Friday, 30 March 2012

Altered Book now completed

I have now completed this little altered book in which I have used Atelier Interactive Acrylics - Impressionistic style (well impressionistic in my view)

you remember the two paintings so far:

Dunkery Beacon,  Exmoor

and            Croyde Bay

I have decided to do a video AGAIN, but this time you get to see the complete book  - so here goes....

...and the update in pictures

Dartmoor River

Bluebell Wood

Morte Bay, Woolacombe


As I said previously I have decided to Giveaway this book in a Draw - Names in a Hat basically, so nothing complicated.

If you would like the chance of having this book then please let me know in the Comments section on this blog or email me at:
I will then put your name in the hat for the Draw.

Open to all

I will accept names up until Thursday 12th April 2012 at 10:00am british time.

During that evening I will Draw a name from the hat - which I will announce with a blog post.   I would then ask that the winner gets in touch by email with their postal details within 5 days so that I can put it in the post for them.

So, there you have it - if you would like a chance to receive this book - then click the comments and let me know.

Thursday, 29 March 2012



Only time 

for a 

short post 


I know, who said Corny isn't funny!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

country stables

Thought I would add a post with some photos of the stables over at the local National Trust property where I volunteer.

Arlington has four Percheron horses, not your usual fine carriage horse, but very suitable for the job here working as a pair in a wagonette.  The day started with David the Head Coachman getting in two of them,  Erik and Mr. Fips...

Oh, and before I forget there is a new member of the Team

David's new puppy Buddy who kept an eye on things throughout the day

You should have seen the expression on Mr. Fips face when a wash was mentioned....

and this is Erik getting in a lather...

for two huge horses they behave extremely well, and I think they liked the attention

particularly when Mr. Fips appeared to be wondering if his tail was completely clean

so it had an extra rinse off

Here's Erik looking very clean

I've been asked to take photographs each week and add a post to the NTArlingtonCourt Facebook page.
which would be okay if I had even the slightest clue how to work Facebook, which I don't, so for a while I think it will be extremely hit and miss.  The above photo is the one I used to start off with. (I see a wise guy had to add a daft comment)....oh well, he couldn't have realised I'm a beginner at this stuff, and I do see this as very positive, it means people are looking at the page.  I would actually like to work out how to add more than one photo per post, but that has eluded me so far. 

Anyway, after all this washing and cleaning we took the horses out for a lengthy drive, me grooming and David driving

this is where the edge of my hat (for which I was extremely grateful, it was a very hot day after all) got in the way on this photo

and a VERY short video I managed to capture quickly as we went up the road - I apologise for it being wobbly, so brace yourselves,

I have a feeling there will be quite a few posts about Arlington during the Season working over there.  Hope you enjoyed seeing this.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

My altered book....

On several blogs recently I have come across Altered Book's - here's the Wikipedia reference to the idea.

Anyway, me being me, I had to give this a go.  Fortunately I came across a second hand Book Shop recently where I found this childs book, made of card, so should be tough enough for painting on.  It measures 31/2 X 31/2  (that is 9cm x 9cm) which I first coated with some Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground and when that had dried gave it a layer of Grey Gesso.  This is the surface I started to paint on using Atelier Interactive Acrylics.

Being that these will be miniature paintings I used appropriately sized brushes - yes very small ones!

Here's a little video to show you it so far -

and for those of you who cannot see the video, here are the two paintings

Dunkery Beacon, Exmoor

Croyde Bay, North Devon

When I have completed the remaining pages I will do an updated blog post.  I am thinking at the moment that perhaps I'll do a Giveaway with this little book - names in a hat sort of idea.  I'll finish the book first, do another post and organise that.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Burnt sausages & smoke

With the clocks changing and British Summertime now officially with us, the weather obliged us too. We have just had the most wonderful weather for the time of year - really hot and sunny, particularly yesterday Sunday. Needless to say that meant a BBQ in the garden and firing up the chimnea for the first time this season

and although in bbq terms the chimnea may be small, 
I can assure you it does work well

if a little smokey to start with!...

in fact I thought we were going to have Smoked Sausages 
rather than BBQ'd  !!

but my worries were put aside

when we had

Burnt ones instead....

which for some reason is always how they turn out!

just as well

as that is just how we like them -

they were delicious.

Friday, 23 March 2012


It is so nice to see the flowers coming back after what seems like a long Winter, in this case Primroses along the bank on our walk.   Just thought it would be nice to share a couple of photos with you on this Friday morning...

and low and behold there was also some appropriately named
Devon Violets

Have a lovely weekend!

Friday, 16 March 2012

The Matthew

Last week I posted photographs of The Matthew (the galleon ship that turned up in the Bay)...

I have finally got round to doing a painting of it - a small watercolour A4 size

okay, I used a bit of artistic license with the sky, but thought it
added a bit of drama!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Watercolouring .....

I have recently been painting a lot with Acrylics, but don't think for a minute that I have put away my watercolours...oh no,  they are by my side constantly.  

Very handy actually for jotting down a few ideas - in fact I even plan out my large canvas paintings in watercolour first.

Today, I thought I would post my recent additions to Sketchbook Challenge, (here's the link to their Website) the theme this month being Flowers - and here's the link to their Flickr site where the challenges are posted.

So you see I do still love painting with my watercolours!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012


I have just completed another Atelier Interactive Acrylic - hopefully in an Impressionist style! 

Like all paintings, I started out covering the canvas with Gesso, on this occasion Grey and left it to dry completely.

Being a Moorland scene and there being little in the way of focal point, I decided to put the focus on the foreground.....

When I stood back and took an objective look, I felt that the path in the foreground actually took the Viewer
OUT of the painting, so I changed it....

adding some more darks to the base of the hill on the right and then some Mist over the dark hollow in the Valley....

 the finished painting                        


I've put the different stages of this painting on the Painting friends site - oh, and by the way I also added three sheep to the painting - did you see them?

(this sounds like a where's Wally......laugh)

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Ahoy me hearties!

You don't expect to see one of these on a morning walk

especially as there are usually no boats at all in the Bay

I somehow think this will end up in a painting one day!

and no pirates in sight....

there was an ole sea dog though