too hot, but painting anyway…

Sea lavender and marsh pools

Sea lavender and marsh pools © Mari French 2016

It didn’t take long for last week’s sketching inspiration at Thornham Saltmarsh (see my previous post Seeing purple) to find its way to my easel.

I really didn’t feel like going into the studio today, it was so hot (around 28 to 30c). I’m no good with heat (before those who live in really hot countries object!). The studio is in a hayloft, basically the roof space above an old stables, rustic, interesting, but baking today. Anyway, bearing in mind one famous artist’s wise advice (possibly Louise Bourgeois) to make yourself go into the studio even when you really don’t want to, in I went.

Glad I did now. Just painted for a couple of hours before lunch, but once I’d decided on this palette of sludgy purple and bronze, the rest followed. It may need a bit more work yet, but I’m feeling positive about it and enjoying this slightly different colour combination. The piece is painted in acrylics, with oil pastel and Inktense pencil scribbled into it.


Sea lavender and coal barn, Thornham Saltmarsh. © Mari French 2016

Sea lavender and coal barn, Thornham Saltmarsh. © Mari French 2016




emerging blooms …

Mixed-media on canvas, 100x100cm. © Mari French 2016

Mixed-media on canvas, 100x100cm. © Mari French 2016

After struggling with a couple of canvases this week, I was beginning to lose the plot with this one. Remembering what I’d recently been advised* – ‘Don’t let your painting know you’re scared of it’ – I threw caution to the wind and began editing the image by vigorously covering certain areas with paint, then adding a variety of marks with oil sticks, paint pens and ink pencils. 

Some marks were robust, some delicate and twirling or meandering. Several of the latter seem to be suggesting etoliated, wiry but fragile blooms? I love this colour palette, luminous, soft and atmospheric.

Standing back, I’m quietly excited by this one.


Emily Ball, artist & tutor.

luscious lines …


Collage/mixed-media on board. Mari French 2016

Collage/mixed-media on board. Mari French 2016

I’ve been diligently trying to practice the techniques I learnt at the recent Emily Ball workshop (see previous post), but keep succumbing to a flu bug I picked up on a trip to London. 

These are the result of experimentation in the studio this week, in between feeling rubbish, using some fabulous Markal Paintstiks I treated myself to after using Emily’s (they’re like big luscious oil pastels!). This is a collage/mixedmedia piece on board, which I’ve split into two as it seems to work better that way. 

By the way, I’ve tried laying out this post in a better way but have lost the will to live (it’s the ex-designer in me). 


Collage/mixed-media on board 2

Collage/mixed-media on board 2. Mari French 2016