The Muse has gone

Well one of them anyway. She’s gone to Berlin to start a new life with her new husband. All her life she has inspired me to draw and paint her and has had the patience to sit while I cursed and swore at the scratchings I call drawings! Here are a few of the results:

“Odalisque” Soft Pastels

“Girl in Yellow Dress and New Boots” Soft Pastels


“Red Dress” Soft Pastels

Charcoal Study

“Tring Station June 25” Oil on Canvas

Sketch in soft pastels from figure drawing workshop

“Tea at the Merchant” Soft Pastels

So thank you Mrs Patterson,Jessie, my gorgeous daughter, for being one of my muses. Have a wonderful new life with Neil in Berlin. I’ll just have to wait til you come back to visit for the next painting!

Check out Jessie’s website www.jessicaweberphotography.com

Now where’s that son of mine……………………


Starting young

I’ve just had the pleasure of spending the whole weekend with my two beautiful two year-old grand daughters – on my own – the WHOLE weekend! Now I could make some flippant comment about taking to my bed for 48 hours after they’d gone or arranging for the builders to come in to repair the damage but actually it was a delightful experience. I’d forgotten how imaginative and creative little ones are – how easily amused and how unpredictable!

Most of the time they walk around with crayons, pens and pencils tightly gripped in their sticky hands looking for a suitable support to make their artistic marks so, having read so much recently of mini picassos selling their work for thousands of pounds, I decided to clear the decks, don painting shirts and let them loose with paintbrushes and paint.

Below are a few images of the results!

First of all an artist has to learn how to sit at an easel and strike the pose!

mmmmm…………… that bit just doesn’t look right – needs to be knocked back

And now to the serious stuff – let’s get down to business

Strike another pose

This is much more conceptual than painting on granny’s cheap paper ……..

Two heads are always better than one…………

Wonder if the Chapman brothers got this tired?


Fun and Pollocks (or a pile of Pollocks!)

Drawing class today again and this time we turned to the abstract expressionist Jackson Pollockand his drip paintings to investigate another form of mark-making.Colours were chosen and mixed in various sized pots. Some paints were diluted to run across the surface of the support,othersthickened with gesso to give impasto effect. Pollock apparently used gloss enamel which I can imagine would have a really good viscosity for pouring.We used acrylics, gouache and inks and we worked on a smaller scale than Pollock. Paper or canvas was placed flat on the ground. Those working outside needed weights to secure the paper but now and again the wind sneaked up under the paintings and added it’s own artistic contributions! With absolutely no attempt at representation the paint was poured, splattered, thrown overarm and underarm, dribbled down sticks, brushes, spoons, shells,and dripped from syringes and droppers.The canvases were approached from all sides – no top nor bottom and the surfacewas  touched with nothing other than paint.I placed two pieces of canvas side by side and rotated them constantly so they were activeright up to the sides and beyond. Below are some of the results but it’s tempting to go back in andcreate more layers.

Shirley McDonald

Pat Burgess

Rosie McClelland


Drawing with Wire

Tuesday is drawing day in the studio and this week we were drawing
with wire - plain old lightweight garden wire.
I had set up branches of ivy which I had been pruning the day
before and a couple of lily stems in front of a white background.
At first there were curses and expletives and a lot of twisting of
wire with the pliers in order to make it stay where it was meant
to go and obviously didn't want to go!
Eventually we gave in and relaxed and appreciated the unique
quality of line that was produced by this medium.
I had placed boards with white paper at each place in order
to see the wire drawing as it progressed and,
as the sun popped in and out from behind the clouds,another
dimension appeared - a soft shadowy line
Below are some of the results:
Pat Burgess
 Rosie McClelland

and Shirley couldn't resist getting the paints out!
She sprayed diluted acrylics over the wire with an old-fashioned
diffuser to great effect
Shirley McDonald
Next week we'll develop these ideas.....