Demonstrating botanical art in Coloured pencil!

Thank you all those who visited our home this weekend during the Bosham Christmas Craft Trail.

In May, Chichester Open Studios art trail involves artists who live in or around our lovely city. But in recent years it seems that there are more and more serious artists living in Bosham, a village just outside the city, who are taking part. Over the years, one of the artists has opened her house each November and invited some of the Bosham artists to exhibit with her. But as there are so many of us, she can no longer accommodate all of us, so last year we decided to have a craft trail in our own homes – it was successful.

Most of the artists who have taken part the last two years are makers (except for me), thus the title ‘craft’. The other artists taking part work with glass, ceramic, driftwood, jewellery, fabrics and also artwork for the garden. When thinking of your Christmas presents for next year, think of taking a relaxing weekend break in Bosham. We have yet to decide on the date, but although a lot of people visited us this year, Black Friday seems to have taken a stranglehold in the UK now, so our craft trail is very likely to be the week before!

During the craft trail, I moved my easel to the house, as it has now become rather a muddy experience walking down to the shed. Robin also said it was nice to have my company for a change (oops)! As usual I had some work hanging in the conservatory – I’m afraid we forgot to take any photos as it was quite busy. But I was also demonstrating what I do. The original intention had been to work on my Indian Corn picture in coloured pencil, and I did do a little more on that; but getting questions about watercolour too, I needed that available as well.

My daughter’s cat was recently very ill and the vet’s surgery put themselves out to help. As a thank you she wanted me to do a ‘quick’ sketch of the cat for her to give them. The word ‘quick’ doesn’t rhyme too well with what I do – although I did and do try!

‘Tigger” is a Russian Blue. Tigger is a very descriptive name, although he does have a very beautiful face. Someone pointed out to me today, that she wished photos were taken that hid her neck! In this picture, he isn’t too blue yet, but the green eyes are there as well as the start of the extremely upright ears. The sheepskin he is lying on hides one of the reasons for his name! He is a lovely and very affectionate cat – particularly around meal times.

Indian corn in coloured pencil, or Tigger in watercolour?
Indian corn in coloured pencil, or Tigger in watercolour?
'Tigger', a Russian Blue in Pink, with green eyes! Watercolour.
‘Tigger’, a Russian Blue in Pink, with green eyes! Watercolour.
A long - haul 'Indian corn' in coloured pencil.
A long – haul ‘Indian corn’ in coloured pencil.

Botanical art Autumn colour workshop had Autumn colours

Isn’t it amazing what several people can do to make a botanical art workshop happen! I was worried as to whether the workshop would live up to its title as just about everything had fallen off the trees. Winter had come further than I thought it would.

But, everyone kept their eyes peeled and the majority came with subjects to paint themselves, or share with others. Wonderful.

About half of the students had been to one of my workshops before and the other half were new to me. I’m glad to say that the new students had been tempted to try by others recommendations. It was a lovely group of people and we kept the bitter cold out.

Firstly the group:

Searching for subjects?
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Hunting for subjects?
Hunting for subjects?

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You have to agree that although it was cold outside, the inside was full of warmth.

Don’t forget the Bosham Christmas Craft Trail next Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You will be very welcome.

Botanical art workshops in Bosham for 2016, now available.

Phew! I have just managed to post the list of botanical art workshops for 2016. Do have a look at them and make your reservations for next year. The schedule and the booking form can be found under Tuition – Workshops. My UK based workshops are limited to 8 people so that I can concentrate on each person and give them advice to improve their skills.

I’m afraid that I haven’t got quite so far with the Norwegian botanical art workshop holiday. The hotel is booked for Friday 24 June to Friday 1 July 2016 and I have posted this in the relevant section under Tuition. However, all the details and booking form have yet to be completed. Do start saving. Fantastic weather has been booked yet again and the hotel is looking forward to looking after us. This year, everyone was amazed by all the flora that was out. Norway is now very careful about using sprays on roadsides etc, so now everywhere is fantastically beautiful as wild flowers are encouraged.

As well as working on botanical art painting and improvement, we will be taking trips out to collect subjects to paint, and hopefully organise an afternoon trip a little further afield too. I intend to offer  a two-day focus on pen & ink in addition to the mediums you normally use (watercolour, coloured pencil or graphite). I will be providing the materials for the pen & ink, so that no-one needs to worry about sourcing that equipment prior to the week’s holiday workshop.

I’m afraid that in looking through the pictures from the Norwegian workshop holiday this year, I got rather involved in them and as well as posting a few on the page about the holiday, I have included some more here. Please do enjoy. If you like the photos, imagine what it is like to see it all in real life!

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

 

View along the valley at Blåfarveværket
View along the valley at Blåfarveværket
Looking at part of the exhibition in the held in the Mine managers house at Blåfarveværket.
Looking at part of the exhibition in the held in the Mine Director’s house at Blåfarveværket.
From the same exhibition.
From the same exhibition.

This exhibition was very unusual as it was held in the Mine Directer’s barn. Torvald Moseid had embroidered a long frieze depicting Orfeus & Euridike. He had done it between 1978 and 1985 – apparently working on nothing else. Each section depicted beautifully the feelings throughout this story.

Flora from Mølen
Flora from Mølen
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More flora from Mølen.

You need to bear in mind that Mølen is Norway’s largest beach of rolling stones, but apart from being an area of scientific interest, it is outstandingly beautiful.

The two last Botanical art Bosham workshops of 2015

2015 is not over yet; we still have the rest of October, November and December. So much happens in the garden during this time as things switch off to rest and reconstitute themselves ready to spring open in all their glory next year.

Personally, I find that there is still so much out there that I want to paint. I used to think that it would be a time of rest for me too – not true. I still don’t have enough time to paint or draw the living three-dimensional plants onto my two-dimensional paper (or whatever it is I paint on).

I am in the process of putting together a botanical art workshop schedule for next year. I have just heard back from the hotel in Åsgårdstrand (where Edvard Munch had his studio), that they would love to have us again at the end of June 2016, so I can now get the rest of the schedule together and hopefully post it on my website during this coming week.

In the meantime, information about the two remaining Bosham botanical art workshops for 2015. There are only two vacant places for the ‘Stunning Pen & Ink’ workshop, Friday and Saturday 30-31 October. That is not this coming week, but the one after. If you are interested, do get in touch as soon as possible if you don’t want to be disappointed.

For the last 2015 botanical art workshop there is one vacant place; ‘All those stunning Autumn colours’, Friday to Sunday, 20-22 November. Again do get in touch.

Obviously the Pen & Ink workshop will just be pen & ink and I can supply you with the necessary equipment. The Autumn colour workshop can be in either watercolour or coloured pencil. The classes are kept small so that I can give appropriate help where necessary – as well as demonstrate both mediums.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Himalayan Lily in Pen & ink
Himalayan Lily in Pen & ink
‘Flowers from my Winter Garden’
‘Flowers from my Winter Garden’

Hedgerow produce botanical art workshop in Bosham.

Once again a good workshop (I think), with lovely people (I know). There were some struggles on the way and changes of subject once everything was put on the table and the garden checked out. There was even a change of medium too, giving unexpected results.

Here are some of the photos taken during the process and at the end.

Other results;

The chef, with a few fluid ingredients at the ready.
The chef, with a few fluid ingredients at the ready.

Happy students

And finally a picture taken last night by one of the students.

The lunar eclipse

The next workshop is pen and ink 30-31 October. Do get in touch if you want to take part.

Botanical art workshops; recent past, present and near future.

I am so pleased about what I am seeing developing in my workshops. At the end of August I had the Strawberry and Cream workshop ( really kitchen garden produce) and I published the pictures that were in progress from that workshop. Two of the students have sent in their finished products and although one seems very pale, the colour was actually spot on. Unfortunately the picture was a little unclear, but I think you get a good idea of the end results.

 

Juicy Pear - Coloured pencil
Juicy Pear – Coloured pencil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purple peas from the garden. Watercolour
Purple peas from the garden. Watercolour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the week I had a botanical workshop at Goodnestone Park Gardens. The weather didn’t start off very promising as I drove through the worst rainstorm the night before. It was almost a wonder I got there – but once we’re hooked on botanical art…… But on Thursday morning I was met by a lively group of people all raring to go.

Three of them hadn’t done botanical art before, but liked plants, or wanted to do something a little more detailed. Even I have to admit that I was amazed by the results. I hope that some of them will send me photos of their finished work so that I can post that too – although a couple of the pieces were actually completed.

 

Half of of them used coloured pencil and the other half watercolour. I’m not going to put any titles to the pictures, but just post them. The pictures themselves were Sloes, Magnolia Grandiflora, Tree Peoni, Rose hips. You will see several examples of similar subjects.

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This coming weekend there will be another workshop, so watch this space. I haven’t forgotten about the Fuchsia microphylla and will give you an update in the next few days.

Fruit & Vegetable workshop + gluttons for botanical art workshop (punishment).

Yes, gluttons for punishment! On Tuesday and Wednesday I was teaching the Gloucestershire society of Botanical illustration. Two from that group took the long trip to Bosham for the Fruit & Veg botanical art workshop, when they had already been on the pen & ink one at the beginning of the week. They assured me that it was really Robin’s cooking they came for. I have to say, his lunches are getting really good.

Anyway, once again I am told that the students who attended the workshop over the last couple of days, had a good time and learnt a lot. The group included a couple who hadn’t done any botanical art before and a couple who wanted to learn to use either coloured pencil or watercolour, when they had used the opposite very successfully for many years. They did well, although I know from experience it can be a struggle converting one to the other. It will be interesting to see if they try the new medium again. I hope so, as it is useful to be able to ‘master’ more than just the one medium. Although, I don’t think anyone can claim to ‘master’ any of them. It would be useful to hear if anyone thinks this possible?

We had incredible weather over the two days, so there were some frequent trips to the kitchen garden.

The first picture only includes a few of the students. I’m afraid I forgot to take these until the other tables had already packed up.
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Now the gallery of pictures. Make sure that you have a reasonably good Internet connection. Unfortunately, it seems that when out and about, some of the connections limit what you can pick up and sometimes one is unable to see the pictures until you have a full broadband.

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The Roses Botanical art workshop

Wasn’t the weather horrid on Friday and Sunday – non-stop rain. But we still had a very good workshop; or at least that is what it have been told by those taking part.

Roses are scary subjects. Or at least people think they are. Normally we have loads of roses in the garden even though June is normally the main time for them. But following that very warm and dry spell whilst we were away in Norway, it seems that this year it really took its toll. Still we did have some simple roses and some a little more complicated. One that really caused a headache was a stunningly beautiful one ‘Deep Secret’. It’s perfume is very heady and it is a luscious deep, deep red. Although it was a full rose, it was the difficulty in matching the colour.

Reds can be difficult at the best of times, but as this rose unfolded, the different hues that emerged was incredible. One minute you think you have got it and the next it’s changed! But that is botanical art for you. I think at some point I will have to try it myself, rather than rely on students to struggle with the colour. But my projects are another matter.

Interestingly enough, one of the students arrived having never painted before and wanted to have a go. She started with watercolour, but as there was a mixture of watercolour and coloured pencil artists there, she got to see the effects of Both. On the second day, the student wanted to try CP and eventually got hooked by that medium.

But I expect it’s the pictures you want to see.

The Roses botanical art workshop
The Roses botanical art workshop

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The next workshop is 21-22 August, Fruit & Veg: Strawberries & Cream workshop. We paint the fruit and veg and eat the strawberries and cream! There are a couple of places left, so obviously first come; first served. Get in touch.