We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
"Little Gidding"
T S Eliot

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Lots of fun and a little history ...

The Fearless Four got together recently and we decided to do a mixed media canvas of a bird of paradise.

We all used a 10 x 8 canvas (I used a canvas board), and we had a reference photo to work with.

After painting the background and drawing the outline, I used tissue paper, skeleton leaves and string for the bird and tree branch.

I've had skeleton leaves for more years than I care to remember, and I do use them occasionally, but the quantity never seems to diminish!

All was applied using a little ivory Powertex.

I did try to stick to the bird's actual colouring using various brands of acrylic paint, including some pearlescent.

Once home I added some texture paste and re-painted the background.

And the others? Lin used actual feathers on her bird, but then eventually decided to obliterate them with Powertex as she wasn't happy with it. It is not yet finished, so no photo.

Here is Monica's - I do like the background on this one. I think the blue she has used is closer to the actual colour than mine.

Linda also redid her background, using some crackle paste - I like that gnarled branch!

Another good day! Next time I think we are all doing something different - should be interesting!

Recently had a trip to Eltham Palace, which is in Greenwich (London). For those who like a bit of history, Eltham Palace was once an important royal palace, and one of the few medieval palaces to survive with substantial remains intact. It was large enough to accommodate the entire Tudor court. Under Edward IV (1461-83) significant changes were made, including the addition of  the 1470 great hall which still stands today.

Eltham Palace then went into decline in the early 17th century. In the 1930s Stephen and Virginia Courtauld had a house built for them which adjoined the great hall. The Courtaulds left Eltham in 1944 and the site was occupied by Army educational units until 1992. English Heritage too over the site in 1995, repairing and restoring the 1930s house and gardens. It is now the finest art deco mansion open to the public.

Here are just a few photos to give a flavour ...

The main entrance; the great hall is to the right of the picture.

Inside the great hall, which was restored by the Courtaulds in the 1930s.

The entrance hall with marquetry panels.

The dining room

Virginia Courtauld's bedroom

and the adjoining bathroom - very opulent!

The gardens are very extensive but I loved this wisteria.

Another fabulous day out, pity the sun didn't shine, but you can't have everything!


  1. A bird in the hand

    isn't as pretty as the one you made with your friends. It's fabulous. I love the design and the colors. Even the background shines.

    Ironic that I have wanted skeleton leaves for ages and they are SO expensive where I live. I think you get 10 for about $2.00 (USD) which makes them about 20 cents each.

    Eltham Palace was incredible. I'm amazed at the size of the great hall and how well kept the castle is now. I'm surprised it didn't sustain damage during WWII. It really IS beautiful and I enjoyed the history lesson.

    As for the photo of the grounds, I've been told an overcast day is best for taking outdoor photos.

  2. I'd LOVE to exchange e-mails, but mine isn't public and neither is yours, it seems.

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