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artist's blog

March 2021

”A poem, illustrations, and virtual workshop”

A while back, I was privileged to be asked by published author and poet, Stephen Cartmell, to illustrate a poem he had been working on. Here is the first of eight installments of this poem, together with some of the illustrations. Watch out for more every couple of weeks within this Blog page.

Aimed at all ages from five to ninety-five – read aloud for maximum effect – we both hope you enjoy them.

"The War of Words and Worse………"
Stephen Cartmell
Illustrated by Jackie Devereux

Organized by Missenden School of Creative Arts 
Wednesday 24 March 2021

Watercolour reclamation workshop for all levels
with Jackie Devereux


If you are seriously wanting to move forward with your watercolour painting, try taking a ‘playful’ approach to help unlock your inner artist!

During this 2-hour online workshop you will be concentrating on really getting to know your materials ‘inside out’.

We shall be re-claiming anything and everything that hopefully you have not already assigned to the waste bin.

By taking another look at exercises you have done in the past, we may well be cutting them up, possibly stitching them up, gluing and re-working them, to create wonderful unique book covers, cards, post-cards and more.

It will surprise and liberate, energize and excite you, so do join me – you don’t even have to leave home!

I shall be demonstrating as well as working along with you, and there will be ample opportunities to interact and discuss.

Suggested materials:

A drawing board larger than the paper, if you have one (- a piece of MDF board is fine).
A hardback book to cover (any book will do)
Some offcuts of Bockingford Rough watercolour paper (or similar) - weight 140g or 300g.
Old watercolour paintings if you have any!
Watercolours – either tubes or pans of any make that you already have.

If you are starting from scratch just find a bright red (Scarlet for example), a striking yellow (Indian Yellow or similar) and a bright blue (perhaps Cobalt blue or similar).

Brushes - 1” (or larger) Flat brush, a Large Sword liner, and a pointed Wash brush - (See photograph for guidance).
2 Water jars, and kitchen roll.
Prit-Stick (or similar), cutting matt or strong card, sharp craft knife and ruler.

You may wish to have the following on standby too……….just in case we get the ‘ink bug’:
Uni-ball Fineliner pen 0.2mm or 0.3mm Black
*Indian Ink – Black (permanent waterproof)
Sketching pen with nib(s) or a sharpened stick (i.e. coffee stirrer).

*Bearing in mind that Indian Ink is quite ‘lethal’ if spilt, stand your ink pot safely in a plastic yoghurt pot or on a dish whilst in use. A wipe-clean surface, oil cloth and/or newsprint is handy to work on and to protect your furniture!

All above materials above are available online from most art supplies -

or and many others

If you already have some brushes and watercolours either in tubes or pans, just use those – I shall not stipulate particular colours, but the three primaries I have mentioned, will enable you to mix all the colours we need for this session – and more!

                                   Jackie Devereux
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The War of Words and Worse
by Stephen Cartmell

How it began………

A long time ago
When Grannies were girls
And Grandads were just little boys.
Two children fell out
Then started to shout
‘Go A-W-A-Y you can’t play with my toys!’

They punched and they pinched
And wouldn’t give in
Then both stamped their feet on the floor.
One shouted ‘You’re smelly!
And you’ve got a big belly!’
And that’s how they started the war.

When their friends heard the noise
They took sides in the fight
All puffing their chests out with pride,
They got really cross,
ROARED - ‘We’ll see who’s the boss!
Let’s take this battle outside!’

The two rival forces
Marched up and down
Then got out their planes, tanks and ships,
Both carried big banners
A few sacks of spanners,
And in case they got hungry – some chips.

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