Fungi on oak twig – Jenny Hill – acrylic ink, indian ink

Fungi on oak twig - Jenny Hill - acrylic ink, indian ink

My seasonal studies continue after I went on a fungi hunt at Tiptree Heath organized by the Essex Wildlife Trust and supervised by a Mycologist from Colchester Natural History Museum. Approximately twenty people searched the heathland and in two hours collected 50 different fungi. Of these only a handful are good to eat, a few more are edible (would not make you ill), but some are highly toxic.
With very little time to draw I took photographs for reference. I find working from a print out of the photograph restricts my preferred way of working so I make quick sketches from the image on my computer, using pens or oil pastels. This approximates to drawings made outside and is my starting point for further development into an ink painting.
Essex Wildlife Trust
http://www.essexwt.org.uk/
Colchester and Ipswich Museums
http://www.cimuseums.org.uk/home.html

Jenny Hill ink painting – Plant form – Agapanthus bud no.1

Jenny Hill ink painting - Plant form - Agapanthus bud no.1

Continuing my seasonal studies through sketching or photographs, I look most days for any changes in the garden, something that has done its thing, a fling of colour or shape, maturing into another form or the promise of a new happening. This is the fat flower bud of an Agapanthus still tightly closed against the unstoppable spilling out of the individual flower heads.
Agapanthus bud no.1 is an acrylic ink and indian ink painting developed from an oil pastel sketch.

Plant form – Rose hips ripening no.2 – Jenny Hill

Plant form - Rose hips ripening no.2 - Jenny Hill

On a walk with sketchbook and pens you can get a lot of drawing done that may also be useful for artwork development, (plus it gives you a reason to stand still and look without other people thinking you are a bit odd). If I have a focus and an idea of what I might see, this is a walk of attention and observation, trying to get the most from being somewhere at a particular time and not missing the moment.
Rose hips ripening no.2 is an ink painting developed from sketches made using brush pens and chunky felt tip pens. For any painting I want it to be as light resistant as possible, but in my sketch books this is not an important factor.

Plant form – Honesty ripening no.2

Plant form - Honesty ripening no.2

Continuing my current series of ink work this is the second plant form study of Honesty (Lunaria), seed head ripening. These self seed around the garden and I feel are a useful addition in the early summer with the white or purple flowers. The tender green seed pod discs evolve picking up purples, pinks and reds as it matures to its end of season form. The silver translucent remains now stand, having shed the brown seeds.
Wikipedia has interesting information for the origin of both names – Lunaria and Honesty but there many other names this plant is also known by.

Art trails – through a window

Art trails - through a window

This image follows on from my previous blog post and shows the front window of my venue in the Maldon Art Trail 2013. Community organised art trails in geographically recognisable defined areas, work to get art and crafts shown in public space outside the traditional commercial art gallery. These events can be very beneficial as an opportunity to share creativity and skills in public workshops, for artists to meet other artists, who often work in isolation, to develop partnerships with business, and to present another view or perspective of a town or place. As art trails have blossomed across Essex, the County Council promotes these independent initiatives under the umbrella of the Summer of Art.
http://www.maldonarttrail.co.uk/essex-summer-of-art/
If you collaborate with other artists where you live, what initiatives do you have to take to get your artwork exhibited or is it all online?

Saltmarsh sketch

Saltmarsh sketch

I have been trying out some materials, Caran D’Ache Technalo water soluble graphite pencils and SAA soft pastels), for use in a 30 minute demonstration at the SAA ‘It’s all about Art’ event at The Business Design Centre, Islington, London .
When I was at Cocklespit beach last week I used these materials for sketching research that I will take for my demonstration. Hopefully it may encourage art show visitors to enjoy the freedom of working outdoors, directly from nature.
As an estimate this sketch took about 20-25 minutes.

Plants growing in the shingle at Cockle spit beach

Plants growing in the shingle at Cockle spit beach

This is visual research for images and ideas for development in ink and as you can see, pages from my sketchbook. Two early mornings outings this week to St. Peters Chapel and Cockle spit beach with the intention of drawing seashore and coastal plants flowering and seeding. But other subjects also caught my eye and were too interesting to not draw if only as a sketch reminder to return another day for further study.