Monday 30 May 2011

David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year 2011 Exhibition

David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year 2011 Exhibition

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

Tomorrow is the hand in day for the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year 2011 Exhibition  which will be held at the Mall Galleries and opens next week. This week I have workshops in Hampshire,UK so juggling delivery of my painting has fitted in between my preparation for the popular sessions which have been fully booked for some time.

" Almost There" was painted for my book " How to Paint Colour and Light in Watercolour" and has always been a favourite piece. My youngest son who is a very good art critic loved it the minute he saw it which  to me was a very good omen. Often he just looks at my work not saying a word but every now and then a special painting will catch his eye. He studied " Almost There" and said  " You shouldn't sell that painting".  I agreed and so I didn't. I decided it would be a memory of my first leap into being an author. A local craftsman who works for a local gallery has made a gorgeous bespoke mould just for this piece as a frame.  And it has since adorned a wall in our new cottage. I love it, my family love it and friends love it. Here it should stay.

Earlier this year I knew the deadline for the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist  of the Year 2011 Exhibition was approaching. Last year I had submitted a painting and been accepted as a finalist. It wasn't so much the getting in  that made me feel so happy but the fact that I was helping  a wonderful organisation led by an incredible man to achieve the goal of improving the lives of animals who are at risk all over the world.

I wanted to submit this year but as many people know 2011 is turning into a really unusual and fabulous year for me. From making a DVD with Town house Films which had record breaking pre order sales to the fact that it is now the fastest selling DVD to date. Following an offer I am working on a second book which is really exciting. My publishers are thrilled with it so far in its' creation. I have held a successful solo exhibition with  superb sales, I am writing for magazines, showing in established galleries with wonderful new invitations coming my way continually. I really am leaping from one amazing event to another which is terrific but my time is limited. And this was the dilema for me.

I wanted so badly to submit a painting to the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year Exhibition but had no time to paint a new one specifically for the show. And my son had suggested I don't part with "Almost There". My heart was torn.

But I have read the web site and news of the David Shepherd Foundation for some time now. I am also acutely aware that my grand childrens' children may never witness the animals we all know and love in our lifetime. Animals are at risk. Many may become extinct unless action is taken and now. Like all good people who care I hate cruelty and I abhor any human making a living on the back of killing innocent creatures for whatever purposes. I feel strongly and passionately about educating the world so that we can make a difference, make changes to ensure every living thing can and will survive. I want our tomorrows to have all the wonder of animals that to this day have inspired artists from all over the world.

Many talented people make a living from painting wildlife. Their whole career has been founded on painting the beauty provided to them in the form of magnificent  beings such as tigers, elephants and lions. But what if these subjects disappeared? What if art became the only way of looking into the past at what once used to exist.

I will be supporting DSWF  in every way possible because they are trying to make a huge difference by raising awareness and taking action. For this reason I have submitted my favourite painting and it has been accepted as a finalist.  I am privileged to be amongst those who care so deeply about the animal world. I hope everyone who can will attend the exhibition while it runs at the Mall Galleries in London next week.

To all artists reading this blog entry  if you haven't submitted a painting this year please do in 2012. Your submission fee and your art can make a difference. More importantly as an artist this is one way you can say thank you to the animals who have provided you with so much inspiration. Help them by painting them with a purpose.

" Almost There" 
I would give anything to paint a following piece called...
" Always There"

But the question is.......will they be?

 For full information ragrding the exhibition,opening times and news on how to participate next year please visit this link.

Sunday 29 May 2011

Fastest Selling DVD ! " Amazing ways With Watercolour"

testFastest Selling DVD !

I am absolutely thrilled to receive the news that my DVD " Amazing Ways With Watercolour" is the fastest selling DVD to date with Town House Films!  Orders have flooded in from all over the world and the consistent positive feedback has been exceptional.

I have read incredible email messages from Australia, USA, France and many other countries letting me know just how much my DVD is being enjoyed and  the one word that keeps cropping up is that it is "inspirational".

I really am overwhelmed by all the fantastic comments coming my way so I really would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has bought a copy. And yet anotrher huge thank you to everyone who has let me know how much you have enjoyed watching me paint and describe how I feel about watercolour. It truly is so heartwarming to hear from so many artists of all levels who want to see watercolour used as the magical medium it is, pure in the DVD in a style showing what watercolour alone can do.

 I promise I will work hard at planning the next one so that its is full of excitement and more subjects to paint with new approaches.

Thank you to Town House Films for making such a professional film, I am so glad I agreed to work with them as they truly are wonderful!


" Amazing Ways With Watercolour" can be purchased directly from Town House Films

Saturday 28 May 2011

Starting a Watercolour Riot of Flowers!

Painting From The Garden

Foxgloves growing in my garden are just too tempting to walk past!

It's really a wonderful time of year and I love that artist friends are eagerly sharing what they are painting from life at the moment.  It seems a foxglove craze has hit the watercolour scene since I started a few washes of them a while back. Apparently I am also responsible for a poppy riot but I really am so excited  if everyone is racing for their brushes from a few simple suggestions.

I have been engrossed in writing my second book but to get to my art studio I have to walk past heavenly foxgloves daily. I was really busy working but pink shades on my palette kept catching my attention.  They looked so beautiful and were crying out. to be used. I couldn't resist the temptation so raced outside with my paper and palette and quickly caught the colour and form of these tall slender flowers.

Clingfilm used for leaves.

I lay a piece of clingfilm over one corner to form veins for the leaves in this section.Those who have bought a copy of my DVD " Amazing Ways With Watercolour" will have seen me use this technique for painting primroses earlier this year.

There is nothing like sitting in a garden painting flowers from life.All the photographs in the world cannot give you the sense of freedom and beauty from sitting in natural light to paint. I have a huge field of gorgeous white daisies swaying in the breeze behind me, tall elegant lupins are in bloom near my window, dog roses are in the hedgerow, honeysuckle is waving its' first blossoms at my brushes and oh, the roses are already calling my name to paint them.

It's going to be a glorious summer for painting flowers!

To those coming on my Summer Flower Workshop this week be prepared to have a lot of fun as it's going to be a very wonderful day!


Thursday 26 May 2011

Dogs in Art Gallery, Stockbridge, Hampshire

Dogs in Art Gallery 

I am delighted to see my painting " Love Me " on the Dogs in Art Gallery home page. My new dog paintings in watercolour were delivered recently along with my new collection of cards with dogs in watercolour as designs of various breeds.

You can see my cards and art via this link


Wednesday 25 May 2011

Autumn Watercolour Workshops 2011

Autumn Madness
Watercolour Workshops 2011

This year has been absolutely crazy so far and is about to get even crazier. Due  to wotking on watercolour projects including writing my next book along with several exhibitions I am unable to fit into my schedule as many watercolour workshops as I would like to. I know this will mean disappointment for those who are eager to attend but I will be holding fabulous sessions in 2012 so please watch this space for news and dates for them later this year.

However at the moment I have three new Autumn Watercolour Workshops that are now available for booking. Due to their popularity these will be on a first come first served basis with no priority booking.This will give everyone who wishes to attend the same opportunity for full days of working in watercolour,exploration into exciting refreshing techniques and inspirational hours that will be remembered hopefully for years ahead.

If you are interested you will be given a material list on confirmation of your booking which will include gold shades and a few extras to make each day fantastic!

Autumn Madness 2011
One Day Watercolour Workshops in rural Hampshiore U.K.

           25th  October  Watercolours With Life. The favourite of all workshops covering every single subject  in many techniques and approaches.Fabulous if this is your first time at one of my sessions and of course a favourite to return to!

   26th October  Autumn Madness Oh Boy,we are going to go nuts, literally feasting on colour and creating havoc on paper. This is fantastic for those looking to spice up their lives and paintings in unusual new ways.

27th October   All Fired Up!  It's getting hot and red is for danger!  Okay so you know how to paint maybe but this is something new. We are going to really heat things up with a really energetic style of painting. We will be aiming at movement and life but every single mark will be aimed at creating excitement and how! Book early as this will be the new favourite session following  "Beating the Blues" which was new and fantastic last February!

The sessions will be fun, informative, involve lots of experimental working and creating vibrant compositions. So please be prepared for the unexpected and a day you will never forget!

Watercolour Workshop Bookings and further information contact: .  

Tuesday 24 May 2011

Summer Flower Workshop June 2011

Summer Flower Workshop 2011

 Due to unforeseen circumstances there is a cancellation next week for the Summer Flowers Workshop which takes place on Wednesday 1st June in Hampshire ,U.K.

If anyone is interested in this and other sessions please could you email me directly on

Full information on the Autumn schedule will be released soon.

Friday 20 May 2011




.....working on a series of portraits finding how lost in thought I am

Thursday 19 May 2011

Lady Taverners and SWA,Society for Women Artists 2011

Lady Taverners and SWA,Society for Women Artists 2011
 Flying Colours
Original Watercolour for Auction
Yesterday I attended a meeting in London at the headquarters of the Lady Taverners with the Presidentof the SWA,Barbara Penketh Simpson for the fabulous charity evening that will take place during the SWA 150th Annual Exhibition.This really will be a night to remember in so many ways. Celebrity Angela Rippon  is gong to be sitting for a portrait by SWA member Caroline De Peyrecave whose work is absolutely stunning. A beautiful portrait sculpture will be takng place as well.

Over five hundred wonderful works of art will be in the Mall Galleries in the exhibition and there wil be champagne and canapes for the guests.

During the evening there will be a very unique art auction which I will be sharing news of later.

For tickets and further information please see this link

Wednesday 18 May 2011

The Most Unusual Meeting! Second Book

That Meeting!

Yesterday was an exciting day as it was time for the next meeting for my second book with the senior editor  and my Publisher from Search Press.  As I have so many paintings for this next publication it made sense to hold the meeting here in my own studio. It was wonderful to see Katie and Roz who arrived at my cottage to discuss the schedule and stages to work on before going to print. I was really looking forward to the day and had my paintings and ideas ready as the book is evolving  in such an exciting way. I thought the day would be interesting but little did I know what lay ahead of me!

Ducklings on arrival!
I couldn't resist showing Katie and Roz  our youngest ducklings. Living in the countryside by water we now have up to fifty ducks with six families of ducklings coming to feed throughout the day at regular intervals. Their little legs race as they run towards me when I appear with their food which is so cute. It was a wonderful way to welcome guests and our laughter led us into a  great frame of mind to get to work.

Ducklings from our cottage.

Over coffee we looked at how my second book is developing and where we are heading with the time frame of having everything ready before the end of the year for publication. This is a very large project and as it is not a commission the contents are totally mine which is very exciting. The Search Press team knew right from the start this could be a very special watercolour book. I am thrilled but keeping  the contents very secret for now so that it will be like unwrapping a gift when it is finally launched and received in early Spring 2012

Interrupted by Sidney!
 Things were going really well and everything was positive until we had an intruder. Over lunch Roz exclaimed " Theres a swan on your patio!".  Sure enough Sidney our very overly friendly swan had decided to join us. As he is very large this can be quite alarming for anyone who hasn't seen him before and most people do not have swans tapping at their windows for food!. I calmly walked him back to the waters edge and he followed like a puppy. Much to Roz and Katies amusement. He was well behaved and I thought that was that.
How wrong can you be?

 Sidney feeding on our lawn.

House Martin Causes Chaos!
( No photo as I was too busy trying to rescue it! )
 We tried to resume our conversation only to be interrupted by a house martin that flew in through the French windows and was panicking as it couldn't find the way out. I hastily opened all the doors and then helped it by holding it near a window. It flew away quite happily and I suggested we move to my studio to continue working. This would have worked only Sidney decided he wanted to join us there too. Katie told me he was back so I  hurriedly encouraged him to  leave us alone. Personally I think he had fallen in love with Roz who is blonde as he isn't nomrally quite so amorous! At this point it felt as though nature was completely against us ever finishing our discussions but we bravely continued.

Biscuit the Critic
By now Biscuit the cat felt she should add her opinions to how the book should be written. Walking all over our papers she let us know her views. Apparently she is quite concerned that there could be one too many dogs in my next book and far too few cats at the moment. In fact she feels that even one dog is far too many. She certainly let us know she was not impressed with that arrangement!
(Note to self, remove a dog painting from the book lay out!)

 Biscuit  totally disgusted with dogs being in my next book. Maybe they will be removed!

The Meeting From Hell?
The day was not going as smoothly as I had planned but Roz and Katie kept laughing and loving their day out seeing nature at its' best here in Hampshire. But by now we were deeply engrossed in the book layout, design,content, aims and exciting new techniques. This was where my heart leapt because we all know magic is happening in the way things are progressing. I can't explain it but I will be working on the content from here in with such a feeling of intense enthusiasm allowing my passion to shine. We covered so much yesterday and it is as though a terrific "on" button has been hit making me want this next book to be even better than any of us could ever have imagined at first and I have to say that was already very wonderful. The wait and patience to make sure everything is absolutely right is so worth it.  I want every reader to love every page and feel as though they just have to paint from reading it. Like a peaceful addiction to working watercolour,the way I feel each day which is so fantastic.

Jean and Katie after Sidney had interrupted us in my studio!

The Last Interruption Stole the show!
The last interruption came out of the blue. A family of swans that I had not yet seen arrived with their three young cygnets to show us. While they were feeding I took this shot. We were all mesmerised as they were so beautiful. Katie asked if I could add a paintuing of a cygnet to my book somewhere and that is a lovely idea! Is there room though?

Cygnets 2011

We brought the meeting to a close and looked back over how  amazing the day had been.There had been laughter,serious moments, wonderful ideas and excitement at where my book is heading. I now have so much to achieve in the next few months if I want all of this magic to be captured in the pages I am about to write.

Roz and Katie left saying they had never had a day like this before. It has to be one of the most unusual meetings ever. And magical.

Roz and Katie having survived nature at its' best!

With the cottage to myself, and all the wildlife now peacefully sleeping outside it was time to reflect and consider all that had happened. Oh yes, and I must  contact Roz today and let her know, yes , that idea for a third book really DOES appeal to me. But somehow I think our meetings will be at head office in future!

If you have dream about writing please never give up. Think about how you work, if you have something to share that is unique and consider how much time you have to work on your project. There may be many books already out there but the world is always big  enough for one more and yours may just be the one that lifts someone soul. 

Aim to have calmer meetings than mine though!

Dogs in Art Gallery, Stockbridge, Hampshire/ New Cards

Dogs in Art Gallery
 Old Post Office
High Street
SO20 6EU

I am delighted to share the news that my latest collection of dogs in watercolour as card designs are now available at the Dogs in Art Gallery in Stockbridge as well as new originals. Many involve very happy memories for me from meeting wonderful breeds and owners. The good news is that I will be repeating the popular Dogs in Watercolour Workshop  in 2012 in Hampshire. More news on that later !

" Sleepy Pup "
King Charles Cavalier
Original painted during a workshop in Norway 2010 and with the owner.

" Spot On  ""
Dalmation Pup
Original Watercolour will be available in 2012

" We Are Not Amused "
Bernese Mountain Dog
Original Watercolour Available at the Dogs in Art Gallery in Stockbridge.

" Boris the Bassett "
 Basset Hound
Original Watercolour Available at the Dogs in Art Gallery in Stockbridge

" Teilo "
Hungarian Vizla
From  my first book  " How to Paint Colour and Light in Watercolour "
Original watercolour with the owner

 A beautiful Old English Sheepdog Puppy is the subject of a lovely large watercolour in a  fresh white wooden frame. This little chap was bounding around a fantastic farm that I visit frequently to capture animals and cockerels with my camera. This bouncing bundle of fun had to be held for a few minutes so I could try to catch a great close up shot of his very happy expression. He makes me smile every single time I look at his painting and he too is now at the Dogs in Art Gallery in Stockbridge as an original for sale.

" Love Me "
Original Watercolour for sale at the Dogs in Art Gallery in Stockbridge.

You can purchaes any of the new collection of cards from the gallery which really is worth a visit. Nestling in the heart of the gorgeous village of Stockbridge this gallery is a must for all dog lovers to see. From the minute you walk through the door there is awide variety of  not just art but wonderful sculptures that take a dog lovers breath away.

For full details and prices of the above cards and paintings please visit the following link or contact the gallery directly.

Monday 16 May 2011

Lady Taverners and SWA,Society for Women Artists Event

Lady Taverners and SWA, Society for Women Artists Event

Behind the scenes over the last few months I have been working with the President of the SWA ,Barbara Penketh Simpson and  Sally Surridge ,the Chairlady of the Lady Tavernners on a charity event that will be taking place during the SWA,Society for Women Artists 150th Exhibition. It has been  wonderful watching everything come together for a night which will surely be one to remember for many reasons. During the fabulous evening, celebrity and wonderful personality, Angela Rippon will be sitting for a portrait  by SWA Member and portrait artist Caroline De Peyrecave.

There will also be a sculpture in progress of Barbara Minto who has kindly sponsored the event.

There will be a very unique art auction taking place with work donated  generously by SWA members. For example my horse racing watercolour painting on the invitation will be linked with a very incredible real racing day arranged at Newmarket where the winning bidders will be flown. 

Details of which I will share in another post.

This will be a very spectacular night to remember so it really will be worthwhile booking tickets as soon as possible.

For full details please visit the  SWA,Society for Women Artists  web site.


Sunday 15 May 2011

Magic Moments

Jean,little Noah and Jo

The last two weeks have been really busy. It feels as though my life as a professional artist is continually racing ahead from one fabulous art event to another. But it  is only in the last week that I finally escaped from my studio and saw the outside world a little more. And I mean really saw the outside "non painting" world.

I have been so busy this year with workshops, exhibitions, gallery contacts, writing for a magazine and my book and replying to requests by email for Art Society  events. It isn't so long ago I was happily painting on a regular basis and wishing to be this busy. I now wonder how many amateur artists  fully understand this really is a full time job once you reach a certain level.

This last week I have had visitors which has given me time to sit back and look at all I do. I have also hardly been online and this too has made such a difference. At the beginning of the week I went to London to see Billy Elliot ,the musical with my gorgeous Grand Daughter Tegan. I sat mesmerised watching the actors and dancers on stage bring a story to life which is just what we do as artists.We see a subject and share our own personal emotions in our brushtrokes as interpreations of what our eyes have seen in reality. We are and should be individual in what we create.

Later this week I had two  very dear guests come to stay in the form of Jo and her beautiful son Noah who now live in Australia. I met  Pauline, Jos'  amazing Mum and we became  best friends years ago. Pauline sadly is no longer here but in Jo I see her beautiful face and in her Grandson I see her smile. My heart has been touched by moments and memories that words cannot explain. Emotions have been running high for so many reasons. Missing friends and family I cannot be with, wishing  special moments could have been shared by those who would have loved them most of all.

I watched little Noah feed ducks and in my imagination I see a gorgeous painting of a little boy by water that I just have to put on paper. I look ahead to the future week which will be filled with  time writing my next book and  working on paintings for two galleries that are going to exhibit my work next month.

But little Noah is going to be " that painting". The one that  will  take my breath away and hold special magic in it. I can't wait to get started.

Sometimes it really is uncanny how just what you need is there right in front of you at the right time.


Rosemary and Co Brushes

Rosemary and Co Pure Kolinsky Sable Size 10 Brush and  Size 1 Rigger

Whilst working on my next book I am taking time to research products available for the watercolour artists who really strive to not only achieve great paintings but aim to make every single second of the creation process enjoyable. This means having the right materials at hand to work with. Sadly there are many products out there that I would dismiss more readily than those I would highly recommend.

At many exhibitions and workshops I have heard the the name "Rosemary and Co" in relation to their wonderful range of brushes used by many professionals and amateurs alike.  This week I have recieved a fabulous pair of Pure Kolinksy Sable brushes in the post as well as a fascinating catalogue that contains many brushes I would race to own. If anyone has ever been to one of my workshops you will have heard me making a statement that a good brush lasts for life if you treat it well and a really excellent brush a brilliant investment.I have also added that I won't be buying any new brushes as I adore those that I own already.
How things change!

I cannot paint without a good brush. I need a product that will move well on paper,readily gliding without hesitation aiding the flow of water and pigment as required. I also want a brush that is flexable.The sable tips have to be able to curve well as I often fall into using Asisn brushwork in my pieces. The brush has to not only load well with water but it has to retain its' weight until I wish to release it with gentle pressure.
This gives me the control I desperately need for good results. I am working on brush control in a chapter of my next book that is giving away tips on how to get the most out of every brushstroke. Writing each point is enforcing just how important it is to own a product of the right quality if you wish to achieve wonderful effects and seriously love picking up your brushes.

I am going to be trying many ways of using my new brushes and  will share what I find openly.

But just holding this new brush is really fabulous. In my hand it sits well and I just know I have found a new "best friend" in my studio!

More news on this range of brushes soon!

Thursday 12 May 2011

New Web Site Launch May 2011

New Web Site Launch 2011

Jean Haines Watercolours
Behind the scenes and while many projects were being handled  I have had a new web site created.

The good news is that the site has literally just gone live for the first time this morning and can be seen by viewing


Sunday 8 May 2011

Facing Facts

Facing Facts

Nose,mouth and beard section of a face.  
Early stages of a portrait in watercolour minus a preliminary sketch

 Today I have taken time out to look back at my journey in watercolour. Starting from being a botanical artist where every tiny detail was accurately placed in my early work to the portraits that I so loved painting whilst living in Dubai. I can remember being told by other artists at the time that portraits never sold. I didn't listen as my passion for painting them as a subject was not to be denied. I continue to paint faces of all nationalities and love doing so but as the years have passed by the yearn to capture a sense of life in each is even more important. I wish to breathe a sense of magic into each new face as if it could jump off the paper towards the viewer.

This week has been so wonderfully busy with gallery appointments and meetings. I have also finally  fully moved into my new studio and my computer has also now been installed here. I have unpacking still to  manage of many huge boxes that have been in storage since our last home. These hold many treasures and memories of years travelling and living all over the world. There was no point in bringing them out of storage until I had the space to put all my art belongings. Now I have the space it's wonderful to step into yesteryear and find all my past. Facing the artist I was and comparing her to the artist I am today.Among my favourite pieces to see again are many portraits that I have painted and missed. These used to be a best seller regardless of what anyone told me back then. I have, and always will paint from my heart as I want to,and when I want to. Not because a subject is popular or may be easier to sell.

And this I believe is a wonderful piece of advise to heed.  

Always be true to yourself. 
 Paint what you want to paint and how you wish to paint it. 
Take positive advise on board and ignore anything that is negative or unhelpful.

Everyone is on their own art jounrey which may mean absolutely nothing to you so their advise or opinion may actually hold you back. Had I stopped painting faces years ago I doubt I would ever have found my  personal style because the portraits then led me to where I am now.  By working without a pencil on a subject that needed definition I  found my way to a unique style that is totally me and I am so happy that I did. It is wonderful passing on my technqiues to everyone coming to my watercolour sessions and I am thrilled when others enjoy painting faces as much as I do. And there are so many, of all ages to paint!

This afternoon I visited an " old friend" and painted him again. A gentleman I have met in person who has twinkling eyes and a strong personality.

Face beginning to come to life in watercolour.

It is time of course to unpack a few more boxes but it was wonderful to take a break and visit my blog just for a few minutes!


Thursday 5 May 2011

SWA,Society of Women Artists 150th Annual Exhibition 2011

SWA, Society of Women Artists
150th Annual Exhibition 2011
Mall Galleries,London., U.K.

"Flying Colours"
Part of my collection at the SWA Society for Women Artist 150th Annual Exhibition.

Yet another busy week is flying by. I have had meetings with a gallery where I will be showing my work later this year,agreed to be included in a Summer Show and worked on an exciting feature for a leading art magazine. I have still found time to write my second book which is really so exciting. I cannot sleep at times for thinking about the new approaches in watercolour that I am dying to share.

This week news has been reaching artists who had submitted work for the SWA,Society for Women Artists 150th Annual Exhibition. I was thrilled to recieve a very excited message this week from an artist who has been to my workshops for some time and has been accepted. I have been encouraging them to submit as their work is wonderful. In fact hearing about others getting in is so thrilling especially if you have had a small hand in their art journey. This is exactly what sharing and holding workshops is all about,other emerging artists success.    

To recieve word that someone is happy because of you is not only a wonderful moment but a part of life I  never take for granted.

Congratulations Sue!

I can't wait for the show to  open  and see all the fabulous work on display.

I have several paintings in the show as all my work was accepted. I am really honoured because I know the standard is very high as each year the talent increases. I will be demonstrating during the exhibition on  Thursday 7th July, 2011 and will be there all day. Everyone is welcome so please come along and be sure to say Hello if you do!


Monday 2 May 2011


Eyes to My Soul

Cats eyes  in Watercolour

It is amazing how many wonderful cats and dog photographs are passed my way to paint for certain projects. Right now I am on the hunt for exciting dog images in wonderful poses. I also wanted some beautiful cats eyes in a variety of colours to work with for my book.  I now have so many blue eyed subjects that I am spoilt for choice in which to use. 

The above cat painting in watercolour is coming along really well and will possibly be finished today. I say possibly as I have several large paintings on the go that are calling to my brushes.This  heady feeling of excitement and anticipation at the beginning of every new day is an amazing feeling and  fabulous way to live.

I cannot wait to pick up my brushes this morning as I genuinely believe magic may just happen.

Whatever you are painting today I hope it makes you feel terrific. And if you aren't an artist I hope you see at least one incredible sight that makes you wish you were!

I have meetings this week regarding my Autumn 2011 Watercolour Workshops so news will be posted here soon.

Painting Flesh Tones

Sunningdale Art Society 
April Workshop 2011

 Life Study
Demonstration from Sunningdale Art Society Workshop

When I walk into an art society workshop I never really know where the day is going to lead. Everyone may expect cockerel or animal demonstrations when I give my presentations but there will always be the surprise element in my talksand  art sessions. This is because I paint absolutely everything.

 I see colour shapes rather than following set lines as carried out by artists who work from preliminary sketches.With no pencil lines to restrict my creativity I find I gain a sense of the freedom I am yearning for in my results. My brush will happily glide over the paper carrying pigment to the sections I wish it to lay in.

I always aim to try to please everyone and cover as many subjects as I can during a workshop. I will walk around the room looking at how I can help offer guidance or advise if any artists attending have chosen subjects to paint that are not similar to those I have already demonstrated. I was delighted to see one artist had brought in a life photograph in black and white. The shadows on the model were wonderful but as there was no colour my imagination immediately fell back on years of my painting figures in the past.

I have always adored painting skin tones. Travelling all over the world has given me the opportunity to study  wonderful differences in colour and shadow in the varying nationalities that I have met. It's been such a fabulous experience. 

I chose to make my nude a young woman with fair skin.


I wish I had the photograph of the initial wash that was purely an experiment as a warm up exercise at the beginning of the session.When I saw the photograph of the model I knew I could work on this wash as it led to the shape of the torso so easily. The subject was already there. I added a simple line for the shoulder and back. The model was leaning forward slightly in a pose that created a shadow across her waist which contrasted with the highlight on the curve of her upper breast. The face is unimportant  but the skin tone is.

A second small wash was on my desk so I repeated the process just to follow the lines minus the photograph as a wonderful warming up exercise this morning.

Life Study II

From these two studies I now have an idea for a very large piece and I cannot wait to try to capture what is in my mind on paper. Although it will look absolutely nothing like these two studies! By now  my creative spirit has moved to a far more interesting composition.


Karen if you are redaing my blog I do hope you continue with your style which is wonderful. You did so well on Saturday and I love your strentgh of colour and tone. Have fun painting and please try many more firgures and  flowers too. You were fantastic!