After a busy time, it’s good to have a chance to catch up with my thoughts on the last few weeks. My exhibition went well, even if the weather wasn’t always kind. I managed to sell about fifteen paintings and the cards I made went well. Lots of good comments about my work and a chance to talk to some old friends and make some new ones. I must say at the end of the four weeks I have changed my mind about the idea of ever working in a gallery. Even though we were only there for three to four hours, three days a week it was hard work; at times it was very quiet and at others quite busy.
I was also lucky enough to win a painting holiday at the Big Sky Hotel in Norfolk, from a competition that I had entered in Painters on Line. I chose to go in November, partly because of other commitments and partly because of the course offered in Watercolour and Pen and Ink. I use these for my small studies but mainly as reference material or small studies. I have not done a large watercolour for over twenty years.
I was a little nervous about this endeavour, partly because I had never done anything like this before and partly because of the distance and chances of inclement weather. I decided to split the journey in half and arrived on the Monday at the hotel early. The Sat Nav had problems on the small country roads and I had to go back to the information sheet for instructions.
I was greeted by the owner with a warm welcome and being the first to arrive had a chance to walk around the grounds. The Hotel and surroundings were exceptional and after a rest, I met my fellow artists and guests and we had our first meeting at four o clock. As all of us were artists, there was an immediate bond and we were soon getting to know each other. We met the tutor John Hoar and his wife before going to our rooms to prepare for the evening meal. This night, as with the meals that followed, were superb.
After the evening meal, we were treated to a demonstration by John, which proved to be impressive. He was supported by his wife, almost as a double act, as she reminded him of things he needed to say at times. An entertaining and thoughtful start to the course, watching how his picture developed.
The next day was our chance to do our first watercolour in a paint along session. I found this quite hard at times, as he used a different range of colours from what I was used to. My sky, which I was quite pleased with, almost vanished as it dried; something for me to remember in future.
I also found it hard to mix my greens using Raw Sienna and Winsor Blue; a task he found quite easy. As well as these two colours, our paints for the course included, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Payne's Grey, Alizarin Crimson and Light Red, as well as Hookers Green for two Land Rovers.
Having not attended any of these before, I took everything I could think of with me, but found that I needed a larger water container, which was solved when I raided the kitchen for and empty milk bottle; also a mid sized brush and a better mixing palette.
My first painting had some areas I liked and others I felt that I could have done better. Hopefully the next one will give me a chance to use the knowledge I have gained.