Showing posts from November, 2010

the venue for the exhibition

This lovely ancient building -The Old Grammar School built in the 1600's, is the venue for our exhibition.

greeting cards for the exhibition

We had the last meeting to finalise arrangements for the upcoming exhibition last night. Posters and fliers (me) were approved and distributed. Now I have to get on and finish paintings and print cards.

I always sell cards as they tend to be good sellers and people can afford them when they can't afford the paintings. These are some of the images planned for the next batch.

They are digital playing with paintings in Photoshop and Corel PhotoPaint and don't exist exactly like these as originals .

I like the scratchy edges in the 'framing' options in Corel, that erode the edges and give a rough brush mark feel. Nicer than a hard square edge?
Now I'm off to do more work getting ready .............

exhibtion in market harborough

If you are in the Market Harborough area at the beginning of December - come and visit the show :>)

A painting by each of us is shown on the poster.

It's in the Old Grammar School right in the centre. It's a lovely ancient timber building, next door to the church. Car parking nearby.

Market Harborough is in between Leicester and Northampton.

Mawgan Porth, oil on canvas,. progress

Mawgan Porth, across the bay, progress maybe finished

This one may be finished now.

The others are on their way as well so there will be more to show soon.

It's based on a sketch done plein air - but I've used a lot of memories of being there and other sketches from the same place, to change things, move them around, adjust colour slightly and adapt it to a square format.

I'm also busy with designing the fliers and poster for the exhibition. I've already done the press releases. I'm going to do a post soon on organising an exhibition with a group - delegating tasks, publicity, venue etc

Mawgan Porth, across the bay, oil on canvas from plein air sketches

work in progress, Mawgan Porth, 12 inches square, deep sided canvas

This is one of the canvasses I'm juggling at the moment for the group show of small works (at the beginning of December).

I'm working from sketches I did plein air in various media and trying to keep the immediacy of them. They aren't exact copies of the plein air work - they are altered a little and memory feeds into them.

As I'm working in the studio (errrm much to himself's annoyance .... the kitchen for the best light) I can work wet over dry as well as wet in wet, scumbling scratching through etc

Any thoughts?

exhibition update, mission trails park, california

Here are that last series of paintings at Mission Trails Park in California - photo courtesy of Ester Roi who visited and did a write up on the show here. Her blog is well worth a visit. Thank you Ester :>)

It's interesting to see the different trends in framing in the US and here. American friends all seem to use these wide dark frames (Louise kindly framed our work for us). Here the trend is all for pale frames - soft neutrals, limed ash, white etc So it's interesting to see how my work looks framed so differently :>)

The purple wall also echoes the colour in several of them!

You can see the images better .....


and details of the venue ...


Kiln fused glass pendant

Night Beach, pendant in kiln fused glass, Vivien Blackburn

I said I'd show the work I did on the kiln fused glass workshop day - I haven't photographed the rest yet but this is the pendant I made that I'm really quite pleased with. It may not be brilliant for anyone who knows about glass - but it's my first attempt and I'm delighted!

It's supposed to be the beach at night, abstracted, with the moon and reflections in copper metallic particles. This was a metallic powder that I added. The deep blue glass is sort of glittery, frosted and the paler blue grey was little lumps of coloured glass and is supposed to be the light on the sea.

It's finished off using a bail stuck on with epoxy glue, a shoelace knotted with silver beads and Tibetan clasps to fasten it.

I really like dichroic glass and with the metallic elements fused in, this one has something of that effect. It would be great to have a go with some real dichroic glass. (it reflects colours differ…

New exhibition opening in California

The website showing the exhibition with friends that opens this weekend - at Mission Trails Regional Park Gallery in California (near San Diego).

Link to Ester Roi's write up the show

Anyone in the area please go and support us :>)

Taking part in reverse alphabetical order are:

Katherine Tyrrell - known to you all :>) - beautiful work with coloured pencils and a writer

Louise Sackett - our excellent organiser for this show and talented painter.

Gayle Mason - who does the most gorgeous, luminous-eyed animals

Nicole Caulfield - amazing portraits and still life in coloured pencil


3 artists in England and 2 in America, our 6th member is sadly (for us) too busy writing best sellers at the moment to do much artwork and so couldn't take part. Last year we all showed together in Virginia which was fun.

I'm looking forward to seeing photos of the show when it's hung.

This is where the series of trees and pools was headed :>)

It has been a year in the planning - Louise app…

watercolour techniques - more splattering with glazing and coloured pencil added

12x 6 inches, Autumn Fields, Watercolour and coloured pencil on Somerset paper

This one started out as a demo for another group and I carried on with glazes of watercolour and some coloured pencil to pull it together.

It's important not to let technique take over and produce formulaic pieces - use the technique that makes the marks you need and vary brush strokes and approaches.

I think I'll add more grasses at the front as that looks too symmetrical ....

gnarled branches, mixed media

Gnarled trees branch, mixed media, 15 x20 inches, Vivien Blackburn

This one is a mixed media study of a gnarled tree branch in acrylic, ink, a little charcoal and oil pastel. It's fairly textured with the paint quite thick in places. Done on a heavy watercolour paper.

I've asked my students to bring me any interesting branches they find - I hope they do. I'd like to do some more. One has promised to keep her eye open for a skull as she often sees animal skulls when walking her dog - fingers crossed for this :>)

I wanted to work larger and freer than the last one I did, which was also mixed media but much more restrained and smaller.

What do you think?