May is here with sunshine and showers and the garden is looking green. There is a huge variety of greens to be seen both in the garden and beyond to the woods where all the leaves are now out on the trees.
I have been showing my students how to mix a variety of greens using a limited palette. For example mixing Mars Black with Cadmium Yellow will give an interesting range of greens depending on how much of each is mixed. Also Paynes Grey which is a semi transparent blue/dark grey, also mixes well to form another range of greens.
I have also been discussing planning a painting and the importance of both Intention and Attention.
I asked my students to be clear about what interested them. What they were seeing and what they wanted to share with the viewer. Their concept if you like or their Intention with the painting. I then discussed how to focus the viewers Attention on this by use of composition, colour, mark making and tonal values etc. This is only part of the initial planning that helps prevent students' frustration when starting a painting. If you have a clear idea of what you want to convey in your painting you have a good starting point from which to make other choices such as composition and colour palette.
Next month I am planning two 'Drawing Flower Shapes' Workshops. One is for LOVE Marlow and is running at the Marlow Youth and Community Centre 2-3pm on Sunday 10th June and is a Quietly Drawing Activity and is free.
The other is for the Bisham Open Gardens where I am running a workshop drawing flower shapes in my garden Sunday 24 th June 1-4 pm.
Hope it is sunny without being humid :)
The sun is definitely out and coming in through my studio window, at last. The daffs are out and the buds are beginning to show green. Spring has arrived!
It has been a busy time with some lovely work being produced by students at the end of term. So rewarding to see everyone gaining in confidence and also beginning to experiment with their paints and ideas.
I have a new drawing which I am hoping to print off and into my shop soon with the theme of the importance of respecting Nature and that we don't live on this planet alone. The quote I have used is by Thomas Merton "We do not exist for ourselves alone" and reminds me that we are connected to Nature for our existence and survival.
I am a great believer in staring out of the window and gazing at the clouds (not all day of course but to give myself a much needed break!) which keeps me constantly in touch with my own mind and my inner self. Periods of Calm are so important in our busy lives where we are told not to waste our time and that we should be doing something. Taking time to stare out of the window helps give this necessary escape for the busyness of life.
So the next time you begin to feel stressed and overwhelmed by all the things you have to get done, take 3 deep breaths, look up and stare at the clouds.
It is nice to think that Spring is just around the corner as the bulbs are now pushing their way through, the sap is rising and buds are breaking out on the shrubs in my garden. The distant woods are still bathed in a warm browns but when the sun fades they have an orange glow. It wont be long before we see touches of greens and yellow. Then as if by some overnight magic almost, the whole wood becomes textured in a variety of greens, yellows, mauves a mass of colour knitted together.
I have been teaching my students that the most important thing to learn when starting to draw or paint is to take the time to look and really see what it is they are drawing. To look carefully. To observe. It is not until we take the time to look that we can then see more accurately. We can then translate this into drawing using the necessary techniques and skills which can be acquired with practice.
It has been a busy start to the New Year with new prints on my Etsy Shop and a new teaching position at Henley College teaching Beginners Drawing and Painting to a lovely new group who are all very enthusiastic. I find teaching so rewarding.
I have also taken up Tai Chi again after a long gap and have a brilliant teacher Karen Pounds in Henley. Being a naturally anxious person I find the flowing moves, the quiet and calm so beneficial and a wonderful way to be in the present moment. A wonderful start to the New Year too. I hope you had a good start to the New Year too.
I have a Valentines offer in my shop between 1st - 14 th February a FREE 'Love Is...' art card with any purchase made. See the link to my shop in the menu.