Getting there…

It’s been a bugger, the pandemic, hasn’t it? Deprivation, isolation, and the rest. This past eighteen months will scar the world’s population for decades, one way or another.

And yet…in amongst the tragedy and anxiety have come, not only moments of superhuman courage, but slower, low-key changes…

Zoom has been a bit of a tyrant, but has made us properly engage with those with whom we had quite casual relationships. We’ve made the effort; we care about those who are struggling; we encourage and sympathise. We support. And in that, maybe we’ve learned to be better people? Better colleagues. Better friends.

This week, our art groups met up for a great tea party in a local park. For many, this was 14 months after we went online for our painting sessions. The joy in the air was palpable.

“We survived!”

“It didn’t beat us!”

“Wonderful to see you!”

Of course, the painting has blossomed for many, though not all, but those who have not found sufficient motivation have their network, in the groups, to see them through the darker times. A friend who has your back…

Lucky me, to have had that friendship, too.

Looking forward, with excitement, to our next careful steps….Bring it on!

It’s Bluebell Time!

So…are they blue…or purple…or pink? Bluebells are with us so briefly; a dazzle of exotic colour after the subtle tones of winter. Very often, as this year, they’re flattened by gales, but the extraordinary colour remains. Magical…

Because of an irritating injury ( too boring to explain) I’ve had to forego woodland walks, but was desperate to paint the bluebells.

Of course, you’re not really looking for the flower itself, but the layers of intensity and light. Easier, much easier, imagined than copied!

Some of my bluebell studies, in watercolour.. ..

Summer with Impressionists…

Virtual painting workshops require a certain rhythm, both from the tutor and the tutored. Once you get into it, it’s actually a really good way to work.

In today’s Summer with the Impressionists, I sent round a series of short videos, with demos and explanations. The painters worked ‘alongside’ me, then, and we met up on Zoom to show our work and have a chat. They’re a great group of painters, so, predictably, they worked hard and achieved a lot.

Perhaps the next workshops will be face to face. Can’t wait, obviously, but I shall miss the intimacy of these, more detailed, classes.

Of course, if there’s a demand, I might carry on with them…!

This is one of Matisse’ Summer Studies, which we worked on this afternoon. Intriguing and exciting colour, and great fun.

Summer with the Impressionists

Earlier this year, we had a terrific painting workshop celebrating the work of Van Gogh. It was hands on and busy, but everyone loved it.

We’re doing another! Why don’t you join us? Open to everyone, whatever your art experience. It’ll be fun!

Click on Diary Dates, in the Menu above, for all the info …

A time to breathe …

A couple of weeks off, for Easter; that time of personal reflection. This period, since Christmas, has hit a lot of people quite brutally. The realisation that we have been frightened and restricted by Covid for over a year, now, has emphasised the weary loneliness felt by many. We’re clinging fiercely to our vaccination appointments. Who has anything more important to do? Hoping that the ‘road map’ is all it promises and that therell be an end to seeing anxious faces on screen, on a daily basis….

Le Marais, Paris in 2019…Shan’t be there this year, I think. Roll on 2022….!

We painted like Van Gogh…!

Huge thanks to the great painters, from around the country who turned up at Queensbury Community Programme’s first virtual workshop day on Saturday.

We had a ball, didn’t we?

Meeting on Zoom during the day, it was inspiring to see how hard everyone had worked. Some terrific pastel work in the morning and amazing acrylics in the afternoon. Sensational stuff….

Lots of people interested in another workshop, later, perhaps, in Spring. I’m on it….Watch out Monsieurs Monet, Seurat, Degas and Chagall! We’re coming at you!

It’s a pretty abstract world…

It took me a while to enjoy painting in an abstract way. It isn’t easy, though I’ve heard many people suggest otherwise. Now, abstraction provides a welcome place for me to go, and, as the world gets progressively madder, it all makes more sense!

We’ve been looking at abstract art in my Queensbury groups. The students in these classes are exceptional artists, but I’ve heard the same doubts, and I understand them. In the end, my demo films just suggested to them that you lay some paint on your board and move it around. See what happens. Go away and come back. Look again. Try a palette knife instead of a brush. Make marks with bottle tops, shells or bubble wrap. Take your time. Eventually, you’ll see colours or shapes which you like. If you don’t like it, paint it out, but keep the bits you do like.

It won’t be perfect. This isn’t magic! Persevere. You’ll find, as I did, that, in these topsy-turvy times, an abstract view of life might be the right one, after all….

Lockdown? What lockdown?

We cannot let it beat us. Simple as.

If you have any creative urge at all, like drawing, painting, even just watching the creative process, why not join our art groups at Queensbury Community Programme? It doesn’t matter whether you’re experienced or a beginner or if you’re in Oswaldtwistle or Oslo. All online, of course, since last March. Friendly Zoom catch-ups; a bit of tuition if you want it and some video demos. £6 a week for a 7 week term. It’s fun. Go on. Don’t tell me you’re busy….! 😂😂 Call me on 07766556145 to chat about it.