Art courses, Art Tutorials, News, News 2016, Painting

Botanical Bites – my new painting series

holly-cropOn this brisk and sunny Sunday afternoon I should be outside enjoying the fresh air and doing some gardening… But I went clubbing on Friday night and went to an ice-hockey match last night. Two late nights in a row, I’m too old for this. So today, I am sprawled out on the sofa in front of the fireplace, making some crochet snowflakes instead of enjoying the plein air.

I also started a new series on Instagram called Botanical Bites.

I will regularly upload short videos showing painting in action.

I have just uploaded the first one, the painting of a wet-in-wet holly berry. All videos are less than one minute long, just a little bite, easy to swallow! Here is a link: https:www.instagram.com/sandrinemaugy

Every so often I will gather a few bites together and make a video for my YouTube channel.

Let me know what you think. Do you like the idea?

Happy painting!

 

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News, News 2016

Launching my Etsy shop Flora’s Patch

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The first of December seems like a fine date to launch my new Etsy shop!

I would have liked to fill it more before launching but I will keep adding things on a regular basis. I am using this new platform to sell small paintings (easily sent in the post) and some of my crochet and textiles patterns and creations.

Here is a link:

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/FlorasPatch?ref=hdr_shop_menu

I hope you like it and happy browsing!

News, News 2016

Crochet and textiles on Flora’s Patch blog

A warm hello on this grey and cold Sunday afternoon…

robinapplique20163After lots of thinking about how to juggle my “art life” with my “textiles and crochet life”, I have decided to start another blog, dedicated entirely to Textiles and Crochet. If you are interested in all of it, it means that you will have to subscribe to the art blog here AND follow Flora’s Patch blog on WordPress. But the good side is that subscribers and followers won’t receive notifications about things they are not interested in: you can choose art here on my official website, or textiles and crochet on my other blog, or both if you want to see what I am up to in both worlds.

Here is a link to Floraspatch Blog on WordPress:

https://floraspatch.wordpress.com/

I hope you enjoy it,

Happy reading and Happy Making!

 

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Art courses, Garden visits, Gardens, News, News 2016

Supermoon gazing at West Dean Gardens

I am spending a few days at West Dean College, teaching two courses in a row with a day off in between. Today I can have a lie in, admiring the ceiling in my beautiful tower room, taking the time to feel all Rapunzel like. I will go for a few walks, eat the gorgeous food in the restaurant, sit by the giant fire that burns night and day from mid-November to the end of winter in the Oak Hall, doing crochet in a big armchair while getting roasted and generally being lazy.

For a few days we have a Supermoon to admire at night. The biggest this century apparently. I went for a long walk in the arboretum last night at sunset and took a few pictures I was quite pleased with…

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… until I came back and my friend Stephen Tattersall, who is a security guard here, showed me his.

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Isn’t this an amazing picture?

Don’t forget to go out and watch the skies tonight. The full moon will coincide with the perigee and we won’t get our moon this bright and this close again in our lifetime. I suppose we should also skip under the moonlight through the dewy fields while wearing nothing but a garland of autumn leaves but we don’t want to catch a chill… so let’s just wrap up warm and look up.

Happy moon gazing and happy skipping if you’re up for it!

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News, News 2016

The end of the Society of Floral Painters

Saturday 5th of November was a sad day for flower painters.

After 20 years, the last AGM of the Society of Floral Painters took place in Salisbury, a last chance for old friends to say goodbye. There were many a tear shed as members and committee members expressed their affection, pride, gratitude and sorrow for a beautiful society that helped and supported so many of us.

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My first memory of the society was in 2002, when I became a member. I was doing a degree in community art work at City College and as part of the degree I took three art units. The art teacher disliked my work and was always very, very mean to me. He used to say things like “You have a lot of talent but you are wasting it on painting flowers!” I couldn’t understand how such a passion for the natural world could be a waste but I would still come home in tears.

The morning of the SFP assessment, I talked to my paintings and even promised a passionflower watercolour that I would keep it forever on my wall if it got me in. I delivered my paintings and waited anxiously. At the end of the day, Vivien came out of the judging room, looking very tall and serious and ballet teacher-like and walked towards me. I felt like I was 10 years old and about to find out if I was going to move up to the next ballet grade. She gave me a little smile and said, “You’ve been a very good girl.” Relief and happiness washed over me. I could have kissed her (Although I didn’t because the “good girl” reference did not help with the “being 10 years old” feeling). Vivien and I became great friends and I have hugged and kissed her many times since…

After I became an SFP member, the teacher at college couldn’t hurt me as much with his vitriolic comments. I was protected, sheltered by a group of like-minded people who understood and admired my work in a way he never could. I thrived within the SFP haven. At my first Mottisfont exhibition, Sue and Roy Lancaster bought one of my paintings and I launched into this unexpected artist career.

The starting point was the SFP and the reassuring idea that there was a place for me in the art world. I kept my promise; the passionflower is still hanging on the wall.

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All present yesterday have similar memories: warm welcome, friendly support, a launch pad for a career, meeting friends with the same passions, a dedicated committee organising exhibitions to show our work, Caroline’s beautiful handwriting… The Society of Floral Painters was some or all of this to each of us and we will all remember something different. The one last thing we all have in common is the sadness of losing this amazing, beautiful society.

This is truly the end of an era…

 

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News, News 2016, Painting

Artists & Illustrators Magazine is 30 years old!

Artists & Illustrators Magazine is 30 years old… Happy birthday!

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To celebrate this anniversary edition, they are publishing 30 painting challenges in their October issue, which is out now.

I am so pleased to be part of the celebrations, having written 3 of these 30 challenges: painting a botanical quince (number 1), painting a field study of a Japanese Anemone (number 5) and painting an autumn leaf (number 26).

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Challenge number 1

I remember writing my first piece for A&I magazine, in 2005. We were just minutes away from jumping into the car to catch a ferry to France for Christmas when Mr Flora’s Patch answered the phone. He said “It’s Artists & Illustrators Magazine for you…” It was completely out of the blue and I thought it was about my subscription, so I replied “We don’t have time, tell them I’ll phone them when we come back. “ But he wasn’t sure: “I don’t think it’s about a subscription…”

So I took the phone and was surprised to find out it was the editor himself. You would think that a big magazine like that would have someone to deal with subscriptions… But it wasn’t about that. Somebody had pulled out at the last minute and he wanted to know if I would be interested in writing a piece about botanical painting. The catch was that I had only one week before the deadline. So I ended up taking my paintbox to France with me and spent my Christmas holiday painting and writing between bites of Brussels sprouts and mouthfuls of chocolate bûche. A few days after sending in my article I received another phone call from the editor asking, “Did you enjoy doing this? Because I would like you to write more for us…” Since then I have written more than 50 articles and I have worked with 4 successive editors: the original contact was with John, then Lynne, then Steve and now Katie. Painting and writing are two big passions of mine so this is pretty much my idea of a perfect job.

I hope that you enjoy the 30th edition of this great magazine and good luck with the challenges!

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