Back in the UK again

Hello everyone, I hope you have had a good summer.

It seems pretty pathetic to be saying I have been really busy, as I know everyone has.  I do post more on my open Facebook page.  It just seems easier somehow and of course I don’t want to repeat myself!

The last two months did tend to revolve around my studio, kitchen and bed!  In the beginning,  I spent a fair amount of time in my garden, trying to get it into shape, but then suddenly realised I only had about five weeks left, so I spent most of the time in the studio after that.  Thank goodness for swamp coolers.

One of the things I had to work on as soon as I got to New Mexico was a demonstration article commissioned by Steve Pill, the editor of Artists & Illustrators, here in the UK.    Below is a nice mention  and if you are interested you can buy the magazine online here

Here is the painting that I produced for the demo.

The Bridge 12 x 16 Oil/Linen Panel

By the time the two and a half months were up I found that I had really loosened up and I seemed to be enjoying the paint a lot more.   I guess it’s an obvious progression.  I would love to hear if others find this to be the case.

I managed to get my pieces finished for the two Museum shows (National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma and Albuquerque Museum), which was good, plus lots of paintings done for my galleries.  On my return I heard that I had two prints accepted into the Pushing Print exhibition in Margate in October, so that’s exciting.  

Barry and I spent a lovely three days camping in the Devil’s Garden Campground in Arches National Park just before I returned.  It was a full moon and quite beautiful.   I love that place and did some drawing whilst I was there.  There is something really special about climbing up rocks and finding a good place to draw!


Arches National Park – Devil’s Garden


I am off to the beach next week for a few days to sit by the sea and to make some decisions about my final MA Project… lots to consider.  At the moment I am ‘hovering’ (!) around dragonflies and rocks!

Flame skimmer – Male (I think)

Bye bye for now. 

End of my second year

Meandering River and Meadow – Diptych 8 x 16 Oil/Panel

Well, that’s the second year over and done with.  We all handed our portfolios yesterday and then went to pub!  After an hour or so of being there, I couldn’t stop thinking about my portfolio and whether I had actually handed in the correct one!!  (I have two similar portfolios).   I found myself wandering back to the Print Room to take one more peek!  Very silly of me, I know, but once 5 pm had passed it would have been too late!  Of course, I had submitted the correct one.

Now I am getting back to some serious painting, packing up from Cambridge, going home to spend some time with my Dad and Aunt and then off to New Mexico until the end of August.  I am looking forward to New Mexico, but shall miss being in the UK for the summer…  the luscious overgrown green.

A painting..

Tranquil Pool – 20 x 20 cm

I suppose this is what you call a distraction from writing my essay!!  .. updating my blog.. catching up really as I did this painting a while back but didn’t post it. 

I have booked my ticket to return to New Mexico in June and will be there until the end of August, which will be lovely.  Anyone who contacted me before asking about workshops in New Mexico, please email me and  we can arrange something.  I am really looking forward to getting lots of painting done and feeling the heat of the sun!!  Now back to the essay…

Back to school..

Well, I have been back at University now for three weeks and as usual trying to figure out in which direction my printmaking will go.  I have been looking at insects and seedheads again, but finding  it hard to let go of the landscapes, especially after spending last weekend at the beach!  I spent most of the time painting and sketching on the beach, except of course for a little paddle with my friend Melanie.  I also went into a school last week, The Thomas Clarkson Academy, to give a little talk about my work and to assist the students.  Here is a link to their website and a little piece about my visit.  It was a good day and I thoroughly enjoyed working with the class. 

All the above, sketches executed at the Botanics Cambridge.
A dry point created on the beach this weekend, of course I forgot about the fact that when printed it is in reverse! 

Fen Mist – 5 x 7 oil/wood

Walberswick, Suffolk

Catching Up.. again!

This last month has been so thrilling for us Brits.  For someone who likes just a small amount of sport I was surprisingly enthralled by the Olympics.  I wasn’t fortunate enough to have been able to attend, but I listened to it avidly on the radio whilst I painted with the odd mad dash to switch the TV on when it all became too exciting to hold a paintbrush steady!
Above is a photo of a gathering at Kettles Yard and the church next door to ring in the Olympics.  It seems such a long time ago, and now it’s all over I feel strangely bereft.  Still, we have the Paralympics to look forward to.
I have been posting a lot on my Facebook Painter and Printmaker site, (please ‘like’ if you haven’t already!) which seems easier somehow and I will try not to be too repetitive.  
Since my first year is now over I have been catching up on my painting and am back at Dad’s for a while.  His house is beginning to look like a studio!  (Hello Dad!).  I have been down to the marsh and back to Wicken Fen again trying to decide on what to do next year.  There is so much to inspire that I find it hard to settle upon one thing.  

Frampton Marsh

Wicken Fen continues to capture my imagination and I spent a very misty, then hot day there (11 hours in total) sketching and painting.

Early mist, Wicken Fen

I have been working on a number of oil paintings to send back to the US and here are a couple.
Autumn Cottonwoods 12 x 12 Oil/Panel
Distant Spire 10 x 12 Oil/Linen
I have been thinking about my blog and have been wondering if there is anything else that I can post that might be of interest to you all.  I would welcome suggestions so please don’t hesitate to send me a message!  That’s it for now.  I have to go for my morning run!

Difficult to know where to begin!

Last Saturday we spent a lovely day on the beach at Walberswick, Suffolk, with a couple of University friends.    Luckily by this stage it had stopped raining… but it was still fairly brisk, hence the hat… yes, in June!   However, the sun was out and you can actually see the shadows from the grains on sand on my little painting below!

We are now in Scotland, having driven through a rain storm, got rather lost looking for a motel and almost ran out of petrol in Kendal, Cumbria where we were planning on staying the night.  The plan was to visit Levens Hall the next day as I am planning on doing some drypoints of topiary and as you can see below, Levens Hall is famous for it’s topiary.   Thankfully, we didn’t run out of petrol, but did end up staying in a more expensive place than initially planned!  Running out of petrol was an even more costly option at 10.30 pm!

Anyhow, here are some sights and sketches from our travels.  

Inside of one of the topiary shapes.

Barry at Castlerigg Stone Circle, nr. Keswick
We stopped and painted here before going to visit lovely Julie Dumbarton  in her fabulously spacious studio in Langholm, in the Scottish Borders
 
Found this lovely field on the way to Lockerbie.

I think that’s about enough for this post!  I hope I haven’t bored you with all the photos, but the countryside is just so gorgeous at the moment. 

Back to painting…

Hello everyone…
 

Wicken Fen Autumn ii 12 x 12 Oil/Linen

Barry and I are finally back at my Dad’s in Lincolnshire after a couple of weeks travelling around.  I have managed to get back into painting and I have just finished the above oil, which I started earlier this year!

We spent some time in London, visiting friends, going to exhibitions and visiting one of my daughters, then onto Somerset to visit the other one and popping in to see a good friend in  Gloucestershire.  I thought I would share some photos (difficult to choose, so many good ones) and information from our trip.  At Tate Britain I finally got to see a Vija Celmins exhibit, which was worth the wait!  I have been studying her for my essay and was desperate to see some of her work in reality.  As John Berger wrote in The Shape of the Pocket,

“You have to see them. Words can’t get round them. And reproduction sends them back to where they came from”

How right he is, they are truly exquisite.  She also curated a little exhibit of Turner’s watercolours and prints.

We also went to see The Mechanical Hand Exhibit which was fascinating.  25 years of printing at The Paupers Press.  Not as much pure etching as I had hoped for, but some really wonderful work, a lot of lithographs, but I think my favourite was Christopher Le Brun’s etchings and Grayson Perry’s Map of Nowhere, which is fantastic and very humourous, if you are fortunate enough to be able to see it close up.

Grayson Perry Map of Nowhere  – Heliogravure

Below are a few images from our travels…

Holly (my eldest) and I walking around the Cadbury Castle iron age hill fort.
Me painting just down the road from my Father’s house.

I love buttercups and they are everywhere at the moment!
On the way up to Cadbury Castle hill
Our walk with Annie
On our way home with Annie