My husband (an amateur photographer) and I can often be seen out and about in Cornwall looking for inspiration. Often we will drive past a lane, park and wander up it to see where it goes!
On one such inspiration search, we found this lovely bridleway running up beside a farm near Godolphin. I really fancied having a go at a large painting and decided on a 100 x 50cm canvas which is the largest I'd ever painted!
I started by doing a very loose under painting using very watered down burnt umber and idantherene blue.
It was great sketching this out in such a loose way and the painting seemed to take shape straight away.
I then lay down the colours quite quickly and loosely over the top. It was already feeling 3 dimensional but I still had a looooong way to go!
The sky had to be done next as a lot of the trees would be overlapping it, I spent quite a lot of time getting that rich, turquoise blue that Cornish skies have and the puffy clouds.
There are a surprising amount of shades and colours that make up a 'white' cloud!
Next I worked on the lovely patchwork of fields in the background.
There needed to be the suggestion of trees and bushes separating the fields.
I started working on the bushes in the foreground on the left hand side. Here you can see the details of the veins in the leaves and the light catching them
I had to build up many layers of twigs and branches in the bare bush on the left hand side.
More foreground leaves
Many layers of twigs and branches had to be applied..
I then concentrated on the trees farther back and the dark bushes receding back out of the painting.
Next to be painted were the bushes on the right hand side. These were mostly in shadow with little highlights where the sun was breaking through.
I then worked on the path with it's deep, muddy furrows made by the farm vehicles with grass in between . I was very mindful of there being more detail nearer the front of the painting to show depth. I looked very carefully at the way the sunlight was coming through the bushes, creating dappled light on the path
I still wasn't happy with the scrubby bush on the left so i tackled it again. In this case less is more definitely did not apply! It needed many, many layers.
Finally it was time to put in the twisty, gnarly tree on the right. It was quite nerve wracking painting over so much of what I had already painted!
A detail showing the complex, twisted branches.
Finally it was done! Phew! It took over 40 hours of painting and was a real labour of love! I love the mysterious quality to it. Where does the path lead? Should you stay on the path? It is for the viewer to decide...
Some of you may know that almost exactly 1 year ago I became a member of The Lizard Art Cooperative. This blog is about my experiences of being in an art cooperative, what you can expect and the opportunities it has opened up for me.
In March 2015 I submitted my work to the Lizard Art Open Spring Fair. I would really encourage any aspiring artist to find out about any local open exhibitions and have a go. It gets your work out there and who knows what opportunities may arise from it!
Luckily all 3 of my pieces were accepted and it was great to see my work up in this lovely gallery in the heart of the Lizard in deepest West Cornwall!
I was then asked if I would like to put forward my name for consideration membership alongside other local artists. The maximum number of members is 15 and the criteria for being a member is to be based on or near The Lizard in Cornwall and to bring something different to the group.
I was absolutely delighted to be accepted into membership and started exhibiting from April 2015
Lizard Art rents the lovely Stableyard Gallery on the Trelowarren Estate near Helston, 'The Gateway to the Lizard'.It is a beautiful rural setting with a restaurant, craft gallery and beautiful walks all on the estate too.
Each member has a space approximately 2m wide in which to hang their work. This changes position with each new exhibition.
We have a Spring Art Fair to start our season off each year which is open to all Cornwall based artists. We then have 3 members exhibitions running from April until the end of October when we shut for the winter months
We take turns in stewarding the gallery which is open daily throughout our open season. I think this is great as we get a chance to meet the people viewing our work and the people coming to the gallery always have an opportunity to meet with one of the artists.
As this is a cooperative, any funds raised by the charging of commission goes straight back into the gallery and this winter we were able to put a fantastic new lighting system in.
Being part of Lizard Art has been great as it can be quite isolating working as an artist. We meet together once a month to organise the running of the gallery, but also socalise too. It's been very encouraging!
Also it has been a great discipline to paint for the exhibitions as we aim to put new work in each time
Each year we support a charity and this year our chosen charity is The St Petroc's Society which supports the homeless in Cornwall. We have produced a pack of 13 of our member's postcard and are selling them in a pack to support this cause.
Being part of Lizard Art really has been a great experience and I hope it will be for a long time to come!
If you would like to visit Lizard Art, the gallery address is :
Lizard Art Stableyard Gallery,