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Wordsmith's Notebook

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This is Dean writing. My cousin Ray and I have an interest in art and creativity. We’ve decided to pool our skills for some collaborative work together. The first project will focus on the beautiful beach town of Sandown, on the Isle of Wight. Sandown is going through considerable change and development. It’s historic grandeur is evident in the beautiful architecture, much of which is Victorian. This collection aims to take a… Read More

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It has been several months since I have reported on The Art Shack.  As a group, we have been unable to meet since December.  This has been due to the death of my beautiful mum and then the onset of the Coronavirus in the UK and all of the disruption that it has brought to our lives across the country. This does not mean, however, that individual group members have not been… Read More

     I had fully intended to paint my village church, using acrylic.  Bear in mind that the only training I have ever had for art was at school in the 1980’s!  At the last meeting of the little art group, created with friends, earlier this month, I painted what was to be the background wash (is that even what you call it when using acrylic?) and I was pleased with how… Read More

In my latest practice at portraiture, I thought I would try to paint my sister-in-law. She won’t thank me for the end result; something of a caricature and an image that is probably of a version of her twenty years older than she actually is!  That said, I rather like the end result because, for me, it captures her sense of fun.  Anyway, it’s in the eye of the beholder so we… Read More

     A simple, and yet delightfully personal, way to make a gift for someone is to make a scrap book for them.  For example, I am making a gift which is of a small scrap book that will be filled with a selection of themed photos that will, I know, have a lovely meaning for the person I am gifting them to.      All you need are the following items,… Read More

     I have made an artpiece to represent the ‘Admin Team’ of Parkinson’s Road support group in the United Kingdom, myself included, who are a team of volunteers who freely give our time to support others with Parkinson’s and their loved ones and caregivers.  This is done through our Facebook based support groups which have become a wonderful supportive community.     It is not intended as a literal portrayal of… Read More

     Today was the third meeting of The Art Shack; the small group of friends who gather for some creative fun, a communal lunch and the chance to catch up and have a chuckle.  This gathering took place at the home studio of our friends, Helen and Kim.  As ever, with varying life commitments among us, not everyone can make every gathering but those who attended had great fun and we… Read More

     How to cause chaos in your studio space!  I had been thinking of how to personalise a gift for my mother-in-law’s eightieth birthday and decided to create my own hand made gift wrap.  I thought about the options and decided to go with paper marbling.  The marble design on wrapping paper can look quite elegant, if done well.  What I did not know, was that this experience would turn out… Read More

     Back in May, 2019, there was an impromptu gathering of three of us who just happen to be part of our new art and crafts group; The Art Shack.  One of us, Tina, is an established artist while two of us are more hobby artists.  Following the wonderful meal that Tina made, and a glass of wine or three, we set about making sheets of paper! (My cousin, Debbie, and… Read More

     I am dabbling with art, as a hobby.  I always have.  Alongside writing, one of the things that I enjoy, particularly on a relaxing day out somewhere, is to sketch.  I have not done nearly enough of this, in the past five or six years.  I used to love going out for long walks and I would find a lovely place to sit either in a field or by a… Read More