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The Eye, Urban/Rural exhibition

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Vivien Blackburn's work in the Urban/Rural show

We've just hung a group show at the The Eye Project, Urban/Rural show.  If you want to come and see it it's on for a month - well worth seeing, 11 lovely artists and some fabulous work.

Those large canvasses are 40 inches square.

There are rural landscapes, flowerscapes, intriguing textile work including a large knitted building, abstracts .... something for everyone.

It's in the gallery below the cafe in the Adult Education Centre at the top of Wellington street, Leicester, opposite Fenwicks.  Meet the Arttists day is Saturday 1st April 10-2.  Come and have a chat with us?


current exhibition, paintings from Wales, Cornwall, Leicestershire, the Cotswolds and Yorkshire

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My work on the wall at the Atkins Gallery, Lower Bond Street Hinckley until Saturday 3rd December



Work currently on show at the Atkins Gallery in Hinckley (car park opposite, next to the museum).  There are 16 pieces of mine plus the work of 5 friends.

Oils, mixed media, pastels, charcoal, ink .... and more :)

And the Leicester Society of Artists exhibition is on at the museum in New Walk until 3rd December as well (I have 3 in that)

Plus 4 in Glenfield Gallery, Glenfield

I've been busy!

Near South Stack, pastel plein air

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South Stack, near Holyhead, A3 pastel plein air 
This is at the framers at the moment,  in preparation for an exhibition, along with lots of other work from the week painting in Wales.  It will be going in a lime washed frame.

Vivid memories of a lovely day sketching on the cliff with friends somewhere near, doing their own views - that's a steep drop down via the path and then another steep cliff edge.  One friend was working down there, another much higher up looking way down at the lighthouse (just out of sight on the right).  What did we do before we had mobile phones?  so easy to coordinate coffee breaks and moving on when we spread out and aren't near each other.

I used a sheet of Sennelier sanded paper for this and the Rembrandt and Inscribe pastels I'd thrown in at the last moment.  Oh dear, I did NOT like the Sennelier paper - luckily I'd swapped a sheet with a friend as she didn't like it and I got to try it without having to buy a pack.  I am also not a…

Another from the Ogwen Valley, low clouds on the mountain tops

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Ogwen Valley, Low cloud on the mountains, A3 mixed media
After the charcoal sketch done in the morning my friends walked up to a higher lake, I painted quietly on my own.  So peaceful with the clouds drifting by, the steep hills cut with tumbling waterfalls and the single track road winding up and down throught the rocks.  I love the drama of the contours of the land and the rocks, barely covered by soil.

We really didn't only have rainy days!  though the mixed weather meant beautiful skies and challenges.

Big black Welsh cattle with their huge hooves lumbered by, followed by calves scrambling uncertainly down those steep hillsides.  I'd always assumed that this was the old, original road (main road is across the valley) but a lovely friendly lady told me it was built by a lord of the manor so that his guests had a scenic carriage ride when they came to stay.

Just as I finished this, the friends phoned to say they were back down the mountain and we joined up for coffee and ca…

Ogwen Valley revisited - later in the week, 7 go to Wales

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Ogwen Valley in the mist, charcoal, a bit bigger than A3
Ogwen valley in the mist, charcoal plein air
We revisted the valley later in the week.  The clouds were low over the tops of the mountains and the distance melted into whiteness.  The little river Ogwen wound its way across the valley floor and the single track, switchback road disappeared off over the side of the mountain.

All the recent rain meant the waterfalls were beautiful.  I did a watercolour/mixed media with one in the afternoon, while the group climbed up to a higher lake.  Next post ........

7 go to wales - sketching in north Wales

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Ogwen Valley and the little river Ogwen winding through, watercolour/mixed media

The Ogwen valley, watercolour and mixed media sketch
I'm just back from a week painting in Wales with friends.  Wales + mountains means we knew there would be rain - but it made for some lovely atmospheric scenes to sketch.

Friend Ros, that I travelled with, and I stopped on the way in a beautiful valley I last saw about 20 years ago when my daughter was at Bangor university,  I was determined to get there to paint again.  Nigel another member of the group met up with us there and we all got thoroughly wet and bedraggled sketching.

The end of the valley was lost in rain/mist and the little river Ogwen tumbles through the valley from Llyn Ogwen (Lake Ogwen) above.  The narrow, single track road goes up and down like a switchback along the side of the mountain.  The waterfalls were beautiful with all the rain we've had.  Welsh black mountain cattle ambled by, with hooves like dinner plates, massive…

Summers sort of here so of course I'm painting snow

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snow ...... I've neglected my blog - I'll try to post slightly more often.  The warmer weather is here - so of course I get interested in snow.  It started because of a trip to the Cotswolds to see a Kurt Jackson exhibition in April - there was incredibly late snow on the hilltops looking wonderful.  That led to one painting and made me revisit sketches I did of a very early snowfall one November and work further from those.

 November Low Sun, EarlySnowfallapprox 15 inches square, pastel

This is from the sketches done when we had and unusual very early snowfall in November, when there were still hints of autumn colour.   As I looked at the field a flock of birds took off,  The light in the sky was glorious and the patterns of the ploughed field - everything just added up to one of those perfect moments.

Dusk, November, Early Snowfall tiny one, approximately 5 inches square, coloured pencil
The birds have flown and the light is fading in this one.

And the one that set me off …