Crab Apples…

Today I did a workshop at Gotham art group and I promised to post the photo we used today for the participants to be able to finish their paintings.

So here it is…

You can enlarge the photo by clicking on it and also have my permission to print it out.

We had a good time.  They were a lovely friendly relaxed group and did so well with unfamiliar (to them) techniques.  I hope they have great fun using the techniques on further projects.

Happy Painting everyone and thanks to Anne Howick for organising the event so brilliantly…that display of biscuits was first class!!!

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The walls, the walls… chickens, rose hips and orchids too!

I love Cromford where we’ve just had our painting holiday.

Perhaps because it seems to still remain on a human scale.  I know this is due to the fact that it is a conservation area and there are buildings, houses, village ponds, wharves and waterwheels and cart tracks that still bear the mark of hundreds of years of real human experience, of toil and suffering, as well as celebration and play.

The old wharf on the canal

The hotel where we stayed used to belong to the family of Richard Arkwright who, with the development of his massive cotton mill housing the first water powered spinning frames, became a leading entrepreneur of the Industrial Revolution.  The cottages and farms and even the original village school and weavers’ houses surrounding the hotel seem to carry a weight of fascinating social history.

Arkwright’s Mill

The quay at Cromford canal
Course members at the village pond

For me Cromford provides an antithesis to the brash hustle and bustle of Nottingham city and is why I enjoy it so much. It provides a sense of retreat from the modern world.

We, the twelve painters and me (and daughter Sophie) had a really nice time.  The weather was good most of the time and we got outside and re aquainted ourselves with the ubiquitous dry stone walls…oooh look at those textures!…the chickens and the abundant seasonal signs of late summer moving into Autumn.  There were rose hips aplenty following the pink dog roses of June and the old orchard trees were dripping with their fruits.

Rose hips, a delight to paint with pen and wash
Everyone enjoyed creating their own record of the delights the hotel surroundings had to offer with pen and wash and various texture making materials.  This was fun and I was amazed to see such originality and close observation.
We enjoyed our delicious meals in the restaurant overlooking the garden and the adjoining bar provided even more fun!  
A relaxing lunch before a return to work in the studio

The orchid project was a great learning experience for many of us and everyone worked so hard to produce some amazing results.

Our beautiful orchid paintings
A happy band of painters!
My thanks go to everyone for making this a really positive and enjoyable painting break.  Can’t wait til next year!

Nasturtiums…oranges, yellows and greens,winding tendrils and a negative painting fest. Love them!

Nasturtiums…love them with their gorgeous vibrant egg yolk yellows and oranges, flat plate like leaves and pale winding tendrils and stalks.  Monet knew his stuff when he had them crawling out into the gravel under the long pergola at Giverny.

They just make me want to paint them and they are great for those hungry for a negative painting fest.

So as always I’m painting them the only way I know how, even though they scream out to be designed into an art nouveau style composition.

I hate to admit this but they haven’t grown in my garden this year.  They often self seed among the lettuces but I must have been too tidy and weeded them out or something.  Luckily I took photos last year and the year before when the sun was shining on them and there were cast shadows aplenty.

I made a drawing using this photo and others in my collection.

I like the drawing as it has solid lines and these flowers would be so good for an art nouveau sort of treatment with lots of black lines.  I remember seeing a Tiffany glass design featuring nasturtiums, so beautiful.

But because I love to do the negative painting stage, I have started as I always do with an all over wash of yellows and oranges, blues and greens.

I can’t wait to get in there and find the negative shapes!