I really do not know where time evaporates to, sometimes wish you could have a life pause button to catch up!
The easiest way to update you all is by listing the major happenings so far in 2022…
1. The latest book for Search Press is now moving to the final stages and I spent week at Search Press HQ in April doing the photoshoot for the book. This involves doing all the step by step images for the book, so its case of starting painting and then pausing as instructed by my photographer.
It's a strange kind of artwork, as you usually like to go with the flow and creative process, there is a lot of concentration needed to stop and start.
2. I have been kept busy recently armed with chainsaw and axe preparing stores of winter fuel for the log burner. As readers very well know, our Parsons Jack Russell Freyja is very partial to keeping warm and toasty.
3. We had a recent visit combining our youngest granddaughters birthday with a lovely family trip into Bristol. Adventures aboard the SS Great Britain started with me meeting one of my heroes Mr Isambard Kingdom Brunel as we has coffee prior to boarding his ship.
4. The Patchings Art Festival returned after a three year absence and occurred at the peak of the summer heatwave. Visitors braved the heat and dust to visit the Festival, we were so lucky to have booked an electricity supply, so had some respite next to a fan.
5. My in laws celebrated a milestone Diamond Wedding Anniversary with a celebratory card from Our late Queen, which they will treasure.
Our gift was a trip away to the coast and a fascinating trip to the agricultural museum at Alford. It is well worth a trip and the Manor House too. A surprise trip to East Kirkby Aviation Museum and viewing a taxy run by the "Just Jane" Lancaster was a highlight for my in laws.
6. An explanation now for the title of this months blog.
I had the honour of a fourth visit to the White House to tutor a painting holiday for Big Sky Art Courses.
It is set in acres of rolling Norfolk countryside just a few miles from Burnham Market. Luxurious accommodation, breakfast, light lunches, canapés and evening meal are included with this break. Good company of other artists of all abilities and non painting partners are very welcome.
The nights are dark, with little light pollution and magnificent starry skies. You hear the owls hooting, muntjac barking its really a most magical place to stay and paint.
I organise locations to visit and paint each day (weather permitting) and Louise carefully researches postcodes, toilets and places to have a coffee etc. On the last day of this Septembers break a trip to the highly paintable Brancaster Staithe was arranged, we assembled after breakfast and a convoy mades its way. Unfortunately on arrival at 10.30 the tide was still high up where I wanted us to all park!
Quickly wondering how to solve this, we retreated to the park of The Jolly Sailors which was a closed, but the very kind owner said we could park until the tide had receded… phew.
The Crab Hut is a great spot for a coffee and I tried the crayfish cob mixed with mango and chilli, oh to be back there for another one.
After doing a demo painting for the group by the harbour, cars were re parked and the group enjoyed day plein air, although it got very windy and made easels and boards a bit tricky.
You can be certain that organising the next visit for June 2023 the local tide tables will be consulted.
Some images below from the art holiday, for more detail contact Big Sky Art Courses.
Happy Painting and hopefully not too long to my next blog.
Apologies for the delay in writing my blog, time seems to evaporate.
I have been kept busy over the last few months creating artwork for my latest book for Search Press. Details are still under wraps and we will publish the title and medium at a later date.
The bulk of the manuscript is now being worked on and the five day photoshoot is booked for April.
We have spent part of the winter down the field bringing back to life another section of hedge. It must be 50 years since it was last laid and the satisfaction of turning decay and neglect into a rejuvenated part of nature is a great feeling.
As with art, there are certain tools of the trade that I use, a trusty family billhook, my chainsaw, protective gear and the much needed Kelly Kettle for our cups of tea.
My Dad was a talented hedge layer and I always regretted not having an interest when he was here, hope my achievements so far would make him proud.
Team work is a huge part of this transformation and Louise does a magnificent job clearing and stacking all the brash, without her help this would take so much longer.
Very pleased to announce that the Patchings Festival of Art, Craft & Design is going ahead from July 14 to 17.
Its one of my highlights of the year, meeting up with other artists, talking to visitors and demonstrating my art.
Louise and I are already making plans for my stand in the artist marquee.
Friday 14 July, I will be doing a one hour demo in the Search Press marquee.
Sunday 17 July, all day in the Artist and Leisure Painter marquee demonstrating 5 free demonstrations and there will be subscription offers and free gifts available.
Time during lockdowns seems to have just evaporated and all the plans I had made seem to have gone astray!
It seemed the ideal opportunity to get tasks done that had been on my agenda for several years, however this did not happen
My wife Louise is convinced that an artistic brain is like a butterfly, fluttering from one thing to another.
The very kind husbandly gesture of "would you like a cup of tea" rapidly turns wrong, as a cup of brown, stewed tea is presented to Louise, who is a very light Earl Grey lady !
This is due to the fact that whilst tea making is in action my mind flits to something else in the garage or studio and before you know it 30 minutes have magically disappeared.
I have been doing a myriad of things since my last blog, the easiest way is to condense them to a list for you….
Written a new six month series for the Leisure Painter on painting with palette knives and written a test report for the Frazer-Price palette.
Tutored for two days at the Broadway Arts Festival in June, great venue.
A solo exhibition at the Patchings Art Centre, in July and August.
Three caravan trips in between lockdowns.
Renewing some fencing at home and down at the field.
Growing fruit and vegetables both in our front garden potager and at our field just outside the village.
Collecting reference material and collating ideas for my fourth book for Search Press.
Filming a short art video promoting the release of my republished, revitalised edition of the Perspective book.
This proved fun, competing inside with a lively Freyja, who reacts very noisily to the doorbell and scratches and digs in her bed…just as filming commences. The outdoor filming in the village proved fun too, a mixture of trains passing by and lawnmowers and car repair technicians, working in just the spot you had decided to film from.
Multi tasking seems to have been order of the day over the past few months and I am thoroughly looking forward to returning to the White House near Burnham Market on the 5 September. This will be my third visit as a tutor for Big Sky Art courses. Set in glorious rolling North Norfolk farmland. Close to my favourite painting locations of Brancaster Staithe, Burnham Overy Staithe and Wells next the Sea. Its a fabulous area to teach art and sharing my rapid sketching techniques and water colour painting.
Big bonus for Louise… she doesn't have me making the tea !!
Bye for now,
Firstly I must apologise for the time between putting a blog together, time seems to have flown since October 2020.
Life is still, as I type uncertain, but the progress with vaccinations already given makes the future more hopeful.
The Fisher household had a simple Christmas due to lockdown with Freyja the dog getting plenty of walks.
We have recently had quite a bit of snow and Freyja has enjoyed walking in that much more than the over the ankle deep, sticky mud we usually meet !
She's quite a princess and its quite amusing to watch her deciding the best route to avoid the mud.
During the lockdowns, I have been kept busy working on ideas for the latest book I have been commissioned by Search Press to write. Details, medium and subject will be announced later.
My editorial meetings to plan out the book usually take place at Search Press HQ in Tunbridge Wells. Here, the ideas I have are mapped by my editor onto a layout detailing content and chapters.
This took place virtually (like much of the world in 2020) via online screens.
I have also been asked by the Leisure Painter to write a new 6 month series and glancing at my calendar my first deadline looms for early March… where did January and February disappear to ?
We own a 6 acre field just outside our village here in Leicestershire and I really enjoy being there chopping wood for the log burner, sorting the poly tunnel and all sorts of other jobs.
Usually the first part of the year sees us tackling a new section of hedge and sorting 50 years of not being laid.
Hedge laying is something I really enjoy doing, its so satisfying to watch a jumble of overgrown hawthorn being tamed into shape. The process is a bit of a mixture of art and chess, you decide where the cut should be to lay the branch and fingers crossed it doesn't snap off.
Well, the weather this year so far has been a combination of extreme wet and snow, so this far we have not started a new section.
I am hoping to start soon and will update you on future blogs. It is fascinating to watch a newly laid hedge spring into life and after a few years it becomes sturdy and secure once more.
The photos below show me in action February 2020. The first view sees the February 2020 section next to the part laid some 9 years before. In the distance you can just see how overgrown the hedge was originally, quite a task !
Louise, Freyja and I have just returned from my latest painting holiday organised by Big Sky Art Courses, staying at the stunning White House.
Even though this is the second time I have tutored here, the approach to the accommodation through rolling farm countryside still takes your breath away.
The White House has been restored from dereliction and is the most beautiful, luxurious place to stay. It is situated on the Sussex Farm estate and the view from the house towards the stables greets you each morning from the breakfast room. It`s a working farm and there are lots of fascinating subjects to paint close by.
The weather was mixed and we managed a day painting plein air acrylics at Brancaster Staithe ( a real favourite location of mine) and a day capturing subjects around the White House. The rest of the holiday was spent in the warm, well appointed Barn Studio.
As I mentioned the accommodation in the White House is amazing, take a look at their website. Breakfast was super with plenty of choice each morning to set us up for the day ahead.
Canapés, followed by dinner, which again was delicious, outside caterers Burn Valley Catering certainly deserve a mention for the meals they produced each night.
I am delighted to be returning again next year September 5 to 10, 2021 and this time we will be painting Watercolour, Line & Wash. It`s a chance to join me, learn my unique rapid sketching techniques and use them to develop paintings in this very painterly part of North Norfolk.
Delightful location, luxurious accommodation, painting every day and the company of other artists…. its well worth booking.