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. 
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Happy Easter everyone!

I can’t believe that my first ‘year’ is coming to an end.  I have spent the last few weeks experimenting, trying to move away from drypoints for now.  I have had quite a few failures and some of them rather interesting.  I have tackled aquatint and photo etching from my own drawings.  There are so many different ways to create an image and this is what I absolutely love about printmaking.

Drypoint, Aquatint and Mezzotint plates.  It was all getting a little complicated!

Last week I went back up to Scotland with friends and we went on this very long hot walk up Coulter Fell and back.  The views were incredible, and the weather amazing.  Spring has arrived and disappeared for a few days, which is selfishly just as well since I now have to write my essay.  

I wish you all a very Happy Easter!

Garden ii drypoint – I keep working on this one.
Garden drypoint
Bud ii – Photo etch from own drawing on drafting film
Bud – Aquatint
View from Coulter Fell, Scotland
Real Cowslips!

Skies

Looking towards Cuan Sound
9 x 16 Oil/Linen

I am just preparing notes for my workshop.  I find that it really helps to write things down for such occasions because I tend to paint intuitively, not necessarily conscious of exactly ‘why’ I do what I do!  This is one of the reasons I love to teach… I get a little refresher course at the same time. 

In my research I came across Stapleton Kearns I found it really helpful in firming up own my views.  I am not sure I have fulfilled all the criteria on the above painting, but there is always the next time.

I am now officially a student and am very excited about what the future holds.  I think my blog will hopefully reflect the changes that will occur whist working on my Masters.  During our induction on Thursday evening, I couldn’t take my eyes of the very large press that was in the print room! 

Well, I had I better get back to making my notes, but before I go, here is another beautiful Lincolnshire sky…

Glorious three days…


Clachan Sound

Clachan Bridge (or Bridge over the Atlantic) and Barry


I loved these clouds

16 years ago we visited Seil Island because Barry (McCuan) wanted to see Cuan Sound which is the channel between Seil and Luing Island, also the bridge over the Atlantic… which sounded so grand, but we discovered that it was a little smaller and more beautiful than we had expected! It was so beautiful and calm on that day and have always wanted to return, so we did, and once again we were blessed with another wonderfully sunny and calm day!

I have to say it was an amazing few days and I am hard pressed to know which photos to post here, so here are a few for now and I will post some more later!

Getting some more clouds painted for my show at the Blackheath Gallery, London.

After Fish and Chips!


After a weekend of torrential rain it finally stopped, so Barry and I decided to go out and paint, but it was late and we hadn’t had supper, so we stopped by the local chippy and grabbed some fish and chips (naughty!) and ate them as we drove towards the Tweed River Valley. It was still pretty stormy out there and I had a notion to do some clouds. As I was driving I had spotted a really pretty cloud and was focused on this, but, as clouds do, it changed really fast, so this is as far as I got. It started to rain anyway! It’s amazing how light it still is up here until 9.30 pm. Barry brought over four of these Ampersand boxes, so I think I will do a series of clouds. Needless to say, it’s lovely lovely lovely having Barry here with me.

The Wren, the nest and two eggs


6 x 12
Oil/Box Panel


On the way up to Scotland


Not something you see everyday on the motorway!

I am back in Scotland now after what feels like a round the world tour! Scotland, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, London, Cambridge, Lincolnshire and Scotland! It was so good to see my Dad, my Aunt, old friends and my girls in London. Now Barry is here with me, which is lovely and I am getting used to sharing my Scottish studio! The fields are full of wild flowers and it is gorgeous. Above is a little painting I finished a week or so ago. Now I really have to work very hard as I have lots of deadlines, another commission and am working for the show in London.

Evening Meadow

Little Mitchellwood, Biggar

This little wood is almost opposite Jasmin’s house and is just delightful. There was talk of it being developed, but the owner eventually donated it for community use. It was just lovely last week with all the beautiful blossom. The daffodils are fading fast, but bluebells are now starting to bloom. All the fields are full of lambs and we have a weeks worth of sunny days coming!

Evening Meadow
9 x 16 Oil/Linen

Above is another of my paintings recently finished. I do wish you could see them in reality. They are, if I may say so, so much better in reality!