Thursday, 17 August 2017

A Workshop With Kerry Harding...


Last month I visited The St Ives School Of Painting for an Experimental Oil Painting workshop with Kerry Harding. I have been a fan of Kerry's work for years and was very excited to meet her and see her paint.

The studios have been recently renovated and are so beautiful and inspiring, I was in heaven!

This handsome chap caught my eye and later appeared in one of my paintings!

Just look at the view!

Kerry even made us cups of tea!

And the crockery is from the fabulous Leach Pottery!

Now I am a tad nervous when it comes to oil painting, but Kerry was an excellent tutor.
She was so generous with her knowledge and techniques and the examples that she showed us were stunning...
We quickly went to experiment, dripping, pouring and scraping to our hearts' content.
I went through quite a few plastic gloves!

And soon everyone's tables were looking very exciting!

I really enjoyed building up the layers on my little abstracts.

The School were extremely generous with the materials available.

I even became inspired when I spilled some thinner onto the newspaper!

Here are my three little abstract paintings,(and the horse picture that I did during the dinner break!)

And then it was time to down pinnies and go home...

I really can't recommend The St Ives School Of Painting workshops enough.

If you're in Cornwall it's definitely worth treating yourself to a day (or two or three!) of pure inspiration.

Everyone there was so helpful and friendly and the place is stunning.

And on my way home I did a little curtesy as I was passing Alfred Wallis' cottage...





Wednesday, 9 August 2017

The Lonesome Bear...


It's only as the animal or person emerges that sometimes they tell me their story.

Some characters are very shy, and I have to remember that I can't force their secrets from them, otherwise they might disappear back into the paper or canvas.

But some characters can't wait to tell me all about it, and this rather handsome bear was one of them.

You see, at first I had planned to make a lady bear, but it wasn't to be.

I did enjoy making his dungarees, but he had a rather wistful look in his eye.

As soon as his outfit was finished he told me his tale, and he asked very politely if I could make him a bunch of flowers.


It had been a long and bitter winter but now the Spring flowers were beginning to emerge and the warm, gentle currents of air coaxed the bear out of his slumber.

He let out a sigh as he began to remember the dream that had never left his heart throughout those long and lonely months.

He gently hummed to himself as he picked a small bunch of flowers that grew on the mountainside..

'Will you be my sweetheart?

Will you love me true?

Will you be forever mine?

Will you say 'I do'?'

He wore his very best pair of dungarees, began to walk along the path by the stream, and tried to hold his nerve...


Friday, 4 August 2017

The Secret Garden...


I love messing about with concertina sketchbooks.

Here's one I painted a few weeks ago, would you like a peek?

It's pretty long, so I had to photograph it in sections...

It really helped me to 'loosen up' and try out some mixed media techniques.

I think it has a 'secret garden' quality to it.

He does look a bit lost doesn't he!

The paper in Moleskine sketchbooks are such good quality, so it can handle quite a lot of layering.

I'm pretty heavy handed when I'm painting.

I think the colours are a bit tropical, I think I was looking forward to the summer hols!

And she's just a bit bonkers really!

Hope you enjoyed having a little flick through my book!



Tuesday, 1 August 2017

August:Creative Prompt:

Hope you're enjoying your holidays if you're on your summer break.
Hope you like this month's Prompt chucks.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Once Upon A Time...


A little while ago I posted a photo of this piece of work in progress.

A lovely Instagram friend of mine called Diane wrote the most magical story about this girl.

I asked her if I could blog this story to share with you all.

Please make yourself a cup of tea, get yourself comfy, and enjoy...


So once there was a young girl who lived in the Breton countryside.

The place was quiet and the pace of life was slow.

Lapin was an only child and both her parents worked all day, retting, spinning, weaving and bleaching the linen.

When the linen was woven, it would be spread out on the fields and the sun would work its magic, and the cloth would bleach.

Lapin's parents were so tired that they would be late going to collect the linen spread out on the grass. It was Lapin's job to make sure that the rabbits didn't run across the cloth as they would mark it with their paws and droppings.

As Lapin had no other friends she would watch the rabbits and only gently shoo them away.

One evening when she came back from the fields with her mother and father, she pulled some of the beautiful creamy coloured linen over her head. Two corners flopped down over her back and when her mother looked an idea came into her head.

That night she stayed up very late, the night was warm, and as always quiet. She carefully cut out a shape and stitched away with some linen thread that she had spun. Eventually she went to bed delighted with what she'd made and so fell asleep with a satisfied smile on her face.

The following day, before Lapin went out to sit in the fields to watch over the cloth bleaching in the sun, her mother handed over a piece of folded linen. Lapin thought maybe it was some bread and cheese for her to eat. The folded piece is too light to hold anything... Lapin shakes the piece open and finds that her mother has made the most beautiful hood for her daughter to wear.

What is so special about the hood is that it has long ears hanging down from the crown. Lapin immediately pulled the hood over her head, there was an opening for her face and the hood fitted snugly down her neck.

She kissed her mother and then ran and ran and ran out to the fields. As she ran the beautiful gentle ears bounced up and down.

Later, as she crouched on her knees with her arms stretched out in front of her and her head resting on her knees she saw the rabbits coming to nibble the grass and play in the late sun.

Lapin was very happy.

No longer did she need to shoo the rabbits away as they came nearer and nearer to her.

Nowhere in those fields was there a happier little girl and such contented, calm rabbits.

Thank you so much Diane, it's such a beautiful story, I really think that the little community we have online is really special and supportive of each other.