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Our first night’s exercise was to play with the acrylic paint which was watered down to the consistency of water-colour paint. What fun! I can’t remember the last time I just sat and played with paint for no other reason than to play. It made me wonder if my creativity isn’t becoming a little goal orientated maybe?
The following day we spent a session getting the maximum from our brushes. I’ve got loads of different brushes but I hadn’t realised that most of them do the same job – that is they are the same length and pretty much the same size. Bit of brush shopping ahead. Yay! A longer haired brush will hold more paint and so won’t need refilling so often. All that means that you can get great quality paint lines. Here is the master himself at work. I was gobsmaked that with a size 16 brush he could paint such a variety of lines just by using the whole length or the brush tip, pressing harder or very lightly. Amazing…
I’d never discovered watercolour board before now either. So this activity below was gently challenging.We had to paint a flower (Ian’s example photocopy can be seen below my attempt) by bleeding the acrylic colour and dragging the paint using just the large brush. Not as easy as it looks! And it goes to remind me that you’re never too old or practiced to learn some new tricks!
It’s been a hard day in the world of child education today – so I’ll be back with the rest tomorrow.
Of course I had a great time!
I’m such a scaredy cat when it comes to pushing the comfort zone a little! But it was a great weekend full of laughing and learning, and I am raring to go with my acrylic’s now I understand what I’m doing with them! And yes I do love them!!
With surroundings this beautiful it was hard not to feel inspired.
This was the view from my bedroom window.
Our tutor Ian really knew his stuff and taught us in a very laid back manner (which was very necessary at times with 8 fiesty women ranging from 29 years to 80 odd years. Poor man!)
The course focussed on learning different techniques and using the whole range of what acrylic paint can offer, from watercolour through to thicker impasto paint. Ian would work on something and film it through a camera projected onto a large screen for us all to watch. Then we had a go ourselves with him guiding us individually.
Over the course of this week I’ll saw down (oh yes!!) photograph and up load some of the work I did. But in the meantime look closely and you’ll see sneak preview here!
Some things seem like a great idea when they are far enough into the future to not seem real!
It began with the desire to master painting with acrylic’s . All the contemporary artists that I love most (Caroline Bailey and Jean Martin are my top two) use acrylic paint to great effect. So I want to too!
That means learning, and as I’ve tried before and not enjoyed the results, the logical part of me reasoned that it was time for a course. So I booked a weekend course at Farncombe Estate near the very lovely Broadway in the Cotswold’s.
But now I’m scared to go! What if I’m rubbish? What if no one speaks to me? What if I hate acrylics afterwards anyway?
I guess the only way out is forwards!! See you the other side…
This week at work has been a week of sharp contrasts. Exhausting, upsetting, tricky – worthwhile, helpful and touching.
So I was very happy to get the chance to sit in my PJ’s this morning, ruminating and looking to blog land for any kind of inspiration. And this is what I heard from The Vintage Magpie talking about her weekend “there was a sense of Mother Nature slowing your pace, gently pressing your shoulders down and helping you breathe easier step by step.” (So well put it’s worth quoting).
And I knew straight away that, that was exactly what I needed today – and it helped that the sun was shining and that Summer tried to hold on for one more day.
You can never under-estimate the power of a good walk, a breeze, a view and for me some ‘combing’ – beach or field – I’m not fussy!
It’s amazes me how our soul’s can navigate towards what feeds them if we follow.
And if all of that wasn’t enough I had a lovely long hour recording some of this Autumn bounty in my sketchbook. I’m breathing deeply now.
My creative, social, fun, food and people filled weekend began with a ‘sewcial’ on Friday.
My friend laid out her first ever foray into quilting. What beautiful fabrics – my hero Kaffe Fassett of course.
I dug this out from back in May when I began it (I secretly decided I didn’t like sewing by hand) and left it in a box.
Well I still don’t like sewing by hand but I really want that cushion so I’ll have to finish what I’ve started. My technique to achieve this, is to work at it at every spare moment and get it over with as soon as possible!
And in and around spending time with my lovely friends and well loved family, I have also finished the second painting of the gorgeous bird plates I bought from Anthropologie. (Did I mention yet how much I love that store?!) Hope you had a replenishing weekend too.
Before too long passes and it’s no longer appropriate, I want to tell you about this years Camping Wars!
We’ve been going to Greenbelt with friends for some years. My friend used to really hate camping (had no equipment or enthusiasm for it) now she just pretends to (yes you do, you know it!) Anyway, last year I was not in the mood at all and left many necessary things at home (including the right tent poles). So her camping star was able to ascend fully (she now has a huge tent, airbeds, tables…the whole gumbo) whilst mine plummeted from the sky in a muddy puddle of failure!
So this year was deemed Camping Wars year, and my daughter and myself worked hard to not only remember everything we might need, but also to add some Country Living touches.
It was agreed that we won on style (think bunting, flowers, cakes) but they won on technology (think gas powered fridge, collapsible washing up bowl, computer printout dinner menu) although that cupcake stand above was actually my birthday present from them.
It also gave me the impetus to get the Shirt Quilt finished in time to throw it casually across the grass and lounge on it!
There is always a really rich mix of cultural, spiritual, art, craft, Christian, literature, live music, food and social conscience on the menu. I heard the wonderful Rob Bell all three times (no mean feat given the 90 minute queuing). I also caught the Visionaries exhibition from Wallspace.
I love the stylisation and the colour palette in this painting by Anthony Goble called The Angel & The Beadsman.
Likewise in this painting by Clive Hicks-Jenkins called Green George – that red horse is so vivid in real life even the Pre-Raphaelites would have been jealous!
Phew! That was along picture filled post! Think I deserve some lunch now
After a summer of gallivanting it was good to find time to paint on Sunday. This beautiful plate came from Anthropologie.
Dunno if it’s turning 40 that’s done it, but I’m really hankering to slow life down at the moment. I’m not savouring the taste of things, I’m stressed about dates and deadlines. I watch the clock and measure out what can be achieved in the time. There’s always such a lot that could be done and I’m always striving to achieve it (knowing I won’t).
I read this, this morning from this book…
I wish that life should not be cheap, but sacred,
I wish the days to be as centuries, loaded, fragrant.
Ralph. W. Emerson
And that’s what we’ve tried to achieve today. Both literally in harvesting the fragrant lavender for future craft projects, but metaphorically too by savouring each other’s sacred company, creating alongside each other, cooking and eating together and slowing the day right down so that it has been a century long day. Hope your Sunday has been a day worth having too.
Here’s a bit from last nights Private View of the current Friends of the RBSA exhibition.
© Circus Girl by Claire Leggett – Sept 2009
I did manage a smile here but didn’t feel on top form last night as earlier in the day someone had driven into the side of my car and I’d ended up on the wrong side of the road! Not injured but a bit shaken all the same.
The overall prize winner last night was well deserved by Penelope Timmis. Her whole submission (3 paintings) won first prize. This was my favourite. It is either Gateway or St David’s Gate ( forgive me not knowing, I did have a bad day yesterday!) I love the colours, layering and depth to it. It’s beautiful.
Exciting news in yesterday’s post! You see those three ticks? That means yes to exhibiting three of my paintings in the forthcoming RBSA Friend’s exhibition!