Wednesday, 14 December 2011


As the Christmas season rapidly approaches, I have to think about closing down the studio and converting it into the guest bedroom. I have always known that the price to pay for having sole use of the second biggest bedroom for my studio has meant that whenever we have visitors, I have to give up the space whilst ever they are in residence. My mother is about to join us, so can see no possibility of doing much painting until the festivities are over.
I have, therefore been making a bit of a push to finish a piece of work which has been on the easel for over a week now, and that it quite a long time for me.

It was really coming along nicely, until there was enough work completed to be able to imagine the end result. Some bits of it are lovely, but I am sorry to say that the composition leaves quite a bit to be desired!

Now that it can be seen as a whole, it is almost a painting of two halves, which bothers me each time I look at it. My husband thinks I am too critical, but I do wish that I had arranged the flowers a little better and not followed my photograph quite so slavishly. In hindsight I would like to move the central yellow rose across to touch the spray of white roses on the left and slot another white rose between it and the lower right yellow rose.
I also wish that I had not had all 4 white roses on the left facing straight towards me. It would be more interesting if at least one of them was turned slightly away from centre.
I really must do a compositional, tonal sketch in future before I start, but I am always too keen to get on with the actual painting. Will I ever learn!    

Friday, 9 December 2011

Only two more weeks to posting!

I have been so busy over the past couple of weeks, that I have given no thought to adding a new post to the blog spot. As the work has involved the production of my christmas cards, I thought I would share that with you.
The first task is to paint and produce our main christmas card. I need to have a good idea - in short supply after a number of years, and an inability to paint winter scenes - which then has to be executed and printed for about 100 recipients. Our friends are very supportive and are always keen to see what the current season will bring, which adds to the pressure. I usually paint it reasonably large, and then reduce it on the scanner using Abode Photoshop. I do not like cards which have their fold across the top, as they invariably do the splits in time for Christmas. I get my card from Halcyon Fine Art and he is able to supply an A5 landscape format card with the fold on the left hand side. There are lots of others to choose from, and they all come, if required with proper card envelopes with a diamond shaped flap.

This year's design is very simple.

This card comes to all who read this post, with my very best wishes for a peaceful Christmas  and a prosperous New Year.

In addition to the general card, I have 4 specials to make. I have 3 friends with whom I used to paint on a regular basis, but due to a variety of family reasons we are no longer able to do so. We have always, however, met together in the early part of December to swap gossip and wish each other well for the comming year. It became a tradition of the meeting that we would produce individual, hand painted cards for each other. I decided to stick to the same theme, and then had the great idea of using the original painting of the three pointsettia  for these three individual ones.I carefully cut around the flowers, painted more holly and red petals and stuck them all together to make three three-D cards.


Now I was only left with the most special card. Every year I have produced a hand painted card for our daughter. She is always very appreciative, but no matter how hard she tries to tell me otherwise, I know when she does not like it, so I do always give it my all!
Sticking to the same theme, I have adapted the ideas fron the three Pointsettia, and produced something similar but more refined. I am encouraged by the fact that she really liked the general card, so am hopeful that the theme, at least will go down well!

I am really pleased with the result, although the photo does not do it justice. It is difficult to see the effect of all the individual petals and leaves which are raised above the surface of the card. I am sure she will love it. Of course all the special ones have bits sticking up on them, so there is no way they can go into envelopes. Better get some boxes made!  A very Happy Christmas to you all.