Prep Thursday before travelling to Pittsburgh

Today has been very busy. We have been trying to get things sorted and finished ready for leaving the day after tomorrow.

My husband has been very busy with something called ‘The Gift’. It is like an art trail, but goes from church to church locally. Practising Christians who feel that they have a God given gift in relation to their art, take part. I have previously done this, but I’m afraid that this time the trip to the States has rather got in the way. It is normally very good with a lot of interesting artwork . Our church in Bosham normally gets a lot of visitors as tourists want to see the church mentioned in the Bayeux Tapestry, so this also helps the artists showing their work.

We have exceptionally lovely neighbours. Today, whilst shopping for her supper, she suddenly thought we might not take the time out to eat properly today, so sorted it for us too (not without ringing me from the shop when the thought struck). How many people have such thoughtful friends?

The pen & ink picture. I had an extremely tight deadline in that it had to be finished before we go on Saturday. It is now finished and in a mount ready to go. But you can have a brief look at it now. I hope you like it?

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Prep Wednesday before Pittsburgh trip

Nothing momentous has been happening today. My husband has booked train tickets for Saturday. Our hosts for the first couple of days have plans made for us before we continue our journey to Pittsburgh. We have discussed with our house sitters the feeding habits of our cats so that there should be no surprises there.

This morning I had the Wednesday botanical art group and it would seem that they are going to miss being here the next couple of weeks.

This afternoon I started the second layer to my pen and ink drawing. It is improving. I have tried out a couple of different type nibs and they are doing what I want them to do.

Tonight I might get to bed before midnight!

Prep Tuesday before travel to Pittsburgh

I had my normal botanical art class this morning, although it was rather slimmed down. One person was moving house, another had swapped dates and another was on holiday. But then I will be on holiday next week too.

After the class finished I did a whole lot of sorting in preparation for Saturday, after which I cut a small Oak branch with large Acorns. I decided to take a break from the crabapples in coloured pencil and practice the pen and ink technique learnt on the Sarah Simblet course. So far not so good as the ink I had was not very good quality. Mind you, bad workmen blame their tools!

Here is a picture of the actual oak branch. If the small painting works out, I will post this at a later date.

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This evening we had bible study so we now have a good basis for taking our break in America.

This is the Oak branch so far! Comments please.

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Prep Monday before Pittsburgh tour starting Saturday

Today is Monday (Tuesday really). On Friday I go to the US. Next week is the opening of the Hunt Institutes 14th International Exhibition of Botanical art and Illustration. My picture will be part of the exhibition and I will be there at the opening. What excitement – I think. My head is only just being able to think about it.

The last few months have been extremely busy between painting, teaching, exhibitions, demos and large family visitations. I have now started the last of the six Crab Apple series of pictures. None are complete, but I now have enough detail to complete each one – I hope. I was worried about getting all the detail I needed for the Golden Hornet as I had not studied the leaves and growing habit in detail. But now I am well on the way with it – as long as the fruit from my new tree continues to grow and ripen without falling off the branch before I get back from the US. I am doing the apple branch from this section of the tree. Unfortunately it doesn’t have all the leaves as per the photo, as I have been removing them one at a time to copy!

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Back to the trip. I have been doing the usual things that one does before going away. Choosing and un-choosing suitable clothes for such an expedition. Apparently it is still very warm there. Making it difficult to make the right choices when I am freezing here! Also I have to bear in mind that apart fro Pittsburgh I am hoping to avoid towns whilst over there and try and find some nice places to walk and things to sketch – thus enough sketch books, pencil etc.

My additional luxury is that the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) has their conference in Pittsburgh at the same time. I am booked to take part in that.

My tickets are booked, visa sorted, pencils and sketch books ready, prints of the work to be exhibited are also ready to take with me – in case……. I’m not ready though!

I intend to write a short blog up until and during the trip.