Monday, 20 February 2012


The start of a new year is already getting away on me!  The studio has been opened this year for nearly a month now, with classes back into full swing and High Teas being booked and taking place.  I love the start of a new year.  It brings with it so many possibilities, so many lessons learnt from the previous year and a kind of uniqueness that all things are 'new.'  For an old fashioned girl like myself who gets excited about antiques, lace, the next old Royal Albert plate for our collection, 'new' is rather a foreign word for me but when seen through the eyes of new beginnings it takes on a whole new meaning.  Uniqueness is the word that springs to mind.  The start of 2012 is unique.  It has never happened before and it will never come around again, so with this in mind I have decided to look heavenward and say 'bring it on!'  

For our family this year, it is another very exciting one with the wedding of our youngest son.  As I speak, pretty floral fabric squares are being sewn into serviettes to add to the theme of this rustic/country wedding....on the coast.  So another unique experience we will never live through again, as these two adorable hearts are joined as one, is about to take place in just a few weeks.  Isn't love grand?

With classes at Garden Terrace Studio back into full swing I am reminded again of this designation 'unique.'  Two of the beautiful artists that come every week to learn; share; enjoy with a little added frivolilty, along with myself have all been painting the same design.  It never ceases to amaze me how each artist can paint the same design but each piece is unique.  With our own interpretation, gifting, use of paint, brush and likes each piece takes on its unique meaning and look.  That is one of the most important things I try to bring to my classes ~ to encourage the strengths, desires, talents and uniqueness of each artist.  I am often told in class "Cathy, I wish I could paint it like you...." to which I make a quick reply "Oh no you don't, one of me is quite enough ~ paint it like YOU!"  I love the quote that says it beautifully:~

 "Be yourself ~ there is no one better qualified!"

With this in mind take a close look at the three paintings of "Ducks down a county lane."
Kath decided to paint hers on a tray.  Oh how delightful being served a lovely cup of tea with 5 chubby white ducks pearing up at you!  Kath's painting is so charming with the shadow work highlighting the feathers of the ducks being so precise.  Her piece is very country, usefull and depicts the ducks setting off in the morning glow to forage, play and enjoy a summers day.
Estelle also chose a useful piece in painting the ducks on a box which will be given to her sister as a gift ~ what a blessed sister!  Estelle decided to paint each blade of grass individually!  What patience and what an amazing effect.  We were all in awe of her artistic ability:) With an added fence post, pretty sunset and some field flowers Estelle's finished piece is quite different to Kath's, quite 'unique.'
When I painted mine I wanted it to be a little whimsical.  For those of you who know me well you will understand that painting my favourite creature in the universe just had to be right!  I also added a sunset loving the thought of the little ducks heading home after a perfect day on the pond (which is just out of site around the bend at the top of the lane) and added some pretty colourful wildflowers to draw the colours from the sunset and flowers all together.  So three patterns exactly the same but three unique interpretations.  No piece is better than the other, no piece is right or wrong, but each piece is pleasantly unique.

Other art work taking place in the studio this term is a very wise old barn owl where Gail is using texture paste to create a wonderful textured feathered look.  Wendy is continuing on with her Australian Flannel Flower design on a place mat then changeing scene completeley in chosing an underwater ocean scene for a lazy suzanne she was given.  Also flat brush roses with pretty lace from the Advanced Course and a lovely garden scene on the top of a box is making for a very busy but exciting term one.

The first High Tea for the year was such a special one taking place a couple of weeks ago.  A group of amazing ladies all joined together in spoiling one of their lovely friends who was in need of a little cheering up.  These ladies were absoluteley gorgeous dolling up in beautiful bling, bringing love and laugther with them as they enjoyed the 17th C tradition of High Tea, parlour games and viewing 170 Royal Albert Plates.  It's quite amazing that so many ladies that see this collection either own one of them or recognise one of their Aunties, Mother's or Grandmother's plates.  It is always fun hearing their stories as they travel down memory lane. 

Well I must move on ~ the kettle it calling.  It is so nice to be back with you at the start of a new year.  I hope you are feeling encouraged being your unique, beautiful selves and I hope this year is one of great joy and opportunities.  Don't forget you are always welcome at Garden Terrace Studio or if you are wanting something painted for your home or that unique gift you may be needing for someone special, just ask:)

Cathy XXX