The result of the 11th and 12th day of painting the Liriope muscari follows.
Working on these immature flower spikes was quite difficult as they have such tiny flowers. I continued to use the magnifying glass to paint them. Without losing the detail or gradually increasing colour of the developing flowers, I needed to make sure that the sides facing away from the light source were in shadow.
This time I finished off the enlarged flower spike of the Liriope muscari picture and started on one of the immature spikes in natural size. The tuft of leaves and immature flower spikes are done in this way to show the growth habit of the plant.
I chose to do the flower spike enlarged as the individual flowers were quite small, therefore to appreciate their beauty I felt it was better to do these on a larger scale. In actual fact they are only twice natural size, although when you see them against the immature spikes, they seem to be more than this.
In botanical art one needs to try and give as much information about the plant as possible, without repetition. There is always so much that defines an individual plant, that a picture can just get complicated if the information in it is repeated too frequently. This is often a mistake I have made. But in this instance, because the flower spike is enlarged the number of petals, stamens and stigmas can be seen clearly in relation to the size of the the whole spike.
The next section of the picture I found very difficult. The largest immature flower spike measures 5 cm therefore, because I was painting this natural size, the individual buds were tiny. Because there is some tooth on the Strathmore 500 Bristol vellum paper, I found this got in the way of painting tiny detail. So I used a piece of agate to try and burnish the surface of the paper in between layers of paint.
For all the flowers I used a magnifying glass to see the detail I was painting and to check that my edges were as clean as possible. As I don’t normally use a magnifying glass constantly, I got a nice kink in my neck!
Today I have spent the whole time painting the Liriopa muscari. There is still much to do but the intention is to have it finished by Thursday evening, to deliver on Friday. I think that the wee small hours might be used as well a the long daytime hours.
Photos from the days seven and eight follow. I’m sorry that the quality of the picture is not the best, but you can see the development of the enlarged flower spike.
Thank you to all the lovely people who have visited us over the weekend during the Open Studio event. It was good to meet new faces, put faces to names and of course see those who come regularly. It was a lovely weekend and the weather also put on a smiling face.
We still have a lot to put away, but this is Robin hard at it!
I have continued to work on the Liriope muscari picture. But continuing on from the last photos, these are days 5 and 6.
What a busy life, but who would have it any other way! This is both a progress report on the Liriope picture. Two days worth again, although I didn’t get anything done yesterday as we were preparing to welcome all those wise people who have decided to come and visit our home this weekend.
We are now ready and waiting for your visit during the Open Studio event – or at any time. Welcome!
But what you are really wanting to see is the Liriope muscari. Come and see me working on it this weekend.
I’m painting this on Strathmore 500 Bristol vellum. This is a 100% cotton paper which I have used successfully previously. This is instead of my favourite, the old Fabriano Artistico.
Unfortunately, the surface of the ‘new’ paper does not allow for detail in the same way as the ‘old’ paper and this is because of a production change in Italy. We are told that Fabriano have now acknowledged that there is a difference to their paper which affects us botanical artists more than they thought possible. In the meantime I am trying out different papers to help me advise my students.
I will show you here the result of two days work on the enlarged flower spike. I have been trying to take a picture at the end of each day’s work. It is a long process. The quality of the pictures will vary according to the light. I have taken photographs rather than scanning. But it gives a good idea of the progression of the artwork.
There are a number of artists in Bosham and each year we get together just before Christmas to create an art trail. As I am the only fine artist, and all the others are makers, we have decided to call it the “Bosham Christmas Craft Trail”.
For those who have visited Bosham at this time in years gone by, you will know this is a trail worth doing.
Robin and I will welcome you in our home whether you are just looking at my work or want to buy. There is plenty to choose from for that special present; a single card, a print, an original, or even a voucher for a workshop or the workshop holiday at Le Manoir next September.
Browse or buy with a warm mince pie and mulled wine or a nice cup of tea. Donations go to St Wilfrid’s Hospice. At the same time I will be continuing this picture from these sketches. See how far I’ve got by the time you arrive.
I hope to post the painting of the Liriope muscari picture as it develops. It is in watercolour on paper and includes an enlargement of the flower spike as it is so small, but with the growth habit in natural size.
Which artists to visit on the trail, and where you can find them. I look forward to seeing you:
I have been remiss in showing some of the pictures from my last two 2016 workshops in Bosham. One was about autumn colours where all the students chose to use coloured pencil, and the other was pen & ink.
As usually happens there was a lovely group of students, all wanting to learn and enjoy the workshop. On both occasions the members in the group jelled very quickly and there was a lovely atmosphere. I don’t know what it is about botanical art, but it does seem to have a very positive effect on the people doing it.
Rather than rattle on, I will just show the pictures. As soon as I have the workshop schedule for 2017 finished, I will post this. However, so that you can put this in your diary, the first botanical art workshop in Bosham next year, will be Friday 27 – Saturday 28 Jan. The topic will be Textures: bark and moss as examples.
For those who don’t know, William Cowley’s is the last remaining vellum maker in the UK and the only one in the world to hand-finish the skins. They make use of the skins left over from our meat consumption, so that almost none of the animal is wasted. That is an important fact; no animal is slaughtered for the production of vellum. It is a waste product that would otherwise go to land-fill.
Today, four botanical artists and a self-proclaimed bag-man visited Cowley’s. We were looked after royally. I think in fact that they will need a day to recover from our visit!