Welcome to Polly's Blog

Welcome to Polly's Blog
Watercolour, humour, this and that

Wednesday, 26 March 2014


Not very often I feel like painting a flower.  So when I saw this, and Ingrid Ormestad said that I could paint it, I couldn't resist.  Most of you may know I don't like painting flowers.  Well - I enjoyed this one, just a little bit, and it's not too bad.

Thank you http://ingridormestad.blogspot.co.uk. A beautiful artist. Do go to her blog and look at her 30 day challenge paintings especially.

Sunday, 23 March 2014


Yes, you read that right.  I was bludgeoned into doing a 2 hour workshop at our little art club, Churchtown Art Club (we are on facebook check us out).  After people had seen me having fun with Brusho they wanted to try it for themselves. So having plucked up the courage to say I would, I set about organising a plan of compaign, as I didn't want to let them down.

Because there was only two hours, I decided I had to fit in as many techniques as I could. So after explaining what Brusho was and showing some of the work I had done, to show them how versatile it is, I decided to do a pen and wash, which would incorporate wax on an elephant, and some silver birch type trees out of a dark background to demonstrate the use of bleach. You can also just use it like watercolour.

I was soooo nervous I started out by telling them that if they had constipation, then volunteering to do a workshop would work wonders!!!

Ok, so this is how we did it.  We drew an elephant in thick permanent ink (pens from the £1 shop), used wax candle for highlights on the ephalump, and for the grasses.  Sprinkled - sprayed - tilted.  Done and dusted Brusho did it for me.

Second was using pure thick bleach.  Taking care to cover clothes, using separate container for water and old brushes.  We sprinkled (through a hole in the top of the brusho containers) - sprayed - tilted NO DRAWING FIRST - dried and then whoosh, in with brushstrokes of pure bleach, and as if by magic the tree trunks appeared, then some thicker branches and because we had no fine brushes, used cocktail sticks for the thin branches - plus some imagination.

Considering we had to share 2 boxes of brusho with 8 people, it worked really well.  There was quiet concentration and laughter.  They seemed to be having fun. I have had more recruits, and now have to do another two.  Yikes!!!

Please, if you are interested in seeing a quick demo of this wonderful medium, check out Joanne Boon Thomas's Brusho Secrets, ( it shows a short video). There is a DVD and ebook, which are both easy to follow and inpsiring and shows the versatility of this medium. Good pressie to yourself! I had been on a day workshop with her, and used some of the techniques, she generously passes on to all her students and also her enthusiasm for a new and exciting way of painting.

I would like to say a big THANK YOU to her for all the fun I now have using Brusholicious paint.

Sunday, 16 March 2014


Been neglecting my lovely bloggers, and here's the reason why.  I have been engrossed in a Labour of Love. I bought a canvas 2 yrs ago with the aim of trying to paint my very favourite painting - Turner's The Fighting Temeraire.  It has taken me 2 years to pluck up the courage to attempt it.  You see, every time I go to London I spend ages just sitting soaking in this beautiful painting.  I would love to buy it, but it's not for sale! So, I thought I want to see it every day, so why don't I do one for myself.

I very rarely paint in oils, so painting dark to light was difficult.  I used water soluble paints (no turps or lineseed mess) and an imperial size canvas.  I had forgotten you have to wait for each layer to dry, so I had to be patient (difficult for me).  I ran off in four pieces the painting from the National Gallery for copying. I loved looking at every brush stroke of Turner's, trying to see how he painted. Wondering at the colours, the imagination.  I suspect using his finger a lot and sweeping strokes then tiny delicate brush strokes.

Now I soaked in the painting, enjoying every brush stroke, mixing juicy colours with care.  Sometimes I painted a large area, sometimes just a few strokes at a time.  I enjoyed every second.  I wanted to do the very best I could.

The only thing I may change is the sky over the sun, which is too dark.  Otherwise it is better than I could have hoped.  I am so relieved and pleased.  Now I can see it every day.  I can't wait to go to London and see it in pure light and all it's glory.

I want to have it with me when I go to  arty heaven, so that I can show it to Turner, and he can give me a critique of his painting, that I painted from the heart.  Now wouldn't that be something.

Monday, 3 March 2014


While I have been battling away with Abstract I have also been brushoing, if there is such a word.  One quite intricate for me and a flower (yes I said flower me no like painting flowers - oops bad english) and one a challenge which turned out better than I expected.

I painted a Bird of Paradise flower in my A-Z challenge as Xotic flower for 'X' but thought it would make a good brusho painting, because of the vibrant orange.  The bleach wouldn't complete take out the blue, so it has left a lovely texture that was quite by accident!

This is Sharon Whitley's Challenge for February, photograph by Gary Jones
Was going to to it in watercolour, but Brusho called and I listened. Great fun.

Have a lovely week and remember Spring is round the corner for us Northern Hemisphere people.