Sunday, 24 December 2017

Christmas Eve

experiencing seasonal delays in uploading pictures !!

but wishing you a joyful Christmas

& you might enjoy this link to St Mary’s Church, Wivenhoe Christmas eve baptism:

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

White Poppies

All Saints Day & White Peace Poppies seem to go together...

Why ?     Well, I remember martyrs like Janani Luwum who was killed during the time of Iddi Amin in Uganda...and the priest in France killed this year in a terror attack during worship....and all the many others that come crowding into mind who have been killed whilst persuing peace and reconciliation, or living an ordinary peaceable life...

White Poppy: pastel sketch : Janet Driver
And so, once again, this year I hope to wear a white peace poppy...if I can find one...

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

‘be careful what you wish for’  ... rain was definately on my wish list... but not for today.
 We hoped to walk and enjoy the autumnal colours before the leaves finally gave way to winter. But a painting from a few years ago will bring back memories of autumnal sunshine...

and then this photo for the reality of today!

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Surprised by Almond Blossom

Wind ripping across the garden;
Rain pouring down...
 Studio dismal & uninviting,    raw, damp & cold.

Even the cat hesitated on back doorstep
loath to let me out...


 I suddenly saw white almond blossom
sparkling in the rain
against the dark hedge

 thank you for making me pause and look...

The artist Stanley Spencer
set out to paint a series of 40 paintings for Lent...
 with the idea that a new painting could be put up each day in his church at Cookham
 so that people could drop in and meditate everyday.

 Its not surprising the series remained unfinished,
 but I love the unusual way he envisaged Christ in the wilderness...

 The Taize App for today quotes from Br Rogers writings:

" the Almond tree that begins to blossom in the light of springtime, God makes even the deserts of our soul burst into flower."

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Water - Mixable Oils ....?

Just the other day someone who paints beautiful paintings in Watercolour  asked me about Water-mixable oils...

She had just begun experimenting with them, but found they were taking ages to dry enough to move on to the next stage of painting...

I am finding a similar problem with ordinary oils just now.

 I underpaint using thin glazes of oil paint mixed with a drying medium which usually allows them to dry overnight... but its been taking three or four days to dry enough to continue painting.

Dawn Mist, R Colne ( oil on canvas:)

Is it because of the very damp cold weather... particularly perhaps the fog and humidity in the atmosphere ?  Is anyone else finding a similar problem ?   What can we do ?
Morning Mist  (oil on canvas)

Since I have never thought of trying water-mixable oils, I decided to see if there is any advice out there... and came across this helpful website :

Monday, 16 January 2017

"Blue Monday" ?

Is this just another ploy by sales media ...?
like this link I received today, for a blue monday sale by the Society for All Artists:

it does rather seem like it !

One Blue Monday advert suggested cheering up the Monday blues....

well, certainly Mondays feel blue for me as its the day we do our cleaning...and I was never a fan of cleaning !... so if you need cheering up,...

Blue Morpho: oil on canvas by Janet Driver
This beautiful large butterfly landed on this Banana leaf just in front of me
while I was quietly sketching
almost as though asking me to sketch it too...
It stayed absolutely motionless for ages, and then finally, as a reward for my efforts, it began to flutter its wings slightly, gently opening them just enough for me to catch this glimpse of brilliant blue.... only for a few moments... before shutting them again .
It took several weeks trying to paint the brilliance of that small glimpse of blue... it was really exciting to discover how to make that jewel of colour really glow, and I will always remember the stillness and poise of that butterfly.

Blue Dream: oil on canvas by Janet Driver
Another surprising encounter... this time with a tree...
and the same stillness and poise
as  our neighbour's Magnolia tree basked in early spring sunshine