Monday, April 22, 2013

Birds and frustrations

Morning everyone.  Its the start of another week, hopefully not as manic as last week was. As you can see above I finished another painting.  I struggled a bit with this one.  I am not sure why,  whether it was the subject or whether it was the full bodied acrylics I used, I don't know, it could just have been I have been a bit over tired recently.  I am pleased however that it is finished and looking forward to doing some more work in the acrylic inks and also the pastels.

I ran the second of the flower painting workshops this week and both were a hit,  getting students to flick paint everywhere was fun and I really enjoyed it.

Arts week is looming, with less than 2 weeks to go I am trying to get the studio sorted and a few new bits  put on display.  I have cancelled all my sessions for Arts week.  I  know people are reluctant to come in when I have students in ( which is a lot these days) and so as we are anticipating the highest foot fall of the year then I thought I would try and  make the most of it. Also if there was a high number of visitors, I didn't think the students or I could concentrate fully.

My lovely cushions have arrived from the States.  I have 2 more to come.  I only ordered 4 as its quite an investment if they don't sell to just have lying around.  I will see how they go down and if needs be can take orders.  The students have been impressed at least.

I also had a move round of my studio,  I do get very frustrated hearing comments all the time about my studio just being a classroom, and then people walking away before they can really see inside.  I wanted to try and make it so they couldn't see the tables and blackboard through the door.  The black board was easy and I just painted over it ( even if it did take 7 coats).  After Arts week I will paint a board for the back wall,  but feel I am happy to leave it for now.  The tables I separated into 2 lots and put them at opposite ends of the studio.  I loved it.  Only problem was that I had 4 people walk through the door at once and nobody could move.  It was so strange how it just destroyed the movement around,  so unfortunately it all went back again.  I am just going to have to stop getting wound up about it.  Its not like I am struggling.  The lessons are gong well I am getting sales ok  at the studio and online , so If someone is that easily put off I shouldn't worry,  but I guess its just in my personality to not  like having a problem, that I can't find some sort of solution for!  I do have a bit of an idea forming but that will have to wait until after Arts week now.  For that week we will be having a huge move round anyway as I don't have to accommodate the students.

I also had the arrival of my photobook.  I am not sure I have told you about the idea for this so bear with me if you have heard it before.

When people look at my website for lessons , they can check out the student work and what we do here by looking at my workshop page and the student gallery.  But if they come into the studio they can't see example of the student work.  So the fabulous Mr Wellydog came up with the idea of a photo book, just to cover the workshops.  Some of my oldest students ( as in have been with me the longest, not that they are in there 90's!!!!)  gave me a some written feedback and I took some quotes from the feedback forms I give out at the end of the beginners groups and I put them together with a load of photos and hey presto I have a photo book.  

So sit back for a few minutes and I will tell you a story.......  

Click on the photos to see them larger

take care and see you next week

Janice x

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Flowers and birthdays

Spring arrived yesterday at the Centre , and now its gone again,  but it was lovely while it lasted and put us all in the right mood, for painting lovely flowers.

I had a watercolour flower painting workshop and we had great fun.  

I had initially been fully booked with 6 people,  but one cancelled at the last minute so 5 lovely ladies came and explored wet on wet techniques in flower painting.

I did a demonstration of my poppy painting and the techniques used and then they all did their own versions.

They then went on to paint either the tulips or roses on the table using the same techniques.  And produced paintings to be proud off.

Also this week was my birthday.  I hadn't wanted to do to much as its been very hectic recently so we just kicked back and explored our local area.  I have been photographing 50 art deco buildings for my 50 things to do in my 50th year ( which finished on Monday) and I wanted to add the Art Deco cinema in Bridgewater.  

We went to find it and on the way went to get a close up of the Willow man.

This is sculpture that I have seen from the motorway for years and have wanted to get up close and personal with, as he is one of my favourites.  He made me smile every time I went passed and became a familiar sight when I was traveling up and down the M5 to visit my Dad when he was in hospital down there. But he was hard to get to across many muddy fields. 

Unfortunately he is now very easy to see, as they have built a monstrous Morrisons depot and housing estate right by him,  It really spoils the look of him from the motorway,  but now means you can see him very close indeed.

He was made by Serena De La Hey and unveiled in 2000.  He was burnt down in 2001 and rebuilt and has recently received a haircut after birds picked at his head,  I love seeing the birds sat on his head,  so no doubt that will need doing again some time..

Enough of me getting old,  In the studio, I have had a good sales week and among the paintings sold was my latest one of the Grey wolf in pastels. I am a bit sad to see him go as he was the first one I did on my own on the velour paper

I also did a portrait of my little dog Fin.  I intend to frame it and when he is not in put the picture in his little cage area

Anyway, I have to go and get painting,  we have Arts week in a couple of weeks and sales have been good so I now need to get some more work produced to makes sure I have a good display for it.

See you soon and as always I love to hear your comments

Janice x

Monday, April 15, 2013

No 7


Black - completed,
Blue - still may happen
Red - will have to wait :-(

1. Have a meal with Steve and all the kids
2. Try and see a whale
3. See the Angel of the north
4. Photograph wild flowers
5. Paint outside ( not the fence)
6. Search for sea glass

7. Find 50 Art Deco buildings and photograph them  
See link below

8. Swim a mile
9. Walk on a beach at sunset in the UK
10. Sing in public ( not on my own) - Joining a singing group 
11. Make  a sculpture out of found or natural items
12. Pooh sticks
13. Walk up to Glastonbury Tor  
14. Paddle in a stream   -  Just waiting for a spring day Brrrrrrr

15.  Go on a picnic
16  Climb something 
17. Tea and cake with all the family
18.  Spend a day with Gemma    ?????       
19.  Spend a day with Heather  ??????
20.  Spend a Day with Chris   ??????

21.  Walk a dog
22. Find treasure 
23. See wonderful stained glass
24. See a David Hockney painting
25.  Visit Scotland
26. Try and see the Northern lights

27. Stargaze
28. Dance in the tower Ballroom Blackpool
29. Road trip
30. Decorate a special cake

31. Do a mosaic
32. Make 50 origami birds and hang them in trees - Only 10 left to make
33.  Throw a pot
34. Have a girly night 
35. Make a flower arrangement
36. Sparkle
37. Have my engagement and eternity rings repaired
38. Decorate the bedroom
39. Make a daisy chain
40. Get a tattoo
41. Have a photo us all.  Not professional
42. Make an album or photo book of the year 
43. Do something to raise money for charity
44. Candle lit relaxing  bath
45. Kiss in the rain
46. See a film in the directors lounge
47. Have a butterfly land on my hand
48. Crochet or knit myself a jumper
49. Paint a good picture on an Ipad
50.  Surprise me!!!

20 to go

50 Art Deco buildings ( well Maybe?)

One of my challenges in my 50th year was to photograph 50 Art Deco buildings,  so here are the results.

I am no Art Deco expert,  so I may have a few wrong and will research to check them out, but have included them in my list anyway

The first 3 were taken in were taken in Nothumberland

This Cinema, now a Weatherspoons is in Hexom

and these two were by the beach in Beadnell

Now my home town of Weston,  where most were found. 
These are a whole street of houses by the railway station

This is our Court House

and this is a row of shops leading up and designed by the same Architect as our Fabulous Odeon cinema  ( 16 for the price of one)

Then our Art Deco Masterpiece  built in 1935  and was designed by British architect Thomas Cecil Howitt (1889 - 1968)  He designed cinemas at Warley, Weston-super-Mare, Bridgwater and Clacton.  Only the Weston one exist intact,  the Bridgewater one is the only other surviving one and you will see later,  its not quite the same now.

Shops on Weston High street


 The GreenSlades building I think is because of

Its pattern detail 

the same goes for the MI Bar building

and the detail here also makes me think this one is to

Weston Pier may have burnt down but I believe the entrance is still an original Deco  feature

and some of the Cafes and bars along the seafront look Art Deco in shape

I counted this as 3

and the Toilets which have some deco detailing on,  ( sorry I didn't get a close up)

And then the Tropicana,  which when we arrived in Weston was still an outdoor lido.  It has been shut for at least Ten years and is the subject of lots of controversy about what will replace it and how many more planning applications the council can encourage then reject.  Such a shame and such a mess!

and its just round the corner from the other Somerset Art Deco Odeon,  

as you can see its no longer a cinema and the roof has been removed 

and the buildings to the side have all been smashed up and abandoned,

This is what I fear will happen when the weston one is abandoned by Odeon when the new multi screen complex opens in Weston later this year  :-(

Finally we come to a factory on the outskirts of Bridgewater that I just managed to get a snap through the car window off.

So that is a grand total of 58

Yay  did it.  

I have enjoyed exploring my home town for these masterpieces and it has made me look closer at where I live which has been a marvellous thing!  Perhaps you should try it?