20 February 2010

world marmalade festival 2010 at Dalemain

Painting the festival at Dalemain Mansions

I've never been a great jam or chutney maker, once making pickled chow-chow about a decade ago with an inordinate amount of ingredients to the recipe, so much so that it took over my kitchen shelves for too long,
and once making Seville orange marmalade back in 2003.

Oh, I've made mint jelly too for a lamb roast.

Dan Lepard and David Whitehouse are amongst the supporters of the World Marmalade Festival and brought it to my attention on the BBC messageboards, and I'm so pleased they did.
From my making Dan's fabulous Seville preserve, to spending the weekend up at the festival and to finding a strong painting brief, I've had a blast.

I've even sold one jar of marmalade for the rather pricey sum of £6 which has gone towards Hospice at Home, the charity that the event supports.

Firstly, the festival being held at someone's private house and home, I had to get permission to set up my easel to start a painting at the Dalemain Mansion and Gardens. And was rather blown away by the support Jane Hasell-MCosh, and Dan & David have given me.

So, up to the Lake District we go, staying at Greystoke in a charming village pub the Boot and Shoe Inn, where they serve the locals nosy and friendly, and the chips home-made and fat.
Nice weekend destino that Greystoke.
But watch out for those locals who try to sell you their car now!
The pub rooms do need work though, although the foods pubby and good.

The next day we walk up and round the eastern border of Lake Ullswater
and only just make the 2:45 steamboat back to Pooley Bridge. Perfectly peaceful looking out through the window from the boat isn't it

And Sunday is Valentines Day, and the day of the World Marmalade Festival at Dalemain Mansion & Gardens.
The car park is getting pretty full at 10:00am, and here in the courtyard the event is filling up already.

That's Tony putting up my stretcher good and square, and I begin to paint the people as they drift about and taste, in a leisurely way.

There's plenty of foodie things going on to keep everyone occupied, and I treat myself to some Belgian chocolates, all for me. And when the award ceremony is over, and the crowds have subsided, Tony and I wander to see the results of the competition.
My Seville orange & liquorice root marmalade is on the last table at the back.

& this is the day sketch, too raw to work well with, so I've decided to keep it as a rough record, rather than the actual painting I wish to sell.
and above is how I shall continue now this weekend, which I made a start on yesterday using this sketch as a guide.
I'll have it painted by the end of today probably (Saturday) now I've decided how to approach things.

& on to the walls at Moka Cafe, to see if we can add a little more than the £6 so far for that great cause.

I'll pop the finished picture up here when it's done.

6 February 2010

current painting projects ongoing

in progress for the month of February 2010

portraiture: Nicola (day one sitting)

painting: tiptree marmalade jar

after one hour:

commission: marmite jar

marmalade jar designs: Seville orange stick man

2 February 2010

clay modelling

I made my first attempt at a clay modelling sculpture yesterday. Although I've never done this before, I confess to my being at an advantage, as I have painted Tim before.

If anyone is stumped for a birthday gift for a friend, or family member, or you just want to say thank you to someone, try booking a clay modelling day for them. It's tremendous fun!
Not expensive, and I chose to attend only the afternoon part of the session from 1pm - 4pm, which was £15 on the day at the Cheltenham Art School.

You are given a plastic bucket filled deep with cool, malleable clay, and a wire frame upon which to work. Fill the frame first with finger torn clay pieces, and gradually work outwards looking at the model as you build. Move around your 3D clay form to press out glaring imbalances until you are comfortable with the size and shape you have achieved.

& now you can dig both your thumbs hard in at the eye sockets, blob a prosthetic nose in place, gouge into the lip area, build up the cheek bones and create you replica head just as you see fit.

You're provided plastic spoons, sticks and implements to fashion your work. I used a plastic chopstick to prod at the eye form and it seemed to do the job well.

& there you have it, the clay model head is completed & I can't wait to have another day of the same.