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Blossom Project Ends.

Sadly my Blossom project has come to the end, tiny apples are starting to grow where the flowers blossomed, natures cycle continues……

New blossom paintings fill my studio ready for exhibitions and new places. I am so thankful to all the people who helped me to make it a success, I hope everyone has enjoyed celebrating the blossom season as much as I have.

I will be taking some of the blossom Paintings to Melbourne Arts Festival,Derbyshire 13th and 14th September and they will then be exhibited at Banks Mill Studios, Bridge Street, Derby from 15th September.

Here’s one of the 20 paintings.

Oil paints and gold leaf on canvas 80 x100 cm Victoria Brown

Oil paints and gold leaf on canvas 80 x100 cm Victoria Brown



The six school blossom workshop sessions have all been delivered now, I seem to leave a trail of blossoms everywhere I go! The past two weeks have been frantic preparing, collecting materials and delivering the workshops, I feel tired but relieved 72 children have happily created blossom art.

In the preliminary visits to the schools I shared the process of my blossom paintings showing my sketchbooks and original paintings, talking through the blossom project and techniques I have developed.The children listened attentively and set to work gathering blossom sketches and photos for the blossom sessions. 

Focussing on a project dependent on nature’s timings can be worrying but I realised I should have had faith when I arrived at Cherry Tree Hill school and the blossoms were in full bloom along the roadside. We walked year 5 to stand under the trees to blossom gaze for a while before returning to the classroom to paint.

The children’s art work is wonderful far exceeding any expectations I had, the preliminary visit paid off. Their  paintings are vibrant experimenting with layering the paint creating different effects; textures, patterns and colours.I am delighted with the collection of 14 104 x110cm group canvases plus 15 smaller ones from both schools.

Today at my local school aswell as blossom paintings we created blossom machines, the task was to create a machine which could move the blossom petals in some way. Trying to replicate falling petals or petals being swept up in gusts of wind.Presented with fans and a balloon pump, recycled materials, card, tapes, strings and boxes the year 3 and 4 children worked in groups on their ideas. They were very imaginative and worked incredibly well together. We now have a Blossom Park including a slide which pumps petals down it, a Blossom TV with remote control and a fan which moves the blossom around. Maisy the Machine including a handbag and wash bag, Henry the Blossom Machine has paddles which move the petals. Mary Queen Blossom Machine, King Fred and Spider Blossom Machine which has six drinking straws attached to a container filled with petals.

It amused me how the children wrote signs; back in five minutes/ out of order/ handle with care. Their blossom machine manuals were interesting with clear instructions how to work their machines.

I am always a little nervous how successful the sessions will be, but children always seem to create with great enthusiasm, I just need to present them with creative possibilities and have faith in the process and their innate desire to create things.

All will be on display in my pop up blossom studio at the Quad Derby on Saturday 26th April 2014 11-5pm in the participation room. Free event.

I will also be sharing the Blossom Project outcomes in a workshop at the Quad, Friday 25th April 9.30-3.30pm Please contact me if you wish to book a place.



Spring 2014

Today is the first day of spring, time to celebrate! Blossoms have started to appear recently, however I have been painting blossom in my studio through autumn and winter and my new collection is almost complete.

The blossom project events for this spring have been planned, starting with blossom workshops in primary schools. I introduced the project to the children today and requested help to design a ‘Blossom Machine’ I’m looking forward to seeing their ideas, the work produced during the workshops will be displayed at my Pop up Blossom studio at Derby Quad Sat 26th April in the participation room. Alongside this my paintings will be on display and blossom art activities will be provided.
Finally there will be an exhibition of the paintings at Hardwick Hall 1st-19th May in the Apple store and the South Gazebo.



Blossom Season Over

The blossom season is over, apples have now started to emerge where the blossoms flowered in the orchards at Hardwick Hall. ImageWhen I visited the orchard on 22nd June a strong wind had taken all the delicate white crab apple blossoms the previous week, only a few petals were left on the floor.I feel a huge sense of loss now they are gone, acutely aware of the transient nature of blossom. Exhausted by the frantic few weeks trying to capture their beauty before they disappeared, not being able to control or predict how long they would be here.

However I am thankful for the time spent amongst the trees,the season was very late this year but the blossoms were abundant and I am surprised how I have become strongly connected to this place.I have been filled and nourished with it’s beauty,though still not wanting this ending. Marie Purdy,the Head Gardener and the other National Trust staff and volunteers have been so friendly and helpful, I shall miss them.

I am happy with the emerging paintings and I am looking forward to shutting myself in the studio to give birth to the new Blossom collection. My head, is full of images I want to create and new techniques I wish to explore, so watch this space…… final blo


Blossom paintings Hardwick Hall

Blossom paintings Hardwick Hall

Hardwick regional Outdoors event

Ladies in The Crab Apple Orchard

The Crab apple orchard has been stunning over the past couple of weeks,with branches weighed down with clouds of white blossom.The orchard was so peaceful, a different kind of energy to the first orchard with wild flowers,cow parsley and grasses left to grow freely.The great Hall stood solid in the background.The scent of the blossoms was sweet and mixed with the smell of my linseed oil was heady.When ladies appeared in costume I thought I was imagining things. I worked quickly as the petals were starting to fall around me and I knew time was limited as the blossoms in the apple orchard was already over,I felt deep sadness when I saw it,I have become so attached to this placeImage.I fear the recent winds may have taken the crab apple blossoms now….

Blossom Fizzing

Another blossom painting emerges,bees buzzing all around me.

Another blossom painting emerges,bees buzzing all around me.

The Chaddesden pop up Blossom Studio was a success on Sunday 19th,some fabulous paintings,clay and blossom sculptures created.I was also delighted it was featured on BBC East Midlands today.
At Hardwick Hall the apple blossoms have started to fizz and I have had several days with sunshine and blue skies under the blossoms.It has been blossom heaven! Another three paintings have emerged including one using a new technique.I was fascinated how the shadows from the apple trees created patterns on my blank white canvases,so I started to photograph them every half hour which recorded the changes.I then traced around the shadow with some charcoal and overpainted the blossoms filling in the shadows too,I love the effect and want to develop this further.I am using the oil paint quite thick mixed with a little linseed oil to go on smoothly.
The bees have been incredibly busy and a squirrel joined me one morning and hid behind my large canvas.I have met some very interesting people,there have been many visitors over the Bank Holiday Weekend.I am delighted how many people have created their own orchard postcard picture,adults and children, a couple of pictures have even been signed by Picasso and Van Gogh!

Pop up Blossom Studio Hardwick Hall

Pop up Blossom Studio,Hardwick Hall,Derbyshire

The pop up Blossom studio was open to the public over the holiday weekend.I set it up in the South Gazebo in the gardens at Hardwick.It was beautiful weather and we had over 500 people coming through.My blossom paintings were on display and many children and some adults painted alongside me, then created clay blossom sculptures.Lots of fabulous art work, a two year old did her very first painting,certainly one to be cherished. 


The National Trust’s Hardwick Hall

The National Trust's Hardwick Hall

The orchards at Hardwick are starting to come to life this week, I have been painting the unfurling leaves and some of the first blossoms which have started to appear on a damson tree. Some visitors have taken the opportunity to sketch the orchards with the art materials I bring along with me which is wonderful. I will be displaying these in my Pop up ‘Blossom Studio’ next weekend.
I had a truly inspirational weekend at the’ Flourish’ conference in London where they have launched the ‘Save Childhood Movement’ concerns have been raised on the changing nature of family and community life, looking at the effects of digital technology, the commercial influences of the media and the impact on children’s well -being. Research has shown children’s outdoor play has decreased dramatically and that things need to be done to reconnect adults and children with nature. Outdoor physical play has a vital role in the physical, social and emotional development of young children. There are some brilliant projects which are starting to address the concerns.
The Blossom project is my way to encourage people to go outdoors, stop, take time to look
and appreciate the beauty of blossom, celebrate the natural beauty on our doorsteps.
Please take time to enjoy your blossoms whilst they are here, it is only a short time!
Post your blossom photos or drawings, I’d love to see them.
Or come to my Pop up ‘Blossom Studio’ at National Trust’s Hardwick Hall
Sat 4th,Sun 5th and Mon 6th May 10-5pm,The South Gazebo, Hardwick Hall gardens.
Garden ticket Prices;
Family £15,adult £8,child£3