Mixed Media Pieces – Burnham Art Trail 2024

A visit to the community allotment in Burnham-on-Crouch inspired me to make some mixed media paintings of seeds, bark and flowers for this year’s Burnham Art Trail which takes place during the last week in June.sunflower seeds, seeds, mixed media, pen and wash, marker pen, felt tip, watercolour, coloured, pencil, ink, metalic pen, pastel

I started with sunflower seeds – they are so graphic and the black and white shells really mix well with colour.runner bean seeds, seeds, mixed media, pen and wash, marker pen, felt tip, watercolour, coloured, pencil, ink, metalic pen, pastel

I wanted to work in a way that was freer than my usual pen and wash approach – with rougher lines and more abstract shapes.

sunflower seeds, seeds, mixed media, pen and wash, marker pen, felt tip, watercolour, coloured, pencil, ink, metalic pen, pastel

I also wanted to use a wider range of materials.

sunflower seeds, seeds, mixed media, pen and wash, marker pen, felt tip, watercolour, coloured, pencil, ink, metalic pen, pastel

After the sunflower seeds I moved onto runner bean seeds.

runner bean seeds, seeds, mixed media, pen and wash, marker pen, felt tip, watercolour, coloured, pencil, ink, metalic pen, pastel

Runner bean seeds are such a beautiful colour – that glorious pinky-mauve with the abstract black markings.

runner bean seeds, seeds, mixed media, pen and wash, marker pen, felt tip, watercolour, coloured, pencil, ink, metalic pen, pastel

I used black permanent marker pens in various thickness for the outlines and backgrounds of these paintings. They are much broader than the water resistant pens I usually use and I really like the way they bleed into the watercolour paper, accentuating its texture.

runner bean seeds, seeds, mixed media, pen and wash, marker pen, felt tip, watercolour, coloured, pencil, ink, metalic pen, pastel

The base colour I used on all these pieces was watercolour paint.

As well as flat washes, I also added watercolour paint in splatters and printed circular shapes using the rim of a glass.

runner bean seeds, seeds, mixed media, pen and wash, marker pen, felt tip, watercolour, coloured, pencil, ink, metalic pen, pastel

Then I went on to add marks with ink and acrylic paint, using nibs and brushes.

poppy seedheads, seeds, mixed media, pen and wash, marker pen, felt tip, watercolour, coloured pencil, ink, metalic pen, pastel

After the runner bean seeds I moved on to poppy seedheads, I was attracted more by the shape of the seedheads than their colour.

poppy seedheads, seeds, mixed media, pen and wash, marker pen, felt tip, watercolour, coloured pencil, ink, metalic pen, pastel

I also used coloured pencils and metallic pens and inks.

poppy seedheads, seeds, mixed media, pen and wash, marker pen, felt tip, watercolour, coloured pencil, ink, metalic pen, pastel

I found that charcoal and pastels gave an interesting finish on the rough texture of the watercolour paper.

poppy seedheads, seeds, mixed media, pen and wash, marker pen, felt tip, watercolour, coloured pencil, ink, metalic pen, pastel

And scraping the pastel with a blade gave a satisfyingly intense dusting of colour which I set with hairspray.

lichen, bark, twigs, mixed media, pen and wash, marker pen, felt tip, watercolour, coloured, pencil, ink, metalic pen, pastel

I was particularly pleased with how the splatter and the pastel dust worked on my depiction of the these lichenous twigs. I’d really started appreciating the colours of lichen on tree bark during the winter months when there’s so little other colour around.

acorns, mixed media, pen and wash, marker pen, felt tip, watercolour, coloured, pencil, ink, metalic pen, pastel

As well as being beautiful, the seeds are impressive because of their huge potential, that’s especially true of the acorn.

acorns, mixed media, pen and wash, marker pen, felt tip, watercolour, coloured, pencil, ink, metalic pen, pastelacorns, mixed media, pen and wash, marker pen, felt tip, watercolour, coloured, pencil, ink, metalic pen, pastel

Marigolds caught my eye next. They give vibrant splashes of colour in the garden nearly all year round.

marigolds, flowers, mixed media, pen and wash, marker pen, felt tip, watercolour, coloured, pencil, ink, metalic pen, pastel

As well as being self-seeding, the marigolds have insect repellent properties so it’s great to have them growing in the greenhouse.

marigolds, flowers, mixed media, pen and wash, marker pen, felt tip, watercolour, coloured, pencil, ink, metalic pen, pastel

For this year’s Burnham Art Trail I’m showing my paintings in the potting shed of the wonderful Moroccan inspired garden of Frances Franklin – Venue number 4. It seems very apt to be showing these paintings of seeds, bark and flowers in a garden shed.

Here’s a link to the Art Trail map.marigolds, flowers, mixed media, pen and wash, marker pen, felt tip, watercolour, coloured, pencil, ink, metalic pen, pastel

I painted the smaller artworks in threes. I tore the paper to separate them once they were finished, mounted them and glued them onto blank greetings cards which I plan to hang in the shed from twine like bunting.may blossom, may, blossom, hawthorn, mixed media, felt tip, watercolour, coloured pencil, metalic glitter, pastelThe last set of paintings I made have lighter feel; no black marker pen this time.may blossom, may, blossom, hawthorn, mixed media, felt tip, watercolour, coloured pencil, metalic glitter, pastelThe May blossom arrived with the spring and the white flowers and buds shone out like stars against the blue sky.

may blossom, may, blossom, hawthorn, mixed media, felt tip, watercolour, coloured pencil, metalic glitter, pastel

During Art Trail week, I made the mixed media poppy paintings below, while enjoying lovely company and weather at my Art Trail venue in Fernlea Road.

poppy, flower, mixed media, felt tip, watercolour, coloured pencil, metalic ink, pastel, marker pen, flowers, greetings cards, art for sale Click here to read more and see photos of my Art Trail venue.

poppy, flower, mixed media, felt tip, watercolour, coloured pencil, metalic ink, pastel, marker pen, flowers, greetings cards, art for sale poppy, flower, mixed media, felt tip, watercolour, coloured pencil, metalic ink, pastel, marker pen, flowers, greetings cards, art for sale

Do check out my Art Trail post to see photos of my artwork installed at my venue.

Wednesday Beach Sketches

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This was a rather lovely way to spend a Wednesday afternoon in late October; great weather, swimming, beach tennis and a sketching opportunity provided by splendid company.

Selfie 1 – Sleepless

I’m not a good sleeper.

The other night I was restless and wide awake in bed so I decided to get up and draw myself:

self portrait, sleepless, selfie, charcoal, pastel, sketch, drawing

On seeing the drawing the next morning a visiting friend asked “Who’s that?”

“It’s me” I replied.

“No!” he said, “That’s nothing like you…”

Which is strange because every time I see the sketch I absolutely recognise it as me..

Life Drawing 2

life drawing, model, sketching, vejer sketchers, charcoal, pastel

I joined the Vejer Sketchers in the castle for another life drawing session on Sunday morning, easily one of the coldest days we’ve had this winter.

life drawing, model, sketching, vejer sketchers, charcoal, pastel life drawing, model, sketching, vejer sketchers, charcoal, pastel

Our model valiantly disrobed and while we drew, swathed in hats, scarfs and woollens, she patiently posed with a couple of meagre heaters and a hot water bottle to ward off the chill. Brave and generous to a fault.

life drawing, model, sketching, vejer sketchers, charcoal, pastel

All sketches charcoal and chalk pastel.

Life Drawing

life drawing, model, sketching, vejer sketchers, charcoal, pastel

The Vejer Sketchers met today for the first life drawing session in the new Arte Vejer castle headquarters.

life drawing, model, sketching, vejer sketchers, charcoal, pastel

 

 

The model we’d booked to sit for us couldn’t get her car started but luckily found us a splendid last minute stand-in and all went well until our half time coffee break in a local bar…

 

life drawing, model, sketching, vejer sketchers, charcoal, pastel

 

 

We returned to the castle to find ourselves locked out with all our equipment still inside. It took a fair amount of door thumping and shouting to attract the attention of the key toting tour guide inside.

 

 

All in all a very enjoyable if slightly chaotic morning. It was the first outing for my pastels too, I love the intensity of the colours, the granular texture and the smooth way they go on…I’m looking forward to conducting more experiments with them soon…