Thursday, 25 August 2011

Waterlilies so far...

I had a stressful day today thanks to a Mercury retrograde with Saturn in Libra squaring Mars in Cancer. Bad combination which left me sort of in the firing line. Never mind... that's life. So I have been painting this evening to try and wind down. This is what I started on my day off on Tuesday and I have done a bit of the other waterlily on the right this evening. I painted for about 2 hours, but I am finding purples rather tricky to do under the tungsten bulb in my anglepoise light. Therefore I am going to have to stop for now and carry on in the daylight on my next day off. I haven't really done anything purple before, so this is a first! The yellow spectrum in the tungsten is making the petals look too yellow and pretty yucky if I am honest! I also still haven't really worked out how to do the water. So I am going to have a play now instead of painting on the assignment piece.

Autumn is approaching in Kew. It's been a very showery August this year and I think this may have contributed to a early autumn. That, and the fact that our growing season did start very early thanks to a delightful Easter holiday!

Red leaves on the trees at Kew 25th August 2011

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

I will be spending my lunch breaks here

Lucky me! I have decided to spend my lunch breaks here for the forseeable future... This is the Waterlily House at Kew Gardens and is my chosen patch for my next painting. It is my favourite place and one day I will have one of my own, full of lilies!

Yesterday I spent a rather long time working in my sketchbook, trying to capture these really luminous colours. However, what I am having trouble with is the water. I have never painted pond water so close up before. It's almost black in most places, but in some there is the pale blue sky reflecting back at me or the leaves of the climbers all around the edge. The thing is, pod water in a confined space like this behaves differently to large water volumes outdoors. The light acts differently and the movement in the water itself is different. This is a very tricky subject to choose, but I appear to like a challenge!

In an attempt to understand how other's have approached this sort of subject I have been looking at other artists working in watercolour. This has helped a little. What I have noticed it you can either paint it in a stylised way, or you can be more precise - but there is definitely no middle ground!

This is what I would describe as an accurate painting of water. This has been painted by Tracy Hall.

This is very peaceful and still, but not really like the water in waterlily house. By Bunny Griffeth.

I really like this for capturing the reflection of a blue sky, but I'd need to put more black in. By Julia Swart

The reflections in this painting by Serena Rose are stunning, but to me the colour of the water is too blue and looks a little unnatural.

So... on that note I am off to look at the pond water for half an hour. I am hoping it won't be as busy as the other day - too many faces in the water!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Sally the Savoy prints for sale

Our all-time friend Sally now has lots of cousins in the form of high quality, A3 giclée prints on archival, heavy weight paper. If you'd like to buy one, please drop me a line:

Limited edition of only 20 prints.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Needlework update:

So I have been able to find some time to carry on with my sewing which has been wonderful and very calming to do. I found myself to be in a lovely quiet gap whilst I waited for my coursework to arrive and for the next book in a series to arrive. I am reading Geroge R Martin's books - A Song of Ice and Fire which I am REALLY enjoying, but I finished book two and I Henry as all of the other volumes at his parents house in Bristol, so rather than buy a new copy, I thought I'd wait for his as he is going to see them this weekend coming. Can't wait, as I have been experiencing some serious withdrawal symptoms!

So my 'Colour' sampler was firstly made to help me see which colours work well next to each other, but it has now for me become something far bigger. I like the mathematics in this piece, the tessellation, the pattern and the way it looks like a map. It has become my very own Mandelbrot set!

From this, I have had the idea to try and get some Mandelbrot sets in this piece, and maybe do a larger sampler after this one of just one big Mandelbrot set. Would be tricky, but I like to do tricky things...

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Needlework Project: Colours of 2011

As promised I have posted my needlework project which I began some weeks ago, but got it fully underway whilst in Spain. I have been keen to do something for myself, and so this is it. I am not sure where it is going yet - I fill in area's slowly and make up the patterns in my head. I do like the geometry in this though. I find it satisfying sewing something that is linear because it contrasts so well with my botanical drawings. I feel that it gives my eyes a rest and balances out the organic shapes in my other work. I also like the free style - it allow me to be more creative.

The stitch count is 28stitches/inch, so they are VERY small. I have included a photograph with a pencil for scale.

This shows how it is expanding...

Monday, 1 August 2011

Redouté Exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Flower Drawings: Redouté and his Pupils

The 'Raphael of flowers', Joseph-Pierre Redouté, internationally famous for his prints of roses and lilies, was the finest botanical draughtsman of his age. He worked for both Marie-Antoinette and the Empress Joséphine.

His school of botanical drawing in Paris had over 80 pupils, the majority of them women, several of whom became professional painters of flowers and their work will be shown as part of this exhibition.

Rosa sp. by Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759 - 1840)

The exhibition celebrates the recent acquisition of Julie Ribault's watercolour, painted in 1830, of Redouté's school of botanical drawing in the Salle Buffon of the Jardin des Plantes, exhibited here for the first time since it was shown at the Paris Salon of 1831.

The exhibition runs from Tuesday 19th July 2011 to Sunday 30th October 2011 for anyone who finds themselves in the area.