Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sixty seconds of sunshine and still life's

Yesterday was workshop No2,
We started the morning off by doing some silly tonal exercises. The sun was shining so I decided it would be good to go outside and sketch things ,whilst you could see very clear tonal differences . Great, only problem was, that once we got outside the sun only stayed for about 10 minutes ( sorry I exaggerated in my title), but nevertheless the students did a great job and came back with some simple but effective sketches from around the centre.
Each student then had to do a one colour tonal painting from their sketches. The idea was not to get a great painting but to learn that the more tonal detail you put in your sketch the better the result, especially if you are painting from your sketches.

As the weather had turned cold, after lunch we did a still life. It was not an easy one, but they coped well with it and below is the results to show you. Unfortunately the teaching room wasn't warm so it was a bit of a battle for the students.
The teaching room is proving to be not ideal, its quite dark and although the artificial lighting is bright it is very yellow. I am told the storage heaters will be on next time rather than 2 small plug in radiators. I sincerely hope so, as I may not be able to continue to use it. I am going to enquire about other halls in different areas, but can't decide if its best to travel round doing the workshops around and about or whether to keep myself based in the one place. Well thats a decision for the future, but for now I hope you enjoy seeing the students work. I am very pleased with them.......

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Signs and swimming

My sign keeps blowing over, so clever Mr WellyDog, put a blackboard on the back, That way I can put my workshops dates on it. Did you know normal chalk is not waterproof,? I guess it should have been obvious but I am a bit slow sometimes , anyway again Mr WD came to the rescue and bought me a waterprooof chalk pen, its brilliant to use and apparently just needs some gentle detergent to remove it, so I wrote out all my worksops and sat it happily in the rain.
I thought the rain would keep people away but we had a gentle trickle of people, and I had a couple of nice sales this morning. It rained all day and I had to keep the door shut so I think the sign did its job as people came in, I had a couple of queries about workshops, I am hoping that one day all these people that show an interest, will suddenly decide to book, I would be in business for a long time then...

I decided to treat myself to doing some art work I have been fancying doing for a while. I wanted to know if I could paint people in water, I love painting water and I have wanted to do this ever since I saw Gilly Marklew's work. I am no where near as good and of course I have my own style and would not want to paint the same, but I loved doing it and may have to do some more. Someone today said today it reminded them of David Hockney, which I take as huge compliment as I am a fan. check out his work here

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Good day in october

I had a good day today, despite being cold and wet this afternoon, I sold loads of cards and have had to delist some off folksy as I have run out now of one and will have to get some reprinted, a couple are very low on stock and will have to think of its worth re-stocking at this time of the year.

I also sold this painting of exmoor...

and this one of a turtle.....


Monday, October 24, 2011

Because your worth it....

I have always been a L'Oreal girl, probably from my days as a hairdresser as all the salons I worked it used it and I never had bad results. I used to mix my own colours but over the years I have lost my confidence and it was so much easier to buy the ready made kits and not think about it.
I colour my hair a lot, I always find it cheers me up, so with a miserable few weeks I decided to change to a red head to brighten me up.
I couldn't find the shade I wanted so against all my better judgement I went for a special offer on the John Frieda mouse hair colour ,they have been plugging away at. My daughter also said she thought it was great. At normal price it would be just about double what I normally pay but on the offer it was only a little bit more so decided to treat myself to the nice copper color they had. (5C)

It was easy to apply ( or so it seemed) and I loved the colour ......Arrrrggggg, what a mess I don't know if you can see from the picture properly but it just didn't cover properly .
I was left with a nice blonde patch on the left hand side, I followed the instructions well and I never have problems before so I was gutted. Instead of cheering me up, I felt very deflated and disappointed.
Luckily we have a boots round the corner, I didn't want to go for another permanent so soon so bought a semi, which should patch it for a few weeks, its just about all the same colour now ( light in the picture doesn't show it properly but it is all one colour, honestly) and not quite the colour I wanted, but at least its not Patchy.
So moral of the story is, don't buy John Frieda mouse colour and in future I will stick to what I know , after all I am really worth it,

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fair and fine weather

For those that didn't know then the picture I showed of my sketch book was of Glastonbury Tor, it was done from memory so not necessarily that good.

Yesterday was the Craft Fair, what a wonderful day to have it, although it was a bit cold it was very sunny all day.

There was 9 stall in total and most of them managed to get under the Gazebos we had put up, Children were running around collecting their 10 halloween images and collecting the letters from the studios, to make up the magic word to get there treasure at the end.

There was a good footfall, not brilliant, but the people coming seemed to be spending. I spent a lot of time giving out leaflets offering a discount for my workshops, if they booked in the next week, I'm not sure it did any good, I have a few people interested but mainly for in the new year. But I guess time will tell.

My next work shops is great almost fully booked which is brilliant but the next two are a bit low on numbers so I must get those filled soon.

In between handing out leaflets, I started to paint this yesterday I guess I will finish it off today when I go in, so hopefully will show you the finished article on my next blog

Friday, October 21, 2011

Today i do be......

......putting up Gazebo's

Its all ready for the craft Market we are hosting tomorrow for Made in Weston, fingers crossed the weather is good and we have lots of people coming along, as if its a normal Saturday there will be a lot of disappointed craft stall holders. In all honesty though I have see loads of posters and I know a big marketing campaign has gone into the whole Made in Weston series of events, so should be good for us and the stall holders alike.

As there is another artist coming to use the empty studio and the other resident Artist Gail is leaving next week, and so is having a big 50% off sale, then I thought I would concentrate on promoting my workshops to everyone and anyone who arrives. I have made my flyers and will stand outside my studio giving them out all day and boring people who will listen to me ramble on. Fingers crossed it helps me get my bookings up for the winter months.

I haven't been very productive today, but I have been working on my sketchbook project...Guess where this is??

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Halloween and Heating

Made in Weston are at Clevedon Craft Centre on Sat 22nd Oct.
Open from 10am, their craft stalls will be dotted throughout the Centre alongside our studios. There will also be a seasonal pumpkin hunt for children with treasure at the end. so if you are in the area it may be interesting and we would love to see you.

I have been having a few heating problems in my studio. Yes its no surprise but its getting cold. I decided that I needed to have some gentle heating on over night so no dampness gets behind the glass in my frames and ruin the paintings. I bought a little heater and left it on overnight on Wednesday. I made a bit of mistake as I hadn't tested it and the instructions said not to leave on unattended. Mr WD assured me it was safe as it was on a thermostat, but I couldn't settle worried about it, so bless him Mr WD took me up there at 10pm to switch it off. Of course it was ok, but thats what I'm like and my lovely OH sorts me out.

Anyway after much discussion, with other people at the centre and the lady who used to be in my studio, I decided on a oil filed radiator with a frost setting that was ok to leave. So off I went this morning to swop it, works great and have left it on the low setting overnight, so hopefully, fingers crossed should be ok in the morning.

But as an extra precaution I decided to plug it into my only socket with a cut out on it. This meant I had to move my sideboard out of the way, so I decided to also rearrange some paintings and I put a wall of all my water paintings together, I quite like it. Oh apart from the japanese girl but she is just there as I need to get her all packed up and posted out.

After all that I continued working on a commission I have, which I am not going to show you yet and I finished the day working on my sketchbook project.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A couple of days to relax

With starting my studio, then me and Mr Wellydog have not really seen each other, as I am working weekends, so he took a couple of days off work so we could spend some time together. We were going to go away but with the events of the last few weeks, we never got round to organising it. So we had a couple of day trips instead. We are lucky as we live in such a beautiful area that is also not to far to go into the wonderful Somerset and Devon.

Monday we started off by going into Glastonbury. We wanted to climb up to the Tor, but couldn't find any where to park and the bus service normally running had closed for the season. but we got to take some good photos and will go back in the spring to do it.
I found the town quite difficult as every shop had joss stick burning in it and it set my asthma off, but it is a wonderful place to people watch. There was an amazing array of spiritual services on offer, I could have had my tarot cards read or contacted dead spirits. I wasn't really tempted and definitely not by the spiritual surgeon, the mind boggles.

We then headed to one of my favourite places Wells, the town is filled with lovely buildings and of course the magnificent , cathedral. There have been a lot of changes since we last went and you can no longer access the cathedral through the front entrance but are herded through a modern souless corridor. The stained glass is amazing and the worn steps up tot the art exhibition are wonderful. I did think it was a bit of a shame how commercial it had all become, I realise that it cannot be cheap to run, but I think they have overdone it a bit. Still well worth a visit though, if you are in the area.

And make sure you walk round the bishop palace at the back to get wonderful views of the moat and wall
Tuesday we headed over Exmoor and into Illfracoombe.
We paid to go through the victorian tunnels and see the natural bathing pool and wonderful hidden beaches. It was a blustery day, but we spent ages on the beaches looking at the high waves and swollen sea.
Peering into lovely rock pools along the way.

We ended the day by driving through Lynmouth and down Porlock hill, not for the faint hearted, or those with dodgy clutches on their cars but we made it ok.
We both enjoyed our time together laughed a lot and vowed to do it again soon x

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Unusual visitors and vouchers

This little chat came visiting today, He waddled up to my studio, stood on one leg for a while, shook himself them marched off to the car park and into the fields beyond. I knowingly told everyone he was grouse, but I am not 100% sure, so perhaps you can let me know if you know better.

It was very quiet at the centre this weekend, but we are hoping it will be better next weekend as we have a craft show, for Made in Weston, We are all hosting a Pumpkin hunt as well for the children which should be fun, so if you are in the area, pop by.

For one of my workshops I had to produce a card for a gentleman, whose granddaughter has bought him the workshop for his birthday present. After that was sorted I thought I would do a Sample Xmas one that several of you have suggested ( great idea thanks). I was really pleased how it came out and had one person very interested already, its only when I uploaded the photos I realised my spelling mistake, Opps.

Hopefully it should make a good present for someone and maybe help with my bookings.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sketchbook project

Page 2.......

Artist Greg Hunt

You know how you agree to something and then forget all about it as your mind is on other things, well thats what I did....Opps

At the Centre there is another Art studio, but its closing, Gail who currently runs it is leaving to free up more personal time. She currently lets another artist Greg use her studio one day a week , so he is now homeless. He was offered a home in the jewellery shop but they are closing down for the winter, so I said he could use mine for a couple of months.
I still have no problems with it, I just hadn't remembered the dates and so yesterday , he moved a few things in and I just wasn't ready, in fact the day became very chaotic.

So Greg will be in my studio every Friday and most Saturday mornings, he will brings his cards in to sell but I don't have room for any of his art work so that is being stored in one of his friends loft. I think it will be a good arrangement as I will have Fridays off and can have a lie in on a Saturday morning and he will give me a small contribution to my electricity bill. He just basically needs somewhere away from home to spend one day a week producing his exhibition work.

I am hoping this will free me up to get some Friday workshops up and running in the winter, away from the centre, perhaps in some of the little villages around and about. Also while people are still around I will then be able to open on a Tuesday and still give me 2 free days, one to visit my father and one to spend time around the house.

It will either be a blessing or a curse, watch this space

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sketch book project

First page ............

Back to normal - ish

So I had the worst week ever at the studio, I took a grand total of £4.50 and had to give my daughter £2.50 of that as I have started stocking her soaps. She sells under the name of Buggalug bubbles on folksy and has developed a rich and luxurious soap for those people like herself, that have skin problems that are made worse but high street products, check her out here

I would love to stock other peoples work but space is so limited I can't, but for I thought a few soaps wouldn't take up much room and I am keen to help her as much as possible as she has put a lot of research and work into developing her soap. watch out as a new soap she has been working on, will be ready for you to buy for Xmas presents.

Anyway if you have read my blog you will know our lovely dog Welly died last week, with looking after him and a few things that had to be sorted after, I was only in one day, so I really can't complain, but it does bring home to you, how precarious it is when you have a problem and no money is coming in.

But this week is making up for it. I have had good bookings for my workshops and a deposit for a lovely commission, I have been asked to do. I started the commission yesterday, and its a lovely subject so maybe I will show you when it has been delivered.
I had a lovely lady in yesterday who put a deposit on a painting, so hopefully she should pick that up soon and pay the rest , she also said she would book a class with me, so that will be nice if she does.

I had my first workshop booking through my website. I put paypal links on my site, it took a little time to figure out but I am please with it, even though I say so myself. A lovely student who has been very supportive of me, booked onto my Xmas card workshop and so tested it for me, I was very excited.

Check the links out here

So hopefully things should get back to normal now, although I suspect that people will stop coming to the centre soon. My postcards to advertise my workshops arrived so I think I need to get out and about putting them around, If anyone local to me has any suggestions where I could put them, I would love it, if you would let me know, Polite answers only please haha.

Oh and don't forget if you are in the area on the 22nd, there is a craft show at the centre with a children's halloween hunt thingy to join in (I will let you know more details when I know them)

Monday, October 10, 2011

So Sad

Me and my family have been left devastated by the death of our beautiful dog, Wellington Boots, who we have shared our lives with for the last 16 years.

He didn't have the best start in life and came to us through Whitehouse Kennels as a stray. He was between the ages of 18 month to 2 years when he arrived, so had a long and hopefully happy life. He didn't come without problems, he liked to chase bicycles, hated men with hats on and liked to try and follow people pushing pushchairs. He also terrorised his fair share of post people in the early years.
But we soon came to adore him, with his ticklish feet and liking for chasing bunny rabbits in his sleep. He loved to sit under the dinner table as the children sneaked him food. He liked to raid the freezer, one memorable bonfire night, he managed to open the freezer, pull the draw out and eat all the icecream without even making a mark on it. He would round up the children and little white dogs, when we went for a walks, and hated getting his feet wet, but became water powered when we bathed him.
He liked to know where everyone was and was constantly checking round the house to see where we all were. He was part of the family, our best friend and companion.

The last couple of days we had with him were very sad, but he died surrounded by people who loved him in his own bed, so for that we are grateful.

Rest in peace my darling and I miss you so much x

Thursday, October 6, 2011

H is for.......


I know its a bit early but thought I would get into the halloween spirit, ( see what I did there?) so I spend the morning carving a pumpkin, yes I am a big kid at heart.

It is very slow at the studios this week I think the weather is putting people off, especially as we had such good weather last week, luckily I have a few commissions for Christmas to get done. My workshop on the 29th is filling up well so I have just booked another 7 workshop spaces. I am quite limited on when I can use the teaching room as there are regular groups that have been going for years to compete with, so I may also look for other village halls etc to maybe start a couple up in the new year. So for now its promote promote promote my workshops.

So here is my first promotion, the list of new workshop dates

Saturday 29th October - Improvers workshop

Saturday 5th november- Beginners workshop

Sunday 13th November - 1/2 day Christmas card design workshop

Saturday 26th November - Winter watercolour landscapes

Saturday 3rd December - Exploring landscapes in soft pastels

Thursday 8th December - Beginners workshop

Thursday 15th December - Winter watercolour landscapes

Saturday 14th January - Improvers watercolours

H is also for horse
The brown chap at the back has been avoiding me for weeks. I wanted a close up photo of his face to be able to paint it, but even though he is happy to greet most people who come into the visitor carpark ( next to his field) he avoids me, I think perhaps he has realised I am a bit scared of horses, eithier that or he's playing games.
The black one however was happy to pose and I did tickle his nose as thanks, even if it was a bit tentatively.......

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Draw a robin

As its that time of the year ( sorry ) I thought you might like to draw a robin. I put this one on Folksy ages ago when I was trading under a different name.

Why not give it a go

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Saturday, October 1, 2011


Well I held my first workshop at the centre today. I was nervous but also very excited, My nerves were mostly about making sure everyone not only had a good time but were also inspired to carry on.

But it seemed to go very well. We did have a laugh and also the results were very good. these are the final pieces that were done at the end of the day.
I had some good feedback and re-bookings, also a promise of spreading the word and help with advertising future workshops.