Bosham Christmas Craft Trail 2015

When we got together last year to arrange this for the first time, we had a huge discussion about what we should call this trail.

In Bosham there is quite a community of artists and all of us are serious about what we do. We agreed that the common denominator was Art, but what would that signify? Several of those wanting to take part didn’t want to classify themselves as fine artists (paints and brushes) as they were makers -although definitely artists. Additionally we didn’t want some long title to classify the scope of the trail, but neither did we want people to think that this was an ‘arts and crafts’ event. We therefore agreed on Bosham Christmas Craft Trail.

Next weekend – Friday 27 – Sunday 29 November, we are opening our homes to help you choose your special Christmas gift for your special person – or yourself of course. You will find small gifts, to large ones and all of them are crafted by well known artists.

Of course my special area is Botanical art and some of my original work will be hanging for you to see, or as limited edition prints ready for you to give away; plus of course some cards.

This is a very special time of year where we meet a lot of old friends in the comfort of our homes. I hope to see you at some time during the weekend and of course at Saltings, we will be serving a little mulled wine and mince pie.

But prior to that I am starting my final workshop of 2015 tomorrow. Please don’t laugh at the title: All those Autumn Colours; stunning leaves and things. In previous years the workshop has been popular and I worked out the date according to the best time for such colours in recent years.

For people who live in the UK, they will know that the leaves died a death weeks ago. Here in the south coast, they usually last a little longer. Unfortunately at the end of September, beginning of October, there was a long cold snap and the leaves started turning then. The colours were amazing and my Acer was spectacular – but that lasted but a few days and the leaves fell off the tree forming a golden carpet. I didn’t take a picture as I was so upset!

However, where I live there are some lovely neighbours! They called me yesterday and said that the wind was beginning to take its toll on their Maple – did I want some of the leaves. Did I?! I now have some really beautiful leaves for people to paint, if they haven’t already found subjects themselves.

Watch this space for some of the results in the next few days.

Your invite to the Bosham Christmas Craft trail. Our open home address is; Saltings, Windmill Field, Bosham, PO18 8LH. Welcome!

Bos-A5-Flyer-2015

Summer Open Studio – Botanical art

Its that time of year again. Children are on holiday and the waterways (as well as motorways) are bustling. The sun is shining and the bees are buzzing, making sure we get the produce from our kitchen gardens and seeds for next year.

From my shed (studio), I can hear happy sailors in the creek, as well as curlews as they land. There seem also to be a lot of children and teenagers learning the ropes out on the water. But I am happy painting away with the sun pouring in through the open door and the cats curled up asleep as company; oblivious to anything.

Do come and experience my little haven during the next couple of weekends. You will be most welcome.

2015 Summer Open Studios flyer

One of the pieces I will be working on is my latest challenge. Fuchsia microphylla. Microphylla means small leaves. Everyone knows more or less what a Fuchsia looks like as for some it seems to be a challenge to find as many different sorts as possibly – whether hardy in the UK climate, or not. This plant is hardy but intriguing. The flowers are tiny, as are the leaves, but the fruit is also quite small although seeming to get somewhat larger than the flower.

Fuchsia microphylla
Fuchsia microphylla
Fuchsia microphylla flowers
Fuchsia microphylla flowers

I have started to paint a picture in watercolour. The composition is the real challenge and how I am going to express this on paper, with dissections. Come and see how I intend to try and solve the problems. Comments and suggestions will be most welcome.

Fuchsia microphylla painting started
Fuchsia microphylla painting started

My husband commented today that he didn’t realise that the colours in the plant were so vibrant. I had done a tad more on the painting by the time he made this comment. But it is like all things botanical, once you get down to the detail – even in grasses – the colours are amazing.

 

Fuchsia microphylla setup in my shed (studio). Plant, magnifying glasses galore, easel, chair, paints, brushes and water.
Fuchsia microphylla setup in my shed (studio). Plant, magnifying glasses galore, easel, chair, paints, brushes and water.

Robin will be ably manning the gallery and I look forward to you joining me down in the shed.

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).

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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.

 

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

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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.

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.

First Iris workshop at Goodnestone Park

I don’t want to create any false impressions. The botanical art workshop on Irises was my first one on the subject this year. I will be having another one at the end of the month in Bosham.

As many people know there are several forms of Iris, a rough division can be bearded or non- bearded. The ones you can buy in the supermarket are frequently non-bearded, whereas bearded ( the fluffy bit at the top of the petals that hang down [describing non-botanically]), can often be bought in florists or seen in gardens at this time of year. The petals of the bearded iris often appear more papery than the other sort.

I took a few bunches of the Iris sanguinea with me to Goodnestone Park where the workshop was held. I used these to encourage the students to study the flower and pick it to pieces so that they had a better understanding of how it was formed. For those who hadn’t done botanical art before, they were a little disconcerted and afraid that I expected them to do botanical illustration. However, they soon found out that this was not my intention and by the end of the workshop understood why I had got them to study the flower so much to begin with.

Goodnestone Park has a lovely walled garden and we are given the opportunity to pick suitable specimens of flowers to paint. Several chose beautiful stately bearded irises, whilst others chose to paint from the ones I had brought with me.

As is usual in my workshops, I spend time helping the students to get a good drawing of their specimens, as the final picture will only be as good as the drawing used to start it. I am told that this was felt to be a useful exercise in itself. But firstly, here are some pictures of the workshop.

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Now the results of the two day workshop. I think that having studied the flower so well in advance, the students were surprised at how good the results were, particularly with such a complicated flower.

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Finally, tomorrow, Sunday, is the last day of the Chichester Open Studio trail. We have had many lovely visitors and we would like to say thank you to everyone who has been to see us. It was complicated going away or the last couple of days to take the workshop in Kent, but I enjoyed it. If you have the opportunity to come and see me at work in my shed tomorrow, please do come.

In the midst of Chichester Open Studios 2015

Thursday and Friday last week was spent with tidying, clearing, cleaning and picture preparation. I even cleaned out the shed! But at least it now looks fairly respectable.

This weekend including tomorrow and next weekend is the Chichester Open Studio event. My shed is open to the public – thus the cleaning, and the conservatory hung as an exhibition.

I won’t say more except that it has been very good for us so far, with loads of interested visitors. Apparently the ones that came had highlighted our venue and made a beeline, or had been here before and wanted to see more of my work. For whatever reason I am very happy so far. The interest has been really good and people who have been to the house have been generous in their comments.

If you are in a reasonable distance of our home, do come and see us, tomorrow Monday, or next Saturday and Sunday. Our address is elsewhere in this blog.

Periwinkle flower
Periwinkle flower
Periwinkle line drawing.
Periwinkle line drawing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now a few pictures from our back garden today with a lot of early blooming plants, the shed and a couple of pictures from inside the ‘exhibition ‘space.

 

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Chichester Open Studio event

I spent a lovely day last Friday painting bugs and beasties with Sarah Morrish. For once I was on the receiving end and sitting down trying to get a good result from painting. Sarah showed us what to look out for when painting bugs and we concentrated mostly on Butterflies and Moths. She also gave us some good tips in an effort to get a good result. I started a Spurge Hawkmoth, but I was so busy enjoying myself I didn’t get it finished!

Spurge Hawkmoth

Since Friday I have been working hard to catch up (of course). I had quite a few assignments to look at for the London Art College where I am the botanical art tutor. But now it is preparation for the Chichester Open Studio event that is taking place over the next two weekends, including the bank holiday Monday. I was preparing some of the pictures a couple of weeks ago and now it is time for preparing the house and garden.

Everything is growing so quickly in the garden already. The Magnolia feels as though it is long gone. The lilac tree standing next to it is just about to open its buds. The Wisteria flower buds have been swelling gently over a few weeks and now it looks as though they are about to burst.

But Robin thought that we should change the name of our house to Crab apples. Because I painted crab apples for the last series I exhibited at the RHS, we now have quite a few crab apple trees. We have four in the front garden and three in the back garden. They are an absolutely amazing display this year. But in addition to those we also have some eating apple trees in full bloom (something ate round the base of the Bramley apple tree last year, so it is struggling), a cherry tree and the Canary Rose has started to bloom. That will be an incredible sight too.

But for everything to look good, the weeds need to be removed. I have spent a long time digging up three-cornered garlic in the front garden. It looks really lovely but it seems to kill off everything else. In removing it one needs to be very careful and lift it gently so that all the new tiny bulbs don’t break off into the soil. One day I will get on top of it! Robin has been removing the same from his Fern patch before they become taken over.

A couple of days ago I removed the weeds from one of the kitchen garden beds, but today I have been weeding around the shed at the bottom of the garden. For those who haven’t already heard this, the shed is where I paint. This will be the place that hopefully you will come and visit sometime over the next two weekends.

In the house, we will move the table that I use for my classes and workshops, and hang botanical art pictures. This will include those that I have been dealing with the last few weeks. Robin looks after this side of things as I am much better at showing and telling people how I do it. With any luck we might interest more people to take up botanical art.

Do come and join us. Bosham is a lovely place to come and see at anytime of year, but during the Chichester Open studios art trail there are a lot of artists who are inviting people in to look at their artwork and to watch how they make it. Our address is in the trail catalogue which can be picked up almost anywhere, but it is also in the ‘exhibitions’ page of this website. In particular the little enclave where I live – Critchfield Rd and Windmill Field, there are several artists. But as I am the last one you get to, please don’t wear yourself out before you Reach me. You can always come for a sit-down and a cup of tea, have a wander in the garden, visit the shed (and me) at the bottom of the garden and my husband in the house. The trail is open 10:30-17:30 each day.

These pictures are all from the front garden.

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Bosham craft trail and Palmengarten pictures!

As usual life is hectic, but once we got everything ready for the Bosham Crafts trail and pictures were hung, I could relax. That was 02:00 in the morning in Friday.

We had a very good trail and although this is the first time we have done it at this time of year, I was very pleased with the number of people who came to see us and of course what they took with them and left behind! I was even more pleased that very occasionally in between visitors, I was able to carry on with my Bear’s Britches(Acanthus).

I will show you a couple of pictures prior to visitors, but compare them with a couple of them at the end of this blog.

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Now imagine the nice and cosy relaxed atmosphere of the last pictures and then imagine today!

About 160+ pictures came back from Palmengarten today, at the same time as students arrived, at the same time as other visitors arrived – including a policeman on duty!

All the pictures had to be checked off the van and into the house, then sorted. As did returning cards, books, banners and paperwork! What happened to my poor students unexpectedly up in the middle of this? The pictures were due to arrive yesterday! They were really lovely and understanding, as was my husband who had delayed his trip up to London today so he could help, as were my other visitors. But chaos reigned.

I am now sitting with a cup o tea and a cat trying to add to this blog. I am surrounded by this-

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And left with this!

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