Sunday, 30 December 2012

Christmas 2012

Cottage Cheer,
Christmas Cards sent with love

The lead up to Christmas felt as though I was in one of my now popular horse racing scenes with me desperately racing towards the finish line of  having beautifully wrapped presents under the tree and a kitchen full of  tempting goodies to eat, in time.  The image above is a window of my cottage adorned with cards. I have run out of space to put the many we received this year and my dog Bailey has thoroughly loved waiting for the postman to arrive each day!

Bailey in snow

I keep thinking about all of the wonderful people I keep meeting due to my love of watercolours. Not a day passes where I don't open an email letting me know how someone has enjoyed my books or DVDs and it may surprise you to learn that each message makes me feel totally in awe of this world that connects so easily by the internet. Warmth and kindness in enthusiastic  comments from all over the world flood towards me from my computer screen and I find it totally magical. As this time of year always is.


Christmas Mince Pies

This week my artistic side has been connected with creating in the kitchen rather than with a brush in hand. Wonderful aromas from home made mince pies, cranberry suaces and stuffings have filled our countryside cottage and my plans came together for the festive season I realised that everything about Christmas is similar to a painting.

You plan in advance by buying ingredients such as gifts to wrap or recipe ingredients.This links with your art materials as having exactly what you need helps achieve the best results. Then after the preparation is in hand you need the skill to  cook, know if you have the right gift or how to paint your masterpiece.

Somehow it always magically comes together but my main ingredient in everything I do sounds corny, but it is love. I adore buying gifts for friends and family. I am at ease in my kitchen experimenting with new recipes and as everyone knows, I am passionate about being in my studio.

I was once told as a child that food always tastes better if you love the person you are cooking for. I think its the same with painting. If you love creating, the outcome has to shine more than if you are painting as if it a chore.

But this isn't a time to be serious as a new year approaches.

On my last Sunday in 2012 I am hoping you had a wonderful Christmas and that all your dreams will come true in 2013. And as the Midnight hour gets closer on New Years Eve  try a Celtic superstition that I grew up with. Think of all those you love and make the best wish possible at midnight for them. Those good wishes will come back at you, doubled. I must have made far too many good wishes last year as 2012 has been  stunningly fantastic for me! It is best to bear in mind that unpleasant or bad wishes magically stay with you and treble too so please be careful!

Make a wish and I hope it comes true,

Happy Christmas and an even Happier New Year!!!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Bailey in his Christmas Antlers

Tomorrow will be Christmas Eve and surprisingly everything in our cottage is ready for this special time of year. Presents are under the tree,  wonderfully tempting  food is in every corner of the kitchen and the scents of cinnamon fill the air. I have always loved Christmas and  spend months before hand thinking of recipes and ways to decorate our home so that it is welcoming to all who visit. This has been instilled in me since childhood. I never tire of the Christmas songs or season and love every second while it lasts.

Each day the postman has delivered Christmas cards from friends who live overseas and its' been a magical time opening them and reading each message. A photograph of my God daughter was probably one of the nicest surprises and I imagine Jo, her Mum, has absolutely no idea how happy it made me to see how Amy is growing and her brother, Noah too who are beautiful children.

I look back at last year and feel so lucky as so much has happened. Many of my artist friends have been concerned at how much I seem to be doing. I had a new book launch in May with "Atmospheric Watercolours" and this week heard it has had to go into reprint yet again because it has been so popular. I also heard my first book "How to Paint Colour an Light in Watercolour"  is reaching incredible sales figureswhich is great news. I filmed "Watercolour Passion " my new DVD which  along with "Amazing Ways with Watercolour" is selling really well also. Then there was the launch of my personalised brush sets with Rosemary &Co which are so sensual to use. The feedback on each has been phenomenal. I have said all along that all I want is for everyone to share the joy of  working in watercolour as much as I do and I am really grateful to everyone who has taken time to let me know how much they like my books, brushes and DVDs.

My workshops this year were all fully booked and I met some incredible people on them. I am still taken aback at how far  artists come to attend in UK. This year we had people from Vietnam, Iceland, USA, Spain and Portugal to name but a few countries.  I travelled and taught in USA for the first time too and I can't wait to return next year, but this time it will be like returning to a family as everyone gave me such a warm welcome.  I owe special thanks to Karla, Joanne and Patty for making this happen. My 2013 UK workshops  filled up as soon as the dates were released and sadly my diary  in England is heavily committed next year, so the best way to see me now will be at Patchings in summer but please book your place early! I taught at Dedham Hall also for the first time and loved it so my week course there next year is going to be great fun but again is fully booked.

I have been fortunate to show with amazing galleries and have exhibitions in 2013 that will see me working studiously and loving  bringing new collections to life. But most of all news wise I have an exciting new project of a book that for now is really a wonderfully delicious secret and I can't wait to share the news about it at a later stage.

I do take on a lot and my life is rich because of the time I put into painting and sharing my passion for watercolour. But by my side I have the most amazing husband who I love so much. Artists attending my workshops here and abroad have also instantly recognised how great he is, having met him in person. I would be lost without him which is why in each book there is a dedication to him.

In life, it does make a huge difference if you are loved and capabable of loving. This happy emotion flows into my brushstrokes and text when I am typing. So my wish for Christmas and the New Year is that whoever you are,whatever your dreams, large or small I hope they come true. And I genuinely wish you the happiest of Christmas's with an even happiest of years to follow.

I can't thank you enough for all the kind emails and messages you have given to me. 
All I can do is seriously wish you a very 
HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

Jean


Monday, 17 December 2012

"Atmospheric Watercolours" Great Christmas Gift

"Atmospheric Watercolours"

When I wrote "Atmospheric Watercolours" I aimed to include many tips  for readers to enjoy when working in watercolour. are so many ways of working in this medium. Often the smallest hint on how to include backgrounds in subjects, texture effects or even how we think when approaching a painting can drastically change our results.

I am so thrilled with all the fantastic comments coming my way from people all over the world who are enjoying my book. It makes all the time put into creating it worthwhile.

While I was so busy writing, giving away  my tips and hints I felt as though each chapter could be like opening a Christmas present when it was read. But I never imagined all the joy in giving then would later come back in my direction, from readers who have bought "Atmospheric Watercolours" and are enjoying it so much. These replies and messages have made my own 2012 Christmas so magical and I am really grateful for the time taken in letting me know how much my work is enjoyed.

There is no point in loving anything we do in life unless we can share that joy. And my life is rich because of the people in it and readers like you.

Thank you so much.

Jean.

Christmas Watercolour Gift Orders




 Thank you to everyone who has orderd my books, DVDs or personalised brush sets for Christmas Gifts. I have been amazed at the number of orders that have flooded in to my online  web site shop found via this link.


My book is also available online from Amazon.com and if you order quickly it may still arrive in time for Christmas!

Thank you also to everyone who is sending me such fabulous comments about  my latest book "Atmospheric Watercolours"  and paintings created after reading it. This is making my Chrisrmas such a special time knowing how happy I have made readers and watercolour lovers.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Marrakech : December 2013

In Marrakech, December 2013

I have just returned home from a fabulous trip to Marrakech. It really was such a fabulous  break. The sun was warm and the skies so blue. Walking around the souqs fed this artists imagination for paintings next year. My workshops are going to be rather unique with the fantastic new subject material and colour combinations at hand now.

I have eaten in wonderful restaurants enjoying beautiful Moroocan food, smelt the heady aroma of spices and seen fishmarkets galore on the coast with figure scenes that  cried out to be  caught in watercolour.

My enthusiasm is now even higher if that is possible and I am dying to get  working in the peace of my studio but my dance moves while I work will possibly now be more Morrocan than before I left!

While I was there I was invited to hold a Morrocan Watercolour Workshop. Now that would be interesting!


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Friday, 7 December 2012

The Christmas Gift of Love

"Mans Best Friend"
Painted with love in the same way that my book was written .
With love.

I read an email this morning and had to take a few moments to allow the content to sink in. The message was thanking me for my latest book because it had been so inspirational in the readers life and their own art journey.  Then I opened a second email from Malaysia and again my heart was  touched with the warmth in the words the message contained. I find it amazing that I am reading wonderful messages daily now from all over the world. All from people who are reading and loving "Atmospheric Watercolours". I am overwhelmed. And in a way lost in how to say thank you to everyone who is taking the time to write to me.

Firstly, I should explain. I am not anyone special. I never have been or ever will be. I don't see myself as a celebrity or famous artist although I keep meeting people who try to tell me I am. I truly am not. There are far more talented artists in this world who are more deserving of that title. I really am just someone who loves working in watercolour so much ; it has changed my life and brought me to a career that I am 100% passionate about. I want others who would like to paint to enjoy their art journey as much as I am enjoying mine. And that is why I write.

I shared my personal journey in an interview this week which I will share a link to on my blog when it is published. By answering a few of the questions raised I had the chance to look back at my life. I can smile now at being a small, skinny child with bright red hair who was always wearing overly large clothes. that I was to supposed to grow into. I was teased so much at that time in my life and wanted to look like everyone else. I would have given anything for brown or black hair.  And it would have been wonderful to not be so shy. I was painfully quiet and withdrawn.  Art ,even then changed my life. I could draw happy subjects that made me feel good as an escape. It was a form of therapy where I could lean on colour to lift my spirits.

Years later I travelled and when ever I was in a new country I would settle through art again. Either meeting other artists to paint with or going to classes where I could learn from masters. This led to my eventually teaching. The one thing that I find incredible is that on my workshops I  often meet people who have no idea how talented they are. Who have the capability of furthering their own careers but don't know how.  I meet people from all walks of life outside my workshops who believe they cannot paint because they think they have no artistic gifts.

I wrote "Atmospheric watercolours" because painting in watercolour makes me feel incredible. The excitement of facing each new piece of white paper is a heady high I will never tire of. I wanted others to feel this way too. Able to get to a happy place by the touch of a brush. I desperately wanted everyone to know their dreams,whatever they are, can come true. So I wrote a book from my heart trying to include every possible tip I could give. Feeling as though every page or chapter would be like opening the best of Christmas presents for each reader.

What I didn't foresee was the response I would get in return. When you give from the heart you don't set out to receive. You just want to give and freely. I truly am overwhelmed by all the wonderful feedback coming my way. My heart is touched to the point where I have been in tears by reading some of the messages I have opened and read quietly in my studio.

So, from this non famous artist, a huge thank you to everyone who has written to me or who has bought a copy of my book. I am  over the moon it is selling so well and becoming so popular and if I could do anything to show my gratitude for everyones' positive reaction I would.

But I do have an idea. I can show you how much your thanks mean to me by writing another book that will inspire on a whole new level. And that will be my next dream to come true.

For you.

Thank you.

Jean

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Australia and USA: Workshop Tour 2013


I really am looking forward to my workshops in 2013. My UK sessions are fully booked and the programme is incredible with many new subjects and techniques to cover.

 I will be holding fabulous watercolour workshops in Australia and USA in 2013.
For full information please contact the following for places available, location details and fees.

Australia April 2013
To book please email  brushstrokes.diannekelly@gmail.com  
 
New York October 2013To book please email   jnielsen@artleagueli.org
Texas November 2013To book please email karlabennett@kw.com  **********  I cannot stress enough how important it is to book early for these events as there are limited places available. I intend to make each a memorable occasion so expect the unexpected!

Christmas Exhibitions 2013




"Over My Shoulder"
Original painting from my latest Book "Atmospheric Watercolours"
On display at Dedham Hall.
My watercolour  course there next year is fully booked.

I am really busy painting in my studio this week preparing for an exciting solo exhibition next year. I currently have work in four Christmas Exhibitions. Two in Hampshire, one in Norfolk and one in Surrey.

There is a a beautiful collection in a small "Jean Haines" Christmas exhibit at the Wey Gallery in Godalming, Surrey. This includes my major horse racing scenes plus  the all time collectibles of favourite sheep.
My cockerels are at Picturecraft Gallery in Holt ,Norfolk .. 
Dog watercolours of  course can be found in my collection at the Dogs in Art Gallery in Stockbridge, Hampshire.
Favourite flowers such as snowdrops are in The Frame Gallery in Odiham,Hampshire.

It is a busy month!






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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

New York Watercolour Workshops 2013


New York Workshops 2013

I can't really believe I am already typing this but I have confirmed that I will be returning to New York next year to  hold watercolour workshops again. This year was so fantastic meeting artists on Long Island that even Hurricane Sandy couldn't spoil the sessions!

There will be two , two day workshops but as this years event  was so popular can I suggest you book very early to avoid disappointment.  We didn't advertise my 2012 watercolour session  very much due to the high demand for places. So you are hearing it here first and from me!

Dates for your diary are

"More Than Watercolour"
Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th, October 2013 
10.00 - 4.00 p.m.
A fabulous experience looking at ways to bring a variety of subjects to life minus the use of a preliminary sketch. This two day course aims to bring the best  out of you as an artist and inspire at a high level looking at where you are heading with your art. Please book early to avoid disappointment.

"Atmospheric Watercolours "
Tuesday 29th  and Wednesday30th October 2013
What better way to  approach Hallowe'en than working in the most magical of mediums? This will be an incredible two days working on a number of subjects with vibrant colour combinations. Expect the unexpected and relax in this memoralbe two day event.

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All bookings can be made through the Art League of Long Island via
 jnielsen@artleagueli.org




Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Buy Early For Christmas!! Books, DVDs and Brushes!

  "Atmospheric Watercolours "
An internationally best selling book showing techniques on a variety of subjects!

This is a reminder  that if you wish to buy a signed copy of either of my books, or a set of my personalised kolinsky sable brushes or my DVDs please order this week to ensure your gifts arrive in time for Christmas! Details of all my products can be found on my web site online shop.


The very best Kolinsky Watercolour Brush  Sets
Still ONLY £45!

Watercolour Passion
Inspirational DVD showing how  to paint subjects in a loose interpretative style.

How to Paint Colour and Light in Watercolour
Internationally best selling watercolour  book


Amazing Ways With Watercolour
My first and most popular DVD with Townhouse Films!

THese are all ideal as Christmas gifts for watercolour fans! Order yours early while  stocks last.

Wonderful Studio Time

Elephant painting, work in progress for 2013 Exhibition

I have a glorious week in my studio to catch up with writing and painting. It is heaven! I am working through folders of art that have been stored for safe keeping. These pieces are for 2013 exhibitions and my facbulous project of a new book. Life couldn't get any more exciting, or could it? I recently received a wonderful invitation from a gallery that is new to me to exhibit with and am happily putting a collection of pieces together for the show which will open early next year.

I am also having a fantastic time working on my new horse racing paintings that will form part of an exciting collection for my solo exhibition at the Wey Gallery in Godalming,Surrey which I am really looking forward to. Keeping this work secret, at times, has been so hard because as each painting has evolved during creation I desperately wanted to share my excitement. Especially with the thrilling colour combinations and feeling of movement in each new composition.

I will share details of  next years events later but for now I have original watercolours in some incredible Christmas shows in Hamphire,Surrey and Norfolk so please take a look at my web site if you wish to visit them.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

The Best Of Nature

Fox in snow
Photograph taken in my garden last year

It has been an amazing week.This morning I spent time in my studio quietly working. As I looked through my window, at the frost outside, I saw the most beautiful fox. It stopped and gazed at me for a moment before  continuing its' walk around our garden. It then returned to my studio and sat outside, almost asking to come in out of the cold. This ,naturally, had to be the one and only morning I had left my camera in my cottage! All I could  do was sit and admire it. Its' colouring was magnificent and its eyes really shone in the early morning light.  Now I have a painting in my mind which I hope to capture when I have time.

However, time is precious for me this month with so much planning ahead for neaxt years workshops and exhibitions. I will be travelling to Australia in April 2013 and may possibly be giving a workshop in Hong Kong on my return to Europe. I have trips to Morocco and Spain planned and I will be holding workshops again in Texas and New York in Autumn. My 2013 UK workshops are fully booked  and as I am hoping to start writing again, the time I have free will be spent on a new project and my exhibiton collections.

I have given several magazine interviews which will be published next year and I will share  more news in other posts. For now I am enjoying the last month of December with the joy of a new trip approaching which is research for my next years subjects.

My life is never boring but today, as it is Sunday I am going to take a well earned break to enjoy this  incredible  scenery while I can!

 My morning walk today, isn't the beauty of nature incredible?

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I would like to add a huge thank you to artists taking part in my robin challenge to raise fundss for  Cancer Charities. I have been  inundated with emails and I didn't expect such a huge response. Thank you so much! I hope to share more soon!


Friday, 30 November 2012

Learning from Nature Novenber: 2012

Frost on Leaves
A beautiful abstract composition

This morning I woke to a very enthusiastic Beardie who just couldn't wait for his morning walk. As I looked out of my window I saw the ground was covered in the most beautiful frost. It was as though someone had lain icing over our garden overnight, creating the most beautiful of sights.

I grabbed Baileys lead and my camera and headed out to the countryside that surrounds our cottage. It was a fantastic walk. Everywhere I turned I could see possibilities for new paintings. The autumn golds that I love so much have been gradually disappearing as the trees lose their leaves. Now the sky carries an incredible hue which in turn casts fabulous light changes on the fields and grasses.

Returning to my studio I cannot wait to paint and as Bailey is now tired I may be able to do so in peace! I love owning a dog. The bond we share enriches my life daily but without him I doubt I would have  seen such beauty this morning. 


Baily with his ball on the icy grass this morning.

 We learn so much when we are not at our easel. We observe. The added bonus of the break along with fresh air can give such a boost to studio time and fuel much needed inspiration that can be lacking if we don't go out.

Have a great weekend and happy painting!

Jean

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Australia : Watercolour Workshops 2013

Fun Koala, morning warm up exercise 
Obviously affected by my emails to Australia!
.
I am thrilled to have recieved a message from Dianne who is organising my Watercolour Workshops in Australia next year. Apparently she has been inundated with requests for places there in April 2013.  Even though the information was only released yesterday afternoon. 

It really will be a very exciting trip and I am so eager to paint new subjects there. Hopefully I will get to see the Koala I adore so much, kangaroo and vibrantly colourful parrots.

There will be so much that  is new to me as an artist so I know its' going to be a very memorable time.

If you are interested in meeting me and attending a workshop please contact Dianne as soon as possible, because places are strictly limited, to ensure the workshops are incredible and enjoyed by all.

Full information via this link


Email
 brushstrokes.diannekelly@gmail.com


There is accomodation at Frogs Hollow and at the gorgeous country hotel at Killarney,15mins drive away.

Please book early!


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Christmas Gallery Exhibitions 2013

" I'll Tell you What I Want!"
Cockerel from The Frame Gallery in Odihams Christmas " Small Painting " Exhibition

I am in several wonderful Christmas Exhibitions this year and my collections can be seen at

The Wey Gallery in Godalming, Surrey.
This gallery exclusively sells my horse racing scenes including the extra large paintings. I have sheep, sailing and many more subjects in the collection, now on show so please visit!

Dogs in Art Gallery, Stockbridge,  Hampshire
If you would like to see my West Highland Whites, Bearded Collies or owls head to Stockbridge in Hampshire and enjoy a cream tea opposite the gallery!

The Frame Gallery, Odiham, Hampshire
This gallery is hosting a small painting exhibition with many pieces included especially for the Christmas season. Definitely a show not to be missed! I have cockerels, cats, flowers and reindeer in this exhibition.

Picturecraft Gallery, Holt in Norfolk
I am delighted to be showing in Norfolk fo rthe first time this year so if you are in the area please call in to see my  favourite cockerel collection. Copies of my book "Atmospheric watercolours" and  my card collections are also at the gallery.

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Australia Watercolour Workshops April 2013

Kangaroo Splash!
I am so excited about my first workshops in Australia and it has shown on my easel!

Some time ago, I had been invited to hold watercolour workshops in Australia. Until now my schedule has been so full that I haven't been able to fit dates into my annual programmes. It has been so  disappointing, with so much on the idea seemed almost impossible.

The good news is I have just confirmed workshops in Australia next year and I will be there sharing my passion for watercolour in April 2013. I am thrilled!

There will be  a weekend  workshop on Saturday and Sunday
20th and 21st April

And a three day workshop running from Tuesday 23rd April to Thursday 25th April.

The theme will be "Atmospheric Watercolours" and we will be looking at a large variety of subjects , working without a preliminary sketch to bring subjects to life with unique and original results.

Artists will recieve a material list of what to bring and as this will be my first time holding workshops in Australia I suggest everyone expects the unexpected. It is going to be a very memorable experience!

 For further  information please contact Dianne 

brushstrokes.diannekelly@gmail.com

Location and details of the venue can be viewed via this link


My USA workshops were sold out very quickly so please contact Frogs Hollow as soon as possible to avoid  disappointment!



Monday, 26 November 2012

The Frame Gallery Small Painting Exhibition 2012

"Snowdrop Gathering"

This afternoon I will be delivering my small paintings for the 2012 Christmas Exhibition at The Frame Gallery in Odiham,Hampshire. I will also be taking the reindeer painting that has created so much laughter  over the last few days.

I often feel, as artists we can take ourselves far too seriously and I am meeting many established professionals who have been painting for years but admit they have lost the enjoyment in picking up their brushes. In all honesty I know that will never happen to me because I truly am an art addict and can't wait to start painting each day.

At the moment I am working on my 2013/2014 watercolour tours and a fabulous collection of art for my 2013 exhibitions.

There is as always, so much to do and I am  so happy there is!

Happy painting!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Name the reindeer to win a reindeer!



The reindeer painting I shared yesterday created so much laughter that it has now sarted a competition via the Frame Gallery in Odiham,Hampshire.

You can win one of the reindeers this was modelled from by giving my reindeer a name!

You can find details of the reindeer competition on my Facebook page.


The competition runs until next Thursday!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Last Years Rudolf !

Rudolf 2011
SOLD
 The Frame Gallery in Odiham
Hampshire,UK

Just for fun I am sharing last years Rudolf painting that was  displayed at the Frame Gallery in Odiham. This was such a fun painting to create and I laughed non stop during its' creative process. As artists we often take ourselves far too seriously so having fun with our brushes is good for us, bringing  back the feeling of joy when we paint.

Have fun with your art at times and keep that spontaneous feeling alive when you create.

It is worth it!

Oh Christmas Tree : Nutty Reindeer! 2012

Oh Christmas Tree

Here is my finsihed nutty reindeer painted for the Frame Gallery in Odiham , Hampshire, UK . Every year Jan from the gallery stocks amazing reindeers which are her Christmas decorations for the gallery but for sale. I now own a few and paint a new one each year. Last years painting was so funny and created so much laughter that I couldn't resist painting one again tis year.

Here is my tubby model against my painting background.. I prefered to make the one in my painting sing carols!

Reindeer Model!

If you wish to see my painting or the real reindeer visit The Frame Gallery in Odiham and  enjoy their 2012 Christmas Exhibition!

Details via this link



Friday, 23 November 2012

Spreading Joy :Step by Step Christmas 2012



 My Christmas "What is it?"

Last Christmas I had so much fun on my blog with a  "What Is It?" challenge. I must admit the answers coming in for the first stage were hysterical so as I have decided to paint another  watercolour of the same subject.  I thought I would share the stages on my blog because I can't stop laughing at this stupid reindeer!  The story behind the paintings stems from a selection of cute reindeer decorations at a gallery who represent me in Hampshire.  Jan the owner knows I buy a new reindeer each year and I can't resist painting each new model.

Stage 1. I started with the round head,bulbous eyes and then a santa hat leaving white paper for the  furry part above the eyes. See first image, above.

 Stage 2. I added the antlers at each side of the head.

Adding the antlers to the very "bored" reindeer!

Stage 3. He needs a body and the model is rather tubby! I started with his red and white scarf . Then worked colour around the white fur on his hat and the bobble at the end of the point.  I have painted a soft fuzzy body leaving a red  round shape which was to be a button originally.

"All I want for Christmas "
My snooty reindeer is appearing. He looks as though he would only shop at Harrods. 
"Hark The Harrod  Reindeer sings "

How many Christmas Carols can you fit into one blog post?!

I showed the gallery my painting at this stage by email and loved hearing Jan laugh.She  recognised the reindeer immediately.

Stage 4 With a few simple touches I can make my reindeer sing! I have added facial features following the face on the Christmas toy. The Christmas tree was from my imagination. Cute isn't it and within a few minutes I have laughed non stop, made a friend laugh and hopefully made you laugh too.

"The First Noel"

Life shouldn't always be serious and neither does art have to be. There are times when its' great to let your hair down and have a laugh with your brushes.  I just did.

So when you are looking at your Christmas decorations this year pick one to paint and have fun with it. Share that  happy feeling with others around you and spread joy via your art. Its a pretty wonderfulworld when you do.

Happy painting!

Christmas Exhibition 2012 The Wey Gallery in Godalming, Surrey




"Only Ewe"

The Wey Gallery
Christmas Exhibition 2012
Godalming
Surrey 

I have a wonderful display of watercolours currently being exhibited at the fabulous Wey Gallery in Godalming Surrey . The collection includes Frankel, my favourite racehorse ; sheep, sailing and many more gorgeous subjects. There are a few very large pieces available and the gallery are happy to help with enquiries on opening hours and sales.

For full information please contact

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving 2012

"The Turkey who wished they were a sheep!"

It is so funny how many times in peoples lives they wish they were someone else. When I was a child I always wanted to be the pretty little girl next door who had  her own parents who loved her very much, a travelling Uncle who always brought her expensive gifts and the most beautiful clothes I had ever seen. If she wanted anything she could have it. It was as simple as that.

I was often dressed in clothes that I was told I would grow into. I never did. I was told looking forward to getting something your heart desired was far better than just being given it.  I look back at so many wise  replies I was given as a child and to be very truthful I think I only appreciate what I have in life now because of what I had to go without as a small girl. I learned that nothing comes without hard work and if we had food on the table with a roof over our  heads we were blessed.

Years later it feels as though many of my dreams have come true. I am so very lucky and my luck seems to continue as I have so very much to be thankful for. As I type there is a storm outside but it is nothing compared to the Hurricane I witnessed in New York on my recent trip there and I have been thinking about all my friends who have endured so much following the wrath of Sandy.

This Thanksgiving Day I am thinking of all those who  have and the many who have not. And I really do give thanks for being so blessed in my life.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Italian Influences!

Venice In Watercolour
On my Easel waiting to be completed

I know everyone is expecting me to be sharing robins or even cockerel paintings at the moment but right now I am working on huge landscapes. The above painting is a smaller version of a large piece that has captured my heart today. I am in love with the Cerulean Blue pigment of the upper part of the architecture whilst a mixture of pinks give a warm glow to the facade. I am trying to avoid too  much in the way of  tiny detail in too many sections. Mainly as I do not  want to lose the spontaneity of the piece. Spontaneity which I could easily miss out on if I used a preliminary sketch!

There is so much life in this and a feeling of energy which is amazing considering I am working on a building. And so after working on the floor with this painting, I placed it on my easel to photograph and I now cannot wait until tomorrow to continue with this theme.

Whatever you are doing today I hope it makes you feel as happy as I do right now.

I heard "Atmospheric Watercolours" , my latest book is to be published in Italian next year so I am thrilled!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Robin Paintings for Charity

Robin by Joe McFadden

 I am thrilled with the number of robin paintings that are appearing following my request on the weekend, to unite as artists and paint for a  cancer charity of your choice.

JoeMcFadden  painted the above fabulous robin which I first saw on Twitter. Thank you so much Joe!

And Brian Morrison has not only painted a robin but has also encouraged other artists to do the same via his blog and art club which you can see via this link. Thank you Brian!!


I hope to share more robin paintings if I get time but for now  thank you so much to everyone who has joined in by caring and sharing!

Jean!

Autumnal Inspiration

Rosehips from my garden today

This morning as always I took my dog, Bailey, for a walk. As the light was so beautiful I took my camera hoping to gain some beautiful Autumnal images. The golds from the oak tree leaves falling are creating the most miraculous of carpets on the ground, in the woodlands and country lanes. But even before we set off I was drawn to the rosehips in our garden. They are simply stunning this year. I couldn't wait to race home to paint them but my Mondays are now my administration day. And it has been hectic.

I have been liasing with Australia regarding an opportunity to hold a workshop there next year. I have also written a feature in the form of an interview for a magazine. I sadly had to decline a few invitations to demonstrate in 2013 because I am already heavily commited  next year. So my brushes lay patiently waiting for me to pick them up. 

This image has stayed in my mind all day and I just had to share it, because even as a photograph it teaches so much about art. Look at how the light plays on each hip? I see these sections as white paper but each highlight is unique in shape. When I hold workshops artists often paint every single  highlight on a cluster of berries exactly the same.

We can learn so much from nature if we truly open our eyes and observe!

Happy Painting!

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Saturday, 17 November 2012

Artists United : Robin Step by Step Stage 3

Pulling it together to make a complete painting.
Robin Step by Step
Adding Details

Stage 3. Now we have a first wash of a robin hopefully from the previous two stages on my blog. It is time to start adding detail and the background. Again you will have to either imagine a robin, or you can refer to a resource photo to see what the beak looks like. But it is pointed and suitable for forraging for food!  I have exaggerated the point of the beak on my robin for interest, purely because it appeals to me more this way! It gives my bird a little bit of character. I did use my fine rigger brush to paint this detail as I find my brush very handy for this kind of  work.


Adding the beak detail
 I like this as it is, so could start a whole new painting of just the robins head!

Now to add interest to my imaginary background. I have my robin sat on a branch but you could make yours sit on a log, watering can, garden statue or chair, absolutely anything you fancy! I do want to paint a wintery scene so I am opting for a lovely cerulean blue sky  and I am working in a negative approach leaving white paper at the top of my branches to form a snowfall effect on them. I haven't used any masking fluid as I prefer to work around the white of the paper.

Snow on the branches formed by leaving white paper

Tip: Make the two branches different in colour. The distant lower branch here is  paler to give a feeling of being further away from the viewer.

And this is where it gets really interesting because I can now decide what to do next. I can add a blue background leaving small dots of white paper in sections to give a feeling of snow falling. Or I can add holly leaves behind to create a more Christmassy atmosphere. I can at this stage do anything I want to bring my painting to completion or I can leave it until tomorrow morning and look forward to adding the very last touches.

A beak,snow on the branches brings this robin further to life as a painting!

How is your painting coming along and where can I see it? Send me links by reply to this blog post please so that my blog followres can see your  paintings and stages!!

Happy painting!





Artists United: Robin Step by Step Stage 2

Robin 
Step by Step Stage 2
Adding the red chest and wing, plus a branch to sit on

Okay I will admit that the eye was the easy bit but for some of you far too easy and possibly a little bit boring! So now  we are going to have some originality and excitement about adding colour to the robin.

Before you have a heart attack or imagine the next stage is really difficult, read what I am about to say!

Before you touch the paper with your next brushstroke I want you to close your eyes and imagine you are looking at a real robin. On a cold winter day. The feathers could be fluffed up against the cold and if you notice that chest isn't really red in colour is it? It is more of an orange. But  for some reason as a child I always called them robin redbreasts!

Anyway lets move on and add more colour now.

 Working away  from a starting point!



Painting the red section. The eye was your starting point . Now  slowly  work around the eye with Alizarin Crimson and drop a touch of cadmium Orange into the new wet section to allow the pigments  to merge and give you a softer red/ornage appearance. Work VERY slowly at first around the eye then bring this soft red colour  downwards  to form the chest section.

TIP: Keep the colour very soft as the subject is soft and could fly away.

Painting the head and wing. Now use a soft brown shade and add a hint of colour the top of the head . Next, hint at one wing too in the same colour. 

 If you bleed the edegs with a damp burhs loaded with clean water you will get a beautiful looseness  that creates a feeling of movement and life in your results.

I have added a touch of cerulean blue  at the under belly area 

Using a deeper shade of the same brown I added a twig for my robin to sit on. I allowed colour  to run from the body to the twig to form one leg!

Use your imagination on where to place your twig or branch so that your painting is original!

This is supposed to be fun so please smile while you are painting!

Artists United: Robin Step by Step Stage 1. The Eye!

Robin
Stage 1.

So easy  that everyone can do it!

With this painting we are going to work from a starting point and that may sound very easy but its important to choose where to place your first mark! The whole robin will have to fit around it so please don't place the eye to close to the edge of the paper!

I have used French Ultramarine Blue . Artists from my workshops will know I NEVER use black as I find that kills  the life in my work!

I have made a small circle  shape leaving a tiny white area of paper showing for the highlight of the eye.




Now let this dry completely and  be really proud of yourself for making that first step to helping a worthwhile charity!



Artists United : Robin Step by Step

Robin in Watercolour
Step by Step in aid of Cancer Charities
I know I have blog readers from all over the world so how about you choose the cancer charity of your choice if you follow this step by step.

Here is mine.

Step by Step Robin in Watercolour. 

To take part in this step by step you need to feel happy about painting because you are aiming at helping others. 

Step 1. Choose a cancer charity of your choice before you pick up a brush please! 

Step 2.  Materials
You will need white paper, at least 140lbs in weight.
Watercolours : Alizarin Crimson ,Cerulean Blue,Cadmium Orange, Burnt Umber, Winsor Violet and French Ultrmarine Blue
Palette to put these colours on
A size 10 watercolour brush ( sable like mine is best)
A water pot full of clean fresh water.


Lets' go! 

Step 3. Share this blog post on Twitter, Facebook and your blog and get everyone you know painting robins for C , remembering that the letter C isn't just for Christmas!

C you in my next blog post! 

I will try to share my favourite robins painted by you on my blog so please join in and let me know what charity you are helping and why with this idea!

That Time of Year

Robin in progress

I am sure everyone reading my blog expected me to say that it is that time of year again when we think about Christmas. Wrong! Last night was the annual Children In Need event and people raised over twenty six million pounds to help children. Celebrities and non celebrities joined forces in a superb effort to raise smiles while working  towards one goal. Improving the lives of youngsters. I cried, smiled laughed and without a doubt  realised how lucky I and my family are and have been.

One little girl on this years Children In Need show caught my attention and touched my heart. She has cancer and is so inspirationally brave. I wondered how on earth I could help a child like her who should never have to suffer in the way that she has. Maybe you, as a reader of my blog, could help me.

What if we all painted a robin, red being the colour of love and donated it in any way we can so that the funds raised can go to a cancer Charity? What do you think?

So my next blog post is how to paint a robin. My free step by step to you, but you must promise me to either teach the painting to others and raise funds in an art class or sell your robin painting in aid of a cancer charity.

By uniting  for Children in Need so much was gained.

Lets unite with our  paintbrushes!