Wednesday 24 July 2013

Dusk Watercolours Week 1 - the struggle with materials

 After the hottest day of the year  spent stitching close to a fan, I nearly  finished my 'Mudflats' piece for FoQ and headed into town on a packed sweaty tube train to Central London for the first of my 'Dusk Watercolours' classes at City Lit. We spent most of the time practising colour mixing and mark making in  room 109 which appropriately had  interesting marks along the wall ( above). Although I'm pretty experienced in watercolours  it's good to have a refresher  and try different colour combinations (I've rather set in my ways!) and there's always something new: 'aquapasto' is now on my shopping list. Interesting work from the tutor Hilary Rosen too.
The next  day I got up at 5 to sew the facings, went into work for a meeting and connectivity testing of new finance system , returned home to pack up my quilts and took them to Islington to hand in. Then back on the tube to Embankment where the class met up for some 'pleine aire' painting. We walked over the bridge to the South Bank and  went up to the roof garden for a   views over the Thames.
I started painting the view down towards the Festival Pier  but the combination of tiredness after a long day; painting standing up; struggling with  the new large palette we'd been given up and not having enough water to rinse my brushes (we'd been told not to bring any as there would be plenty available) meant I was rather miserable and couldn't concentrate. There were masses of loud people around too, several peering over my shoulder at the disasters I was creating. The final straw was taking the top off a paint tube which spurted out coating my hands in a vile yellow colour. Luckily I'd brought baby wipes but I  took that as a sign to go to find the loo , wash my hands , fill up my water containers and find a more congenial spot.

 Such a different atmosphere down by the river - lots of  Window gardens  with benches and seating, gentle murmur of jazz and people talking quietly.  A half of Moor Black IPA and a piece of walnut cake  assisted in my mood and I spent the rest the evening comfortably painting badly

Next week Embankment Gardens and the Barbican. I'll be better prepared then!

PS - It's 11 pm and I'm writing this to the sounds of 'Silent Night' drifting in through the windows.  There's a film crew further down the road  finishing filming an Xmas episode of 'Citizen Khan' (Brentford standing in for Birmingham) . Supposedly minimum disruption limited to a small section of the road but it's affected the whole street with zealous security guards  restricting access . I think many of us will be complaining to Hounslow Council.

Sunday 21 July 2013

Sweltering Stitching

You'd have thought I'd learnt my lessons stitching to  a deadline in a heatwave in 2003 when  the temperature was the highest ever recorded in the UK at 38.1 C. But here I am again, stitching my FOQ entry in front of a fan so I can  deliver it  tomorrow (or maybe Tuesday....) . Most of the stitching  so far was done 2 weeks ago  listening to R5 commentary of Wimbledon Mens Final. Now it's 'My Family and Other Animals' on Audiobook . Finding indigo and sweat don't mix!!! At least  my other entry is finished, labelled, rolled, waiting it's bag.

Normal service on blogging will resume shortly -  lots to catch up with after a very busy few weeks: orchid site visits( and a film premiere); Hampton Court Flower show; Bellowhead; more indigo dyeing; international moss conference.
I've also  been getting to grips with my new tablet - have worked out how to load and reduce size of photos but my attempts at blogging resulted in deleting my post on RA Summer exhibition!!
Tomorrow I start my 'Dusk Watercolours' class at City Lit -preparation for another week of painting seascapes at Slapton in 2 weeks time.
Stay chilled!