Windermere – September 2014

After another enjoyable, if hard-working, painting holiday under the watchful and expert eye of Sarah Edwards, it is time to add to my scant blog.  This time we were “making marks,” an intriguing title which turned out to be good fun, if not my most successful exercise.  There turned out to be a great deal of hilarity as a result of looking at Henry Moore’s sketchbook of sheep, which  meant multitudinous sheep comments at various points in the week. On the last day Sarah was given a card, by artist Alex Clark, of a sheep, to say thank you for everything. We experimented with pen and ink, different qualities of paper and other seemingly odd implements, such as toothbrushes, cling film and magic markers.

We had to look at the work of the great Masters, trying to reproduce the marks (strokes, painting stokes) in our own work. Abstract works  were used too. One of my efforts will be posted. It is “The Art of Music”.  Some of the marks were made using a comb with five sharp teeth at the one end.

The strangest thing I worked with was gesso. We painted a sheet of watercolour paper with it, scrunched up white tissue paper and stuck it onto the gesso, let it dry overnight then used charcoal, soft pastels or watercolour on it. Mine looked quite ok until I overdid the fixative spray and everything started to float off the page. Now it just looks a bit odd. The idea was to experiment with the different textures. I don’t think that floating it off the paper really counts! “What is gesso,” you ask. Can’t really tell you but it is used by real artists to prepare  their canvasses

We watched a DVD where an artist looked at a few small but pretty objects, and painted them in an unusual arrangement. She looked at them from different angles, for example a ring was painted looking down on the ring, then again looking at the stone itself from the side. She took unconventional views of her subjects when painting them. My effort has a blue bottle as we might expect to see it, then looking at it from above. I had forgotten to take my “favourite” items so the painting is of bits and pieces in the room except for the Rosina Wachtmeiser cat which is from memory.

I did manage to produce a successful painting of a sunflower, a lemon and a red onion using hot pressed, smooth watercolour paper. To be honest I WAS dead chuffed with it.

The late afternoon DVD showing had the usual soporific result. Only once this time! I missed some examples of using multi media. i.e. newspaper and gesso- prepared paper.

The weather was incredibly hot. Afternoon free time was spent in the gardens drawing except for Wednesday when a walk to the Lakeland store for a pinny was needed. Margaret and I were so hot that on the way back we dropped in to a corner pub for a cooling pint of lager. I took a couple of photos while we were there. I have tried to reproduce one of them with a wee bit of artistic licence. It is “The Red Parasol.”

There was no visit to the Heaton-Cooper gallery in Grassmere this time. (There only a month ago!!)

Back home on the Friday afternoon having put down the deposit for March!  Subject: Portraiture and NO there will be no life drawing, only heads and faces.

Some of the artwork can be seen in the ‘Painting’ and ‘Drawings’ sections.

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