Author Archives: Nancy Farmer

About Nancy Farmer

Self-employed artist & year-round outdoor swimmer

Exhibition, films & talks at Clevedon, 4th – 14th October 2014

“Swimming Under the Sky”, Curzon Cinema, Clevedon

14th October – an evening of talks and films hosted by Ella Foote
4th to 14th October – exhibition of paintings by Nancy Farmer

I’m delighted to tell you that I’m taking part in a mini swimming & arts event at the Curzon Cinema, Clevedon. The main event will be on Sunday 14th, but my swimming paintings will be in the cinema from 4th October and you can see them during the opening hours of the cinema.

To book tickets: https://www.curzon.org.uk/event/42459
(tickets only necessary for the event on the14th, they are not required to see the paintings.)

From the Curzon’s website:
“What is it about cold water swimming that attracts so many people? What draws folk to push their bodies beyond the extreme in pursuit of the elusive ‘ice mile’? How does one mentally and physically prepare for a feat as demanding as a solo English Channel swim?

“Celebrated local swimmers Steve Price and Alec Richardson tell tales of their epic swims alongside 4 breathtakingly beautiful films about cold water immersion. Johanna (dir. Ian Derry) tells the story of how cold water therapy for a sports injury lead Johanna Nordblad to free dive below layers of cold thick ice; the very charming Time and Tide (dirs. Isabelle Rose Povey & Josh Embury) depicts the drive that brings Clevedon’s hardy open water swimmers to plunge themselves into the cold, silty brine of the Severn Estuary – a daily activity which doesn’t let winter get in the way.”

Calendars & Clevedon Hats:

I’ll have a small table with things for sale during the actual event, including my new calendar for next year, and some newly re-printed Clevedon Pier hats (not currently available but they will be ready by then).

Swim Serpentine logo

Swimming Films & Festivals coming soon…

Swim Serpentine logo

A bit more on Swim Serpentine…
and keep an eye for news soon about Clevedon.

You wait all year for a swimming Festival and then two come along at once… I thought I’d tell you a bit more about the Swim Serpentine event 22nd November, which is in Hyde Park London, but if you are nearer to my home swimming haunts, keep an eye out for news of a little something we also have planned for Clevedon on the 14th October. Details coming soon.

At Swim Serpentine:
Curated by Kendal Mountain Festival, there’s films and talks throughout the day…

Two talks during the day by Beth French:
“From wheelchair bound to world class athlete, Beth French stretches the horizons of her own possibilities, tackling feats of endurance and adventure.”

Two Talks during the day by Jenny Landreth:
“Part social history, part memoir, Swell uncovers a world of secret swimming in the face of these exclusions and shines a light on the ‘swimming suffragettes’. It celebrates some amazing achievements, some ridiculous outfits and some fantastic swimmers who challenge the stereotypes of what women are capable of. ”

Films throughout the day:
“A selection of incredible short films featuring swimmers from all walks of life; you’ll be transported from the Irish Sea, to the tropical waters of the Cook Islands and under the ice in Finland…”

Reading Q&A by Libby Page:
“Sunday Times bestselling author. Libby’s debut novel The Lido tells the story of the unlikely friendship between Rosemary, 86, and Kate, 26, as they come together to save their local lido from closure.”

For times of events and more information, visit: www.swimserpentine.co.uk/event-info/festival-info/

Free Technique Clinics:
Swim England will be there giving free technique clinics and advice on training plans:
www.swimserpentine.co.uk/event-info/swim-england-coaching/

Artwork by Nancy Farmer
And of course I’ll be there with artwork, too, in the Marquee. I shall have some prints, calendars (more on those soon), swimming hats. Happy to talk!

The Oxfordshire Winter Pod

The Oxfordshire Pod

A commission that I completed a few weeks ago. It was for Beccy Mullett’s birthday – this is her and the rest of her winter swimming (and cycling) ‘Pod’, and her friends who are also in this picture commissioned me to draw it for her. Beccy is in the foreground, left of centre. Below are also some of the photos that I put this together from.

I shall be at the Swim Serpentine Event (Hyde Park, London) on September 22nd if anyone would like to ask me about having something similar done, always happy to talk if you have an idea you’d like made into an artwork.

This is  a digital drawing, and one of the useful things about that is  that I can make multiple prints if required – I only make prints of commissions for the people who commission them, but in this case I made up a large mounted print of this drawing for the birthday girl, and another 7 small ones for each of the other swimmers, who also gave her this as a present.

The Oxfordshire Winter Pod

The Oxfordshire Winter Pod

Some of the source photos

Some of the source photos

Swim Serpentine - happiness

Swim Serpentine: Swim & Festival, 22nd Sept

Hyde Park, London 2018

I’m pleased to be able to tell you that I’ve been offered a stand as part of the Serpentine Festival next month. I’ll have artwork on display, and a selection of prints and swimming hats to buy, and I’ll be there and very happy to talk to visitors. I’ll be in the marquee, but at some point I’ll make a quick break for the water’s edge too, as I plan to create a picture about the event for afterwards.

Come and see me if you’re attending! Any resulting artwork will appear here and on facebook whenever it’s ready. In the meantime, you can admire the posters, which are not my work, but they are rather classy. Designed to tell you about the benefits of open water swimming, as if we needed telling…

If you want to take part in any of the swims, Entries are still open, but there are only spaces left in the one mile swim so be quick!
https://www.swimserpentine.co.uk/

Swim Serpentine - happiness

Swim Serpentine – happiness

Swim Serpentine - sleep

Swim Serpentine – sleep

Swim Serpentine - circulation

Swim Serpentine – circulation

Wednesday Swimmers

The Wednesday Swimmers

The finished painting.

The finished painting.

This is Sally, Wendy and Cecily (left to right), who often swim on a Wednesday morning at Vobster. I particularly like swimming with them when I get a chance: there is much mucking about, diving, somersaulting, comedy renditions of synchro swimming. Occasionally there is swimming too. It’s all very good material for art: Sally takes fabulous photos, I take snaps by the simple method of pointing the camera in the general direction of the subject while repeatedly pressing the shutter for as long as I can hold my breath, but they are exactly what I need for paintings afterwards.

This is watercolour with gold and palladium leaf, quite big: about 19 x 22 inches. I took photos of the work in progress and posted them as I did each stage on my facebook profile, a slightly unnerving experience as at the start I had a large number of comments that said ‘leave it as it is’ …no pressure not to mess it up then! Here is the full sequence.

I have prints of this painting in my Etsy shop: www.waterdrawnart.etsy.com, and at time of writing this painting is also for sale, though I’ve also earmarked it for an exhibition in Clevedon in October (more on that later…).

The photos

The photos

Sketches

Sketches

Pencil outlines and underpainting in Prussian blue

Pencil outlines and underpainting in Prussian blue

...Prussian Blue....

…Prussian Blue….

...more Prussian Blue...

…more Prussian Blue…

...you know what colour this is by now!

…you know what colour this is by now!

Lots of thin layers of very translucent yellow with a hint of red/magenta

Lots of thin layers of very translucent yellow with a hint of red/magenta

A little more colour, and the highlights put back in

A little more colour, and the highlights put back in by lifting off a little of the colour wash where light catches the skin and for the sunbeams through the water.

The finished painting.

The finished painting. This is a scan and a more faithful representation of the colours than the previous photos.

Detail of tiny fragments of gold leaf

Detail of tiny fragments of gold leaf

Close-up

Close-up

Details...

Details…

Finally, gold and palladium leaf fragments, lots of them.

The metal leaf fragments, catching the light.

Rachel's Dart 10K - The Finish!

Rachel’s Dart 10K – The Finish

I have recent drawings that I can’t show you yet, so here is a commission I did a few months back – this is Rachel Ray’s Dart 10K swim. The Finish! A nice change for once to be able to say I’ve done that swim, I don’t have to imagine what it’s like, I was there (though in fact not the same year, and I think we may not have had quite such a muddy finish…).
Digital drawing.

Rachel's Dart 10K - The Finish!

Rachel’s Dart 10K – The Finish!