Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Revisiting old friends


Some of you were kind enough to be interested in the painting I mentioned in my last post, so when the sun came out for 5 minutes this afternoon I rounded up some of the pieces I still have and took them for an outing into the garden. Poor old things, it's the only excitement they've had in a while.


I started taking painting classes at a shop near where I used to live - the Burnt Owl in Burnt Hills, NY - in 1997, then painted most days till we left the US in 1999. I have tried to get back into it back here in the UK, but the lack of a dedicated permanent workspace rather held me back. Sewing and knitting seem much more portable to me, but I suspect I may be alone in that!


This was one of my first pieces, a favourite of Mr DC and the only one that's in regular use. It holds hairbands and brushes for the Smalls and while there are a number of problems with it, I'm very fond of that silly sheep.


I was very keen on traditional stroke work, and in fact this was the piece that had me signing up for the various courses in the first place. It's a bit tatty and dusty now, and I rather wish the background wasn't jet black, but I painted this design over and over on oval storage boxes that I still use.


The thing I liked most about this style of painting is that you don't need to be able to draw. At all. I cannot draw to save my life, but I can trace patterns and base coat them and follow the instructions to add colour and shading in the right order. The clever people are the designers of the patterns, and I was lucky enough to be taught by Pat Parker who designed this one - this is her version just to prove that hers is the real skill here.


This is a tray I started, and didn't finish. It's a design by Betty Caithness, whose pieces I adore. I doubt I shall get back to it any time soon, but you can see how bits of it (the children and their tree) are done, while the stones at the bottom are only basecoated as yet and the houses need a lot more work.


The patterns and brushes are still up in the loft. Maybe one of these days I'll dig them out again and see if I can remember any of what I learned!

30 comments:

  1. They are amazing. Talk about lights and bushels... Please start it all up again, I want to see more. Ax

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  2. what lovely friends you have xxx

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  3. Val, those are AMAZING!! Pick those brushes up again, woman.

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  4. Talk about hidden talents! And you say you can't draw! You are one talented lady. Go get them brushed out of the loft NOW.

    Alison
    x

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  5. Wow! Your secret talent is out - just amazing. Love the New England feel to them - and I especially love the winter scenes. Thanks for sharing with us!

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  6. I really hope you will dig out those paint and brushes! They all look so wonderful!

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  7. They're fabulous!

    And... bet you can draw... it's all about learning how to look ;-)

    Celia
    x

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  8. WOW! I love these - especially the sheep. It is my absolute favourite kind of American art. How fantastic that you could do classes in it over there!

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  9. Good grief. That snow scene. My chin hit the floor. Do NOT do yourself down - LOOK at that shading - someone else's line drawing, maybe, Val's exquisite painting skills - definitely.

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  10. How have you kept this quiet so long??? They are FABULOUS! Get painting again!! Locket xxx

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  11. Oh Missus D.C. I love that delicious stroke work piece. For me there is something so connecting in painting a style that so many (mostly) women have painted over 100s of years. Will we be seeing more? Please?

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  12. You are super multi talented, you are.

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  13. How fabulous! And you simply must finish the tray.

    But I know what you mean about not having a dedicated craft space. I'm often put off sewing because of all the trouble setting up and taking down again.

    K x

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  14. Blummin' heck! What hidden talents! Dust off those brushed DC... :-)

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  15. WooHoo for painting Ms Dotty! They all look so beautiful. I'm a HUGE Betty Caithness fan and have more of her patterns than I'll ever paint in a lifetime. She sucked me in with her Humpty Dumpty box and then sadly didn't do any more children's themes (I don't think.) I still love so much of her other stuff. I even have an unfinished little cabinet like your unfinished piece (well, not the same piece, mine's her apple orchard cabinet.) Ha! A fellow painter -- who knew???

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  16. They're stunning pieces, don't give up!

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  17. Wow they are fab, you should deffo dig those paint brushes out soon!

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  18. wow, they are lovely and the sheep one is definitely my favourite!

    xx

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  19. Your painting is FABULOUS, CD!! This was so wonderful to see... You have a great way with brushes & paint too--do take them up again! :o) Thanks so much for sharing ((HUGS))

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  20. Wow Val, your painting is amazing! I too don't think I am any good at drawing, but I do like a nice bit of colouring in! Nothing nearly as beautiful as these though!
    R x

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  21. Goodness they are brilliant! You have a real talent with a brush - so get it out and get painting! The herbs on the first one are lovely and the snowy scene is wonderful. You are talented!xx

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  22. They're amazing... you really should find a way to get back into that. Beautiful pieces.

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  23. Wow! You have tons of talent there Val - I especially love the tray with the winter scene - it's my perfect idea of a christmas village and I love the sheep under the tree too, although they all have a great deal of charm. I hope you pick up your brush again soon - go on, get up in that loft tomorrow!

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  24. Oh Val, they're beautiful! You've certainly kept this very quiet. I've just gone back and followed the link to your old chapel house - oooh, no wonder it was hard to leave!

    I know just what you mean about not having a space of your own to craft in, it really does make life easier if you don't have to clear your 'craft' table every time you need to feed the hoardes!

    xxx

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  25. How talented you are! As someone who can draw, but is rubbish at painting, I can say that you mastered the harder of the two. What lovely, lovely work!

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  26. oh my!!!

    those are beautiful.... and you'd never told us before? and you haven't done it in a while? I love love LOVE that naive style...

    sigh.

    go to the attic now.

    NOW.

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  27. Wow, Val. They are all so wonderful - you are very talented indeed! :) x

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