All posts by Stephen Martyn

Demonstrating at Wymondham

A few days ago I drove over to the pleasant town of Wymondham, Norfolk, which is home to the Wymondham Art Society. It was an evening watercolour demonstration and I had been asked to do a coastal scene in the Style of Edward Seago. I’m a great fan of Seago’s watercolour paintings, they look so simple, but they’re not. Everything is designed to create the atmosphere that the artist was seeking and executed with minimal brush strokes and a very limited palette of colours. Seago’s skill at making the mark with the brush is legendary, but I did my best to show his techniques.

I was made very welcome at Wymondham and there was a jolly good crowd of fellow artists there, so obviously the Society is thriving. Lots of interest in Seago’s techniques and generally a very lively evening. Thank you all, I look forward to seeing you again in the future!

New Paintings for autumn 2023

I’ve been busy in my garden studio over the past month or two and the reason is, of course, that I’ve got an exhibition coming up! Here are a selection of images of new paintings that I will be showing at the Five Painters exhibition, where I will be sharing the space in Thornham Village Hall, Norfolk, with four of my artist friends. The show runs for two days, Saturday and Sunday 7th and 8th October, open each day from 10am until 5pm. Admission is free, although we will be fundraising for the local Stroke Association group, so please be generous with your donations.

There’s much more to see from all the artists, so do call in if you’re in the area. The hall is on the Main Road at Thornham, North Norfolk, PE36 6LX, just adjacent to the popular Thornham Deli and shop. Look forward to seeing you!

Big Skies

The West Norfolk Artists Association summer exhibition is running now, in the splendid venue of St Nicholas Chapel, St Ann’s Street, King’s Lynn. This year I have three watercolours on show there, one a beach scene and two very much ‘big sky’ paintings. It’s been a while since I produced any new paintings in this style and I hope you enjoy them – the exhibition continues over the Bank Holiday weekend, closing at 4pm on Monday 29th August. Admission to the historic Chapel is free and it is open each day from 10am until 4pm.

Watching the Tide, Heacham. Watercolour 53 x 43cms.
Clouds Swirling Over Burnham Overy Staithe. Watercolour 56 x 46cms.
Rain Coming! the Wash from Snettisham. Watercolour 56 x 46cms.

Autumn Winds

The West Norfolk Artists Association’s autumn exhibition has just started it two week run at the Fermoy Gallery, King’s Lynn. For those unfamiliar with the venue, it is in the courtyard behind the Guildhall in King Street, just a short way along from Tuesday Market Place. Go through the archway and down the courtyard, passing the vaccination centre (unless you need to pop in for a jab!) and you will see the gallery on your right.

I have two small works on display this year, with the titles of Autumn Winds 1 and Autumn Winds 2. Rather appropriate given the recent weather! The paintings are in a combination of watercolour and Indian ink, which I hope makes them quite striking.

The exhibition runs until Saturday 11th December and is open every day from 10.00am until 4.00pm. Margaret and I will be “on duty” this afternoon (Sunday 28th November) and next Sunday (5th December), so do pop in if you have a chance. There are over 80 works on show and the exhibition is really well worth a look.

Autumn Winds 2 – 8ins x 6ins – Watercolour and Indian Ink
Autumn Winds 1 – 8ins x 6ins – Watercolour and Indian ink

Rainy Day Paintings

By way of something different, I decided to do a series of urban scenes, with a ‘rainy day’ theme. This isn’t a new idea for me, I did a rainy evening in Lisbon painting a while ago which swiftly sold, but this is the first time I’ve painted scenes of King’s Lynn in this way.

I still feel that I’m finding my way with this subject but nonetheless I was reasonably pleased with my efforts. They also met with approval from the Selectors of the West Norfolk Artists Association exhibition which is currently running in St Nicholas Chapel, King’s Lynn. All three paintings were selected and you can see them along with some 200 other fine artworks until 1.00pm on Tuesday 3rd September 2019. The exhibition is open every day from 10.30am – 4.30pm, except on the last day when it closes early to allow for the take-down during the afternoon.

King's Lynn Custom house rainy day painting
Rainy Day, King’s Lynn. Custom House. Watercolour 14ins x 14ins.

St Nicholas Chapel Kings Lynn rainy day painting
Rainy Day, King’s Lynn. St Nicholas Chapel. Watercolour 14ins x 10ins.

King Street Kings Lynn rainy day painting
Rainy Day, King’s Lynn. King Street. Watercolour 14ins x 10ins.

Art Trail and New Paintings

The Dersingham Art Trail will be opening this weekend, as part of the annual Dersingham Open Gardens event. Around fourteen artists will be taking part, including myself, of course! The Open Gardens event is a fund-raiser for the new Village Centre and for St Nicholas Church, and usually raises a substantial amount each year. Tickets costs £5 on the day from the Village Centre, 83 Manor Road, Dersingham, PE31 6LN, or you can save a £1 by buying in advance from Dersingham Post Office.

Most of the artists taking part are opening their gardens too, so there’s plenty to see. Your ticket will get you a programme and a map with all the details.

Here at Alexandra Close, Margaret has been busy in the garden and it’s looking good, with a riot of colour. Meanwhile, I have got some new paintings to show, plus prints and greetings cards. Do come and have a look and a chat!

11.00am – 5.00pm Sunday and Monday 26th – 27th May 2019.

Sunset at Thornham Harbour
Sunset at Thornham, in a bygone era. Watercolour 22ins x 15ins.

Early Evening, Thornham Harbour
Early Evening, Thornham Harbour. Watercolour 22ins x 15ins.

Paint a Lincolnshire Church

My artist friend Jane Ford emailed me recently, about an Art Competition to paint a view of a Lincolnshire church. There are some nice prizes to be won and your work can be in any medium. Perhaps the best thing is that all accepted entries will be hung in the exhibition of Competition work, so your fame is guaranteed! This is an annual competition and had proved very popular

There are links below to the competition details and to the entry form. These links open PDF files. Why not have a go, I may well do so myself and will post my efforts here in due course. By the way, you can also find the entry form and more information on the Lincolnshire Churches Trust website.

Link to Lincolnshire Churches Competition poster

Link to Competition Entry Form

Working on Winter Trees

I’ve been busy with various projects here in the studio, so I haven’t had much time to just make paintings for me. However, a couple of winter tree scenes have fallen off my brush in the past few weeks and you can see them here.

Shadows in the Lane
Shadows in the Lane. Watercolour 15ins x 11ins. on Arches 140lb rough paper.

Both watercolours feature a very limited palette of colours. Shadows in the Lane uses Prussian Blue, contrasted with an orange mixed from Burnt Sienna and Lemon Yellow. Blue and Orange are two of my favourite complementary colours.

Sandringham Winter Trees is French Ultramarine Blue based, with touches of Burnt Sienna, Alizarin Crimson and Quinacridone Gold.

Sandringham Winter Trees
Sandringham Winter Trees. Watercolour 15ins x 11ins on Arches 140lb rough paper.

These are simple compositions, but they still need careful thinking about colour, tone and brushwork. Feel free to have a go at something similar yourself!

End of another year of Art

Yes, it’s the 31st December, so this will definitely be my last post of 2018! The Dersingham Art Trail went well and I sold a painting – not one of my new works but one that I painted a couple of years ago which, unusually for me, is a still life. Well, I suppose it’s a still life as it does show a bit of action in the kitchen!

Watercolour painting of cooking on a stove
Cooking on Gas! Watercolour, 8ins square

Other good things from the Art Trail weekend were an order for several prints of my work, and a commission for a painting of . . . ah well I can’t tell you yet, as it’s a surprise gift. I will show you the finished work when it’s been delivered, but I’ve been working on it in the studio today and it’s coming together now. Another session or two and it will be ready for framing, I hope!

Finally, to artists and art lovers everywhere, a very Happy New Year and may 2019 bring you everything you wish for.

New Works for the Art Trail

As you may have noticed, there haven’t been many new Blog posts lately. That’s because, apart from a bit of teaching, art has had to take a back seat for the past several months due to my involvement with the new Dersingham Village Centre, or village hall. The Centre is open now and I’m sure there will be art exhibitions there at some point in the future, but there’s still a lot of work to do, as with any new building.

Painting of High Force Teesdale
High Force waterfall, Teesdale. Watercolour 15ins x 11ins.

However, the end of the year is always Art Trail time, with the Dersingham Art Trail members opening their studios to welcome visitors. This year’s event was last weekend and in the couple of weeks or so before it I managed to squeeze in some time in the studio to make a few new watercolour paintings to show. You can see them here, a couple of scenes from favourite locations in the North of England and one much closer to home, the Norfolk village of Great Massingham. The three paintings shown here are all for sale, so do get in touch if you’re interested. Or just enjoy looking at them!

painting of snow at Great Massingham
Snow at Great Massingham. Watercolour 15ins x 11ins.







Painting of river Esk, Cumbria
Rushing Waters, Eskdale, Cumbria