If I did not have a prior commitment tonight, I would certainly
have gone to Mudlarks Cafe in Hertford to listen to the fabulous duo The
Goldbacks. C’est la vie as they say.
Shame we cannot be in more than one place at once especially at this
busy time of year.
It has definitely been a busy time for me over
the past couple of weeks with one thing or another and with Christmas just around the corner. Selecting sixteen paintings for the Mudlarks
Show took up lots of time. Knowing that
the venue was a cosy and quirky hub of activity with all ages frequenting at
different times of the day, I wanted to keep the collection fun, contemporary and
eclectic. So hopefully there is
something for all to enjoy.
Me straight after hanging the paintings.
Thanks to David Holliday, my close friend and Chairman of Mudlarks and my hubby David Moore for helping me with the display.
Who knows maybe the crowd listening to The
Goldbacks tonight may even appreciate my Flavours painting. A bottle of wine, some blues and soul music
and there we have it. A perfect evening
Last week Hubby and I spent a fabulous day admiring and
enjoying the wonderful sights and sounds offered by a late chilly November day
in Cambridge. A city obviously getting
ready for the Christmas festivities to come.
This is a tiny glimpse of how I experienced Cambridge
through a camera lens and then eventually with the aid of a brush back in my
Sketch of a Cambridge Clock Tower
A quick watercolour wash of autumn leaves.
I could not resist taking a photo of these gorgeous teddies
sitting so well behaved in a shop window.
All of them are waiting patiently for someone to give them a hug.
Sketching has become a routine in my life now. Each sketch serves a purpose. Be it to capture a memory, to practice a
technique, to test out paper, tone, texture or colour, to plan a composition, to
capture an atmospheric mood, etc, or purely to have fun and improve the skill
at the same time.
Here are some sketches I have done over the past few
months. Each has a purpose in my
Being an exhibiting artist in my local community means that one
of my regular tasks is to keep an eye on my calendar to check the dates of the upcoming
year’s local Art Shows. Exhibiting is something I find I need to do regularly
because it pulls me out of my comfort zone of me doodling in my sketchbooks. It makes me use my artistic capabilities to
the full and stretches me to keep the standard high as best I can. This means that my painting year is pretty much mapped
out for me most of the time. Though I
generally try not to over commit myself too much with all the art shows and art venues available in my
This and other of my paintings will be exhibiting at
Mudlarks, Railway Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire
for a month over December 2014 and January 2015.
The way I select where to exhibit my art is to assess how
much fulfilment and joy my taking part will bring to me and the community I
live in. Most local exhibitions have an
entry fee and this is sometimes put towards either the up keep of a building or
towards a charity. I regularly hear of
people attending my Art Society’s Easter Exhibition and them saying how much
they enjoyed the event. It has become
part of some people’s Easter outing every year.
It is also a big fixture on my calendar as I help out on most of the
four days. For me the joy is knowing that
the artwork we local artists display on walls in the local exhibitions actually
brings a little joy to others who view it too.
This year I have decided to add yet another fixture to my
already busy art calendar. In
December/January I will be having a solo exhibition on Mudlarks Cafe wall. A
wall that is generously reserved for promoting local artists.
Mudlarks is a registered charity which helps to integrate
people with learning difficulties and mental health issues back into the
community. They mainly run a garden site
which helps its members to develop skills and confidence that gardening and
interacting with others could potentially bring out. A really worthy cause that I know is helping people
come out of their shells to join the community in a more fulfilling and
Through a volunteer friend I hear of the touching stories of
the huge difference this fabulous charity makes to people. Not only do its members benefit but also
their carers too, with a few hours respite. This charity touches lives in a big way on
many levels. Mental health and learning
difficulties are two issues that have touched my life too through close family
and friends coping with both. So for me
to attend events run by this charity such as quiz nights, music events in town,
or stopping for a coffee in their cafe when I am in the area, or even displaying my
art on their wall, is a very small way for me to show my support for the
wonderful work they do.
The charity has recently opened a Cafe in the heart of
Hertford town. A place that is working
hard to raise money for the Mudlarks Charity. So please if any of you local people reading this ever find
yourselves in Hertford wanting a coffee to warm yourselves up, or some lunch or
a cake to fill a hole, remember Mudlarks
Cafe on Railway Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire.
A cup of coffee at Mudlarks means you are warming and brightening up someone else’s life too.
Whether it be watercolours or mixed media when I create I
love the idea of adding texture. Of
course with my watercolour paintings texture is just an illusion to fool the
eye into thinking it is there. The
medium is actually flat and very matt as you all know. This is where I am finding mixed media so
interesting. I can build a 3D substrate
surface to add paint onto to give a more dimensional tactile
First I started by scrunching up some tissue paper and gluing
it to watercolour paper using Mod Podge.
A medium that can be used either as
a glue, glaze or sealer that can also be watered down for a thinner consistency.
I used the torn off tissue paper to build up the branches. I attached these with Mod Podge matt which creates a slight shine
even though it is matt.
I then added watercolour to the background where it puddled in the creases. Watercolour being matt also gives a contrasting
surface to the shimmery paint I will add later.
I also added gesso quite thickly at this stage to build up tactile texture
in the flowers.
When everything was dry, I started adding acrylic
shimmery paint, ink, white paint marker pen and ribbon to create the finished tag. The image shows clearly the contrast
between shiny and matt that I wanted.
This week has
seen me make a few more of my Art Journals.I have also been tidying up my Studio so I now have
more room for my mixed media. I even managed to pick up my watercolour brushes.
* * *
Rose Altered Art Journal
The idea for this Rose Journal came
when I was given a present inside a pretty rose patterned gift bag. Co-ordinating black ribbon and gold
cord was added to the finished cover with a
rose embellishment as the closure.
I chose indigo and quinacridone
gold for the tonal range these colours can achieve. When these two colours are mixed
they create muted greens.All of which
were ideal for the quintessentially British scene I wanted to paint.
To understand the temperature
of the yellow hue family more fully, I devised the following
exercise for myself. All these leaves were painted using Prussian blue and various yellows.Cool yellows produce fresh acidic greens and warm yellows produce earthy greens.
Having spent a few months preparing for this season’s string
of exhibitions, it is now time to just chill out in my watercolour sketchbooks and
get back to improving my skills of painting and observation.
I was not expecting to enjoy the subject of glass as much as
I did tonight at Art Group.The subject was chosen by me a few months ago
for all the Group to tackle.So perhaps
the anticipation of knowing this was coming was a bit daunting.
I kept the session simple for myself by taking along one single glass
for my still life set up.Placed on
the table it was surrounded by a brown laminate surface which I did not find
interesting at all.So I felt it was
time to inject some of my favourite colours into this: the blues.