The Cotswolds Hare Trail

Here it is folks! I was so delighted to be taking part in this years Cotswold Hare trail, and I had so much fun working on it. This huge 5ft tall hare will be joining many other hares also painted by local artists, schools and groups which will begin a trail around the Cotswolds on the 22nd May. Now the hares have been painted, I am waiting for a sponsor to take up my hare to join up with the trail. Once the trail is ended in September they are auctioned off for their forever homes. Perhaps you’d like one for your garden…

A bit about painting the hare – I designed the hare around the theme of the Cotswold garden. The rambling roses growing up the walls in the summer and the textures and unique colours of Cotswold stone, I felt made a beautiful combination to interpret into the hare. When my sculpture arrived, I also admired the shape and form of the hare, so I wanted the design to compliment the shape.

Different to my usual medium, I painted the hare in acrylic paint. I quite liked the acrylics I used, which were intense in colour and some of the colours had different transparencies, so I had a play in layering up the colours and experimenting with some bold, block colours. I felt the design needed to be bold and dramatic and eye catching. I treated the hare and the surface as if it were a canvas, which was the best approach really! It also needed to be fully weatherproof, so with an exterior gloss paint (I won’t bore with the details!) it is tough and can clearly stand any weather! Above – here it is surviving one of the many snow hits we had from eastern storms. Also looking magnificent…!

Last week, I was proud to see my hare amongst the many others at a special launch event in Northleach. I couldn’t fit all of the hares in one photo there were so many! Not one hare was painted similarly, and all were so unique in their own way, which was amazing to see.

For now, I have waved goodbye to him, and was quite glad to have the space back in my studio, but as soon as I know where he’s off to on the trail I can of course keep you updated!

For more information about the trail visit their website where you can view all of the hare designs and the artists involved. The hares were also featured in the news recently, here’s a clip from BBC Gloucestershire news

January newsletter

Happy new year to all my friends and followers! Christmas went rather quickly for me, after being busy with my solo exhibition in the Lansdown gallery I was glad to have a bit of a break too. The exhibition went really well, I was delighted to meet all the visitors and I gained some very positive feedback about my work. Several paintings have found new homes, which is always exciting, and has given me more momentum to continue my work. Here are some photos from around the gallery:

Between visitors, I made use of the lovely light in the gallery and worked on a little piece.

For some lucky visitors, free guided tours were given by Nero, who gave me company for one of the days!

All the paintings on display were painted from the garden, or nearby in the village or fields. I really enjoyed displaying my work at the end of the year, I felt my studies from plein air, thoughts in my sketchbooks and looser applications of the paint has culminated into a cohesive and strong portfolio of paintings. Most of the visitors enjoyed my paintings of apples and roses, and these were paintings that came from charcoal drawings in my sketchbook, which gave a sense of drama in their tonal composition, but as I have bonded with my limited palette over the last year I have made steps in using colour more intuitively.

This little painting was done whilst in the gallery, from a photo a few years ago when we had fantastic snow. I had no idea we had snow predicted just a couple of weeks later and it was like Christmas had come early for me, I’ve been out in the snow sketching away and taking heaps of photographs for future use!

This was done with watercolour pencils and snow. It was an Isaac Newton moment, as I was sat under a tree and blobs of snow fell onto my drawing, and hence the snow painting emerged. I had brought my paintbrush and a pot of water with my, but the pure snow made an interesting effect!

In time for Christmas, I completed and framed this gorgeous oil painting, which was commissioned just a month before month before Christmas. The morning light was bold, intense and vibrant. Watching an episode of Countryfile a few weeks ago, I was delighted to see Stroud featured in their episode! They described why Stroud was named the ‘Golden Valley’, because of the particular golden light, which attracts many artists to the area. After doing this painting, I could see why I was so attracted to painting Stroud and the surrounding areas, throughout all seasons of the year, on a good day the light is captivating.

After the success of my first solo show, I am delighted to announce that I will be exhibiting (solo!) again at the Malthouse, Stroud, from the 17th April to the 18th June as part of the Stroud Sit Select Festival. The title of my show will be ‘Flora and Fauna’ and expect to see more bigger paintings, and look out for me in their catalogue…watch this space!

The Garden Exhibition – next week!

Just a little reminder blog post that my exhibition is just around the corner…yes, it begins Monday! I am open from Monday 27th – Sunday Dec 3rd from 10am to 4.30pm. I am also open for two evenings, the first being the private view on Monday from 7-9pm, and the second for the Stroud Goodwill evening on Friday 1st Dec 7-9pm. See my earlier post for more info, and I look forward to seeing you there!

Everything is nearly ready…too exciting for words! My greetings cards arrived the other day, in four different designs, and will be available to purchase at my show. Another surprise for the exhibition are my sculptures I have been creating over some time now, exploring woodland settings and creatures in shadow boxes.

As a sneak peek, here’s a detail shot from one of my large paintings on show, titled ‘View from my window.’

Aside from the exhibition, my commitment to the Stroud Valley Artspace life drawing evenings have been great for me to continue my practical drawing skills and observational techniques. Throughout the sessions I use conte crayons on toned paper to evoke a sense of light and depth to the nude model.

Both these drawings are on A3 sized paper, which gives me enough room to explore different marks made by the crayons and to focus on creating a life like drawing under the time constraints. Most of the poses are 15 mins, which puts me on the spot to think quick and to draw accurately. Hopefully after the exhibition I shall experiment with painting the figure, and work these drawings into expressive oil paints, so stay tuned!

Exhibition invitation

Today is the 1st of November, which means it’s 26 days until my opening of my solo show! Here is the leaflet I have been circulating, with all the details. The private view, which you are very welcome to, is on Monday the 27th November from 7-9pm. If you can’t make the private view, don’t worry as I will be there invigilating the show throughout the opening times shown above!

There will be a great range of my recent artworks at the show, all inspired by the garden throughout the seasons. I have long been inspired by artists that study and paint their own gardens, and inspiration is never too far away. Above is a sneak peek of works currently in progress, exploring the shapes and colours of the garden. I’m getting very excited (and a bit nervous!) for the show as the pressure of the show has really made me think about my work and be creative with the project.

Look forward to seeing you there! Until then, I will be madly dashing around my studio with my brushes and paints making sure it will be a beautiful show.