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.
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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.