Teaching with Fieldbreaks at Goodnestone Park Gardens

On Monday of this week I went to Kent to teach at Goodnestone Park Gardens. What a beautiful area. It is so peaceful and they are so welcoming there.

This is the second year that I have had classes at Goodnestone Park with Fieldbreaks and the workshops are seemingly more popular each time.

I had a lovely group of people with half of them using coloured pencil, one eventually chose to use graphite and the remainder watercolour.

I think that things were about a week behind in comparison to where I live. In some places you could almost see the green tips begin to appear on the hedging, there were loads of daffodils, no tulips, the Magnolia x soulangeana was still closed but nearly ready to burst although the Magnolia x stillata was fully open and the Camelias were glorious. There was in fact a lot to choose from if only you looked and were able to see. The flowers eventually chosen to paint were the above, plus Primroses, Periwinkle, Hellebore and Fritillary. The results were very good and as far as I can tell, all those taking part were pleased with their results.

I get quite chuffed when students achieve what they set out to do – and in some instances even exceed that.

The only thing I hadn’t been prepared for was the summer warmth. I had layers to keep me warm, but even so I hadn’t expected it to be as warm and lovely as it was.

I will be having another workshop at Goodnestone Park with Field Breaks in June. Come and join us in this peaceful environment.

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Society of Floral Painters exhibition

On Monday my husband and I spent all day at the Oxmarket galleries in Chichester. We were helping with the preparation for the  SFP exhibition – taking in pictures and helping with the hanging. it was a really hot day and quite tiring- as you would expect. The opening was on Tuesday evening and was open to the public on Wednesday.

The flower festival starts in Chichester at the weekend, so hopefully it will draw people in to see the floralpaintings hanging there.

By the way, I got a ‘highly commended’ award for the Chairman’s trophy. This was for my dissected Magnolia flower.

Subject for next RHS submission

As a botanical artist, I have been thinking about what subject to illustrate for the next time I submit my work to the RHS. Having won a silver for my Magnolia series in March this year, I want to choose a subject that is likely to earn me an additional medal. As Wisteria flowered not long after the exhibition, I had thought about plants from the Pea family, then seeing red berries from one of the Nightshade family (Solanum) in the hedgerows, I thought of doing that. I am in the middle of one botanical watercolour painting (Solanum dulcamara), but they have quite a sprawling habit and therefore a painting needs to show this.

We have four crab apple trees in our garden and three of them are heavily laden this year. They too make a good subject. I would have to find four more trees though to make the series of eight.

Today, I have been doing drawings, making colour samples and taking pictures of the fruit and leaves, so that I have something to start with. Hopefully I can add the flowers and young spring leaves to the preparatory work next year. I might do this series in colour pencil.

This means that in fact I have some material already on the go to do two separate series. I wonder which one will get there first?