A Good Year – 2016

I know that 2016 has been a crazy year for so many reasons but I’ve spent some time going back over the year to reflect on where I started creatively in January and where I’ve arrived at in December.

So here are my highlights.

January to March 2016

What can I say – lots of painting. I really did begin with a bang and managed to keep this up for quite some time.  My favourite painting is this one of my son’s first pair of shoes which I have kept all these years.

img_4873

I had the pleasure of participating in the #TwitterArtExhibition which supported Foster Pride NYC New York, USA.  TAE had the biggest number of entries they had ever seen with close to 1000 cards from artists covering 35 countries around the world.  I’m pleased to report that my postcard sold on the first night raising funds for Foster Pride’s “Handmade” Programme, where young women in foster care learn to create and market a unique line of handmade goods.

If you fancy supporting this, click here to see this years event which is being held in the UK.

 

 

April to June 2016

Exhibiting at an Art Fair was a first for me and I took part in the Frome Art Fair in Somerset.  I enjoyed spending the weekend talking to people about art and I’m sure it’s something I’ll repeat again.

I joined Artists 303 in April and now enjoy being part of a formal artist community.  We’ll be exhibiting at the Round Tower in Frome, Somerset in May.

Remember the collaboration project I did with my printmaking friends.  Well, we turned this print into a tea towel and it has sold like hot cakes!  Such a good thing to do with others.

The end of June saw a return to Staithes and the production of my favourite painting of the year.  I’m not sure I’ve even given it a name, but I’m sure I’ll get around to it.

img_5111I started painting this one en plein air (outside) but I got so cold, I packed it in and came indoors.  I finished this at home using my sketches and a photo.  I was really pleased to say that all this painting outdoors is developing my visual memory and I was able to recall quite a bit of detail about the scene.

It sits in my studio to remind me what I can achieve with a limited palette and some good brushes!

 

 

July to September 2016

img_5325

#DrawingAugust came around again and although I didn’t get as many drawings done as I’d like, I was so pleased to see so many drawings on my twitter feed from all level of drawing ability.  Great fun!

I took part in Somerset Art Weeks again. This time I shared my exhibition space with two friends and I have to say, it was our best SAW yet.  Lots of visitors, tea & cake, sales, commissions and bookings for workshops.  A great result all around.

 

 

 

October to December 2016

After all the hard work of getting ready for Somerset Art Weeks and the exhibition itself, I flew off to Portugal for a painting holiday.  It was unseasonably hot which brought its own challenges.

I received a number of commissions for artists books during Somerset Art Weeks and these were mainly for Christmas presents.  Nothing like a deadline to keep you focussed!

deerparkAnother commission that meant a great deal to me was for a friend who married the love of her life in November.  They were married at Deer Park in Devon (such a lovely wedding) and so it only seemed natural to combine the name of the hotel with my love of nature.  The Deer Park commission was born.

This was an edition of 35 just for the guests on the day.

 

 

I realise that in doing this post, I have neglected to post so much throughout the year.  An indication of how much has been going on.  Hopefully this year I’ll be more disciplined about posting on my blog.

Happy New Year to you.  Thank you for your support through the many likes, shares, and comments/feedback that I receive.  It means a lot.  I hope that 2017 is a good year for you and that you have a successful year.

Staithes , Yorkshire – A Painting Weekend

Staithes11Staithes8Staithes6Staithes12Staithes10Staithes1

It was a wonderful weekend in Staithes, last weekend.  The weather was great, the food was brilliant, the company was just amazing.  I spent three days with a group of plain air painters and the very talented Haidee-Jo Summers was our teacher for the weekend.  Haidee-Jo is an exceptional plein air painter and you can see some examples of her work here.

As you know, printmaking is my specialism however, you will also know that I love being outdoors in the natural environment  and to this end, I want to be able to combine my love of art with my love of nature and learn to paint outdoors.  This is my second time at Staithes and we were hosted by Al Milnes at the Staithes Gallery.  Al organises many different courses so take a look at the Staithes Gallery website here.

I came home with three finished paintings, one very nearly finished, and two started but still needing a lot of work!  However, I can already see my work improving and developing and I’m determined to build on the experience of this weekend to keep the momentum going!  If you’ve every thought that this might be something you’d like to do.  Pick up some paints, brushes and a panel and get out there.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy it just as much as I have (it will also be very challenging and sometimes frustrating, but that’s all part of the process!).

Here’s the three I managed to finish.

Staithes9Staithes13

Staithes14Staithes15

Staithes18Staithes19

Any finally, two of them framed.  They’ll be signed and varnished before they are hung on the wall.  I’m putting them in my studio as a reminder of where I am at June 2015 and then I can look back in June 2016 and see how I’ve developed further. I’m looking forward to that!

Staithes2Staithes3

Plein Air Painting

Instead of making a New Years resolution, I set about to make myself some promises for 2014.  Things I wanted to try and some targets I wanted to achieve (sounds like a New Years resolution to me!).

One of my promises was to “Take my pochade box, filled with oil paints, and go painting outdoors.”   I was such a southern softie that I didn’t go out in January, February or March (a bit cold) and then we had some very sad family times in April and May so family took priority.  So, then we were in June and I still hadn’t taken my box out.  However, I was pleased to spend a few days with Haidee-Jo Summers in Staithes at the end of June and we spent three days painting in between the rain.  I have a real admiration for plain air painters as there is so much to prepare for and think about, much more so than being in the studio.  I’ve come home with three unfinished paintings and three sketches ready for painting.  So, apologies that I don’t have a finished piece to show you yet.  However, here’s a sneaky look of one painting in progress.

IMG_0952

I have to say, I loved these little boats although they looked very neglected.  The green boat was full of water and looked in need of some tender loving care.  This painting is now on the easel in the studio waiting to be finished.  Hopefully that won’t be very long away.

If you have a spare moment and want to see what fantastic plein air painting looks like, take at look at Haidee-Jo’s work here.

And if you’re wondering what the rain looked like – here it is!

IMG_0942