Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

"Happy Family"

" The Good , The Bad and The Ugly" as this was a rather raced painting.
I think it is healthy as artists to show "Our best",
 our "Not so best" 
and "The paintings that got away" by not making the grade !

 Actually I should call the above painting " Baby Its Cold Outside" because the weather here in UK is freezing. Yesterday apparently was World Penguin Day and I missed it.  It is very strange how I never seem to miss the special annual cake or chocolate days but I did miss this one, which is a shame as I love painting penguins. So a day late, here is the penguin family I painted complete with new fluff ball at the parents feet.

I am working hard on future tour organisation and replying to many wonderful invitations from Art Societies wishing to host my events, which is so terrific. I would love to come everywhere and to everyone but physically that isn't possible. But I do look at each location and if it is possible try to work out a way to get there. Right now I am looking ahead to 2018.

To USA artists wishing to know where I will be next year here is my planned schedule.

February 2017
New Orleans ( Open for booking )
Arizona  ( Bookings open in July 2016 )
Florida ( Open for booking )

October 2017
Seattle ( Open for booking )


Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Spring Madness

Muscari, violets and primroses

When the sun shines it is heaven to sit in the garden and relax by painting. At least it would be heaven, but today there was so much to do that all I could fit in painting wise was time to add to an existing Spring Border painting. I knew my mind wasn't set on just painting today as I am distracted by other things at the moment. However rather than not pick up my brushes at all, I have added a few dark details to the foreground of this piece to make the leaves appear as they become defined.

It worked. I am calmer.

This few minutes painting time brought me back down to the calm place my mind needs to be in right now, as there is so much happening.  All exciting but making my life really busy.

I had also agreed to an interview which took up most of my afternoon. But the questions raised were really fascinating and gave me time to think which perhaps I honestly needed to do. I know I definitely need more quiet painting time!

So blues, yellows and greens are on my palette today and what a glorious mix of Spring colours they are.

Happy painting.


Monday, 18 April 2016

Lake Tahoe and Folsom Watercolour Workshops 2016

" California Dreaming "

Watercolour Workshops
Folsom and Lake Tahoe
October 2016

I will be teaching exciting watercolour workshops in Folsom and Lake Tahoe in October this year.
These inspirational workshops are fully booked but artists who contact me now will have their names added to the waiting list there in case of any cancellations.

The programme for these courses is going to be fantastic. Full of colour, new subjects and beautiful ways to bring each to life. I can't wait!

 These workshops will be part of my Fall 2016 USA tour and my last in America this year.


For my 2017 USA tours now is the ideal time to get in touch as places are already disappearing quickly for my New Orleans and Flordia courses. 

Please get in touch  by email if you'd like to paint with me in any of the above locations on a course..



Venice in Watercolour : Wedding Anniversaries

Memories of Venice 

I had always wanted to visit Venice for as long as I can remember. One year I was sitting in our garden having lunch with my husband when he told me that he was taking me to the Opera for our Wedding Anniversary. My jaw dropped.

" You are kidding" was my reply. My husband hates the opera And for the life of me I couldn't imagine he would enjoy the experience wedding anniversary or not. But what he said next made my jaw drop to the floor.

" But we are going to see the opera in Venice"

I couldn't answer at first as he showed me the special trip he had romantically planned. We were going to stay in a gorgeous hotel,go to the opera and see all the sights I had longed to see. And the trip was magical.

I know I am so lucky to be married to such a wonderful guy. Who also accompanies me on my tours. I'm sure everyone who has met him will agree with me in that he is so fantastic. In every possible way.  And as I sit here  I am aware that in a few weeks time it will be yet another fabulous Wedding Anniversary. We will have been married for over forty years and if I could turn back time I would marry him all over again.

So whilst I am thinking of these very special memories it seemed right to paint and share one of my favourite sights from that first trip to Venice. The above painting . 

Memories of Venice
In love


A Special Connection

 "Spirit of Life"

So here I am in my studio  and finally finding time to look through all I have collected from my recent USA tour. Whilst I look through the paintings and collection of amazing photographs many happy memories flood back of the very special people I have met on my courses. All because of my passion for painting in watercolour and I suppose my zest for life.

I'd like to share two very wonderful people in this blog post as I aim to catch up and recall very magical moments from my book signing and watercolour workshop tour of Spring 2016. 

Some time back I received an invitation to teach in Vancouver. This all came about as I would be teaching in Seattle and I was told that Vancouver was so very close and could easily be added to my trip. As many artists had been asking me to teach in Canada I leapt at the opportunity and hastily agreed. I was invited to hold workshops with Artescapes, run by an incredible lady called Janice Blore. How amazing this connection turned out to be.

When I arrived in Vancouver I was warmly greeted by Janice and shown the room where I would be teaching. Janice takes great care in looking after artists attending courses that she organises. Even down to the refreshments which seemed to continually magically appear every time I turned to look in that direction. The venue is unique in that it seems to carry an amazing atmosphere which even my husband noticed. I can't describe it really but one group, out of the three I taught there, will relate to this blog post very well as they too felt it. Something wonderful happened in the room as everyone created. A peaceful feeling. Actually it was quite beautiful and a memory that will stay with me forever.

Another wonderful surprise was meeting Janice's Mother. On the wall in the  room was a gorgeous print of a Bearded Collie. Everyone who knows me well will know I love the breed and have owned two. Taffy previously, and now I feel we are owned by Bailey my gorgeous four legged companion. Also a Bearded Collie. Lorna, Janice's Mum has beautiful work that she has created of my favourite breed. And she also very kindly made me a felt brooch of the breed when she heard me say I had always wanted one but couldn't find one anywhere to buy and it is gorgeous.

I met many people in Vancouver whilst I was teaching there. Many have left a lasting impression on me and one in particular  may be surprised to read my words here. Jamie, your reaction to how I paint and teach is still very much with me. I know my use of colour touched your heart and gave you a new approach to seeing how you paint. With light, life and energy. To watch as you discovered a whole new life force from painting with a new approach was wonderful and a joy to witness. These moments are so special in life. And you very kindly gave me a bear made of watercolour paper that I so carefully carried everywhere but it got damaged at our last hotel the night before we left for UK. Which really upset me but I think of it and how you made it for me often. Thank you. I also love the story of spirit bears and the photo you gave me which I have created an interpretation of above. I genuinely felt the spirit of this creature with me in my studio as I worked and it made me stop and think of folklore and stories I have heard over the years. How certain animals carry good luck, are seen as omens or magical creatures.

Something so simple as painting a subject new to you like this bear made me stop and think today. It made me take stock of my own life and art journey. I am loving giving to others, far more than thinking of dreams of my own. In my way of teaching I can make others dreams come true. I can do so much that is good rather than simply thinking about colour on my brush or a painting that may be for sale.

I love painting in watercolour so very much. I love the art journey that I am on and I love where my workshops are taking me to meet new and inspirational people who have become a part of the tapestry that is my life. And I love the love they give me in return.

How blessed I am.

I wish everyone could find the joy I do when I create.

That's my wish in this blog post.

That every ones dreams come true. maybe this spirit bear can help that happen.

Happy painting


Saturday, 16 April 2016

A Peaceful Weekend


As the last few months have been so busy with little time to rest I decided to take a complete break from painting this weekend. But I didn't actually do very well achieving my goal. I checked my email first thing this morning and realised I was inundated with wonderful requests for places on my workshops in New Orleans and Florida. I know when I am excited about a future event I feel impatient for a reply so I headed to my studio to respond and put everyone in touch with the appropriate organisers. But I knew once I was in my studio I would start painting.

I am a watercolour addict. I just can't leave my brushes alone for two minutes.

I felt after sending so many replies I deserved some painting time and picked up my brushes. Heaven knows where the above figure came from. I have been painting flowers all week so this random subject came out of the blue but maybe my mind was still hankering after the thought of resting or watching a movie for a change. Something I very rarely do.

I am not happy with the figure outline because I am in love with how the light plays on the hand in the hair. The light effect here is fascinating me. I do like the way the watermark has created the upper shoulder too. The left hand side of this painting I am really pleased with. It has given me so many ideas for new work and has an ethereal feel to it. I could drape material over the lower body of the figure which could  change the story of the painting altogether.

I love "thinking" about my work. I love leaving my studio really thinking of  how I can progress with a train of thought. Tomorrow is a new day. Knowing me this feeling of needing to rest will be long gone by then and I will feel like painting energetic dancers instead. But I so hope I can keep this peaceful feeling and pull it into my next composition.

It makes a change for me not to be quite so energetic!


Thank you so much to everyone who has contacted me for workshop places in Florida and New Orleans. I am overwhelmed with the interest in my workshops and thrilled.  Please contact me as soon as possible if you would like a place on these courses as they are filling up very quickly!


Friday, 15 April 2016

USA Spring 2017 Tour : Book Now!

"Head to Head"



Each year my USA workshops sell out often long before I even have a chance to advertise them. Here I can honestly say dates have literally just opened for two of the three new locations. In fact I have just  talked to Florida to confirm my dates there next year. So if you contact me right now the chances of getting a place in New Orleans or Florida are really good. Please email me to be directly put in touch with the individual organisers in each location. 

Please note, there isn't a USA workshop newsletter. Interested artists need to email me and state which location they are interested in. Please put the title Workshops 2017 and the location of your choice as your email heading.

I'm absolutely thrilled to announce the dates of my 2017 Spring Tour which includes all new locations. Now is the time to book to avoid disappointment. 


Workshop 1. 3/4th February 2017
Workshop 2.  6/7th February 2017


Workshop 1  14/15th February 2017
Workshop 2  16/17th  February 2017


Workshop 1  22/23rd  February  2017.
 Workshop 2.  27/28th  February  2017   

These workshops will include fabulous new subjects, colours and techniques to inspire and bring out the best in you as an artist. A material list will be provided before each course.

( Please note due to popularity artists are requested to only book one workshop at each location.)