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Made it!

Wow, that was a marathon adventure and like all good runners, towards then end I had to slow down rather than just stop and call it quits.

But like all things, its when you’re stretched and challenged that growth occurs.

The daily (or technically I should say sustained) practice of showing up to paint has indeed kept me creative and accountable for doing so.

And I have found that my muscle memory and my hand eye co-ordination has improved and that I’m as surprised as anyone when I can capture a plant in a few strokes of a brush and with a limited colour range.

In short, practice makes you better at looking and capturing.

Which shouldn’t surprise me really.

We know if we exercise that our muscles become stronger but probably don’t talk much in those terms of the process of practising creatively.

And we should, because it does work the same way.

I have thoroughly enjoyed naming the plants in my garden – many of which I have inherited from the previous owners or Mother Nature.

And I have a unexpected sense of satisfaction to have two books full of catalogued plant names.

But I am glad it’s finished now and as the season winds down I won’t have the challenge of finding something new to include.

With hindsight 100 was a lot and maybe 75 would have suited me just enough.

So when I calculated that there were only enough pages in the book for 96 I took that as a divine compromise ๐Ÿ˜‰

I have been falling and leaping my way through this #100dayproject of Painting Something From My Garden Everday.

It’s not quite been everyday in a daily sense – more like nothing some days and three things another.

But for the most part it’s become a regular practice and I’ve kept up…just.

Some days I accepted a less than polished finished piece in favour of doing something rather than nothing.

I’ve also embraced my garden weeds and found them to be pretty and deserving of a place in the final book.

I’ve developed a mix of approaches to method and media.

On some rainy days I was forced to complete the work inside and I found the results were far better than when I’m painting irl.

However the feeling of, the experience of painting outside is far greater and brought a greater deal of well-being that gets lost as soon as it becomes studio work.

And I have enjoyed playing again with coloured pencils, pastels and collages solutions to painting white flowers on white paper.

That’s about it for now as things reach the final stretch – thank you for reading.

I am a third of the way through my #100daysproject of painting 100 things growing in my garden.

Any sustained effort on a project has highs and lows; I have had days of lag and disinterest, days where time is just too short and I fall behind and days of joy and peace found painting in quiet spots.

Mostly it’s been a good discipline. A bit too time consuming on some days.

But I’m loving having a little book recording my garden growing.

And above all it’s forced me to identify and name all the plants I’m recording which has been very enlightening and informative.

On with the next!

On June 1st I decided I’d commit to doing a 100days project. There were a few reasons for this:

For Christmas I got given a seed advent calendar which has been a lot of fun but also a lot of work – 25 different kinds of annuals to grow has kept me on my toes in the greenhouse. But it also means I have a lot of lovely plants to enjoy.

I had also enjoyed my residency at Winterbourne H&G so much that I had decided to try and document my own garden in a similar matter. However as is often the case when things are at home, it seems harder to paint and draw in my own garden. I have found time to do some studies and textile work but it doesn’t document the changes as I’d hoped because I can’t keep up the frequency of work needed.

Lastly, I’m back working at MAC (hurrah) and when I’m focussing on delivery I often find my own creativity takes a backseat.

So for all those reasons I started 100days of drawing/painting something in my own garden.

It doesn’t need to be finished or good and it can be quick or slow and I’m also finding I automatically apply several styles to my work but I’m not over-thinking it – just doing it, noticing and letting it be whatever it is.

Here’s the first six days.

The garden still has some treasures to be found worth painting – I have left flowers to go to seed so that there are interesting seed heads, the ornamental quince has fruited and the Marigolds soldier on regardless and all of these make lovely things to paint on this sunny day.

Just back from a lovely break surrounded by nature in West Wales.

We enjoyed lots of slow time – I love how waiting 10 mins for a kettle to boil on a gas stove really stops you in your tracks and makes you breathe.

We walked a lot – fields, beaches and nature reserves. Lottie enjoyed these to the utmost.

It was just an all round great embrace with nature, a change of pace and place.

Last week, we originally we had a weeks camping planned in Wales but they cancelled us at the last minute (campsite was a mud-slide) so we condensed our holiday into the only two days that Port Merion could accommodate us.

But what a lovely two days it was!ย 

Port Merion is is a village built in the style of an Italian village but in North Wales. It was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975.

It’s quirky, pretty, tucked away from the rest of the world and you can stay in the houses you see or the hotels.ย 

There is love and attention to architectural detail everywhere and that is matched by the abundant natural habitat and views – it’s an all round winner in my opinion.ย 

It’s one of my all time favourite places to visit.

We did all the walks – (coastal, woodland and ‘the other one’) marvelling at wild Bee-Orchids, the range of colour and type of naturally growing Hydrangeas and the size of the sea (high after a stormy night) and size of the sky (BIG skies).

You can read a fuller history here if you’re interested.

This will be my final post showing all the work I completed as Artist in Residence at Winterbourne House & Gardens. This post features the Textile work that I’ve done – not the printed pieces or pattern designs which I’ve already showed you but the embroidery pieces.

These may have started life as printed textiles which were then embellished with stitch but they have come to life as either hand or machine embroidered works of art.

I had grand plans to do much more; Margaret Nettlefold (one of the original home owners) was very fond of needlework herself and so it was very in keeping to follow this line of response.

However if you’ve ever done any embroidery yourself, you’ll know how time consuming it is. The chair featured here is an old oak chair from WH&G and emulates the chair seat cover that Margaret herself made which is on show in the house.

And so that ends this chapter of work for me. It has challenged and inspired me as an artist.

I can’t remember having such a long-standing project before which is a lesson in pace and stamina in itself.

It’s been a real treat to have had this opportunity and whilst I could still do it all again and find I haven’t enough time, I am also complete and ready to focus on new inspiration to work from.

Here in no particular order of date painted or size, are the 12 paintings I have completed as part of my Artist in Residency at Winterbourne House and Gardens, Birmingham University.
I like to work in many styles as a response to what I’m seeing to paint.
Most are gouache watercolour layered up with texture and washes of colour. But there are also a couple of mixed media pieces with acrylic.
I started out with grand plans to document the seasons passing or the same plants at different points in time but actually I was quickly over whelmed by how much growing goes on and how much there was to document in so many valid ways.
In the end I opted for a simple formula – I painted whatever brought me joy, whenever, wherever it did.
This project has stretched and challenged my ability as an artist to capture landscape, light, the feel of a place and working to represent a lot of visual information even in smaller works.

The first print design I made back in Spring 2019 as part of my Residency at Winterbourne HG is also the last I have to show you here.

I had been quietly sketching in the Walled Garden when a mouse felt brave enough to leave one bed, cross the grass and dive into another just to my side.

That mouse made it into the print as did the flowers and birds that I observed around the site at the time.

It’s been test printed up in a number of colour-ways by heat-press transfer printing and screen-printed by hand after I’d exposed a screen but ultimately the details are so fine that it’s only got digital printing in it’s future.

It nearly got birthed as wrapping paper for the shop but in the end the margins for production on it weren’t viable – such is the life of a designer; making by hand is the most satisfying and sometimes also the least! But it remains a firm favourite of mine and I hope one day it can show the world it’s charm.

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I had a to-do list today & printing this wasnโ€™t on it BUT I had to try out my new printing inks from @pickprettypaints straightaway ๐Ÿ˜„๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒˆ #textiledesign #textileart #patterns #print #printmaking #linocut #fabricprint #fabricdesign #pattern #patternmaking #linoprint #fabricprinting #patternlove #lino #alwaystimeforpatternmakibg #linoprinting
Took a little Insta break to play around painting & drawing (more on that to follow ๐Ÿ’ซ) and complete some other projects -see my Stories today for a little round up ๐ŸŽฅ #anartistslife #catchup #artistsoninstagram #paintingplaydate #artistworld #mywork #artworkinprogress
Iโ€™ve reached the end of my #100dayproject ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป but maybe not in 100 actual days plus there are only 96 pages in my book ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ so I lost stamina towards the end and had to really search the garden for something not yet studied but Iโ€™ve done it โ˜บ๏ธ hereโ€™s about half of them ๐Ÿ–ผ#sketchbook #creativelifehappylife #creativityeveryday #dailypracticeofpainting #artistsoninstagram #gouache #inspiredbythegarden #artist #mygardenflowers #painting #paintersofinstagram #art#alittleeachday #gouachepainting #watercolour #watercolor #flowers #paint #sketchbookdrawing #daily #dailypracticeofpainting #watercolourpainting #paint #paintingflowers #creativity #everyday #artwork #100dayproject2021
Hereโ€™s the final few to complete my 100dayproject of painting 100 things from my garden ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿ…๐Ÿชด๐ŸŒท๐Ÿฅฌ#sketchbook #creativelifehappylife #creativityeveryday #dailypracticeofpainting #artistsoninstagram #gouache #inspiredbythegarden #artist #mygardenflowers #painting #paintersofinstagram #art#alittleeachday #gouachepainting #watercolour #watercolor #flowers #paint #sketchbookdrawing #daily #dailypracticeofpainting #watercolourpainting #paint #paintingflowers #creativity #everyday #artwork #100dayproject2021

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