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No this isn't where the art group meet!  The inspiration ..
I've had my weekly pilgrimage to cricket pavillion for art group again. Sue and Maggie had had their exhibition at Harthill, which just about broke even. They are planning another one which they hope will this time actually raise some funds for the Tuesday group. Gill suggested that our group could exhibit at Brimmington, near Chesterfield, hopefully later this year, or early next year. It can’t be too soon – we need time to advertise. She was busy working on a painting of some “Love in a mist” (a type of flower also known as Nigella).

...The resulting painting
“You’ve missed a leaf out” said John, as he peered over at my painting of Llyn Brianne Reservoir, done from a photo taken on holiday in Wales. “Which one?” I wondered, before pointing out that he’d missed out a whisker from his chalk pastel lion picture.

I had difficulty in deciding on an artistic approach to do justice to this stunningly beautiful scenery. In real life, the reservoir’s water was a velvety black, with patches of brilliant white highlights where it caught the sun. The trees were mainly firs. I felt that if I’d painted it an intense black it would have looked wrong, so I settled for blue, to reflect the sky. For the sky itself, I dabbed some of the colour off with a dry tissue to create clouds. I have made the hills a little taller, as the camera always seems to flatten them. I plan to add this picture to the selling website in the next week or two (link above).

This week, we took the little one to Cadbury World, and were able to see parts of the factory (from behind screens) and see the exhibitions there. I had the opportunity of photographing some old chocolate packaging, and you can see how it is has developed and become brighter coloured and more sophisticated over the years. This advertising poster "Delicious and Wholesome" I photographed there looks like an antique now. On the subject of design, I have been reading “Design” by Paul Rodgers and have reviewed it on my Librarything widget (see right). A recommended read for anyone interested in design.

I have been given a disc of Sue and Karen’s photos from the wildlife park trip, so plan to use these for my next work of art.
A computer generated chocolate simulation of yours truly!

Drawing the lion

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After last weekend’s fete, this week, I was back to art group as usual. I decided to take part in the “big cats” group project suggested by Karen two weeks ago, and whilst waiting for copies of the photos she and Sue had taken, found a photo of my own to use for a practice go – or two.

Snow Leopard 1

As planned, Karen contacted the wildlife centre where they had taken the photos to ask if they wanted to display our artwork but, as not planned, they said no, as apparently “they won’t sell”.

We are still going ahead with the project, and will display the pictures at our next exhibition. Karen’s mum, Madge, was therefore busy working on a picture of some lions, although Karen herself was painting a small bird.

Gill came up with an idea for an alternative venue at Killarmarsh, so perhaps we will end up exhibiting there instead. Kevin had begun work on a scene of Chesterfield, featuring the famous crooked spire, while his wife, Barbara, was busy on a seaside scene with some cliffs. Elizabeth was continuing with her Venice painting, having conquered the difficult perspective. Margaret was doing a heron, which is a change from her usual swans. She told us about her daughters’ imaginative photography and artwork. One daughter got the other to pose against a sunset in order to get a photo to do a painting of a tightrope walker against a sunset. She didn’t actually use a tightrope, just made her pose as if walking on one and painted her in silhouette. She also did a similar thing with an umbrella.
Fed up of this now

I also added some ripples/shadows to my first Wales picture, as my husband felt they were needed, and – ta da! Here it is. He keeps suggesting alterations every time I show it him, so I won’t let him see it again.


For All Memoir Fans

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I recommend Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle.(Scribner.) It's been on the bestseller list for three years and you'll see why. This is a story of surviving a childhood that has to be read to believed, and prospering, and loving.

What I'd like you to be aware of it the motif that runs through this book of Jeanette's father's interest in quantum physics and see how that weaves through the book and makes for a socko ending.


My Third Grandchild, Eden

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Unlucky for some

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I am a bit “cream crackered” after two days helping out at the church fete, selling cakes to help with fundraising. I made quite a few of them too, including a second batch last night as we were running short. The most popular items were the cheese scones, and the woman who made them kindly produced a second batch for us, as the first sold out before we’d opened up to the public. We took an advance order for four before the second batch even arrived(!) Note to self: must make some for the art group’s exhibition next time.

(Above) some lovely English cakes - the ones on the right are Cheryl's chocolate "top hats" with a bit of jam under the icing.  To die (not diet) for.

I also put on a display of some of the art group’s work, and here you can see one of Maggie's tree paintings, and some of Sue's cards, also some of my paintings, in the miners’ chapel (note the creative use made of the photocopier).

Hilary, one of the organisers, also put some of her own in which you can see above - I like the seascape on the right best. She is also a keen flower arranger, and would almost certainly have had a hand in one of these arrangements, which feature her artwork (right), and undoubtedly some of her art materials. Hilary goes to a class run by David Coupe, a local artist

If you have ever seen “Apollo 13”, you’ll remember that practically the whole storyline is based around the fact that the rocket was launched on the 13th of the month – and, funnily enough, it went wrong! Well, this year, our event was held on Friday 13th, and I also had the temerity to take along – yes- 13 promotional art group leaflets. So, what happened? Well, we did have rather a lot of rain on both days, the Friday being particularly bad. Not many people came. None of our artwork sold – durr! 13 leaflets – but a few art greetings cards did. Oh yes, and this post wouldn’t let me save it at first.  Spooky!

(Above) part of the "Hysterical" (History) Society's display.

Anyway, I asked how much had been raised overall at the end, and it wasn’t that much down on the previous year.

There were many displays of photos by the History Sock, this one (above) features some lovely flowers too.
Me fundraising, quite a few years ago (showing my lucky dip apron with many pockets).

Doing this event meant I couldn’t be at art group, but I’ll be back with a vengeance next week. Bye for now.

"Completed" Wales Sunset

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I’ve taken the unusual step of completing the "rough" painting I first did for my Wales sunset, and here it is. I don’t normally finish a preliminary painting. My husband thinks it needs more reflections on the sea, though, so I’ll do that as well.

I’m getting ready to exhibit at the forthcoming small exhibition at our local church fair (Friday and Saturday 13th and 14th, 12.00-5.00, St John’s, Church Lane, Clowne). I have shown complete copies of them both before, so I am just showing the details I altered today now.

I have plenty of paintings from other group members and have spent several evenings framing my own ready. I am also using it as an opportunity to promote the group, as our membership is a bit low at the moment, so I will be printing off information leaflets, and getting the laptop ready to give a continuous display of paintings by group members. Later today will find me up in the loft, fetching down my card stand and browser, then finally setting up a contact book for potential new members to leave their details. It all takes quite a bit of time and effort, but last year it seemed to be worthwhile. People enjoyed the displays and I did get one enquiry from someone wanting to join the group, even if he never came. It also helped raise funds for the church, as Karen and Madge donated one or two paintings to be sold – and they did. It all helps get the group known a bit better.
Just a rough sketch so far

Who would have thought that a trip to the Zoo could give me inspiration? I have done this pencil drawing from a giant tortoise that I photographed while it was asleep – not that it did much while it was awake. A pen and ink drawing might follow. We visited Twycross Zoo earlier this week with the little one. It isn’t very well signposted, but was worth the extra half hour getting there. The little one now knows lots of new animals, and I got a leopard print scarf out of it.

At art group today, Karen and a few other group members had been to a wildlife park and she wanted us to have a group project of lions that they’d photographed. Our group projects are when we all paint the same subject at the same time, and then display all the results together at our next exhibition. Karen also had the idea of contacting the park to ask if they wanted to display our paintings, which seems to be a good idea.

Frued's Last Session

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There was nothing little about this play by Mark Germaine in the Little Theater at the West Side Y, Manhattan. Imagine Sigmund Freud who believed God was a fantasy having a session with C.W. Lewis who had just had a conversion experience. What a dramatic clash.
What we can learn from the play as writers is:
1. The importance of dramatic contrast, characters pitted against each other by education, class, philosophy....
2. This play was based upon another book, which means that we don't have to unearth all our own ideas. They are out there waiting for us, like fish leaping to our hook. Just follow your interest and you'll find the right books to help you create your own work of art.
3. The inescapable histories of the characters, both personal and what is going on in their environment. Imagine Freud and C.S. Lewis confronting a bomb threat during London's blitz.
How different it is to be in the audience when you're a writer!

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