Coffin from Ambleside to Grasmere Church up until 1821, there are still some of the large flat stones that were used along the way to rest the coffin! It is a delightful walk along the side of the fells down to Rydal Water then walking above Grasmere Lake and finishing through the woods back to Grasmere. Today was a very damp and extremely wet day though and I was not not dressed accordingly! Let's hope that next week when I have a four day painting course at Grasmere the weather improves, the Bluebells all around should be in full bloom just perfect for painting.

I couldn't resist taking a photo of this window in Grasmere, I love the parrot!!

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Mouses on tables

Bambaugh Castle included in Total Beginners Course

I've been working on a new web site this is just for my online watercolour course, what started as little idea in the middle of the night as turned into a bigger idea! I have been very pleased at the outcome of this course and seeing a real improvement in students work and hearing pleasing comments makes it all worth while. I've noticed with fellow art bloggers that you do need to have a decent understanding of the Internet, I started 10 years ago not knowing how to turn a PC on and worrying about running out of space for the mouse( how do I get to the top of the page? ahhh you can lift the mouse of the table and put it back down!!!) So I did a couple of learn direct courses and bought the bible on 'Dreamweaver' and bothered friends who know what they were doing with a computer! But today I host and have built my own websites and I really enjoy running my blog alongside. BUT the big question is when do you find time to paint, today I''ve only looked longingly at the easel and paints.