Friday, 22 May 2015

Getting Stronger

 Wisteria Hue
Bold, dramatic and exciting colour

I have been reading my new book. There are particular words that are really having an effect on me, as if I wasn't the original author. I know each time I pick up my brush I grow as an artist. And I still learn far more from things that don't go right than the things that do when I am experimenting. But the joy in creating for me has always been a sense of adventure. Rather than accepting one way is the only way to paint.  And its' been a week full of so much happening that at times its' been very hard to keep my feet on the ground.


Well, 1) I had a fantastic meeting with my publisher that had me floating on air but that news is for another blog post.

 2)  Because I have had so many wonderfully touching emails and messages letting me know how much my new book " Jean Haines World of Watercolour"  is being enjoyed. And one message made me stop and take time to see how the sender had interpreted one of the chapters as it had become so personal to their own art journey. In a truly positive way to overcome obstacles.

So, to anyone who is reading my blog today and dealing with situations that could pull you down can I share this part of my own journey.  There was a time when I shared online on a large art site. A forum.  I was new to sharing on social media and hardly "worldly wise" of being online. At first everything was really exciting. I felt I was meeting new friends from all over the world. I loved it.  I think being in a circle of others who loved painting as much as I did was so magical. But after a while something quite ugly started to happen. In short, I was being bullied online to the point that I left the site. The bullying continued and I was harassed by emails from the same group of people. This week , and completely out of the blue, I received an email from someone from that time who wanted to wish me well and they meant their message so kindly. But the reminder made me sit and look at how far I have come as a person as much as an artist.

If I had let those who were enjoying their game of simply ruining anothers' life get to me I wouldn't be where I am now. I wouldn't have written my first book. I wouldn't be holding my now very popular workshops. And I wouldn't be meeting wonderful people from all over the world when I travel.

I had forgotten all about this time. Until I read the email about it this week. And it arrived as another artist was asking for my advise on how to deal with others being unkind to them online. Isn't it sad that some people feel it is acceptable to be unkind, run others down or  even go out of their way to find a way of hurting someone? All behind the safety of a computer screen and in some cases an anonymous name. The  artist asking for advise is understandably upset, hurt and even worse. They are faltering in their career which is terrible as they are so talented.

I think in life we all need courage at times. We definitely need to like ourselves. Which isn't always easy. And we need to realise we cannot please everyone. But if we are kind and true to ourselves I believe that shines from within us. And a positive attitude improves our own lives. We sadly also need to understand that there are those who simply cannot be happy unless they are hurting someone else. But giving air to these kind of " trolls" takes away from our own energy. 

How did I cope when I was bullied? I threw myself into my art to be honest. I loved painting so much that I carried on in my own way and I was lucky in that I was spotted by my publishers and other wonderful contacts who have supported me over the years. And everyone I have met has commented on my generosity, warmth and willingness to share. I just want everyone I know to be happy. And I feel sad for those who can't live this way because it is wonderful.

So, if you are having doubts on your own ability to paint or if you are facing a problem. Know that you have the strength and ability to overcome obstacles. Especially if it is something that is happening to you by unkindness of others. Shine in your own way and make everyone around you feel like you would like them to make you feel.

Ignore negativity. Walk away from anyone or anything that pulls you down and aim to love life to the full.

Bullies actually helped me get where I am today. So as strange as it may sound, I am really grateful to them. But I do know it is the most horrid feeling dealing with unkindness. 

And so back to painting. Yes I am still addicted to painting Wisteria but I have new watercolour shades I have been given. And I am putting them through their paces. I am delving into a new way of experimenting with products. Depth, drama, impact, bold colour placement are fabulous buzz words. And oh boy I am feeling on top of the world!  I would love everyone I know to feel as happy as I am when I hold my brush. It is such a freeing feeling.  Until the Wisteria has finished blooming in my garden I feel this addiction to painting it is going to push me into a whole new chapter of my own art life.

Artists Tip: Have fun painting, stay positive and be you! 
 Lets' face it. You are an original and well worth being appreciated just as you are!

 Wisteria on my easel
I am loving working on this series of experiments with colour. It has been a dream of a painting week and there has to be another to follow!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Wisteria Magic

Wisteria on My Easel
Work in progress

I am in love with my garden at the moment so painting in it is wonderful. My UK workshops start next week. The week after that I will be at Patchings Art Festival.

But tomorrow I have a meeting with my publisher, at my cottage, to discuss two books. The revamp of my first book which is  almost complete apart from proof reading the new compilation once it has been put together in a book form. And a whole new exciting project that will keep me very busy for some time. One I am really looking forward to getting my "painting teeth" into!

I am thrilled with all the very kind emails  fromartists who have bought my new book " Jean Haines World of Watercolour" and want to thank everyone for being so kind in writing to me. Never take it for granted that an author doesn't have emotions about each publication. They do! And I have been looking forward to this new books release for some time now so its' thrilling to finally hear it is being enjoyed. Which is , after all, the whole purpose of writing.

Now I am painting in my studio but pushing myself to find new ways to capture similar subjects. Today I have been working with new colours which I cannot share just yet but I will be able to soon. But to give you a glimpse at them you can see my latest Wisteria painting , above. I love this at this stage. It is soft and dramatic.And I think my favourite so far. I will leave it overnight and see how it looks in the morning. At that time I will have fresh eyes and know whether to add detail or enjoy it as it is.

That is the beauty of not racing work. Having time to savour each brush stroke is far better than having to complete a painting in one go every time we pick up our brushes. And I learn from each new painting which is thrilling.

Roll on tomorrow!


Thursday, 14 May 2015

Wistful Wisteria : Wisteria in Watercolour

 Wistful Wisteria

I cannot walk into my cottage without stopping to admire the wisteria which adorns the walls around the front door. I am hooked on painting it.  I have several pieces on the go but the one I am sharing today is my favourite. The above image shows one of the  hanging blooms.

Wistful Wisteria 
Take 2.

On a large blank piece of paper I happily started painting one wisteria, but gradually more blooms  were added as seen in the image above.  And it didn't stop there. Because soon a large painting existed with blooms falling in shade and sunlight. See the image below.

Large composition. 
A work in progress but nearly complete.

The glow in this work, not really easily seen on screen,  is because of the new Daniel Smith shades I am now working with. And I am not afraid of colour. Cadmium Yellow works fantastically in the shadows as well as in the more well lit sections. It adds warmth and a glow to sections that are hidden and lights up those that are not.

I will work on this further and share it when it is finished. Incredibly someone has offered to buy this painting and it is not even complete yet. And it was painted for my own cottage! But f  rnow it stays in my studio to be enjoyed and for more brush work to be added. At leisure, with love and my passion for the medium flowing through it!


Goodbye " How to Paint Colour and Light"

"How to Paint Colour and Light"
My first book.

I have mixed feelings this morning. I have just heard from my publisher that they expect to sell the last copies of my first book " How to Paint Colour and Light" within the next two months. This will see the reprinting of this book come to an end.

This book was my leap into being an author and it meant so much to me. But I had limited freedom in writing it in that it had a set number of pages I had to adhere to because it sat in a series of " How To" books. I was so lucky to be invited to be included in this series as at that time as I was unknown in publishing circles. But my publisher took a risk with an unknown author and from there I continued to write "Atmospheric Watercolours" which has become so popular worldwide and of course my new book " Jean Haines World of Watercolour" has just been launched.  

"How to Paint Colour and Light" stood out in its own right from the series as it has sold so well. So my publisher invited me to expand it. I have grown so much in the time since I first started writing and the new additional chapters to this book will bring it more inline to how my other books " feel". Now I have no page number restrictions I can really throw my all into the new edition which so already looks very exciting.

But I must admit. I feel quite sad that my first book will no longer be available in its' current format. In fact I am going to buy one of the last copies because this is the biggest memory in my career. The day I was offered the very first contract to write this book. My excitement and happiness. And this book has been the doorway to my other publications.

The last copy of " How to Paint Colour and Light" will be sold soon but it really has been a very good friend to me.

Goodbye " How to Paint Colour and Light" in  its' old look!


You can still order copies from but when the last copy has gone, thats' it!

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

June 16th : Inspirational Demonstration in the Cotswolds.

Gifts from the Demonstration

Wow! I have just heard that Daniel Smith will also be providing shade charts and free dot cards for everyone attending my demonstration in the Cotswolds on June 16th plus providing a fabulous raffle prize! I must admit I didn't know about this but the celebration event of my book launch is getting more exciting by the minute. I am hearing from the hotel regularly on bookings coming in which is fabulous. Can everyone attending be prepared for a truly inspirational afternoon with one very excited artist who is eager to share her latest discoveries on colour, technique and also answer questions on art careers and your own art hiccups.

See you then!  To book please see the link below! 

 A wonderful book signing event in the Cotswold's this June.
Everyone attending will receive samples of the paper I use kindly provided by St Cuthbert Mill and my own personalised dot card with my favourite shades from Daniel Smith.

Manor Hotel
Moreton- On The Marsh
June 16th 2015
Meet the Artist . Inspirational Demonstration and Talk
Book Signing Event
Afternoon tea with clotted cream and scones
 Fee includes a copy of Jeans new book " Jean Haines World of Watercolour" 
Leave feeling energised, refreshed and inspired! 
Book via this link  


Monday, 11 May 2015

Wistful Wisteria : Exciting Washes

"Wistful Wisteria "
Exciting closeup. 
A watercolour breakthrough as I leap into a new way of working with this subject.

 I have been painting Wisteria in my garden and as much as I love the pieces that I have created so far something is wrong. I wasn't happy with the flow or results. They look beautiful but something about them was really niggling me. This morning I worked out what it was. I had fallen into the trap of painting what I "see" rather than painting what I "feel".

I think it is easily done when working from life. You see a gorgeous subject in front of you be it a view or a flower. And you want to tell the story in colour. But in my mind so does every other artist. So my wisteria paintings were bothering me because I was painting almost exactly what I saw. Purple flowers. Even though the previous paintings were created in my loose style the magic didn't seem to be there.

Today I decided to paint from my heart, listening to my instincts and I forgot I was looking directly at purple blooms. I started by covering my paper with a gorgeous wash of a mix of Daniel Smith colours. I refer to my technique as " watercolour sculpting" when I work this way. I gently make watermarks with clean fresh water. Dropping water neatly into a wash in a controlled manner to allow patterns to form. The "blobs" at the top of this piece are the patterns formed by dropping water into my wash from my size 10 sable brush. Once the first wash is dry I can add detail. Please look at the colour in the first wash in the image below. . Quinachridone Gold makes an unexpected appearance to the right of the composition and it positively glows, bringing not only warmth to my painting but a unique outcome. I am under the influence of the cottage walls behind the wisteria that I am looking at but I haven't allowed their form or lines to appear in my painting. Just a hint of their colour.

Wisteria : Work in progress
Joyful colours singing to bring energy and life into this more unusual piece.

There is far more excitement in this piece. Not only to look at,  but by the journey in creating it. Maybe I am the kind of person that always needs to be searching for something new but I am so happy with my work today. Its' been a sheer pleasure to paint because I have made myself paint from the heart and ignore slightly what was right in front of my eyes.

 Close up of the Wisteria painting before further detail was added.

There is a sense of mystery and magic about this new painting and the best part is, this happy feeling will flow into my next work. Leaving my studio on a high is a must for me each day and I honestly cannot wait to get started painting tomorrow.

 Wisteria Falls
Section of the large painting I am working on in my studio 

It is impossible to be bored with this way of working because there is always a new colour or subject or technique to try. And I intend to have fun discovering as many as I can. Bringing them all to life in a truly unique way.


Artist tips of the day?

Don't always be controlled by what you see. Allow your inner artist to emerge and take over at times. Its' way more fun and you could surprise yourself with your results if you do!

And don't get stuck in a rut with using the same colours all the time. Leap into the unknown and try something new!

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Exciting News : New Book Release!

Jean Haines World of Watercolour
Now in stock!

I am thrilled to share the news that my new book is now in stock with And the first copy has already been received. Wow! I heard the news on Facebook this morning so everyone who pre- ordered a copy should be receiving their  copies very soon.

I'm going to confess the other side to my writing books. I love writing them and work so hard to include as many tips and interesting step by steps as possible, with easy to follow dialogue. I always feel exhilarated when I have completed each book but then I go through a very weird stage of not wanting to let it go. I have been at that stage for a few months waiting for this new publication to be printed.

And now its' out there in the world and I have to let it go. And keep my fingers crossed that it is enjoyed. 

I have to say a huge thank you to everyone who has not only bought a copy. But to everyone who has supported me so wonderfully over the years. I have amazing friends who I am so very lucky to know. I have artist friendss who have been on my workshops since I first started teaching, many of whom are successful in their own careers now. Which is what sharing art is all about. Helping others grow and learning as much as we can on our own journies. I still feel very much like the new artist who simply paints because I enjoy painting. In my wildest dreams I never imagined years ago that I would have one book published on watercolour. Yet alone three. And I suppose I should be relaxed about it all by now but I find this totally overwhelming.

When I travel to hold workshops abroad I find it incredible that artists are  looking forward to meeting me. I find it humbling and terrifying at the same time that my way of teaching and painting seems to be so popular. But I don't take this  for granted at all. I am just very grateful for every single person who is with me on my journey. In my mind I am only just starting but having a fantastic time.

So again. A huge thank you for reading this,for  following my blog and for being with me each step of the way because without you I wouldn't be here sharing my love for watercolour.

Thank you!

My book can be purchased from via this link.

Everyone attending Patchings Art Festival this year can also purchase copies there to be signed and I will be celebrating at the Manor Hotel over a cream tea,demonstration and talk with a smaller more personal group. For which tickets can be purchased here.