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To Lands End and back by a bit of a push

To Lands End and back by a bit of a push

I was asked months ago to do a workshop today for Phoenix Art Group (near Swadlincote, South Derbyshire) and I was more than happy to go along and teach them about acrylics doing a seascape being their subject of choice of subject matter.p1090979

There were 13 in the group today when I went along, and only about 4 of them had used acrylics before, and most counted themselves as amateurs. Of course before I got there I had no idea what abilities or ages they would be. So the workshop had to cater for all abilities and all speeds. I had decided on Lands End in Cornwall as my subject matter since it is an area I love and found a suitable photo to work from, drawing out the  image on A4 paper for them to work from it they wanted to.

I explained about using acrylics like watercolours, getting a quick wash on of the sky, letting them copy that, then the sea, letting them copy that, then the grass of the cliff tops, letting them copy that, then the almost black shadows of the cliffs, and letting them copy that. Now, I hate workshops where the pupils work step by step because everyone goes home with the exact same painting and for me it means that although the pupils have learnt the tricks and tips, they haven’t been creative themselves, putting their own slant on the picture, the textures, the mark making.

So then I said they could build up the colours and textures using plastic knives as palette knives, since using that technique meant that they hadn’t had the expense if they didn’t get on with the knives, and could go out and buy palette knives if they wanted to at some future time. Of course since none of them had done that effect before I didn’t expect them to find it easy or do fabulous paintings, but I always say with acrylics that if you don’t like what you’ve done, you can keep painting over it, to add texture and give more life to the painting.

I finished my first demo painting within one and a half hours of getting there. Then, whilst they had their tea break, I did a second one of Cornwalls rugged coast line but with rolling waves and froth and foam, whilst they watched, and showed them how quickly I got paint on the paper and then used a plastic knife again to add texture, and an old toothbrush to add splatter and life to the painting. That painting took less than half an hour to do and show them the technique. Because after that, it was up to them how they wanted to add texture, and colours, and movement within the painting with the tools they had.p1090985

I was only with them for three hours teaching, which isn’t long to do anything really. But they all said they had enjoyed it, thanked me for showing them something they hadn’t done before, a few of them said that they would try the techniques themselves, and liked acrylics now when they hadn’t particularly before, and liked the challenges I had set them… the woman who only used light colours having to use black in her painting, another woman who had never been able to do splatter before with any success…the woman who only felt comfortable with watercolours putting paint on thicker than she normally would… and all the other complimentary comments I got at the end as they thanked me for the workshop certainly made the time I spent with them very enjoyable.

They were a happy bunch of people and I thoroughly enjoyed myself! p1090977

I've been an artist all of my life, and my paintings now hang on walls in Europe, USA and Canada. I'm working on getting them on the other continents! My wide range of artwork has been exhibited nearer to home in the East Midlands, with the Guild of Erotic Artists at Beaumont Hall Studios in Hertfordshire, and at "Erotica", Olympia, London. I have also been featured alongside my work in the Guild of Erotic Artists book (volume 2). I love to create dramatic interest in my pictures, whether it’s to paint an unusual landscape, or just to utilise dramatic lighting in my figure drawings or strong colour in my animal portraits. Delighting in the spontaneous tendencies of watercolour adds an interesting and distinctive look to my paintings, some of which are purposefully ambiguous, enabling the viewer to use their own interpretation of my artwork. I also love to hide images, and humour within my paintings, whether it’s a secret message, or an erotic couple hidden within a landscape, or even an erotic landscape where the couple are camouflaged as the features of the land itself. I am equally happy painting in oils, acrylics or watercolours and love to draw with pencil or ink. I have also developed the very effective method of drawing using white pencil on black card which creates dramatic pictures by just picking out where the light catches the body and leaving the rest of the image to the imagination, in darkness. I can also utilise many different styles, whether it is realistic, abstract, surrealistic, erotic, fantasy or camouflage art where something is hidden within the painting. I'm just passionate about my art, whatever I paint! But, it doesn't matter how many landscapes or pet portraits I paint, its always the erotic stuff that people are interested in! I started blogging to share some of the strange conversations I have with the people I meet. But its evolved into far more than that now.

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