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!


Down Came The Rain : Foxgloves in Watercolour

 Foxgloves in Watercolour

My cottage garden is a delight at the moment. It is full of beautiful flowers all begging to be painted. The most gorgeous catching my attention are the tall foxgloves. And I know these will be very short lived  so I have to paint them while I can. Today the weather was against me so I gave up painting en plein air after a while. I had been  moving my easel inside my studio and out again in between showers. The easiest solution was to place my easel by my studio door and paint what I could see outside. Which luckily are tall fabulous foxgloves. But I have to admit.This isn't really luck. Knowing our English weather I now deliberately plant my favourite flowers to paint each year. In locations where I can see them from my studio for days such as these. Wet ones!

 Foxglove first wash. very little detail yet and even so, the shape of the flowers is already there giving hints of what this painting is to be.

I was thrilled to be asked so many times at Patchings Art Festival this year how I paint these beautiful flowers. And several art groups had to leave early missing my afternoon demonstrations. So I gave these wonderful artists little demonstrations in my own marquee. I think when someone has travelled a long way to see you it is vital to share what they came to see in colour, tips and my way of working.

 My easel is in my studio, with the door open , facing foxgloves outside flowering in my cottage garden.

Gazing at beauty is very relaxing. Trying to capture that very same beauty in a watercolour is also a very enjoyable feeling. When I paint I fall into a place of peaceful calm. It is just me, the beauty I see and this afternoon a few bumble bees who decided they too adored the flowers and my painting as several have tried to settle on my wet pigment. 

As always I have two paintings on the go.  Seen in the next image side by side.

 Side by side. Two first washes of foxgloves.

I  am currently writing my next book so my mind is full of wonderful ideas to share. I am being contacted by my 2015 USA locations regarding my Autumn Book Signing Tour also. And I have to plan my UK workshops for 2016. On top of this I have three gallery exhibitions to prepare for. One a beautiful solo show that will include art from my latest book. The Kingfisher and the Harvest mouse paintings I already know will be firm favourites to purchase. I will be sharing full details  on my blog in future posts.

But for now I am simply relaxing and painting foxgloves in watercolour. face with such beauty each day how I could I resist!

Foxgloves outside my studio and on my easel.


P.S . Yes it IS that favourite  shade by the way. Daniel Smith Opera Pink!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

All The Beautiful Blues

 Blue Hydrangea
Demonstration techniques from a recent floral workshop

Artists who attended my recent floral workshops will recognise the techniques I have used in this attractive painting of hydrangea which is sat on my easel waiting for the very last brushstrokes. It is making me feel so alive to work on this piece.

Stunning blues bring the flowers to life. These are set off with Opera Pink  (yes, by Daniel Smith of course!) and touches of Turquoise. A collection of greens in the forgeound add more variety to the foliage.

This is heaven to work on and I will be painting more next week.

For now though I am going to enjoy looking at this at this unfinished stage.

I never race to complete a painting. I love each brushstroke and each new addition of colour so much that taking my time is worthwhile.

A great way to  play with all the beautiful blues in my palette! And I am finding gorgeous new favourites.


Artist Tip : I cannot recommend using good quality paper enough. I work on Saunders Waterford and Bockingford paper. Both are superb for my floral paintings!

I Didn't Want To Go : Portrait Demonstration

Portrait Demonstration from my new book
Jean Haines World of Watercolour

I thought I would share the story behind my portrait demonstration from my new book this morning.

I Didn't Want To Go

Everyone always thinks I am so cheerful and most of the time I am. But there have been times where I have been anxious or concerned about what was happening in my life. Years ago, I desperately wanted to settle down and yet we kept moving from one country to the next with my husbands career. Each time my heart sank as it meant saying goodbye to wonderful friends that I had come to love so dearly. Yet alone the fact that I was leaving  homes and gardens I had lovingly created in each new location.

And so, I found myself faced with yet another move to another country. The third time in only twelve months. We had started the New Year living in Hong Kong. From here we moved back to UK to settle down in Spring but my husband was offered  a job that was too good to refuse. We moved in the Autumn. This time in Dubai.

I didn't want to go. 

I had already unpacked, found a new house to decorate in UK and started living as if we were here to stay. But I knew this was a career move that was one of importance. We had to go and I knew it. I left England with a very sad heart. It didnt help that I had heard stories of living in Dubai that didn't thrill me at all. Each one totally untrue I have to add. Living in Dubai was wonderful. But my children had grown up. No longer could I hang around school gates to pick them up and at the same time meet other Mums. I had to find another way to make friends whilst my husband was travelling and constantly away from home. Leaving me in a foreign country.

I joined the Dubai International Art Centre and from there my career took off. Unexpectedly. I taught. I exhibited and I was in numerous galleries. My career was hitting a fabulous high just at the time that my husband was offered yet another brilliant job. Not in UK as we had expected. But back in Hong Kong. And we were to move again.

And guess what?

I didn't want to go.

Sometimes in life doing what we don't really want to brings us the greatest rewards. I look back and think how lucky I was to have had such an exciting and varied life .With friends of all nationalities scattered all over the world who I love just as much even though I now type to them rather than share a meal. Grabbing what comes our way with both hands rather than fighting it is possibly the best advise I can give. For me it worked although I struggled at the time.

So the man in my new book is from my life living in Dubai. A Market Seller who caught my eye and made a great subject for both my camera and my brush. The market changed shortly afterwards and people who lived there years ago know how this effects the scene. But I love this painting and the demonstration. A favourite chapter from my new book which has been highlighted as an extract in The Artist Magazine in UK , July issue.


If you want to see the demonstration my book is available from

Friday, 19 June 2015

The Genie of the Paint Box by Daphne Stevens

How wonderful to have a poem written about me. And I met the poet at Moreton On Marsh at my book signing event this week.

Thank you so much Daphne. I love it and just had to share it!


Daphne Stevens

Fireworks of colour, explosions of light,
Starbursts of energy surging and bright
Movement and magic excitement and thrill,
Kaleidoscope moments of technique and skill

It could be Fiesta or Carnival time
or maybe it's Christmas with spangles sublime
But no it's Jean, the Genie with colour and brush
For Cockerel and Hare, for Owl and for Thrush

The tubes in her box all jostle in turn
'She must use me next' they excitedly yearn
Her favourites all preen in complacent repose
Till a newcomer takes centre stage for a Rose.

Exuberant flowers flow right off her page
Dogs, Cats and Horses escape from their cage
Such joy in abundance is hers it is clear
And she shares it all gladly with all of us here

 She must be bewitched to produce such delight
as she conjures her paintbrush by day and by night
Magicians all watch as the Genie holds sway
as they stumble around in the old fashioned way

Thank you Jean Genie for all you have done
Your blog is a blast I never miss one
Your tips and your tricks are treasures of worth
I'm a born again artist, with new faith from rebirth


I love this and will read it often!

Personal Diary 2015. New Project

Today started with a very early morning as I have woken full of excitement. I left my studio yesterday carrying an air of excitement too. It stayed with me so much that I returned to my studio last night for an hour which turned,unsurprisingly, into more than a few. I feel as though I have been hit by a fever. It's taking over my whole being in every sense. Every second my thoughts turn to how I can describe easily what my mind is telling me to put down in text. Or paint to describe my words.

You see. I have started writing a new book. But it's different from anything I have ever written before. In a way that is almost frightening. It isn't a step by step book on how to paint in watercolour as such. It carries a whole new meaning and it is making me possibly open my soul far more than I ever have before. The opening page is frank. Sharing a personal experience that leads deeply into the contents. And I have shared this opening with my new Editor. Ed.

I don't know Ed well. I have only ever worked with Katie when creating my previous books. Katie knows me so well that she can almost read my mind. I'm an author who likes to write all their own text, create paintings and step by steps that are clearly matched and laid out in a stunning design page by page. I work hard on each chapter, going over it carefully imagining how the reader will understand or follow my words and demonstrations. Katie and I are a team that understands each other so well. I forward my completed work to Katie and from there it is edited. Turned into a printable version for each new book. All the lay outs are carefully thought out. Changes are suggested if necessary but often these are minor but magical. We worked as a great team.

But things change. Katie has moved in a new direction career wise. And following an incredible meeting with my publisher last year I have too. Sometimes life leads us where we need to be without us even knowing. And in my heart I know I'm being led in writing to where I am meant to be. My publishers understand me. They know my strengths and they have observed what's been happening not just with my book sales but with my career. The time is right for me to be brave and write this new book on a whole new theme. I don't want to say too much about it here. Mainly because I am still on a wonderful high from the launch of my latest book "Jean Haines World of Watercolour" .

But as I let one book go from my heart another has crept into it. One yet to be born. It's just, only just, past the conception of an idea stage.

And so I found myself forwarding the opening text this week, which is so highly personal, to Ed. Would he understand? Would he enjoy reading it or come back to me concerned that the content wasn't right. Silence at first. No response. Because Ed was absorbing what I had sent. Taking time to think about it which is to be expected. But then came an incredible email. Ed is eager. Ed is enthusiastic. He has not only loved those two opening pages he has already suggested one minor change. Two words needed to be in bold letters. Just two words. And the impact was great.

"I leapt"

Those were the two words.

He is right.

Ed gets exactly what I am trying to say and share in this new literary project. And he is as excited as I am to be teaming up for a book that truly will be very different. This is frightening. Really terrifying but I am going to throw myself into this with all my heart. Because I know this is a book that is wanted. And to those who want it, my heart is going into it.

I can remember the meeting with my publisher about this new project. I was excited then. Thrilled that they saw in me something new that I could write. This new book is how I am, how I teach and how painting effects everything I do in life. It's me. But more than that. Its' needed.

I am going to share this new books' progress in a personal diary form on my blog from time to time. So you will understand why I am quiet at times. Or annoyingly on a high. Perhaps I may be thoughtful or distant. But I will be here!

Dear Ed, if you are reading this. We face an incredible adventure together. I know, you are aware of  how exciting this is going to be. And we both know, this is about to become an adventure of a lifetime. My new book is a dream to write as an author. And to share each chapter with you as the pages develop and the story unfolds is going to be memorable.

I am going to take that leap. Into a new book.

Letting go.

And leaping. 


Thursday, 18 June 2015

Moreton On Marsh Book Signing Event 2015

 The Manor Hotel
Moreton On Marsh
Book Signing Event with afternoon tea 
16th June, 2015

Thank you so much to everyone who came to my book signing event in Moreton On Marsh at the stunning Manor Hotel, this week.

I must confess I was surprised to see the number of people attending as originally this was to be a small personal affair but the numbers jumped up gradually during the booking period to a sold out room. The venue was superb. With a fabulous greeting area and setting for my presentation.

Before my talk commenced I wandered around the tables to meet guests and learn a little about them as in where they were from and what they hoped to see.  I was stunned to see a familiar face of an artist who had attended my workshop in Sydney, Australia. A long way from home for sure! On the same table was a lovely lady from Italy who I need to thank for the delightful home made Italian biscuits she brought me as a gift. They were scrummy and are disappearing fast!

There were people from all over UK in the room, having driven up from London and further afield. Possibly what took me back the most was a gentleman from my own village who hasn't had the opportunity to meet me here so travelled to the Cotswold's to make sure that he did!

I gave a lively demonstration which was followed by an incredible afternoon tea. Several guests said the scones were the best they had ever tasted and I have to agree. As light as a feather and accompanied by clotted cream, they were simply divine. For those who were worried about me, my terrific husband saved me some for when I had finished and cleared my art things away. And I had two, not one! To be fair the hotel were so generous and the scones available seemed endless!

I managed to wander around Moreton On Marsh the next day and it is gorgeous. Beautiful Cotswold stone buildings and a fascinating market place.

Well, the good news is, the event was such a success that I have been invited back next year. And I have accepted. But it will be a celebration occasion. Which for now , as a reason, is under wraps. Top secret! But on a first come first served basis, tickets will be available and advertised at a later date.

I can highly recommend staying over and seeing the Cotswold's if you plan ahead to come. We are looking at July 2016. At the same gorgeous Manor Hotel because it was absolutely brilliant with great staff too.

So you heard it here first!

And thank you so much to the Manor Hotel for hosting my 2015 event and for being so professional.

And Richard, thank you for the invitation!

Again to everyone who made this such a memorable day. Thank you so much. I hope you are now painting non stop and trying out the ideas I shared. And enjoying your free samples of paper kindly donated by St Cuthberts Mill. And the gorgeous dot cards provided by Daniel Smith, not forgetting the exciting Daniel Smith prizes of the new 5ml. watercolour sets.

I have to say, writing a book means I lose so much of my life, hiding away for hours on end simply working through chapters and ideas. I love writing but I do seem to disappear with each new publication for a while.  But events like this and all the kind feedback I am receiving about my latest book makes it all worthwhile.

I am one very lucky lady!

 Proofs and paintings from when "Jean Haines World of Watercolour" was being written and created. Hours of work but I hope was well worth waiting foras a  result in the finished publication.

Flamingo from my new book!
A now favourite demonstration.


Jean Haines World of Watercolour is available via this link

The Artist Magazine July Issue 2015

Extract from my new book
Jean Haines World of Watercolour
In "The Artist Magazine" July issue 2015

It was wonderful this morning receiving my copy of the July issue of The Artist magazine to see an extract of my new book "Jean Haines World of Watercolour" included.

The feature gives focus to my strategy for development as an artist. I strongly believe we often fall into the trap of putting emphasis on learning from others when at times our best teachers can actually be ourselves. We are the ones who push ourselves ( or not! ) to improve, to reach goals and place a value on our work. Whether it is simply to paint a recognisable subject or move to a completely new style. We are the only ones who really know what we are aiming for or wish to achieve when we look at a blank piece of paper and begin to paint on it. 

I have found it invaluable as an exercise to return to paintings I did years ago and see whether I prefer how I would paint them now, to in the past. I can ask myself  " Have I grown as an artist? ".  I can see colours or techniques that I may have preferred in past work and compare them to learn why I changed my mind over the years to the new ideas I use now. I can also see if I have stood still in skill level or spread my wings.

So this chapter is about learning and developing. It is also a fabulous insight into how I paint portraits when I am adding faces to figures in landscapes.

It is one of my favourite chapters so I am thrilled to see it in this months issue of the Artist magazine which is packed with many other fantastic features. A must have magazine for summer reading and inspiration.

"The Market Seller"  was inspired by my time living in Dubai. And is a fascinating memory of my time there visiting souks and seeing incredible sights that were totally paintable and wonderful. This is a favourite character that I have painted many times.

"The Market Seller"
Jean Haines World of Watercolour


Paintings' from my latest book will be exhibited in September this year. More details will follow in another blog post.

For now, anyone interested in this chapter or painting portraits can find more information on my latest book which can be purchased via this link.


Saturday, 13 June 2015

Jean Haines World of Watercolour

From my new book  "Jean Haines World of Watercolour"

Thank you so much to everyone who has contacted me to let me know how much you are enjoying my new book "Jean Haines World of Watercolour".

 My new book
"Jean Haines World of Watercolour"

I am over the moon with the feedback and can't begin to tell you how much the kind comments mean to me. It takes so much time to write a book. And I often find myself completely submerged in each new chapter when I write to the point that the outside world completely disappears. And then I reappear when the book is complete and go through a mild panic in case my work isn't enjoyed!

I am really thrilled with some of the reviews, as well on I do appreciate I will never please everyone. But even my publishers were amazed to see one reviewer race to get an early copy and then race to write a bad review having admitted they didn't enjoy my first two books. Almost as soon as my book was even available.  That was rather odd. Why buy a second then a third book if you don't like the painting or writing style of the author?  Very puzzling. Then one reviewer gave a bad review admitting they have never even seen the book!

You have to stand back, smile and appreciate you share because you love painting and try not to worry about the negatives. Because the joy is in sharing. And nothing can take that feeling away.

I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to share how they feel after reading my latest publication.  It is very early days as the official launch was only last week but I am really happy and what is more, so are my publishers. In fact they have let me know a record number of pre -orders were made for the very first copies. And it is still selling really brilliantly.

So this post is to say a huge thank you. 

Without readers there is no point in writing. And I genuinely feel I have the best!

Thank you so much !

To  purchase my book or read the reviews or leave your own  on please follow this link.


Hollyhocks in Watercolour

 "Pretty in Pink"
Hollyhocks from a demonstration at Patchings Art Festival 2015
For the Art Society group that had to leave early and miss my afternoon demonstration

It has been yet another busy week. Maybe I should start all my blog posts with the same sentence as I always seem to be saying that! My birthday was mid week so I have had a fabulous time enjoying it with my family throughout last week. Starting with a gorgeous surprise visit from my daughter and her husband on Monday, a birthday night out with friends on Wednesday and tonight I will be out again with my youngest son and his beautiful lady.

It has hit me more than ever how life  often detracts us from our painting time. But it is also so important not to forget friends and family because of a passion, hobby or in my case career. I had put my painting on hold temporarily this week and it has done me the world of good because here I am in my studio eager to complete paintings and begin new ones.

Outside my studio window is a flower bed and there, holly hocks are beginning to bud. They remind me of the painting I created while at Patchings last week. Showing a  friendly group of artists from an art society how I would make painting them so simple. Anyone who has my DVDs or watercolour books will know I often use cling wrap to create the tiny crinkled patterns of their petals. Anyone watching me recently on my current workshops or demonstrations will know I adore using Daniel Smith Opera Pink. And oh boy how smashing it is as a shade for painting summer flowers.

Above in my painting of hollyhocks you see vibrant use of  Opera Pink to form the flowers in the foreground and diluted Opera Pink creates the less detailed flowers in the background. Add a touch of Cascade Green in the lower foreground with gorgeous Daniel Smith Cadmium Yellow and my painting is complete.

A brilliant way to spend the weekend. Painting beautiful summer flowers!

 Abstract Holly Hock flowers. A wash without detail can be quite charming.

 Strengthening an abstract wash with a touch of detail

Hollyhocks. Fun to paint and totally freeing!
No detail, just colour and shape to form unique compositions


Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Patchings 2015 : Patchings Fever Strikes Again!

 Foxgloves on my Easel 
A group of ladies had to miss my demonstration at Patchings last week. As their coach was leaving during my presentation. So I painted a little private demo to show them how I work.  These foxgloves plus a few other subjects.

Patchings Art Festival 2015

I am home after a fantastic week at Patchings Art Festival 2015. Each year I think it can't possibly get any better and it always does. It was amazing this year. As I left my cottage in Hampshire last week and began the journey to Nottingham, where the festival takes place, I mentioned to my friend who was accompanying me that this would be my last year for a while. I felt perhaps I would focus on my painting and books next year. At least that was the plan! We arrived at my personal marquee the day before the event officially opened and started unpacking the car. Once the marquee was completely set up we headed to the hotel where we were staying to check in. Exhausted, but happy with how day one had gone.

Patchings opened on the Thursday and it was absolutely packed. Crowds streamed into the site and there was so much for them to see.  Immediately, I was surrounded by wonderful visitors who came to see me all day from the very opening right up until after to the close. I gave three demonstrations this year. Having been sponsored by St Cuthberts Mill who manufacture the gorgeous watercolour paper I work with.  When I went on stage in the St Cuthberts Mill main festival marquee the tickets had sold out and I began my demonstrations each day to a full house. 

( FESTIVAL TIP :  I need to explain here, that if you are thinking of coming to Patchings next year, please either buy tickets in advance to see me on stage or go to the information desk where tickets to each demonstration are on sale. Please do this as soon as you arrive to make sure you get a seat.)

I am used to being on stage now but must confess when I see  a sea of faces in front of me I always feel privileged, overwhelmed and humbled that people want to watch me painting and I aim to make my presentations as fascinating as possible. And different!

The Wasp and the Fly!
Everything started wonderfully for  my first Patchings 2015 stage demonstration. I loved the atmosphere and the audience. I was well into my first demo when I felt water running down the side of my face. The marquee was so hot where I was stood on stage painting under the lighting. As I was opening the show the fan adjustment here needed tweaking and was. But these hiccups can happen due to the unpredictability of the weather. I carried on painting ignoring my melting face as a fly landed slap bang  in the middle of my work. Laughingly I gently moved it and explained it hadn't bought a ticket to see me ! It kept coming back which was really funny. It obviously liked orange, the shade I was working with. But then something even more unexpected happened. I felt something moving in my left ear. More accurately it was moving, trapped in my hair above my ear. I had a head set on for the microphone so getting to it wasn't going to be easy. I assumed it was the fly again. But then I heard a familiar buzzing and realised a wasp was trapped in my hair and was wriggling to free itself. I imagined being stung in front of the three hundred people in front of me and also how I would react. I don't think it would have been calmly. But I managed to keep my cool and think about how I would get out of the  situation without distracting from my demonstration or spoiling things for the audience. I calmly placed the fingers of my free hand in my hair and quickly managed to flick the wasp backwards, free and behind me. Which was a huge relief until it dawned on me that was where the cameraman Bob was standing! Right behind me! Oops! I had unwittingly flicked the wasp right in his direction!  I turned and started trying to get the wasp away from Bob then quickly returned to my painting on stage.  As if nothing had happened of course. It must have looked rather comical but I just kept going as if it happened all the time. Looking back it really was rather funny!

I loved how the audiences came into my marquee after my presentations each day to see the true colours of my work. This colour can be lost on the large screen so being able to show the finished pieces in daylight really helped. I also adored the questions everyone asked me about how I paint, what paper I use and what colours are my favourites. I had lots of new tips to share and always will give these away as I discover them. Its who I am to share. And the more I give the more seems to come back to me. In art, warmth and friendships.

I do use fabulous paper. Saunders Waterford and|Bockingford and it does make a huge difference to my results.

My demonstrations were sold out every day. My personal marquee was constantly full and I sold out of my books which was fantastic as this was my new book " Jean Haines World of Watercolours" official launch. I am thrilled!

Patchings Fever!

I can't begin to tell you how grateful I am to everyone who came to see me. And after the very first day there I found myself making plans to return to Patchings in 2016. It is so magical. There is something about the event that grabs you by the heart, inspires you, lifts your spirits and makes you want to race home to paint. And as always I am eager to return. So much for a year out ! Its' the crowds that are pulling me back. Everyone kept asking me if I would be there next year and I found myself saying. "Of Course!"  My workshops are fully booked so quickly each year that here is a place people can see me working and get a chance to ask those questions re problems they are experiencing in their own art journeys.  And I love to help if I can.

On my return home, I have a million things I have to do this week and I have deadlines to meet. But I raced into my garden and started painting foxgloves while "Patchings Fever" is still with me! Trust me. There is such a thing as " Patchings Fever" and it is very addictive!

Special Thanks yous! 

To Chas and Pat Wood, a huge thank you for creating the magic each year and ensuring it continues, getting better and better.

To St Cuthberts Mill. Thank you so much for sponsoring my demonstrations. You are wonderful!

To all the Team at Patchings including the many volunteers who work so hard to make the event run smoothly, guide the many visitors and add to the magic. Thank you so very much for all your incredible help. You are the best!

To Paul at Daniel Smith. Thank you so much for laughingly coping with my enthusiasm about Daniel Smith watercolours . Please bring more Cascade Green next year and thank you so much for my Pimms. To everyone who was in my demonstrations, yes I did have one on the very last day after I had finished painting! 
To everyone who came to see me. Thank you SO much. Your kindness, support, words of encouragement and feedback are never taken for granted. 

To Lindsay, my wonderful friend who was my assistant this year. You were fantastic. I couldn't have done this without you and realised at times we needed at least three people selling to cope in my marquee.. How magical was that to be so busy! Thank you so much. 

To Search Press. Thank you for delivering  my books this year as I had such a large order. I am delighted to share the news that every single copy sold!

So the leading question is.

And am I really going back next year?

Oh yes! And I cannot wait. But having listened to all the questions from visitors this year I have something very special planned for my demonstrations in 2015. I am going to share dates and details of Patchings Art Festival 2015 in a later blog post but do keep June free so that you can come if you haven't already visited this very special festival. And do come back if you have. See you in 2016!

Patchings is  inspirational on so many levels.

Now I need to get painting!

Back to my foxgloves!

Sunlight lighting the foxgloves by the use of cadmium Yellow. Many tips shared during my demonstrations on stage at Patchings Art Festival are included in this colourful soft wash.
Do keep painting, experimenting and having fun with watercolour