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Please #DrawACatforEllen in memory of wonderful Ellen…

Yesterday (Nov 10th) we received the terrible news which we had all been dreading. The wonderful Ellen has lost her battle against this horrible, evil, brutal disease. She had recovered fully from Breast Cancer shortly after I met her for the first time, where she came all the way to Stratford to see me ‘perform’ with the Reduced Shakespeare Company.

We had been online friends for a long time before that, she even held one of the first ‘Sketchbook Clubs’ at her children’s School. She was always so incredibly supportive and encouraging. Commenting, sharing and endorsing my posts and news.

It’s funny how much you feel you know someone and like someone even before you meet.

We kept in touch after last September and exchanged emails and messages, I hoped that we would meet more often and that I would get to know her family more, as I so enjoyed meeting them in Stratford. 

Then, a bombshell, Ellen’s cancer had returned. In a frighteningly short amount of time, the news went from bad to worse and she posted a ‘statement’ telling us that she did not have long to live.

I was beyond honoured that she chose to come to my All Day Sketchbook Club a few weeks ago. We spent such a fun, relaxing day, drawing and painting and laughing and chatting. It was impossible to comprehend that she may not have had long…

But here’s the extraordinary bit. The really really astonishing bit, the bit where she would say “I had no choice”, or “I am not being brave at all” or “anyone would do the same”, well, I’m not so sure Ellen. 

I am pretty convinced that the last few weeks of your extraordinary life were pretty exceptional. 

Ellen has, in all honestly, changed lives. She has made us, no, insisted on us ENJOYING our lives. Every day. Every second. We are beyond fortunate and immensely privileged to be here. 

Below are the words of Ellen, the very very wise words. Words that I hope we will all adhere to…

“Please go and enjoy today. Grab every f**king second of it. Live it for yourself. Live it fully. Have no stupid regrets. I have none. I have lived a life of love and privilege and even when I’ve been at my lowest and depressed I still had it good compared to many. I made some tough decisions in my life, especially since my initial cancer diagnosis, they helped open my eyes and heart, don’t wait to make those decisions, some I should have done years ago, hindsight is a wonderful but totally useless thing though. I’m ok with that. Clearly wasn’t to be before. But now they’re done I know it was right. Surround yourself with the people who love you not judge you, be proud of your actions and always remember just how bad life is, it’s no one’s fault, but your actions can help improve it. Live a life that you can be proud of, not of the big stuff, but the every day little stuff. Be kind. Because it’ll always come back to you.”

“Go on that holiday, learn sign language, draw a cat, ditch the d*ck heads, spend time with your chosen ones, your chosen family, your favourite family. And just really enjoy every minute.”

So, just for Ellen, here is a very special #Sketchbookclub 

She urged us to “Draw a Cat” (which made me really laugh) so I have put together a transfer sheet and instructions, it doesn’t include a video this time as I wanted to get this out quickly, so it is only £2.50 but EVERY penny will go to Cancer Research.

I hope you enjoy drawing your cats, she would be delighted that you’re trying something new and enjoying the moment.

GOOD LUCK 

#DrawACatforEllen (Link here)

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A Sketchbook Club FREEBIE! A Nature Table Watercolour Tutorial just for you. xxx

Hello!!

This is something I have been thinking of doing for a while.

My passionate belief that EVERYONE can create masterpieces has made me want to share this with as many of you as possible. Plus, Autumn is my absolute favourite time of year and I really could’t wait to show you these tips and tricks in order for you to create your own beautiful Autumnal artwork and in the process, begin to truly understand the magic of Watercolors…

So, let’s get started!

You will need the following materials…

  • Watercolour Set
  • Coloured Pencils
  • Tissues
  • Cotton Wool Buds
  • A Needle
  • Size 1 paint brush
  • Size 6 paint brush

Here is my little video talking you through the process (and even having a good old forage in my garden!)….

Either use the reference sheets with all the beautiful Autumnal images below (just print them out by selecting them and hitting print!), or have a good forage for some leaves etc. to draw in the actual great outdoors!

Here are some written instructions too….

  1. Start by either drawing around a real leaf or copying one from the reference.
  2. Fill the leaf drawing with a generous wash of clean water (using your bigger brush), then immediately add blobs of Autumnal colours, letting them run wild and merge together.
  3. When the paint isstill wet, gently scratch in all the little veins using a needle.
    The hardest bit is to now leave it alone to dry!
  4. Now start on your next drawing, follow some of my watercolour techniques in the film, remembering to leave things alone and revisit them when they are dry to work on them further.
    This is the nature of Watercolours. The more left to their own devices, the more they can work their wonderful watery magic!
  5. Treat your Sketchbook spread’s composition like a fabric repeat, each drawing should have the same amount of space around it and if there is a large empty space, depending on the gap, either draw in a little leaf or another painting.
  6. When your paint is dry, it might be a nice idea to add some more detail and colour using coloured pencils. This is great for the leaves of a carrot, or for the blush of an apple for example.
    If you have chosen to paint the toadstool, when your solid red watercolour base is dry, use your thin brush to paint in the little white dots with some thick white Gouache.
  7. You might like to add a few highlights wth the white paint too, it really brings berries to life and is lovely for a small shine on an apple or pumpkin.

And there you have it! I really hope I have shown you just how fabulous Watercolours can be.

One of the best things about them, is that they are totally portable, so hopefully you can use them out and about. You could even try drawing some leaves in situ in the winter sun! xxx

 

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Sketchbook Club At The Good Life Experience festival 2017!

Wow! What an incredible weekend! Our third time at the wonderful Good Life Experience festival and our best yet.

This time we had our own big tent…

We were INSANELY busy from the very second we opened at 2pm on Friday (My Birthday, woohoo!) to 6pm on Sunday evening when it was finally time to drive home. My tent was always full of delightful, smiley and gorgeous children, parents and grandparents. Everyone had a go!

We loved every minute! There was some extraordinary talent, I couldn’t believe some of the stunning works of art produced at the festival.

Can you spot yourself in THE SKETCHBOOK CLUB HALL OF FAME???

I really hope you all keep on ‘Sketchbooking’ folks! Don’t forget to show me your creations! See you soon and lots of love from Jennie xxxxx

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Thank you Menai Holiday Cottages!

Those that know me know that I absolutely love Anglesey, my Grandparents lived there and my Mother is now an Artist in residence in the little village of Llangoed by the sea.

sus_bridge5

A while ago I wrote about a Visit to Nain’s House on my Blog, this was read by a lovely lady called Sarah Lloyd, who works for Menai Holiday Cottages. We stayed in one of their beautiful houses one year, it was absolutely perfect, I couldn’t fault it!

Sarah contacted me to ask if we could have a chat about ways in which we could work together, given my love for the area. I asked if it might be possible to hold a Sketchbook Club for them, so this is what we are doing, hooray! On May 31st at the beautiful Out Buildings, we are holding an exclusive onhealthy.net workshop for the residences of all the holiday cottages throughout North Wales.

Not only will everybody (40-50 people!) be creating a beautiful spread in their sketchbooks of Menai Bridge, but they will also take away with them a full and detailed ‘brief’ instructing them how to complete their sketchbooks. Full of suggestions of where to sit and paint around the island and fun ideas that don’t involve any drawing at all!

Sarah has written a beautiful Blog Post and has contacted all the locals and residences about the workshop as it is first come first served…

menai Holiday Cottages

I hope to see you there if you’re lucky enough to be staying in one of their properties and can’t wait to get you all sketching!

xxx

Jennie

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Hooray for The Guardian!

We LOVE The Guardian, always have and always will. We especially love Kate Carter who has championed our cause right from the start, I am eternally grateful for her support.

This Christmas, Kate selected my Online Sketchbook Club to be featured in her line up of best Subscription gifts; we were INUNDATED, it has been incredible.

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that so many of you are taking part and creating Sketchbooks again, it makes me feel SO happy.

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So, a very big welcome to you all… I can’t wait to see your creations! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #sketchbookclub (and the relevant module’s hashtag too) so we can all see what you do.

We’re all in this together, I am here for you; either via instagram, twitter or email (contact@jenniemaizels.com), I will always answer any questions, give feedback or support whenever you need me 🙂

Good Luck everyone and THANK YOU Kate and The Guardian!

xxx

Jennie