Colour feast

The oil paints are out of their box, for the first time in years.

I’m experimenting with walnut oil, going solvent-free. I’ve never liked the smell of turps or white spirit, they made me feel sick in the past. But I love the rich colours of oil paint and all the time you get to play with them before they dry.

We’ll see how long these experiments take to dry!

Winter workshops

I’m teaching two workshops at Fife Folk Museum over the next couple of months.

This Saturday 3rd Feb we’ll be practicing mixing colours in watercolour, a great way to break through the short-day gloom. I always find this time of year a bit of a struggle, this not-quite winter cold and dark. A blast of colour always helps. This workshop follows on from last autumn’s ‘Watercolour Landscapes’, inspired by the work of Robert Home who painted in and around Ceres. You don’t need to have attended that one to do ‘Water Colour Mixing’.

On Sat 3rd March we’ll be making the most of the winter twigs before the new leaves start to bud. Using local birch, willow and larch, we’ll learn how to make small coiled and stitched baskets, held together with linen thread and beeswax. As usual, I’ll teach the basic technique and encourage everyone to create their own unique design to take home.

Both workshops cost £10 each, supported by the museum’s Heritage Arts Hub programme.

Book your place by emailing me at: jahendry@sky.com (eight places available in each workshop, first come first served!)

Crab apples

Was it a trick of the light? This afternoon I stood and stared at the yellow fruit under this crab apple tree and the carpet of fallen leaves began to look purple. I can see it in the photograph too. I can guarantee that the leaves on their own looked brown. If this became a painting there would definitely be purple in the brown (apart from the lilac-coloured plastic object I’ve just noticed among the leaves!).

Lovely complementary colours in action.

Water behaviour

One of the teenagers I’m working with in south Fife found this yesterday:


He was so pleased with it. Even more when he found two drops on another cabbage leaf later and showed them to his colleagues. They played with the water the same way I remember playing with mercury at my grandmother’s house (it was the 1960s!), watching the drops of liquid run, bump into each other, join up and separate again. Very satisfying.

Red flannel

For five days days only, Fife Folk Museum is exhibiting nine of the quilts and covers in their amazing collection. From today 25th October until Sunday 29th, you can see these precious textiles hanging in the Museum Annexe and the Weighhouse Tearoom. We finished setting up the exhibition yesterday, a fairly nerve-wracking experience as some of the covers are more than 150 years old and very delicate.

The fabric colours are still bright because they don’t often see the light. This one is my favourite. It is thick, backed with a red woollen material, possibly recycled red flannel petticoats. I love how the maker has used tiny squares of this red in the centre of the big ‘log cabin’ squares.

Other highlights include a bedcover made from woven silk flower cards given away with packets of Kensitas cigarettes in the 1930s, a very modern-looking random pattern cover dated 1890 and a spectacular cube design patchwork made from velvet and silk.

Worth a visit!

http://www.fifefolkmuseum.org