I was lost in Hestercombe Gardens on a beautiful summers evening! There was not much time to spare to find the small opening in the trees where I was to see a short drama production – I didn’t want to miss it and was striding along with purpose!
Catching a glimpse of something bright along the side of the path was enough to make me backtrack to take a second look. It was a single foxglove, backlit and standing tall and solitary against a dark green background. My quick snapshot photo doesn’t really do it justice – it simply glowed. I had to try and capture this moment on paper. So just how would you tackle this tricky subject? On closer inspection, there is actually very little white on the flower and the bits you can see really do accentuate the strong, low sunlight. With watercolour, you have to be mindful of where you wish to see white. Leaving dry paper where the white needs to be gives the brightest highlights.
The small painting is my interpretation of what I saw on that lovely evening at Hestercombe Gardens. One day I hope to paint the whole foxglove – a custom frame would be needed as I can visualise a very tall narrow painting!
These moments are a reminder to make sure you have camera with you all the time, you never know when a glimpse of a subject will give you inspiration for a painting.
The gardens at Hestercombe House are truly beautiful. On the evening I visited, the scent from the roses was amazing. Well worth a visit.
My latest commission is five large watercolours for a luxury holiday accommodation in Somerset – one painting for each of five beautiful bedrooms.
Having visited the amazing barn conversion to discuss the paintings, we agreed that the paintings were to be big and colourful. To my delight, one of the subjects discussed was to paint a favourite of mine…the fabulous honey bee.
This painting is indeed quite large, the frame measures nearly a metre wide and it was an absolute dream to paint. The bee almost felt like it was coming alive under my brush and I loved the freedom of dropping sumptuous colours onto the paper.
I am nearing completion of the commissions and I hope to share details soon of both the holiday accommodation and further images of the paintings. I have a great, busy week planned, working to deadlines with an event approaching next weekend. I’ll be back with more pics soon!
With the Invictus games underway, it seemed a great time to finalise my fundraising and make the donation payment to Combat Stress. Thank you to everyone who purchased my snowdrop paintings, we have raised enough money to pay for a consultation with a psychiatrist - a crucial first step in coming to terms with the harrowing memories of combat.