Saturday, 25 October 2014

Autumn Ramble and further fungi .....

Yes, I am back after a short break.  This time of year is certainly a busy one.  The residential course at the Kingcombe Centre in Dorset went very well, the botanical art courses have started at Peter Symonds College AHED in Winchester, and there has also been Saturday workshops happening too !

On top of that I have been trying to find time for my own artwork.  I have several pieces that I am working on for the SBA - The Society of Botanical Artists exhibition, which will be in April next year.  Hand in is in February, so time is running away fast.

When I was wandering around the Kingcombe Meadows Nature Reserve and its surrounds the other week, there were so many subjects that I wanted to paint - in the hedgerows and banks, meadows, woodland and the orchard at the centre too.

The course was concentrating on painting Autumnal fruits, berries and seedheads.  I never plan what will happen with demonstration pieces, but it was enjoyable to keep going with the one I started for the course.  Here it is completed, Autumn Ramble - Kingcombe.

Autumn Ramble - Kingcombe.  © Sarah Morrish 2014

The main subjects we covered during the course included painting rosehips and creating highlights; painting dark coloured fruit and depicting bloom on fruit; mixing browns from 3 colours and how to depict lichens on twigs.

When I returned I taught a print-making workshop at Swanwick Lakes Nature Reserve in Hampshire. What an exciting experience that was for everyone involved, some really dynamic prints were produced !

So, onto my latest picture.  Yes it involves fungi, species that I have found in an area of woodland in the New Forest.  The habitat consists of mainly Beech trees with scattered Oak trees and some boggy areas around the perimeter, with a few coniferous trees present.  Rather than keep you waiting until I finish the painting, I thought I would share each stage with you and tell you a little about some of the fungi I have illustrated.  The fungi on the left is a Russula species.  On the right is a specimen that can look like shiny jelly, especially when it is first forming in small globules.  Its name is Purple Jellydisc Ascocoryne sarcoides.  A saprotrophic fungi is one that lives and feeds on dead organic matter, and this is just what this fungi does, normally found on the deadwood of Beech.

This week coming is half-term, so no botanical art teaching, but on Friday I will be teaching a print-making workshop for 11-16 year olds, so that will be a change of audience.  I will also be preparing for my exhibition which starts on the 4th November.  If you are in the area it would be great to see you !  I will hopefully be painting in the gallery on Thursday 6th November.

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