Archives for posts with tag: watercolours

snells woodland4I was delighted to see that the Snells Woodland information sign is now mounted in location. It was good to work with such a great team on this project.


snells panelIt is signed sealed and delivered. After much time designing the board and fine tuning the details and text, the board is complete and has been printed. We hope to place it in situ in the near future. It is approx 60cm x 90cm.

Snells Woodland – a breathing space
This woodland is part of the Hendred Estate and is rented by East Hendred Parish Council. Hendreds Environment Group looks after the site in which you can see many ground plants, mature and newly planted trees, birds, insects and small animals. The woodland also has a boardwalk running through it which is a ‘Safer Route to School’ path.

Woodland Management
Hendreds Environment Group has drawn up a management plan to encourage a greater diversity of wildlife and looks after the site. The group has organised several working parties and along with members of the community have removed the invasive Himalayan balsam plant, planted a hazel coppice and coppiced some of the mature trees. They have attached bird and bat boxes to several trees and clean these boxes annually.

Coppicing is a traditional woodland management technique which involves cutting back British hardwood trees to within six inches of the ground at intervals of 7 to 20 years. The tree then grows back with several trunks called poles. The hazels planted in the  woodland and the sycamore trees will be coppiced when ready.

snells woodland3Illustrations… I was desperate for paintings of English woodland plants. After a discussions with the environmental group and my mum, she agreed to do the illustrations at a very low price as part of her contribution to the countryside, to help me and as part of her portfolio. Lin Kerr ( set to work and over the next four months produced eight stunning images. It was even more work that she had anticipated but fortunately the originals were also able to form part of her exhibition at Oxfordshire Art Weeks. Carole Findlay ( who is an avid amateur wildlife photographer was happy to allow use me to use her beautiful birds and beasties. I also had a photographic session down in the woods with my daughter posing on the wooden boardwalk. My 4-year old spotted Jelly Ear Fungi and it pleased me no end that she was able to correctly identify it so that got photographed too.snells woodland2

snells woodlandI have been working on a very interesting job. The brief from the local environmental group was to create a sign for Snells Woodland that would inform passer-bys about the area that the environmental group manage. Mhairi provided me with the sketch above. I felt confident about designing the layout but my first hurdle was that I needed illustrations of plants and photos of wildlife. I initially thought I would have a go at the illustrations myself and sat down to paint a ‘Lords and Ladies’. Even with the expert tuition of my mother who is a watercolourist, I was only averagely pleased with my results (below) and the idea of painting another 10 pictures filled me with concern. I am a designer not an illustrator. Like many voluntary projects there wasn’t an enormous budget so it was a matter of networking and goodwill and I considered the options.lord and ladies

Glowing, luminous and jewel-like describe Lin Kerr’s orchid watercolours and I was delighted to attend the private viewing of her art at Dolphin Art Gallery. Lin is a lettering artist with a creative and diverse portfolio and her latest project has been exploring orchids in watercolour. She recently went on holiday to Singapore and, as artists do packed her paints, paper and brushes with a little space for a sarong or two. She knew she wanted to paint but it wasn’t until she arrived at the airport that the subject matter became obvious – orchids. There were masses of orchids everywhere from the airport shops to the local botanical gardens.

Orchids offer their own challenges as you paint because you can become distracted by the complexity of stems and leaves. Lin’s approach was to focus on the bloom and to float it in white space so that the flower becomes slightly abstract and we can appreciate its gorgeous colours and shapes. Lin also introduced a cartouche which acts as a design element and adds another layer of interest in the painting. A cartouche originates from Egyptian hieroglyphs where it was an oval with a horizontal line at one end which enclosed symbols and was used as a royal signature. Lin’s cartouches incorporate the name of the orchid.

Make sure a watercolour art-piece is on your Christmas wish list! Prices start at £95 for an unframed giclée (a giclée is a high quality reproduction on textured art paper).

Lin is exhibiting with Penny Gould who is a botanical artist and if you are near Wantage in Oxfordshire, visit Dolphin Art Gallery to see these talented women. The exhibition is from 15 – 24 September 2012 and they are also demonstrating their skills. Penny is demonstrating on Wednesday 19 September from 12.00 to 2.00pm and Lin is demonstrating on Monday 17 and 24 September from 12.00 to 2.00pm.

Visit Lin’s blog at
View more of Penny Gould’s work on this link

Penny Gould (Botanical Artist) and Lin Kerr (Watercolourist)

Opening of ‘Flowers’ Exhibition at Dolphin Art Gallery