Chichester Open Studio event

I spent a lovely day last Friday painting bugs and beasties with Sarah Morrish. For once I was on the receiving end and sitting down trying to get a good result from painting. Sarah showed us what to look out for when painting bugs and we concentrated mostly on Butterflies and Moths. She also gave us some good tips in an effort to get a good result. I started a Spurge Hawkmoth, but I was so busy enjoying myself I didn’t get it finished!

Spurge Hawkmoth

Since Friday I have been working hard to catch up (of course). I had quite a few assignments to look at for the London Art College where I am the botanical art tutor. But now it is preparation for the Chichester Open Studio event that is taking place over the next two weekends, including the bank holiday Monday. I was preparing some of the pictures a couple of weeks ago and now it is time for preparing the house and garden.

Everything is growing so quickly in the garden already. The Magnolia feels as though it is long gone. The lilac tree standing next to it is just about to open its buds. The Wisteria flower buds have been swelling gently over a few weeks and now it looks as though they are about to burst.

But Robin thought that we should change the name of our house to Crab apples. Because I painted crab apples for the last series I exhibited at the RHS, we now have quite a few crab apple trees. We have four in the front garden and three in the back garden. They are an absolutely amazing display this year. But in addition to those we also have some eating apple trees in full bloom (something ate round the base of the Bramley apple tree last year, so it is struggling), a cherry tree and the Canary Rose has started to bloom. That will be an incredible sight too.

But for everything to look good, the weeds need to be removed. I have spent a long time digging up three-cornered garlic in the front garden. It looks really lovely but it seems to kill off everything else. In removing it one needs to be very careful and lift it gently so that all the new tiny bulbs don’t break off into the soil. One day I will get on top of it! Robin has been removing the same from his Fern patch before they become taken over.

A couple of days ago I removed the weeds from one of the kitchen garden beds, but today I have been weeding around the shed at the bottom of the garden. For those who haven’t already heard this, the shed is where I paint. This will be the place that hopefully you will come and visit sometime over the next two weekends.

In the house, we will move the table that I use for my classes and workshops, and hang botanical art pictures. This will include those that I have been dealing with the last few weeks. Robin looks after this side of things as I am much better at showing and telling people how I do it. With any luck we might interest more people to take up botanical art.

Do come and join us. Bosham is a lovely place to come and see at anytime of year, but during the Chichester Open studios art trail there are a lot of artists who are inviting people in to look at their artwork and to watch how they make it. Our address is in the trail catalogue which can be picked up almost anywhere, but it is also in the ‘exhibitions’ page of this website. In particular the little enclave where I live – Critchfield Rd and Windmill Field, there are several artists. But as I am the last one you get to, please don’t wear yourself out before you Reach me. You can always come for a sit-down and a cup of tea, have a wander in the garden, visit the shed (and me) at the bottom of the garden and my husband in the house. The trail is open 10:30-17:30 each day.

These pictures are all from the front garden.

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“Small is beautiful”; A series of crab apples.

Just outside my front door there is a beautiful little crab apple tree – the Malus ‘Gorgeous’. Every year it went through different phases, one more beautiful than the last. The apples on the tree at the end of the season were like miniature red apples, each one perfectly formed. They also tasted unusually sweet for crab apples, that normally have a reputation of being very sour.

This crab apple tree was the first of seven that we eventually got for the garden, six of which became subjects for this series of paintings. I painted the series in coloured pencil for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) exhibition in April 2014. This time I won a Silver Gilt medal.

But why did I use coloured pencil for a series of Botanical illustrations needing very detailed  work? It was much more normal to use watercolour and graphite pencil for such detailed dissections. I love using coloured pencil and I suppose it was the challenge to show that just as much detail could be done with this medium too.

Click on one of the images to see the picture in detail. NB: Copyright remains with the artist for all pictures displayed.

The series of Malus, crab apple pictures are all available as Archival Gicleé prints in limited editions of 75. To find details of a picture including price within the UK, click the image. There will be a smallP&P addition for delivery outside the UK.

Some of the original pictures are also available.

To own either a print or original picture, do get in touch with me via the Contact Form.

Magnolia x soulangeana

The Magnolia x soulangeana series of paintings was developed over a 2 1/2 year period to exhibit at the Royal Horticultural Exhibition (RHS) in London, March 2011. This was my first foray into RHS exhibitions and I won a Silver medal on this occasion.

The tree that is portrayed in the paintings, is one that is in my garden. A magnificent tree burgeoning with blooms every year. But, the fantastic fruit that were portrayed, were exceptional. There were no fruit on the tree again until 2014.

Obviously, the main picture shows the tree with the whole year cycle at once – which is impossible in reality. Therefore the other pictures have taken a specific period during that year long cycle.

Click on one of the images to see the picture in detail. NB: Copyright remains with the artist for all pictures displayed.

The series of Magnolia x soulangeana pictures are all available as Archival Gicleé prints in limited editions of 75. To find details of a picture including price within the UK, click the image. There will be a small P&P addition for delivery outside the UK.

Some of the original pictures are also available.

To own either a print or original picture, do get in touch with me via the Contact Form.