Fluid Lines, Floral Structure

The Flower Shop at Silverbirch – Clyde Valley

There’s a new florist in the Clyde Valley. It’s exciting to witness this new business appear. The Flower Shop at Silverbirch (Silverbirch Garden Centre), is full of life and colour and only a few minutes from where we live in Hazelbank.

It’s all the more exciting for me as my new body of expressive flower work is now on the walls and available to buy from The Flower Shop at Silverbirch.

As artists, we are always looking for outlets to support and collaborate with us at various stages of our work. These last few years it has felt like many doors have closed; to have some open up feels so encouraging! I would like to extend a big thank you and a warm welcome to the Clyde Valley to @john_gold_floristry for giving me this opportunity to share and sell my new work.

Summer Garden Extravaganza workshop at Paintbox School of Art, Cockenzie

You might be wondering how I’ve moved from drawing buildings to flowers. In short it’s in response to living on an orchard and wanting to express the vitality of the plant world. As ever, Paintbox – the art school by the sea, was there with a four day workshop ‘Garden Extravaganza’ where we immersed ourselves in the structure, textures, colour and variety of the gardens at Cockenzie House.

Jemma Derbyshire and Robin Wu – Paintbox tutors

There’s a clear process as to how to approach a subject at Paintbox – I like the structure of the exploration – settling into a particular place in the gardens, responding to colours, forms, textures, shape, line and movement and simplifying what we experience into bold black and white drawings at a big scale – then moving along. Here we were given a 4 leaf concertina sketch book, each page A2 in size. We prepared the paper with white emulsion paint to give a tooth and texture.

Large scale concertina sketchbook for black and white studies

Things move at quite a pace and next up are some fast colour plays on what we have experienced to make material for collage. It also makes a great surface to cut down into a small concertina sketchbook – everything has a use!

Hanging our work out to dry in the garden

Next along was to find details from our black and white explorations that called for further development. I loved the sea thistle and so we looked at several colour palettes adding in our collage material as a disruptor.

Exploring colour palettes for our subjects

Here you can see how these giant drawings of nasturtium leaves serve to form the base of these paintings – the flat round leaves forming a contrast to the wild lines of the sea thistles.

Foxgloves are a favourite of mine as they appear in the warmth of summer with their vibrant pinks contrasting against rich purples of the undergrowth.

We taped off sections and worked freely on large sheets of paper. Although time ran out, I knew what to work on when I got back home.

‘Sea Thistle Morning’ (top) White Swans (left) and Summer Dew (right)’

It’s always a highlight to see the work finished, cropped, framed and named.

‘White Swans’

Many thanks to John Gold for the thoughtful display – here are a few on the walls.

‘White Swans’ and ‘Summer Dew’ framed and on the walls of The Flower Shop at Silverbirch
‘Jubilant Geraniums’

Silverbirch Garden Centre is a great destination here in the Clyde Valley and the Flower Shop is located right beside the main entrance, open Tuesday to Sundays, 10-4. If you are in the area – why not call in?

Thanks for reading

Ronnie 🙂

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