Thursday, 18 October 2018

USA Fall Tour 2018

From my Christmas Collection 2018 for The Frame Gallery in Odiham, Hampshire UK

 I leave for my Fall Tour tomorrow so my blog will probably fall quiet yet again. I do apologise for not posting as frequently as usual. I have a confession in that I have been writing a new book that has changed me completely. I am stronger, more confident and so much happier than ever. If that was possible. The research into my new title has had such beneficial effects on me that staying on line for too long is virtually impossible and I will share more news on why later . Perhaps at Christmas!

But for now I must prepare for my trip. I am already packed with a few last things to attend to before I get on my flight.

I will be teaching in Seattle, Kennewick, Bradenton and Bonita Springs before ending up in Miami.

My courses are all sold out but I will be giving demonstrations in both Washington and Florida.

I hope you are enjoying painting as much as I am and loving life.

Thank you so much for following my blog and once my tour is completed I hope to see you here far more often with many inspirational ideas for working in watercolour.

For now

Breathe deeply, Enjoy the beauty of nature around you,
And make time to paint.

Best wishes


Christmas Exhibition 2018 : The Frame Gallery

Owl in Watercolour

Christmas Exhibition 2018
Hampshire, UK. 

I am delighted to have been invited to show in the Frame Gallery Christmas Exhibition  which is in Odiham, Hampshire, UK.

This December there will be a fabulous collection of art and my owl painting above will be for sale and on display along with other new work by me  as part of the annual event.  I must confess I visited the gallery earlier today to deliver my new collection and couldn't leave without buying a few gifts as the owner is so spectacular at finding new treasures to display. 

Do visit if you can and for further details visit the gallery web site

Thursday, 27 September 2018

SWA Society of Women Artists Annual Exhibition 2018 , Mall Galleries, London

With one of my paintings from the SWA Annual Exhibition

SWA Society of Women Artists Annual Exhibition 2018
Mall Galleries

Heaven knows how time is flying. I have been so busy filming my next new book and working so hard on it that I have neglected my blog for far too long but I hope to add some lovely posts on it soon.

For now though catching up!

Yesterday I went to the Private Preview of the SWA Society of Women Artists Annual Exhibition 2018. Held at the fabulous Mall Galleries in London ,UK. I have to say it is a superb show. I have missed participating for a few years due to my constant travelling itinerary but this year I managed to submit work and deliver it to the Mall Galleries in time to take part. I am truly honoured to be a member of this prestigious society. And each time I go to one of the annual exhibitions I am literally blown away by the diverse collection of talent on display. This year was no different. The work selected that made it into the show was of a very high standard.  For me the most exciting part of going is to see new blood. New artists emerging coming into the exhibition. To see new styles, new names, new ways of working in a variety of mediums, new approaches to familiar subjects and subjects you may never have considered painting. This is eye opening.  Everything is here in this exhibition to both inspire and keep the more enthusiastic artist fully alive and motivated.

I am going to have to be honest here and ask have you ever wandered into an annual art society exhibition knowing you are going to see almost exactly the same thing as last year? I have and it is really boring! This does not happen at the SWA events. The variety of art grows from members and non members alike each year and I alway sleave feeling the urge to race to my studio and paint.

Of course there will be work in any show that you don't admire. That is natural. We don't all like the same things which is a good thing. There were possibly one or two paintings I might not have selected had I been on the SWA selection panel this year but as I mentioned to the friends I was with yesterday. Those were the very paintings that captured my attention. I studied them long and hard to see why they had been chosen. These were the extra dimension adding colour to the show.

I have to take my hat off to the whole committee who work so hard to make this event such a success. I am a past member of the SWA committee and I know what goes on behind the scenes and it is an incredible amount of hard work from a truly dedicated team who often put their own needs and careers on hold to put the society and its' members first. They deserve congratulating on this years exhibition.

I also would like to give credit to Soraya French who is the current President of the Society. I know Soraya as a dear friend. She is well loved and well respected. Not only for her wonderfully colourful art but also for her amazing personality and nature. She is warm, generous and so giving. Do look up her art and books if you haven't come ascross her name before.

As I wandered around the gallery a lady and her friend were looking at my paintings, two o fmy floral pieces which were in the main gallery. Soon a red dot appeared next to one of them and I happily had my photo taken on request from thedelightful  buyer. You know,  it isn't even the red dot or sale that is important to me. That lady fell in love with my painting and I know it will be going to a home where it is enjoyed for years to come. It was a wonderful moment at the show and added to the already fantastic day.

The SWA exhibition is an annual event and you can see submission details and information on how to become a member on their web site. So take a look. Visit the exhibition and if you think you would like to join in, consider submitting next year. Bear in mind the selection process is one you will need to go through as with any good art society but if you get in the trill and honour is worth while.

Do visit the exhibition if you are in London and say Hi to my only available rooster painting at the moment.

Happy painting and I am back on my blog!


Monday, 3 September 2018

Instagram ? I am finally on it!

Blackberry  First Wash

While writing a new book I tend to lock myself away consistently but I have recently joined Instagram. When I say recently I mean this weekend! Everyone has been begging me to join for ages but my problem was thinking " Do I really need to be on one more social media site!"

Well I am there now and as I am painting prolifically I am sharing my work each day so if you would like to find me there just look for my name and  you are welcome to follow my watercolour antics! You will also see my latest work there that I haven't had time to share here. But I will still be writing on my blog because of course this is where I share my workshop news and I can write much longer posts here!

But right now I am going to paint as the sun is shining and its a beautiful day to be working in watercolour but when isn't it a beautiful day to be working in watercolour?



Be Exciting! 2018 Those Warm Up Washes.

 First Wash for Blackberry painting

I have just had the last of my UK workshops this year and last week was wonderful. I shared so many new ideas and products and each day seemed better than the last. My whole ethos about teaching is to not only inspire but to give everything I know that works away so that other artists can use my techniques too and hopefully evolve them to suit their own style. I cannot be secretive. I like to give every single piece of information away and I'm happy to say the courses were really enjoyed by wonderfully enthusiastic attendees.

My next courses are in USA and at present there are about two places left in Bonita Springs Florida if anyone would be interested in coming but be warned. These may be my best workshops yet as my passion for watercolour is at an all time high! 


I am working on a new book that cannot be "quiet"  . It builds in colour so excitingly that I am having a ball creating it. But back to this blog post.

Each day I find new inspiration as in subjects to paint and this morning I walked to the top of the hill I used to take my dog Bailey too. I find it difficult to go there without him now he is not with me anymore. But I did this morning and at the top I looked down and thought of all the happy times we walked there together. I had taken sharp secateurs with me thsi morning  to cut some bramble and hedgerow to bring back to my studio to paint in the comfort of my peaceful space.

When I returned I took a deep breath, calmed my soul and allowed colour to flow across the paper. I looked at the branches of vibrant glowing colour I had brought home and let them decide which colours I would add and where in my first washes. These colour wash flows are far more dynamic following my workshop sessions. I think I  inspired myself as much as everyone in the class and I couldn't wait to get home to paint after each session.

Two of my washes are shown below, side by side on my easel and I will finish them by adding detail next.

 Two dramatic Autumn first washes waiting to be completed!

My favourite wash so far is below. I love the flow in this piece. I won't add leaves until I know where each berry will definitely be sitting in the composition

 Favourite first wash for blackberry hedgerow painting.

I am sharing a close up below of a section of my favourite first wash, seen above If you look at the area in it  that seems to have more texture I will explain that this effect is gained by using granulation fluid. Demonstrated on my recent courses. Although I often do not use this product at all as I find my Daniel Smith colours granulate perfectly left on their own to interact. However I like doing things differently at times and this morning I "went for it" with my warm up washes using a bottle I had placed near my easel, to remind me to use it!

Close Up Section : Granulation effects achieved by using Granulation Fluid.

It is good to use different things from time to time. It pushes you to be adventurous  with your art and encourages you to search for new ways of  achieveing dynamic results in your work. At the moment  I'm listening to birds singing and now can't wait to get back to painting. I hope you are feeling inspired by nature too. I do believe going outside for a walk, taking a deep breath and absorbing the energy around you is a great start to every day.

So my artist tip for today is

" Go OUT"!

Look for treasure to paint and don't get stuck in a rut as to sitting inside non stop, as that can seriously block your artists' soul and energy.

Have a great day! And happy painting


P.S I am now sharing a lot of my work daily on Instagram so do look me up there!

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Just do it! Autumn Scene in Watercolour

"Autumn Walk"

Years ago when I first started learning how to paint in watercolour I was trained in how to paint landscapes. The problem was, everyone in the courses I attended were too. Painting exactly the same scene and in exactly the same way. After a while I realised that perhaps I didn't want to be an artist after all. Not if it meant doing what everyone else did. And so for a while I stopped painting. That is until I discovered that art is about being different. Being you. Creating in a way that makes you happy.

But every now and then I return to painting landscapes and at the close of my studio day it is rather nice to throw colour on paper at random. I often choose colours that have been used that day on other subjects. Right now Autumn is approaching so I am drawn to golds and copper shades.  With the scene above I did  a wash first allowing colours to merge. I created a foggy effect by leaving water to do its " thing". Separating pigment and moving it out of the way so beautifully.

I added a few trees by looking at the trees outside my studio window. Then adding fence seemed like a good idea.  Splattering some gold leaves to hint at the Autumn foliage worked well for a distant look. In fact the composition was working really well at this point. I could see an old stone wall in the mid ground area. 

From my classical training I knew something was needed in the foreground to finish the painting. And outside my window I have hog weed going to seed so I added that in white gouache.

Before I knew it the landscape was done and I had relaxed while creating it.

I probably paint so many of these scenes, changing sections or colours but basically they are all the same. Background, mid ground, foreground.  And they are beautifully simple to pull together.

Perhaps you have a scene you could try  in this way? Add a building, mountains.trees in the distance, hedges, branches from above.

But make your work simple.

Most importantly. 

Have fun creating!



Taking Flight : Hummingbrid in Watercolour

A Touch of Green
Hummingbird work in progress 

I have so much I could share on my blog and so little time ! Firstly I have exciting news that the filming for my next new book which will be launched next year has begun. The film crew arrived at my cottage this week and we worked non stop with what has to be the most beautiful photography ever. I have future filming sessions scheduled so I will be busy writing and preparing for them.

This weekend I took time out to judge a watercolour competition connected with my book "Atmospheric Watercolours" which has been published in Russian, so the competition was set there and there were over 700 entries! Which means judging was a task. The submitted work was so beautiful but I have now selected five winning paintings.

Today my husband and I raced to the venue where my UK workshops take place and we have set up for what promises to be such an exciting week. I have two new "two day" courses to close this UK teaching year and the first begins tomorrow. The second two day course begins on Wednesday and I know there is a long waiting list for any cancellations but no cancellations occurred. Which brings me to the end of my 2018 courses in UK and they have been fantastic. Thank you so much to everyone who attended them and made each so memorable. I have loved every single session so very much. I am looking ahead and as my work is evolving it is only natural my workshops do too. My ideas for next year include experimental, stretching yourselfcourses and having fun looking at new ways to work in my favourite medium. Watercolour.

My USA tour begins  in October 2018 and I am really looking forward to it. If anyone has booked in Seattle please be prepared as I am going nuts with products at the moment, having a lot of fun which I am dying to show everyone in my workshop sessions.

So you would imagine I am being good and working on my list of things that must be done before tomorrow arrives? Well I should be but I fell in love with a photo of a hummingbird  taken by one of my friends on Twitter and he gave me permission to paint it. Hence the " Touch of Green" painting that I am showing in this blog post. I just want to add a touch more and then it is done.

What a great weekend, life and time. 

Roll on tomorrow!

Whatever you are doing do follow your heart as much as possible. If it screams at you to paint something do just that while the energy is positive, strong and your enthusiasm is high. Your results will show how you feel. I felt great today! Glowing!

Happy painting and thank you so much for following my blog. It is wonderful to escape here when life gets so busy that I can't breath and feel a need for artistic company!

Cropped version of the hummingbird painting. 
To be finished!