Catching the light

AliAfter so many dull days I was keen to make the most of this morning’s sunshine (albeit interrupted by hail showers!) so headed into the studio to finish a portrait I started during  the Tiverton Art Society portrait group’s last couple of sessions.  Our thanks to Ali for sitting for us so beautifully 🙂

Enough of stretching (for the time being)!

Having spent almost a week stretching myself with exercises in watercolour techniques I retreated yesterday back into the comfort of acrylics and a palette knife to start on this study of a wave.  It needs finishing but I’m pleased with progress so far and it may well be a candidate for entry into the Tiverton Art Society’s Spring Exhibition next month.


The wave

Tiverton Art Society Portrait Group

Cliff.jpgI’m not good at drawing every day (which is recommended by almost every professional artist) so attending the weekly portrait group on Thursday mornings (when I can) is a good discipline for me.  Cliff sat for us today and was an excellent model – he never moved!  I think we all ran out of time but I’m pleased with this sketch.  Cliff is sitting for us next week as well so I might be tempted then to have another go in pastel rather than charcoal.


Loving my town

The Christmas Fair at The Oak Room in town is not very far away (3rd Dec) so I’m aiming to add to my current portfolio of paintings in time to offer them at that event.  I’ve decided to focus on my local town, Tiverton, or Tivvy, as it is often known.  I recently completed a pastel of the Town Hall and yesterday I returned to pen and ink with a touch of coloured pencil to depict the Clock Tower.

Tivvy clock tower.jpg

Poppies, war, taxes, and peace . . .

It’s 100 years since the Military Services Act was passed following which single men between the ages of 18 and 41 were called to fight – all apart from the clergy, teachers, and those involved with essential industry.   And conscientious objectors.
Unsurprisingly the fact that The Taxes for Peace Bill had its first hearing in Parliamont on 16th July this year did not hit the media headlines any more than its second reading scheduled on 9th December is likely to.
I choose to wear a white poppy rather than a red one and I have, for many years, been a supporter of Conscience, a campaigning organisation which works to create a world where taxes are used to nurture peace, rather than to pay for war.  Rather than expound the arguments here in my own words I encourage you to read Giles Fraser’s letter in The Guardian.   Unfortunately,  he confuses pacifism with passivity but, apart from that, he sets out the arguments better than I ever could.

Three inspirational days

Nel and Rebecca, of The New Pastel School, do a first-class job of encouraging and developing the talents of their students.  We spend an excellent (if exhausting!) three days learning about mark-making, colour, tone, atmosphere, and composition in pastel painting.  There were some excellent and inspiring demonstrations but most of the time the trainers gave one-to-one advice and support to the delegates so that everyone was able to work on a subject of their choice and get the best out of the sessions.   We were encouraged to move out of our comfort zones so I opted to work on a rendering of Tiverton Town Hall, adopting a looser style than usual.  I’m pleased with the result.