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I should have arrived in Portugal today in order to take part in Janet Weight Reed’s watercolour course at Art in the Algarve. I’m with you, Janet!.

My Life as an Artist (2)

When the unexpected happens, adjustments need to be made.     Therefore my course at Art in the Algarve this week will be a Virtual course.

This is for those who were signed up and couldn’t make it….those who have been before and want a refresher and for anyone else who is interested in the creative process.      

By following my blog you will be able to ask questions and make comments plus you will be able to return here at your leisure.     No deadlines or worries…..   

We will need to use our collective imagination to conjure up the incredible atmosphere of the School and the old town of Olhao, which of course we will do, and don’t forget the delicious coffee, ice cream and the Portuguese custard tarts and so much more:)  

Olhao stairs – watercolour74235539_10157674169065396_4511698166164226048_oToday is arrivals day for my spring course at…

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Original & vintage art © First Night Design

Source: Patchworks VIII Greeting Card | Zazzle

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

 


FROM THE ARCHIVE 21 February 2014. I’m reblogging this post as a follow-up to yesterday’s Magnificent Mongrel image.

This exquisite watercolour of one man and his dog was a special commission. The artist is Janet Weight Reed. The subject is Mr FND with our dog Pisch.

In the twenty years we have been together, we have rarely been able to give each other birthday presents. Let us say it has been the norm more often than not to let the occasions pass us by with barely a nod; finding money for food and utility bills has taken precedence.

I determined that last winter would be different because our circumstances were changing. Mr FND was in London selling our flat and as soon as we exchanged contracts, I emailed Janet asking if she would be able to paint a watercolour in time for 19th December if I sent her a photograph.

She could, she would and she did!

It was at this point that…

Source: First Night Design | One Man and His Dog 


FROM THE ARCHIVE 23 July 2014

First Night Design

Hummingbird Tune @ First Night DesignHummingbird Tune @ First Night Design

Inspired by the exquisite paintings of Janet Weight Reed, whose running motif is the hummingbird, I have used the same background as in Seagull Sonata to showcase this rather splendid hummingbird (Mdf on Wikimedia Commons).

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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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FROM THE ARCHIVE 21 July 2014

First Night Design

Seagull Sonata © First Night DesignSeagull Sonata © First Night Design

I created Seagull Sonata with a photograph from Wikimedia and applied several textures, including one by Kerstin Frank, to produce a digital watercolour.

Hark to the whimper of the seagull.
He weeps because he’s not an ea-gull.
Suppose you were, you silly seagull.
Could you explain it to your she-gull?

Ogden Nash

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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Venetian Harbour, Chania © Sarah Vernon

Venetian Harbour, Chania © Sarah Vernon

This photograph of the Venetian Harbour in Chania, Crete, was taken by me on this occasion and not Mr FND! My idea was to create a watercolour with the gentle lines of a preparatory drawing showing through.

My first layer was the bluewatercolor from Angie Makes in Photoshop’s Normal mode. This I followed with the Beguiling-18 texture from 2 Lil’ Owls in Linear Burn. As you can see, I’m getting a lot of mileage out of those two backgrounds! Next came the Venetian Harbour which I put in Screen mode. To create the line drawing, I used the Trace Contour tool; this is not the best tool in the world but since I wanted the bare minimum showing, I knew it could work. To top it off, I used another 2 Lil’ Owls texture, 2LO Confetti 8. Putting the latter in Multiply mode was the perfect finishing touch.

The original harbour photograph © Sarah Vernon

The original harbour photograph © Sarah Vernon

The last time I tried to create a watercolour effect with this photo — some years ago now — it was disastrous and very obviously ‘Photoshopped’ using their ‘watercoloor’ tool. Not a good idea. I’m much happier this time round!

Incidentally, the mosque in the centre of the picture is the Mosque of the Janissaries, now an art gallery. If you ever find yourself in the harbour, by all means have a drink but don’t, whatever you do, eat a meal. The quality is appalling and you would be better off going up the side streets to find good, authentic food. Most important of all, avoid the taverna that sells very pink and very green cocktails — coloured fizzy water at best! We were each offered one for free having allowed the owner to do a quick run round the harbour on my mobility scooter. Never again!

Here, for your delectation, is a recipe for what looks and sounds like an excellent green cocktail from MyBestCocktails.com:

minttu

Minttu

Ingredients
1 oz Malibu Rum
1 oz Cuban Rum
1 oz Batida de Coco
2/3 oz Midori
1 oz Pineapple Juice
6 leaves Mint Leaves

  1. Shake all ingredients in a shaker with ice.
  2. Pour into a tall glass with some ice.
  3. Enjoy!

No, I’ve never come across Midori either!

Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America
Fine Art England
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


No change in internet connection!

This exquisite watercolour of one man and his dog was a special commission. The artist is Janet Weight Reed. The subject is Mr FND with our dog Pisch.

In the twenty years we have been together, we have rarely been able to give each other birthday presents. Let us say it has been the norm more often than not to let the occasions pass us by with barely a nod; finding money for food and utility bills has taken precedence.

I determined that last winter would be different because our circumstances were changing. Mr FND was in London selling our flat and as soon as we exchanged contracts, I emailed Janet asking if she would be able to paint a watercolour in time for 19th December if I sent her a photograph.

She could, she would and she did!

It was at this point that my old MacBook Pro died, as some of you know, and I was reduced to data roaming on my mobile which is not conducive to work or approving Janet’s painting before she sent it to Crete. I sent Janet a message, via a friend, with our address and said that I trusted her talent and instinct enough to ‘approve’ without seeing a scan!

The pleasure and excitement that the painting was coming and that Mr FND knew nothing about it was indescribable.

Except that it didn’t arrive before 19th December. Nor did Mr FND as there had been endless problems on the journey from London, not least the Anek Lines Ferry driver who broke the hand brake on our small van, and the impossibility of finding the new Piraeus ferry terminal in Venice. Signposts might be a good idea, especially as it still looks like an unmanned building site!

Mr FND arrived on 20th December but the painting went AWOL in the Greek postal system and did not arrive until after Christmas.

In spite of the delay, our joy in the watercolour is infinite. Janet has done a superb job, capturing a likeness of man and dog that is quite, quite remarkable, and every brush stroke expresses the loving bond between the two.

Janet, you really have made us immeasurably happy and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

If anyone reading this is considering commissioning a painting for a special occasion, I cannot recommend Janet more highly.

I end this post with some of Janet’s magical hummingbirds.

p1150411

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


A heartfelt post by Jean Haines about being inspired by other watercolour artists and being exhibited at the Windrush Gallery alongside one of her heroes, James Fletcher -Watson.

What an amazing few weeks have passed.  My solo opened at the Wey Gallery, paintings were collected from my cottage for a group exhibition in Cheltenham and  I completed my new book. I am now eagerly awaiting my watercolour tour in Australia so I wouldn’t expect any more excitement in my art life. But I am mistaken. Something truly wonderful happened and behind the computer screen, typing this blog post, is a very emotional artist.

It is so strange how fate takes a hand in ones’ life, as it certainly does with mine. I recently wrote a feature for The Artist Magazine which includes a watercolour competition. In the same October issue I was thrilled to see a demonstration by one of my  all time favourite watercolourists, David Howell. I first fell in love with Davids’ work when I lived in Dubai. I was exhibiting at the Majilis Gallery there and was immediately drawn to the clarity, colour and beauty in his style which captured atmosphere so fantastically. At the foot of Davids’  magazine feature was a mention of  “The Pure Watercolour Society”. I had never heard of this society until reading the feature and intended to contact them but as aways, my life was so hectic. Time to do so wasn’t there and so thought of doing so was temporarily postponed.

However I did keep thinking about the society. Here I possibly should explain that my heart often sinks at Art Society exhibitions which claim the title ” Watercolour” and yet seem to exhibit more acrylics, collages and mixed media than the true medium I am in love with.  When I teach workshops I am constantly asked if…

continue reading: Watercolours With Life: Windrush Gallery Annual Exhibition 2014: October 11th -20th.


One from the archives.

First Night Design

Infinity InvitationsInfinity Invitations © Sarah Vernon @ First Night Design [Zazzle]

I’m very fond of watercolours.  Interestingly, I have heard people disparaging them over the years, almost as if they considered the skill required inferior to that of painting in oils or acrylics and thus making any result worthless.  To me, watercolour can often create a picture much more emotional and evocative than one done in another medium.

I suspect that the number of books teaching you How to Paint Watercolours in 4 Easy Lessons, or some such title, add to the myth that watercolour is easy and doesn’t require any talent or skill.  I find it difficult to paint with watercolour but have occasionally turned out something of note.  Believe me, it’s not as easy as it looks!

Now that a disabling condition, which affects my mobility and dexterity, has impacted on my ability to wield a paintbrush, I have…

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Inspired by the exquisite paintings of Janet Weight Reed, whose running motif is the hummingbird, I have used the same background as in Seagull Sonata to showcase this rather splendid hummingbird (Mdf on Wikimedia Commons).

Sell Art Online

Related

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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