Post Patchings ponderings

The cars have been unloaded, the cards and prints tidied away, the paintings rehung (no not yet…give me time!) the table coverings folded up for another year. Patchings Festival is over and we had a good four days. Seeing old artist friends and comparing notes about the year that’s passed and prospects for the year to come. Glowing from lovely compliments from the visitors but secretly puzzled as to why all my paintings were not immediately snapped up. Hmmmmm! But I enjoyed being able to paint during the four days and share tips…people stand for ages looking on and gleaning as much info. as they can. Here is one of the demos I did and was quite pleased with.

Watercolour Painting Holidays for 2011 at Alison House

This is the time of year when I can benefit from seeing everyone at Patchings to tell them about courses over the next year.

I’ve been running day courses in my studio and they have been full to bursting and we’ve had a great time and some wonderful painting has taken place (although I am becoming more and more convinced that people were really coming for the delicious lunch served by my lovely husband!)
There are still five of those still to run, (all booked up I’m afraid.) But in 2011 I am going to run some residential courses where we can get away from it all and they will be open to more painters.
Here are some details…
Dates August 22 – 25 2011
and October 3 – 6 2011
Venue Alison House Hotel and Conference Centre, Cromford Derbyshire, DE4 3RH
Price £395 to include
– 3 full days tuition with demonstrations from Ann
– AA 4 Star accommodation in ensuite double rooms (TV, Wi fi, tea/coffee, hairdryer etc.)
– Breakfast, lunch and dinner with wine each day.
– Tea/coffee available through the day.
Concentrating on Flowers/ Gardens/ Garden features/ Flowers in the Landscape, our course programme will be…
Monday evening. Arrive, settle in, dinner followed by introductory demo by Ann
Tuesday. Full day’s painting with demos and tuition from Ann
Wednesday Full day’s painting with demos and tuition from Ann
Thursday Painting till lunch, then course review and feedback, packing up for 3-4pm
Non painting partners sharing a double room welcome at a special price of £200.
Cromford is a centre for tourism and historical interest in the Derbyshire Peak. Within walking distance of the Hotel, there are a range of shops, sites of historical interest, eg. Arkwright’s Mill and beauty spots, eg. River Derwent and Cromford Canal.
Talking about it is making me want to go now and get away from it all with no cares apart from having to change the painting water occasionally!
If you’re interested you can get in touch via the website Drop me an email or give me a ring or sign up at Patchings Festival.

Patchings Art and Design Festival coming up on 10 – 13 June

Everything stops now for Patchings, the art festival at Calverton near Nottingham where I have had a stand over the last few years and this will be my sixth time at this friendly but incredibly well frequented show. Art societies from all over the Midlands and further afield come in coach loads…there’s a huge car park, luckily…as there is so much to see. Apart from the painting, and there are huge numbers of excellent artists demonstrating, including Shirley Trevena, David Curtis and Lucy Willis to name but a few, there are art materials for sale, crafts, sculpture, pottery, jewellery, etc etc.

And yours truly will have a stand there over the four days. I will be exhibiting and selling my paintings, and will have giclee prints, cards, books, step by step guides for sale. And the whole time I will be demonstrating and painting. And I will be have information about the residential watercolour painting courses that I am running in 2011 at Alison House Hotel and Conference Centre at Cromford in Derbyshire. More info about the festival at
Here are a few of the paintings I’ll be exhibiting.

Exercise bikes, sketch books and engaging artists

So what next? I try and start some days with some exercise to keep the incipient senility at bay! And that means half an hour on the exercise bike. For entertainment while I’m doing that, I have a television and video player. ( Oh yes, it’s cutting edge technology in our house.) My friend who is an avid collector of painting videos and DVDs has let me borrow some to play on my ancient machine.

I love watching artists paint and I find I get inspired to go and get to work myself. But most importantly it makes me forget how boring the exercise bike is!
So which artist makes the minutes fly by? Which artist makes me forget I am toiling my way up an imaginary hill? Who can have this wonderful effect? Lovely Hazel Soan, that’s who! It is she who is so engaging and interesting and enthusiastic that I have done my thirty minutes in no time at all.
Which brings me to the sketchbook page I have posted here. Today she was talking on the video about keeping a sketchbook and doing watercolour sketches on holiday. I have been inspired to do more sketching, ie. just celebrating the medium, celebrating the world around me without thinking of the end result or trying to fill an imaginary frame with a hoped for masterpiece. Watch this space!