Wednesday 25 November 2009

Autumn,Workshops and Faces?

Glorious Autumn
Inspiration has been surrounding me the last couple of months with temptations to paint every time I go for a walk.But the rosehips are now all that is left as leaves have fallen from the trees  while the Winter Season approaches.

Large and small paitings from studies of  Autumn subjects have adorned my art studio and many have already  sold.

I am eagerly  looking ahead to 2010 and workshops all over the world.

Invitations to teach in Norway,France and Portugal are on my schedule along with many other exciting events. It really is going to be a very exciting and interesting year ahead of me.


I open and close each  painting session with warm up exercises on scraps of paper. I often see faces in the  colour combinations and this one in particluar made me smile.  I wonder if you too can see  the Spanish ladys face considering I was playing with colour and not aiming at painting a subject  during this exercise?

The value of experimenting during a painting session has aided my progress as an artist. I often gain ideas  for larger pieces.  I also  find inspiration for new or existings subjects. I could easily add detail to this study to make a small painting but then I would lose the spontaniety of the fun and pleasure I experienced in simply allowing watercolour to work  at will. Watermarks add to the  effect here in a way I couldn't deliberately plan. My chosen medium seems to be my "master" at times with myself as a willing "servant" in its' hands. Always treating it with reverance and respect. At other times I know I feel as though I am the one  in control. Between us we have the most incredible relationship that can lead to magical "happy accidents" or beautiful paintings that are planned and well thought out  beforehand. Flow of colour is beautifully enticing to work further.......and in my tomorrows there will always be something new to capture on paper in a variety of  techniques. I wonder what subjects I will fall in love with on my travels in 2010?  There is so much yet to discover and capture on paper. Life is wonderful for the artist who is passionate about their art
Blog Updates?

It isn't easy keeping a blog up to date as I am so busy with exhibitions and workshops along with writing continually but I will add as often as I am able to. It does feel very strange sharing when you have no idea who is reading what you type. Or even knowing if anyone is interested!  Next week I will  be in hospital so my blog may be quiet for a while but I will be back and sharing soon. Life threw me an unexpected reason to worry but I know I am still very lucky  and I will be better. Many people would love to be able say that.

Have a wonderful week and happy painting to all my artist friends.

Thursday 19 November 2009

Love Via Brushstrokes

"Sleeping Angel" inspired by Amy, my God daughter.

There are times when it genunely feels as though love touches our paintbrushes. Either we have completely fallen in love with our subject or we want to create a piece that captures our emotions whilst we are painting. A very dear and close friend of mine passed away some time ago and I still miss her terribly. Her daughter is like my own and her children especially Amy look like an angel. But don't all little ones when they are sleeping?

Porcelain skin tones and a sweet innocent face sinking into soft bedding. My interpretation of a familar pose left me feeling peaceful as lullabyes long forgotten flooded my mind.  Bringing back many happy and sad memories as I felt that tug of love in my brushstrokes throughout painting this study for the larger piece.

Painted for the love of Amy.......for Amy........and thinking of Anwen my own daughter at the same time. An emotional painting capable of tugging heartstrings and definitely  full of love.

Tuesday 17 November 2009

Washes,Colour and Fun!

When I started this blog I had some wonderful messages letting me know friends were delighted I am sharing studies and my art online other than on my website or in Facebook, which I tend to use more for family and friends. I hope a few smiles will appear when I share this update! Time spent simply playing with washes always inspires my larger paintings. I often come across simple ideas that act as a base for future work on a variety of subjects.

Painting for exhibitions, galleries and commissions leaves me often looking back at the days when I painted purely for fun. Often never worrying whether I would complete a piece or even have a successful result. To keep that wonderful feeling of "being new" to watercolour alive I explore ways to improve my work at every opporunity. My latest paintings and my recent journey in art has led me to a point where I am having a fantastic time looking ahead to what I want to achieve.

The most amazing situation is that I have been writing a book on watercolour and I have taught myself so much in the process of creating it. It has been as though I have been sitting on my own workshops and enjoying every minute. The project has enriched my life far more than I ever could have expected.

But back to painting and sharing..........

Cockerel Study No 1. Playing with an underwash to act as the foundation for the further brushwork. Just a very loose wash that tempts me to work further in my favourite technique. I am developing a new approach to underwashes, mid layers and final details which is so exciting to explore and believe in.

Monday 16 November 2009

House Of Lords and Africa?

What an amazing life I lead. I had started a blog with the intention of adding on a regular basis but my life is so busy I find it impossible to share online in any form lately. But here is an update of all that is happening with me at the moment and a tiny clue as to why I am "quiet" as a blogger!


Last week I was invited to the House of Lords. I met so many fascinating people and my heart was touched by the charity organizing the event in such an incredible venue. International Childcare Trust.......helping children in need from all over the world. You can find out more about the charity via this link.


SWA Society of Women Artists and FAS Farnham Arts Society.

My week was full as I had two committee meetings. The SWA Society of Women Artists and the Farnham Arts Society. This meant I was in London on Remembrance day,observing the two minute silence after witnessing the scenes of the day which were very emotional.


SAA Society for All Artists Paint Magazine.

This week is full yet again with the last in the series of "How To Paint Dogs in a Loose Style" for the SAA needing completing and I have work to complete for my book which is to be published next year. I am looking at members paintings that have been sent in following my series and I feel so in awe of art from working minus a pencil and just working with colour directly. I am thrilled by the response and in love with many of the paintings.

My painting of "Mans Best Friend" inspired by the series is now in my studio, framed and almost ready to leave home but I am enjoying him so much. He reminds me of our own rescue dog from China so much it is hard to part with. Maybe as artists we all have a piece that tugs at our heart strings just that wee bit more. "Mans Best Friend" original watercolour by Jean Haines


David Shepherd WildLife Fund

Talking of heart strings this week I also have a meeting for the David Shepherd Wildlife Fund which I am really looking forward to. My recent "Africa" Watercolour Workshop helped adopt a moon bear and a baby elephant. However next year sees the 2010 Wildlife Artist of the Year exhibition. Please if you are an artist reading my blog get involved and submit a painting. Through your brushstrokes you can do so much so please help. For more inspiration and details please see the following link.....

A colourful wash from an "Africa" workshop session.......this painting will also be donated to charity.

Watercolours With Life Workshops

Every Monday sees me start the week with Administration and requests for my Watercolours With Life Workshops are really taking over my inbox along with requests for demonstrations. Life is so wonderful and I know I am blessed to not only see and live as an artist but also have the opportunity to help charities I feel passionate about with my work.

Once upon a time it was enough to paint an image,feel the result was successful and frame the piece. Then it was exciting to sell. to know someone loved your work so much they wanted to own it. Now that isn't enough. Now there is more of a challenge to see how much I can achieve to help others with my art. Life is to me about giving........and if what we give is genuinely from our hearts our lives really are worth living.

I wish everyone reading this a wonderful week ahead with many fabulous paintings in it or special memories created.

Monday 9 November 2009

Autumn Glory

Autumn is an inspiration to my palette. Each day I see new colour combinations and ideas for compositions that are unique and interesting from sights full of incredible formations. As an artist it is impossible not to be motivated to race home and pick up your brush from morning walks on carpets of leaves in shades of red and gold.

It is a sheer delight to simply play with pigment to see how it interacts allowing shapes to form rather than make decisions on painting a definite subject.Although I know from these studies this is where I am heading. To a large Autumn Scene that captures the atmosphere of the countryside at this time of year.

Last week saw me very busy with gallery visits delivering work and organizing exhibitions for 2010. I also heard news that a painting I had donated to a charity auction for the Judi Meadows Fund raised a bid of £1000 which I am very touched by. We can never step into anyone elses shoes but if there is something we can do to help,offer support or simply show we care then that makes our lives enriched and far more worth living. You can read more about the Judi Meadows Memorial Fund via this link.

Art to me is a part of who I am,I feel passionately about watercolour and if by my love for this medium I can help others in any way I will continually aim to do so.....knowing that at any time there may be a moment when I too will need that comfort or support or love coming back to me.

Finally I have just recieved the latest issue of the SAA Paint Magazine and seen my recent feature on how to paint dogs in a loose style. It has been such a joy to recieve feedback from SAA members who have loved the series, reading about how the style has been followed. I am so blessed in so many life is a blessing and in it I daily come across amazing people from all walks of life who fascinate me,become firm friends and share in so many ways.

Have a wonderful week..........

Monday 2 November 2009

A White Piece of Paper?

I love waking on a Monday. To me it represents a white piece of paper. I may have ideas on what the week will bring but just as when you start a painting in watercolour, surprises are always waiting around the corner. I know I have a diary full of commitments and a studio waiting for me to pick up my brushes. By Friday I should be able to look back with a smile and see what I have achieved in the last few days. I am certain that wonderful word "smile" is the most important secret for a happy and successful life!


This weekend saw the close of my latest exhibition. It was a really wonderful experience meeting so many people at the preview and at workshops hosted by the gallery.

Part of this collection has been purchased by a British Embassy including two of my favourite paintings."Showing Off" which was featured in Hampshire Life magazine and "A La Marche" which was the winning experimental painting in the SAA Artist of the year competition earlier this year.

Appropriately the lucky black cat that has sat in my studio bringing me luck for the last twelve months also sold along with all the cards for each of the main paintings in the show. So I need to paint myself another "lucky" painting and quickly!

Sunday 1 November 2009

2009 A Full Year.

Maybe 2009 has been the most exciting of years when I look back at my journey from January to now. I have held and been involved in several exhibitions, been elected as an Associate Member of the Society of Women Artists, won awards and met many incredible people on my Watercolour Workshops.

To everyone who has been a part of my journey and to all I have yet to meet welcome to my blog which I will hopefully enjoy sharing on as time goes by!