Saturday, March 11, 2017

Progress in oils - Vicky Park in yellow!

About time I brought you up to date with my efforts in oils.
My first picture eventually suffered from over working; the sheer versatility of the medium seduced me so that I kept on changing things until, frankly, all the freshness and originality that had been in the painting at the beginning had been painted out. 
The efforts which followed went in the same direction, but more slowly. Bearing in mind that I'd never worked in oils before this and you'll understand that I had more than a little to learn!
All the same, lessons with artist and friend, Louise Ellerington, were beginning to get me somewhere, although until lately I didn't know exactly where!
My most recent painting has something interesting in it. I think. It isn't perfect but I'm not ashamed to share it with you! But see what you think for yourself.

Victoria Park in yellow & mauve, by Liz Hewitt, 2017

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Staunton Harold & the Ferrers Centre for Arts & Crafts

What do you do when you need a change of scene but can't afford a holiday? Last week Mitch and I headed out to Staunton Harold near Ashby de la Zouch, to a stately pile not far from the Derbyshire border, long time home to the Shirley family who belatedly became the Earl Ferrers. Hence the name of the very interesting Ferrers Art Gallery located on the site.

The Gallery occupies the Hall's large old red brick stable yard, every corner of the four-sided, three- floored area now taken up with exhibition space and shops selling contemporary British artware, mostly original work and much reflecting the glorious natural world around the Gallery.

Mitch doesn't walk well so sadly she wasn't able to see half of what was on offer, including the upstairs gallery space. But downstairs we found everything from textile work to very high spec jewellery and metalwork, glassware, crockery, fun gifts and ornaments including animals and birds in a variety of mediums and forms. And several places to sit and try delicious cakes!
We were particularly fascinated by the Victorian Model Workshop making and selling mechanical puppets, worked by levers & pulleys and designed for private collectors and commercial customers world-wide. I particularly enjoyed the little faeries with their moving limbs and beating wings and it was no surprise that these were best selling items. Mitch admired the boxed mechanicals for home assembly - DIY animation. Genius! For a glimpse into this animatronic world, see

The full title for this stimulating corner of creative enterprise is the Ferrers Centre for Arts and Crafts. It is owned and run by Rachel Chambers, who is also contemporary craft editor for craft&design magazine. With Rachel's enthusiasm, an exhibition runs continually at the centre, taking up all of the second and third floor space. 

There's little practical help for the disabled in such a building, well, not at present, so it was as well that Mitch was entranced with the craft pieces on display downstairs, some very reasonably priced, while I ventured upstairs to the Gallery proper to view excellent and varied works by the region's best known artists and sculptors. 

Interested in visiting Staunton Harold? The Hall is privately owned but there's a well-stocked garden centre plus cafes and plenty of parking. (Paid parking at weekends). And it's all located in the National Forest.

Nearby is Calke Abbey, a National Trust property well worth a visit, together with the rather special Staunton Harold Church and the Severn Trent-owned Staunton Harold reservoir (with boat club!) Go on a sunny day and see the lot, only wear sensible shoes as there's a lot of walking. 
Tel 01332 863337  
LE65 1RU

Shown are a selection of the art and craft works to be found in Ferrers Gallery.

Friday, January 27, 2017

New retailer, PRETTIEZ of Clarendon Park!

Prettiez, 61B Queens Road, Leicester

Prettiez stocks an eclectic mix of artworks, crafts & gifts; Keeley Clarke (centre)

It's always great to have a new outlet selling my art works and PRETTIEZ at 61B Queens Road, Clarendon Park in Leicester is the latest!

As well as original and reproduction art works, owner Keeley Clarke stocks a wide range of eclectic and fun items, including ethnic clothes and accessories that are perfect for festivals! Her shop has been so well received that in 2012 she was awarded the title of Leicester Market Entrepreneur of the Year! 5 years on Prettiez continues to attract a significant footfall. Well done Keeley!

Keeley shares my love of the joyful and quirky and is (happily!) also now selling a range of my own work, suiting all pockets and tastes. You can pick up something as small as a Leicester Town Hall ‘Red Shoes’ postcard, or a canvas bag, a quirky drawing of Big Ben in a gorgeous box frame or an original painting of Leicester's Turkey Café, all by yours truly!

If you’re stuck for gift ideas then Prettiez is definitely the place to visit!  
Prettiez is also on Facebook & Instagram: Prettiez (@my prettiez)

Friday, December 16, 2016


Up to my armpits in boxes, wrapping paper and sellotape, as so many of us are at this time of year. I really enjoy Christmas but there's no getting away from the fact that it's a strain, on stress levels AND on finances! And SO busy.
Anyway, here's wishing you and yours the BEST possible Christmas! May the big day and all of the coming New Year be as peaceful as you could wish.
Happy Christmas!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A great year for the sale of Lizzy's paintings!

It's been a great year for me at Cank Street Gallery! The sale of three major paintings has been a real achievement! I'm grateful to everyone who's been involved in exhibiting and selling my work; more next year, I promise!
Cank Street is a lovely place to exhibit - the staff are welcoming and helpful to artists and public alike. Owner, Dayle, continues to put her efforts into encouraging local artists, holding shows & exhibitions and inviting those interested along to artist's talks. This year it's been especially nice to meet up regularly with others and to become a consistent part of the art crowd.
I'm indebted to all the collectors of my work and to everyone who continues to support me. You know who you are. Thank you all so much!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sue Graham chats at Leicester's Cank Street Gallery

Sue Graham with her paintings at Leicester's Cank Street Gallery, 22 September 2016

Artist talks are useful and occasionally highly informative events so I was particularly glad to be invited along to a presentation by acclaimed LSA (Leicester Society of Artists) featured artist, Sue Graham.

At Leicester's Cank Street Gallery on 22 September, I discovered that Sue aims to capture light, time and place in her pictures, using Britain's coastline from Norfolk to Cornwall, and in all weather conditions.

Thornham in the Mist by Sue Graham,
oil on paper
Sue paints in oils, an ideal medium to convey mood and demonstrate changes in light. I particularly appreciated her use of the texturing palette knife, and some of her more dramatically dark and moody pictures, which work well, even on a small scale.

To obtain the atmosphere she seeks, Sue sets off very early in the morning to complete at least one picture in a day. Often she uses board instead of canvas, which she says is good for quick work. Sometimes she soaks up the atmosphere before heading to a beach to set up. Once a painting takes off she will stay long into the evening to take advantage of the light and her creative mood.

It was a real pleasure to meet Sue. Check out her recent artworks at

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Having fun in oils!

Warning! New artwork experience! 
I've been doing some painting in a new medium. Oils! 
Strange as it may seem, I never, ever, worked in oils before, even during my fine arts degree course in Derby. I was probably always too keen on watercolour & acrylic... it was a long time ago & I can't remember for sure.
Anyway, with the help of some friends I decided to have a go and the image under is the result! It's based on Leicester's Victoria Park.
The painting has already been through a number of transitions so I doubt it'll look this way for long! Depending on how pleased I am with the end result, when it's completely finished I may post an up to date version of the work. 
Having lots of fun so far!!

Leicester's Vicky Park. By Lizzy Hewitt. Oils. Sept 2016.