Bosham Christmas Craft Trail starts today!

I don’t think that I have ever been so late at putting together everything when participating in an art trail – or in this case a craft trail!

I have hardly had time to think these last few months because of the SBA exhibition at PalmengArten. I thought I would get a bit of a break whilst the exhibition is on, but I forgot that I need to use that time preparing for the next stage – return of unsold paintings. Having said that, Sue Henon has worked solidly the last month for us.

Anyway, all of the above meant that I was not as well prepared as I should have been. But, it looks as though the ‘gallery’ is ready for a few visitors when it opens in the morning. We just need to bring my easel up to the house and the picture I started months ago; Acanthus – Bears Britches. It is much too wet and muddy for people to traipse down to the shed, so it will be lovely and cosy and everything in the house.

Just imagine; a nice warm, light area to view the paintings and the smell of Mulled wine and Mince pies. Do come and join us. Your invitation and instructions to find me are attached. I am number 6.


Bosham Christmas Craft Trail, 28-30 November

There are many artists in Bosham, West Sussex and in previous years Jan Guest has hosted a weekend where many of us could display our artwork in one place. However, this has become so popular because it is not of the typical ‘arts and crafts’ quality to be found especially at Christmas. This also means that it has become too big. Therefore some of us have decided to form a Christmas Craft Trail within Bosham.

It is a craft trail as we all practice our art in different ways. Botanical art would be in the category of fine art, whereas many of the other artists form their works of art.

During the Bosham Christmas Craft Trail, and in the warmth of my home, I will be displaying some of my original work, prints both mounted and unmounted, cards and note pads. All are for sale, with larger works, ideal for that very special gift, down to smaller things for the unexpected extra.

Join me for the obligatory mince pie and mulled wine whilst you browse my work. I look forward to seeing you.



Gaynor Dickeson – Saltings, Windmill Field, PO18 8LH

Tel: 01243 573 405, email:

Summer botanical art show and open studio in Bosham

It’s raining,
It’s pouring,
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed,
And banged his head, and couldn’t get up in the morning!

Yesterday was beautiful and we had quite a few visitors. This exhibition and open studio is the one I normally have once a year for two weekends during Bosham’s Junior Week. Bosham is a sailing community and all events associated with sailing are very important.

For me, my open studio yesterday was successful in many ways as we had a lot of interested visitors. There is also evidence of a returning economy. But for the young sailors this week, the weather is awful. They want wind to sail – but not dangerous gusts as we are having now. Rain isn’t too off-putting as they get wet anyway. But sun is much better and the norm at this time of year.

How the remnants of Hurricane Bertha will affect the Open studio today I don’t know. It might mean that I paint undisturbed! But time will tell.

I will not show you pictures of my ongoing painting at the moment. I have shown you a little of it previously, but I think the photos were from my first attempt. I am now on my fifth and I have a severe blockage.

The picture is a Dipladenia. The flower is elegant and beautiful and the leaves soft and shiny. Think of Camellia leaves that for a change are very soft and shiny and with clear side veins. I know what I want to do and how I want to do it (watercolour), but the result is not how I feel it should be and I have now thrown aside four pictures. Had I put them all together the picture would have been finished.

People looking at the pictures cannot see what is wrong with them, but I can and that is what is important. But I’m now dreaming about it all. And I have a deadline. It is a picture that will go to Palmengarten this Autumn. I cannot be the one organising everything from the UK and unable to paint a picture!

Any suggestions?

Maybe I should stand outside in this very windy and very wet weather and have everything washed and blown away. I hope you can see what I mean from these photos outside the conservatory.




Workshop and Summer Open Studio

It has been just over two weeks since I last wrote a blog. In the meantime I have almost managed to forget that I had a holiday!

Since I got home I have worked continuously with the organisation of the SBA Exhibition at Palmengarten Botanical Gardens in Frankfurt. But now I have a slight breather.

Actually the breather is necessary as tomorrow I will be running another workshop. It is called ‘Fruit and Veg; Strawberries and cream’. I think I should have stuck to the Veg, or just beans and courgettes. This is from my garden at the moment. No fruit and definitely no strawberries!

Runner beans
Runner beans

Next weekend 9 & 10 August and 16 & 17 August, I will have my Summer Open Studio Event. For details have a look at my website:

But for the last few days I have actually been painting again. I needed a new picture to exhibit at Palmengarten and had drawn a layout for the Mandeville (or Dipladenia)plant. The following two pictures are just a portion of the picture. I have to get going to get it finished in time, but I thought you might like to see how much is done so far. You may remember I started one flower a while ago, but somehow the paper was damaged and I had to start again.

Red is not easy to paint, and the right red even more difficult. By the way, this picture is in watercolour.

Mandeville leaf detail
Mandeville leaf detail
Mandaville in progress
Mandaville in progress

Final day at Stansted and more

I am so tired. Happy, but tired.

Today we had fantastic weather and loads of visitors. For me there continued to be a constant stream of botanical art interested people. So many to explain to about botanical art and illustration.

I wrote this on Sunday and then fell asleep! It was an interesting and rewarding three days which might even have benefits in relation to future work. I also managed to get a little done on the Irises picture in coloured pencil.

This week has been catching up on paperwork, gardening and more painting as I couldn’t bend any more. But now at least we can see the flowers for the weeds and overgrown Forget-me- nots.

Next week I have a three-day workshop called ‘How difficult can Roses be?’. The roses in the garden are now in full bloom smelling beautifully and ready to be painted. Luckily we have all sorts which will allow people of varying abilities and experience to get a good result.

But it is now only two weeks until my husband and I travel to Norway in preparation for the workshop there.

The irises so far.


2nd day at Stansted Park Garden Show

And the heavens opened!

We knew that today(well yesterday now), the weather had been forecast as very bad – although the forecast was changeable. We knew that during the night there might be downpours and several times during the day.

We woke up to a wet nose wanting food ( one of the cats). We noticed it was wet outside, but nothing undue. We were about to leave the house to get to Stansted House when the heavens opened and it poured.

Keep calm and collected as there is nothing that can be done about nature other than dress for the occasion. I donned a sweater, long raincoat and long wellies – as well as my jeans of course. We got to Stansted just as the rain was stopping ( about 1/2 hr after we left.home). We were greeted by a man singing wishful and happy, sunny songs.

By 11:00 the sun was breaking through and the sky rapidly became blue with the odd puffy white cloud. That was the weather state for the rest of the day. Beautiful!

We had a lot of very interested visitors to the stand and discussions ranged from the type of coloured pencil I was using, to the potential for taking part in a new project. Some exciting conversations!

A picture taken during today:


One more day to go. Do come and enjoy the atmosphere.

First day at Stansted Park Garden Show

What a lovely day. The weather was super- the sun shone all day, it was warm but not hot and there was a slight breeze.

The stand we have is just inside the Art and design marquis, so we had the benefit of fresh air coming in. I can imagine it might not have been so pleasant on a cooler day, but lovely just now.

As soon as the gates opened to the show, people streamed in and there seemed to be a constant flow of interested visitors during the whole day.

I had decided to demonstrate botanical art using coloured pencil. This worked out well and was obviously the right choice as it attracted quite a few people to the stand. I had loads of questions and this also meant that they looked a little more closely at the pictures than they might have done. I also found out that Irises are in fact a flower that is much appreciated.

This evening has been spent with stocking up again and now a very slightly earlier night than usual.



Stansted garden Show – setting up day

A long day!

Thankfully the weather has been gorgeous. Driving the short way to Stansted (15 minutes), we felt so blessed living in such a beautiful part of the country – especially when the weather is so nice. Apparently it will be just as nice tomorrow and, Saturday may not be as bad as first forecast.

Now why am I focusing so much on the weather? One reason is because I am British and we do that. The second reason is because my pictures are now in a big marquis waiting to be shown to the publics. The third reason is the visiting public. Where would we be without them and why would they visit the show if the weather was awful?

Actually, in the UK, people don’t necessarily stay away because of bad weather and they certainly do come if it means a chance to see unusual plants for their gardens. But it certainly makes the experience more fun if the sun is shining – which it seems there is a good chance for it to do so.

I haven’t got too much to comment about the work put in today, other than that there seem to be an awful lot of very nice people working to put the show together at Stansted. They are extremely effective and I take my hats off to them. Additionally there are a lot of very nice and happy stand holders there. I am looking forward to the opening of the show tomorrow.

This our packed car parked in our drive this morning. I did manage to squeeze into the front seat.



Do come to see us. Tomorrow I will be working on my botanical painting of the Irises in coloured pencil.

Stansted Park Garden Show – the night prior to setting up.

It is 12:57 in the morning. My husband Robin has put his foot down. It’s time for bed.

This morning I had my last weekly botanical art class until the students return in the Autumn. This year they were positively dismayed at the idea of not having a weekly class again until then. I felt guilty.

After everyone had gone I caught up on emails about the Autumn botanical art exhibition being arranged between the SBA and Palmengarten in Frankfurt. Apparently the forms I had taken so long to do so that they could be filled out online, didn’t quite work! I had to sort that out and resend them – having tested them thoroughly this time. At least I’ll know how to do it another time.

At last I could get on with packing things to take to Stansted. Of course, I thought that I had a handle on everything and that it would go smoothly. How many small things (and not so small) one can forget! I have a list for tomorrow morning as I wasn’t allowed to do it tonight.

At the last moment we ordered a new hanging system with the hope that it will arrive early. My husband also went out and bought two folding tables rather than taking good ones. Last but not least he also bought some plastic sheeting to put over the stand at night in case there are any horrendous downpours that find leaky points in the marquis.

Robin has got the stand itself into the car already and all that remains to pack in the car is this lot – plus some, and not forgetting my easel and a chair, and another table, and……………

As you see one of the cats has started wondering if we are moving!

Don’t forget, the Garden Show is Friday, Saturday and Sunday.