Just a brief extra note today to direct you to Jackie's sad news of John Blake at the bottom of yesterday's blog. If anyone wants to add their own memories to Lesley's, which are already on the Messages from Members page (click HERE), just drop them to me as an email.
In the light of all the latest restrictions, it has been reluctantly decided that the proposed amended Winter Programme detailed in the recent letter sent out to members cannot go ahead. The Bowls Club has imposed a limit of six people using the building at any one time. To comply with this, we would have to have in place a rota system, there could be times when only one person in a group is able to come, the space needs cleaning before and after use, and we only have two keys. The situation will be reviewed in December, in the hope that we can resume in January, and of course, if there are any other changes we will let you know.
In the meantime, it has been suggested that we have a theme for each month, starting with ‘HARVEST’ to take us to the end of October. Send in either the stages of a larger or more complex piece of work as you go along, or smaller pieces as and when you complete them, so that the blog can be something of a substitute for the times when we stop for coffee and talk to each other about what we are doing, the cross-fertilisation that is so valuable in the process of making art.
The committee would very much like to hear from you, either using the Comment form on the blog page, or by phone or email, to let us know how you are getting on, and to give us ideas for themes, and more general feedback. We are investigating the possibility of setting up a closed Facebook group (only visible and usable by members) to enable better communication during this period. This would mean that you could post messages that other member could see, and send in photos at other times than for the blog. We will let you know when/if this happens.
Right, now down to this week's crop of pictures.
First - Avril, 'I thought I would try oil, not that good at the technique. I thought I would leave it at this because if I carry on too much it will be muddy, maybe it needs to be left to dry before more detail can be added.' I think she has made a painting with very good solidity and colour - I'm not sure it needs more detail.
Diana sent us these photos from the top of the castle in Eye. I thought these might make interesting subjects for someone to draw or paint from, such a different glimpse of the town.
Frances says, 'I have played around with inks and Art Graf on Yupo ‘paper’ and have actually finished my very large canvas of summer flowers in oil inspired by sketches in the garden earlier in July.'
A final note from Jackie.
Sadly, I have to inform you that John Blake died this morning at the N&N hospital.
John had been battling cancer for a while and suffered a stroke early summer from which he seemed to be recovering well. However, a recent hospital visit revealed the seriousness of his condition.
John was not always able to attend our weekly sessions as he was so committed to his other activities and was a Town Councillor for Eye but he enjoyed painting and produced some lovely work..
If I get any more information about the funeral, I'll pass this on to you all.
PS (from Noreen) To see some of John's work, see his Gallery Page - click here.
18th September: Late runners from Diana and Les Bragg (the latter thanks to Sally P.)
So now the 'Rule of 6' has come in to muddy the water. Your committee are trying to negotiate the convoluted path of working out what to do for the winter programme, and stick to the new rules. Did you know that (according to the official list) you can take part in Dragon Boat Racing (22 crew members in a boat), but not amateur dramatics? No, I don't understand it either.
Here are two pictures from Carolyn. She says, 'The flowers are gorgeous in real life, Schizostylis coccinea, but by the time I plucked up courage to have a go they were over, so this is from a photo. The pencil drawing looks better than the scan has made (excuses, excuses!). They are 3 glass objects, which were waiting on a shelf for inclusion in a still life.'
She may have a go at adding colour to it.
Sally P worked from an old art book on ballpoint and colour wash, using her own flowers. She said it made a lovely change.
Three pictures of Beccles Quay from Sally L. (left and centre) and Lesley, who met, in a socially distanced way, this morning, with Jackie, to sketch. Lesley said there was strong sunshine but a chill wind. Lovely to be outside in another bright autumn day.
Jackie said, 'What a super day today. I finished the Felixstowe painting of drying nets yesterday and today went to Beccles to sketch more boats and still find portraying water rather difficult. I found a better position and view later in the day, for the next visit.'
I think the fishing net is amazingly successful in the Felixstowe painting, now I can see why we didn't get it until this week - such intricate work!
Sally T's contributions this week: 'The flowers were given to me by our daughter when she came to visit and are a quick water colour sketch. The still life I have been working on for ages, too long but is finished at last.. I was constantly correcting and re correcting the drawing. Red peppers came and went. I should have persevered with the drawing and got it right at the outset but there are two ways of looking at it and you can just let the painting evolve. Also my canvas was too textured and would have suited a more impressionist approach.' I like the composition with the view from the window, the outside and inside are good contrasts with one another.
Well that was very quickly overruled, wasn't it? It looks like everything is on hold again... We'll let you know if and when there are new decisions about the winter season.
In the meantime, four intrepid artists went to Felixstowe today and sent back sketches, photos and descriptions of the day.
First, some scene setting...
Our four heroines, Frances, Sally L., Lesley and Jackie. and then Frances at work.
Here you can see the outcome of Frances's busy day. 'One photo, three small watercolour sketches and one experiment with my oil pastels which were becoming very soft in the sun. Enjoyed a paddle too!'
Lesley was prolific too. 1. Five minute watercolour of a heap of nets 2. The Harbourmaster’s Shed, which really is that wonky! Pencil 3. View at low tide between houseboats, looking upriver. Pencil. And then sent me a further photo to prove the wonkiness of the shed.
Jackie said, 'The weather being perfect,silver sunshine highlighting the boats and all the interesting flotsam and jetsam on the foreshore, the valiant four set to work. As a slow sketcher I decided to make as many sketches as possible backed up with photographs. The ferry made a fascinating subject but patience required as it only moored up for a moment to offload passengers and take new ones on board then off it sailed for the opposite shore. Lesley, Sally and Francis produced some lively paintings and sketches which we showed at the end of our session. My other sketch is faint as it will be painted at home away from so many distractions. ..or at least, I hope to!'
Some of Jackie's photos are featured above. The photo below shows the tyres which Jackie has focussed on in another sketch.
Noreen has sent me two she did earlier, and it looks as though at least one of the boats in the photos taken today hasn't moved an inch since she was last in Felixstowe!
And now, something I don't think we've had before, but I expect Noreen will let me know if I am wrong. Avril has continued with some of her creative stitch lessons done on pic collage.
'This was one of my photos that had been digitally altered. The result was very flat so I made a painting done with gouache, ink, wax crayon and felt tip.'
So here is the resulting video; and the painting. Hopefully you can see the video move!
This is me for this week. I finished the drawing of apples, for which I have used a mixture of sketching and colouring pencils.
A quick extra post. The committee has been discussing the effects of the coronavirus on the upcoming winter programme. A letter will have been sent to you this week with details of the outcome of these discussions. If you want to respond electronically, you can download the letter HERE, to then email to Sally P.
Apparently the 1st of September is the beginning of meteorological autumn, and the weather is certainly feeling rather different this week. Thank goodness we were not meant to be at Burston this morning, when it was still raining.
Firstly this week, Noreen has told me that she has added two pictures of Abbey Farm that she made on previous EAG visits to her Gallery page. You can see them HERE, full of detail and beautifully composed.
And next, Avril has taken two different aspects of what she does, two of her sculptures In front of a fabric backdrop she had made, and made a third, a drawing of them together.
And now for something completely different...
Diana sends pictures of the Tour De France; 'Best 3 weeks of the year. Helicopter tour of the all the beautiful scenery of France thanks to ITV 4 every day.These two sketches were done 2 years ago from the tv screen while I was mending from my second hip op' She says.
Jane has gone back to drypoint this week, but she laments, 'The message to self on my whiteboard isn’t having much effect !'
Frances, now back from Brittany, and in quarantine, says, 'I decided to take up Diana’s challenge of a fortnight ago. So here is a self portrait (Think Linda Ronstadt and Blue Bayou) and something else possibly a bit prettier!'
To Burston this week. We met at the Crown, to which most of us returned later for coffee. I had not been here before, and was interested to see the Strike School, with its display of pupils at the window (see Avril's drawing). The museum is currently closed, unfortunately. Once again the weather was dry, and the churchyard is quite picturesque.
Studies of cows from Jackie, some from Burston, and she gave me a peep (not yet for display) at something else she is working on... watch this space!
Carolyn has been knitting during lockdown, 'In lockdown, I started knitting again to keep the grey matter and fingers agile, using inhouse leftover wool. The red did not last, hence the 2-tone model! The waistcoat is still unfinished, but will I ever wear it?'
Like me, she had chosen a cable pattern and, like me, kept going wrong. This picture was done in watercolour and watercolour pencils, and I don't think this has gone wrong at all.
Lesley is in Thorpeness, and has sent us a drawing of the back garden, and trees on Thorpeness Common, viewed from the front window of the house.
My sketch at Burston was unfinished, as I was amazed at how the time flew. I will do some more to it and add it next week. Instead, I thought I would share the process of the picture below. I first drew some of the plums I had harvested, and then thought I would add colour (the colour was the main attraction they had for me), using a method China DeBurnay used to recommend, first photocopy or scan the original, and then print it out to use as a base. In this case when I did this, I found that I could more clearly see that the bowl was too narrow, so I made it wider in the computer, as well as making it paler, to draw over, then printed it on grey paper to colour.
So the next outing is to Felixstowe, on 10th September. An all-day session, details on the Summer Programme page.
Keep sending me your output - it's really great to see what everyone is finding to to draw and paint.
Thank goodness, at last a break in the heat, and some much-needed rain. This week I have painted one of my flower beds, full of the hot summer colours of redhot pokers and heleniums, the first time in an age that I have used the garden as a subject. We have also had our first proper harvest of plums since we came here, having netted the trees against the pigeons who like to eat the leaves and buds.
So here is a nice crop of pictures for this week, starting with Harriet's sunflower, another of the sights of this time of year.
Next, Carolyn's homegrown tomato, pictured in a spotlight (hence the shadows) Picked, drawn and eaten!
And now, Sally P's black sand and blue sky - wonderfully vivid on her black pastelmat paper, which really strengthens the colour.
So here is my 'By the Garden Wall' and a basket of plums. They may be jam by next week, I'm not sure what I will do with them, but they are so beautiful that they may have to be painted along the way!
All kinds of weather had been forecast (or should that be prophesied, because not much science seems to be involved) for this morning's visit to Abbey Farm in Hoxne, from downpours to thunderstorms. In the event, we got more of the usual, as the day brightened, it got progressively hotter and more humid. As it got sunnier, our concentration was accompanied by the joyous sounds of splashing from the swimming pool. We were spread out with such good social distancing that I didn't realise Avril was there until halfway through the morning.
This is an immensely imposing house, with magnificent timbers and ornate brickwork. The garden spreads around the house, with winding paths to take you through glades and woodland. I thought I would start this week with some photos to show those who didn't come what it is like.
Here is Harriet's sketch of the house, together with one she did earlier in the week of the horses next door to her home.
Jackie says, 'Abbey Farm offered us intriguing subjects to sketch and draw. A Tudor building with ancient doorways, weathered wooden timber frame, old brick walls, it wasn't long before our group settled with their pencils and paintbrushes. The intense sun kept drying my paints so I resorted to producing this sketch in the end.'
Avril (as she often is) was very busy this morning, and she has added an explanatory pair of photos.
Lesley spent some time in Devon last week and sent some photos to remind us that not everyone has had endless summer, together with a sketch of the River Dart. She painted the house in watercolour this morning, but felt she had not got the mullioned windows right, but I think it has a great graphic quality to it.
John Walters first sent me the painting on the left, and then came and sketched this morning, two drawings of the front of the house, lots of intricate timbers!
Next Frances, who doesn't fail to remember, from Brittany, to send something each week.
'Thursday again! Or rather Jeudi ici en Bretagne...
In the middle of painting some of the insect life I have seen in the garden here and a sketch of Nick’s feet while he was asleep in the shade. I learnt a great deal about his sandals!!!'
And finally, Jane has sent a lovely bunch of flowers. in a jam jar, and Les Bragg (via Sally P , who said, 'You want to go through to find out what's on the other side'), a vibrant doorway at Walsingham Gardens.
Please keep on sending me examples of what you are doing, and anything interesting you might want to pass on to the group. Photos are welcome too.
I have definitely let the side down this week, finishing so late (says Hannah). My first excuse (not too bad) is that we have had an electrician in the house all day, turning things off and on, so I didn't want to start until he had finished, or I might have lost whatever I had added. The second (not so good) is that once I had started an old friend, whose birthday this is, rang me, and rather a lot of chat ensued! Anyway, here it is - Sorry Noreen!
Jane took up the challenge from last week (unlike me, who promptly forgot all about it as soon as I posted it). She sent this drawing of her hand drawing her feet,
Sally T has also drawn her hand, four versions from a mirror, and the fourth looking directly. She says it was two very different experiences.
Frances has sent a sketch and two drawings in preparation for a painting.
Sally went with Jackie to the thatcher's field, and using both the photo and the drawing, has made a pastel drawing on Pastelmat paper. Lovely colours and I particularly like the depth of both the field and the sky.
Avril wasn't sure how successful this painting was, as she doesn't often paint flowers, but I think the photograph indicates how well she tackled it.
Jackie says, 'Our local Thatcher has harvested his straw and piled the bundles into shocks. These make a wonderful rural scene and I hope to do more studies of them at the weekend. I've also done some doodles just for fun. It's so lovely living here especially at harvest time when the fields are clothed in gold. Am missing everyone and hope to see some of you soon.'
Last Thursday, when I had finished my drawing, (Hannah says) I packed up, turned round and walked about five steps. I then saw what would have been the perfect subject for me - a view down a footpath, with a fence to the left, that I had had my back to the whole time! So I put everything down again and took a couple of photos. This is the final outcome, oil on canvas...
All the way from Brittany, Frances has sent 3 different images: A photo of a swallowtail butterfly, and one of the shutters painted with the same butterflies as inspiration, and her grandchildren on the beach...
Lesley's week has been too busy, so she sent a textile piece she made last month, an imaginary landscape that she is quite pleased with: snow dyed sky, monoprinted background, with machine embroidery and hand painted flowers and leaves collaged on top.
Late addition from Harriet, sketches from a visit this week to Saltburn, North Yorkshire, where it was very cold (!). The cliffs are supposed to be the highest in England.
Finally, a reminder to keep sending work to me (Hannah) for the time being. Either Noreen or I will let you know when things change back again.. I am sure everyone wishes Noreen well as soon as possible.
Seven of us made it to Thornham Walks this morning, and Diana arrived later, for a walk. The Forge Cafe was doing a roaring trade in outdoor coffee, and the paths positively thronged with all the visitors. It was the first day of the summer holidays, although in current circumstances who would have thought it would have made any difference? Lots of friendly and curious passers-by. And the weather was perfect, not too hot, but sunny.
We had coffee first (socially distanced), and, among other things, there was discussion of the coming winter programme. Sally Tyley brought the good news that the Bowls Club will be available, with some changes necessary for its use. We hope to be able to let you know how this is going to work as soon as it is finalised.
26th July: One extra drawing from Thursday added below...
And finally, finally, a late addition from Les Bragg. Another of the dying trees that make such wonderful statements at Thornham.
Just for the record, you are in Hannah's hands this week! I hope I can live up to the legend that is Noreen, having kept us all in touch for so many weeks. Unfortunately, her back will not allow her to sit at the computer at the moment, so I think we will all wish her better, and hope that she is soon up and about again.
We all have next week to look forward to - with our first outdoor meeting of the year at Thornham Walks. Let's hope the weather continues to hold up - it would be just our luck after all these fine, dry weeks to have rain get in the way now.
Isn't it interesting how completely different each of the above four are in style and treatment, when they all have as their subjects plants of one kind and another.
Sally L. has sent a link to a new video by Andrew Pitt, for creating a summer landscape in watercolour.
She also sent this oil pastel of a house she has painted before.
Wonderfully vivid colour, and the reflection guides you in to the house.
Harriet's paintings this week both have watercolour backgrounds , with acrylic foregrounds.
Hello all. First let me point you in the direction of our new limited Summer Programme in case you haven't yet seen it. Look under Events or click here.
It’s been a tough day today. Just today of all days I received an email from BT telling me that I’d no longer receive emails without updating settings to their new “improved” email service. "Don’t worry, it’s straightforward…simple!" In fear of losing everything or not receiving your valued artwork, I set about this task. At one point a live chat took over two hours, in the middle of which my adviser admitted she’d been giving me all the wrong instructions and could we start again!!!
Fortunately, I received your emails, so here is what you sent.
10 July: Two further paintings, from Lesley Bu and Harriet have been added at the end.
That's everything I've received so far, not quite as many as usual. If there is any more to come, please email me and I will add them tomorrow. Noreen
PS Friday : Two more added below.
How time flies when you’re having fun! July already and well into what would have been our Summer Programme, with our exhibition at St Mary’s Diss imminent. When exhibitions are again possible, we should have lots of work to show.
No artwork from Avril this week as she is expecting a family visit, but she looks forward to seeing what everybody else has done. And Cynthia is still working on her oil painting. Sally T wrote that she is sorry not to have any images for us this week but is working on a still life in oils. Hopefully we will be able to see the finished version next week. She says the blog keeps her going as she loves to see what members are up to.
Your committee strives to organise programmes and events to interest and challenge you and help you to develop your skills. It would assist them to know what you have liked or not liked, or if you have any new ideas or suggestions to put forward. Do let us know, either by speaking to committee members direct or by using the "Comments" facility on this page. Just click on Comments and a reply form will pop up. If there are previous comments, again just click to read them.