Friday, 29 November 2013

Open Studio 29th Nov - 1st Dec

Well for the last three weeks I have been busy unframing old work, sorting through work that has potential, work for galleries, work back from galleries (not many of those I'm pleased to say) and new work to be framed.
Then there were the frames to sort. Matching slips to frames and frames to slips. I have no idea how I could have managed to end up with so many odd ones. They all matched when I bought them (is it the sock fairy playing games with me?).
I spent three days repainting frames and another two framing.
Next job was to tackle the studio! Where to start??? I found all sorts of things I thought I'd lost or had forgotten about.
The last two days have been spent hanging and pricing - finally I'm ready.
This morning I made the mulled wine and now the house smells all Christmasy

There was a very good article in the local paper. I have put up posters and sent out invites. Now all I have to do is sit back and hope that I get a few visitors.
If you are in the Spalding area, do pop along for a chat and glass of mulled wine. Friday, Saturday & Sunday (29th -1st) 11am - 4pm   CHEERS

Friday, 22 November 2013

Brancaster Staithe 14th Nov

Once again through the powers of social media, ten of us met up to paint at Brancaster Staithe. The weather was kind to us but a rather chilly. I am enjoying using my Open Box M pallett but wish I'd bought the larger size. Guess I'll have to sell a few more paintings first though.

This was the first picture of the day which took me up to lunch time as I kept stopping to chat to other artists as they arrived. Off then to the Deepdale Cafe.

Unfortunately Tom had to leave before we took the photo. From the left Malcolm, Rosemary, Sharon, Jen, Linda, Me, Helen, Haidee, Mari.

Suitably refreshed and warmed up we were off to find another subject. It was a bit too cold for some, I think there were only five of us left.

I was amazed at how quickly the tide had come in and had to opt for a position where I wouldn't get cut off. There were a lot of boats in the foreground to start with but these two chaps were busy taking them away for the winter. I'd been hoping for a good sunset but the sky was clear , until I tuned round and realised the clouds behind me were turning all shades of Orange. I had to work very quickly on this one as it changed by the minute.

All in all a very successful day and I am looking forward to meeting up again on the 4th December.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Getting out there

What a wonderful week of painting I've had.
On Wednesday I met up with 9 other artists to paint at Brancaster Staithe on the Norfolk coast.

This was the first painting I did and struggled with the colour of the mud.

Up the Creek

 This was the painting I did in the studio from my sketch. I hope I have captured the feeling of 'being there'.

The next day I went inland and found this delightful scene at Glandford just asking to be painted.

Path at Cley Spy

 Then for some daft reason went to the beach at Weybourne. Boy, was it cold but I was lucky enough to catch the fishermen putting in their boat. had to be pretty swift to catch the moment

Putting The Boat In

 My third day in Norfolk I trotted off to Broads. Only an hour away but for some reason unknown to me, I'd never painted there. Well, it won't be the last time that's for sure. What a wonderful place to be.

The Broads

St Benet's Abbey

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Workshop at Rushden, Northants

Set off at 8am with car packed up with paintings, paints and easel.
Stupid sat nav didn't recognise postcode so had to 'wing it'. I thought Rushden was a small village so, finding the school couldn't be too difficult. Got there, not a village, it's a town. By luck I ended up in almost the right place and got directions for the last bit.
A small turn out of 9 but enthusiastic painters turned up.. Some had never used acrylics before.
I started by giving a demo using a photo reference from the competition running on the FB page, SAA group set by John Currie.
Here's my effort

Acrylic demo

Must say, I look a bit dopey. Anyway, the group then chose wether to work from my painting or from a photo reference. Two chose the Bridge option and did a good job too. Using the same colours as I did the results were entirely different.
The workshop was to last for 6 hours but after 5, most people had finished their painting and had put so much into it that they hadn't really the energy or enthusiasm to start another so we lined all the paintings up for our own little show. One gentleman had to leave early so there are only 8 pictures to view but I think you'll all agree that it was a great success all round.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Painting at Barnack

On Tuesday I did my stint stewarding at The Welland Valley art exhibition.
where there are some excellent paintings on show. If you happen to be in Stamford go along to at the Art Centre. It's on until the 19th October.

The promised rain still hadn't arrived so on the way home decided to paint at the 'Hills & Holes' at Barnack. A favorite place to visit when the boys were little. Well, I drove around Barnack area, could I find it? No! I'd noticed a river scene as I first turned off so went back.
The light was changing very quickly and I'd wasted precious painting time driving around so only had an hour to paint, I felt a bit rushed but did enjoy myself.

River at Barnack 10 X 12"

I shall have to go back another day. Mind you NEXT time I will NOT wear sandals in a field previously occupied by a large herd of cows! ewww.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Busy week

I'm pleased  to say that even though the challenge is over I haven't been resting on my laurels.
The pressure is off but I have still painted every day.
This week I've had workshops and demonstrations at Market Deeping and King's Lynn.

Market Deeping

 Demo 14" x 18"

For the Market Deeping group I did this painting very quickly in Acrylics as the group were going to paint afterwards and didn't want to take up their valuable painting time. When I got home I spent another 1/2 hour on the painting but this time went over it in Oil paint. Acrylics are brilliant for under-painting if you are in a hurry for it to dry.
The group used the same three colours as i did and I was amazed that the variety in the end results. I'm kicking myself for not taking a photo as there were some excellent results.
The three colours were  -French Ultra, Magenta, Cadmium Yellow Pale + White

King's Lynn

Acrylic Demo 14" x 18"

The first painting I did I struggled with. I was still using my three colours but had some kind of mental block. Maybe it was the lighting but every time I thought I'd mixed the right colour and put it on the canvas - I was way out. So after the coffee break I did a little quickie of Hunstanton. This one I felt much happier with.

Acrylic demo 12" x 10"

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

30 days of painting

Yes!! I did it. I thoroughly enjoyed joining in with all the artists.
Leslie suggested we all create a collage of our work. Well I tried to get all 30 paintings in but could only manage a 5 x 5 square.

25 of the 30

To see the other collages and the artists that are cleverer than me and got all 30 on go to Leslie's blog

Monday, 30 September 2013

Well, I did it. I painted every day in September

Well, I did it. I painted every day in September. it got easier and easier to get into the studio - I just got on with it!
A valuable exercise and I know I will paint more often too and if my house looks too clean and tidy then I will know I haven't kept my promise to myself.

I wonder how many of the 400 artists that signed up for the challenge did indeed paint every day??
I know that only about 200 pictures were posted daily on Leslie Saeta's blog

I certainly got a lot out of it, including some designs for this year's Christmas card and here is the final one

Angel with Star 6" x 8" Oil

Well, this may be the end of the challenge but I will endeavor to post here at least once a week. And,if you check in and there's nothing new - give me a poke :)
Thank you to all that have followed and for your lovely comments.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Day 29 of 30

Managed to sneak one in this morning in spite of having three little 'helpers'. I mean, I can't fall at the last post, One day left in the challenge and to date, have painted every day.

Penguin 6" x 8" Oil

One day left, what to paint on the final day????

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Day 28 of 30

Early start again today as I'll soon have a house full of grandchildren, well, only three but it does seem like a house full .
Still on the Christmas theme I thought this chap might make a good card. It needs a bit of tweaking - time ran out.

Santa 6" x 8" Oil
Of course the one thing I didn't think about when painting for cards is where the lettering would go. Fortunately I have a brilliant Daughter in Law who is a wizard with design & Photoshop and she says that it can be done.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Day 27 of 30

Yes, decided to run with the theme again today. It prompted another friend to start on her Christmas card too. What to paint?? I rummaged through the the Christmas box and came up with this angel.

Angel 6" x 8" Oil

I do have a another subject lined up for tomorrow but I may have the help of three Granddaughters aged 1, 2 & 3 years. I'll have to see how get on.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Day 26 of 30

Sorry about today's subject. You may get the same theme again tomorrow too.
Every year I fully intend to create my own Christmas card and by the time I get around to thinking seriously about it, it's too late to get anything printed. So, hence the snowman.

Snowman 6" x 8" oil

Still not sure if I'll go for this picture but I'll get a few done and choose.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Day 25 of 30

Hmm, I had a feeling I might fall behind this week. We were up quite late last night chatting so I'm not too bright this morning. Therefore, I shall post one I did earlier this month.
This 24" x 20" canvas was done over two days.

Cooling off at Cromer 20" x 24" Oil

Not sure if it's finished yet, I may take another look sometime. I do feel that if I painted it again now it would come out completely different. This daily painting has done me so much good.
There are still several artists participating in the challenge (some seem to have fallen by the wayside)
have a look at

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Day 24 0f 30

Early morning again. I thought I'd get into the studio before my friends surfaced. Judging by the alcohol consumed last night it could be a while.
They kindly set up a still life for me before going to bed - it was a kind of tower of kitchen implements and anything else that would stack!!! mmm, maybe not.
Went for another soft toy option instead.

Hug Me 6" x 8" Oil

Monday, 23 September 2013

Day 23 of 30

Only had a half hour window today to paint. Been getting ready for some of my oldest, bestest friends to arrive. We all met at college - quite a long time ago.
On the way home home from yet another trip to the supermarket I was planning out what I could paint quickly. I started thinking about old friends and suddenly I knew what I was going to paint and here he is -

This little chap is even older than me!!! He's lost all his fur, poor thing but I still love him.
I phoned my friends to find out their eta. I had 3/4 of an hour.
I grabbed an old painting, turned it upside down an started painting.

It looks a bit confusing, but if you are focused on what you are painting, you don't see the original. I did pre mix some colours as I find this saves a lot of time. Anyway, here is the result.. I felt a bit pushed and would liked to have spent a bit longer on him.

If only I Could Talk 10"x 12" oil

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Day 22 of 30

Up with the sparrows again this morning (and it's Sunday!!) Really fancied doing a still life again. decided to have a crack at an egg (no pun intended).
I set this up in the studio and, apart from the usual struggle with ovals, feel quite pleased with this one, you don't often hear me say that.

Sunday Breakfast 8" x 8" oil

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Day 21 of 30

Busy painting frames today ready for submitting so, I'm putting on a pic I did earlier this month after a lovely walk at Blakeney with Frank.
Have to go to King's Lynn now as Marie French has just opened her new exhibition and have to see that.

Windy day, Blakeney 10" x 8" oil

Maybe I'll be able to sneak into the studio a bit later - can't get behind.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Day 20 of 30

Phew, up with the sparrows and into the studio this morning as have a busy day. (note to self - see, it can be done!)
I worked on a painting that I started last week. it's another from my sketch book, a tonal sketch with colour notes. Because of what I have learned since I started it, I was sorely tempted to repaint the whole thing but decided that I'd leave it as the next one would be better. (aren't they all going to be? It's what keeps us artists painting)

Family Stroll, Comer 16" x 20" oil

Back to the studio now to tidy up, maybe start another before I go and collect new car, go shopping, take my lovely Dad out for a birthday lunch (he's 89!) then back to paint frames and frame up for submission tomorrow to exhibition. At least I don't have to cook, we are off to a dear friend's house for dinner. I suppose I ought to get some housework done at some point but this is way too much fun.
Thank you Leslie Saeta you can go to this link to see all the other paintings that are being done.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Day 19 of 30

After a busy day's workshop on Monday I came home all fired up and painted this from my sketch book.

Hunstanton, Norfolk 6" x 8" oil

It's again a very limited pallet but I think it works.

Day 18 of 30

I came home yesterday from a wonderful few days in Norfolk. I drove along the coast road, much slower but so scenic. A slight detour en route to the Grapevine Gallery in Burnham Market that
exhibits my work and was very happy to come away with a cheque in my back pocket.
On then to Brancaster Staithe for a quick paint.
Once again, I was battling with the elements so I turned the car round, popped up the boot and took what shelter I could from that.

Almost finished

The View

 I had a lot of folk stopping by for a chat and asking questions. I don't mind but it does take the concentration a bit and I can't be rude. I did meet a fellow artist as I was packing up and it was good talking to her.
As you can see from the photograph, I narrowed the gap between the post and the boat. I would have worked a bit longer but the rain defeated me.

Brancaster Staithe 10" x 12" oil on board

There are so many subjects here at Brancaster Staithe I could paint here for a month. Shame it's so far from home

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Day 17 of 30

Wow, the two day workshop went sooo quickly. I have to say though, I am exhausted. Don't think I've sat down. Never mind everyone seemed to enjoy it and all produced some good work. I got quite a few to work outside their comfort zone and they were very pleased that they did, saying they learnt a lot. Next years dates have been fixed already (2nd & 3rd June).

Worked in acrylics today. I use the Atellier Interactive acrylics as I love their colour range, the buttery feel of them and the fact they dry so much slower than ordinary acrylics.

In this demonstration, I am working from a sketch I made yesterday. It was late afternoon and the tide was coming in. A large group started to gather waiting for the boat to out and visit the seals.
I have a slight variation in pallet, yellow Ochre, French Ultra, Burnt Umber, Brown Madder Alizarin, Cadmium Yellow Light and Titanium white.
On reflection I think I should have stained the board with Umber as I felt the overall effect was a bit pink. What do think?

Off to see the Seals, Morston

Monday, 16 September 2013

Day 16 of 30

Excellent workshop at Morston today. Weather was bracing but a few hardy souls ventured down to the quay.
I gave a quick oil demo to get people in the mood and gave lots of tips as I went along.
The skies have been fantastic the last few days here in Norfolk so this was the main focus of the demo.

Although I managed to get a couple of other little ones done today, I decided that the demo would be my no. 16

Blakeney 14" x 18" oil

I used my limited pallet but with the addition of Burnt Umber. It was a shame that the tide was not due to come in until mid afternoon. It will be an hour later tomorrow so if we are quick in the morning we may just catch it on the way out. I hope to get there bright and early.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Day 15 of 30

Today was a challenge. I went to Weybourne beach, about two miles from the cottage. I knew it would be windy but wasn't quite prepared for how windy. First job was to tape the pallet to the easel and weigh every thing down. I had to smile as I tried to add a delicate brush stroke and it ended up an inch off target as the wind caught my arm. Oh joy of joys here comes the rain! I have bought a good brolly that attaches to the easel but if I'd used that I'd have ended up in Cromer a couple of miles down the coast.
I persevered for another 15 minutes before admitting defeat.

Storm at Weybourne 10" x 8" oil

I would not normally have posted such a failure . I think this is one I will have to come back to.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Day 14 of 30

Cold and rainy in Norfolk. Not very inspiring.
I headed out to the studio. It's still quite new so, I haven't accumulated many props so I revisited one of my favourite places, Burnham Overy Staithe. I worked from a painting that I'd done on location last year.
Decided to go back to limited pallet. Burnt Umber, French Ultra, Cad Yellow and a flick of red at the end.

Burnham Overy Staithe 10" x  8" Oil

I'm quite pleased with the finished painting, done in less than an  hour.
 Good to have a change from still life.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Day 13 of 30

Early start today. Got sort out all my painting gear as I'm off to Norfolk for the weekend and then a two day workshop at Morston, Monday Tuesday.

First though, into the studio.
I blocked this in yesterday knowing I was going to be very busy today.
I enjoyed the rich colours in the tomatoes and when I found this lonely Dahlia in the garden, I knew I wanted to paint it.
The checkered cloth was an after thought as I thought the balance wasn't quite right.

This was done very quickly. I think I work better under pressure - no time to fiddle!!
Ok, off to pack the car now and make a detour to call in on a poorly grandson

Dahlia 6" x 8" oil  £45

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Day 12 of 30

Decided to go with the flower theme again today, nothing like being out of my comfort zone.
Actually it is very much out of my comfort zone.
Found these lovely Campanula hiding in a corner of the garden. I have a collection of  vases in my studio, bought over the years for still life and love the colours and shape of this little vase.

Having set up I tried premixing my colours. Well I failed with my limited pallet so delved into my box of half used tubes . I think I tried every combo of blues, violets & pinks that I possess, could I get that elusive colour that nature has so beautifully made?? Could I heck as like.

Well, this is the best I could manage

Campanula oil on board 6" x 8"

I think I will have to revisit this subject again. I hate to be defeated. I'd better show you what I was really trying to acheive

The funny thing is, looking at the photograph, I can kind of see where I went wrong. Hopefully I'll get it right next time

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Day 11 0f 30

Another studio day.
I'm really enjoying this journey, meeting lots of amazing artists, new to me, along the way.
Decided to go a tad larger today. Also to go for stronger colour. What better than tomatoes?

I had to bring in another colour for this one. I added Cadmium Red to my pallet.
Once I was pleased with the composition, i put a square 10" x 10" board on the easel. It was a painting that I'd done ages ago and wanted to paint over it. A tip here is, if you want to paint over an old picture, turn it upside down. That way you won't be distracted by the original.
It's a lovely surface to work on, I often do this, sometimes leaving some of the original showing through. (Doesn't always work with nudes!)

This painting almost painted itself and was finished in an hour

Tomatoes 10" x 10" oil on board  £120

To see some of the other artists' work go to

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Day 10 of 30

What to paint ? It's raining so, my planned trip has been abandoned.
Those pears look good, I'll have a go at them.

I want to paint these fast and lose so I premix my main colours using Ultra, Perm Rose & Cad Yellow + white. I wanted to get lots of texture in the paint

Pears 6" x 8" oil on board £45
I resisted the urge to adjust and am quite pleased with the results.

I am enjoying following the progress of the others artists. I think some have fallen by the wayside but my favourites are still in there. If you want to have a look go to

Monday, 9 September 2013

Day 9 0f 30

Spending the day in the studio today.
I thought I'd take the pressure off by posting a painting I did a couple of days ago.
Flowers are not a subject that I'd normally tackle in oils but in my quest to push myself out of my comfort zone......

An Apology 10" x 10" oil on board  £95

A friend brought these round. There is a story behind the title but that's for me to know and you to wonder about.
Needless to say she is forgiven