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I’m popping in to let you know that Winterbourne House and Gardens have booked me for a day of painting fun on July 2nd. You can view the details here if you’re interested – we will be collaging canvases, having fun mark making and using the beautiful gardens to gather and sketch ideas to paint. And if your worried about your artistic abilities – don’t! I always have reference books and tracing paper tucked away 😉
I’ve also ordered sunshine so that we can eat ice creams and enjoy the grounds!
Half term has been a welcome break in the normal in and out of running classes and has afforded me a block of time to paint. It’s been a while – on day one I had zero concentration for it and had to really plug away but it always falls into place if I keep at it.
And the slower mornings have meant a cup to tea in bed accompanied by something from my enormous post-Christmas reading pile. Inspiration abounds now.
This week I hung an exhibition of my work at the Coach House Gallery which is at Winterbourne Botanical Gardens, Birmingham.
Winterbourne is part of the Birmingham University campus.
It’s an Edwardian Arts and Crafts house built for the family of John Nettlefold in 1903.
It’s last owner bequeathed it to the University where it became the Botanical Gardens in 1944.
It’s one of those magical places that has held onto the history of the past and simultaneously successfully embraced the future.
And my colourful work has ushered Spring in a little earlier than Mother Nature (it’s trying to snow today)
Exhibition hanging takes patience and stamina (good step-ladder muscles!)
I have laid out sketchbooks, pattern design swatches, an old paint palette, some tubes of paint, brushes, pencils and design work that shows how I use my original paintings digitally.
It was fun to set the scene.
And now I’m happily heading off to a restful weekend – there’s a G & T with my name on it!
Exhibition is up until 12th March
Happy New Year all.
Fingers crossed for weeks 2, 3, 4 ..!
Since coming back from France in the Summer I have had about 200 photos of inspirational places and scenes pinned to my studio board. And over these past few weeks I have been wooed to paint again having spent a lot of time more recently concentrating on printing and textile work (just because I wanted to !)
I have learnt in the last few years of my art practice that even when I think nothing creative is happening, that in actual fact a lot is percolating away and marinating in the creative juices – almost as if I am thinking things through unconsciously out of the corner of my eye every time I glance at the pin-board and then suddenly it falls into place.
These photos are a case in point as I suddenly came in one morning and knew I wanted/was drawn/felt ready to get painting. And I was having a YOLO moment and just dug into my acrylic paints and canvas boards that have been waiting for a special moment – which of course never comes ‘cos who knows if it’s special till it’s done?!
This scene was a lovely textural, patterned valley in the South of France overlooking La Castellet Valley and I have switched it up by approaching the colours like The Fauves would (I’ve written about it before here) and loads of layers of yummy colours.
After along hiatus in painting activity around here, I have unpacked some lovely new paints and re-discovered my happy place. Inspired by our French holiday I have added some colour and warmth to my otherwise cold studio.
One way to cope is to wear lots of layers – these dungarees are 27 years old! They started life with me at art college, have decorated every house we’ve ever lived in, have helped create most of my paintings and are still going strong today
I took delivery of a new sewing machine which is able to do free-motion machine embroidery – lots of fun ahead adding that to hand-prints and the like.
And yesterday I allowed myself a moment of celebration when I saw the book I’m in on the shelf in my very own local Waterstones bookshop!
Have a happy week everyone.
Todays calendar page is not wrong!
After a lovely busy Summer bursting with family affairs, teaching, holidays and other welcome distractions, today is the first day I find myself home alone and able to concentrate.
So I picked this interesting Hydrangea flower from the garden and got re-acquainted with my paintbrush. It feels good 🙂
I am grateful for the shape this artful life has taken and for the people who make it possible.
but they have since gone on to open a beautiful shop.
Alongside all the gorgeous vintage china for sale/hire and the beautifully curated things you just need to have, like the softest socks and eye-catching ceramics and pretty handmade buttons, they have been stocking some of my prints, cards and original art.
I went today to replenish the stock and had the prettiest and most delicious business meeting yet 😉
I’d recommend a visit especially as they are now licensed to sell Prosecco too!