Sunday, 31 July 2011

For Sandra and Prabal

For Sandra and Prabal, who very kindly tagged me in a post.
Usually I don't do tag posts or awards, as you may have noticed.
But this one was relating to art and my personal feelings, so I'm having a go!

The questions:

– Your most beautiful post
– Your most popular post
– Your most controversial post
– Your most helpful post
– A post whose success surprised you
– A post you feel didn’t get the attention it deserved
– The post that you are most proud of

My most beautiful post is also the one I am most proud of. 
In Immolatum I see the beauty of the sacrifice that Jesus made for me. His face, though in pain, is beautiful to me. 
I am most proud of it, because I wanted to paint Him since first I put brush to paper, some 14 years ago. Only with this post, did I feel ready. Its an achievement and a milestone for me. 

My most popular post is the one where I talked of The Great Scheme of Things and Artistic Ambition
How we progress as artists and yet keep our feet on the ground. And my own artistic ambition. Not letters after my name, nor prize winning paintings... you'll have to read it to see what! 

Most controversial is tricky.  I don't aim to be controversial. I paint with love and feeling. 
Perhaps I shall give the title of this to The Diamond Roxy
Not because of any great controversy, but from the comments. Some of my arty friends showed how I could possibly improve and the owner of the dog leapt to the painting's defense saying she wouldn't change a thing. That's about as controversial as I get :) 

My most helpful post

was a recent one, Its All About Art . I had been to an art event in London and one of the artists there that I was talking to had free online lessons. I posted the link so that all my blogging friends who may not have access to classes could get some tuition online. 

a post who success surprised me was Jellyfish: Black and White
Its had more views in the last month than it had when I posted it! 

a post that didn't get the attention it deserved has to be one from when I first started blogging and I only had a few followers. 
Inspiration.. how Sowing the Seeds came to be

The original posts that Sandra and Prabal tagged me in were posted last week when we were in the throes of the first week of the kitchen rebuild.  I'm late, so I'm not tagging anyone. If you haven't participated and you'd like to look back over your own blog, please do copy the questions and post on your own blog.  Kind regards, Pat xx

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Anniversary Waltz

Every summer I like to buy a new book or dvd on watercolour and use it to inspire me to create in a different style.

At the art event I bought Ann Blockley's Experimental flowers in Watercolour - and its inspired me to be loose and wild in my flower paintings.

The Anniversary Waltz was named for our anniversary, but also for the two elements in the picture of the flower and the twig. They reminded me of a married couple. One bright and happy, the public face and the other muted and sturdy, like a backbone.

So here, for your delight,

Anniversary Waltz

and here it is with a mount around it, so you can see what its like when its hanging. 

AW on easel.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Pair and Pears

We have a three day break in the building works whilst we wait for the newly plastered kitchen to dry. So I though I'd come say hello :)

Today is our wedding anniversary  - 22 years.
We're off out in a little while for a celebratory lunch.

I have managed to do a couple of little studies of pears - hope you enjoy them.
Tomorrow and the day after I'm going to visit all your blogs. I just know there'll be some interesting posts I've missed.

Both of these pears were made in four colours - French Ultramarine, Transparent Yellow, Permanent Rose and Sap Green.

Both made on sample papers I picked up at the art show.
The first allowed to bleed wet-in-wet, and the second painted layer over layer, wet on dry.



and now a little something for you, in celebration...

If anyone would like to own one of these pears, please leave a comment saying which one you'd like.  If there are many who'd like to own one, I'll draw a name from the hat on Sunday. This is open to all, no matter where you live.
have a great day ! xx

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Its All about Art - and a Kitchen !

Yesterday I went to an art event in London, run by the Society for All Artists - called Its All about Art. Held at the Business Design Centre in Islington.

There were demonstrations by professional artists, workshops in which you could try your hand at various techniques. They all lasted about three quarters of an hour each.
Spread over two floors, there were also a multitude of trade stands, selling all sorts of product, from paint to mediums, to mount cutters and framing kits.

It was a fun day. I was there from 10am - 4 pm and enjoyed it thoroughly. Sat in on a few demos and workshops and  bought some dvds and books - and a Longridge mount cutter. Seriously impressed with that.

Got a few pics for you.

Missy, wanting to go too ...

Me,  ready for the off.

a workshop in progress

a finished demo painting

and some artists with their demo pics.

oh - and something for all of you to try, should you so wish!
A very  warm and caring artist, Dee Cowell, gave me a leaflet about her website, which has over 50 FREE lessons in watercolour, drawing, acrylic and oils.
Free written notes too -and free support and critiques from the tutor.
She understands not all regions of the world have easy access to painting classes or clubs - so she made this website. For those of you who have kids, there is a section for them too :)
Free Art lessons HERE
Dee Cowell's own site HERE

Now for the Kitchen tale.

For the next two weeks, we are having a kitchen re-fit.
The old is being stripped out completely and the new will be in and finished, I am promised by the 8th August.
So I shan't be around very much in that time.
I am already looking forward to seeing your blogs after its all done.
Take care  - - and see you soon.

Friday, 22 July 2011


Paul and I got a surprise in the mail yesterday!

It was a gift from Sharon, who came to the Hashim Akib  portrait demo with me.

She painted an acrylic portrait of our darling Missy.

If you'd like to see more of Sharon's work, go HERE

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

This Old House

This is my painting from the Painting Friends "Year of Painting" challenge, where once a month we have to paint from a provided photo and share our process.

Number Four, Crooked Houses

Personal Goals for this Painting:

Firstly I set some goals for my thumbnail sketches.
These were :
  1. do a thumbnail showing the scene as is
  2. on two thumbs, eliminate different elements
  3. on one thumb be off the wall
  4. Choose which one of these thumbnails to paint.

Choosing (3), the choices for the painting were to try to
a) try to make the crooked houses believable - and to add some crumbling plasterwork!

So, here's the painting: This Old House

What works and what could be improved.

I think the houses look believable. I think perhaps the crumbling plaster is too uniform.. I should have made more ragged shapes, perhaps.

Challenges Faced

Oh the challenge for me! I hate things that look crooked, so somehow I had to make these look real, without tinkering too much and making them perfectly level!

Share Personal Goals and whether you felt you Met Them

My goals were to make the four thumbs again, pick a technique for crumbling plaster and to create a feeling of older crooked houses.
Did I manage that? I think so, though I can see room for improvement. (Without re-building the houses to suit !)

How I created the Painting.

I created the painting by painting the sky first. When that was dry, first pale coat on each building, then when dry, a second coat leaving small areas unpainted. Then I created an edge around those small areas to mimic crumbling plaster. Window and doors were painted, mindful of shadows. The painted borders to the original windows were reduced, because I thought they detracted from the building. Dry brush on the pavement and then big shadow washes!

Size of Painting, Medium, Palette and Brushes.

The painting is on Arches Aquarelle Rough 140lb and is 11” x 7”
The medium is pencil for the under drawing and watercolour for the painting. W&N artists quality .
Palette colours used : French Ultramarine, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red, Yellow Ochre., Burnt Sienna.
Brush: Kolinsky numbers 12 and 7

PS: The title comes from a song that Shakin' Stevens once sang, and I saw him perform at Shepherd's Bush, London. (yes, in my youth!)
The lyrics included " ain't got time to fix the shingles, ain't got time to fix the floor" which suited this crooked house and my feelings on it, down to the ground!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Cowgirl VI: Looking to the Future

Good Sunday morning to you all !

We had such a wet day yesterday, that I sat at the dining table and painted in the afternoon.
I thought it would be a treat to have another in the Cowgirl Series.
If you'd like to see I-V, click Here and scroll down a little.

So, after Masking the Pain (V), our girl is getting over the break up and the pain has faded. She is looking forward to the future again.

Cowgirl VI: Looking to the Future

And in other news, Missy has had her annual check. The vet has said she's in fabulous shape for 13.5, with everything in tip top condition. There is no sign of any cancer regrowth, either.  And when the vet gave her a piece of duck as a treat, darling Missy was so delighted, she made a huge fuss of the man :) 
Here she is, once we were home :

Thanks for visiting my blog - and have a blessed Sunday all xx

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Through thick and thin

I've been busy with the aquapasto again!

Two smaller paintings, both 11 x7 . Arches 140 Rough.

Trying out the two ends of the medium - applying it very thickly and then very thinly on the second.
First painting up is the thick aquapasto

Raw Perry

and the second is the thinly applied aquapasto

The Sea Dog

As always, I appreciate your comments and observations and critiques. 

I've enjoyed using the aquapasto, stretching its limits. I have found I can't blend it too well. But then it is for impasto work, so I will enjoy it for what it can do. 

I am going to return now to watercolour, pure and simple. I'm missing some aspects, like the fizzing of the colours on paper.  There'll be some of each in my future - I love them both!  Take care and enjoy the week xx

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Two of us.

When there is no time to paint, sometimes  I draw.  Sometimes I put my feet up on the sofa too :lol:

Last night, whilst Paul was cooking supper (angel hair pasta and pesto sauce for those who like to know) I picked up a HB pencil and drew some fruit .

They remind me of my hubby and I - oddly shaped, but we're a pair too :)

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Picnic Sets - the range.

You remember I had some picnic sets made, using the photos of Spotty and Missy?

I also had some others made, but couldn't show you because they were presents!
Now they have all been delivered and enjoyed, I'd like you to see the others.

Hillbilly Handiworks - who made the picnic sets has made a blog about them all - so I am going to direct you there to see all of the photos . Go HERE to view.

and I shall just show you one of the presents :)

How did she do it?
I sent her a photo of my painting via email  and somehow she transferred it on to fabric and made this picnic keepsake. Such a unique gift!

You can have any photo you like transformed in this way. A favourite holiday snap, a meaningful painting, a child - or like I did too, this one of my darling dog, Missy!

I hope you enjoy your visit to Hillbilly's blog - its well worth the trip :)
Pat xx

Friday, 8 July 2011

Almost Home

I'm still having fun with this aquapasto medium. I want to push it and watercolour to its limits.
That way I will know what it is capable of and how best to utilise it.

So for this painting, the method employed was sweeping impressionistic brush strokes and leaving them visible. As the yellow flower was bright, I wanted this to feel dark and moody.

Painted on Arches aquarelle rough paper, 140 lb and size - 15 x 11

Almost Home

and here is the same painting on the easel 

I'd be very interested to hear your views, suggestions and questions . 

My next painting with this medium will see me trying to blend the strokes in the manner of the oil painting masters.. so that no stroke is visible. That should be interesting too! 

I would also love to know if any of my artist friends here are going to give this medium a try - or whether its not your cup of tea?

Thursday, 7 July 2011

And now... for something completely different!

Good morning, friends!

I have subtitled my blog as a journey... and today's post is all about a learning part of this journey.

Here's the flower painting close up

and here it is on the easel at a distance of about four-five feet away.

Looks quite dramatic for a watercolour, doesn't it?
That's because some of this - Winsor and Newton Aquapasto - has been added to the wash before the paint hit the paper.

This was given to me by my art tutor, Steve Cook last Wednesday, as he thought I was "on the brink of creativity" :)
I have had great fun playing with it - it turns your watercolour washes into a buttery consistency, like oils. I took this painting back to the art class this week and Steve thought it had great impact, and did indeed look like an oil.

I love it!
I painted the picture vertically and I was standing! Made a lovely change from sitting down to work - and helped me free up immensely. It also made a difference in being able to stand back and assess the picture. Not something I do enough when I'm sitting!

I can see me using this a great deal. I don't think my workbox will ever be without it. :)
Next for me to try is a moody sky over a lake in Scotland.. watch this space!

Monday, 4 July 2011

The Alphabet Paintings: N

When I first saw this photo, I thought the Native American would make a lovely painting for the Alphabet Series.
But the more I looked, the more it seemed to me, the portrait would be more powerful in pencil.

So I present to you.. N is for Native American Indian... called Nantan, which is Apache for Spokesman


Friday, 1 July 2011

Beloved of Zeus

Morning Friends.

Just before I start work this morning, I thought to show you my latest painting, of a paeony in my garden. I've made it a little stylised, but I like it all the more for that :)

Why the title?  In Greek Mythology Paeon was assistant to the physician of the Gods, Asclepius, who became jealous of his student. Zeus turned him into a flower to save him.

Beloved of Zeus

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