Lenten Rose Fairy - watercolour - by Nancy Farmer

The Lenten Rose Fairy: everybody’s favourite designated driver

Poor poor fairy of the Lenten Rose (Helleborus orientalis). She gets to put on her glad rags right through lent, but, as botanical representative of the season of abstinence, she never gets to have any fun, and by the time lent is done, she’s had her time for another year. Her flowers are really quite something special, but no wonder they hang their heads. So, next time you’re failing in a resolution to give up chocolate / alcohol / cake / Facebook / shaving / being a dick or whatever else your resolution is, just remember that you can go…

detail of gold leaf fragments

‘Cecily’, against Vobster Green

I have been painting… with real paint! This is the first swimmer painting that hasn’t been digital, but it’s been something I’ve been pondering for a while, whether to plunge into watercolour with the swimmers. So this isn’t a commission, just an experiment of my own. Actually it’s mostly gouache (watercolour with ‘body’, which makes it more opaque, in theory, though the actual pigments I am using here are mostly very translucent), and embellished with gold leaf. The idea of using gold leaf where the water sparkled was irresistible, but I think it did a little over-embellishing at the start…

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…

The Red Tree - painting in watercolour by Nancy Farmer

The Red Tree

New painting, going into the 303 Gallery’s Christmas exhibition next week. The theme was ‘A Walk in the Woods’…I know, it’s a bit Glastonbury, but at the same point there are interesting environmental and horticultural lessons here to be learned about dandelions and why we should be careful about cutting down trees… I’m a fan of Dandelions, and they are good for the soil – but what you see is the mere tip… of the dandelion. This is why they are good for the soil, but of course this is also why they are so very difficult to get rid…

Witches' Knickers

The Knickers, revealed!

The Witches’ Knickers picture is finished! For a few more finished images see this entry in my finished paintings:¬†https://nancyfarmergallery.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/maiden-flight/ . Here is more work-in-progress, carrying on from the photos where I had begun to paint the witches in a blue monochrome (Prussian blue watercolour or gouache – a dark but very transparent colour) I’ve done several paintings entirely in a monochrome (light and dark shades of a single colour) of Prussian blue lately, but for this painting of course I had to have colour – the knickers MUST be in colour or the painting won’t really work as the idea…

Work in progress on the Witches Knickers 3

The knickers are afoot

Work in progress on the Witches Knickers picture. I took the sketches I already showed you, and arranged them into a pleasing composition. Part of me wanted to go for three witches as the classic ‘maiden, mother and crone’ combination of the very witchy Hecate, but in the end I just liked a crowd better as a composition, so this is Mother, Crone, and three would-be witches, probably on their maiden voyage in several senses. It did occur to me that if I were to compose a picture of only pretty witches it might actually sell, because I am not…

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…

Hilda Pig

Technicolour Flying Pigs!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you the technicolour flying pigs: Hilda, Mildred and Archibald! …they are going to feature in a larger painting too, but while I was pondering what to enter for the art exhibition at the Royal Bath & West (an agricultural show plus everything else, for those who don’t know), I realized they would be just the thing, so I’ve whipped up this little group of piggy paintings for that.

Pollarded Willows and the secret of Eternal Youth

Knowing when to stop.

I have no idea! There I was, embarking on a painting – my first ‘proper’ painting for about a year and a half – and then I just stopped. This painting was not intended to look like this at all, this is my blue underpainting stage, but having added blue tones to the central figure and put in the dark pollarded willows behind her, which were going to be almost silhouettes like my photograph, I stood back and had a look at it, and didn’t know whether to go on. Part of the issue is that those pollarded willows are…