Botanical Patterns

I've been in the classroom all day...well not exactly in an actual classroom, but painting at my kitchen table. 
I've recently enrolled on an online course called #FolioFocus 
This is week one and the assignment is to create a botanical pattern.
How could I refuse?
I'd love to hear if you have enrolled into this course or have completed previous folio focus classes.
The lessons are to help build a stronger portfolio and everyone is sharing their work, questions, advice and generally being super friendly...which is such a fantastic help.
I've learnt so much already and this is only the beginning of the course.
I just hope I can keep to reschedule and produce some great artwork.

FolioFocus.jpg

So using my new gouache paints, I jumped right in.
To say I've learnt so much today that my head hurts is an understatement.

FolioFocus finished.jpg

I decided to embrace autumn... as it's definitely arrived. 
I wanted to hang on to summer, but alas I failed. 
I hope you like this painting and I'd love to hear what you think...so please feel free to leave a comment. I'm actually quite pleased...which is incredible not only that I've managed to actually share a finished piece of work this week, but also that I like it!  

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and thanks for your visit today.
It's always great to see you.

My Sunday Photo... a last fling

Today was a beautiful day and one for getting outdoors and enjoying it even if it meant raking up fallen leaves. 
I do have a leaf blower, but I thought I'd have the satisfaction of a good workout. 
Two birds with one stone and all that.
But as usual I got distracted... the robin watching with keen interest at my handywork... ready to scoop anything of interest. 
The geese flying overhead... the few clouds drifting across the sky and of course all of the plants putting on the finale. There blooms still bright and catching the sunlight.
I thought I'd just randomly take a few shots to let you see what's still adding a splash of colour.





There were lots more but I was supposed to be doing a job after all.
Maybe I'll snap a few more tomorrow if the weather stays good. 
I hope you liked them...
I'm linking them to the My Sunday Photo over at Photalife
Mersad's through my lens
and Wednesday (On Tuesday at image-in-ing)
Have fun everyone and enjoy those beautiful autumn colours.
Thanks for your visit and I hope to see you again soon.

Autumn... Through my lens.

September has been an exceptional month so far. 
It's reaffirmed to me that it is one of my favourite months.
Here are some autumnal photographs...
This was my view this morning... not all Mondays mornings are bad.
It's certainly crisp and fresh first thing, with temperatures dropping to 0 degrees overnight, but at least the day's are bright and full of sunlight.
Here's Muffy checking out one particular patch in our garden that's been intriguing her all week. 
I suspect that the fox (which we saw in the back field yesterday) has visited us.
You can just see Madame Muffy's back end sticking out of the shrubs, as she tentatively takes up the trail. 
Each year I love to see the Virginia Creeper change colour... I'm never disappointed.
It certainly brightens up the garage wall.
I was going to put out a warning on this next photo, but there's no spider in sight so I thought it would be okay... which makes me wonder where it might be?
This was the sight that greeted me as I opened the back door this morning, but thankfully I'm vertically challenged and wasn't tall enough for it to swipe across my face. Ugh!
(Funny I've never been thankful for being short before
Someone's certainly been busy overnight.
I believe September really is the spider month, because it's amazing how many cobwebs can appear even when you've swept through with the hoover nozzle, or feather duster.
(Honest I do make a gesture now and then)
Because the weather has been so brilliant it's obviously affected the plants and wildlife in the garden.
Here's a sample of some of the plants and grasses that I picked for an autumn display.
Anyone that knows me knows that I love to pick flowers from outside and bring them in to fully appreciate their loveliness.
Although having hubby send off for an offer for some spring bulbs took me to the limit this week.
I use the term 'some' bulbs loosely because when the boxes arrived there were a variety amounting to 800 in total. 
I'm still not through planting them all yet. 
I think I've got four more packets still to plant and I'm telling you now that if they don't all appear in spring... you'll hear about it! 
I normally take down my summer hanging baskets by now, but I just can't when they are still flowering so well. 
The winter display will have to wait.

The photo below shows Aberdeen once again, but this time from a different location.
It's still not clear, but I liked it.
If you'd like to see the other photo which was linked to My Sunday Photo... then click here
...and finally because I'm aware that this post is getting rather long and I could go on with autumn photos... 
One sight and sound that confirms that Autumn has definitely arrived, is the departure of the geese flying south for the winter.
Hearing and seeing them makes me slightly melancholy, but I know that they'll be back and what a sight that will be.
I'm going to link up with a few blogs for this post... I'd love you to take a peek at them. 
I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
I hope you have a brilliant week ahead and I look forward to seeing you again soon
 

Wonderful Workshops

I can't complain that I haven't had time to paint this week because I've seriously indulged not once, but twice! (GASP!)
Well for a start how could I clean the house when it's been so dark? 
At 3.00pm I've had to turn on lamps for goodness sake.
I dread to think what I'll see when the sun eventually does shine, but apparently that's not going to happen until at least next Tuesday... if we're lucky. 
So for now all my guilt is shut up tight into the broom cupboard. 

But can you guess what the subject matter was for my art group this week?
A Rainy Afternoon!!!! 
As you can imagine I was thrilled Emoji
I have to say I struggled with this one, not only for the subject, but also trying to keep my piece loose.
I nearly freaked out trying to get a little precision on a building whilst using the palette knife.
I apologised to all my fellow desk mates but they seemed to think it was a giggle... so they're now off my Christmas card list!  
I definitely need more time to work on this... so I'm not going to show you it this week.
I wouldn't wish that on anyone never mind my arty friends. 

I'm still attempting to catch up after being away and had completely forgotten that I'd signed up for a workshop.
Thankfully I'd entered it into my phone diary so didn't miss it. 
I had a great time which was organised by the Jack Tierney Gallery in Cults, Aberdeenshire.
The very talented visiting Russian artist Sofia Perina-Miller gave incredible demo's (four in all) and her enthusiasm was infectious, so we all had a play too.
Her work is so incredibly vibrant and free flowing. 
No pencil in sight. 
Here she is painting a poinsettia
Sofia sees everything in intense colour and transfers that to her paintings.
If you'd like to see more of Sofia's work... click here or visit her Facebook page here
Her energy was tangible and listening to her talk about all of her projects, plans and future work left me feeling a little dizzy. She apparently only has about three to four hours sleep a night. 
(I knew that's were I would find some more time... now I just have to try sleep deprivation... although somehow I don't think it'll be for me... I'm a dizzy blonde already at times) 

I now have an extensive art supplies wish list for Christmas, but unfortunately I don't think I've been that good.... I'll have to work on it!
St.Petersburg White Nights Wooden Box Set
Shin-Gansai watercolour pan
600gsm cold pressed paper 
to name but three...

Here's a painting I managed to do within the time restraints.
I always like to outline in pen so was thrilled when Sofia said that we needed to do that on our finished paintings. 
Yay... I knew I liked her 
This second piece isn't finished but I'll maybe have a play with it using the paints I already have. 
It's so dark here so photographs lately leave a lot to be desired...soz!
I'll certainly be looking out for more workshops to attend and Sofia says she will return in the spring.
Roll on spring for so many reasons...

And finally and more appropriately my sincere apologies if you have visited me recently and I haven't returned the call.
I've been away twice in the last few weeks and there's still two little trips planned (although these aren't cast in stone) I will be revisiting my posts to catch up with replies as and when I can.

In the meantime why don't you nip over to Kristin and Eva's Paint Party Friday there's always lots to see.
Paint Party Friday
I'm also linking to Dion Dior's Friday Sketches... click here to visit Dion
Dion Dior
And the Artist's Play Room over at Jenn's Just Add Water Silly blog
Happy Friday everyone... have fun and hopefully I'll see you again soon
(I'll be concentrating on the Christmas festivities after this weekw)
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xoxo