Maiden castle

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This is a painting of maiden castle that I painted a few years ago.  The place is an ancient monument, an iron age hill fort, near Dorchester in Dorset which is in the south of England.

The dancing figure in the foreground is meant to signify the age of the place. Her bones, and the rabbit skull below her are collapsing into the ground, what would archaeologists find if they dug there. The slopes of the hill fort are built up in steep steps. Like huge waves breaking on the coast of an island. The grass really does like to grow in waves and clumps.

So why did I paint it? I don’t know. Except that the place is full of mystery and ancient history. I probably would just paint the landscape if I was doing it now, but I’m glad I added the figure.

Poppy painting

This is a painting I did 6 years ago outside in the garden. I love these large poppies. I had decided to  paint outside because it was a beautiful day and why not paint in situ instead of from a photo. I think then decided to take photos of the process. I guess I painted the poppy first as it was the focal point of the painting.

I added all the other flowers to make it more interesting.  One of the things with creating art is the idea if artistic licence. The other flowers were in different parts of the garden and I wanted to add their colours to the mix.

I’m not sure whether I like this painting, its a bit flat, maybe I should have used more shading as the colours are all of very similar tones, but I was looking at a shady garden and the light was changing over the time it took to paint it. it reminds me of an illustration in a book or magazine, I almost coukd see it next to a children’s story.

I love to paint, and it is always a challenge to improve.

Drawing with Stoke Urban Sketchers

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There are apparently lots of Urban sketchers groups around the world. I am a member of Stoke Urban Sketchers (USK). We meet every few weekends to draw interesting places in the Towns and Cities around us.

Today we had a stall at Burslem, and members sat and drew the view and also were scattered around the town trying to draw some of the old buildings and crowds. There was also a classic car rally so these became the subject of drawings too!

I made the mistake of just taking a sketchpad and a HB pencil and a broad black marker pen. I had to borrow some coloured pencil but I think my initial sketch was not that good.

I did get into trying to draw the crowds of people, including a man with a cup of tea or coffee who kindly stood still while I drew him. I finished by drawing the old roofs across the square. I could have done more..but I was too hot and bothered. I think it got to about 28 degrees Celsius. ..thats about 10 degrees hotter than normal. Phew!

 

Commission’s welcome

Please feel free to contact me if you would like a picture.

I love painting as you know and I pride myself on detailed work. I am not a photo realist but I think my portraits are pretty accurate and my landscapes are intricate.

So if you feel you would like to invest in something artistic, that is your choice, your vision, let me know.

I am currently working towards exhibiting a few peices at Spode, and an exhibition in June at Etruria in Stoke on Trent. I am happy to consider painting landscapes and portraits and I am also able to paint in various styles, so if you would like an abstract painting perhaps I can help? I also paint animals, so  pet portraits are also available, just ask….

 

 

Playing with trees

I do like to use apps to multiply images.

 

Using an app called layout (other apps will be available ) …I have multiplied the misty trees that I photographed a couple of days ago. Sometimes if you get it just right you can make something that looks like a reflection in a lake. Other options can help you create confusing images such as the twin driveways above. I particularly like turning the photos so you end up with a tangle of branches, a web of twigs, with patterns entwined in them. Like old fashioned wallpaper you can sometimes find alien animals creeping into the edges of your vision.

Changing the filters on the pictures adds to the air of disparity. Also by changing the level of the position of a duplicated photo, you can make something that appears more natural, for instance the picture of a lone tree where I have included more of the foreground in the upper photo while including more if the sky in the lower, inverted, image. My only concern with the picture is that there is a sharp line cutting across the middle but I did not want to try and smudge it using another app like picsart.

I think the use of colour in these images can make a difference to the overall effect. Colour can be jarring or it can enhance the picture. In these I have muted the colours, or even removed it and relied on variations in grey to give a mood to the pictures. This gives a spooky, ethereal look. If I wanted to make them more cheerful I would probably enhance the greens and try and bring some blues into the photos. By taking them later on in the evening on an overcast day I found that there were no shadows to contend with, the Sun was starting to set but was completely obscured by the cloud.

All in all I’m glad I took the photos of these magnificent trees… It was a productive use of my time while standing around in the cold for an hour waiting for my friends x

Misty cows

Standing in the cold, waiting for friends out at Heath House in Staffordshire, I decided to take photos of the view of the mist and cows on my phone….

 

When I was chilled to the bone I decided to take photos of the trees across the road, the board advertising the Heath House, and the drive up to it. These have also been posted to Instagram, so I used a couple of their filters  to change some of the pictures to black and white, and also slightly pink or blue. I think this heightens the misty feel.

Some if the cows in the feild opposite were scratching their heads  against the trunks of the trees . What an itch they must have had. As the mist came down I realised what an ideal location this was for our expedition. …..

We have been extra’s in a local film, and we had gone to The Heath House to be filmed in some exterior shots.

The trailer for the film is at  humanus.uk

I hope the link works!

Mist and murk

I can’t  wait to get my hanging baskets planted!

It’s been so misty and murky today, grey skies and mizzling rain…What I need is sunlight and flowers.

 

 

In the summer I love to cram hanging baskets with colour, sometimes the flowers last into winter. It cheers me up to see splashes of colour outside the windows…like fireworks on a dark night they spark joy in me.

I love the patterns on petals, the bright pollen centres glow in the light. When linked together and multiplied they create beautiful patterns. Agapanthus splashes like a fountain across the frame of the photo.

I love summer gardens…..