Monday 31 January 2011

Nearly Spring 2011

Primroses : A new Spring Collection of Watercolours.

Now the clusters of primroses are really bursting to life in my cottage garden it is impossible to walk  by and not admire their beauty.We still have chill winter weather and yet these tiny flowers give  everyone hope that sunshine is on the way when the warmer seasons arrive.

Small clumps of  primroses in one flower bed nestle beneath where the summer delphiniums will flower later this year.So unlike in a natural wild woodland setting I have a backdrop alternative for colour combinations and choices. Hence the vivid blue in the top right corner of this new painting.

I have several  really beautiful washes which I started last week all tempting my brush and begging to be completed. And so I start this week with gentle colour which will pull me into the more dramatic subjects  as the week progresses.

It is truly incredible how art can  raise our spirits or calm our souls at times. There are many benefits  to being an artist and I am starting my week with quiet, peaceful soft colour to relax after a hectic weekend.


Sunday 30 January 2011

Only Just Winning

Only Just Winning

Section from a full sheet racing painting.

Everyone  who knows me well will understand Sunday is my day to reflect. A peaceful day where I look back on the previous week and forward to the next. The last few months of 2010 saw me racing to meet deadlines and deliver work to so many exhibitions taking place during the months leading up to December.

In 2011 my focus is on my new book,workshops and exciting new watercolours that hold interesting compositions and vibrant colour combinations. This week I completed a collection of horse racing paintings by adding the final touches to pieces that have been evolving for a few months. I have loved watching each painting develop and dreaded the day when I knew they would be complete.This would mean they would leave my studio to be framed and eventually be placed in a gallery. My largest pieces I now can't personally deliver but it is interesting to see my main pieces now need two people to carry them!

I'm looking forward to a week of contrasts from very quiet spring flower paintings against action scenes that make me feel as though the room is moving when I work on them.

Variety they say is the spice of life.
Mine certainly is full of colourful variety.

Friday 28 January 2011

Thank you for following my Blog.

Cockerel Eye developing in a Watercolour

It's been an incredible week in the first month of 2011. I am barely back from a wonderful trip to Asia and I am already working on my second book holding its' skeleton in my hands with meetings arranged with my photographers and publishers in March. February will be really exciting due to a new project. Workshops are  organised also.

Last night I picked up a collection of framed new paintings and celebrated the New Year with champagne in a gallery who had just sold several favourite paintings of mine.

Today I have so much to do so typing on my blog will have to wait until tomorrow. But I couldn't let the morning pass without saying a huge thank you for all the wonderful messages and comments I am receiving about my blog. I meet people in person who let me know how much they enjoy my posts. I open amazing emails from all over the world and then I read replies here. We have no idea when we share if anyone will ever read what we write.To know my blog posts are enjoyed means so much to me.

So thank you very much for  encouraging me to continue to share. Thank you to everyone following my blog and thank you to those who are leaving replies. In return I am wishng you will have the very  best year ahead full of incredible memories.

Thank you so much. 
Small words I know but they do carry so much genuine warmth.


Thursday 27 January 2011

A Special Day in the Life of and Author

This is a short blog entry because I am so emotional. I felt this way when this happened for my first book on watercolour. The skeleton for my second book has just arrived in the post. For those who have not written a book this news will mean nothing.To authors who have this will be a day they understand. My new "baby" is coming to life.

In my hands I hold what my book will look like when published minus all the text and  paintings. Each page is there with the lay out of each chapter showing me exactly how many pages are for each section and how many pages require full large paintings or smaller step by steps. This is a result of my first meeting with my publisher last Autumn and all the ideas are now in place. The flow from one part of the book to the next is magical.

I am so thrilled and feeling as though I want to shout from the roof tops that I know what my baby will look like. But it's too early. There is so much work to be done and it's time to leave my blog and start painting. At least I will when my heartbeat slows down because right now I am so excited.This is exactly what I wanted my new book to look like.

A dream is on the way to coming true.


Writing my Second Book: Behind the Scenes 1.

How to Paint Colour and Light in Watercolour
Launched at the Mall Galleries in 2010 

The decision to share each stage of writing my second book.

When I started writing my first book I was in the throws of a move and renovating a cottage. While writing my second book I thought it  may be a great idea to share its creative process and what goes on behind the scenes to show how much is involved in publishing the finished article. I also am aware this could be valuable information to anyone who is also considering writing a book of their own.

Finding a Publisher

Every author needs a publisher. One that has experience and excels as established in the literary world. I am so fortunate to be an author for Search Press as they are an incredible company. I am overwhelmed with the support and guidance I have recieved from the very first day I met them. So to record the process of pulling this next book together will gradually introduce you to a team who are involved and helping make this exciting  new project one that will be filled with magic.

My Second Book: The Birth of an Idea

The idea for this new book came long before my first book " How to Paint Colour and Light" was even  considered. However at a final meeting before my first book was about to go to print the suggestion of my second book with pages full of demonstrations,techniques and fabulous colour was born. And the minute it was excitement filled the air. Sometimes you just know something is going to be fantastic and we all know this is what we are about to create. Martin,Katie,Roz and I were aware we were onto something very special.

The Wait

Now we had the seed of an idea there was much to do in deciding how to go forward. The thinking process is as important as the actual writing and painting. If not more important as the ideas needed time to formulate. There was a long gap in the creative process as further suggestions were discussed and also my first book had yet to be launched which it was at the Mall galleries in London during the SWA, Society for Women Artists Annual Exhibition.

The First Meeting

Last Autumn saw my first meeting where each chapter is allocated title wise and the flow of the book is already in place. All I can say at this stage is that if I feel this excited about writing it I can't imagine how anyone who loves watercolour will feel when they actually read it. It is different,yes. But then there are already so many books available discussing already well known techniques. My workshops and demonstrations often  see those attending making a comment when they leave.They tell me I am a "Breath of Fresh Air" and that's what I want this next book to feel like.One that cannot be put down and one that is seriously highly recommended to all watercolorists.

So at what stage am I now?

It will take a full twelve months before we can give a date to when this book will be available because the journey into creating it has really just started. From the birth of an idea, to the first planning meeting. I am now working in my studio on techniques and ideas which I won't share online until the book is launched to add to the surprises it holds.

The First Photography Shoot

But yesterday a really exciting stage took place.The discussion for the very first photography shoot. This will be in March at the professional photographers who shot all the images in my first book. they are fantastic. I have now some very serious painting to do and some very quiet studio time to enjoy.

I am so over the moon in how this book is developing that I feel as though I am floating with excitement at times. Its going to be very hard keeping my feet on the ground this year. And I am not sure I am going to try!

So if my paintings seem happy,light with a sense of freedom over the next twelve months put that feeling down to sheer happiness.

I am over the moon!


"How to Paint Colour and Light in Watercolour" by Jean Haines is available from and other stockists.

SAA, Society For All Artists, Snowdrop Challenge

Snowdrops appearing in an atmospheric wash

I recently wrote a feature for the SAA, Society for All Artists " Paint " magazine. The demonstration was on how to paint a simple snowdrop minus the use of a preliminary sketch whilst aiming to bring the subject to life. In the article was an invitation for members of the SAA and readers of the magazine to send in their interpretations of the demonstration.

I have just recieved by email the first  entries to the challenge. Yesterday our postman knocked on the door to give me a very large package with the remaining entires that had been sent to the SAA directly.  I am so thrilled by the comments and results. Now I have the task of selecting paintings to be included in my next feature and will be explaining how I feel about each one. I love them all so this will be very interesting.

When you write  you often have no idea  on whether your idea has come across or not until you recieve feedback. As I am now in the process of writing my second book receiving these submissions  has been really valuable to my creative writing journey so I am very  grateful to everyone who took participated.

My new feature with members snowdrop paintings will be in the next issue of "Paint" magazine.

Thank you to everyone who followed the demonstration and forwarded their results to the SAA. I am  so thrilled with the response. I hope when these Spring  flowers start to come into bloom this Spring there will be many more paintings to follow.


Wednesday 26 January 2011

Primroses in Watercolour

Spring 2011

Primroses appearing from a gentle wash of Spring  colours.

In between large paintings this week I have enjoyed adding a few touches to my first painting of primroses this year. Every so often I take a break and look at this piece to see where a touch of colour or an additional brushstroke will make a difference. I can now see many new flowers in the wash,some want defintion and some need to be left as hints of  petals. It really is a very enjoyable piece to work on and as this painting develops I can feel how wonderful it may look in a frame in my cottage.I rarely seem to have any of my own paintings these days so my heart is letting me know this could be one I should keep!

I really am enjoying the profile of the primroses on the left so this area could very well be complete.
Only time will tell.

Profile of primrose cluster.

There is such a wonderful feeling of light and warmth in this  watercolour. Each minute spent  creating it is sheer bliss. It is relaxing,peaceful and full of the magic of springtime bursting with new life and energy. Every now and then as an artist you have one painting that seems to have that extra ingredient that makes it special. This is one of those paintings and I really don't want the creative journey with it to come to an end.


Tuesday 25 January 2011

Spring Fever 2011: Primroses in Watercolour

The First Signs of Spring 2011
 The first primroses of 2011
 On my retrun from Asia I was taken aback to see the first primroses in bloom in my garden. I look forward each year to painting Spring flowers as they always bring an exciting burst of colour and life into the countryside after months of wintery bleak scenes.

Yesterday I had a meeting with a gallery in the morning and set off walking to my car trying  so hard to avoid looking at the primroses that my heart was literally screaming to paint. I had important appointments which  prevented me from racing to my brushes. However I could see the painting of them  in mind all the time that I was away from my studio.

Matching colour  with the real subject.

But my return home after the meeting saw me playing with colour to capture the milky  pale yellow hues of these early spring flowers. Last year I had so much pleasure painting clusters of primroses using cling film  to create the intricate veins on the leaves surrounding the blooms. It was so successful as a technique that I repeated the process in my first 2011 primrose painting.

 Primroses  cluster  evolving with cling film  in two sections to form leaf patterns and extra interest.

Strengthening the colour  to define  individual flowers
The paper is still wet in this photograph

Removing the cling film when the paper is dry. Unusual patterns have formed which act as a base for  the leaves in further stages.

Close up of  pattern created by use of cling film.


This is such a magical time to be an artist as colour and light changes significantly  on a daily basis. But each season is short so it is essential to capture every subject for the time it is on show for us from nature.


Watercolour With Life Spring 2011 Workshops and Demonstrations

We will be looking at techniques to bring a number of  subjects to life with unusual and exciting results that are totally unique.  I look forward to meeting everyone this year and wish this to be the best year ever for the most magical of paintings!

February 2011  will see me in Norwich and Hampshire, U.K.

Monday 24 January 2011

Simply Watercolour

 Seperating Clusters of Orange Blossom
 Building up a Watercolour in Stages 

When I work on a watercolour of any subject the colour selection has to be really exciting. Each choice has to be one that enthralls me so that every addition is one that I have enjoyed. Down to the finest of lines or dots each  decision really is vital to the whole composition. But after painting for years I find these choices come naturally. As I have grown as an artist my instincts now demand  unique colour combinations and placement.

Which is why I found myself adding a beautiful mix of French Ultramarine and Opera Rose in between the two main clusters of Orange Blossom in this painting  to form an illusion of their being seperated on the branch.

Addition of colour to seperate the two main clusters of blossom

Orange Blossom beginning to come alive during the creative process.
Minus the seperating colour addition

Whilst living in Asia I met and studied under a Shangahineses master. I often worked with Asian watercolours and learned how to mix my own pigment from natural stones. To this day I believe the colours were far more vibrant  from doing so. I was also given fine white powder which when mixed with water created a similar effect to the Chinese White as we know it today.This product is unlike gouache in that it will mix freely with other shades minus the  chalky effects that can occur at times.

Because of very happy memories of my time with this incredible Shanghainese teacher I  used this white to heighten the drama and definition of one or two blossoms. You can see the result best in this image as already shown at the top of this blog entry.

Whites accentuated to form the individual blossom

The mixture of colour and shape are creating a piece that reminds me of my garden on a summers day last year. Having fun simply working for the pleasure of creating rather than aiming to finish a masterpeiec was a terrific way to relax with my brushes.  And I gained many ideas for new paintings along the way so not a minute was wasted!


It was such a wonderful day yesterday.I walked in the countryside enjoying the beautiful catkins that are now hanging  from the trees and swaying in the light seasonal breezes. In my garden are the very first primroses of the year already in clusters just dying to be painted. Spring is on its' way.

This is the start of a new week which I know is going to be really exciting in my studio as I have so much I am so eager to capture in watercolour. And  I can't wait to add this  eager enthusiasm and passion for colour in the next chapters of my second book.

Sunday 23 January 2011

Beating the Blues

Initial Flower Wash
Mock Orange Blossom is the inspiration for this colourful wash.

Sunday. A day of rest. Time to relax, look at the week that has passed and consider the week ahead. Have I achieved all I aimed for last week? Have I paintings to look forward to in the next?

Today nothing matters. My studio is not the centre of my time as we have been catching up with friends all weekend. I have also taken time to enjoy the countryside with my young Bearded Collie, Bailey, who needed some extra attention from my having left him for almost three weeks while we travelled in Asia.

These walks always turn on the my artists' soul. I always without fail see so much that I want to paint. I gain unusual ideas for workshops, appealing compositions, intricate brushstrokes and imaginative colour combinations.

At the moment I am surrounded by woodland where the trees have long since lost all of their leaves. The ground is thick with shades of  fading golds from the Autumn. The sky seems empty,almost void of colour as the winter months in England roll by. Many people find the long grey days depressing. I find them inspirational. This is often the time of year that I paint my brightest  pieces. I allow vibrant pigments to flow across paper and  smile as they interact creating incredible patterns.

I cannot remember which art society I was demonstrating to last year when I shared how I would approach painting a simple branch of orange blossom. In the subject we could all see obvious shades of green, lemon and white. To the art groups amazement I selected Winsor and Newtons Opera Rose  for a first wash. Then French Ultramarine. Stronger  placement of colour  followed as the painting developed. I loved everyones stunned reaction as the colours really did work as the subject formed. 

The warm glow from that memorable day is still with me. So much so that this morning I looked at the cool scenery outside my studio window and  thought of that wonderful cluster of blossom.  I allowed  my imagination to run riot and decided to just play with colour. I don't use masking fluid to save sections of white paper as I find this is similar to having a restrictive  preliminay sketch which can form definite lines to work within. Instead I freely enjoyed a vibrant wash that is already coming alive with a sense of  movement.

In my imagination I can see where the blossoms will lay in the composition. There is a heady feeling of excitement and anticipation and  my brush is being heralded to add the next details.

But this is a day to relax so I will only be painting as my heart desires and dictates.


As a Sunday should be.


"Beating the Blues"
Watercolour Workshop
February 2011

Can I remind everyone looking forward to the " Beating the Blues" workshop in February to bring all of their favourite vibrant shades as we won't be working mainly in blue! It's going to be a fantastic session!

Friday 21 January 2011

Mall Galleries, SWA Demonstration 2011

 Cockerel coming to life during a Mall Gallery Demonstration 2010

30th June- 9th July 2011
Mall Galleries
London, U.K.

Jean Haines SWA "Watercolours With Life" Demonstration
Thursday 7th July, 2011

Many wonderful visitors to the Mall Galleries last year were in awe at the variety of work and wonderfully high standard of paintings in the SWA Society for Women Artists 2010 Annual Exhibition.

For me it was a very special year as I became a full member of the SWA and launched my first book during the exhibition with a book signing in the reception of the prestigious Mall Galleries. I also demonstrated on the day of the book launch and it was an occasion that I will remember for the rest of my life. I met  many wonderful visitors who made my day even more memorable. The only negative feedback I recieved after the event was from those who were sadly disappointed as they hadn't known in time to attend.

  "How to Paint Colour and Light in Watercolour"
Launched at the SWA Society for Women Artists Annual Exhibition
Mall Galleries,London  2010

Well the good news is that I can now announce I will be demonstrating during the exhibition again this year. I am thrilled to have been invited back as one of the demonstrating artists and honoured to be sharing my techniques in a room full of outstanding art. If you haven't been able to get a place on one of my workshops, have been unable to meet me or attend previous demonstrations or you simply want to say "Hello" this is the very best day in 2011 to see me  not only in action but have time to chat also. I will also be signing books if you wish me to sign a copy.

I will be demonstrating at the Mall Galleries on Thursday 7th July, 2010  and  look forward to seeing you there. My aim is to give an insight into how I work minus the use of  a preliminary sketch and I will be sharing  why I choose the colours that I do for a variety of subjects. You can watch, ask questions and enjoy the relaxed and informal demonstrations and meet me in the most incredible of settings to share my passion for watercolour. 

I invite you to join me and make 2011 a very memorable demonstration day also!

If you are reading this you really are the first to be invited!

See you there.


SWA, Society for Women Artists.

If you would like to submit work for the SWA Society for Women Artists 150th Annual Exhibition 2011 you can find full details on how to become a member on the official web site.

Thursday 20 January 2011

"Bridge Of Sighs"

"Bridge of Sighs"
Evolving as a watercolour and beginning to take shape as a painting.

My first week in my studio of 2011 has seen me  painting for exhibitions, preparing for workshops and projects next month along with replying to a large number of emails from my having been away recently for almost three weeks in Asia.

In between major paintings I have allowed myself time to work on a study of the "Bridge Of Sighs" which is a valuable process in that it opens my mind to new possibilities on how to approach a favourite subject. And life!  Taking my time to enjoy every single brushstroke has taught me so much about not only this painting but how much can be missed if we continually race everything we do and every where we go. It's been a touch of heaven to just add colour in small sections to this painting when the mood takes me. I have loved every second and thought behind each addition.

Those who follow my workshop schedule will already know I am holding a special workshop in February 2011 called "Beating the Blues".  In this session there will, as always, be a few surprises for those attending. I am looking forward to the day because I know it's going to be an inspirational event that will have everyone racing for their brushes long after the session has ended. Including me!

For many artists  of all levels finding the motivation to paint can sometimes be a problem. To others there is a lack of excitement or spark in how they feel about their work. To some who adore painting an added boost once or twice a year is a great treat and incentive to create watercolours that are unique and successful.

This is why each year I put together a workshop programme that hopefully is really magical, unique and appealing. Each day is an occasion to not only look forward to but know before you arrive the outcome will be that you are you painting non stop over the months following with both enthusiasm and passion. The emotions I feel when I  pick up my brushes or start a new painting session.

And now having typed this blog entry I can't wait to  pick up my own brushes and see what I can create today. I can already see singing clear colours full of life in my mind. And I have a choice of so many wonderful subjects to paint.

How great life is as an artist!

Close up of the play of light on the foreground wall in the " Bridge of Sighs" painting. 
The sunshine hitting this section really does make the colour sing and create very pretty patterns and effects when they dance upon the architecture.


Watercolour Workshops 2011

For news on watercolour  workshops,demonstrations and projects for 2011 please contact

Autumn Session information and dates 2011 will be available soon.

Tuesday 18 January 2011

"Bridge Of Sighs"

"Bridge Of Sighs"
Watercolour in its Early Stages
Minus a Preliminary Sketch 

Stage 2. The "Bridge of Sighs" is literally just appearing now in the distance with tourists gently emerging from a soft wash.

Amazing. I have a zillion projects that desperately need my attention. I have collections of paintings that  really need completing including several gorgeous scenes of horse racing. I have beautiful eyes of a fabulous dog in watercolour that I wish to complete before the beginning of February not to mention that fabulous elephant in shades of  orange and blue.  On top of all this my next book is calling to me to write with chapters that are filled with excitement to the point that reaching them is like opening that long awaited Christmas present when you know the gift inside is exactly what you have always wanted.

In fact I have just described how I want artists who buy my second book to feel when it is launched.Sharing my passion for watercolour is easy. But I am pushing myself to make sure each page in this book is one that cannot be passed or skipped over. And so I am exploring my favourite subjects and new ideas. I am drawing on the expertise of the artists from all over the world who have inspired me in so many ways.

This painting of the " Bridge Of Sighs" from Venice for example could easily have been inspired by my time living in Dubai. I fell in love there with painting intricate detail on Mosques and Wind Towers. I learned how to work with colour in ways that would never have crossed my mind had I lived all of my life in UK where the skies are often so grey in Winter.

This small window in the painting is a favourite section of mine and to paint this I fall back yet again on the masters from India and Pakistan who  shared with me their knowledge on how they work with watercolour. Many will imagine I studied in England but a huge part of my training comes from the Middle East.

Window Section from the " Bridge Of Sighs"

The tourists on the " Bridge Of Sighs" are a collection of tiny dots of colour but they really create the illusion of a crowd in the distance.

 Tourists beginning to emerge from the soft wash on the bridge of sighs.

I have been thinking about how lucky I have been. I have travelled and lived in so many countries. I have met and watched artists at work from all over the world. And I have been given so many amazing tips on how to create a watercolour in so many different styles and techniques. I intend to give all these tips away in my next book so that everyone who has not had my opportunities can enjoy what has been passed on to me in the hope these ideas will be passed on to others.So that watercolour can be enjoyed for years to come in the way that I know it today.

The " Bridge Of Sighs" is building up as a painting. I haven't  made a single "sigh" as it has developed because I am enjoying it so much. And to me that really is the main secret of a successful watercolour. 
How the artist felt when they painted it.

"Bridge of Sighs"
Waiting for the next brush stroke.


No Turning Back

"Bridge Of Sighs"
First Stages
Building a landscape with no initial preliminary sketch.

I am working on my second book and really loving every second of exploring ideas to make this  an exciting and inspirational must have for artists of all levels. I have spent years looking at known watercolour techniques so at the moment I am looking at new ideas and approaches to a variety of subjects.

Old Buildings have always fascinated me and used to be an area I worked in while travelling and living in a number of countries. Light plays such an important role in bringing static subjects to life and use of clever colour combinations.

So this week I am studying my resource images from Venice and using my imagination to bring  a familair scene to life in a way that could be effective for a dreamy atmosphere.

The "Bridge Of Sighs" is an emotional location in Venice. Years ago many who crossed this bridge never returned to see their families or loved ones again.

Right now I am simply dropping colour in places to see if I can achieve what is in my mind. An illusion of time. It will be really interesting to see where this journey into colour and emotion as a subject leads me.


Monday 17 January 2011

2010 : A Mammoth Year!

 " Walking Away "
.........from last year!

I can't take in how many paintings I created in 2010. Each time I picked up my brush I aimed to make the next painting far more exciting than the last.Which leads me into 2011 in such an incredible state of mind that is positive,energetic and so eager to capture this years subjects in a way that they come across feeling full of light, life, colour and the magic that comes  from working with a medium I adore.Watercolour.

So many wonderful events and projects were dreams that came true for me  in 2010. What is even more  amazing is that I already know some of the dreams that are about to come true this year starting next month with an exciting journey into a whole new venture with a terrific company who approached me at the end of last year. A surprise that came out of the blue and I agreed immediately. From this time last year so much has happened in my art life.

For  example I can remember sitting in my studio and submitting this painting of an elephant to the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year Exhibition 2010 and never for a minute expecting to be selected as one only one hundred finalists from the many entrants. But I was and found myself talking to Hazel Soan at the Private Preview. Hazel kindly offered sound advise for making my first DVD which was released by the SAA,Society for All Artists.

"African Gold"
Finalist in the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year Exhibition 2010

Last year was  a year for dreams coming true in so many ways. When my son  looked at this next painting and liked it, as my best critic, I knew it should be included in my  first book " How to Paint Colour and Light in Watercolour" which was launched at the Mall Galleries in July 2010 during the SWA ,Society for Women Artists Annual Exhibition. Here I became a full member of the society enabling me to add the signature after my name. A signature I wear with pride as the artists in this association are those of outstanding talent and professionalism. My first book was sold here and signed. And friends came to witness the occasion which made it even more memorable.

From my book " How to Paint Colour and Light in Watercolour"

2010 has seen so many amazing events and opportunities come my way literally one after the other. Opening emails has been almost surreal in that I hear from so many incredble associations and art societies worldwide requesting demonstrations and paintings for exhibitions. And at the end of the year all I can do is look back and know in my heart along the way all I have done is what I love most of all. Paint. From my heart.

I face 2011 full of hope and that inner feeling of excitement of what the future may hold. To share these feelings on my blog is such a privilege. I hope if anyone reading feels they too can follow their dreams because mine came true then each minute typing is so worthwhile.

It is a new week, a new year and a month to enjoy creating in. It is time to begin my next chapter in my watercolour journey.

Watch this space!

Sunday 16 January 2011

Bearly There: Thought For The Day

 "Bearly There"
A fun wash
It is worthwhile taking time out to simply have fun with colour and brushstrokes. A Christmas gift sat near my easel and I caught it in a few seconds simply playing with colour combinations and placement of brushtrokes until I felt the teddy bear start to appear.

Isn't it amazing that teddy bears as a childs companion are loved by so many well into their adult years. And even with only one eye or ear they are still very much loved. Which almost proves that ......."Being perfect isn't always necessary!"

A great thought for the day.  Especially for artists!

"A teddy bear is your childhood wrapped up in faded yellow fur, and as such, he commands affection long after he is out grown."
Pam Brown

The Creative Journey.

 Inspired by frangipani, watercolour painting from yesteryear.

I always think a new year is a great time to  reflect on paintings from previous years to see how far you have come. Unless we know where we are going to we have no hope of getting there. In life we often make plans when we travel of where we are heading, how to get there and what we will see along the way.

When we paint many pick up a brush, briefly think about what they wish to achieve and literally "set off" with little throught to the importance of the creative journey.

So while all my friends have been making wonderful New Years resolutions mine has simply been to enjoy every step of the way in 2011. I am going to look back at the highlights of 2010 and build on those to make my next year even more exciting. Many of those highlights have been donating  favourite paintings for charity and I start  in the next two months by doing just that. I will share more details about the events later on but for now I really am so eager to get my brush moving.

While travelling in Thailand I saw the most beautiful frangipani tree and the scent from the heavenly  blossoms was absolute bliss. I may start my week with simple brushwork to aim to capture their beauty and keep their image alive in my mind. In a  heartbeat I will be sat once again in the incredibleThai garden with sunshine on my shoulders and beauty around me in every direction that I look.

A far cry from the English scenery that at the moment is looking very grey from my studio window!

Happy Painting
.....and don't forget to plan your creative journey whether it is for a painting, a year or a lifetime!

I am working through many messages since my return from Asia so please bear with me if you are waiting for a reply. News on 2011 workshops and projects will follow soon.

Friday 14 January 2011

Returning From Asia

Sanpan and Cormorants 
China 2011

My blog has been quiet for the last three weeks as I have been travelling in Asia. From a fabulous New Years Eve Ball in Hong Kong with  friends from all over the world to a relaxing break in Thailand. Time has flown by.  I have returned to my studio feeling refreshed and raring to go with my brush. 

I have seen so many exciting colour combinations, tricks of light on a large number of new subjects and can't wait for my 2011 Watercolour Workshops to begin next month. In the meantime I have new collections that need completing for a number of galleries and exhibitions. I am hoping to pull the strong influences of my Shanghainese brush work into many.

It has been a lovely time to meet up with old friends,look back on years of special memories together and meet interesting new friends in a variety of locations. Hong Kong always holds a huge place in my heart from having lived there for so long while Thailand is a country full of smiles,beauty and wondrous food. We have visited  this haven on so many occasions and this was yet another trip that will be treasured for years to come.

Now I am faced with  hundreds of emails and messages as I haven't been online since I left home  in December. Please bear with me while I catch up and I will look forward to sharing moments from the last few weeks in days to come.

I wish everyone reading my blog a very Happy New Year and hope this is the year everyones dreams come true. Mine is off to a terrific start!!!!!!!!