As if having a lovely break around the mediterranean wasn't fabulous enough I came back to the news that my entry into The Buxton Spa Prize has been purchased by the "friendly farmer" that I was chatting to whilst I painted it! The piece is titled, "Harpur Hill, The Movie" because the skies and weather changed so rapidly while I painted and sketched that it really was like it was playing out it's own drama while I frantically tried to capture it! The light when it shone through the dark clouds was stunning and almost biblical! I am so glad that he liked it. The Buxton Spa Prize is in it's second year and has started to attract a lot of attention from some really good artists, partly because of the £5000 first prize, but also because there aren't many opportunities for some really competitive Plein Air painting out there. I recently had the misfortune to miss the Pintar Rapido in London but my good friend and fellow contestant on BBC1's The Big Painting Challenge, Anne Blankson-Hemans did and got some really good results. It was such a rewarding experience that we have both signed up for the Plein Air festival in Norfolk, A Brush with The Broads at the end of September, along with award winning artist and professional Plein Air'ist Haidee-Jo Summers!, and fellow BPC contestant Anthea Lay, who by the way does most of her paintings Plein Air so lots of good advice to be had I think!
A peek inside my sketch book reveals that the deck of a ship in the sun is a great way to get some free, if not furtive, life drawing done! OK so people didn't get naked but there were some great poses and generally still subjects to sketch! I used a water soluble pen for the pen and ink sketches and permanent pen for the line and wash sketches. With over 700 photos to trawl through and use for reference I have no excuse not to feel inspired! So with that, it's off to the studio to finish my two commissions and get some canvases primed!
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