Saturday, 31 January 2015

30 Paintings

Well, I did it. Painted outside every day this month.
A big thank you to all of you for following my progress and for your comments

All the paintings from the 30 days will be on show at The Lincolnshire Gallery, Spalding Common, throughout February
All for sale at £190 and I am donating 30% of all sales to the charity for MS

30 in 30

 What have I learnt?
 I know now that, if I can do it in freezing temperatures, rain and strong winds then - well I've got no excuse.
Working with a limited pallet has been helpful and having to work so quickly to capture the moment has made me faster and looser in my brush work
The one thing I had hoped for was snow and as I type this, it's snowing heavily, if it settles then I shall be out there.

A big thank you to Leslie Saeta for getting the ball rolling. Visit her blogspot  to see some of the other 1000 artists that took part in the challenge

Friday, 30 January 2015

Day 30 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

I've always fancied painting the little White House that you can see from the A16 as you go over the river. Today I parked up and went along the bank. I had to walk a fair way before I got the view I wanted. It still wasn't what I'd hoped for but there was no way I'd walked all that way for nothing. There were loads of snowdrops in flower and even the odd daffodil, I decided against putting them in.

White House by the River Welland

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Day 29 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

We've had an earthquake, rain, sun and snow in Spalding today.
Frank told me not to go out as it was sooo cold and he noticed me limping - I never was very good at doing what I'm told!!!
I was disappointed that the snow hadn't settled but there was still a dusting. I had to work quick, my paints were suffering from the freezing temperature and I was losing light fast.  I had just finished the sky turned a fiery red. I so want to work on this.

Sunset, Moulton

Day 11 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Every time we come and visit Adam and Wanda we go for a walk along the Basingstoke Canal just down the road and I've always wanted to paint it. Well, today was the perfect day for it. The family went round the park whilst I painted. Just as I'd finished they arrived with a welcome coffee.

Basingstoke Canal, Frimley Green

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Day 28 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Phew! That blew the cobwebs away. I knew it was windy, in fact it was so strong I struggled to open the car door and had to lean against it to prevent it slamming on my leg when I tried to get out . Even though I weighted my easel I still had to hang on with my left hand. The clouds fair whipped across the sky. It was very exhilarating even if I nearly fell in the mud twice.
I have been in ten minutes now and the sky has turned from brilliant blue to the most threatening looking sky in a long time. Could it be the promised snow???

Flooded Field, Clapton Gate

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Day 27 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Nice and close to home today, in fact 200 yards from my front door. Right next door to the village shop too so I had plenty of company. This doorway is now home to the church heating system but I remember leaving the church through that doorway almost 43 years ago on our wedding day.

Doorway, Moulton Church

Monday, 26 January 2015

Day 26 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Ops! Only had a half hour window to paint today. Peterborough hospital most of morning then a trip to Stamford. Stopped by the river en route to appointment with oesteopath. I rushed at this a bit but it was a good spot to be if we get rain as I can stand  under the bridge.
It was warm again today, well , 6c so the paint was very fluid again. I painted towards the sun but when I turned round there was a lovely blue sky with some interesting clouds. Maybe tomorrow?

Spalding Power Station by the Welland

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Day 25 of 30 Paintings in 30 days

Evenings are definitely drawing out, I ventured out later today and was still there too early to get the best of the sunset. I was looking straight into the sun which is not to be recommended!!
I put the paint on thickly having been used to such cold weather and freezing paints only to find that the painting got very slippery. It was quite warm (6℃) and the paints were staying more fluid.
I had to scrape off a fair bit and then I reapplied with my pallet knife.
Not so pleased with this but it's got potential

Telegraph Poles Across the Fens

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Day 24 of 30 paintings in 30 days

Another local one, I fact I walked there. It's Shivean Gate looking across to Spalding power station.
Had to stand in a ploughed field, the sun had thawed the frost during the day and when I'd finished painting, I was stuck in the mud!
I lost it a bit on this one, the paint got too thick with the cold and I overworked the horizon. Not to worry, the info is there should I decide to paint a larger version in the studio

Towards Spalding Power Station

Friday, 23 January 2015

Day 23 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

I've been waiting for snow but the frost this morning was nearly as good. It was -1℃ !!!
I waited for the sun to start going down to get a bit of colour in the sky. This one was fun but I'm off to thaw out in a hot bath now.

Frosty Fields, Weston Hills

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Day 22 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Up with the sparrows this morning, very busy day. I'm cooking for 15 for supper at mine tonight, taking Dad shopping and then treating him to lunch out, plus maybe a bit of housework.
I thought I'd have a crack at a sunrise. We've had some spectacular skies of late, typically - not this morning.
I found it difficult to get the luminescence I wanted, although I don't go back to my studies I may just try glazing this. Also my timing was wrong I'd nearly finished when the best sky appeared. I resisted the temptation to 'chase the light' also my paint was freezing!!!!

Moulton Sunrise

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Day 21 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Sleet this morning and then grey the rest of the day. I hung on til the light began to fade in the hope it would brighten up - no chance!

Little Lane, Towards Whaplode

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Day 20 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Temperatures didn't get much above freezing today and there was a lovely mist over the frosty field.
Quite a challenge.

Frosty Fields, Whaplode Drove

Monday, 19 January 2015

Day 19 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

It was an exceptionally cold and grey day today. I hung on hoping it would get better - it didn't.
Not a very inspiring view but there was a glimmer of light on the horizon and I liked the shape of the dyke.

South Drove, Spalding Common

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Day 18 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

There was a veil of mist hanging over the fields this morning and the colours were muted as the sun was breaking through. It looked amazing but no time to paint as we were heading back to Lincolnshire today. I was on Granny duty. Lilah was having a pop party for her fifth birthday, very exciting. Jo had done a good job of organising 25+ five year olds and all had a good time. Having watched Lilah open her presents I headed out. It was a very clear sky as the sun went down over the Lincolnshire fields.

Field Patterns, Moulton

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Day 17 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Woke up early peeped out to see clear skies - great. Went down and made a cuppa to take back to bed, half an hour  later, looked out again to see snow falling heavily - how did that happen?
Sadly(?) by lunch time there wasn't any sign of it at all.
I went to Blakeney today, always a favourite spot, the sun was very bright so had to turn to the left where there were some interesting clouds. This was late afternoon and I'm pleased to say the wind had dropped (a bit) but so had the temperature, it was 2C

Puddles at Blakeney

Friday, 16 January 2015

Day 16 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

I was heading for Blakeney but the light on this river caught my eye. I parked up and went onto the bank and stood with my back to iconic Cley Mill. Once again I had to work so fast to try and capture the light. I feel this subject has a lot of potential but had to stop after 3/4 hour as I couldn't feel my fingers or hold my brushes. I may try a studio painting of it one day

Looking Towards Wiveton

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Day 15 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Back in Norfolk, I was going to head for the Coast but the winds were so strong I thought it would be silly so, I stayed inland. As it was I had to set the easel up so it was half in the boot of the car and I struggled to stand at times. The clouds were galloping across the sky at an amazing rate. I could see the rain getting closer and just managed to pack up in time. By the time I got home 10 mins later - brilliant clear sky!

Galloping Clouds, Norfolk

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Day 14 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Busy day today, first I had an appointment with the physio, then popped in to daughter in law to drop off some stuff and had a coffee, off to Dad's to drop off his prescription and had another coffee, home to make Frank's lunch, a visit from a friend that needed a sympathetic ear which left me an hour before going round to Granddaughter's birthday tea. So, this is another painting from just down the road. I am enjoying painting the late afternoon skies.
Late Afternoon, Moulton

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Day 13 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Brilliant sunshine this morning as Helen and I hit the shops in Stamford. After lunch it had turned ominously grey andby the time we got back to Moulton it was raining. I knew I should have painted in the morning. By the time Helen left to head back to Norfolk it was pouring down, was I going to fail?  By 3.30 it eased off so I ventured out and to my delight , so did the sun.

After the Rain

Monday, 12 January 2015

Day 12 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

ThIs took my fancy today. I was driving to the river with artist friend Helen and we both spotted it at the same time. So I backed up and parked so that Helen could sketch from the car whilst I braved the elements. After 3/4 hour I had to stop as there was too much rain on the canvas and I was having to hold onto the easel to stop it blowing into the dyke.

Winter Filled Dyke

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Day 10 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

A different view today.  Visiting son and daughter in law at Frimley Green.  Bit of a late start and when I'd finished the lights were on in the pub but I avoided the tempting to start putting them in.

Rose and Thistle, Frimley Green

Friday, 9 January 2015

Day 9 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Winds of 113 mph were recorded in the UK today! I must admit it was a bit breezy in the Fens. I decided to use my car as a wind break and as it turned out  - a shelter from the rain. I managed to set up my tripod so that one leg was in the boot, that way I could sit on the back ledge of the car and get more protection from the elements

Easel set up for shelter

I didn't venture far again today. the view is the back of our village. Our house is nestled in between the church and the mill.

Moulton Mill & Church

Incidentally, Moulton Mill is the tallest Mill in the UK. It was restored 10 years ago and is now open to the public Thursday to Saturday

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Day 8 of 30 paintings in 30 days

Such a lovely crisp day today. This view is less than half a mile from my house in Moulton. Cabbages are not the most inspiring subject but I did like the bird scarers  and the silhouette of the barn at the end of the field.

Bird Scarers, Clapton Gate

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Day 7 of 30 paintings in 30 days

Now even I think I'm nuts! Just got in from painting in driving rain and wind. I managed enough shelter by having my car boot open.
This view is just half a mile from our village (did I mention it's a bit flat).

Clapton Gate, Moulton

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Day 6 of 30

Rained most of the day but was able to get out this afternoon. This time of year the clouds are the most amazing colours.  As the afternoon goes on they just get better. I am struggling to capture what I see.

Broccoli Field after rain

Monday, 5 January 2015

Day 5 of 30

The sun came out briefly this afternoon so I rushed out to paint this. Also it was much warmer 7℃!!!
I enjoy the wealth of subjects that Norfolk offers so, back in Lincolnshire I was wondering where to go. Where we live you can turn through 360° and not see any hills and very few trees so the sky tends to be my main subject. I love the patterns that planes make in the sky

Airplane trails 10' x 10' oil on board

Day 3 of 30

Another quick one today for two reasons, one, we'd been out all day and it was getting dark and two, it was freezing and spotting with rain.
This is the cottage next door to my studio in Norfolk. I love it's shapes against the skyline and the way the colours change as the sun goes down.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Day 4 of 30

Frosty Day at Wells

A beautiful crisp day today. We were heading back to Lincolnshire along the coast road,  my plan being to call in at Thornham to paint. Hah! I drove down a hill that was still in shade and soon realised it was a sheet of ice, we passed a lovely old MG that was embedded in the hedge and decided to head back to the main roads. We carried on to Wells and stopped there first where I was able to paint this.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Day 2 of 30

it was so cold and windy today but I was still determined to get out there. I waited until 3pm as the sky started to change colour.
My brushes were on fire as I painted so quickly to try and capture those amazing clouds. The painting took 35 minutes and when I'd finished packing up the clouds had completely gone.

Clouds over Wiveton

Round The World Blog Hop

Before Christmas I was invited by Mari French to participate in a Blog Hop Around the World. Unfortunately everyone was so busy, I couldn't find another artist to pass on to so I thought I'd wait until the new year. The Blog Hop is wherepeople share something about their current projects and creative processes. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet other artists and understand the thought processes that run through creative work of all types right round the world.
I first saw Mari's work in a mixed exhibition many years ago and was very impressed by it. I have ventured into realms of abstract painting many times and find it so very difficult. Reading Mari's blog and thought processes was very inspiring. I am pleased to say that I now know Mari and we often paint out together on the North Norfolk coast and I continue to be a great admirer of her work.

Reed beds and bird calls. Mixed media on watercolour board. Mari French.

Reed beds and bird calls. Mixed media on paper. Mari French.

Now to answer the four blog hop questions

What am I working on? 

As a mostly Plein Air painter I have been a bit restricted and reliant on others recently due to a broken ankle but I am pleased to say that it didn't stop me taking part in a Plein Air competition in Norwich.

Elm Hill

 Another trip out was to Brancaster Staithe on the North Norfolk coast with a group of like mind outdoor painters. I do enjoy the company of other artists, chatting over lunch about what we are all up to. Painting can be a very solitary occupation and input from other artists is very encouraging and inspiring. On the day I managed three small oil sketches.

I am using the information gathered on the day to work on larger studio paintings.
I love the immediacy of painting plein air as you have to work quickly to capture the moment and constantly changing light. This something that can easily be lost back in the studio when you have more time. I try to put myself back into zone, trying to recreate my responses to scene in front of me , difficult in a nice warm studio. I also find that setting a time limit helps too. I rarely work from photographs, there is a tendency to be representational if you're not careful

How Does My Work Differ in It's Genre?

That's a tricky question. To be honest, I don't think it is that different. I would like to think that I have developed my own style which I guess is something all artists strive for,  to be different and stand apart. I find it very difficult to stand back and assess my own work.

Why do I write / create what I do?

I can't remember a time when I didn't want to paint. I'm often asked where did it come from. As far as I know non of my ancestors were particularly creative. I wasn't encouraged that much either. I always wanted to go to art school but was persuaded to get a 'proper' job. So I went for the next best thing, teaching art. With the arrival of our family, I left teaching in school and went on to teach Adult Education which I found extremely rewarding. As a self taught artist, analysing other peoples paintings taught me to look at my own paintings in a different way. Eventually I had to give up the weekly classes to give myself more time for my own work. I was becoming a frustrated artist and the urge and need to paint full time won over. Today I continue to teach, taking groups abroad and teaching residential courses.

How does my writing / creating process work?

I mostly answered this in the first question.
I am constantly looking around me and am drawn to the large skies of Lincolnshire and Norfolk
I have got a neat little pochade box that I take out and about with me. This will take a panel up to 14" across. I work quickly usually completing the sketch within an hour.

Back in the studio I prepare my canvas or board with a coat of gesso to give more texture and a base coat of diluted Burnt Sienna.
 Next stage is to block in the main image with diluted Ultramarine and Burnt Umber
 The sky is tackled next using Ultramarine, Titanium White and a touch of Yellow Ochre & Magenta
The clouds and sea are a darker mix of the sky colours. I don't use pure white as I find it looks rather cold.
 Varying mixes of Yellow Ochre, Ultramarine, Magenta are still used in the next stage of putting in the pine trees, dunes and beach
I use some of the sky colour in the pine trees to define their shape. Figures help to give the painting more perspective. Diluted paint splattered on the sand is used to suggest the shingle.

One of the artists I invited to participate is Peter Barker also a Plein Air painter that I have admired for sometime now. He has held many solo exhibitions and regularly has work on show at the Mall galleries, London

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Day 1 of 30

To get the New Year off to a good start I have decided to join in Leslie Saeta's 30 day challenge
So this afternoon I wrapped up warm and headed towards the coast. This veiw of the sea beyond Weybourne took my fancy

                                                Weybourne.       10" x 12" oil on board