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.

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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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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.

Bosham-Invite

 

Gaynor Dickeson – Saltings, Windmill Field, PO18 8LH

Tel: 01243 573 405, email: gaynorsflora@mac.com

Open studio in Bosham

The Chichester open studios art trail started its second and last weekend, today. The weather as hoped for, was very good although it has blown quite hard. The wind has not kept people at bay and we had a lot of very interested visitors.

We got a few visitors who chanced on our set-up and as always I took this as an opportunity to get them interested in botanical art. However, it seems that most of our visitors had highlighted coming to see my work.

For the first weekend I decided to paint irises in watercolour as I had spent so long using colour pencils on the crab apples. Our visitors were very interested in the progression through drawing and first layers of colour. I continued with the painting during the week as the irises rapidly died. How to finish the painting without the flowers?

I bought some new irises, but they were redder than the original ones. Today I have continued the painting using the new irises for their form and size, but I had to bear in mind the colour palette I needed to use.

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I will be continuing my demonstration on the irises for whoever is interested on the last day of open studios tomorrow.

Chichester open studios art trail last weekend

Yesterday I was in London at the SBA annual exhibition opening. It is well worth seeing and there is a lot of good botanical art. You will need plenty of time, but luckily you can stop now and again and get a cup of tea – or coffee, in the cafe in Westminster Central Hall.

Tomorrow is the start of the last weekend with Open Studios art trail . I understand that the weather here will be really good tomorrow after all. We have been hearing all week that it was going to be especially bad tomorrow, but it looks as though this will happen overnight.

Luckily, if there is any rain there is no problem coming in to see me with wet clothes and shoes and it would be an opportunity to dry out. However, I can imagine that at some venues they might struggle.

I look forward to seeing you either tomorrow or Sunday. My watercolour picture is coming on leaps and bounds. I think I might use the ‘template’ for my coloured pencil demonstration on Tuesday at the SBA exhibition. It would be a good comparison between the two media.

I am showing you some pictures of my gallery this weekend. It is only a glimpse, but you will be able to see the pictures properly when you come. I’m sorry that all those of you who live abroad will not be able to make it.

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Open studios the next two weekends

Spring is coming. At last!

This coming weekend I will be opening my studio during the Chichester Open Studios event. It will be open from Saturday to the bank holiday Monday and again the following Saturday and Sunday.

My pictures will be hung in the conservatory and prints and cards will also be displayed there. Luckily my husband Robin will be manning this area whilst I am down in the shed at the bottom of the garden.

As the event is called ‘Open Studios’, I have the excuse to stay in the shed all day long. I will be getting on with either painting my current piece of work or doing the preparations for other aspects of it.

Normally people do like to find their way down to the shed to see what an artists studio is like. I expect all studios are very different, just as the mess in mine varies according to what I am doing – even though it is generally botanical.

During ‘Open studios’ I can’t say that I work too effectively. I enjoy the visits throughout the two weekends as people are so interested and have so many questions. As I work in coloured pencil, watercolour or graphite, I am given so many opportunities to explain and demonstrate the different techniques. Sometimes, visitors become so interested they want to learn more. This is exciting.

Presently I am working on a series if crab apple paintings. There are meant to be six different crab apples, but my neighbour has just gone and bought a new one which is quite beautiful.

My husband Robin bought me a microscope for my birthday and at last the crab apple flowers are beginning to open, allowing me to capture their detail. Hopefully, more of the trees will be coming into blossom, in which case I will be using the microscope when dissecting the flowers. This might well be art with a difference for those who visit me down in the shed during these next two weeks.

I do hope you will join me.

The address is on my website, but have a look on the Chichester Open studios website for instructions as to how to get here. It is http://www.chichesterarttrail.org/.

I really look forward to seeing you in my shed!

FRom an earlier ‘Open Studios’ event:

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The Artist at work in the shed!

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