Yay – a breakthrough!

I’ve always loved the effects that watercolourists produce yet I have given up on this medium probably more often than I’ve eaten a roast dinner!  Well, today I attended a workshop given by Sue Searle for the Tiverton Art Society and, thanks to the excellent instruction I finally began to understand the techniques involved and I now feel much more confident in adding watercolours to my repertoire.  Chuffed with today’s ‘play’!

Sue Searle's watercolour workshop Sept 2016

Never satisfied!

Back in the studio I decided to experiment with mixed media, preparing a watercolour base and then trying to decide what to do with it.  Painting still doesn’t come easily to me and I continue to be much more at home with a pencil, crayon, or pastel stick.  After a frustrating couple of days I’ve decided to leave this one alone now – at least for the time being!  I like the mood but I’m not that happy with the colour mixing (my Achilles heel). . .


How do artists do it?

I’ve been sketching recently and I simply don’t know how artists manage to capture moving images!  It’s all very well sketching buildings and even landscapes – I can cope with that, but animals and people, etc?  Perhaps my challenge is that I work quite slowly (although I’m trying to speed up and simplify).   Well, here’s Larry who kept raising and lowering his head but otherwise kept pretty still for me!Larry 2016.jpg

New horizons

The Tiverton Art Society have, for a long time, arranged sketching afternoons during the Summer months but I’ve never before made the effort to go along – until this year.  Today, when clouds sped across the sky and the occasional light shower moistened the landscape, a small group of us met at Fursdon House, one of Devon’s oldest family homes.  We each set off in different directions in search of inspiration and we were not disappointed.

This was a significant departure for me given that I do pretty much all my art in the studio, working from photographs I’ve taken.  Being essentially shy and somewhat diffident about my skills I have no desire to work in public, risking strangers observing my efforts and offering comments!  However, there weren’t many folk about this afternoon so I felt safe enough to stretch myself even further and attempt a sketch of the house itself.  As you may know, my preferred subjects are portraits of people or animals, so I have limited experience of buildings;  yet I am fascinated by perspective, so I gave myself permission to make a complete hash and set to with gusto, making strong marks in ink on paper instead of tentative ones in pencil.

In the end I surprised myself – not only because I was pleased with the result but because I really enjoyed my somewhat bolder approach.  I may even develop the sketch later and turn it into a painting.  I’m certain I shall return to Fursdon House which offers such a wide variety of subjects and inspiration as the seasons change.Fursdon House

Truths, untruths, and half-truths

The sea has long since washed away the sand sculpture I created with this title, a work inspired by the EU referendum debate.  My lovely husband suggested I did a painting based on it;  something I hadn’t considered before.  While camping at the weekend I took the time to make a start and today I finished the work.  I surprised myself!  I’ve never until now done abstract painting and I was quite taken aback at how much I enjoyed giving myself permission to indulge in texture and colour rather than worrying about accuracy or a likeness.  What do you think?

Truths, untruths, and half-truths

My latest commission

A while ago a lovely gentleman telephoned me to say he’d bought the pastel painting I did of a King Charles spaniel (from a photo I took at a local dog show a few years back).  He told me he used to have a pair of spaniels so he asked if I would do another painting (this time of a tricolour) so he could have a permanent reminder of his pair of faithful friends.  Well, of course I obliged!

Man's best friend

Read all about it!

I belong to the Tiverton Art Society (founded in 1971) and, thanks to the efforts of our PR lady, there is a splendid double page spread in the July issue of the Devon Life magazine.  Imagine my delight when I discovered that my work is featured! DevonLife

Voting day draws ever nearer!

Seeking the truth
I have spent a significant amount of time over the past few weeks trying to get my head around the EU referendum debate.   So, the other day,  when I found myself on an empty beach with an out-going tide I felt inspired to create a couple of sand sculptures.  The first I called ‘Truths, untruths, and half-truths’.  This one I entitled ‘Seeking the Truth’.  I worked under an overcast sky so the lighting hasn’t produced the tonal contrasts I would have liked.  I also discovered just how hard it is to create a pyramid!

Finding my way


Sea and sky have always held a magic for me, ever since I was a small child walking on the firm sand beside the waves, seeking out pretty shells, savouring the taste of salt on my lips and the fresh breeze cooling my bare limbs.  Capturing this essence on canvas, however, is another matter altogether!  So I’ve been experimenting with clouds (in acrylic).

Pushing the boundaries

Buttons MMFor the first time, following encouragement and suggestions given to me by Donna Crawshaw at a recent acrylic workshop, I’ve been experimenting with mixed media and I’m very pleased with the results.  This, in case you don’t recognise it already, is gorgeous little Buttons rendered in pastel on an acrylic  under-painting.  I think it works rather well.