Monday, 31 August 2015

"Colours of a Fox" : Watercolour

"Colours of a Fox"
Watercolour
( Copyright : Jean Haines )

This has to have been my best ever painting day in ages! I have had such a fantastic time working in my studio. I woke dreading unwrapping all the paintings for my solo show. Please don't misunderstand. I love seeing my work framed and it is so exciting seeing each painting as it appears back from the framers. But I knew this unwrapping of a whole collection would take me away from painting and I think from my blog posts today you can see where my heart lay.

I had to paint. 
And oh boy did I paint! 
There were almost sparks coming off my brushes.

I have happily finished the fox in watercolour painting and I have loved every single brushstroke added to this piece. I had to leave this beautiful animal yesterday with no ears and only one eye. The porr thing! I often actually only paint one eye but this gorgeous fox deserved two. Bright shining and full of life. This is a young fox, eager, inquisitive and raring to go.

 The painting below is where I had stopped working yesterday. And to be honest I like it as it is at this stage. But I felt I couldn't exhibit it without adding more detail.

"Colours of a Fox"
Stage 1.
 
Over the years we have watched fox families visit our garden and we have often witnessed them as we have driven home in the country lanes late at night. The best sight was a group ofsmall  cubs playing  with each other. We stopped the car and were fascinated. They played just like puppies which isn't suprising as they are of course related to the dog family.

I have come to learn about "Cubbing" recently. The practise where fox hunters train their hounds how to kill apparently. On fox cubs.  I can't think of any human enjoying teaching a dog to kill. Or any human enjoying killing wildlife. But then thats' me. Maybe in years to come future generations will look back and ask

"Did people really do that?"

When it is probably too late to turn back the clock.

But for now I am working on my exhibition and I cannot wait to see these last few paintings framed. But wait, that will mean even more work to unwrapthem when they come back  and even more lost painting time!

Oh well!

Thats' the circle of life for an exhibiting artist!

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King Charles Cavalier in Watercolour



King Charles Cavalier 
In Watercolour
Size 52 x 62 cms.
( Copyright Jean Haines )
£595

Waiting for an exhibition is such an exciting time. This weekend I am unwrapping work from the framers, measuring each piece and pricing my collection for my solo show which opens at The Frame Gallery in Odiham, Hampshire on September 11th. This exhibition will include all new work, unshown in a gallery before.
My collection includes wildlife, florals, landscapes and portraits. In fact the selection of work is very diverse so I think there will be something for everyone. Today in my studio I am making a few final additions to the collection as time is now running out for framing new work. I had delivered the main body of paintings for framing some time back as I like to be well prepared in advance. I am aware that the show catalogue takes valuable time so usually I am completely ready at least two weeks before the opening.

But I am having requests. 

" Will there be a badger in the exhibition ?"

"Have you got any new hare paintings?"

"Please say there is more than one fox?"

"You will have a dog painting in the show won't you?"

The answer to all of the above questions is yes!

Including the little King Charles Cavalier above. This is based on Peter our neighbours little dog. But if you look at Page 118 in my latest book "Jean Haines World of Watercolour" you will see how this piece started. Its in the chapter " Working Loose and Getting It Right" . This was a fabulous section of my new book to write as it looks at where to start when working in a loose style, how to add definition and putting all you know together to form a complete composition. It was a joy to write.

I loved the start of this dog painting so much that adding the definition was delightful.

The inspiration?

When we first moved to our cottage I heard a gentleman in a nearby field calling for "Peter". I assumed it was his small son that had got lost so asked if I could help find him. But no. Peter was a young King Charles Cavalier that had selective hearing. He only came when called if he wanted to. I still see Peter who hasn't changed at all. He still keeps his owner  chasing after him which is quite funny!

So Peter will be in my show and sitting still for a change!


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Jean Haines World of Watercolour can be purchased via this link



Paintings from my "World of Watercolour " Exhibition 2015 : Birds


 World of Watercolour Exhibition 2015

 Here are the next  collection of paintings from my new book "Jean Haines World of Watercolour" that will be included in my solo exhibition of the same name, at the Frame Gallery in Odiham this September. These paintings are very dear to me for personal reasons. This blog post includes some of the birds from my book and upcoming solo show. Wildlife is a favourite subject for me. Living where I do in English countryside I am so privileged to see it up close, to paint.


 
 Jenny Wren 
Page 1.in my book  "Jean Haines World of Watercolour"
Framed : Size 52 x 60 cms.
Price £535

I have always loved wrens. I see one each day on my morning walk with Bailey, my bearded collie. But there is also one that seems to live in our garden. They are beautiful little birds. To me the most fascinating thing about them is that they are tiny and plain in colour. Almost insignificant. But that is what appeals to me about them. The way they move, their bright eyes.To me they are such pretty birds. Beautiful in their simplicity. Not everything needs to be a blast of colour to be gorgeous. Painting this one was an absolute delight to paint but as I worked in my studio on the piece one hovered right outside my studio window. As if it knew it was the subject for my painting.

I have selected a white frame to show off the delicacy of this piece and it looks wonderful. I am thrilled to include this in my show.

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 Heron
Page 173 of my book  "Jean Haines World of Watercolour"
Framed : Size 52 x 62 cms.
Price £495

Anyone who has been to my cottage or my workshops may have heard me talk about Hector. Hector is the heron who lives in our cottage garden. Sometimes he reminds me of an elegant grey haired gentleman who just happens to love passing the time of day with you. One who loves a country garden and is happy to wander around it. Of course Hector is also naughty in that he steals fish from our pond but on the whole he is so charming that I can't be angry at him for that. And he has made an appearance in my new book.

Painted in a a way that makes the most of my Chinese Brush work techniques and leaving the white paper to tell the story as much as what is painted upon it.

Hector is in a white wooden frame and he looks very handsome!
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Puffin
Page 51 of my book  "Jean Haines World of Watercolour"
Framed : Size 62 x 47  cms.
Price £595

Not seen in my garden! This beautiful Puffin is very dear to me for a different reason. I hold workshops all over the world and on them I am asked to demonstrate how I will approach painting all manner of subjects. On one occasion I was asked how I would paint a puffin. The demonstration was part of my course "one on one" sessions but the whole class are able to watch these if they are interested in the subject. And they were. I started with the eye of the puffin and began to build up the painting. At one point while demonstrating there was only the head and no beak so the little bird looked rather odd.  At this time a member of the class informed me that Puffins beaks fall off in winter. I couldn't help but reply " Do you mean they walk around looking like this?"  The whole class fell about laughing as did I. And for a while I couldn't stop giggling. This is confession time. My biggest fear when demonstrating or holding workshops is to get a giggling fit because even at this age I can't stop once I start laughing. It is embarrassing. I was lucky, the whole room laughed with me but for a while no one could say the word " Puffin" in front of me in case I started laughing again. Artist son this course remembered and emails that followed often mentioned " puffin" knowing it would get me smiling and giggling again. There was a bond in that class that I will never forget and the loved flowed into this painting because of it.

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I love all these paintings. They look fabulous in my own home but they are also very integral to my book and how it was written. My goal in this exhibition is to have my work owned by people who love each painting for a reason. And this is why I am letting these special paintings go.


If you are interested in any of these paintings or work from my latest book " Jean Haines World of Watercolour" please contact Jan at the Frame Gallery who can advise you on how to purchase.

My solo exhibition opens on 11th September 2015. 

Here is a link to the gallery.


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If you would like to buy a copy of my book "Jean Haines World of Watercolour" it is available via this link




Jean Haines World of Watercolour.
Launched in June 2015. 
Already an international best seller




New: Fox in Watercolour

"The Colours of a Fox"
New work in progress
To be finished.

When I shared a painting of a fox recently the feedback I received was incredible. I felt touched by the obvious connection with my painting which barely showed the wild creature but the piece was full of emotion.

I have a solo exhibition coming up where wildlife will play a part in my show. In the collection is a fox painting that has already recieved several request son prices and details . The painting touches me in a way I can't describe. As does the new fox painting above. The nose is shiny and catches my eye each time I look at this new painting. The eyes in the painting are eagerly looking at something which has caught the foxs' attention. 

Yesterday afternoon I began this new painting of a fox in watercolour and had to leave the piece in the evening. Its' so hard dragging yourself away from a painting that you are loving working on. Especially as, yet again, my heart is pouring into this painting. 

The inspiration?

We have a fox that visits our garden and it is a comical event when it does. Bailey our Bearded Collie does a "Fred Flintstone" impression each time when the fox appears. He is usually inside and the fox outside. Although his Baileys' legs move at ten to the dozen he doesn't actually seem to be getting anywhere. Other than excited. Just like in the cartoon. After so much barking letting us know he wants to go outside Bailey hurtles into the garden as the bemused fox leaves, possibly thinking our dog is crazy.

I often see the fox in morning light in the field nearby. Sunshine highlights the copper tones in its coat. It strikes amazing poses. My favourite when its head is lowered as it watches eagerly for anything that moves I imagine. Strangely we have ducks in our garden and there are never feathers lying around so I think our fox must feast on the many rabbits surrounding our home.

But back to my painting. What to work on next. I need to complete the second eye. Making it less dramatic than the first. I want the viewers focus to be on the main eye not both.  I must add the ears. Or at least hints of the tips. Looking at my painting on screen I feel the shape of the face would be enhanced if I added detail to define the narrow face shape. I can achieve this by placing a brush mark under the muzzle to separate the face section of my painting from the chest fur appearing underneath.

It was a delight walking into my studio and seeing this on my easel this morning. I cannot wait to finish it!

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Please note: I will continue to share paintings from my upcoming exhibition on my blog later today. The fox painting everyone loves is going to make an appearance in my show too!


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Sunday, 30 August 2015

Paintings from my "World of Watercolour " Exhibition

 The Market Seller
Page 131 " Jean Haines World of Watercolour"
Size : 58 x 44 cms
£395

Jean Haines World Of Watercolour Exhibition
The Frame Gallery
Odiham
Hampshire UK 
September 11th - 27th,  2015.

It won't be long now before the opening of my solo exhibition at the Frame Gallery in Odiham.
In the collection are many original paintings from my new book " Jean Haines World of Watercolour". Pieces that hold very special memories to me.

I know I have friends and followers who can't make the show because they live abroad and I know often dates coincide meaning its' impossible to get to an opening night. Which is why I am making the decision to share some pieces from my new collection on my blog.  Including prices and sizes in case anyone wishes to contact the gallery if interested in collecting an original memory from my new book.

I will start with this blog post by sharing a few favourite portraits and explain a little more about the stories behind them.

I lived in Dubai and fell in love with portraiture there. I studied at that time with artists who were so skilled in their techniques but they mainly worked in oils. I had to find my own way painting portraits in watercolour and then adapt what I had learnt to my technique as I evolved to working minus a preliminary sketch.

I would take ages studying and taking photographs of characters with fascinating faces. I loved visiting market places to buy fresh food, haggle and of course see even more fantastic subjects to paint. I was so lucky as I felt a passion  for portraiture ignite within me at this time in my art life, purely from where I was living and the environment I was being exposed to. I absorbed every single piece of information and sight like a child at Christmas. It was wonderful.

My portraits then became highly collectible in galleries in Dubai and I was often contacted to see if  or when I would have new work available. These faces would be the first to sell in my early exhibitions. Red dots would appear almost as soon as the doors opened and I became known for painting " Magic Faces". because faces did seem to appear as if by magic when I worked on them. Strangely enough I finished a few workshops in Australia with small portraits and everyone loved them. And I loved the reaction as the " magic faces" appeared.

"The Market Seller" above is a firm favourite with me as his profile was just too wonderful to resist for an artist.  In my new book I show how I paint this profile and how I have grown by using techniques to learn from my previous work. This finished painting will be in my new show. As will the Arab Study shown below.

I have opted to have these paintings placed in gold frames, but floating forward to show off the medium they are painted in. They look amazing. Now I am unwrapping the collection and imagining how these two paintings would look on my cottage walls. And I have to say it is very tempting to keep them as a memory of my book!

I must confess, have never been great at selling my work as I always want to keep my favourite pieces. Which would mean a gallery could end up with an opening of an exhibition full of red dots to mark sold paintings and they would all be mine! Not wise Apart from that I have little wall space left in my home.

So these two portraits are in my exhibition and a wonderful memory for me of my time living in Dubai but also they were so  magical to work on in my book.  Sharing my passionf for painting faces.



Arab Study
Soft watercolour bringing the subject to life with little detial yet capturing character.
Page 19 " Jean Haines World of Watercolour"
38 x 50 cms.
£195



If you are interested in any of the original paintings from my new book o rpieces I share on my blog please contact Jan at the Frame Gallery and let her know.  Please do not contact me directly as the Gallery will be solely handling the sales of the exhibition paintings.

You can find details on the exhibition and how to contact Jan via the following link



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Once Upon A Time : Badger in Watercolour

"Once Upon a Time"
Badger in Watercolour
Size 54 x 66 cms.
£620
Part of a new collection of watercolours from my solo exhibition in September 2015

I am preparing my new collection for my next solo exhibition, which will be held at the Frame Gallery in Odiham, Hampshire UK. and have decided to include this new piece as there will be a variety of wildlife in my next show.

I must confess I find it hard to paint badgers. Not because of how they are as a subject because their shape or colouring. Their characters are wonderful. They seem inquisitive and almost mystical in that their nocturnal habits don't make them easy to observe unless you know where they are. And I do luckily. Watching in wonder near a badger sett as they appear, sometimes bathed in moonlight is truly a magical experience I feel privileged to have witnessed.

But for me hearing the news that the UK government is yet again ignoring all experts advise, even dismissing the independent panel they set up to look into the value of badger culling makes my heart sink. To form a panel and then when the results weren't in favour of  continued culling, to disband the same panel and then continue culling wildlife seems unbelievable. Try explaining that to a five year old. 

Why are badgers being killed? To prevent a disease in cows. I won't go into the lengthy debate here but yet again badgers, many healthy, will be slaughtered in UK in the upcoming badger cull. With not one being tested to see how many even carry the disease. The percentage that do is?. It seems as though the main objective of culling is simply to eradicate badgers. But I do need to ask one question. If every single badger was killed in UK would cattle still carry the Btb disease? If so what wildlife would be culled or blamed next?

To every artist who loves painting wildlife I feel it is our duty not to turn a blind eye. If we appreciate an animal passionately enough to capture it in art we owe it the decency of raising awareness when it is in trouble.

Badgers are supposedly a protected species in UK. Even though the Independent Panels finding gives the impression the previous culls were ineffective and inhumane I find myself posting yet another blog post and badger painting stunned that anyone in a position of power would give the go ahead to this continued slaughter.

Sometimes I wonder why humans feel they are the superior race. Because at times especially when it comes to animals we really have a lot to learn.


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If you would like details of how to purchase this original badger watercolour please contact Jan at the Frame Gallery in Odiham, Hampshire.

Details via this link. 


Thursday, 27 August 2015

Art League Of Long Island: New York Book Signing Event October 2015


Art League of Long Island
New York 2015
 
I will be on tour in USA this Autumn holding watercolour workshops and giving presentations at book signing events. I am delighted to be returning to the Art League of Long Island.

My watercolour workshops here are fully booked but I will be giving a talk and demonstration at a book signing event on October 30th at 7.00 p.m. 

Everyone is welcome and I will be  happy to meet you there.  

Full details can be found via this link.

Horse Racing Commission

Section from a large painting for Ireland
Private Commission
( Copyright Jean Haines ) 

I have been offline for a number of reasons. But mainly because I accepted a commission which I don't usually do. I was contacted a little while back with a fantastic opportunity.  When first invited to paint the  commission my initial reaction was I don't have the time. I don't. I can't take anything else on at the moment. I have two exhibitions coming up and I am working on my new book.  At the time I was asked I had filming my new DVD in my diary plus a I had to make a trip to London regarding art products.

But then I looked at the image of what I had been asked to paint and fell in love. My heart flipped and that was that. 

I accepted the commission.

I think its' pretty obvious by now that I love painting action scenes with horse racing being my top favourite subject. I have now painted a wonderful collection of horse racing stars with Frankel and Black Caviar being my leading favourites. That is until now. My previous sold horse racing paintings are in collectors homes all over the world. This time my painting will be going to Ireland.

And so, I have shut myself away quietly working in my studio but must confess as I reach the last detail and brushstroke stage of an action painting I get very tired as I feel as though I am literally in the race. In my imagination, as I work, I  am often on the winning horse and the horses behind are catching up with every brush stroke which gets faster and faster as the painting develops. Sometimes I have to stand back from my work because when painting horse racing scenes the horses leap to life. So much so that I feel as though I may at any moment be mown down by them as they hurtle towards me.

This commission has been a sheer joy to work on and I am going to be sad when the painting is complete and on its' way to Ireland next week.

Sometimes as artists we have to follow our hearts and instincts. Mine screamed at me to paint this scene and I am so glad I did.

It has been a wonderful experience.

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Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Experimenting With Yupo.

 Colour Flowing
Yupo Experiment


At the close of my studio day I had a break from working on my book and a large commission. I had been kindly given a sample of  Yupo paper and as it sat on my desk I couldn't resist playing with it.

I am a purist when it comes to watercolour. I disregard any product that doesn't have watercolour on it and prefer I refer to acrylics as mixed media. Not watercolour.  And I always paint on watercolour paper. 

But for fun today I made a chaage to my way of working and played with watercolour on Yupo. 
I must admit it really was a great feeling watching colours flow, interact and merge.

 
 Wonderful patterns created on Yupo using watercolour pigment and water.

I applied salt to see what happens.  And you can add washing up liquid to your water to increase the effects. Plus if you use a hairdryer you can encourage spectacular patterns.

I feel as though I have created the early signs of a field of autumnal grasses and seedheads. Maybe with the weather turning cooler in the last month of Summer my imagination has been influenced!

I like this experiment and will try again.
As I haven't finished yet. I intend to have more fun tomorrow!




 Field of Gold
Yupo experiment

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If you wish to try an experiment too you can buy the product I used from Jacksons Art Supplies via this link. The product I used is called LanaVanguard.



 


Monday, 17 August 2015

"Fed Up! " Border Terrier in Watercolour

"Fed Up!"
Border Terrier in Watercolour

Last week Townhouse Films came to my cottage to film my new DVD and brought their little border terrier "Flossie" with them.   Bailey, my Bearded Collie, took to Flossie  very quickly and they enjoyed playing in the garden whilst we worked filming my DVD. To be honest all went really well and I almost forgot Flossie was here apart from one hiccup when she was in the kitchen whilst I was working on one of the demonstrations. Flossie snorted quite loudly at a point in the film that I don't think can be edited. I have to confess I am a terrible giggler. I am okay if nobody sets me off laughing but once they do I have had it!

I had hoped to grow out of giggling by this age but no. I can still embarrass myself by getting totally out of control with shoulders shaking and tears running down my face. And so when we were filming I tried my best to continue with my demonstration minus having an hysterical giggling fit.  Little did I know at the time that behind the camera Malcolms' shoulders were shaking too. With laughter but we both gallantly carried on filming. This will probably be one of the most "natural" films  ever!

Earlier in the day we had taken a coffee break in thh garden. While we were sat talking about the next section to be filmed we heard a huge splash. Flossie had fallen in the canal which runs alongside our garden. I think the ducks had caught her attention and as a young pup she believed she could walk on water to get to them. Lets' just say she had a shock! In she went and we all raced to the rescue but she seemed none the worse for her wet adventure. She raced around the lawn to dry off and almost looked embarrassed with herself fo rhaving been caught falling in. Yet again we all laughed!

At the end of  filming we sat in the garden again. It had been a long full days' work. Flossie, now dry leapt onto Malcolm's lap and started to fall asleep whilst we discussed the film and when it will be released. Her eyes kept closing but every single time I tried to take a photograph of her they opened and she looked at me. She rested her head sweetly on our patio table and eventually nodded off. Elaine, Malcolm's wife explained it was a terrier "lean". A typical pose and I just had to paint it. Everyone seemed to love the dog in watercolour I started painting yesterday so here is another dog in watercolour. And I loved painting it!

A very happy memory caught in a painting.


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Sunday, 16 August 2015

That Magical Moment

Dog coming to life in watercolour

It doesn't matter how long I have been painting or how many times I have painted a dog. But whenever I start a new pet portrait there is a fabulous point in the creative process when I feel the character I am working on leaps to life right in front of my eyes. 

I know many artists who work in my loose style understand how I feel. I have seen this happen time and time again on my workshops. The "Wow" moment that you cannot believe happens. One minute you are looking at a blank piece of paper. The next, with just a few touches of colour and encouraging brushstrokes something magical happens. Your subject starts to talk to you almost, as it appears on the paper.

I love the very early stages of a watercolour. When I feel as though I am literally breathing life into my work. With each whisper and gentle brushstroke I almost will the subject to life.

 And that magical moment happened on this piece. A new dog appearing in a new watercolour.

There cannot be a better feeling on earth than this.

I do wish everyone painted. Those who don't miss out on this exciting feeling!


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Wildlife Inspiration

 Gatekeeper Butterfly
Photo taken in my garden this morning.

I thought I would share something completely different on my blog. I love photography and spend ages  trying to get just the right shot. Many of my images then lend themselves to my paintings as I am inspired by what I see each day.

In this blog post is a collection of photographs I took first thing this morning. The light was perfect and I followed butterflies and bees around my garden as they nestled on each flower. I am finding the longer I paint the more my thirst for new subjects grows. And my thirst for knowledge. It isn't enough to just paint what I see. I have to know what it is also.

This week I painted a butterfly as a demonstration on my new DVD which will be released later this year. There is also a step by step on how to paint butterflies in the new edition of my first book which is also coming out later this year. I couldn't have painted either without first studying the subject in real life. I am now learning about the different species of butterflies too.

Above is a Gatekeeper butterfly, if anyone knows how it got its name I would love to know!

Below is a Brimstone butterfly nestling on a dahlia. How pretty is this?


 Brimstone butterfly nestling on a dahlia.
Photo taken in my garden this morning.

And I am fascinated by bees. I spent a whole day painting them last year when they distracted me from the flowers I was working on. I just adore them.

Look at this shot below and see what I mean. the colours are gorgeous here!


Beady Eyes, or should I say bee-dy eyes!
Photo taken in my garden this morning.


And here is the recent butterfly painting I worked on which is similar to the demonstration in my new DVD.
"Sunshine on my Wings"

If you wander around my garden it is so easy to see where my ideas come from. They are my own as I paint from life. I paint what I see and aim to capture the colour combinations that fascinate me in nature. How lucky any of us are to have the gift of sight. 

Have a great week ahead and happy painting!


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Saturday, 15 August 2015

Planes, Wildlife and an Over Acting Dog : NEW DVD!



Its' a wrap! Filming complete and a disappointed Bailey!

What a week. This is possibly yet another blog post where you need to grab a coffee and perhaps have a laugh whilst drinking it. I have been asked to create a new DVD so many times but life became so busy that I simply couldn't fit the filming time into my busy schedule. The long drive to the usual filming was impossible to squeeze in and so Townhouse Films kindly offered to come to my home to film my new DVD. We also thought it would be nice to share where I live and my cottage garden which is where I find so much of my inspiration. 
We planned well in advance and prayed for good weather so that we could film outside in my garden. And so on Monday evening the film crew arrived in preparation for Tuesdays filming. How great it was waking to glorious sunshine that day. Having shown Malcolm, the owner of Townhouse Films around my garden we decided to start filming the introduction with me walking down  our garden path towards the camera , then stopping to make my opening welcome speech. Simple! Malcolm set up the camera and I walked away from it to the position that he had directed me to stand before I started walking to him.

An Over Acting Dog !

Bailey my Bearded Collie decided he too would be in the film so he duly followed me along the path to where I stopped, turned and walked towards the camera. He walked towards the camera too. The first take worked really well but just in case it didn't look right when editing Malcolm suggested we took an extra take. I walked away to the position the same as last and Bailey followed, yet again. He was almost glued to my side for every take of this part of the film which in the end made Malcolm and I  start laughing. We did three takes.  And Bailey walked alomgside me for each one. My dog was to be the star of the show as far as he was concerned. What a ham! Usually after his morning walk Bailey will go and sleep somewhere in the garden, in the shade on a hot day. But no, he  stayed awake and joined in with the filming at every opportunity. It was almost as if he was posing asking "Is this my best side"!  I love this dog so much. He is so comical but he shone this week.

Planes, ducks and a barge!

Next in filming, we moved on to the materials section of the film because since I created my first two DVDs the range of products that I use has changed so much, and grown. As have I as an artist. I wanted to share all that I use so everyone who paints can easily follow my demonstrations in the DVD using what I use if they wish to. I have also discovered so many new shades whilst touring internationally on my workshops and I aimed to share  all the wonderful colours I now use with buyers of this new film. 

For this section I sat at a picnic table in our garden with all my materials set out in front of me. And as soon as Malcolm gave the word I started talking. Unfortunately at this point every single aeroplane in the area flew over head, One after another. And our garden is usually so quiet. Once the aeroplanes stopped the moorhens started making a racket followed by the loud quacking of ducks behind me who also decided they too would be in the film. 

"Cut!"

"Cut!"

"Cut!"

"CUT!"


How many takes we took for this section I have no idea but finally there was silence. And so we started yet again. Now a canal barge appeared behind me going along the canal which is alongside our garden. Not just a quiet barge but a noisy family who were shouting from one end of the barge to another.  It would have been comical if we weren't trying to film a certain amount of footage in one day. The outatakes could be hilarious.


Finally Filming!

We gave up filming outside due to the noise and decided to film inside my studio instead. Here however shadows fell across the paper which  were highlighted by the lighting for the set. The light in my studio is usually perfect but not when filming cameras are all over the place in it it seems! We then moved into my kitchen in the end and filmed there. This was the perfect place. Perfect lighting, space and we were set to go. Finally we could get our teeth into the purpose of the day.

Fantastic!

I have  wall to wall French windows in our kitchen and these were open to allow more light to com into the room. Everything was going swimmingly until the pigeon nesting in the wisteria outside that grows around the doors started cooing. My goodness, she could win an award for the noisiest pigeon in the world.  


"Cut!"

"Cut!"

"Cut!"

"CUT!"

I was now getting used to stopping and starting. And we laughed yet again. We must have the patience of a saint to be so good humoured whilst working. And I do love working with Townhouse Films because the owners are so terrific and so professional.

But it is fascinating understanding how films are made. For a start, you don't simply paint a picture. Which is what viewers see in the finished article. As the demonstrating artist you have to stop and start for close ups  of  interesting brush strokes or colour additions. Usually you are in full flow when this happens and when working in watercolour it is very hard to stop for the shot but you have to. Always with the worry the pigment will dry under the studio lighting before you move on with the piece and demonstration.  There is a knack to filming that you get used to eventually but everything takes far longer than simply just creating a painting.

I also think about what I wear. I can't wear bright colours or busy patterns that detract from the paintings I am working on. I also want to be comfortable so this time I opted for an oversized top that is loose and hides the microphone set that is attached to my waist out of sight. I will probably hate it when I see the finished film! But its' comfortable.

Day one went well after the noise settled. Day two saw me working on the final pieces and the close which we again decided to shoot outside. Malcolm chose where I should sit on the patio with a garden path behind me. But as I tried to bring the film to a great ending the wind started playing up and I was almost blown off my chair. Malcolm adjusted the microphone with a fuzzy attachment to disguise the sound of the wind at this point. So I will probably look as though I have a little grey mouse at the front of my top now. I am laughing as I type this because Bailey who had been sleeping to this point saw the camera outside and immediately raced to be in the shot again but he was very tired at this time, after all the excitement of the two days filming.  But he refused to be left out of the shot.  Just look at his face below! Both Malcolm and I laughed because it was so cute and so very funny.

Bailey being a "star"!

I would say Bailey over acted slightly. He definitely tried to get into every single take. Malcolm and his wife brought their little dog " Flossie " too so both of my cats disappeared which means you won't be seeing them at all in this film. Which after Baileys' antics is just as well!


Once my new DVD is released I will share the news on my blog. But do listen to it if you buy a copy and see if you can hear nature in the background as well as the tips I am sharing.

They do say " never work with animals".

I found out why this week.

Bailey stole the show! And I am more than happy to have him as my co-star!


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Monday, 10 August 2015

Kingfisher in Watercolour

 Kingfisher appearing in a new watercolour
Painted using my Jean Haines brush sets : Size 10 and Rigger 

I am so excited about filming a new DVD thsi week. I have so many subjects I can share and I have gone through all my favourites this afternoon selecting which would carry the most teaching value. I have a lot of requests to include my now popular kingfisher painting and it does seem like a very old friend to me now. I can't remember when I started painting these gorgeous birds but I know since childhood they have always fascinated me.


Years ago I only used one manufacturers watercolour product range. It wasn't until I started experimenting especially with Schmincke at first that I really felt I was getting somewhere with achieving the right colours to paint them. At least their orange chest. I think everyone who knows me or who has watched me demonstrate this little bird all over the world will know which orange it is. I should leave followers of my blog to guess its' name!

But then I fell in love with so many turquoise shades for their flash of blue feathers and of course Daniel Smith entered my art life and there was no looking back.  I was so in love with Daniel Smith Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Genuine that I told the whole world about it! It combined perfectly to create my favourite wild  bird and demonstrations. It didn't matter where I was holding workshops. 

The kingfisher soon became the most popular. Taking over from my favourite cockerels. Although if I don't demonstrate a cockerel or a rose on my  courses I am soon asked to! When " Jean Haines World of Watercolour" as a book was merely an idea the cover painting was almost already decided. As I had painted so many kingfishers at this point in my career that I knew it would be loved. At least I hoped it would.

So my favourite colours are on my latest books' cover. But what will be on the cover of my new DVD? 
Something different? 
Or another kingfisher? 
There isn't much time to choose!


 Kingfisher Passion!
The cover of my latest book, my brush set and a new kingfisher painting.

In my latest book " Jean Haines World of Watercolour" I show brushwork and how to paint a kingfisher. Starting with the eye  and gradually working away from it.


 Starting point, here, was the small eye

Once the eye is in place the head can be painted, working away from the starting point. After that the body can begin to be painted. And the hint of a beak then added.



Building up a painting by adding the body and the hint of a beak

You can use this technique on any bird or subject. For me painting these beautiful birds is so relaxing. And  I have so many tips I can share whilst I am creating a kingfisher in watercolour.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring. I may paint yet another kingfisher or something completely new. We will see! But I will endeavour to make my new DVD as fascinating as possible!

Happy painting!


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My brush sets can be purchased from Jacksons Art Supplies as well as my previous two DVDs.



Please note: I have just noticed that Jackson's Art Supplies are out of stock of my brushes again. This is due to their popularity so please have patience, new stock will be arriving soon. This is one of the reasons I closed my online sales web site page. I couldn't keep up with the demand for them! They are stunning brushes and perfect for working in watercolour. Easy to handle and a joy to paint with.

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New DVD Filming! This week and Wildlife

 Swan family visiting 2015

Here I am sat typing in my studio as I have been contacted by the local press about a recent wildlife photo I shared. While I was typing about my  recent photographic shot I felt as though I was being watched and I was. A new family of swans have just arrived at our cottage for food. The parents seem to bring us  their young to see and feed annually now so I am thrilled. And what great timing as  tomorrow the team from Townhouse Films arrive to create my new DVD. This new film will be created in my studio and cottage garden. 

Somehow I think these cygnets would like a starring role!


Cygnets waiting to be fed in our garden 2015


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Tuesday, 4 August 2015

A Hare Brained Tale

"Hare Brained"

Perhaps  go and get a cup of coffee to read this blog post. Sit back and relax and smile when appropriate!
Last week I held wonderful workshops here in UK. My courses are held in Hampshire, Jane Austen country which is just outside London and very easy to get to. I live in a rural setting and can enjoy seeing hare in fields around my cottage as I walk Bailey each morning. I love wildlife and adore painting it. On one of my courses last week an artist asked me to demonstrate how I paint hare. And so I worked from her resource photo and promised to finish five minute "one on one" step by step at home, to share on my blog. So that she could see what I did when working from my imagination.

I try to sit with every artist on my workshops for  quality " one on one" time at some point. To work out what problems they are hitting personally and then I can hopefully help them cross bridges in overcoming their hiccups when painting in a loose style.

Below is the few minutes personal demonstration I gave to the artist. Sometimes it is impossible for someone working in a loose style for the very first time to  work out where a starting point with their brush is. As there is no pencil line to follow in my technique. This demonstration was just that. Finding a starting point and stopping when we could see the hare appearing. Then of course detail was added. And their finsihed result was fabulous.


For this demonstration the starting point was the whole hare's face, not the eye for a change!

At the end of the workshop I addressed the group of attending artists with my closing speech for the day and asked if there were any questions. There were some fantastic ones. Some created laughter, some were thought provoking. But I am going to share one of my responses.

How did I find my style and have I ever been put off from painting this way?

Years ago when I first started working in watercolour I loved painting hare but always with just one ear or one eye. Don't ask me why. I just loved it. I felt my work said so much more with half the subject missing. It started with an eye of one particular hare I had painted that was so gorgeous I didn't want any surrounding colour or detail to detract from it. This hare brained idea actually led me to what is now known as my style. I loved it and my paintings started selling really well.

But at an exhibition one day, a highly respected and leading professional artist approached me to offer me advise. He told me I wouldn't get anywhere in an art career by painting one eared or one eyed hares. In fact he was so adamant I should follow his style and paint in a more traditional manner if I wanted to be successful. I remember feeling quite hurt at the time. And yes tearful. Because I loved his work way back then and respected him as one of my art idols. But in a few words he had shattered my bubble of feeling happy when I paint.

I returned home and thought about what he had said. He had crushed my artists soul.

But I continued to paint in a way that made me happy. 
And guess what?
 I seem to be doing okay! 
 Quite a few people seem to like Jean Haines books as they sell internationally, my workshops are always fully booked in UK and abroad and I am continually opening emails with fantastic invitations. I am also in galleries.

 The point of this story is. I paint for me. I have always painted for me. I paint what makes me happy. Not how I am told to. I paint from my heart. And I have ignored anyone from that day onwards who has advised me in a negative fashion.

So, to everyone who feels like giving up. Please don't!

To anyone who has been told they will never be an artist. Who says so? 
You are an artist by being you! 

Never let anyone crush your artistic soul.

And another point to close. Painting isn't all about selling, winning prizes or exhibiting. Or even being famous. Its' about creating and loving the feeling when you do.

Have you finsihed that coffee yet?

Happy painting and when I say that, I mean it!


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Monday, 3 August 2015

Meadow Sweet : Monday Feeling!

Meadow Sweet

I loved last weeks' workshops so much that the  happy high from being on them is still very much with me. I loved all the questions I was asked. All the problems that arose from hiccups artists try to overcome and most of all I adored sharing my new colour combinations and techniques for building up paintings.

I am on an art journey that is so very exciting and each step I takeI want to share with others so they may enjoy the path I am following but hopefully without the headaches of when things go wrong as they often can.

Simplifying is usually the best way to begin a painting session. Falling in love with the subject and glorious colour. And I find if you try to paint things that are different to your usual subjects your enthusiasm stays at an all time high. Walking my Bearded Collie this morning I came across meadow sweet. A fragrant wild plant that for some reason always reminds me of popcorn or candy floss. It is soft to touch and often stands above or nestles in other plants which surround it. I aimed  our morning walk towards a glowing field and that initially became my focus to paint on my return home but the meadow sweet stayed on my mind. And I loved capturing an interpretation of it in an almost abstract manner.


Meadow Sweet. Close up of my favourite section so far in this painting.


Thank you so much to every one who has sent gorgeous messages about last weeks workshops letting me know hwo much you enjoyed them. I will agree. Last week really was memorable and I can't wait for my next courses! These will be in USA as I am on tour heading for New York, St. Louis, Sonoma and West Virginia . Its' going to be very exciting!

For now I am loving playing with colour before my week begins on a serious note with a huge commission that I am working on.

Happy painting!


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Please note: It is not too late to be included on my email contact list for UK workshops in 2016. Details will go out later this year and bookings are always on a first come first served basis. Please email me on jeanhaines@hotmail.com for full information.

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