reflective writing

Painting on location during a 'proper' bank holiday by Alison C. Board

Hey everyone, after my last two posts which were very academic and heavy, I promised you that I would write a more technique driven piece and here it is!

This weekend I have been lucky to share it with a lovely group who have come to the studio to improve their ‘en plein air’ or outdoor painting on location. We have been truly blessed with the weather, Dorset has delivered a wonderful bank holiday of wall-to-wall sunshine which isn’t necessarily easy when staring at a white piece of paper but makes sitting outside very pleasant indeed.

So many things have been discussed including how to tackle the vast expanse of information that is in front of you, how to use artistic licence to interpret shapes and colours and sometimes, how to rid yourself of your painting demons in order to progress further up your own artistic ladder.

Here is the first demonstration that I did for the group while we were outside:



It’s not everything that I want it to be but it was done in about 30 minutes and provided me with a subject to explore further, namely the trees that were in the distance and led to this piece:



…which I am really pleased with and has lots of room for development. I used to really struggle with painting trees and it took me a long time to get to the bottom of how I like them to look. If you look closely at my scrawlings in the bottom right-hand corner you can see that I had a great time flicking the water at the paper to get my Daniel Smith colours to run and merge. I used probably more colours than I would have done normally – Cerulean, Cobalt Violet Deep, Rich Green Gold, Green Apatite Genuine and Hematite Genuine but I was caught up in the moment and did it in about ten minutes flat.

Have any of you had a chance to get out and paint this weekend?

Learning about learners, and then learning about art! by Alison C. Board

Earlier in the year, I successfully enrolled on an Open University course with a view to gaining my Master’s Degree in Online and Distance Education. Yes, I can hear you asking ‘Why not art?’ but there are many facets to that question, the main answer being that I was eager to become a better educator and to do that, I needed to really push myself beyond my specialist subject.

I’m currently ten weeks into the course and finding it challenging on numerous levels, mostly concerning fitting it into a life that is already packed up to the eyeballs, but I am LOVING it. It has already made me think very differently about what I do and how I do it, plus I am studying in a community of such diverse knowledge that I’m struggling to see any negative points about it.

Yes, it’s incredibly hard work and I’ve already had to pull a couple of ‘all-nighters’ to get things achieved, but somebody once said that nothing worth doing ever comes easy and I remind myself of this every time it’s a challenge.

So, why am I blogging about it? Simply because we have got to the part of my course that I was desperate to get to – understanding how blogging can work in online education and how I can make mine work more effectively. Therefore, I’m going to ask you all a huge favour, would you be kind enough to comment below on one or more of the following questions:
1. What makes you visit a blog? Not necessarily an art related site, what attracts you to blogs and entices you in?
2. What would you like to see here?
3. What ideas do you have for making this blog more interactive? In other words, I’d love for it to become a space where we share ideas and experiences, how would you like to see that happen?

Thanks in advance for your time and I look forward to reading your comments and chatting with you further, Ali.