Saturday, 27 December 2014

Friday, 19 December 2014

The Cosy Intimacy of a Smaller Art Venue

If I did not have a prior commitment tonight, I would certainly have gone to Mudlarks Cafe in Hertford to listen to the fabulous duo The Goldbacks.  C’est la vie as they say.  Shame we cannot be in more than one place at once especially at this busy time of year. 


It has definitely been a busy time for me over the past couple of weeks with one thing or another and with Christmas just around the corner.  Selecting sixteen paintings for the Mudlarks Show took up lots of time.  Knowing that the venue was a cosy and quirky hub of activity with all ages frequenting at different times of the day, I wanted to keep the collection fun, contemporary and eclectic.  So hopefully there is something for all to enjoy. 


Me straight after hanging the paintings.  
Thanks to David Holliday, my close friend and Chairman of Mudlarks and my hubby David Moore for helping me with the display. 

Who knows maybe the crowd listening to The Goldbacks tonight may even appreciate my Flavours painting.  A bottle of wine, some blues and soul music and there we have it.  A perfect evening perhaps.  

My previous blog post about Mudlarks.  

Mudlarks Cafe, Hertford, Hertfordshire, UK 


Thursday, 4 December 2014

A November Day in Cambridge

Last week Hubby and I spent a fabulous day admiring and enjoying the wonderful sights and sounds offered by a late chilly November day in Cambridge.  A city obviously getting ready for the Christmas festivities to come.  

This is a tiny glimpse of how I experienced Cambridge through a camera lens and then eventually with the aid of a brush back in my studio.  

Sketch of a Cambridge Clock Tower

A quick watercolour wash of autumn leaves.

I could not resist taking a photo of these gorgeous teddies sitting so well behaved in a shop window.  All of them are waiting patiently for someone to give them a hug.    

Friday, 14 November 2014

Watercolour Sketching with Purpose

Sketching has become a routine in my life now.  Each sketch serves a purpose.  Be it to capture a memory, to practice a technique, to test out paper, tone, texture or colour, to plan a composition, to capture an atmospheric mood, etc, or purely to have fun and improve the skill at the same time. 

Here are some sketches I have done over the past few months.  Each has a purpose in my artistic development.  

Toronto Waterfront
A place that nearly became my second home. 

Mull 1
Visited this summer.

Mull III

Grey Birches

View from my window

Tulip Pen & Wash

Baa Sheep

Bald Eagle
Seen in Alaska three years ago 
and revisited the subject yesterday.  

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Mudlarks - A very worthy venue to exhibit in.

Being an exhibiting artist in my local community means that one of my regular tasks is to keep an eye on my calendar to check the dates of the upcoming year’s local Art Shows. Exhibiting is something I find I need to do regularly because it pulls me out of my comfort zone of me doodling in my sketchbooks.  It makes me use my artistic capabilities to the full and stretches me to keep the standard high as best I can.   This means that my painting year is pretty much mapped out for me most of the time.  Though I generally try not to over commit myself too much with all the art shows and art venues available in my area.   

 Birches 2

This and other of my paintings will be exhibiting at 
Mudlarks, Railway Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire 
for a month over December 2014 and January 2015.

The way I select where to exhibit my art is to assess how much fulfilment and joy my taking part will bring to me and the community I live in.  Most local exhibitions have an entry fee and this is sometimes put towards either the up keep of a building or towards a charity.  I regularly hear of people attending my Art Society’s Easter Exhibition and them saying how much they enjoyed the event.  It has become part of some people’s Easter outing every year.  It is also a big fixture on my calendar as I help out on most of the four days.  For me the joy is knowing that the artwork we local artists display on walls in the local exhibitions actually brings a little joy to others who view it too.   

This year I have decided to add yet another fixture to my already busy art calendar.  In December/January I will be having a solo exhibition on Mudlarks Cafe wall. A wall that is generously reserved for promoting local artists. 

Mudlarks Community Gardening Charity  Website Link

Mudlarks is a registered charity which helps to integrate people with learning difficulties and mental health issues back into the community.  They mainly run a garden site which helps its members to develop skills and confidence that gardening and interacting with others could potentially bring out.  A really worthy cause that I know is helping people come out of their shells to join the community in a more fulfilling and satisfying way.

Through a volunteer friend I hear of the touching stories of the huge difference this fabulous charity makes to people.  Not only do its members benefit but also their carers too, with a few hours respite.  This charity touches lives in a big way on many levels.  Mental health and learning difficulties are two issues that have touched my life too through close family and friends coping with both.  So for me to attend events run by this charity such as quiz nights, music events in town, or stopping for a coffee in their cafe when I am in the area, or even displaying my art on their wall, is a very small way for me to show my support for the wonderful work they do. 

Mudlarks Garden Cafe  Link

The charity has recently opened a Cafe in the heart of Hertford town.  A place that is working hard to raise money for the Mudlarks Charity.  So please if any of you local people reading this ever find yourselves in Hertford wanting a coffee to warm yourselves up, or some lunch or a cake to fill a hole, remember Mudlarks Cafe on Railway Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire.    

A cup of coffee at Mudlarks means you are warming and brightening up someone else’s life too.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Beached Boat in Watercolour

"Perseverance is a positive, active characteristic."

~ Joseph B Writhlin

Beached Boat

Boat wrecks were quite common on the Isle of Mull.  
A subject I could not resist painting.  

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Storr, Isle of Skye - A Watercolour

The Storr, Isle of Skye

Future Goals:  More focus, more positivity, less distractions.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Watercolour Inspiration on the Isle of Skye, Scotland

Scotland for me was all about recharging my batteries and finding inspiration again.  I already knew the light is so unique and exceptional up there on the Isle of Skye having visited before.      

Colour at Minch, Isle of Skye
Watercolour painted plein air 

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Preparing a Textured Substrate for Mixed Media

Whether it be watercolours or mixed media when I create I love the idea of adding texture.  Of course with my watercolour paintings texture is just an illusion to fool the eye into thinking it is there.  The medium is actually flat and very matt as you all know.  This is where I am finding mixed media so interesting.  I can build a 3D substrate surface to add paint onto to give a more dimensional tactile impression. 

First I started by scrunching up some tissue paper and gluing it to watercolour paper using Mod Podge.  A medium that can be used  either as a glue, glaze or sealer that can also be watered down for a thinner consistency.      

I used the torn off tissue paper to build up the branches.  I attached these with Mod Podge matt which creates a slight shine even though it is matt.   

I then added watercolour to the background where it puddled in the creases.  Watercolour being matt also gives a contrasting surface to the shimmery paint I will add later.  I also added gesso quite thickly at this stage to build up tactile texture in the flowers. 

When everything was dry, I started adding acrylic shimmery paint, ink, white paint marker pen and ribbon to create the finished tag.  The image shows clearly the contrast between shiny and matt that I wanted.  

Even the ribbon had to have a Laura Moore 
altered arty approach with a little ink added.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Canada Goose in Watercolour

This week has seen me make a few more of my Art Journals.  I have also been tidying up my Studio so I now have more room for my mixed media.  I even managed to pick up my watercolour brushes.     

Canada Goose

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Rose Altered Art Journal

The idea for this Rose Journal came when I was given a present inside a pretty rose patterned gift bag. Co-ordinating black ribbon and gold cord was added to the finished cover with a rose embellishment as the closure.   

Thursday, 17 April 2014

A Church Scene Using Two Primary Watercolour Pigments

An exercise I thought might be fun for my Art Society Group was to paint using  just two primary colours.  

Church and Vicarage
© Laura Moore

I chose indigo and quinacridone gold for the tonal range these colours can achieve. When these two colours are mixed they create muted greens.  All of which were ideal for the quintessentially British scene I wanted to paint.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Mixing Greens with Warm and Cool Yellows

To understand the temperature of the yellow hue family more fully, I devised the following exercise for myself.  All these leaves were painted using Prussian blue and various yellows.  Cool yellows produce fresh acidic greens and warm yellows produce earthy greens. 


Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Watercolour Sketchbook Play Time

Having spent a few months preparing for this season’s string of exhibitions, it is now time to just chill out in my watercolour sketchbooks and get back to improving my skills of painting and observation. 

Chilli Pepper Study
Watercolour Sketchbook Artwork
Working on tone, colour and form.

Lavender and Iris Studies
Watercolour Sketchbook Artwork 
Working on looseness and tone. 

Pansy Leaf Study
Watercolour Sketchbook Artwork 
Working on plant structure in pen & wash.

Sawbridgeworth 10th Annual Exhibition

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Glass in Watercolour

I was not expecting to enjoy the subject of glass as much as I did tonight at Art Group.   The subject was chosen by me a few months ago for all the Group to tackle.  So perhaps the anticipation of knowing this was coming was a bit daunting.   

I kept the session simple for myself by taking along one single glass for my still life set up.  Placed on the table it was surrounded by a brown laminate surface which I did not find interesting at all.  So I felt it was time to inject some of my favourite colours into this: the blues. 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Paving Stones in Watercolour

Watercolour Texture: Exploring brickwork, light tones and pigment flow with water. 

  Paving Stones