Monday, 29 June 2015

Heaven on Earth : Painting Roses

A Yellow Rose on my easel
Painted in my garden this afternoon

The sun shone brightly today. Monday is a day I dedicate to administration for exhibitions, tours, workshops and answering the many emails I now am used to receiving. I am nowhere near through them all but I just could not ignore the sunshine. 

I took my watercolours and paper and sat listening to birdsong as I began to work on a yellow rose that sits beautifully underneath my cottage window. This is such a stunning bloom. It has touches of orange on the central petals but the outer edges of the same petals in places are blessed with a hint of pink. Interestingly the Daniel Smith Opera Pink I use so vividly in other paintings worked so softly here that I became even more impressed with it as a shade. It interacts well even with Cadmium Yellow. It moves where I wish it to merge and it can be just as wonderful as a whisper of a colour to when I use it full strength on bolder coloured subjects.

Painting this afternoon was my idea of heaven. Just me, my paper and the rose. To make my painting time even more magical the perfume of the flower wafted towards me as I worked. And just as I was about to take a break a bee came and sat on my painting before realising this wasn't a real flower at all but simply a work of art.

How lucky are we who paint. To see beauty, to understand beauty and try to capture it in our work.

This has to be the very best way to live.

We are also lucky if we feel these emotions. How great life is when we are blessed by the beauty of nature and the ability to enjoy it.


Friday, 26 June 2015

Absolutely Shocking!

 "Dancing Poppies"
Please Note : This is not.watercolour!

Oh my goodness. Writing my new book is really pushing my boundaries in working in watercolour. And its' been one incredibly amazing day. The final proof of the new version of my first book " How To Paint Colour and Light" arrived. I thought it was already finished but now, after this weekend it finally will be. And oh wow, it looks gorgeous. I am thrilled ! It is far better, bigger and much more informative with fabulous new step by steps included and more tips.

But moving on.

 I sat in the garden this morning, with my husband going through my schedule of workshops this fall and next year. I can't believe we were having a meeting over coffee discussing dates for California, New York, West Virginia, St Louis,Vancouver, Seattle, Oregon, North Carolina and Texas in one go. But those will be this fall and next years tour USA destinations. So I am in a "Pinch me, I'm dreaming" kind of mood. What is really terrific is how excited everyone is about me returning to USA. But nowhere near as excited as I am.

I had to go out this afternoon and on my way home I passed a bank of poppies dancing in the breeze. Their petals looked like skirts lifting and swaying in many directions. I was fascinated. And I came home determined to paint them.

But as I mentioned earlier. My new book is really exciting to work on and I could feel myself totally "letting go". I am in a slightly more crazy mood than usual!. I covered a large piece of blank paper with water. Then I literally dribbled inks otnto the wet paper. In red, blue and green, Deliberately NOT trying to be tidy or organised. I used my toothbrush to splatter watercolour pigment on top in places. I used an old knife that is next to my desk for opening envelopes. The knife created stems as I drew it gently through the still wet colour. I used a water spray to diffuse areas and soften them.

And I happily created a glorious mess!

My hands are stained. My face has multi coloured freckles on it. I do hope they wash off. And I feel energised. I felt, for five minutes like a five year old playing with colour ant not caring at all about what happened.

But I have to explain. I don't class this painting as being created in watercolour. To me, if a product has the name "watercolour" on it, then I am working in that medium, Anything else is mixed medium or the substance which has been used. In this case ink. Definitely not watercolour. .

It is very unusual for me to break away from my favourite pigments. But I did. I loved it and I felt like I was on a holiday. But oh boy, I cant wait to work tomorrow. In watercolour!

"Close up of Dancing Poppies"


I called this blog post" Absolutely Shocking" because I know a few of my followers will be shocked . to see to see me move away from the medium I love most of all!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

The Artist Magazine : July Issue 2015

Extract from my new book in the July 2015 issue of the Artist Magazine

I am thrilled with the feature including an extract from my new book " Jean Haines World of Watercolour" that is included in the July 2015 issue of The Artist magazine.

This particular chapter is one of my favourites. It looks at portraits that I have painted in the past and with demonstrations shows how I learn from my own work to grow as an artist. I believe we are so keen to listen to what others have to say about our work, especially in our early years of painting. But quite often our best teacher can be ourselves. And I explain further in this section of my new book how to grow from what we paint in the past and draw from that to improve in our future as an artist.

I found writing this section really useful. And reading the extract again today hit me how much I have learnt over the years and am still learning. The chapter carries very happy memories for me of my time living in France and Dubai.  Sharing personal experiences seems quite out of character for someone who once upon a time was incredibly shy.

Oh how I have changed and not just with my art!

Do buy a copy of the Artist magazine if you can. It is absolutely bursting with glorious features from leading artists in all styles and mediums that makes you want to race for your brushes and get painting.

In fact that is exactly what I am going to do !


Thank you to The Artist Magazine for including an extract of my book in this fabulous issue of a leading art magazine that inspires so many artists in their art journeys. Artists of all levels.

Thank you.


If you are interested , you can purchase a copy of my new book from via this link

Wey Gallery : Summer 2015

"Winning Team"
 ( Please note : This Art is strictly Copyright of  Jean Haines )

I am delighted to share the news that my new collection of action paintings will be available at the Wey Gallery in Godalming, Surrey this Summer.  Pieces include Cycling scenes and my now very popular horse racing paintings. There are some very large pieces in this collection, each is alive with vibrant colour and a strong sense of movement. 

Having visited the gallery this week to talk about my new work arriving, it was wonderful to see such an incredible display of new art on show. This gallery tends to be selective and always has something new to see which is refreshing in the current art world. So often when visiting exhibitions we see similar subjects painted in the same way by a number of artists. Not at the Wey Gallery. What I love most about exhibiting here is that there is always something totally new to see each time I walk into the spacious light venue. And I love that the owners are at so professional and always willing to help on every single level.

I should explain that most of my new gallery work will not be shown online. The decision not to show these pieces avoids the dilemma of original art being copied and passed off as another artists' idea. This decision is out of respect to both collectors and galleries alike. We are all becoming increasingly aware of a sad situation where artists with little imagination of their own follow who they feel are successful artists to "mimic" their art. Especially if the original artist has best selling subjects or consistently new ideas. A collector who purchases an expensive original quite rightly expects to own the art without seeing imitations elsewhere. Which is the main reason that ,very sadly, a lot of my gallery work is now not shown online. Having said that, I now find it almost impossible to replicate a piece myself as I have become far more complex in style and technique over the years.

I am fortunate to be in in wonderful hands of established galleries who represent me and I respect them.

 My paintings can be viewed at the Wey Gallery this Summer. 
Prices will also be available on request. Art collectors can contact the gallery to preview the new work coming in.

Please contact the gallery for full details of prices and viewing times. 


N.B.  Readers of my books and artists who attend my workshops please note. You are more than welcome to use the art in my literature to learn from and copy as often as you wish. As well as learning from my blog which I hope is inspirational.. Especially so, for the techniques and ideas I share in my workshops. The whole aim of them is to inspire others to enjoy painting as much as I do and to help others in their art journeys and art careers. 

This is very different from copying art seen in a gallery with the sole purpose of trying to sell similar copies in another!


It is So Good To Be Alive

Blue Hydrangea on my easel
Large work in progress

It really is so good to be alive. I woke early this morning, wakened by the sunshine that refused to be ignored. I practically raced to my studio at the crack of dawn to enjoy painting. The feeling when watching colour flow across paper is so enriching that I just know the day ahead will be brilliant.

I have started selecting paintings to go to the framer for my solo show in September at the Frame Gallery in Odiham. I have paintings here ready to be framed for my exhibition with the Pure Watercolour Society at the Windrush Gallery, again in September. I have work laid out to write about for my new book and I have even started clearing up my studio ready for filming my new DVD here in August. And it isn't even  9.00 a.m yet!

Now I will take a break and walk Bailey, my Beraded Collie, before I seriously start my day.

I adore days like these. Sunshine makes me feel so happy and it is impossible not to paint when you are in this mood. A new hydrangea painting is now sitting on my easel. Ready for the final touches after my walk.

Whatever you are doing today, have a great day!


Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Full Speed Ahead in UK and USA

 "Hydrangea Clusters in Blue"

Okay. Now I admit I need a clone of me. Everyone has laughingly teased me, asking how I fit so much into one day. And I usually reply that I have lots of energy. I do, but today probably was the most interesting for a long time. Did I really do all that!

I woke very early because I was eager to complete a chapter I had started on my new book. It was falling into place so beautifully yesterday and I couldn't wait to re read it ad check the paintings one more time before I sent them to Ed, who is the editor for this new publication. Checking each page, lay out and text. This book is  stepping right inside my heart and is very hard to let go of . I love it. Its different to anything I have ever done before and its making me think so much. About my life. My art and why I love painting so much. I don't want to be away from it, even for a second. In fact I want to write the next chapter right now but that wouldn't be fair. My energy level has dropped so it wouldn't be written when I was feeling at my best. And I want each page to be beautifully absorbing to read as well as have exciting images in it to enjoy.

So after walking Bailey this morning, I raced to my studio. Things changed as they often do. My quiet writing time disappeared. I have been invited  to give an interview for a fabulous art magazine and had agreed. Today was the day and the questions were brilliant. Interviews are so much easier when the interviewer is professional and fascinating. And they were!

So having spent time and enjoyed this first interview today, I later opened my email for a request for an interview  with a USA magazine. This isn't so much an interview, as it is more an insight into my new book. I have been asked to forward images for the feature so sent a selection for the editor to choose from and happily for me,  they loved them.

Next was a request by a gallery for images to promote my solo exhibition with them which opens in September, this year.  This show will be highlighting and selling the original paintings from my new book " Jean Haines World of Watercolour". There are favourite subjects in the book that already have gained interest. Like the little harvest mouse and the puffin.  So please follow my blog or check my web site if you would like to own one of these paintings, which are now very dear to me. And if there is a painting you like in my new book now is a good time to contact me. Because quite often favourites sell long before a show opens, by pieces being reserved.

So now finally after all the excitement you would imagine I could paint and work on my new book. No, not at all, because a fabulously exciting email from USA arrived and I am really desperate to share the news inside it but cannot just yet. And I am useless at keeping secrets! And it meant I needed to send more images and text too. This had to be done today.

In between all this activity I did work on a few paintings and yes, complete the special chapter which is now with Ed. I wonder if he will like it! I certainly hope so because for me, the emotion when I worked on it was so real and I think its going to be a very informative part of the opening section of this incredible new project. 

Oh, but I did manage to paint  hydrangeas ever so briefly. To relax in between all the excitement going on! Hence the above image and the images below.

Close up of a section of the painting above. Beautiful blooms and smashing individual petals to develop as the painting evolves in the creative process.

A painting within a painting. This section of my new hydrangea floral painting of hydrangea is almost complete. I love this piece so much that I am in no race to finish it.


Artists Tip for the Day?

Take each day as it comes, be flexible and enjoy what happens as it happens!

Monday, 22 June 2015

Foxgloves in Watercolour : Adding Detail

 Adding Detail

Foxgloves in Watercolour
( Continued )

I thought it might be helpful to share how I add detail to my first washes of foxgloves.
I begin a painting with a lively first wash of the colours that I see. Yes, I did aim for a loose shape of foxglove flowers in these two washes. I painted tall spires of pink, added the little green buds at the top of each flower and then allowed colours to merge randomly, rather than try to control them.

I don't panic when my colours run all over the place. In fact I love it when this happens.

So initially I have a first wash like the image below. Loose, impressionistic and with very little detail

Foxgloves. Two paintings side by side on my easel at the first wash stage.

I allow these first washes to dry and when they are, I add details or in this case a few darks to give drama to the paintings.

The painting on the right has been worked on. 
By adding dark shapes to give the impression of inside the bell of each individual flower.

 I am loving how both pieces look at this stage. The loose wash on the left doesn't need as much definition as it almost looks like a fascinating abstract. The painting on the right will have some toothbrush splatter for the foxgloves dot markings and patterns. 

Painting is so enjoyable. And regardless of how busy I am I always find time to paint something just for me. Something that isn't intended to go into a book or a gallery. Something that merely makes my heart happy.

And these do just that.

Make my heart happy!