Plein Air Marathon

I saw a notice in the window of Chelsea Framers a few months ago detailing The Plein Air Marathon.  I was not familiar with this French expression, which means “in the open air”.  Artists have long painted outdoors but in the mid 19th century working in natural light became particularly important to Impressionism.  The popularity of plein air increased in the 1870s with the introduction of paints in tubes.  I do not consider myself a painter and I like to work in my studio.  I therefore decided this marathon was not ideal for me. I broke away from the comfort …

The Big Draw, Collaborative Artwork

   The Big Draw Event at Clifton Nurseries on 1st November was a wonderful day full of fun.  Over 100 people of all ages said hello to their creative side and drew plants, spiders, butterflies, an owl, a reindeer and much more!  The idea was to pick a plant pot on the large piece of paper and draw a real or imagined plant.  We were located in the Fern House, surrounded by beautiful plants in magical Clifton Nurseries.  I chose a selection of plants to help spark ideas.  The Venus Fly Trap and the Lipstick plant proved popular.  For me, …

Ballinglen Arts Foundation

I have returned from windswept County Mayo in Ireland where I was awarded a Fellowship from Ballinglen Arts Foundation.  I was given a wonderful studio with north facing windows and a characterful cottage.  I have always dreamt of time and space away from all distractions to focus entirely on my work.  At first I found this confronting.  However once I began drawing, exploring the area, meeting other artists and locals, I loved it! The harsh Atlantic winds sculpt the landscape.  Trees arch at unusual angles hanging on for dear life and the cliffs are monumental.  I began collecting plants and …