Patchings Art Festival….

Yesterday, Friday, saw myself and my other half take a trip to the Patchings Art Festival held at the Patchings Art Centre near Calverton, Nottinghamshire. Despite it being a cloudy, blustery day the marquees were full….

…there was music playing..

…and the sun did eventually make an appearance..

It was interesting wandering around the marquee where the artists had their stands and where some were doing demonstrations…..

Subjective as art is, there was obviously some work I preferred to others…. I particularly liked the approach and mixed media work of Ken Hurd…friendly guy and very generous with his tips and advice…. Claire Botterill was another artist whose work and techniques interested me.  I also watched Laura Boswell demonstrate her Japanese wood block printing… I particularly liked her linocut prints. Couldn’t figure out where I knew her name from until I read that she writes a regular column for the Artists and Illustrators magazine…I did purchase a couple of cards from her…as they say ‘every little helps…’

We also watched the Ann Blockley demonstration in the St. Cuthbert’s Mill ( I can’t seem to get the link to work here… their web address is Marquee…and very enjoyable and interesting it was too!!

There were also other exhibits/demonstrations going on around the ground for the long-suffering, not-so-art orientated partners including some beautiful bonsai trees..

..and glass-blowing..

..and an interesting Landscape Photography talk by RK Photographic

All in all….a good day….and, yes, I spent far too much….



Paper, Paper Everywhere….

Whenever I go to an art shop or browse an on-line art catalogue I am always overwhelmed by the selection of paper on offer…paper for all mediums and preferences..

For those of you kind enough to stop by and read my blog, you will know that I have a rather parsimonious attitude to the paper I practice on…using only old sketchbook sheets…and even these vary in weight…

…but today I decided to go mad, call it Friday Frivolity if you will…

….the above are initial watercolour washes… the bottom right is on sketchbook paper whilst the other two are on 300lb Fabriano Artistico HP paper – I know, whatever was I thinking….

It’s fairly obvious how the sketchbook paper buckles under the amount of water I use – and I am lazy and can’t be bothered to stretch it – but the Fabriano paper is lovely. It withstands lots of water and a lot of rough treatment; I used a brush along with a roller, old credit card and stick to move the pigment around… without damaging the surface.

I continued to add washes….and with the help of Adobe Photoshop Express for virtual cropping and framing…these are the results…

Sticking with my favourite colours of Daniel Smith Rich Gold, Indigo, Paynes Grey and Quinacridone Gold…..I based these on Norfolk reed beds… ??

It was actually lovely to have experimental pieces that might be worth framing and not be worried that the paper has buckled…there’s a lesson in there somewhere…

Only problem now is that I would like more of the Fabriano paper…doesn’t bode well for my piggy bank when I head off to the Patchings Art Festival next week….


Patchings Arts Festival…blog update

Yesterday saw Peter and I visit the Patchings Art Festival at the Patchings Art Centre, Calverton, Nottinghamshire. Bathed in sunshine, under azure blue skies, the art on show here is of a very different nature to that I studied at Loughborough University. Indeed, and I’m probably going to be a little controversial here, I’m sure some art critics would categorise the art here as being that of the Sunday afternoon hobby painter kind. I, however, have a foot in both camps! Surely anything that stimulates you to take an interest in art, at whatever level, that inspires you to have a go, has got to be a good thing? Most of us began our artistic journey by drawing and painting what we saw around us – we didn’t start out producing sculptures, video work, paintings that have more to do with the materials than the subject, even, dare I say it, audio-visual installations! For some people, the work on show here is what pleases them, for others, it inspires them to go further on their artistic journey – suffice to say, if we all liked the same things, the world would be a very boring place! And if I could paint half as well as some of the talented artists here I would be very happy indeed! Anyway, ‘Debate of the Day’ over with (for now I’m sure!), onto the Festival!

Patchings FestivalThe glorious weather contributed to a great day, strolling around the marquees, eyeing up all the art materials… Got what I considered a bargain from the Two Rivers Paper Mill and met the lovely guys who make the paper – so enthusiastic, brilliant! Bought a squirrel mop head brush from Rosemary & Co that I can’t wait to try – (unfortunately sable was out of my price range!) and some Bockingford watercolour paper from Charlie Downs at the Yew Tree Studios! Also received some free samples of Bockingford paper when we went to the St. Cuthberts Mill Marquee to see a demonstration by Jean Haines – a very talented watercolour artist who paints in a wonderful loose way and very generously shared lots of her tips!

Although we had to pay a nominal fee to see Jean Haines, many of the other artists were doing free demos at their stands and were again, very generous in answering questions and giving tips! It was great to see the work in progress – not sure I would have the nerve! Andrew Geeson, another watercolour artist who paints in a very loose manner, gave a very amusing and informative demo, providing a great insight into how and why he works in this way!

Patchings FestivalPatchings Festival






The extremely warm weather made the marquees very hot at times – no doubt one of the reasons the Pimms stand was doing a roaring trade!! We had taken our own picnic (eaten sitting on the grass in the sunshine!) which was just as well because when we visited the refreshment tent later for a cup of tea, the chiller cabinets were empty – sold out of sandwiches and cold drinks! However, the art, artists, demos and the choir all made for a great atmosphere and a very enjoyable day!

Next week I am visiting the Loughborough University Degree Finals Show which will be very different but just as interesting!