A student’s Iris in watercolour

I did ask this student if once she had finished her Iris picture started at the workshop a couple of weeks ago, if I could put it in the blog. Today she sent me a photo of the finished Iris – and some comments.

I am going to be a bit naughty and include some of her comments as it is so applicable to most of us as we go through various stages in learning. Luckily in botanical art, we never stop learning and there will always be the next hill to climb. However, having got to the brow of one of the hills, is a pleasing moment.

This is what she wrote:

Finished! (Well- I could go on!). I don’t know what it was about your last workshop, but something seemed to click, and I suddenly ‘got it’, if you can understand what I mean. I no longer feel a little stressed and nervous about putting paint down, but excited and much more confident. I think this is the best thing I’ve done so far. I would love some criticism.

This is the picture and I love it. It obviously helps to pull those poor plants to pieces occasionally! Well done!

Sibirica Iris in Watercolour
Sibirica Iris in Watercolour

Botanical art and the Stansted Park Garden Show

It is now the Thursday following the Stansted Park Garden Show. I can’t understand it, but everytime I write Stansted, it auto corrects to ‘stagnated’. That just is not what I want to say and definitely not what the show was like!

There was a lot of preparation for the show, in addition to everything else going on. Soon I am going to start having to say ‘no’. But it is difficult when you get asked; 1) Because others want you to take part and 2), because they like your work or your teaching.

The weather forecast for the weekend was mixed. We expected thunderstorms and rain. In actual fact, it was sunny but windy for most of the time and the rain came at night or early in the morning. Anyway, the car got packed up – thanks to Robin. But he wasn’t happy with all that had to go into it.

© 5.Stansted 15

© 6.Stansted 15

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luckily we don’t live too far away from Stansted and a few hours later we made our way home leaving the stand covered in case of storms (but not floods).

© 3.Stansted 15

The rest of the pictures tell a tale of three lovely days spent at the show, meeting lots of new people visiting the show and, of course reuniting with the stand holders who returned from last year.

We got home fairly late in the evening of Sunday having packed everything up again. But, although we unpacked the car, the sorting waited until Monday.

Now I am catching up with London Art College assignments and the next important event on the Calendar – Norway.

 

© 1.Stansted 15 © 2.Stansted 15 © 4.Stansted 15

Notice the reflection in the Umpha - umpha!
Notice the reflection in the Umpha – umpha!

© 8.Stansted 15

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the work during the Show? I have to be honest, I started the Indian Corn a long time ago and pick it up now and again. The corn doesn’t change you see, although I will need new leaves when I get that far.

The botanical art demonstration - Indian corn in coloured pencil
The botanical art demonstration – Indian corn in coloured pencil

The Bearded Iris: 52 Shades of Grey.

Today I have been licking my wounds and demonstrating coloured pencil in botanical art at the Society of Floral Painters Exhibition, the Oxmarket, Chichester. I had a lot of interested people looking at how ‘crayons’ can be used successfully. Hopefully we might get a few converts.

I have been working on a piece with Indian Corn as the subject. The painting has been going on and off for a long time, but hopefully with the little I did today and the work I will be doing on it at the Stansted Garden Show, I might get some more of it done. In time you might see it, as long as I don’t ruin that too. Understandably I am getting a little unsure about transporting work in progress after yesterday’s events!

After I came home today, I have been getting some more things ready for the show at the weekend. But I have also colour-matched and printed yesterday’s damaged original. Here it is.

The Bearded Iris: 52 shades of grey.
The Bearded Iris: 52 shades of grey.

Disaster! What a terrible Day!!!

This is a Short blog. I have a list of things to do that I need to get done today. It was going to be a late night and I was prepared for it.

The blog I wrote didn’t go straightforwardly as for some reason with this new Mac program with photos in the cloud, I can’t download them straight to my blog unless I do it on my iPad! It took ages to work out and then everything else started going pear-shaped.

I was printing for the Garden Show at Stansted this weekend and ran out of ink. It is the very special ink used in Giclee prints that is archival. I had to refill the printer. The desk was cluttered as I didn’t have time to clear it in between jobs ( several jobs at once you understand). The ink was on the table, I dropped paper, applicators etc,etc. but then got it done.

I settled down to carry on and looked up at my last masterpiece. It was called 52 shades of grey: Bearded Iris. It is now called 52 shades of grey and one of Vivid Magenta.

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I had scanned it, so you might see it sort of – if I can stop feeling so devastated.

What about my list? Not even a fifth of the way through.

Stunning Irises workshop in Bosham

I haven’t been very good at keeping up with my blogging as there has been so much going on this month. We came back from our weekend away, back into the thick of things and preparation for the three-day workshop that has just happened.

A few weeks ago I held a workshop for Fieldbreaks at Goodnestone Park in Kent. That was a great success (according to the students) and it was time to do the same thing here in Bosham. Irises is really the thing at the moment. Unfortunately they are so short lived. Stately and elegant in their glorious drapery; some with beards, some without; some very slim and sylph-like, others plump and very ‘Reuben-ish’. If you remember, he liked to paint women with something to them – buxom and a bit more.

We had something of everything here. The simplest in appearance were the ones you get in the supermarkets – we had a lot of them! Others brought beautiful bearded Irises and some, very beautiful slim yellow irises or blue irises with highly patterned falls (the name of one of the petals). Common for all was the way God has assembled them for us.

So that we would have a better idea of how an Iris really looks and how it is assembled, we actually took a few of them to pieces and there was a queue for the three microscopes. Initially, no-one on the workshop was interested in botanical illustration. After they had looked through the microscopes I actually saw some of them drawing what they had seen! It is exciting.

We were a little late in starting to paint the irises as a fair amount of time went into examining them and drawing them ready to paint. In fact unusually, no-one started painting until the next day. But it seems that the knowledge of what they were doing (i.e. careful observation of the plant), actually seemed to help them both in the drawing of their subjects and painting them.

The sun actually shone on the second day – but it did cast some strong shadows for some of these photos.

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Work in Watercolour and Coloured pencil on the second day.

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And the paintings at the end of the three days. All took Irises home with them to complete their work.

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So what now? Tomorrow, all day,  I will be demonstrating Coloured pencil in botanical art at the Society of Floral Painters Exhibition at the Oxmarket in Chichester.  The exhibition is open until Sunday midday, when it will be taken down. Do try and take the opportunity to go there to have a look.

I will be having my penultimate botanical weekly art class for this school year, on Wednesday, and Thursday we will be setting up for the Stansted Garden Show due to happen from Friday until Sunday. There will be a lot to see there and I will be continuing my demonstration in coloured pencil. I understand that the weather is to improve for the occasion. I hope to see you.