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ANN’S BLOG


  • Book launch exhibition-

    The exhibition is hung  and  although I say it myself – I think it’s looking good!  I am prouder of my latest paintings than ever before so I really hope people will like them- as it’s rare for me to say that!  The barn where the exhibition takes place is  a really inspiring venue- being grade 2 listed medieval tithe barn.  The different areas within the barn lend themselves to different subject displays. Some huge, towering walls contain my latest large watercolours of hedgerows  and  trees. Bird paintings fly up the stairs leading to the balcony where my latest prints are hung.  The   country wall series  look appropriate on the lovely Cotswold  stone walls of the barn  and there are separate areas for water and meadow paintings. The cafe walls have a medley of  more intimate, smaller works – largely from my book Watercolour Workshop.

    The good news is – the weather is looking good- although  even in warm weather the barn can be chilly.  If you think you might be tempted to take  a painting home-  please bring a blanket for wrapping  and save the planet from its sea of plastic bubble wrap.  You can always wear the blanket  if you forget your jumper! Also- a reminder that  I don’t have a card facility in the barn so bring cheque book if possible- Sorry to be so old fashioned.  Failing that – just come along and have a look – the gardens   are looking fab… and let’s not forget the cakes…. Hope to see you!

    ‘By the light of the silvery birch’ one of the original paintings in the exhibition

     

     

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  • Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours

    I am thrilled to be sharing with you the news that I have just been elected a member of the RI. This has been a life long ambition of mine and I feel deeply honoured to have been accepted into such a prestigious group of diverse and excellent painters. I am really looking forward to my involvement  with the society over the years to come.  The portfolio of paintings that I submitted as a candidate has now been returned and I shall be framing some of these paintings for inclusion in my forthcoming exhibition. I will write a longer piece about my  long journey towards this moment once my exhibition is over- but for now- I’m off to share some champagne with friends!  www.royalinstituteofpaintersinwatercolours.org

     One of the paintings submitted in a portfolio to the RI to support my candidacy

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Exhibition

    There has been so much happening recently I can hardly keep up with my blogs!   The next big event is my exhibition at Bourton House Gardens in Gloucestershire. It is four years since my last solo show so I am really excited to be back there, celebrating the launch of  my new book ‘Watercolour Workshop’  There will be a lot of paintings on display!  When I put a book together many of the images are kept back  until after publication so many of the images from ‘Watercolour Workshop’  will be for sale at the exhibition as well as  other interpretations. In size they range from full sheets of watercolour paper to little tinies  and as always  some are framed and others in mounts only.  There are also other surprise surfaces and experiments.   Subject wise there are plenty of trees and woodlands, watery scenes, wildflower meadows,   country walls, beehives  birds and butterflies.  There are flowers, sheep and lots of other rustic interpretations with  tangles, textures and a little bit of magic!

    Spring Hawthorn(from ‘Watercolour Workshop)

    I have had a  new range of  greeting cards printed and also some new giclee prints ( The prints will also go online next year)

    I have just received  my first copy of ‘John Blockley – A Retrospective’ so you will be able to see that on display at the exhibition two months in advance of publication! I should get early copies in June and will be taking orders at the exhibition ( as well as online) . My own book ‘Watercolour Workshop will of course be there as well.  The publishers have taken no chances in it selling out  like it did  with my last book (  which had sold out before the book launch!!!) and so I have lots of copies.

    I will be at  the exhibition most of the time so look forward to meeting some of you!  It’s in a gorgeous part of the Cotswolds.  Bourton House gardens are lovely at this time of year and well worth a visit ( the exhibition is free but there is a fee for the garden)   Tea, coffee and lovely cakes are available- Batsford Arboretum is just down the road if you want a larger lunch and of course Moreton in the Marsh is  not far.

    Wifi and phone signals are not reliable in the tithe barn so as in previous years  I will not be able to take cards payments so please bring cheques or cash or  we can arrange bank transfers.

    This year so far has been all about books, magazines and exhibitions  and it has  been very positive. I have had some really lovely messages and feedback . However, I am looking forward to getting back to blogs about inspiration, nature and painting  when all this madness quietens down! That , after all is what it’s all about!

    Book launch Exhibition: The Tithe Barn, Bourton House Gardens, Bourton on the Hill, Gloucestershire, GL56 9AE

    Saturday 5th May to Saturday 12th May 2018 (closed Monday 7th May) 10am to 5pm daily

     

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  • John Blockley RI PS RWS NEAC

    The time has come for me to share my big secret- I have recently compiled another book!   It is with huge pride that I can announce that my publishers commissioned me to write a long overdue  book about the life and paintings of my  late father G. John Blockley  RI PS RWS NEAC.  For those of you who do not know of his work- you are in for a treat! For those of you who are familiar with  it  you will know that John was a visionary and  progressive artist, whose paintings influenced and continue to influence a huge range of other artists across the globe ( including of course- myself!)  He wrote many books about his ways of looking at the world and the techniques that he used to interpret this vision.  Each covered the  different mediums and subjects that he was concerned with at the time.   These books are long out of print and for many years I have been asked by fans where they could obtain copies .

    The commissioning editor of all my books, Cathy Gosling, who I followed from Harper Collins to Batsford books, was also editor  of some of my father’s books.  She was very keen  for me to  compile   this  brand new book and helped me  through  the difficult decision making. We decided to  show the full range of  his artistic legacy- the mediums and subjects, all linked through the practice of drawing. Some of the images are featured in previous books but  a large proportion are previously unpublished and it is visually stunning! Working on two books  in one year has been quite  challenging but I am so excited and proud to have  put this together and feel that in some way it is the final piece of a jigsaw.

     

     John Blockley- A Retrospective is due to be published by Batsford on July 5th. (144 pages- hardback)

    Copies can be pre-ordered from my website shop: www.annblockley.com   

    UPDATE! An advance copy of the book has arrived! It will be available to view at Ann’s Book Launch exhibition and pre-orders can also be made at the exhibition. Early copies should be available in June. 

    Please follow this link or cut and paste to find the  brand NEW  JOHN BLOCKLEY WEBSITE for further information  :    http://johnblockley.com

     

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  • Himalayan foothills

    Just got back from the foothills of the Himalayas walking from village to village. It was a fascinating and humbling experience staying in simple village houses often without electricity or hot water. The walking was challenging  but the  stunning scenery and plants  and  the vibrant and friendly  villagers  tending their land made it a memorable experience.   I have just looked through all my photos and have plenty of predictable ones of the rhododendron flowers with snow capped mountains behind but I rather like  my close up shot of some of the tiny ferns and their skeletons that clung to the mossy branches of the rhododendron trees. I also loved the patterns of colourful saris  used to make fences around the  many small vegetable plots within the terraced  hillside. Now it’s back to  work- I have a really busy  month ahead!

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Artist magazine

    As soon as I posted about my article in the Cotswold Life  the post arrived with the May edition of The Artist magazine! In it there is a compilation of excerpts  from my new book ‘Watercolour Workshops’.  This will be followed in the June edition with another article featuring  new paintings  and text but still following some of the themes in the book.

     

     

     

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  • Cotswold Life magazine

    I have written an article for Cotswold Life about myself and my father’s life and paintings. It is in the April edition and now on sale in  newsagents in and around Gloucestershire for those of you who live locally.It’s called ‘Like father like daughter’ and talks about parallels that have happened – in spite of my every attempts to weave my own path!

     

    April edition Cotswold life- article by Ann Blockley

     

     

     

     

    There will also be articles in the Artist magazine. One is an excerpt from the new book and another with new content. I have also had an  interview  with Artist and Illustrator magazine , who visited my studio recently. I will add updates about publication dates very soon.

     

     

     

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  • Book Review

    Nice book review – Thanks Henry! Glad you liked it!

     

    Henry Malt – book review

      Watercolour workshop- Projects and interpretations

     

    Ann Blockley is one of the most innovative painters around and her work is

    both challenging and inspiring.

    This is one of her most practical books and includes plenty of exercises and

    demonstrations that show you both how she works and how you can get the

    most out of the medium of watercolour. It fully lives up to its subtitle, Projects

    and Interpretations, providing both examples of Ann’s own work and ideas

    for you to work on yourself. Its dedication is to “imagination, integrity and

    interpretation, to being true to yourself”, which I rather like.

    Ann’s style is very much her own and could be difficult to follow if she wasn’t

    so generous with her explanation and instruction. The book is full of advice

    and ideas and really does feel like having her at your side while you work.

    As you would expect, interpretation is the central theme and Ann includes

    photographs of her subjects so that she can show you how ideas develop and

    different approaches can be tried. It’s an illuminating insight into a thoroughly

    creative mind.

    There are four main sections covering Flower and Field, Trees and Hedgerow,

    Landscape Features and, finally, Towards Abstraction. There are six complete

    projects, as well as sidebars, exercises and technical explanations. All the

    main elements of intimate landscape painting are covered.

    This is a beautiful and fascinating book that both stimulates and satisfies the

    creative imagination

    Image from ‘Ann Blockley’s Watercolour Workshop’ book

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • WORLD BOOK DAY- My new book is now officially published!

    It’s World Book Day – so rather appropriate that my new book Watercolour Workshop has officially been published today! Thank you for all the kind words that  many of you have already sent to me after receiving your early signed copies. I really appreciate it. For those of you who have waited for it to be published- there’s plenty more!

    To celebrate the day I thought I would show you a photo of our village ‘library’. My husband renovated the local phone box and put shelves in it so that people could contribute books of all kinds for everyone to share. It’s been a great success and we have really enjoyed seeing folk from all walks of life borrowing and bringing their books. All to encourage people to read. I have to admit I haven’t put a copy of my ‘Watercolour Workshop’ in yet but maybe I will!

     

    Our village ‘library’!

     

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  • Royal Institute of Painters in watercolour (RI)

    I am really pleased that I have had 3 paintings accepted for the annual RI exhibition this year. I have not submitted paintings for a few years due to other commitments so am thrilled to be back! The paintings are all  part of a set of  images that I made as an ongoing project throughout the seasons. I am exploring the ever changing atmosphere and plant life within a  section of ancient hedgerow near my studio. I am enjoying looking at the patterns and textures that the webs and tangles of plant forms make and the abstract shapes made by  light through gaps between these  hedgerow tapestries..  Here is one of my entries  called ‘Teasels in the briar hedge’ .  I have shown some of the stages of its development on the workshop page.  For more details about the RI exhibition please visit my Events page.

     

     

     

     

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