Happy Halloween

With each year that passes Halloween becomes more of a tradition here, our house was no exception with family parties, pumpkins, fake spiders-the list goes on. When I was a child the focal point of the season was Bonfire Night with treacle and toffee apples.

I do love this time of year with its abundance of fruit and berries. It has been a good year for apples this year and my little Malus Gorgeous has been on top form. This tiny crab apple tree produces fruit no bigger than a large cherry. We never try to cook them, preferring to leave them for the birds to enjoy.

I made this little study with coloured pencils.

We went down to London to visit The Royal Miniature Society's exhibition at the Mall Gallery to see this years annual exhibition. I was thrilled to have five pieces accepted. The exhibition is now closed but you can still see the whole thing on their website, many pieces are still for sale and would make lovely gifts for Christmas perhaps? My work is numbered 229-233.

I made some new greeting cards from the artwork created for the miniatures, some are in my Etsy shop and there are more on the way. 

A quick hop over the border into Wales enabled us to use the facilities at the Print Centre in Wrexham. I managed to finish two editions, one intaglio and one linoprint. It was suggested that I try hand colouring some of the dry point prints and found that using water colour pencils worked well.

The Halloween print at the top of this post, the drawings, cards and prints all found their way here-https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/acornmoon


Mereside- New Miniature Paintings

I recently completed a set of five miniature paintings, this time based on the flora and fauna around our local Meres; these are naturally occurring lakes which support a wide range of species of birds, reptiles, insects and flowers.

Last week I took my little bundle of paintings down to London and handed them in for submission to The Royal Miniature SocietyAnnual Exhibition. This is a juried show and so an anxious wait ensued until the results were announced. I was delighted to find that all five paintings had been accepted for this year's show. If you are in London you might want to come along?

The show runs from 13th October to the 25th October and will be at the Mall Gallery. You can find more details by following this link.

Each miniature is hand painted onto paper with watercolour and gouache. I used some metallic colours in this series to give a rich medieval flavour. Each design has a decorative border which combines some decorative elements, flowers, leaves etc. chosen to complement each subject.

The design process begins by working out the composition, starting with a pencil drawing. The border design is worked out separately in much the same way I would begin a textile design. 

The design is then transferred onto hot pressed extra smooth watercolour paper. I like to use "The Langton" by Daler Rowney. I use tracing paper to transfer the design using a very sharp HB pencil. I then go round the outline using a very fine pen and watercolour before rubbing out the pencil line. 

The painting then progresses in much the same way a larger piece would, the difference being the size of the brush strokes. The work is completed using very many teeny tiny brushstrokes, layer upon layer.

The painting is then trimmed to size and placed inside a special frame which has bevelled glass.