Tuesday, 24 November 2015

creating a commissioned corporate card - for Harveys Brewery

I was excited to be commissioned by Harveys Brewery this year to paint their Christmas Card.
I had a personal tour in the spring and took lots of photos and saw several of the staff in action!

The challenge was to try to include everyone that works there, enjoying their annual Chrismas Hog roast in a snowy Brewery Yard.

Hard to decide which is the best angle and how to include anything, so we decided on back and front views, for both sides of the card.

Here are my very first rough plans...we wanted snow, all the people, the buildings and the vehicles.

Then it was time to draw them out again, larger and to put all the people in... First in pencil, and then overdrawn with the pen, and time to clean up the paper!

It is so exciting when I have the clean paper at this stage ready for the very first washes of paint.
I will share those with you soon...

Bradleys sweet shop - Sweet Memories

Here is the finished painting of Bradleys sweet shop in Burgess Hill...as I remember it!

Many a visit was had back here in the 70's!

Monday, 26 October 2015

My painting wins The Weald of Sussex Art Club Trophy

Last week I took part in the Weald of Sussex Art Club exhibition at The Martlets Hall, in Burgess Hill. This is an annual exhibition by an art club that has been running for over 40 years, in fact back in the seventies my dad was a member and I would go along to his exhibitions there! Anyway, on Saturday when I went to collect my remaining works I was really happy to receive the Weald Trophy for the most votes for visitor's favourite painting.
My painting of Eastbourne beach received the votes, and sold.
I blogged about this painting in progress, a few months ago. It is now being sold as a Christmas card to raise funds for SASBAH and is available from Cards for Good Causes shops in Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath, Lewes, Eastbourne, Uckfield and Hastings. I think also Brighton. Already 200 packs have been sold in the last week so it looks like it should earn the Charity lots of money : )
A jigsaw will also be available for Friends of Eastbourne Hospital, but you may have to make a trip to Eastbourne if you want that.
Thanks so much to anyone who voted for my painting, you made my week : ))

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Sweet memories - Burgess Hill

sketching out a plan
All drawn up

when whites really aren't white

getting the blues on

when the sky and trees go in the lights go on!

nearly there, working on the sweet shop

I will be taking part in an exhibition with the Weald of Sussex Art Club later this month, in Burgess Hill. I grew up in Burgess Hill and my Dad, an artist too, was a member of this art club back in the seventies.
He would encourage me to draw and paint, buying me the Disney magazine to copy from, and calling me to watch cartoons with him...and sometimes letting me have a go with his oil paints.
This painting is of a favourite sweet shop near my home, which I often visited, and my Dad used to collect my magazine from. It was so exciting to hear him come home from his commute, having collected the magazine on his walk home from the station,  and hear the clunk clunk, as he undid his briefcase, it would send me running down the stairs!

Nearly finished this painting now, just working on the seventies feel clothes and sweet shop windows

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Duke Street Rendezvous

initial sketch
from pencil plan to ink

ready for colour 


 In the vacated home of Choccywoccydoodah a wonderful little coffee shop with gallery has opened up with three floors of art by local artists and lots of edible treats too!

I love the building with the decorative plaster work, the growling lions on the pillars, the awning and the tables outside, all present a really inviting view.

It would be nice to paint this at night time too, with the glowing fairy lights. Ah well, a project for another time!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

The story of the Lewes Christmas card for SASBAH

I sat and painted in the field on a sunny spring day

sprinkle a little snow with my imagination

For the last 4 years I have supplied the charity SASBAH with one of my paintings of Lewes to be produced as a Christmas card.
Here is the development of this year's.
Baxter's field is a piece of land that is privately managed for public use. It has some nice slopes that are just right for sledging so is the place to be when Lewes does get the rare amount of snow needed!

I went and found the field on a sunny spring day. It was lovely and warm and I was full of the promise of summer to come when I sat there and sketched the view to the castle. A few people were sitting around and sunbathing.

At home I worked from my sketch and imagined how the view might look when it was snowy and people were sledging.

Once I had the rough sketch sorted and had chosen my colours I worked it up again. Had to change my dog to a cat though, no dogs allowed in the field!

It has been to the printers now, so hopefully the Christmas cards will be in packs in Cards for Good causes on the High Street later this year.
My original painting will go to Chalk Gallery in November.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Rehab Dress Agency

Some time ago I painted the lovely building that housed The Pine Chest, on the Corner of Market Street in Lewes. The shop is now moving online, and Rehab dress agency will be moving in to this prominent corner. They are not in yet, but with a little imagination, here is how it may look at the beginning of September!

The Christmas Swim, Eastbourne

Here is a closer look at the detail and and the finished painting for the Christmas Swim.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Work In Progress - The Christmas Day Swim at Eastbourne

All drawn up in pencil

inked in and the pencil rubbed off

At last some colour!

Here are the next stages on my Eastbourne Christmas picture. I worked all over the scene in pencil. When I was reasonably happy with my drawing I inked it in. Lovely to remove all the smudgy pencil marks! Now I have a nice clean surface ready to paint. I used some blue mask to splatter snow in the sky and to preserve a few other areas. It was a bit too fiddly to paint around that plane trail!
Then the fun begins with my first wash of the end of the day sky. Next, the sea!...

Thursday, 30 July 2015

sketching the Sussex School of Archaeology digging for Romans

The Romans are coming!

The Sussex school of Archaeology have been excavating the remains of a Roman villa at Plumpton, and it was a great time for me to combine my two big interests, and sketch the process!

You can read more about it here...


I hope to go back later in the year when they return : )

Eastbourne Beach at Christmas drawn

A whole day spent drawing and I am now ready for pen. I will probably make more changes as I go along and maybe add more people. But its pretty much as the finished picture will be I hope!

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Planning for a christmas card, Eastbourne

I have been busy with painting and neglected my blog!
Must get back to blogging or I will never keep track of how I do manage to fill every spare minute with my painting.

Chalk Gallery will be celebrating ten years this year, with a big exhibition at the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne.
I painted a view of Eastbourne Bandstand a couple of years ago, and it proved very popular as a Charity Christmas card, so I thought it would be a good idea to paint Eastbourne seafront again for christmas, and exhibit it, all being well, at the Towner in October. (bit early for Christmas, but I know that the cards will be in the shops by then!!)

so...here is the planning sketch. I think my bathers will have blue feet!....

Friday, 8 May 2015

sketching in Lewes on a sunny spring day

Lewes castle from Baxters Field

toward the castle from Chapel Hill
A couple of weeks ago we had a brief spell of wonderful weather, and I managed to get out and enjoy the sunshine and spend some time sketching
I am planning to paint Lewes castle from Baxters field for this year's Christmas Card, so now was a good time to go, before all the leaves come out, and imagine the snow!

I am happy with the loose breezy but sunny feel to these sketches, and have framed them up, ready to exhibit in Chalk Gallery later this month.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Painting the Mayflower Pub at Rotherhithe

drawn out in ink...love the clean white paper ready to paint!

first colours, earthy and fairly monchrome
blue sky brings in some cheery colour

ooh that black contrast helps, and the first bright splashes of pink and yellow
all the colours on...I may have missed a few spots. has it come alive?

I have really enjoyed painting this historic little pub on London's river bank. I have roots in this area, and so do so many people across the world! The Pilgrim fathers began their journey from the steps beside the pub, fishermen calling at Londons docks could call in and buy a stamp, and my ancestors build barges just yards away.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

A painting of The Mayflower pub, Rotherhithe

Sketched out plans for a little pub in Rotherhithe. It has steps to the river and a jetty to sit out on that you can get rather wet feet at High Tide. In older times was called the Spread Eagle, and is also a registered Post Office for sailors.
Re named because the Pilgrim Fathers began their journey on the Mayflower here before calling at Plymouth. The captain is buried in the churchyard nearby.
My ancestors were barge builders here, and one was a church warden at the church where the captain is buried.
Lots of possibilities of who should go in the pub!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Dirty Dicks - an old corner of Bishopsgate

Nathaniel “Dick” Bentley was a Bishopsgate merchant in the mid 18th Century. Tragically, his fiancĂ©e died on their wedding day. The wedding breakfast lay untouched for 30 years and the heartbroken Dick never washed or cleaned up again.
The dirty warehouse was known all over London, could the story have reached Charles Dickens and inspired Miss Havisham?
The original warehouse was demolished but the pub capitalised on the story and at one time was almost as dirty as the warehouse itself, beer puddles on the floor, cobwebs and dead cats hung from the cellar ceiling.
 Bishopsgate is seeing phenomenal changes, but still small sections, like this corner just past Liverpool Street Station, cling on and remind us of how things once were.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

An old corner of Bishopsgate, London

sketching out plans for the pub
all drawn out with some extra characters
now for the fun bit!

Time for a new London pub! Dirty Dick's pub in Bishopsgate caught my eye some time ago. I then found a little book about it in my Mum's things, so I know that she had been there at some time with my Dad, when he worked in the city. The pub tells the story of a wealthy city merchant, Nathaniel Bentley,  that owned a warehouse in Bishopsgate. His wife to be died on their wedding day, and it is said that from that day he never washed or tidied again. The wedding breakfast lay on the table for 40 years.
At one time there were several dead cats hanging from the ceiling in one of the cellar bars, but these have been tidied away. It is still a very old pub inside with wooden booths and lots of small areas to discover!
Charles Dickens may have been inspired to create Miss Havisham by the story of the merchant, but then every old London pub seems to have a Charles Dickens connection! He has to go in the picture, anyway!

Tilikum's tail sells for over £1500 at Whalefest

A quick update, the tail I painted for Tilikum was signed by the wonderful Jean Michel Cousteau and raised over £1500 for Whale Fest. Such fantastic news : )