Sunday, April 22, 2018

Rhododendron moupinense and Ladybird

Some of the painting stages of 'Rhododendron Moupinense and Ladybird'. I love painting raindrops and thought that they looked particularly beautiful on the leaves of the Rhododendron Moupinense. I thought a pencil background would help to make a highlight of one branch of leaves. The ladybird was just a bit of fun and a splash of colour to the composition.

This painting is one of two pictures selected for the Williamson Open Art & Photography Exhibition 2018. Held at the Williamson Gallery & Museum, Slatey Road, Birkenhead CH43 4UE. It is open now until 6th May 2018.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

SBA Madrid

Exhibition entrance

Crowds at the opening

View of the gardens

Beds of tulips


Around Madrid
The Society of Botanical Artists exhibition 'Tulipa Tulipae - el tulipan ilustrado' held by the Real Jardin Botanico in Madrid is fantastic, so many beautiful paintings of tulips. It is open until 20th May.
The gardens are a lovely setting. They are planted with tulip varieties to match each of the paintings in the exhibition. The gallery is a large space with natural light.
What can I say about Madrid? It is a beautiful city and so much to see. We visited the Royal Palace, El Retiro - a fabulous park right in the middle of the city. We set aside a whole afternoon for the Prado Gallery. It wasn't long enough. What an amazing place.
It was fun trying out my Spanish although we only gave ourselves a few weeks to learn. I am not sure how much people were able to understand, but we managed to order food and buy tickets, and we survived.
We fell in love with Madrid. If you ever get the opportunity it's a city well worth visiting and I am sure you would fall in love with it too.

Monday, March 12, 2018

SBA Madrid

Practising my Spanish

Tulipa Peaches and Cream

The Society of Botanical Artists are holding an exhibition 'Tulipa Tulipae - el tulipan ilustrado', at Real Jardin Botanico, Madrid 20 March to 20th May 2018.
'Peaches and Cream' is one of my paintings in the exhibition. I am really looking forward to visiting this exhibition and seeing a little of Spain. I have never been there before.
I am trying my best to learn some Spanish. With not much luck. I can say hola (Hello) and Gracias (Thank you). I know a little French and German, but Spanish is such a hard language to learn. I think I need to carry my phrase book with me wherever I go. If you are visiting the exhibition and come and talk to me and I reply de nada (your welcome) and nothing else, I apologise, I am trying.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

House plants brighten your days

Coral Cactus

Sedum Burrito

It might be cold outside. Too cold to go out and garden. But plants grown in your home are a great comfort at this time of year. I don't have a lot of space for plants but all my window sills are full of them.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

A Painting has a life of it's own

Green background
Black Background
When I planned this composition I originally decided to have a green background.

In the first photo you can see the green background is in place. I was unhappy with it, I felt it would not highlight the plant the way I wanted it to.

Sometimes a painting has a life of it's own.

In the second photo you can see I have changed it. Lots of neutral tint. Much better.

I finished the painting and hated it. I could not decide what was wrong, so I put it away out of sight.

Reaching it out again, months later, I knew what was wrong. Too much neutral tint! I added more Sea Holly to the background.
More Sea Holly
Sometimes a painting definitely has a life of it's own.

Some paintings give you no trouble to paint, but then you always get one that is wilful, awkward, and puts up a fight.

Writers often talk about how their characters follow their own paths. Well who says plants can't do the same.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Society of Botanical Artists Madrid

 Tulipa 'Estella Rijnveld'
Tulipa 'Peaches and Cream'

The Society of Botanical Artists are holding an exhibition in a new venue next year. The Madrid Botanical Gardens in Spain. The exhibition is all about celebrating tulips. Those of us in the society who are taking part had to chose two tulips to grow and paint. It was coordinated so we all were painting different tulips. These photo's show my tulips growing in pots in my back garden. I was worried they would not grow or slugs would eat them. I protected them from all bugs and slugs as best as I could. They turned out to look nothing like the photo on the packet, but they were lovely colours and I was happy to paint them.
For a preview of one of the paintings I produced, have a look at my website

Monday, May 15, 2017

Plein Air in Plas Newydd

On a recent visit to the National Trust's Plas Newydd #Garden on #Anglesey, in North Wales, I actually managed to do some plein air painting. It is a while since I have painted outside, but at last the weather is perfect. I had forgotten how much fun it is.

I have a small set of paints, brushes and paper that I keep with me in my handbag.
When my husband and I go walking, I usually take my art set and often don't get round to using it. This time we settled ourselves in a quiet area of the wonderful Rhododendron gardens. I painted while Mike read his book.

Away from the wind it was hot. Luckily I had my sunhat. It is no wonder I am always loaded down with stuff, I must be carrying a ton weight in my bag. Okay I am not all that organised; I did forget my seat pad! Maybe I need to pull around a small truck!!