Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Sharing our art

Last week, my good friend Ingrid (Ingrid Ormestad Art) travelled down from Scotland to spend a week with my wife and I. Ingrid and I promised ourselves lots of art, and that's just what we did. In particular we agreed to get out and about with our brushes and do some plein air painting, something neither of us have done before.


We visited Castle Ashby Gardens, which is where I found the Secret Garden I painted a while ago. The sun was shining wonderfully and we sat in the shade of the Arches in the Italian Garden to sketch. It is a very formal Italian style garden with perfectly manicured hedges and bushes. Ingrid chose pencil to sketch a large Urn, and I chose my soluble ink pen to sketch the Orangery at the far end of the garden. I washed in some shadows using my Aquabrush.


After exploring more area's of the garden, including the Secret Garden which looked just as beautiful as it did the first time I saw it, we found a bench to sit on and attempted some painting. We chose this Urn which was set back in dark shadows. Although I'm happy with the Urn, I wish I hadn't tried to paint the dark background.


On the Wednesday we went to London for the day, mainly to visit the Society of Women Artists annual exhibition in The Mall Galleries. It was a great day that started with the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and ended at Westminster, at the foot of Big Ben. The art exhibition was all we'd expected and it was fascinating looking at so many superb works.


Many of our plein air excursions resulted in us doodling on paper as we discussed painting and drawing techniques and shared idea's. We needn't have gone out to do those things but we just did what we wanted to do at the time, and it was as much fun sharing our methods as it would have been trying to create a new masterpiece. On one occasion, having just set up all our stuff, the heavens opened and the rain fell. We sat in the car until it stopped and then set up again. Not long into our painting, it rained again. My 'masterpiece' got washed from the paper and Ingrid said it looked like a Monet. lol. I may try and finish it because I did take a reference photo before we started.


Not all of our outdoor painting involved travelling. We had several sessions painting and sketching in my garden. One item of garden furniture that received more than it's fair share of our attention was my rusting cast iron Chiminea. Not only did we both paint it and sketch it on more than one occasion, but one evening the three of us sat out until late burning logs and talking.


This was my first art experience in the company of another artist and I have to say I had the best time ever. Exchanging idea's, discussing techniques, looking over each others shoulder and allowing our own shoulder to be looked over, was a very rewarding, informative and satisfying experience. Thank you Ingrid for the best week ever. ;-)







25 comments:

  1. It was a wonderful week for me also John! The last time we met up we said we would paint 'plein air' and never did, so pleased we got round to it this time! Here's to the next time, hope it will be in Scotland! Thank you! :)

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    1. I can't wait for the day we can sit in your Ochils with paint and brushes. That will be awesome. ;-)

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  2. How lovely to be able to spend that much time with a fellow painter, I love all these works that tell the story !

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    1. Thank you Jane ... it really was great.

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  3. It looks you two had a wonderful and fruitful week!

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    1. A very fruitful and rewarding week Judy. Thank you.

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  4. What a thoroughly nice post. I'm so glad it was such a great time for you, John (and Ingrid).

    My stuff is never plein air, but I can understand the buzz.

    Love the chiminea btw.

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    1. Thank you John, I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I always enjoy throwing a few logs on the Chiminea as I enjoy a glass (or two) of cheeky Red.

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  5. Wonderful stuff! Looks like you had a fabulous week, John - love all these plein air pieces, especially the Monet - I've had a few of those along the way !

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    1. It was the best Michael. When it rained I couldn't believe how quickly the paint washed from the paper. lol.

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  6. How wonderful to have someone to share your art with! It's lovely that you learned from each other. So, are you and your wife off to Scotland next? ;0)

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    1. Yes, Sandra, we have already discussed trying to get to Scotland in September. To sit in the hills and paint all those autumn colours would be heavenly. ;-)

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  7. What a treat to have an arty visitor!
    You've produced some lovely sketches and it sounds as if you thoroughly enjoyed your time together :) xx

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    1. It certainly was a fabulous week Pat. Thank you.

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  8. john looks like you had a great week with ingrid sketching and painting.

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  9. Now you understand why I arrange sketching events :) Glad you had a fun week. I look forward to the Scottish sketches.

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    1. Yes Sue, I can certainly understand the attraction. It was lovely watching another artist at work.

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  10. Sounds lovely being able to sketch, sketch and sketch.

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  11. I've just found your fabulous blog and just found plein air too. Have only ventured as far as the garden for now but I'm well and truely hooked. Shame about the weather though recently. So I will be eager to see if you do any more too. Thanks for sharing your lovely experience. Laura x

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    1. Hi Laura, thank you for your lovely comment and for following my blog. Just as soon as this awful weather gives us a few clear days, I will be off to do some more plein air. My backpack is loaded and ready to go ... can't wait. Looking forward to seeing the results of your next venture. ;-)

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  12. The top one that you have posted today is a style that I think is very special and your own. I think you should keep on working with this. It´s GREAT! I have seen otherpaintings here on your blog with the same style and with colour. Also lovely! (ps. I like the others too :) )

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  13. Thank you very much Catharina. I really enjoy sketching with a water soluble pen and then teasing out some darker tones using a wet brush. I don't know why, it just gives me a buzz. ;-)

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