Sweltering Summer Sketchbook Workshop…

Saturday saw me, along with 10 other ladies, attend a super, if sweltering, Summer Sketchbook Workshop run by Helen Hallows at the Long Eaton Art Room.

First time I have been to the Art Room and I can’t tell you how lovely it was to have a space where you felt totally free to cut, glue, splash ink and paint around without worrying about any mess…..so different from the tiny back bedroom I have at home!

The Workshop was something different for me…not my usual style…but I like Helen’s work, her bold use of line and colour….as well as her art/life philosophy.. so I thought ..why not give it a go..!!

The Workshop concentrated on how and why we use (or not) sketchbooks, ways to overcome ‘New Sketchbook Syndrome’ and some drawing/mark-making/collaging techniques you could use for any subject, not just the still life set-ups in the Room..

I was familiar with some of the techniques….i.e. continuous line drawing, non-dominant hand drawing.. but Helen provided lots of other information, tips and ideas on how she prepares sketchbooks and how she utilises them…

Although the Workshop was pretty full on – Helen stated from the outset that she had a lot information and tasks to go through – I never felt particularly rushed…which was just as well considering the heat…

I did some pretty dreadful drawings in my newly prepped sketchbook…(in my defence they were non-dominant hand, continuous line-drawing not looking..)

…but Helen was full of advice and encouragement… something that’s hard to come by at home, on your own…

A variety of materials was provided and I really enjoyed using the stick and ink – again, this wasn’t new to me having worked with these on my Foundation Course at Grantham College – but that was many moons ago and it’s amazing how you forget these things…..

…and I finished the day with a rather bold take on the peppers….

…so not like me at all…but sometimes it does us good to have a change and try something different…

As far as Helen’s outlook on art and life….well it certainly made me think…and that’s a topic for another post…..

Would I recommend the Workshop – certainly – not only was it wonderful to spend time with some lovely, creative people, I came away with lots of ideas and a new found enthusiasm……and surely that’s the point of a workshop!!


Drawing Near…blog update

Although the last few days have seen blue skies and sunshine there is definitely an autumnal feel to the early mornings. Sad as it may be to feel that 2014 is slipping away, I do love the changing seasons; blue skies, crisp brown leaves, and, just lately, we have been blessed with skeins of geese flying to and from their nesting/feeding grounds, honking loudly as they go!

The ‘drawing’ in of the evenings also means that the ‘Making A Mark’ exhibition at Blue Owl Art is ‘drawing’ closer – apols for the pun overload! The invites for the Private View are being sent out and the delivery and hanging of the work is in full swing!

Blue Owl Art Invite

I feel very honoured to have been asked to take part in this exhibition, one of eight artists showing their work as part of The Big Draw event. My work will hang alongside that of Steve Dargavel, Amir Ghazy-Noory, Linda Holloway, Barbara Karn, Mary Romer, Kate Robotham and Sam Smith – hoping I’ve got all the links to the correct sites (apols if I haven’t!) Have to admit to feeling more than a little apprehensive. My previous exhibitions have been big site-specific installations; this one feels much more intimate and personal.

Silver Birch TriptychSilver Birch I





The Private View is on the 19th September, 7-9pm at Blue Owl Art at the Grantham Tennis Club, Gonerby Road, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG31 8HU. The exhibition runs until mid-January 2015.


In other news – I was highly delighted to be selected as Creative Leicestershire‘s ‘Artist of the Week’ for this current week! An image of my work appears on the header of their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages!

Creative LeicestershireIn contrast to my charcoal drawings, I am, at present, really enjoying working with pastels and……colour(!) …something I haven’t done a lot of since my Foundation Course days!

AuchencairnI have now framed the view of Auchencairn – I will get around to taking a photo… Mmmm, I feel a series of pastel landscapes coming on…watch this space!