Blue – sat under a blazing sun at the New Forest Folk Festival 2017


Free Art Friday – Fareham here I come!

As part of Fareham Arts Festival, I decided my Free Art Friday this week would be based around the festival.   I have four pieces on exhibition, three street photographs at Arty’s restaurant in Knowle Village, and a large watercolour called ‘Close’ as part of the Fareham Open Exhibition at Sticks Gallery in Fareham Shopping Center.

So, I got small prints of my photography work and have made two watercolour miniatures of my larger work to leave around Fareham, today and next Friday, during Fareham Arts Festival.   Blue this week, deep pink next week.


Free Art Friday for Fareham Arts Festival

I’ll be leaving these over night on Thursday at or near venues that are part of the festival in the center of Fareham – so I hope they will be found by art lovers 🙂

I’ve blogged before about Free Art Friday – it is a liberating experience to nurture some artwork and then just leave it ‘in the wild’ for who know’s what to happen to it.  The first time I did it I was so nervous – thinking “my baby!!!”  and “will someone like it?!” and “will it blow away?!”

Luckily, that first one, was found by someone who liked it very much and told me so, so that gave me the confidence to carry on.  Now I love it and have no such worries about the future of the piece – that is up to luck – maybe someone will find it and love it, maybe someone will find it and hate it (I hope they put it back if that’s the case) and perhaps it will just blow into the trash.

I love the fact that I have no control over this, it’s very good for me.

But I do love hearing from people if they find and like the work, that gives me a huge boost.

So Fareham, are you ready?!  Here they are…..

Have fun 🙂 (and do let me know if you find any!)

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Larmer Tree 2015 – it was fun as always!

I know it’s a cliche, but I can’t believe that a week ago I was sat in The Arc waiting for SnowApple having just had a lot of fun watching Rughu Dixit on the main stage.   We were SO lucky with the weather…. It rained a little on our first day so my festival umbrella came in handy for the Tom Jones concert.   He was brilliant as always, and this year we got to see him twice!

It always goes so quickly, by the Sunday (day 5) I am always just getting into my groove with our routines of when we get up, have breakfast, have a shower, go into the main site….. it is quite a wrench to leave on the Monday morning.

This year was Larmer Tree’s 25th Anniversary, and a highlight for us was a talk by organiser James Shepard about the ups and downs of the last 25 years.   Funny to hear about some of the more diva-ish acts they’ve entertained and the lengths others went to in order to play!

There is always so much to do at Larmer Tree: shopping, eating, relaxing, poetry, music, readings, artwork (to make and enjoy)…..  I see other peoples pictures and the official video afterwards and realise we missed so much!  But that’s why we come back every year.

I love seeing new bands / artists and getting to know their work.   I love choosing what’s for dinner every evening – especially as being a vegetarian, there is so much choice!

Chilled Drinks

Highlights for me this year were (in no particular order) having my usual chocolate, banana and nut crepe – I look forward to one every year!   Bellowhead singing Gosport Nancy (as I live in Gosport),  FB Pocket Orchestra (they should have been on the Garden Stage I think, perfect for a sunny afternoon), poetry in the Lost Wood, Gaz Brookfield – love his amusing take on life, Will McNicol, having a temporary tattoo, Bill Bailey, Show of Hands, the aforementioned Rughu Dixit and Hunter & the Bear.


We never did stay up late enough to go to the comedy nights!   Maybe next year….

I also had a lot of fun looking out for interesting pictures, a few of which are in this post.   You can see many more of our photographs here:  let me know what you think!

Painting my umbrella – rain or shine, I’ve got it covered! Larmer Tree here we come!

I recently saw a passing comment about someone painting an umbrella.  The idea instantly appealed to me, but I had no idea how to go about it.

Some busy Googling didn’t tell me much more, there is not much documented out there, but I did find others who have done it.

First, I bought a reasonably priced white umbrella on Amazon and I found an old white umbrella (that I was given free at some conference or other) to test paints on, I didn’t want to make mistakes on the real thing.   I had a clear idea in my head of what I wanted to do but very quickly saw that my idea was too detailed.

I tried painting with acrylic paints and spraying stencils with spray paint.    The spray paint, although it gave a lovely effect, was too problematical, it cracked and it was very hard to get the stencil flat on the material.  I was a bit disappointed as I had painstakingly cut out the stencil of the flower, but it wasn’t consistent enough.   I even tried painting through the stencil with a brush, but that was really terrible, so acrylic paint, directly onto the fabric it had to be!

Here is my test umbrella by the end of my experiments!

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A daisy theme seemed more sensible, and it wouldn’t use too much paint 🙂

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Yesterday I sat down and just went for it with the paints and I am very pleased with the results.  The paint doesn’t crack and I think it is clearly a daisy!

The paint goes on very well, as long as the material is taut, I did it about 30% water because I didn’t want the dried acrylic to be too brittle and crack.   Some colours show brush strokes more than others, the blue and the yellow were best, in retrospect I would use them more another time.

I am off to a week long festival soon so this will be brilliant, rain or shine, I will have my daisy umbrella to keep us dry or cool.     Fingers crossed I get to use it as a sun shade!

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I would definitely try this again, perhaps next year I might attempt a more complicated design – a peacock tail springs to mind……..