Saturday, 5 September 2015

Hollyhocks and AVA starts again!

Hi everybody!

I am so sorry that the blog has been quiet for so long, but I think I must be getting back to normal, as I have been thinking about painting again.

The garden is beginning to lose  a lot of colour, although I notice that the roses may be about to give me a second showing. Poking above it all, I can see the top heads of the Hollyhocks, opening their last few flowers, and they seemed a simple and pleasing  subject to get me back into the habit of painting.
There is nothing complicated about what I did to achieve this painting, just a simple series of washes, letting them dry thoroughly where I did not want colours to bleed, and in this instance painting the background after completing the basic shapes of the flowers. ( The question of when I paint my backgrounds was the  most asked question at my recent exhibition in the Cathedral at Wells)

The leaves were darker than the painting, but I kept them deliberately light as I wanted the whole painting to be very delicate. Maybe that, in hindsight, was a mistake, but I could darken them even now if I decide to do so at a later date.

Paints and paper were as usual, Fabriano Artistico Extra White, 300 gm.


By complete contrast, Avon Valley Artists met formally for the first time since the summer recess ( they continued throughout the summer months to meet, but without any programme of subjects0
and of all things, the subject was Transport/machinery.
Having not painted for a couple of months, there could have been nothing further outside my comfort zone than that. So my instant reaction is to tighten up and paint far to 'realistically' for my taste, but I post the result so that anyone who has the same problem can see that it happens to lots of us!

'Approaching Train'
The train was like painting by numbers and is as tight as I could make it, but I did have fun with the steam, the major reason why I selected this photo!!


  1. Yvonne, these hollyhocks are beautiful. They are "watercolorie"! (My word for beautiful watercolor painting)

  2. Thank you, Diane, glad you like to work, and I love your new word!

    1. I agree with your comments regarding "Approaching Train". I have many examples of paintings where I had no intention of ever painting a tightly detailed watercolor and out of me came exactly that. I compare my painting to golf. I hit too many balls that go astray, BUT when I hit that one ball with a resounding, wonderful thunk that goes exactly where I envisioned it would go, that's what brings me back for more in search of that result.

    2. You are so right. I do not know if its the same with you, but my tightest paintings are always those with the tiny detail. That is why my most loved paintings are of big bold bloomers!

  3. yay ! you' re back ... more florals pls... spl request for hydrangeas