Monthly Archives: April 2015

A slower April but plenty of Spring inspiration


So far April has been a slower month.  The children were off school for over two weeks.  We took a trip to see family in Ireland and then spent Easter at home.  There was little time to paint but I tried to keep up with the sketching.

Sketching on the plane on our trip to Ireland proved fun.  Not very flattering images of my daughter and husband but then my daughter was also trying to sketch me – and my husband was doing his best to avoid being drawn!  My son, meanwhile, was wriggling too much for me to catch him!

The younger members of the family in Ireland only sat still to eat and play video games.  I was able to grab a very brief sketch of one of my nephews doing the latter!

The weather in recent weeks has been fine and warm.  The trees are coming into leaf and the birds are singing.  Spring has definitely arrived!  I took a lovely walk around the Hambleton peninsula (Rutland  Water) last week and gained inspiration, sketches and photos for a number of Spring related paintings.  Here is the first I have so far managed to create.  Mixed media (water colour/acrylic/oil pastel) on paper.

Field gate Hambleton (mixed media on paper 18x13")

Field gate Hambleton (mixed media on paper 18×13″)






Motoring along through March

March proved to be a productive month.  The weather improved and I was able to get out and about.  Whilst I continued to create some paintings in acrylic I also started to paint in oils – something I had only otherwise contemplated doing in the studio.

Fineshade Woods proved to be an inspiration early in the month.  As a family we often cycle the off road family route through these popular Forestry Commission pine woods and the light passing through the pines onto the forest floor one early March morning was irresistible.


Pines at Fineshade (8x12" oil on board)

Pines at Fineshade (8×12″ oil on board)

The fine weather also encouraged me to get out the pochade box again and create a couple of small studies in acrylic of the south shore of Rutland Water.

Enthused by the plein air painting experience and wowed by the achievements of the painters contributing to it I joined the UK Plein Air Society on Facebook.  On the group page I was surprised  to find a number of paintings posted of Stamford by a talented artist named Terry Preen.  Further investigation led me to discover that Terry lives just down the road!  Terry has been painting plein air for some time now and was happy to share his experience.  This led to a couple of really enjoyable joint painting sessions with Terry at The Meadows in Stamford.  Although Terry was working at a larger scale – and will sometimes sell his paintings directly from the easel – my intentions were much more modest.  I brought along my trusty pochade box and created a couple of small studies in oil.

A minor diversion – and something new for me – was the challenge of creating a logo for Warriors at the Water, a fundraising event for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.  This fantastic cause is one that I have supported in the past by walking the 23 mile Yorkshire Three Peak challenge and doing the Burghley Santa fun run!  This year the family and I will be taking part in the Warriors event – a 23 mile cycle around beautiful Rutland Water in June.  Here’s hoping the sun shines and we raise lots of money!

Warriors at The Water logo

Warriors at The Water logo

February paintings

We had a little snow in early February and I ventured out to Rutland Water for my first plein air (outdoors) trip of the year.  I took my small (6×8″) pochade box and acrylic paints.  Dressed in many, many layers (including 2 pairs of gloves at one point!) there was a limit to how long I could paint but here’s my small effort – and a selfie to prove I was actually there!


The heavy, brooding skies also inspired me to paint two pieces based on views above Ketton .

Inspired by a cold walk on The Meadows I also created another very small acrylic on board (see below)

Stamford from The Meadows (acrylic on board 10x5")

Stamford from The Meadows (acrylic on board 10×5″)

2015 – a fresh start- happenings in January 2015

It’s now Spring- I know! However I have only now got round to writing up what I’ve been doing since January.   The painting has been happening -albeit slowly – even if the blogging has not.

My new resolution for 2015 was to paint – and keep painting – more frequently.    Given that most years any resolutions I might make are forgotten within the week I haven’t done too badly.

I started in January with a number of still life set ups. Not my normal thing but this worked well in the inclement weather. These were small pieces (each measuring 8×8″) in acrylic on mount board.  The small size meant they were created quite quickly – enabling me to keep the momentum going.  They also turned out to be more fun than I expected!