OUR GALLERY ON THE SEA …

sbs-moonlightWelcome to our online studio where we record some of our creative work.

Please click on the tabs above to view each gallery.

We’ve just opened a land-based studio where we can work and hold drawing and watercolour classes. Our sailing studio is still very much part of our lives and is our warm and welcoming home every evening.

THE ART CLASS

The Art Class  We are privileged to meet really lovely people through our art classes and many of them have become our friends. When we were in Spain we spent a couple of winters in the Mar Menor and gave art classes in La Manga. The hours ashore with those enthusiastic students led to the creation of a pastel drawing called ‘The Art Class’, a fun piece to remind ourselves of our time in Spain.

Starting from scratch in a fresh place where we know few people is nothing new for us: when you choose to travel the world on your own boat it’s what you expect and we have ‘started again’ many times. The difference this time is that we have taken on ‘premises’ with monthly commitments of rent and utilities. The studio has to pay its way and we have to learn how to market ourselves. So we’re studying business marketing, a deep learning curve, especially when it comes to online tools like social media. We’ve been thrown into the deep end, we have to learn new strokes to stay afloat and the water is cold.

Right … we have a pastel drawing and some marketing, where to next? Well, we decide to put them together to increase our visibility in the area. As the local art shop/gallery has agreed to advertise our classes in their window we take a chance that they might consider expanding their offer to include the pastel drawing as part of the visual enticement to get people to come to class with us. So we find an old frame, mat and mount up the picture and take it to the art shop along with our advertising poster.

The response to the pastel is so enthusiastic it feels like being dunked in warm chocolate and left in a field of wild flowers.

“But,” the shop owner says, “get rid of the awful frame and give me a price. It’ll go quick.”

“It’s not really for sale,” we reply, “it’s a marketing tool.”

“Make it for sale … get some prints done.”

Good grief! We’re very serious about so much of our work and here we have a whimsical little drawing that’s getting far more attention than we expected. What do we do?

  1. Take ‘The Art Class’ to the fine art printers for scanning.
  2. Order a frame and present ‘The Art Class’ in the best way possible.
  3. Get ‘The Art Class’ in the window to do its job of attracting new clients.
  4. Think how rice and peas can be a great daily meal until we fill the hole left in our budget.
  5. Thank our lovely friends in Spain, especially Angie who is such a meerkat enthusiast.

If you’re a meerkat enthusiast or an art lover, an art buyer or philanthropist or anyone who wants to have a better look at ‘The Art Class’ click here and you’ll be whizzed over to the Gallery page on our website where you’ll find the original drawing for sale and prints to order. Cards will be available soon.

 

 

 

 

Sailing is for the Birds – 2

seagullThe sun was dipping into the great Atlantic Ocean that stretched away to the west. Our sturdy vessel romped along at 7 knots under reduced canvas. The seas were painted orange and deepest indigo, the wind was steady out of the northeast. Off to our east was the unseen coast of Portugal, indicated only by a ridge of cloud above the haze of evening. We were sailing offshore on a converging course with the shallowing water along the coast south of us, aiming for the passage between the mainland and Berlenga Grande Island. At our speed and with the current helping us along, our passage planning had us there for first light and we would transit the channel long before the start of the busy ferry traffic to the popular tourist island.

The boat was squared away for the night and we were relaxed in the cockpit watching the changing colours of the sunset as we enjoyed our evening meal. We were chatting companionably, when, above the sound of the sea and our passage through the waves, we heard a splashing commotion. We turned to see a small flock of seagulls attacking something in the water. Seagulls are generally quite garrulous and it struck us how silent these birds were as they assaulted their target, viciously tearing it to pieces. We could see feathers floating on the water and we got the binoculars for a closer look.

All at once a dark shadow flapped about above our boat and after a couple of attempts it managed to land on the cockpit bimini. It was a pigeon, hardly able to stand with exhaustion and the difficulty of the slanting surface. As we blinked at this uninvited guest another joined it and then a third bird fluttered down alongside. In the fading evening we saw more pigeons off our port quarter. Their flight was butterfly-like, a sort of lifting and falling and we realised that they were trying to land on the water yet too afraid of the running seas. Meanwhile the seagulls hovered nearby, taking off from the water to harass the dipping pigeons and dash them into the sea. The exhausted birds were being swept along by the wind and the few who had any strength circled around to land on the oasis of our boat. The majority was pushed past us to a watery end, food for the gulls or the fish.

Our visitors showed no fear as we offered them an assortment of crumbs and seeds but it was water that they needed, thrusting head and neck into the glasses we held for them, stretching their gullets to let the water run down into their dehydrated bodies, dunking their bills again and again. Each bird had a leg ring and we jotted down some of the numbers, thinking that we might find out where they had come from, where they were going. Racing pigeons, obviously, blown off course by the strong offshore wind. We left the food out for them, regretting it later as they deposited the digested remains everywhere.

Our watches through the night had us checking frequently on the welfare of our guests. There were about 15 pigeons, perched on the dinghy and the booms, standing about on the cockpit coaming and bimini, some fast asleep in the armpit of their wings, others restless and watchful, dark eyes glittering in our torchlight.

As we approached the early hours and the coast we started to see the faint glimmer of land lights and our attention was focused on navigation and the approach of the Berlenga passage. Not to the extent that we missed the first soft ‘crrr’, soon taken up by more of the pigeons who preened and stretched their wings. As the darkness lifted so too did one bird. He rose off the boom and started circling the boat and in a rush the others did too. They joined him in his circling and then they left, the small flock heading to the land close by. We watched them until we could no longer make them out in the dawn. Then we turned to the task of navigating the channel. Cleaning up the mess could come later.

JANUARY CLASSES

Miles

Miles teaching in South Africa

Wishing you all a joyful and abundant 2016!

Our January classes are now scheduled and we look forward to welcoming new friends to our studio in Alverstoke, Hampshire, UK.  Booking is essential as places are limited. Please email info@studiobluesea.com, call/text Pippa 07402 332676 or stop by the gallery upstairs at Darcey’s, 47 Village Road, Alverstoke, PO12 2LD. Please join our mailing list by emailing us, leaping aboard here or following us on Twitter @StudioBlueSea

 

TUESDAY DRAWING GROUP – every Tuesday starting 12th January

Morning Group – 10h30 to 12h30 – £12

Afternoon Group – 14h00 to 16h00 – £12

A fun and friendly class for all skill levels; beginners welcome. Please bring a drawing book and 2B pencil and other media you may wish to use. A2 paper and black Conte crayons are available in the studio.

STRUCTURED WATERCOLOUR – alternate Saturdays starting 23rd January

10h00 – 12h00, Saturday, 23rd January – £12
(And then 6th and 20th February etc.)

For beginners or anyone wishing to increase their skills. An email will be sent to you with a sketch of the subject. You will use this to prepare your watercolour paper ready for the class. Every class will have a new theme and you’ll learn how to paint water, fire, nature etc.

WATERCOLOUR WORKSHOP – last Saturday of the month

10h00 – 14h30, Saturday, 30th January – £50

A class for more experienced painters who wish to work on or complete their own work with the help of a tutor. This is a 4-hour workshop with a break for lunch. Numbers are limited so please book early.

LIFE DRAWING CLASS – starting soon

l6

Life Drawing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Apple Orchard, Buckler’s Hard

FSCN0754We’ve spent a couple of winters in the Beaulieu River, tied to the piles off the tiny tourist attraction of Buckler’s Hard. There’s a range of interesting things to sketch in the area and the wider surrounds of the New Forest offer a jewel-case of colours and textures to the creatively inclined. You may remember this post and the pencil sketch of the dovecot; that charming avian dwelling stands in the ancient apple orchard at Buckler’s Hard, the scene now captured in watercolour. More paintings of Buckler’s Hard are underway: part of our ‘Places We’ve Been, Places We’ve Seen’ series.

Hello, we’re back on the blog!

Studio 1Does this look like a boat to you? It could be a huge houseboat but it’s not! You’re right … it’s certainly not a structure on the water. What it is, in fact, is … if I was an LBC presenter I’d be saying that I’ll tell you after the news. Well, this is the news and the news is that we have our very own, gigantic (to us, anyway) studio! Yes, folks, Miles and Pippa go out to work every day. Now, instead of having to clear up the mess in the evening so we can cook and eat and have somewhere to sleep we just close and lock that door and go home to our boat where we cook and eat and have our warm and cosy bunk to sleep in. And the next day the mess is exactly where we left it so it’s easy to pick up the paintbrush and continue on with the work.

Shop 1The good news doesn’t stop there either because attached to the studio is a small office. We’ve turned this into a shop and are selling our work directly.  The photo of our shop shows a view through the door of the upstairs room of a lovely little coffee shop and that’s how you would find us when you come looking. We’re in the 17th century village of Alverstoke in Hampshire, UK, a charming hamlet with touches of ruination by one council or another. Our  neighbour, Darcey, allows us to open our shop door into her tea room which is very fortuitous as she has the most scrumptious eats in the south of England, in our opinion, anyway!

Come and visit; you’ll find Studio Blues Sea upstairs at Darcey’s, 47 Village Road, Alverstoke, PO12 2LD, UK. And as Darcey needs to be open when you come round her hours are 09h00 to 17h00 Tuesday to Saturday.

 

New Year Notebooks

NotebooksThese marbled-cover, Coptic-bound notebooks were snapped up by buyers at a Christmas market last month. Let’s hope they help their new owners to keep their New Year resolutions, never forget what to buy at the shops, remember dreams, and give joy each time they are handled.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS

XMAS CARD 2014