Thursday, 15 March 2018

Art isn't easy!

 Snowdrop composition coming to life in watercolour

I meet so many people on my travels when I teach my workshops all over the world and the one thing that seems to be a common denominator in my art courses is my coming across people who tell me that they find painting really difficult. In that their results aren't always as pleasing as they want them to be or simple to achieve.

  I think theres' a point that we all miss at times.We all love painting and we all want to paint. But art isn't easy! It takes years of practise to get to a level of painting where you feel you are creating something worthwhile but even then, you still take time to perfect your skills. I cannot imagine one single famous artist  starting out in their career and simply painting a masterpiece straight away. In the same way that a famous golfer didn't get a hole in one on their first attempt at playing golf.

No painting isn't easy at all. 

I still have days where I face a new subject and what I achieve in my results may be passable as a finished painting but it will be far off from where I intended my results to be. In fact I am going to be totally honest and say I must be such a hard task master as right now I know exactly where I want my latest snowdrop and daffodil paintings to be and I am almost there . But not quite. In my mind I can see the daffodils blowing in the breeze and my results although beautiful don't quite say this. But they will. My snowdrops I want to glisten as if in early morning light under fresh snowfall. They aren't there yet but they will be.

Note these three words.

They will be.


Because I want them to be. Its' as simple as that. Mind over matter. I want to paint a great painting. I want to fall in love with my finished work myself. I am the driving force behind my work getting better and that is the most important point. Lets turn that around to you.


You are the most important key to your own work getting better. How good a "key" you are is up to you but unless you keep turning that key and aiming at "somewhere" you will never reach that destination. It helps of course if you know where you want to be in your art journey. But most o fus want to be better.

So for me this morning, it is back to painting flowers and aiming for the painting that is in my mind, just out of reach. The one that I will always strive to get to as a higher level in my art.

Happy painting!


Wednesday, 14 March 2018

All Ears? 2018/2019 USA Workshop Information

"All Ears"
Half a hare!

I have received so many requests regarding my next USA workshops so I am sharing an update here. Please bear in mind that some locations are already fully booked and others are not yet open for registration.

2018 USA Workshops

Daniel Smith , Seattle WA
22/23rd October  Fully Booked
24/25th October  Fully Booked
27/28th October  Fully Booked
29/30th October  Fully Booked
 Demonstration  26th October  
To be added to the wait list in case of cancellations please email me on

Kennewick WA 
 2/3rd November Fully Booked
5/6th November Fully Booked

Keetons Art Store, Bradendon, Florida
9/10th November   Places Available
12/13th November  Places Available
15/16th November Places Available
Please contact me for booking contact details

 Bonita Springs Art Center, Florida
26/27th November  Places Available
29/30th November  Places Available


 2019 USA Workshops

New England Watercolor Society 
 1/2nd February Places Available
 4/5th February  Places Available


Please Note: Registration for these courses will be opening later this year.

Coachella Watercolor Society
12/13th February 2019
 14/15th February 2019


California Watercolor Association
19/20th February 2019
22/23rd February 2019
Enquiries :


Tuesday, 13 March 2018

New Book: Atmospheric Flowers in Watercolour

 I am thrilled to share the news that my new book "Atmospheric Flowers in Watercolour" will be launched this year. It is now available to pre order, for first edition prints, from

It has been a journey writing this book as for years I have always wanted to write a book about painting flowers. In fact this was the first book I ever imagined writing. But when my publisher invited me to write it as my sixth publication my art, style and subject matter had changed dramatically from when it was first a seed of an original idea in my imagination.

Now , at this stage in my art journey I wanted to share demonstrations that were different covering subjects that might be less well known or popular in many existing floral art books.For example, I chose painting white subjects as a challenge for one whole section and my approach can be used for many other subjects as well as flowers. 

The process was filmed entirely in my garden. So readers are visiting me at home in each chapter throughout the year. This was so lovely as there were always endless subjects at hand to create in watercolour as I am a keen gardener. But it was difficult to stay with flowers only as wildlife in the form of insects and birds visit my garden daily so these too leaped onto the pages.

 My cottage garden

It has been a magical journey and one that took a lot of my time. A labour of love . In fact, I was still working on it while I was on tour but it has now gone to print. Finally. 

To purchase a pre order copy please see this link and I will be signing copies and selling my book at Patchings this year where my book will be launched. A very exciting time!

 Roses from my cottage garden


Monday, 12 March 2018

Spring 2018: Daffodils " Showers of Flowers"

Spring Showers
Showers of "Flowers" that is!

Oh my! Well I am truly back in UK . Back to grey skies showers. Rain has been falling non stop today but thank heavens I can paint my own sunshine in the form of cheery daffodils which are blooming in my garden brightening up the landscape.

When I am home, I start every Monday in my studio catching up with admin and because I have been on tour for so long there is so much to do!

Firstly, I am working on my next tours. My Fall USA tour is now all organised and there are places currently available in two locations in Florida. I will share this information in another blog post. I am also working on my 2019 Spring tour when I will be in Boston and two locations in California.

My UK 2018 workshops are fully booked but I have had a few unexpected cancellations so if your name is on my wait list you may be hearing from me. If you would like to be added to my wait list please email me as soon as possible.

I am in an exhibition which opens on 24th March so I have been arranging collection of my art. 

And I badly want to spring clean my studio. I do every year but right now it needs a really good clear out!

Whatever you are doing I hope you have a great week ahead and if its' raining where you are how about painting your own sunshine too!



Sunday, 11 March 2018

Mothering Sunday Bouquet 2018

Mothering Sunday 2018

For years I used to dread Mothering Sunday for personal reasons. But the joy each year now grows and intensifies.

I always try to paint a special bouquet at this time of year and , as I create, I think of others who may miss their Mothers, who may not even have had Mothers or share the very happy memories from their childhood known to friends around them.

It can be a hard day for many. For others it is a very special occasion.

Whatever you are feeling on this special day of the year I wish you joy, happiness and peace.

 Happy Mothering Sunday 


Drops from Heaven : Snowdrops 2018

 Snowdrop paintings on my easel
March 2018

 I couldn't wait to race to my studio this morning to continue working on my paintings of snowdrops.
I left a first wash of a second snowdrop painting on my easel last night and completed the piece this morning. As seen below.

"Snowdrop Curtsies"

Then I continued adding detail to my favourite first snowdrop watercolour that I began and shared on my blog yesterday. Each small snowdrop flower is beginning to come to life in this piece.

Snowdrop Heaven

I have used Cascade Green by Daniel Smith for the foliage of these delicate flowers. The blue is mainly Cobalt Turquoise but I have added Iridescent Electric Blue for extra drama. It is such a gorgeous blue and works beautifully to enhance this scene.

I am so happy to be back in my studio at last. I have missed my quiet painting time whilst I have been teaching and travelling.

It really is so good to be home!


Saturday, 10 March 2018

Home At Last 2018!

Snowdrop wash, painted from plants in my garden

I am home at last after a very long tour which involved filming new DVDs, teaching ten watercolour courses in Florida, New Orleans and Hawaii which included four watercolour demonstrations.  I also gave interviews and attended book signing events. Behind the scenes I worked with my publishers on the final stages of my new book and the last proof I saw of it looked gorgeous. I am now in the process of judging a Russian watercolour competition so I am still hard at work but it is so lovely to be home. Back in UK and in my studio too.

The first thing I did on my return was wander around my garden to see what it is like after my long absence. There are clumps of primroses and snowdrops everywhere.

I couldn't resist applying colour for a first wash of snowdrops as seen above.

I can't wait to catch up, share my news and paint in my studio again. I have so many new ideas that I simply don't know where to start but start I will. And on Monday I hope my easel is covered with gorgeous washes and new ideas for paintings. 

And I will be able to add long overdue inspirational posts to my blog!

I am back.

I hope you missed me!