Thursday 8 July 2010

Book Launch at the Mall Galleries,London 2010

  " How to Paint Colour and Light in Watercolour" on display at the Mall Galleries in London yesterday at the book launch. It is now available to purchase at the gallery.

Incredible! Yesterday seems like a blur as it was such a fabulous day which will be a very special memory for the rest of my life. I left home after the usual dilema for many females.What to wear for a book launch! But as my time has been so limited this week  this meant  racing for a train and hoping for the best! I talked to several friends yesterday on my way to the Mall Galleries, each wishing me luck and telling me everything would be wonderful. It probably hit me at around nine  that this was really happening and not a dream.

I arrived at the Mall Galleries early so that I could set up my art  equipment ready for my demonstrations that day. Everyone there was so warm, encouraging and friendly. It felt very much like my usual workshop sessions and I quietly painted before the doors opened  to the public to get a feel for my painting space. Next I moved towards the gallery reception to see where I would be signing my books and stopped in my tracks. There in full view at the front of all the books on show by so many leading  artists worldwide was my own book on watercolour. In a fantastic row on full display. I can't begin to describe how I felt. I adore the Mall Galleries and have visited  so many exhibitions there over the years including being in several with my own watercolours. But this was my first time of being included as an author. Of all the locations in the world for a book launch this has to be one of the most prestigious venues.

The SWA,Society for Women Artists Annual Exhibition  was on and as a member this was the reason behind my being there for my demonstrations. The doors opened and people started to arrive. It is amazing how many people visit the Mall Galleries on a daily basis. For me seeing many friends faces in the crowd was the icing on the cake. Each time I turned around another familiar smile faced me. I am so touched by how genuinely happy for me so many of  those who know me obviously were. I am so grateful for wonderful friends and colleagues. And on top of this people who had never heard of me before kept coming up to tell me how much they loved my style. Asking where I had been hiding for so long! It was so wonderful to hear all the incredible feedback.

" This is exactly how watercolour should be " one  visitor told me when looking at my paintings. I am overwhelmed by  the number of positively glowing comments I have received in this vein. It seems many people want to see pure watercolour. Used as a flowing and transparent medium that is truly only genuine pure  watercolour rather than simply products that are used with the addition of water to create paintings. I understand as acrylics and water based oils are included in many top watercolour societies and exhibtions classed as watercolours. But  the way I work obviously was thrilling to many who miss seeing the medium shining alone in all its glory.  It was also thrilling and exciting to hear peoples reactions to how I always work without a preliminary sketch. And fascinating to watch facial  expressions when subjects magically appeared on blank pieces of white paper or as I literally threw colour at the paper as I often do. Although I must admit with the highly polished wooden floor at the gallery I was very much on my best behaviour. I threw with caution so I think anyone who has been to my workshops  may have thought I was quite " tame " for me yesterday. And I was!

My demonstrations flowed with my joyous mood as I was so happily feeling confident because I had my favourite brushes in my hand. In my heart I knew I would be fine. When you hold workshops as often as I do and demonstrate regularly this really becomes a huge part of your art life that you enjoy. Sharing your passion for painting with others who are as enthusiastic as yourself. I held two demonstrations yesterday. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. Cockerels are always a favourite subject so I started with a lovely beady eye for each character and moved away from my starting point bringing in movement and excitement via colour, directional brushstrokes and water effects. What is so fantastic this morning is knowing anyone who has read sections of my book already will now know exactly what I mean when I discuss my favourite techniques. Here is the cockerel study from the early morning demonstration yesterday before the main group of visitors arrived.

Cockerel Demonstratiuon from the Mall Galleries in London  during my book launch there yesterday.

Following the demonstrations and until the gallery closed I  signed copies of my book. This felt so very unreal. I have seen so many authors in so many locations but yesterday I found myself signing my very first books that had been launched that morning. It felt incredible,amazing and very wonderful. I loved everyone I met and am so grateful to the friends who made a  journey to be there on my special day. I will never forget a single moment of my book launch and am also very grateful to Search Press for being there all day yesterday to oversee my launch into life as an author. No author could ask for a better  or more professional publisher.

I have so much to be grateful for and so many to thank. Most of all I am aware that belonging to such a prestigious society as the SWA,Society of Women Artists has opened doors for me in a way that I could never have imagined even only twelve months ago.

One thing I believe we all need to remember as artists is that it is our work that gets us accepted and recognised. As with any career we need to work hard on our skills and paint to our best ability if we wish to succeed. But it is always the wonderful people around us who can help us and guide us in our journeys if we listen and learn. And when we do see our dreams come true then it is time to help others.

That makes the world a far better place. For me a dream has become reality  I have my own journey  with roads ahead of me still to explore but this will never keep me from helping anyone who needs a helping hand to reaching where they want to be or seeing their own dreams come true.


Because I want everyone to feel as happy as I felt yesterday and feel today.

I am  very blessed and I know this

Signing copies of my first book " How to Paint Colour and Light in Watercolour " at the Mall Galleries in London yesterday during the book launch.



lisa meryl said...

Jean, Congratulations on your successful "Book Launch"! You should be very proud! I'm so happy for you! I wish you continued happiness and success in all you do! Cheers!

Cheryl said...

and you are so deserving of all, because of who you are and the way you share/share /share a rare quality in this day and age.

Ady said...

Congratulations on the book launch, Jean! How wonderful!! I am thrilled to bits for you - next phase, DVD and book 2! Woohoo!!!

Anonymous said...

Jean, I'm so happy for you that you had a fantastic day, and congrats on your new book. Can't wait to take a look at it.

Michelle said...

Congratulations on your book launch, Jean! I've been reading your blog for a few months now and really love your style and enjoy reading what you have to say. I'm new to watercolour and I've been dabbling with other media such as watercolour sticks, pencils, graphite, and crayons...I love anything watersoluble!

I'm currently using the Cotman paints, but am getting ready to upgrade to the artist paints. When I read the part in your post about the painting you were doing at the book launch, it made me want to hurry and order my new paints so I can get going! I was so inspired :)

I was wondering when your book will be available on Amazon and in the shops?

Thank you for sharing so much with all of us.


jean congratulations on your first book launch ..thankyou for sharing here a glipse of your special day.. would loved to have been there to see you in action ..had envisaged you signing your books with a paint brush ! very happy for you ..looking foward to reading your book

Jean Haines SWA, SFP said...

Hello Lisa, my feet haven't touched the ground yet and I am only just beginning to take in I really am an author now! Thank you so much for your warm wishes and it really is lovely to know you are here,


Jean Haines SWA, SFP said...

Hello Cheryl,

I can't be any other way.To give is the greatest gift in life.Keeping everything to ourselves is like being a bird in a cage which I couldn't be. I enjoy " flying" and helping others fly far too much!

Cheryl thank you so much for everything,you have been and are such a wonderful person in so many ways. I am so lucky to know you.


Jean Haines SWA, SFP said...

Hi there Ady,

I will be terrified to watch the DVD! I hate being in front of the camera just for photos so heaven knows what I will be like watching a DVD of me...........I may hibernate when it is launched!

Thank you so much for being such a fantastic friend who is so talented in their own right ,


Jean Haines SWA, SFP said...

Hi there Maggie,

Thank you so much, I am so deliriously happy right now.Next stage.Book two which will be full of surprises!


Jean Haines SWA, SFP said...

Hi there Michelle,it's so lovely to know my blog is being read and enjoyed and found to be inspirational too. Please try the W&N range of watercolours as they are far superior to the student Cotman range and you will find a huge difference in your results once you make the change.My book is available on right now so I hope you manage to get one and enjoy reading it. Try the tomatoes in brilliant reds,that's a favourite study of mine and its really simple and exciting.

Please stay in touch so I can hear how you are getting on, I adore watercolour and everyone who loves working in it too!


Jean Haines SWA, SFP said...

Hi there Jane, now wouldn't that have been a great idea,signing my books with a paint brush! I will do that for book two!!!!!!!!!

I so wish you could have been here too Jane.It was a fantastic day and I still can't believe it took place.

My whole year has been one exciting thing after the other and now I need to knuckle down and get back to painting non stop for galleries and my next book! I cannot wait to try some new techniques!

Thank you so much Jane for being so wonderful, so kind and so encouraging and so enthusiastic in my journey.You are wonderful!


A Brush with Color said...

Sounds like a wonderful step for you. Continued success, and congratulations!