Cider Apple Fairies

I have finished the Cider Apple Fairies with two days to go, in time to get them into the Somerset Arts Weeks brochure. So that’s me signed up for Arts Weeks (17 September to 2 October 2016), and one more Alternative Flower Fairies picture ticked off. And a decision: next year there shall be a Flower Fairies calendar! I now have 10 Alternative Flower Fairies paintings, just two more needed. I shall also be doing another swimming calendar as this year’s was delightfully popular. So, pictures of the Cider Apple Fairies – after a long line of Poison Flower Fairies…

Sketching Cider Apple Fairies

I have been Drawing Cider Apple Fairies! The sketch is now as complete as it’s going to get, next stage is to get it onto watercolour paper and get the paints out. This was done on a tablet – not as nice to draw on as paper but what it loses in tactile pleasure it more than makes up for in the ability to move and alter different elements of the drawing until they work together. You can’t see much of this process here, but there was a lot of faffing at the start once I had a pose for…

Ditch Dragons 2

Painting the Ditch Dragons – step by step

It’s been years since I’ve completed a ‘painting’ in this way, so I took a series of photographs as I painted the Ditch Dragons that I showed you in the previous post. I say ‘painting’ in inverted commas because it is part painting part drawing, and this is probably the main reason I stopped using this technique – I find the classification ‘mixed media’ curiously irritating because it could mean anything at all, and seldom is any further information given. And it slightly offends my purist nature. But it works, and it is a technique I invented for myself, though…

Somerset Ditch Dragons

Ditch Dragons

Continuing in my documentation of a Westcountry Bestiary, I am pleased to be able to introduce you to the Ditch Dragons. They are depicted here in their natural habitat on the edge of a country lane in deepest Somerset. For those unfamiliar with my local landscape, the beautiful county of Somerset is, generally speaking, a wet and soggy place, and as such it requires much drainage. The verges along the edge of quiet country lanes are not the solid ground that foreigners may imagine. Take care! Stepping off the road onto the verdant fringe may take one precipitously close to…

The strange characters of the Fairy Barge

The Fairy Barge

I have been doing a lot of painting and rather less updating of the blog lately, getting a collection of paintings together for my Ilminster Exhibition – ‘A Westcountry Bestiary’. Another one I finished early this year and have yet to show you is this: “The Fairy Barge”. Don’t ask where this odd little group sprang from, I couldn’t tell you, I simply started off with the idea of a barge (as in a flat-bottomed boat suitable for shallow waterways) travelling along the drainage ditches and rivers of The Levels. Of course they are not usually spotted, because they are…

Close up of Medusa with a head of worms - watercolour and pencil

Medusa of the Levels

I finished this a couple of weeks ago – a new Medusa picture. This is Medusa of the Levels. To those not acquainted with Somerset, large areas of this county are floodplain, known round here as The Levels since, being flood plain, they are… level. This is a very special and beautiful aspect of the Somerset countryside, and Medusa here is a bit special. Somerset is short on snakes, instead she has worms for hair: because worms are more important than snakes, except to other snakes. In the background is Glastonbury Tor, just in case you failed to realize where…

Ditch Dragons and the Westcountry Bestiary

A quick update: I have written and sent the blurb for my solo exibition at Ilminster in July, it is now definitely called ‘A Westcountry Bestiary’. So I need to steam ahead a bit and paint a few more creatures, beasties and denizens of the Westcountry.  This evening I am drawing Ditch Dragons. They are a thing, honest. Medusa is finished, and when I have time to stitch the scans together I shall post her but for the meantime, it’s dragons in the undergrowth…  

Medusa of the Levels - sketch of head

The return of Medusa

In case you thought I only did drawings of swimmers nowadays, here is a little work in progress. I have an exhibition booked at Ilminster Arts Centre in July and I need to get on with quite a lot of new work, of the kind of ‘fantasy-satire’ that people expect to see there (and indeed what I expected to exhibit there when I booked it a couple of years ago). The swimming drawings probably will also feature, but I have a working title for the exhibition which is ‘A Westcountry Bestiary‘ and a nice little handful of new paintings along…

Silver Street scribble 2

Every Street has a Silver Lining

Is it only me who has a bit of a thing over the name ‘Silver Street’? Ever since we moved to Somerset I have been noticing them. Actually I know it’s not just me, I cam across a rather exhaustive essay on the possible derivations of the name, several possibilities including Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian names, no conclusions were drawn. One website for South Petherton claims the origin of its street name was because there was a mint situated on the street, but that in no way explains the other 36 Silver Streets in my Somerset Atlas. The author Lindsey Davis…

The Pigs of High Ham, painting in watercolour by Nancy Farmer

The Pigs of High Ham

Continuing my documentation of our local magical creatures, I bring you The Pigs of High Ham. The sketches and explanations for these appeared three posts back in How Pigs Fly. Here is the finished painting, and I have broken away from the one colour at last! (The last 3 large paintings were entirely in Prussian Blue) Having said that this painting is in colour, it isn’t in all that many colours. With the exception of the tiny bit of blue sky, I only used two more colours than the previous blue paintings. Here’s my palette: Here we have yellow, magenta…