Art Studio and Life #19 featuring artworks and painting

pink rhododendron flower

It is absolutely freezing here today, with a dusting of snow on the distant hills. The weather app says it is 4 degrees feels like -2 degrees.

I used to assume that the ‘feels like’ part was calculated based on wind chill, but one day it was still as here, and the weather was 7 feels like 3. How do they know it feels like 3? Does someone tell them? Perhaps they ring up someone’s granny to ask how she feels every day…

Still, the rhododendron thinks spring is here.

And we have been out partying. My husband and I went to a 70s themed birthday party recently. My beloved looked more 80s than 70s, with a blonde Rod Stewart wig, gold chain and fake arm tattoos. He made quite a stir as we crossed the zebra crossing and walked through a pub to the venue. It was great, really like dating a celeb. We had fun dancing to some quite non-descript music, with a few big 70s hits on repeat. Can you guess which ones?

Yup, YMCA, Saturday Night Fever, and Dancing Queen (Did you guess right?)

Hot date

I’m an Eighties and pop fan myself (and classical music for painting), but music is a touchy subject, so I need to tread warily here. Most of us have music that we love, and some other music that we think is awful. One man’s meat is another man’s poison etc. The problem comes when you are forced to listen to someone else’s meat. I quite liked my Father’s Elvis collection, but unfortunately, he went through several other phases. Pavarotti singing Nessun Dormer, which translated means ‘let no one sleep.’ No Kidding. No one could, unless they were deaf.

That was followed by Irish music. Those people were seriously depressed, and they certainly didn’t keep it to themselves. “…I’ll take you home again Kathleen…” Great idea. And please do it quietly.

Then it was Country and Western. And not the Shania Twain kind either. And he played it on repeat…

Words fail me. Or rather, I am censoring my words.

The Gambler “…know when to walk away, know when to run…”  Now. Start running now.

“To all the girls I’ve loved before…” Oh, please. Shoot me now.

Or Willie Nelson’s “Mamma don’t let your Babies grow up to be Cowboys” Yes, indeed. True that. You said it, not me.

But then, I in turn, forced my Dad to listen to Madonna and Def Leppard, so perhaps it almost evened out.

But not quite, because, unlike me, he had the power of veto and could tell me to “turn that racket off.”

Our eldest carries on the keen family love of music, by writing and recording his own music and is planning on studying Music Production at Uni next year, and, thankfully, this Mamma’s babies ain’t cowboys, so he ain’t writin’ no good ol’ Country and Western.  

Now, for your delectation, some studio snapshots:

block in underpainting
  1. Change your mind about where you want the slice of lime to go
  2. Paint over the underpainting, and paint the rind using a rough brush to create texture
how to paint a slice of lime

3. Figure out where the segments will be. Note to self, they are symmetrical in number, but not necessarily the same size

4. Block in the fruit cells with many stokes of different colour

5. Glaze over it with a transparent layer with a hint of white, and add highlights

6. Drink more coffee (and water, if you are still being good)

7. Clean your brushes, or you will be sorry

So dear friends, this weekend may you keep warm (if you are in the Southern hemisphere), or plunge your body into some water (if you are in the Northern hemisphere)! May you listen to the music of your choice! And may you DANCE!

XX Barbie

classical art meme


  1. Jean Rhoades

    Oooo, my mouth is watering with the juiciness of the lime!
    I’m interested to know why you glaze over the painting with a transparent layer, containing a hint of white. Does it give the paint an added lift?

    • Barbara Podmore

      Great question Jean. The glaze was to mute vivid strokes of colour, because there are so many layers of semi-transparent cells in citrus that they kind of blend in together. I only use glazes to blend or unify colour, so I don’t use them often. Some artists just paint transparent layers – watercolour paint works like that, which is why I think it is the hardest medium!

  2. Laurie Thompson

    Barbie – you are hysterical!! I love love love your sense of humour!
    And your painting! Giving me some great lessons there Girl!
    Wish you were closer so I could come to paint with you and learn – and have a delicious catch- up!
    Stay warm!!
    Love me

    • Barbara Podmore

      Glad you find them funny and helpful, honey! Result! Yes, I would love to visit your beautiful home and garden and paint together – like when you taught me fabric painting. Someday…

  3. Sam