Thursday, 30 March 2017

The Joy of Colour

A work in progress on my easel

At the moment I am playing with all sorts of ideas for new compositions and I am happily working on my new book. In between writing I am taking time out to simply paint spring flowers for the joy of it. I adore Spring each year as I always, without fail, feel so energised at this time of year. I feel like the advert in UK for the batteries that never run out as I keep going, minus stopping, from one exciting new painting idea to the next.

This is the very first Spring in UK for years that I have not been teaching workshops here. And for the first time in what seems like a lifetime I have time to paint for me, to follow my own dreams. Everyone knows I love teaching but I held so many workshops last year in England to try and accommodate the long waiting lists for places on them. But I didn't allow any free time for myself to paint and create  on a personal level. I need to desperately.

I believe to be great teachers we must put back in to our own artists' souls that unique time for exploration and trying something new. As well as time to improve what we already know. I hope everyone who follows me will understand my need for this long awaited teaching break. It is doing my creative soul the world of good as my work is beautifully flowing.Which means I will have more to eventually share in my future workshops.

Yesterday I had a fantastic meeting with my publishers who came to my cottage to discuss my new book. I am thrilled to say they are delighted with my paintings and ideas for it, as am I. It is going to be an absolutely stunning publication and it deserves my full attention.

But of course, I escape to paint every now and then, choosing subjects that are not always related to it. I have been given the most glorious Mums day bouquets last weekend and the tulips in one caught my eye. Hence the piece on my easel, seen above. This was simply a play piece. Not destined for sale or a book or an exhibition. Painting for fun frees the soul and releases a happy, positive energy.

And that is how I feel today.


More than happy, I feel ecstatic!

I have so much glorious news to share but that will be for another post. For now I want to paint.

Whatever you are doing today how about taking five minutes out just to paint for the sake of it. No pressure, just find the fun in watching colour flow across paper. Go on. I dare you!

And smile!

Have a great day.



Monday, 27 March 2017

Fabulous New Orleans Workshops 2018

 Jean Haines New Orleans Watercolour Workshops for 2018
will be
Hosted by the David Art Center 

I try to visit as many places as possible when teaching my workshops. And to be honest I often try to go to new places rather than return to those I have taught in before. Mainly to give artists living in different locations the opportunity to get a place on my courses which now fill so quickly but I made an exception with New Orleans because the venue and the hosts are so fabulous , it was impossible for me not to want to return.

The art store here is amazing and even though I tried very hard not to, I was soon buying new products that I hadn't come across before. And thats' after all these years of teaching. I felt inspired and energised while being there. So much so that I am painting non stop myself now putting all that gorgeous creative energy to good use. 

The hosts are so warm, friendly and welcoming that again it is impossible not to enjoy being around them.

The room where I taught this year was large and light, which is so important to me. Each artist has a working space of their own which is so much better than sharing a table. 

My teaching space was terrific with a great overhead mirror and everyone was able to see me clearly.

On top of this the hotel nearby is giving a great discount so artists staying there have reasonably priced accomodation. And the art store is giving a generous 20% discount on all products for anyone on my courses while there next year.

I cannot wait to go back and at present I am working on the course which will be full of valuable inspirational information and I will be working with everyone to bring out the best in them as an artists. So what better way to start 2018!

If you are interested in joining me there are a few places left so please contact Adrianna via this link for full information.

Roll on 2018!

The Frame Gallery : Odiham, Hampshire U.K "Easter Bouquet" 2017

"Easter Bouquet"
Spring 2017

What a fantastic day to be alive and painting spring flowers! 

I have recieved so many enquiries about my latest Spring floral work asking me if it is for sale. Well I am delighted to share the news that  paintings from my new collection of watercolours are now available at the Frame Gallery in Odiham, Hampshire, UK.

The above painting, my favourite as it cheers me up so much when I look at it is show casing a range of fantastic yellow shades and has that undeniable positive energy feel to it.
To purchase this piece or see what else is in the gallery please contact Jan  the owner via the following link.


Sunday, 26 March 2017

Mothering Sunday : Mothers Day Bouquet

"Mothers Day Bouquet"
Original watercolour by Jean Haines

I completed my Mothers Day painting this morning and whilst adding the last tweaks, I  had a terrific "light bulb" moment. It is strange how these moments can make our hearts leap as artists as all of a sudden we realise something that improves our techniques. Something like a small change in how we paint that is so simple and yet the idea has been completely missed by us until that magical light bulb moment. I am delighted. It gave painting this bouquet and added surprise bonus.

This piece is painted with love for all the Mums out there where ever they may be, No matter what age, religion or nationality. Because as Mums we are united. We share a love for our children that is so intense it is indescribable. Nothing in the world compares to this emotion.

Today I look back at the Mums who have influenced my own life. The Mum who left me, the Mum who stepped in and the many " Mums" who guide me as I travel through my life journey. I have been "adopted" by those who love me for who I am, and I see myself as a " daughter" of many who care about me world wide.

How blessed I am.

Mothers make this world go around and I feel for those Mums in countries where their lives are so very different to mine. I can openly show my love for my children, male and female. And my children would never cause harm to another soul on this planet regardless of what religion, faith or feelings they may carry personally.

We are seeing such awful atrocities carried out by men who I wonder about. Did they ever consider the pain they are causing for their Mothers. They cannot dismiss the female race so easily because without us they wouldn't exist. How very sad.

But today is a happy day. A day for celebrating. For being with loved ones, for showing we care. 

Opening our hearts is a great thing to do.

My memory today is of an awful butter dish that I gave to my Step Mum as a Mothering Sunday gift years ago when I was a child. It was all I could afford with my pocket money at a young age. It was Pyrex with an awful image of a duck on it but I  thought she might like it as well as the flowers I had picked from the woodland nearby. My Step Mum opened my carefully wrapped present and made such joyous noises in gratitude as if I had given her pure gold. In her eyes I had. I had parted with the tiny amount of money I had and spent it all on her because in my life I knew she meant the world to me. As Mums do.

I am happy to say my gifts got better over the years but my Step Mum kept that terrible butter dish and even had it on display until the day she died. To my embarrassment she would tell visitors that it was a gift from me. I would wish for the floor to open up and swallow me when she did, but she loved it and the memory of my giving it to her.

I am smiling. What a lovely act of a Mother to see the beauty in the worst of gifts.

I am sure there are some terrific memories out there of Mums and gifts  over the years for you too.

Happy Mothers Day.

May it be filled with smiles and happy thoughts!


Saturday, 25 March 2017

Mothers Day Bouquet : Work in Progress

Mothers Day Bouquet
Work in Progress on my Easel

This afternoon I collected more wind falls from my garden including knocked down daffodils, narcissus, hyacinth, grape hyacinth and primroses.  To make my "blown down" flowers more beautiful in an arrangement, I picked some yellow forsythia and plunged the lot into a glass jug.

Some flower stems were tall so they were obviously perfect for the top of the arrangement adding much needed height. Other stems were shorter and fitted next to the rim of the jug. I laughed when placing these short flowers in the jug. They reminded me of  myself in group photos whenever I am on tour. I am usually the shortest in the group.  I now look out for and deliberately stand next to artists who are as short, or are shorter than me. Maybe I could consider standing on a chair for the next group photo!

But back to my painting. As I looked at this jug of flowers I couldn't resist trying painting it and as I did so, memories of the art classes I took years ago came flooding back. Especially as I worked by adding colour first then picking out flower shapes within this bouquet composition.

I used to go to an art class once a week. I met terrific people there but I am not sure I  actually learnt very much. It was really more of a get together for people who liked painting. But each week there would always be a flower arrangement for those interested in painting flowers and I often found myself sat at that table painting what I saw. Which usually involved a weird jug or vase from the venues' store cupboard.

I can remember the tea breaks complete with biscuits. ( Cookies to my American friends.)  These biscuits were often the cheapest available and weren't really tempting to eat. Thank heavens things have changed in that department when I teach my own art courses!

I have yet to complete this painting. I need to re arrange a few flowers to make the composition more pleasing. The top daffodils are looking lovely, as is the forsythia there too but the section below needs adjusting which I hope to do tomorrow morning. This will be a nice painting to complete on Mothering Sunday which it is here in U.K tomorrow.

I will leave this painting on my easel and walk in tomorrow morning to see what it needs then, but after a full day painting I feel really happy to end my painting day on a sweet smelling bouquet.

Happy painting!

And to all the Mums, have a wonderful Mothers Day!


Long Awaited Dream

Spring Posy 2018
Original watercolour by Jean Haines
Copyright @jeanhaines

As I write this blog post I feel very emotional because I have kept a secret for a while apart from telling a few friends and artists on my recent travels.
From the time I was a child there has always been a book on my mind that I would love to write. I couldn't, as an unknown author, approach a publisher with my dream because they would not have taken me on in all probability.  Not at that point in my journey. But now my dream is coming true as the book I have always wanted to write is actually my new art project. I am thrilled. As are my publishers who are coming to my cottage next week for the first meeting ahead of photography, filming and project schedule planning. 

Writing this book is something my heart has always wanted to do. The artists who have inspired my brushwork will be who I am honouring with my next publication. I would like them to look down on me and be proud of my teaching in this book, my step by step demonstrations in it, my inspirational guidance so that readers feel my passion and of course the finished book when it is complete.

I am setting myself a huge task within the pages of my next literary adventure as I want all the work in it to be so fascinating so that every reader will be racing for their brushes after turning each new page.

To ensure that this new book really does see my dream come true I am going to do something I have never done before and that is allow myself time to paint and write minus distraction. In the past I have always juggled teaching, exhibitions and workshops and fitted my writing in between each event. But now I want to see what I can achieve as an artist painting just for me , for my book and for the future readers of it.  I really have never put my writing first but I have loved every single publication I have written until now. But this book is special to me. It is dear to my heart and it deserves my full attention.

It will be published in 2018 and workshops next year will carry glimpses of the journey held within each page.

I have a lot in me that has been waiting for so long to be shared.

This is going to be a gorgeous book.

My workshops will be on hold until Fall of this year. As I focus completely on writing. But the workshops I hold after this time will be packed with energetic and enthusiastic demonstrations.

I believe we owe it to ourselves as artists to give ourselves time for personal growth otherwise our teachings risk becoming repetitive and boring. My workshops , I know, are anything but boring but I want to pack more into them and I am taking time out to plan my next courses for 2018 so that they too are highly inspirational.

By taking this teaching break turning to writing I am thinking of all the artists who come to me and have done over the years. In the past the minute I put my workshop dates up  for UK each year my courses sell out within hours. I am honoured that they do. My workshops in USA are now very popular also. And I want to keep them this way by being the best artist I can be , constantly bringing something new and exciting to each session.

This time out will ensure I do just that.

I will be sharing on my blog and hopefully inspiring here as often as possible, giving artists tips and encouraging my blog followers to try new products and techniques too.

For now, wish me luck as I leap into my next book with that wonderful "butterfly" feeling in my tummy and an excitement level that pushes me to amazing new heights in watercolour.

The first page is written. 

From here my  journey really begins.


Friday, 24 March 2017

DVD **Special Offer** for a limited period!

For a limited period artists can purchase my DVDs online with a special coupon. This discount was available to artists attending my USA watercolour workshops while I was on tour . It was so successful that the creators of my films have  decided to run the offer for a new short period of time.

If you would like to purchase any of my DVDs from Artist Network TV all you have to do is enter the code Haines15 and then enjoy watching my tutorials via my films.

 Please note : Coupon code Haines15 will be set up to go live 3/23 and expire 4/30 at 11:59 MT