What have I been doing…?

It is almost a year since I posted anything. I haven’t fallen off the planet but been distracted and only doing life drawing… But one of the ‘distractions’ has come round again. I organise a ‘Secret Art Sale’ in my home town for our local hospital charity and 2020 will be its 3rd year. I started as my late husband spent a few weeks on and off in there and they were good to us. A new Cancer Care centre was to be built and paid for by fund raising and I wanted to do something to help. I dislike sponsored events so took the idea from the RCA Secret Postcard and held our own Secret Art Sale. It’s a win/win/win situation: artists exhibit their work, art lovers buy original art at a good price, and the charity gets the money! So far the Secret Art Sale has raised just over £20,000. I have works from local and national artists – including Maggi Hambling!

If anyone fancies joining in you would be most welcome – but not obliged to! For more information the website is secretartsale.co.uk

I did also enter the local Art Society Winter show and sold something. Bit amazed.

And I have put my name down for a show which is happening later in the year so that I do get out and back to painting!

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More life drawing…

I was going to title this bottoms up… but now I see that it looks like the same pose as a couple of posts ago but from a different viewpoint. Same model!


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More life…

I went to a workshop – it was the last in a series of workshops looking at different ways of drawing. I hadn’t been to the others and this was the last one… we used ink and bleach. Interesting – as it is so difficult to control tones. The ink is painted on to the paper and the using the bleach (and a bit of water on this one) the figure is drawn. A worthwhile workshop!


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I started life drawing at the beginning of the year. Was interrupted by an accident and the school holidays for about 3 months. It’s nearly two hours of untaught drawing, with the first half given to quick (4 or 5 minutes), very quick (1 minute) and even 30 second poses to warm us up. It is the time to experiment and I have tried out all sorts of different drawing mediums; pencil, charcoal, brush pens, soluble graphite pencils… We have some great models, and wonderful cakes provided by the teacher (you can ask for help, and she will proffer suggestions). The second half is usually a couple of longer poses (20 minutes) for even a very long pose (40 minutes).

This is Kaz. She has red hair.


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Sky and land

Two sketches of the south Downs…



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My partner and I have an old (very large) wooden boat that we (he) are restoring. I recently had a bad fall and have a broken wrist, nose and teeth… which prevents me from doing much. But I can (just about) draw. So here are two quick sketches of him sanding part of the hull – which I had washed! The paint in the background was already on the paper – and aborted attempt of something.


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Life… drawing

Not been doing much watercolour recently. Life has very much got in the way. I’ve not felt able to commit to any regular classes or courses but I have found a drop-in life drawing class which I can do every couple of weeks. We have an untutored session – though the lady who runs it is an art teacher – and will help if asked – or if you are struggling. She arranges the models, and, as important (!) some great biscuits or cake each time – all home-made! Yum!

We do a series of quick drawings for the first half – sometimes 30 seconds – anything up to 5 or 7 minutes. These are challenging but are designed to warm us up and get us going. Then we do a couple of longer poses up to 20 minutes.

I’ve just taken some photos of these and can now see the ‘problem’ areas. I draw with a board on my lap and resting on a chair in front – so getting a look from a distance is impossible! They are A3 size.

I may try watercolour on these longer poses – even more of a challenge!


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A new start…

Having organised, and now completed, a really, really successful art exhibition & sale for a local hospital charity which took up so much time I am trying to get back into painting. The exhibition and sale involved nearly 300 artists (both professional and amateur) and over 500 works of art! Really interesting project to do though – so much talent around!

I haven’t been totally uncreative though and have been going to life drawing – challenging! – every fortnight. But at last I have got down an idea I’ve had bubbling through my head for a while.


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New paper… old brush…

I’m testing watercolour papers for a (charity) project I am going organising for the new year which will involve lots of different artists. I want to send them a piece of paper (maybe) and so am trying some out. This particular paper is very like Khadi paper but is Jackson’s Eco paper. Very rough – look at the scan! Quite a white paper and heavy, takes water well without buckling. I really like it.

Next will be some Sanders Waterford – which when I look at it strikes me as very flat now!

Anyone got a favourite watercolour paper. I find it does make a huge different to the end result.


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New paper… new brush….

Bought (probably rather too many) some sheets of very rough paper as an experiment… Couldn’t get a straight line but I suspect my washes were too thin. Next time try thicker…

Lovely squirrel brush though.


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