Since my previous blog I painted another two scenes from Wyndcliffe Court Gardens:
Wyndcliffe Court Gardens 1
Wyndcliffe Court Gardens 2
I then had an appointment with the curator/artist at Wyndcliffe (pronounced Wye, not Wind, as the name is taken from “Wye and cliff”, as the house is situated near a steep cliff above the river Wye). I decided to take along some florals as well as the Wyndcliffe paintings as none of them were framed, and so easy to transport. He liked my work, particularly my use of colour, and he said he would like to show all that I had taken. We had a good chat about art, which I enjoyed very much as I don’t get to see many other artists these days.
These are the florals:
Floral Ballet 2
Since then I have been very busy framing, as my husband/framer has been away sailing. It took a while, but I was able to deliver all twelve paintings yesterday in time for the holiday weekend.
I also have a week booked in early August to show my paintings at The Old Station, Tintern. It is a popular tourist venue for visitors to Tintern, and there is a shop inside an old railway carriage where my paintings will be on display. I have decided that small local scenes are probably most likely to sell there, so I have painted a couple that are each only 5″ x 7″ in size:
Tintern Old Station View Across The Valley
Teatime At Tintern Old Station
I already have some unframed paintings that I might display at The Old Station, and I will need to paint some more. Watch this space!
Here is some recent work:
The cyclamens have been in flower since before Christmas, and are still looking good.
I saw these hollyhocks in a local town last year.
Hollyhocks in Usk
It’s rather fun to paint food – this smoked fish platter is delicious, and served in a Smokery by the river Severn, not far from where I live.
Smoked Fish Platter
A view of the sunset over the river Severn estuary as you cross over the M48 bridge into Wales – in the distance is the M4 bridge that also crosses from England to Wales.
River Severn Sunset
This painting is not a pastel, like all the others, but an acrylic painted on a roof slate. It is an experiment to see how well paintings would work on the slate. I am pleased with the look of the slate, but I think I would have done a better painting in pastel – my favoured medium. However, I will persevere as the slate is interesting, will be easy to hang and not need framing.
Floral Bouquet on Slate
Finally, I was contacted by Wyncliffe Court Gardens who found one of my paintings of their garden archway online. They wanted to use the image on their website and sell postcards. They are also now hanging the original for sale in their gallery, and may be interested in some more.
Here is another of the house that I have painted:
Wyndcliffe Court House 1
It has been a long time since I wrote to this blog, mostly because I haven’t been painting. However, I have decided to write a non-painting blog so that my followers, who do not use Facebook, will know what I have been up to.
In November we had a holiday in South Africa. We had a great time, and I include here a few photos of some of the things we saw. There are penguins, a views of and from Table Mountain, a sunset, the fierce Atlantic Ocean and a great white shark from when we went diving with sharks.
Penguins at Boulder’s Bay
View of Table Mountain from Cape Town Waterfront
View from Table Mountain
Langebaan Beach Sunset
Diving with Sharks
A couple of days after we returned from Cape Town there was the opening reception for the Christmas art show. This went well, and several of my paintings sold.
By this time it was December, and we were well into all the Christmas festivities. Charlotte was in a dance show and played Mary in the playgroup nativity. Isabelle had her school Christingle, as well as singing carols around the Christmas tree.
Charley’s Dance Show
Charley as Mary
Christmas and New Year were great fun with lots parties. The girls had fun opening their Christmas presents!
The Wye valley looks just as beautiful in winter as it does in summer.
Some of the pictures above may be used as ideas for paintings in the future. At the moment my studio is having a make-over in the form of a new floor – it will soon be finished, and I look forward to getting back to the easel.
My husband has very kindly framed them for me, and now all the paintings for the show are ready for hanging. I did have a problem though, and one had to be re-done. Since Wallis paper is not available in the UK, I bought a large amount before leaving the US and shipped it over. Unfortunately, I seem to have bought a bad batch (as my pastel artist friends know, Wallis paper has been having some problems over the last few years). When I gave the paper a tap on the back to knock off loose pastel dust prior to framing, a great deal of pastel fell off! I don’t use fixative on my pastels as it dulls and alters the colours, but I decided I would try giving a light spray and then touch up the bad bits. It didn’t work well, as I didn’t like the surface after spraying it with fixative. As I hadn’t been particularly happy with that painting anyway, I decided to redo it on a different paper, and this is the result:
Monmouth Show Double Harness Scurry Driving
Free from the commitments of the show, I then painted a dog portrait – I am very fond of this dog, and wanted to capture his exuberance and alertness.
There were only two left to do, but they took a surprising amount of work!
The Reclining Sheep with Piglets took a while because of all those little bodies. I finished it, photographed it, and then realised that I had not done their tails – one of the most important parts.
Reclining Pig with Piglets
The Old Tractor required all of my drawing skills – it was very like doing a portrait. I thought I had finished several times, but then would look at it again a day or two later and seeing something so obviously wrong. I think I have it right now, and have dared to publish this photo.
The 12 Days of Christmas paintings I was asked to do (see previous blog) have not been easy, but I have certainly enjoyed the challenge.
For 8 Maids-a-Milking I was asked to do Milk Maid Milk Stout bottles – a beer that was popular in the 1950s and 60s. The gallery owner said she likes the way I do bottles, so she asked me to do this one. Since the beer is no longer made, it was a problem to find a model. I could find the label on the internet as people collect labels, but the only milk stout I could find was in 500ml bottles, which are the wrong size and shape. Finally my husband came up with an idea – the bottles used for Becks beer are the same size and shape as old milk stout bottles. I bought a six-pack and set up a still life that I photographed twice in order to have eight bottles. I then painted them brown rather than the Becks green and put the correct label on them. Here is the result:
I wasn’t happy with my first attempt at 9 Ladies Dancing as I had put 5 ladies in the back row and 4 in front, making a poor composition. I redid the painting with three rows to make a triangular effect that, I think, is much better.
10 Lords a Leaping was a hard composition to get right, and I am still not sure about the very colourful leaping frog in the middle right.
Other paintings were inspired by a day our at the Pembrokeshire coast, and a day at the Monmouth Show in August.
Aberaeron Harbour, Pembrokeshire
Monmouth Show Double Harness Scurry Driving
Prize Winning Bull
We’ve been very lucky with the weather here this year, and a beautiful September has followed a good summer and spring, with only August having some cool rainy days. This last weekend we looked after Izzy and Charley quite a bit, and I had them both painting in my studio.
Hogwarts girl in our driveway
Artist Charley at work
Watching the girls paint in my studio
Using Grandma’s paintbox
Queen and Princess on their thrones
After months of not producing many paintings, but entertaining visitors and working on getting the house as we want it, I am now spending many hours in my studio. After contacting a local gallery I was invited to show my work alongside the artist/owner in a Christmas show.
I did these two paintings before contacting the gallery. One shows a gateway in a local sculpture garden, and the other is the pathway that leads to our house that my granddaughters call The Secret Pathway.
Wyndcliffe Court Gateway
The main theme of the gallery Christmas show is the 12 Days of Christmas, but not the traditional images. I am to do half of them, which I have already started, and also produce 10 to 15 other paintings. This is quite a commitment to have ready for the end of November, so hence the “working hard”.
This is Four Calling Birds. I had fun with this painting, and picked parrots for their brightly coloured plumage.
Eleven Pipers Piping. I found it difficult to fit 11 pipes into the required 10″ x 14″ until I decided to do it in portrait aspect rather than landscape. Even so, there were a great many revisions before I was happy with the composition.
Twelve Drummers Drumming. For this I decided to try Pastelmat paper, rather than the Wallis that I had used for the others. I like the way Pastelmat grabs the colour, but I was concerned that I would not be able to do fine detail. However, it worked well, and I was pleased with the result. It’s a good thing as I am unable to buy Wallis paper in the UK, but can get Pastelmat.
I also did a painting of Nine Ladies Dancing, but I fussed with it at the end and spoilt it’s fresh quality – I think I shall try this one again. Watch this space!
It’s been a long time since my last blog – I’ve been busy, but not managed much painting. Here are three local scenes and one floral:
Gateway to Monmouth
Brockweir in the Sunshine
However, I have taken a great many photos to use for reference material. In April we had a two week holiday in Majorca where we visited some pretty coves.
During May I had visitors from America that I took out and about around my new home. We went to Chepstow Castle:
Walked through woods filled with bluebells:
Wyndcliffe Court Sculpture Gardens:
Also in May we had fun at the River Wye Festival:
We’ve had some nice spells of sunny weather recently, and even some warmth. The birds are nesting and the trees are flowering – this is a very pretty place in the spring.
Looking down on the village.
Sitting outside the pub.
A couple of weeks ago we had a new kitchen installed, and now we are hoping to get planning permission for 6 new windows. Our house is at the bottom of a steep valley so we lack light, and we could certainly do with more windows in the house.
Looking down on the house from the steep valley side.