My Blog

En Plein Air Painting

01/09/2021

My Plein Air Experiences

'En Plein Air Painting' is just a fancy way of saying painting outdoors. I have done quite a bit of watercolour or quick pen & wash sketches outside over the years, but I've never really tried to do a finished painting, much less an acrylic painting, outdoors. Until a few weeks ago, that is, when I joined in the RHGA plein air event at the Mill Pond Park in Richmond Hill. We were given prepared boards to paint on, so I selected my usual 12" x 12" square and ventured out into the park to find my spot. I was on the lookout for a nice, big, interesting tree to paint. I had decided that since I was out of my comfort zone painting in acrylics outside, then I would at least find a familiar subject to paint. As I had just spent the last few months painting a couple of series of tree paintings, I thought that a tree would be a good subject to tackle. I found a lovely, huge, interesting looking tree & set up my folding beach chair, spread out my painting things on the ground & made a start. Somehow I managed to pull off a finished painting that I was really happy with and it has been part of the display hanging outside the Mill Pond Gallery for the past few weeks.

Spurred on by my new enthusiasm for painting outdoors, I decided to apply for the McMichael annual Plein Air competition. Since my painting style is no longer traditional, I did wonder if I had any chance of getting in, but since it was free to apply, I decided why not give it a go. So now I have received the news that I have indeed been accepted into the competition and I need to make plans to get myself over to the McMichael & complete some plein air paintings to enter.

Wish me luck!



Painting in a series

02/08/2021

Feels Like Summer


I always admired artists who painted series of paintings because they seemed like 'proper artists'. Well, in a course I did recently we were taught how to paint in a series and it really makes a lot of sense. Painting in a series means that I start all the paintings at the same time & work on them simultaneously, putting one aside to dry & moving onto the next, then repeat. I love to use a limited palette when I am painting (meaning I use just a few tubes of paint & mix all my colours from them), so I used the same limited palette for all 4 of these summer tree paintings and I love how it gives them a cohesive look. I have always been drawn to drawing and painting trees. I take hundreds of photos of them, so I have lots of references to choose from. These particular trees are local to me and in fact I walk past them on my daily walks. I find the shapes that are made by the branches so interesting and even the negative shapes (shapes between the branches) make for interest. I have experimented with using pastels with the usual acrylic paint and I think it adds a new dimension with interesting lines and textures. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did painting them!



An Introduction

01/07/2021

My pandemic artist journey…


My mother was an artist, as were her 2 sisters, my aunties, so I grew up drawing and painting as a child and was always surrounded by art. Then I dabbled with painting as a hobby, off and on, all my adult life, but it was when the pandemic hit, and we went into strict lockdown last year, that I began to get more serious about my art.

I got sick early on and had to quarantine in my room for a few weeks (I still don't know if it was Covid or something else) and through sheer boredom I began looking for art videos to watch on YouTube. That's when I discovered Louise Fletcher, a Yorkshire artist in the UK, and I joined her online Art Tribe. This led me to her online course, Find Your Joy (FYJ), and that began a new love for acrylic painting and the beginnings of my explorations of working more freely and abstractly. Up until then I was mostly painting realistic watercolours and had begun to paint in acrylic only because it meant I could paint much bigger paintings. Through FYJ I developed a habit of daily painting, which I have continued, pretty much, ever since. Louise also introduced me to another online course, the Creative Visionary Program, or CVP, run by Nicholas Wilton in the US. I have just completed CVP, and this rather intensive course has given me the art education I never had, but always dreamed of.

I have been a member of Richmond Hill Group of Artists for many years now, but last November was the first time that I exhibited with them in a group show at the Mill Pond Gallery. I had begun to paint on wood panels, and the Small Treasures show was the ideal opportunity for me to display my new work. I entered 10 paintings in total and I sold 9 of them (the last one I keep on my bedroom wall as a reminder). To say I was blown away would be an understatement. Thank you to all my friends, family members and even strangers, who bought my paintings. Since then, I have exhibited in some online shows, posted regularly to Instagram, made more sales and I knew that I wanted to build my own website to showcase my work and have a place to direct people to who showed an interest.

I am excited to share this website with you and I hope you will stay in my art world to follow along on my journey as an artist.