Day 6 and 7

The days at RSPB Arne are whizzing by and this last weekend was no exception. A good number of artists , would be artists , photographers and ”just interested’ to see what is going on joined us.
The common interest is, of course , our surroundings. And this weekend these certainly both challenged us and surprised us. The tidal system caught me out completely – not in a ‘dangerous’ way but in terms of me painting certain aspects of a painting whilst missing out the water/mud flat whilst waiting for the tide to recede further – and it did not – it came back in. Apparently this is all due to the Isle of Wight. Who’d have known? However other things made up for it.



The painting that needed the tide to go out remains unresolved but I am hoping tomorrow will enable me to get on with it . Painting en plein air does mean each time I am in the same spot everything can look very different – not least the tide – the position of the sun, or no sun, the weather conditions generally and so on.
Fingers crossed for the coming final two days at this location. It is an awkward composition with those tree stumps, with deer damage, potentially not working in the foreground . WE shall see. Also, although green is my favourite personal colour , this does not follow through to painting with it. And this painting is currently too green. Something else that will need sorting if it is going to work. Interesting looking at the foreground green of the painting and the actual tone of the grass around it tells me there may be a tonal issue as well. Rather a lot of issues I think.

L’Artishe Gallery Dorset 2016

I have a number of sketches and paintings  in this wonderful exhibition  – all painted ‘en plein air’.

Soft pastel – 28 x 44cm mounted – £110





Purbeck Art Weeks 2016

Midsummer Glory

Another fortnight of open studios and creativity everywhere . One of my paintings( Midsummer Glory)  was put up for auction (for our local for Citizens Advice Bureau ) and I am proud to say it raised nearly £800       

Day 4 onwards of Paint Out at Arne

Well the weather has lived up to expectations and so far we have had tee shirt weather to 5 layers and cold( yesterday ). Nevertheless nothing has got in the way of creativity and experienced or not visitors have been having a go at painting the landscape.
Seeing as I have the use of the mess tent for the fortnight I have taken the opportunity to take my pastel set up:-
My oil set ups ( one very small and transportable and one less so):-
And then my sketching set up which is basically a haversack with a watercolour palette , pencils and inks , charcoal, watercolour sticks and some gouache, and sketchbook of course. So I travel light . Not . The interesting dilemma during my time at Arne is deciding which medium to work with . Usually if I am going out on a painting  trip that decision is made before I leave  the house. Now the decision before leaving the house is what sort of sandwich filling I might fancy and have I got my truly essential kit – including camera. spare battery, insulin , blood sugar monitor, phone (charged?), thermoses, energy drink.
Writing all this down I am quite surprised I ever make it out of the door.

Day 1 and 2 at RSPB Arne(with mess tent)

A fabulous start to this event – warm and sunny with a cooling breeze – perfect painting weather. We have had a steady trickle of visitors, artists, photographers, twitchers, families and walkers. The location is perfect – tide out is something I find very appealing wherever I am. The colours that can be found in the wet sand are stunning and the more you look the  more you see. I have real no plan for my days at Arne but I am very attracted to the tide line here and am beginning to think maybe I will be painting it in various mediums( of which more in tomorrow’s blog).
Of course all artists have different thoughts on what to paint and today was no exception.
This image has gone into my ‘to be thought about later’ bank  and will probably become a much larger piece in the winter.
Tomorrow I will post some photos of my ‘work’ so far.

The best open studio in the world

Today I get to do something different. RSPB Arne ( near Wareham Dorset) invited me to go and paint at a location that , until now, has not been open to you or me. Just for the fortnight of Purbeck Art Weeks – 28th May to 12th June 2016.
RSPB have erected a mess tent and now all I have to do is go and paint and encourage others to have a go . And some fellow artists and photographers will join me – so what’s not to like!
Normally I like to travel light but not this time!
And this is where I am going
I hope to post more regularly over the coming couple of weeks – the trials and tribuations of life in a rather unique place.
Off to get my thermos prepared .
Marmite and cucumber sandwiches along with quails eggs left over from Gallery at 41 party – true heaven!

And the results of using the mangle?

Following the print workshop I went to the other week I am enthused ( an understatement) to learn more about printing . Thing is it is a huge creative world in its own right. And where do you start ? The other week was an eye opener in terms of the potential ‘to create’ in a new direction. The 3 images below are very basic but could develop in so many ways . The top two are prints recreating the basic motif in a recent painting of mine called Midsummers  Dream. From that image I have produced a silk flag ( blog to follow)  and the images below. Both entirely different but , to my eye. having potential. The 3rd image below is , quite simply , a leaf and ink ( and mangle of course!). That image excites me as I want to use that principle in mixed media. It is cooking in my head . Watch this space. I need to look up my notes but next blog I will tell me/you what these printing techniques are called . And there are many.

The mangle

The mangle came in useful this weekend . I went to a print making workshop and loved every minute of it .  I knew I would but have resisted until now as I knew the consequence would be the need for more paraphernalia. I now need my own mangle but apparently the old fashioned ones are now highly sought after so I may need to think again.
Mangle, Chris Clarke  and Heather Gibbons our teacher.

Mangle, Chris Clarke and Heather Gibbons our teacher.

The finale to my Feb blog

It started out square but is now letterbox on its head. Never mind it ended up in a frame and ready for Purbeck Art Weeks!