May – just in time?

Just spotted the calendar (hi tech, me). So nearly failed to achieve my target of posting at least once a month.

I had to wait to publish my most recent work which is a painting of our local, the good old Ring O’Bells, Moorlinch. This was a wedding present for Trish and Clive the landlady and landlord, handed over at a wonderful party at the pub last Friday. I’m sure I was not alone in feeling I’d perhaps had too good a time on Saturday!  (Actually I typed ‘satyrday’. That sounds like the title for a Nancy Farmer http://www.nancyfarmer.net Painting so I must suggest it to her).

Anyway it was a while since last ‘did’ the pub and it was quite difficult to avoid being spotted, but I think I got away with it:

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A couple of weeks back I finally decided ‘it is what it is’ , photographed my latest version of ‘The impossible View’  (as described in my April post) also known as ‘Looking out out over the Levels,’ and took it off the stretching board:

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I’m sure it won’t be the last time I’ll tackle this one!

I did discuss this project with a very sympathetic artist and her colleague who came to our Moorlinch Art Group and gave us a memorable workshop on creating sketchbooks: Sue Lewington and Jackie Hichens run excellent classes that really made us look differently on our sketchbooks   http://www.travellingartclassesandholidays.co.uk

I couldn’t resist buying one of their handmade sketchbooks and ‘christened’ it straight away:

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photo 4They brought masses of resources with them and we all got stuck in. Thanks Sheila Jones for organising!

 

 

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Christmas is coming… or The Small Picture

I read this week that somebody won a statistics prize for analysing mentions of the festive season and discovered: yes, Christmas is starting earlier each year!

We Moorlinch artists (plus our new colleague Sheila Jones from nearby Stawell) have not been able to resist the lure of the lights and glitter and so we’re busy prepating for a Christmas Art and Craft event the weekend after this coming one.

Two venues this time: Spring Farm and Nancy Farmer’s Studio just down the road (next to the Ring O’ Bells) at The Old Farmhouse.

I was at a loss to know what special new thing to do. People were talking  ‘small pictures’ as being more saleable. Hmm…how about really tiny pictures then? So some weeny easels, some canvas boards three and a half inches by two and a half, and quite a lot of time later, I have some ‘stocking filler original art’!

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They have proved difficult to photograph in artificial light, however.

Still here are some, completed:

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And here’s a ‘serving suggestion’!

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It’s been interesting using watercolours straight from the tube or with Aquapasto thickening medium – which because it has a lot of gum arabic means the paint can be lifted more easily – and some white acrylic. Choice of subject was challenging too: bright coloured scenes, simple shapes worked best.

Our Christmas Fair id from Friday 21st Novenmer to Sunday 23rd November, 11am to 5pm.

xmas invitation 2014

Ho-ho-ho!

Cezanne meets Van Gogh

Today…the penultinate day of Somerset Art Weeks 2014…I have been mainly playing about with fruit and flowers.

Despit my protestations of ‘I haven’y got time’ ‘It’s somerset Art Weeks’ and ‘I’m unproductive in the gardening department’ our Moorlinch Village Church Rota Organiser didn’t take no for an answer I. tried a final ‘The chuch will be locked by the time I’ve finished’ upon which she entrusted to my care this wonderful key:

 

DSCF6286 cropped church key

Result:I am required to produce ‘something’ to grace one of the Church windows and yet yield some saleable produce when it all gets taken down to the Ring O’ Bells for the Annual Harvest Festival Auction.

This year a certain Nancy Farmer is to be in charge of the gaveI and do her best to coax we villagers to cough up the loot for the stuff we provided in the first place. Yes I know, but it’s a tiny village and we have to make our own amusement.

So  in a series of two-minute bursts from the command centre of my gallery I’ve: dispatched my husband to Sainsbury’s for sunflowers;  grabbed a few apples from the tree;  raided my fruitbowl and vegetable rack; ferreted about in the cuboard that houses bins, oil store and bits and pieces we should have taken to the tip and found a suitable receptacle. Suitable, that is, once disguised with the aforementioned ivy.

Sunflowers – that worked for Van Gogh. And apples – well, hello, Cezanne! Can I get them to work with each other?

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No, the sunflowers were definitely keeping themselves aloof from the fruit. So without so much as a ‘back in five minutes’ Ileft the gallery and charged up the hill to a handy hedgerow whivh provided ivy flowers and berries. I think that did the trick :’ Vincent: meet Paul!’ But you may not agree!

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SAW 2014 Halfway House

So here we are, halfway through the Art Weeks. I remember someone a few years ago saying that when they went round the open studios, all the artists were at their computers, as I am now.

Actually I’m sure that’s a bit old hat, now, what with smartphones ( which I don’t use) and tablets ( which I do use). In fact I have done a bit of ‘proper’ art work, preparing a couple of collages for a local exhibition. Foolishly I forgot to photograph them and now they’ve gone. It isn’t that easy to throw yourself into a major project when you might have to stop at any minute, but you can use scissors and glue on a stop-start basis.

I’m also starting on a drawing on the theme of Poppies which I’ll try to record. The Poppy exhibition will be at Bridgwater Arts Centre as part of a First World War commemoration.

So – over the past eight days I’m very pleased to have sold eight paintings,some of them even to people I didn’t know!

Paintings I’m saying goodbye to:

My preview was well attended by my faithful friends (who are also often my customers) and I thank them very much.

Word on the street is that numbers are down this year, somewhat inexplicably, and I agree with that.  Certainly the marketing doesn’t seem to be reaching the parts of the visiting public it once did. A bit disappointing, considering we’ve heard it  from our leaders that business is booming again.

It’s a good opportunity to catch up on a few jobs too – I had a Kangeroo in my in-tray awaiting repair. All stitched up now, she (and her baby in the pouch) will be reunited with owner Max when we meet for a walking holiday soon. Max, at six,

Hop it! Kageroos with sticks

Hop it! Kageroos with sticks

thinks no walk is any fun without the acquisition of a stout stck. So I’ve provided the kangeroo and her Joey with their own sticks:

 

 

Somerset Art Weeks 2014 – some pictures on the blog!

I’ve been creating a new page which I’ve called ‘Somerset Art Weeks 2014 collection’ as distinct from the Gallery page of previous paintings and drawings.

So far I’ve identified four themes I say ‘indentfied’ as if I’m making this fascinating study of someone else’s work, but the thing is, I get inspired by a subject, which usually leads me on to another one (often before I’ve got very far with the original one). Then, bingo, you look over the assembled stuff and you see how they group themselves together.

So far I have: field and meadow; house in the woods, animals and buildings. The titles are getting less poetic! Anyway they are to be found listed under the words Somerset Art Weeks 2014 collection on the black header bar.

Somerset Art Weeks 2014 – some pictures on the wall!

Not only do I have to decide how to display my new paintings for Somerset Art Weeks 2014 – I actually have to come to terms with a new gallery. Nancy Farmer (we’re related) has left me the Cider Barn Gallery at Spring Farm and gone home to The Old Farmhouse where she will be displaying her Somerset Art Weeks exhibition in her studio there – don’t think she’s given it a name.

In fact, though she may have left there are quite a few Nancy Farmer artefacts lurking. So for the moment I’ve pushed most of the stuff into the middle and made a start at hanging work on the wall.

I started with my Meadow and Fields pictures: scenes of field patterns seen from the hill above Moorlinch at harvest time, looking out over the Somerset Levels. You’d never guess this was a vast lake at the beginning of the year.

Meadows and fields was also the first theme I illustrated in my Gallery page, sharing the title of ‘ Somerset Art Weeks 2014 collection’. I’ve gone on to do a page called ‘House in the woods’, another of my 2014 themes.

The picture so far:

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And on the other wall:

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It’s a start!

Going to a drier part of the country: the Lake District

Or…Troutbeck again!

The Lake District is, truth to tell, probably wetter even than Somerset at this moment, but generally the water is where you expect it to be. My previous post gave some idea of the (apparently) 25 square miles of temporary lake around these parts.DSCF4392

There have also been complaints that these gates are padlocked when they shouldn’t be, thus making it difficult to walk through……??? Duh!  It’s good to complain!

Anyway, in anticipation of heading North, I’ve been drawing and painting from sketches and photos so that I can replace – and hopefully add to – the drawings that Gareth and Carly sold at Christmas from their new tearoom at the TroutbeckPost Office. Yes – both pictures sold! I was so pleased. So here are some of the fruits of my labour:

DSCF4402 resizedThis post seems to feature gates quite strongly. Ah -it’s a Gate Post, ha-ha!

DSCF4404 resized And I’ve also ventured into colour:

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And finally headed for the hills:

From Troutbeck to Wansfell Pike

From Troutbeck to Wansfell Pike

I know I’ve done it before, but I just love this path.

We’ll be staying  not quite  as close to the Mortal Man, but nearer to the Queen’s Head! Cheers!

Maskerade

It’s a pun…I do know how to spell  really.(I just did. That’s a joke too). Rob Dudley, from deepest Dartmoor came to our Moorlinch Art Group, which I run, and gave us a brilliant demo last Wednesday.

Among other valuable insights he shared with us was How to Make a Masking Fluid Applicator That Works. It looks like a marine creature impaled on a stick and you begin by consuming creme brule (which I can’t seem to accent correctly. Dare I add I do know how to spell in French too)  from Marks and Spencer. I’m not sure I should say more…

Pam Motum with Rob's astounding masking fluid brush

Pam Motum with Rob’s astounding masking fluid brush

Rob employed the device with great dexterity and created a sparkling seascape before our very eyes. ‘It’s all tricks’ he declares. Hmm….well maybe you can’t teach old artists new tricks, but we’re all determined to have a go! Inspiring – thanks Rob.

From this...

From this…

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…to this.

Why Rob should kneel at my feet I don't know. Oh - maybe he's just too tall...

Why Rob should kneel at my feet I don’t know. Oh – maybe he’s just too tall…

The house formerly known as pink…

The Pink House was a landmark as you came down into the village. That wasn’t its name, but that was what everyone called it because – well, it was very pink.

Now it has been remodelled – still retaining the character of its origins, which were actually three tiny cottages all with different rooflines that seemed to have flowed into one. Except…it isn’t the startling flamingo colour anymore.

To celebrate the reconstruction, I was delighted to be commissioned by the owners to paint the cottage – it’s ‘portrait’ that is, not the actual walls.

There were some charming features in the garden which I managed to give prominence to, using a bit of good ol-fashioned artistic licence. The result is shown below.

 

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Pictures in the Pub

The Ring O’ Bells, Moorlinch is a great village pub. It’s where you repair to after village meetings, weddings, funerals, trips to the cinema – and notably on a Tuesday night at 9.30 pm. The ‘Tuesday Club’ is cosseted by Lesley, with a roaring fire waiting. We also hold our Share Club meetings there, though I’m pretty sure most of our profits get drunk! Last year a downpour meant we also held our Jubilee Street Party there too.

Anyway, recently I suggested to mine hosts Trish and Clive that they might care to have original Art on the walls so yesterday we put up about a dozen paintings, displacing a Constable among others. Hope the locals like them. Hope the locals notice them!

The photo shows Trish, Amy, Emma and me and my ‘Chalice Morris Men at the Ring O’ Bells’DSCF4153 croppedThe scene of the painting is,appropriately, just outside the pub.