Thursday, 25 August 2011

Waterlilies so far...

I had a stressful day today thanks to a Mercury retrograde with Saturn in Libra squaring Mars in Cancer. Bad combination which left me sort of in the firing line. Never mind... that's life. So I have been painting this evening to try and wind down. This is what I started on my day off on Tuesday and I have done a bit of the other waterlily on the right this evening. I painted for about 2 hours, but I am finding purples rather tricky to do under the tungsten bulb in my anglepoise light. Therefore I am going to have to stop for now and carry on in the daylight on my next day off. I haven't really done anything purple before, so this is a first! The yellow spectrum in the tungsten is making the petals look too yellow and pretty yucky if I am honest! I also still haven't really worked out how to do the water. So I am going to have a play now instead of painting on the assignment piece.

Autumn is approaching in Kew. It's been a very showery August this year and I think this may have contributed to a early autumn. That, and the fact that our growing season did start very early thanks to a delightful Easter holiday!

Red leaves on the trees at Kew 25th August 2011

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

I will be spending my lunch breaks here

Lucky me! I have decided to spend my lunch breaks here for the forseeable future... This is the Waterlily House at Kew Gardens and is my chosen patch for my next painting. It is my favourite place and one day I will have one of my own, full of lilies!

Yesterday I spent a rather long time working in my sketchbook, trying to capture these really luminous colours. However, what I am having trouble with is the water. I have never painted pond water so close up before. It's almost black in most places, but in some there is the pale blue sky reflecting back at me or the leaves of the climbers all around the edge. The thing is, pod water in a confined space like this behaves differently to large water volumes outdoors. The light acts differently and the movement in the water itself is different. This is a very tricky subject to choose, but I appear to like a challenge!

In an attempt to understand how other's have approached this sort of subject I have been looking at other artists working in watercolour. This has helped a little. What I have noticed it you can either paint it in a stylised way, or you can be more precise - but there is definitely no middle ground!

This is what I would describe as an accurate painting of water. This has been painted by Tracy Hall.

This is very peaceful and still, but not really like the water in waterlily house. By Bunny Griffeth.

I really like this for capturing the reflection of a blue sky, but I'd need to put more black in. By Julia Swart

The reflections in this painting by Serena Rose are stunning, but to me the colour of the water is too blue and looks a little unnatural.

So... on that note I am off to look at the pond water for half an hour. I am hoping it won't be as busy as the other day - too many faces in the water!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Sally the Savoy prints for sale

Our all-time friend Sally now has lots of cousins in the form of high quality, A3 giclée prints on archival, heavy weight paper. If you'd like to buy one, please drop me a line:

Limited edition of only 20 prints.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Redouté Exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Flower Drawings: Redouté and his Pupils

The 'Raphael of flowers', Joseph-Pierre Redouté, internationally famous for his prints of roses and lilies, was the finest botanical draughtsman of his age. He worked for both Marie-Antoinette and the Empress Joséphine.

His school of botanical drawing in Paris had over 80 pupils, the majority of them women, several of whom became professional painters of flowers and their work will be shown as part of this exhibition.

Rosa sp. by Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759 - 1840)

The exhibition celebrates the recent acquisition of Julie Ribault's watercolour, painted in 1830, of Redouté's school of botanical drawing in the Salle Buffon of the Jardin des Plantes, exhibited here for the first time since it was shown at the Paris Salon of 1831.

The exhibition runs from Tuesday 19th July 2011 to Sunday 30th October 2011 for anyone who finds themselves in the area.