The last SFP workshop and the next Gaynor’s Flora workshop

This seems a very busy time of year! Two weekends ago I had a pen and ink workshop with IAPI(Institute of Analytical Plant Illustrators), and this last Saturday I had my last workshop with SFP (Society of Floral Painters). This coming weekend will be a three-day workshop in Bosham – Colour in the Hedgerows. This will be the last workshop before I travel to Pittsburgh to teach a workshop at the ASBA (American Society of Botanical Artists) annual conference.

All of that was in one paragraph and one breath! As I said it is a busy time of year.

But before I tell you about the next workshop where there are places available, I will tell you about the lovely but sad time spent with members of the SFP in Pitton near Salisbury.

Unfortunately the SFP has had to make the decision to wind up the Society for the time being. In actual fact they were a really good Society, although I’m not too sure how many members there were. They were very good at producing a regular newsletter throughout the year, with a lot of useful information to help and support artists interested in developing their skills in floral painting or drawing. In addition to the newsletter, they offered workshops to members and one day a year was allotted to selection of applicants to full membership. It wasn’t left to a simple yes or no, but good feedback was given about the reasoning behind each decision that was made.

But I wanted to show you a little from the workshop near Salisbury. AS usual it was a lovely group of people who got along well and encouraged each other throughout the day. The rest can be shown in pictures rather than words. Although I will give you information about the next workshop in the UK.

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SFP coloured pencil workshop

After I return from the USA, there will be another three-day workshop in Bosham. The subject this time is Autumn colours. Wow! The date is Friday 28 – Sunday 30 October. For those who book in time, I will give you a recipe on preserving some of those gorgeous leaves so that they stay reasonably still to allow you to paint them. So book now!

Look at some of the work being painted at the SFP workshop.

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To book your place on the next workshop contact me via the form below.

 

 

Workshop last weekend and this weekend

Last weekend started off pretty laid back in comparison to how it developed. I had a botanical art workshop on pen and ink with IAPI (Institute of Analytical Plant Illustrators)at Leicester Botanical Gardens. Apart from getting there slightly later than planned, we had a lovely day and again with a lovely group of people. The group is composed of Botanical artists and Botanists. The aim is to work together to document botanical subjects. We learn from each other to produce the documentation needed to identify plants.

IAPI at Leicester Botanical gardens
Well into the subject in pen and ink

After the workshop, we took a plane directly to Amsterdam to watch my son and daughter do the Dam to Dam 16 km run.

It was a great privilege to see them take off. They are the ones with their arms in the air. Believe it or not, Robin and I cycled to meet them at the finish line, but they arrived there 15 minutes before we did! By the time we got there, worn out, they were full of beans and raring to go. It really put us to shame.
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I don’t normally talk about things we do, keeping the blog mostly to botanical art. But I was very proud of them.

The trouble is, after the run, they got transport back to Amsterdam and we had to cycle – getting lost on the way! At 20:00 in the evening, they were about to send out a search party when we eventually got back.

Age is apparently taking its toll.

Now I am in the process of preparing for the last workshop with the SFP (Society of Floral painters). Unfortunately, it is now folding due to lack of offers to take on some of the committee roles. The Society has been spoilt for years with the same people doing the work. But after all this time they too need to take a breather.

I want to use this small opportunity to thank the SFP for all that they have done over the years.

Botanical art entry provisionally accepted for New York

The American Society of Botanical Artists(ASBA) has provisionally accepted one of my pictures for its New York exhibition this November. However, I daren’t take it as a ‘fait accompli’  just yet as the jury have only seen the digital version of my picture so far.

Just like having work accepted at the Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation, the ASBA  reserve the right to refuse any artwork if it isn’t up to scratch when they see it in real life. So I am still keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed that they will like it. I had to un-cross them long enough to have half a glass of bubbly which my very happy husband poured for me. I’m also rather chuffed!

But this is the picture they have chosen:

Malus x zumi  "Golden Hornet" crab apple in coloured pencil.
Malus x zumi “Golden Hornet” crab apple in coloured pencil.

Today I was demonstrating coloured pencil at the Society of Floral Painters Exhibition in Chichester. Being British, I was also aware that the sun was shining outside, but as I was painting a very sunny yellow Iris from the pond in the back garden, the sun was brought into the exhibition.

I would have liked to show you the results of that exercise as I am trying to find the right paper for use with coloured pencil. This is to replace the Fabriano hot pressed papers that we botanical artists are struggling with. Unfortunately I am not convinced yet that I have found a paper that suits me and my style when using coloured pencil. But I know that I have found a lovely Strathmore paper to use with watercolour.

I have realised that yesterday’s blog showed a poster with a painting of the Strelitzia-reginae ‘Bird of Paradise’ plant, but the signature was too small to read. The honour for that lovely piece of work should fall on the Chairperson of the SFP, Gill Jelley.

Its all go in May and June with botanical art.

Last weekend IAPI – the Institute of Analytical Plant illustrators, had one of its meetings in the Lake District. We went both to see Beatrix Potter’s botanical illustrations at the museum in Ambleside, and to John Ruskins home, which is an absolutely stunning botanical garden on the edge of Coniston Water. I don’t think I have ever seen such a display of colour!

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Artists Glade
Artists Glade

No comments could make this more beautiful.

However, after this fantastic weekend away, we came back well prepared to take part in the hanging of the Society of Floral painters exhibition at the Oxmarket in Chichester. The exhibition opened successfully on Tuesday evening and since then there has been a steady stream of visitors to see all the wonderful Floral pictures.  They range from a strict botanical style to a much looser style. But, although very different, the quality in each genre is very good.

By the way, that isn’t just me that has commented on this as of course I do have a vested interest; but visitors to the gallery have been extremely impressed.

Do come along at some point between now and the 12th June. Except for Mondays, a different person will be demonstrating their style of work each day. I am demonstrating coloured pencil tomorrow, Saturday 28 May and watercolour 7 June. The address is the Oxmarket, St Andrews Court, East St, Chichester PO19 1YH. This weekend the Chichester Flower Festival is also happening.wpf3269d6f_05_06

The Pineapple and a new workshop

I was reminded today by a friend that I have been remiss in my blogging. I am sorry for that. Therefore to catch up-

Last Saturday Robin and I were at the Society of Floral Painters(SFP), AGM and lunch. It was a very good meeting and lunch finishing off with an interesting talk by Roy Lancaster. It is the first such meeting I have been to and I gained a lot from it – as well as meeting lots of other botanical and floral painters.

The SFP have their next exhibition in Chichester Oxmarket arts Centre 20 May – 7 June. Look at my website http://www.gaynorsflora.com for details.

But since Saturday I have been continuing with the Pineapple picture – when time has allowed. I am adding a few more pictures at the end of this blog.

Tomorrow I am having a new two-day workshop here in Bosham. The topic is ‘Twigs and things’. It will be very interesting to see what people bring with them. I hope to be able to post some pictures after the workshop.

The next workshop is Friday 27 February – Sunday 1 March and the topic is Hellebores – floating. This means one has the opportunity to paint the flowers face up, showing their beautiful and colourful detail. There are a very few vacant places, so do contact me or look at my website (details above) for more information.

The pineapple-

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Autumn colour workshop Sunday – and Palmengarten

Potentially interesting - but what's going on?
Potentially interesting – but what’s going on?

This was a good workshop. I needed to do only a few demonstrations, and none of them were in relation to laying on the colour. However, we did talk a lot about ‘form’ and how to achieve this and what needed to be in a botanical art picture.

I also have several dried Teasels in the studio, so the next obvious question was, how to draw these ready to paint. A lesson on Fibonacci ensued.

Enjoy the following pictures from this workshop. The two pictures started last Monday on the SFP workshop will probably require no more than simple adjustments if necessary. There are two pictures with Liquid amber leaves – but the styles are hugely different and work. The Sorbus picture will take a while to come to completion with all the tiny leaves and detail. The honeysuckle has needed a lot of planning and thinking ahead, more of the basis work is in place and now she can just carry on painting the rest of the picture.

Horse chestnut leaf
Horse chestnut leaf
Mahonia
Mahonia
Liquid amber
Liquid amber
Rowan
Rowan
Liquid amber
Liquid amber
Honey suckle - all in the planning
Honey suckle – all in the planning

And Palmengarten pictures.

 

Artwork by Alister Matthews
Artwork by Alister Matthews

 

Artwork by Alister Matthews
Artwork by Alister Matthews
Artwork by Joanna Craig-McFeely, Roger Reynolds and Rosemary Lindsay
Artwork by Joanna Craig-McFeely, Roger Reynolds and Rosemary Lindsay
Artwork by Sue Dalton and Janet Pope
Artwork by Sue Dalton and Janet Pope

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn colour workshop Saturday – and Palmengarten

I have had a very good day in teaching this workshop. I mentioned yesterday that I had the feeling that there would be some lovely results from the workshop; that feeling persists.

Even so, their accomplishments continue to amaze me and therefore I also need to be on my toes and give enough advice for continued development. I was glad to see that they took a couple of active breaks whilst drinking their tea or coffee, so that they could go back to the drawing board with fresh eyes. But, even though taking a break they continued to discuss their progress.

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Some of the work as it is developing. There is a huge difference in each of their styles of working and every student has a struggle with a certain aspect of their picture. Two of the pictures were started on Monday at the SFP workshop, but you can see how their pictures are developing. Some have chosen very complicated pieces to draw and in fact only started using coloured pencil this morning. Not all of the pictures are shown here.

Liquid amber
Liquid amber
Liquid amber
Liquid amber
Mahonia
Mahonia
Horse Chestnut leaf
Horse Chestnut leaf

The last one shown below is the Honeysuckle. I think you might be able to understand the quandary the artist has when painting this picture. We are now in mid November, she has found this Honeysuckle still flowering, but knows that its days are numbered. In addition to the limited supply, she also wants to get done that part of the plant that is likely to die first – the flowers. This is typical of all botanical art painted from a live subject – what do you paint first and what is likely to change most?

In addition to this, if choosing to paint the flowers first, how much shading does one put into the flowers? If the dark leaves are done first, then the ‘hole’ left in the picture for the flowers is likely to need much less shading than if done without a dark background.

Painting white or very pale flowers on white is quite daunting. It is possible, but one has to make sure that the shading to create form, is not overdone. The problem is minimised if the pale flowers are against a dark background, or background of leaves. The hole you leave in the painting for the flower is a shape and therefore the problems of creating the appearance of three-dimensional form are reduced.

The form of a subject is created by light hitting the surface of the subject. Some areas will be exposed to light and some areas less exposed to light or very little light. Thus the combination of the flat shape of the object, and the tonal differences created by light exposure, give you form; and a means of identifying the object. Colour is another issue altogether.

In the case of this Honeysuckle, it was decided that a grey underpainting on the leaves would be done first so that the flowers would stand out as white shapes. Before the leaves are completed fully, the flowers will be completed delicately and the leaves finished afterwards. The bark will be finished last of all but I doubt that you will get to see that part of the picture.

Honeysuckle attached to Eucalyptus bark.
Honeysuckle attached to Eucalyptus bark.

So, some more pictures from the Botanical art exhibition held in Palmengarten the botanical gardens, Frankfurt, Germany.

 

Artwork by Linda Pitt, Roberta Mattioli and Hazel Rush
Artwork by Linda Pitt, Roberta Mattioli and Hazel Rush
Artwork by Nicki Tullett, Charlotte Linder, Rosemary Lindsay & Anne Lawton
Artwork by Nicki Tullett, Charlotte Linder, Rosemary Lindsay & Anne Lawton
Artwork by Barbara Munro, Charlotte Linder
Artwork by Barbara Munro, Charlotte Linder
Artwork by Sue J. Williams and Janet Pope
Artwork by Sue J. Williams and Janet Pope

Society of Floral Painters (SFP) workshop day & Palmengarten

For a change I will tell you a little of what I have been up to today.

I mentioned a couple of days ago that I would be doing a fair amount of teaching this week. Today I did a workshop for the SFP. A couple of times a year they arrange workshops for members at a place called Bursledon just outside Southampton.

Bursledon is by the River Hamble and its Elephant Boatyard is on the site of the old ship building yards where Henry VIII’s fleet was built. But I didn’t get to do any sightseeing unfortunately.

The village hall where the workshops are held is very light and airy, but the light comes in all directions giving all round light. Difficult when you want to emphasise contrast and shadows creating form.

The topic of the workshop was Autumn Colours and the medium was coloured pencil. Some of the students were well into using coloured pencil in botanical art, some had played a bit with CP and some had collected the odd pencil and wanted to learn how to use them. We had only one day.

Because of time limitation (1 day), and unlike my usual workshops, I had to stay focused only on CP techniques, rather than the whole picture – initial drawing and composition. This meant that people had to have taken decisions about subject and composition before today, to be in readiness for laying CP.

I demonstrated the technique, answered questions and then let people put into practice what they had picked up from the demo and instruction. After that it was a question of going round and continuously checking progress, giving advice and solving individual issues.

I’m afraid that I only took a few pictures as I waited a little too late before remembering to take them. But there are two people from further west who are absolute gluttons for punishment, they got off on time, but are coming back for my three- day workshop at the weekend. I will definitely take photos of their results then.

Here are four of the results from today.

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Don’t you think they are stunning? Three of the happy ladies (Maggie Roberts, Barbara Sampson and Ruth Roberts) considering if they are going to paint Medlar or not. I think that they were amazed that when painting subjects such as dead and dyeing leaves, you can really play with colours. They were so surprised to find out that dull brown also contains pale pinks, exhilarating magentas, delicate blues and of course vibrant reds and yellows.

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To finish off this blog a few more of the exhibition pictures at Palmengarten.

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Artwork by Sandra Armitage & Vickie Braithwaite.

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Artwork by Cheryl Wilbraham & Yuriko Kojima

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Artwork by Shevaun Doherty & Elisabeth Sherras Clark

Palmengarten botanical art exhibition – 3rd weekend

What miserable weather we are having now – a reminder that winter is on the way. Only one week ago we had really warm weather – unseasonably so. It put us into a false sense of the cold and wet was still a long way away.

Now I have actually caught up with marking the assignments for the London Art College, so tomorrow I will have to catch up on other admin work as on Monday I am holding a coloured pencil workshop day for the Society of Floral Painters (SFP) just outside Southampton. When will I get back to painting?

I have moved my Wednesday class to Tuesday as I will be going up to London on Wednesday for the Society of Botanical Artists(SBA) Christmas meeting. Christmas!!?

Friday I start another three-day workshop on Autumn colours. I have one vacancy if anyone wants to fill that place let me know. Watercolour of Coloured Pencil.

More pictures from the Palmengarten exhibition? Here they are.

 

Artwork by Billy Showell
Artwork by Billy Showell
Artwork bySarah Wood, Amber Halsall & Sue Linton
Artwork bySarah Wood, Amber Halsall & Sue Linton
Artwork bySue Linton & Jennifer Jenkins
Artwork bySue Linton & Jennifer Jenkins
Artwork byLisa Tomassi
Artwork byLisa Tomassi
Artwork byCaroline Jackson Houlston and Rosemary Lindsay,
Artwork byCaroline Jackson Houlston and Rosemary Lindsay,
A very unfortunate view along the other part of the L-shaped Palm House. Picture taken prior to setting up of Sales desk. Get a real idea from the picture shown in the blog 4 November.
A very unfortunate view along the other part of the L-shaped Palm House. Picture taken prior to setting up of Sales desk. Get a real idea from the picture shown in the blog 4 November.