Thank you and the Liriope mascara

Thank you to all the lovely people who have visited us over the weekend during the Open Studio event. It was good to meet new faces, put faces to names and of course see those who come regularly. It was a lovely weekend and the weather also put on a smiling face.

We still have a lot to put away, but this is Robin hard at it!

Robin doing the heavy work after Open Studio
Robin doing the heavy work after Open Studio

I have continued to work on the Liriope muscari picture. But continuing on from the last photos, these are days 5 and 6.

Day 5
Day 5
Day 6
Day 6
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Liriope & Open Studio

What a busy life, but who would have it any other way! This is both a progress report on the Liriope picture. Two days worth again, although I didn’t get anything done yesterday as we were preparing to welcome all those wise people who have decided to come and visit our home this weekend.

We are now ready and waiting for your visit during the Open Studio event – or at any time. Welcome!

Robin and I welcome you!
Robin and I welcome you!

But what you are really wanting to see is the Liriope muscari. Come and see me working on it this weekend.

Day 3
Day 3
Day 4
Day 4

Open studio in Bosham this weekend: Friday to Sunday

There are a number of artists in Bosham and each year we get together just before Christmas to create an art trail. As I am the only fine artist, and all the others are makers, we have decided to call it the “Bosham Christmas Craft Trail”.

For those who have visited Bosham at this time in years gone by, you will know this is a trail worth doing.

Robin and I will welcome you in our home whether you are just looking at my work or want to buy. There is plenty to choose from for that special present; a single card, a print, an original, or even a voucher for a workshop or the workshop holiday at Le Manoir next September.

Browse or buy with a warm mince pie and mulled wine or a nice cup of tea. Donations go to St Wilfrid’s Hospice. At the same time I will be continuing this picture from these sketches. See how far I’ve got by the time you arrive.

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I hope to post the painting of the Liriope muscari picture as it develops. It is in watercolour on paper and includes an enlargement of the flower spike as it is so small, but with the growth habit in natural size.

Which artists to visit on the trail, and where you can find them. I look forward to seeing you:
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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.

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
Courgettes
Courgettes

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: http://www.gaynorsflora.com.

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

Society of Botanical Artists (SBA) at Westminster

First the RHS exhibition, then Chichester Open Studios – which is on again this coming weekend, and the SBA exhibition at Westminster Central Hall. Next week I will be talking about the Society of Floral Painters (SFP) annual exhibition being held in Chichester.

Normally the SBA exhibition is in April and it is a little easier for a Botanical artists to plan things. But this year, the SBA were only able to book their normal annual exhibition space in Westminster from tomorrow onwards. The private preview and opening of the exhibition is to be tomorrow between 11:00 and 19:00.

The official opening and prize-giving will be by Dr Nigel Dunnett, Professor of Planting Design at the University of Sheffield at 15:30. Although this is a little late, if you would like a formal digital invitation, please contact me  this evening through this blog and I will send one immediately.

The annual exhibition in Westminster is an open exhibition and is also to encourage those who paint botanical art to take part with a view to becoming members. Membership is dependent upon having a full quota of pictures being accepted for the exhibition, three years running. But, far from being a mountain to climb, seeing the pictures at the exhibition motivates many artists and helps to concentrate their minds on this particular challenge.

The exhibition usually has a lot of very beautiful botanical art. I remember the first time I went to the exhibition, I was enthralled! I don’t know how better to express what I felt. It is worth a visit if you are in London or want to take a trip up to the capital. I am going to the opening tomorrow.

I have four pictures that will be exhibited this year. Two are in pen ink and two in coloured pencil. I will be interested to see how the pen & ink pictures will be accepted as I have not exhibited anything similar previously. Additionally I will be demonstrating coloured pencil all day on Tuesday 13th May next week. Do come and see and hopefully get a feel for how I use the medium. Maybe I can tempt you to want to try using coloured pencil in your botanical art.

 

The SBA Annual Open Exhibition
The SBA Annual Open Exhibition

Chichester Art Trail

The Chichester Art Trail happens every May and generally includes Bank holiday Monday in the first weekend. That is what has happened this year too and we are again open to the public.

Essentially the criteria for this art trail is that you open your studio to the public so that everyone can see you at work. Unfortunately this doesn’t always happen. And, in fact I am told that very few people are actually working at their art. Therefore , it seems that people are very pleased when they arrive at our ‘venue’ (sounds a pretentious word doesn’t it?). That’s why I call the shed the shed – because it is and was a shed. Actually, it was a loose box, so a shed is an upgrade. But as ever I am off on a tangent.

We have had a steady trickle of people since Friday evening. We, and the other artists in Bosham, had a Pimms preview evening for people who live in Bosham.  It was quite tough getting everything ready in time, but it was fun once we got there. The people of Bosham did as requested and either turned up on their bikes or ‘Shank’s pony’. For those who are not English, this means ones own two legs.

The first day – Saturday- went well enough once everyone had got their weekend shopping out of the way. The weather has been absolutely supper. The sun has been shining and it is very pleasant. This means I have been able to sit working in the shed with the door open ready for visitors. Yesterday went very well. In fact the first Sunday is usually the best day of the two weekends. With any luck, in writing this the statement will prove me wrong.

In Bosham there are 15 artists in 11 locations – which tells you that those who share are not able to show their own working environment. As one can’t go any further than the sea when getting to see us (we are about 200 metres from the inlet), we are the last one on the Bosham part of the trail.  This means that many drop off the trail before getting to us as there is so much of interest on the way – that is unless they have specifically chosen our place.  However, we still get a few who want to see as many artists as they can and that gives me a real opportunity to get people interested in botanical art.

Our set-up is that we have a gallery of my pictures in the conservatory (where I normally have workshops). My husband mans this area as he loves talking to the people that come. I am working in the shed so that people can see what I do and ask as many questions as they want to. Mulling over the questions I have had, perhaps I have chosen the wrong medium that I am using in the shed. I chose to do some purple irises in watercolour as I haven’t used that medium in a whole painting for some time.

The conservatory (Gallery for the day)contains the RHS Silver Gilt medal Crab apple series, which is in coloured pencil and attracts a lot of attention, but also some of the Magnolia x soulangeana series in watercolour that I did as an RHS exhibit in 2011. Visitors are astounded when my husband tells them that the crab apple series is in coloured pencil and therefore they are asking about the coloured pencils all the time. There seems to be less of a thrill about watercolour, although a fair amount of interest as to how I achieved the iridescent purple of the Irises.

Visitors do love to see the artists working environment and ask questions about how they do things. That is why it is a shame to hear that very few make themselves available to do this.

Before I finish this blog, there are two things I must mention. The open studios art trail is open next Saturday and Sunday between 10:30 and 17:30. You can find my address on my website: http://www.gaynorsflora.com . Additionally, I have places on my next workshop ‘A page of flower heads from the garden’ – May 29th – 31st. Now I am going to show one or two pictures of my working environment and on another occasion I will show you what I have been working on this weekend and the ‘gallery’ in the conservatory where

My workspace - in the 'shed'
My workspace – in the ‘shed’
The shed!
The shed!
At work.
At work.

I have the workshops.

Open studios and open invite

Very briefly I will mention the workshop at Goodnestone Park Gardens. As always they are lovely hosts and we had a large airy room to do the workshop.

The workshop went well and again there were some lovely students who worked really hard. I noticed that by the end of the first day they wondered what their results would be like, but at the end of the two days all were happy with their work and felt they had learnt something new.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take any photos to embellish this page, so you will have to imagine deep red Peonies, clematis and Wisteria. None of which are simple plants.

At the moment there is a mess all round me. This weekend we are taking part in the Chichester Art trail. Essentially, it is open studios. Here in Bosham there is quite an enclave of artists, so many people choose to spend one day in this area. Bosham is a lovely place anyway and we do have a lot of visitors generally. This is an extra good excuse to visit the area.

As usual we are setting up a gallery in the house, but I will also be working in the studio. This usually attracts many questions and people who were not initially interested in botanical art, have succumbed. I don’t think I have talked them into the ground, but many have obviously become interested in a subject they knew little about before.

Anyway, I don’t think you want any pictures of this mess until it’s been sorted out and pictures hung where they are meant to be. If you have the opportunity, I do hope you will plan a trip to Bosham either this weekend (which includes the Monday bank holiday) , and next Saturday and Sunday, it will be 10:30-17:30 each day.

In the village there will be loads of signs and balloons marking the spot. I am number 14, so you just need to follow the signs.

See you here!

16 days until the RHS botanical art exhibition set up.

I have spent the day Photoshopping the Crab apple pictures and there is another glimpse at the end of this blog.

But this evening I was at a meeting with my Bosham artist colleagues. The Chichester open Studios art trail is during the first two weekends in May, this will include the bank holiday Monday.

In the beautiful village of Bosham lives a whole enclave of artists using different media. We are going to start the art trail a little early on Friday 2 May with a preview at each of the artist’s studios. This will be between. 17:00 to 20:00.

Hopefully, people living in the vicinity will get the opportunity to see what is on display in a relaxing environment. More about this soon.

Tomorrow and for a further two days, I will be teaching the workshop ‘From sketch to drawing – learn to draw botanical images’.

So many have problems with their initial drawings and plans for their botanical paintings. Unfortunately, it is often the case that one finds out by having experienced it, that the final painting will only be as good as the line drawing. Those on the workshop have already understood this and hope to improve their drawing skills.

But, this is another part of Malus Evereste.

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