Wednesday 29 February 2012

New * July Workshops 2012

July Watercolour Workshops 2012

Due to popular demand and so many requests three, new, one day workshops have been added to my 2012 programme of events.

These include "Atmospheric Watercolours" to celebrate the launch  of my new book. A fabulous one day session working on animals and a great new day for anyone who has not yet had the opportunity to meet me or attend any of my previous sessions.

I know it is becoming increasingly difficult to book a place on my workshops and to try to accomodate and give memorable painting days to artists who wish to come and enjoy being inspired I have arranged these three, very special days.

For full details and to book a place please look at my web site

Tuesday 28 February 2012

West Highland White Terrier in Watercolor

West Highland White Terrier in Watercolour
Work in Progress

I recently posted a wash  that would later develop into a subject and here is how the next stage of colour placement has progressed.  

As I work minus the use of a preliminary sketch I have no set guidelines as to where facial features should be placed when painting a pet portrait. I rely solely on colour and brushmarks to give me a sense of my subjects definition. Gradually as my watercolours develop I can feel them coming to life.

There comes a point in every painting where I feel far more than just a creation in front of my eyes. In this piece there is a connection and wonderful emotion of being able to understand the characteristics of a particular breed. For example,the shiny eye half hidden with hair, the button nose. The pose of a head inclined, waiting for a walk or treat. Something is happening with each new brushmark that gives me the information as to where to move my brush or add colour next.

By painting this dog by adding touches each day rather than racing to vomplete it in one session I can allow the painting to tell me what it needs and as the artist i am listening.

On my workshops I meet so many artists of all levels who race their work, In their quest to quickly complete a painting they miss all the joy of what is happening in the journey of its development. Sometimes,yes, a painting works so well that you don't want to put your brushes down. But at other times something gorgeous happens and you know instinctively to continue working could ruin the piece or miss something magical that you could see with fresh eyes the next day. These are valuable moments when stopping during the process of painting is a wiser move.

My goal is to paint watercolours that are unique, sing with life and hold a magic that could be defined by either a sense of action, feeling of life or carry an emotion.

This subject is emotive. As such it is treated with feeling and passion while I work.

When this is complete I hope the viewer will read that the artist knew the breed, loved what they were painting and achieved far more than just a "pretty" watercolour.

It is aimed to be a painting that touches the emotions in dog lovers hearts or specific owners of the breed. In a way that only they can understand.

A hard task but one I love having as a goal whenever I work with pets as a subject.


Artist Tip: Don't always race to finish  a painting in one day or painting session. You can learn far more from studying it as a work in progress. By completing a painting that you may ruin from racing to finish could lose you the masterpiece you might have achieved by being pateint and waiting. 

Techinuqes take time to learn,take that time and use it wisely when a work is in progress.


Sunday 26 February 2012

Equestrian Watercolours

"The Show"
Work in Progress

I have a solo exhibition this Summer so I'm currently working on a new watercolour collection which is delightflly full of new and unexpected subjects. I am not sharing many because I want the opening to be a surprise and I would like collectors of my work to be the first to see my new paintings.

I  place my focus  mainly on movement,colour and light in my work so each new  composition is an exciting challenge that must meet the expectations  set in my mind before I create.

I am very torn between painting definitive subjects or abstracts at the moment. I love both so much so the two genres are merging in my results.Which in turn is exciting as I have no idea where my future art path may lead me.

But it is so much fun finding out!


Saturday 25 February 2012


Glorious Sunbursts
A technique from my new book "Atmospheric Watercolours" 
which will be released in May 2012

It is such a glorious day. The sun is streaming through my studio window and I am able to paint outside which is fantastic. Natural light always gives me far more life and vibrancy in my results

To warm up this morning I have  aimed to capture the sunshine in simple watercolour washes to  cheer my spirit and unleash my creative artistic energy.

It's such a neat trick and way to work positively leading to fresh,exciting results.


Artists Tip: When possible try a few daily exercises of painting the colours you see rather than always aiming to paint a definite subject. These exercises can then be used in your more serious compositions utilising your discoveries of new colour combinations and effects.

Ghostly Washes

What is it?

Followers of my Watercolour Facebook page will know what this is going to be as yesterday I shared a small study of this mornings larger composition.

At times like this during demonstrations I love watching  viewers faces because my first washes are often very evident to me of what is going to happen next. But unless you have seen me in action and watched a wash leap from being a colourful blur into the finished painting my technique can seem really confusing!

So for fun, I will leave this wash here as it is and allow you to guess what I am painting. I may be the only one who knows at the moment.Apart from my art friends on facebook!


Friday 24 February 2012

Amigos Three

"Amigos Three"
Working With Colour

At times when we work through a theme of a chosen subject it becomes natural for an artist to explore the many possibilities for future dramatic compositions.

Ever since I placed the white carnations in a vase in my studio I have become fascinated by their forms which have changed as their lives came to a close. It is quite incredible how a single spray of flowers can spark off  the imagination and lead the mind to a vast collection of watercolours. All on the same theme with the same subject.  And yet all are completely different.

This is how an artist grows. 
By not accepting that the first painting created is the only option. 
Or the best.

Taking one initial painting as a starting point and then moving forward,each time aiming to achieve far more excitement,drama and life than the last can lead us on a fascinating road to discovery.

In a few weeks time I will be filming my new DVD with Townhouse Films. Moving on from the foundation which inlcuded my initial washes in "Amazing Ways With Watercolour".  I hope everyone who watched my first DVD  has studied the techniques and ideas because now it is time to pull them all together in a fascinating way leading to  paintings that are unique and zing with life.

It is going to be a very inspirational year ahead and one that is filled with many ideas for unusual and dramatic watercolours.

I do wish there were more than twenty four hours in one day though as I have so much I wat to paint still and so many new ideas in my mind. I wonder just how much I can fit into a two hour flm!


You can  find details of my DVD "Amazing Ways With Watercolour"on my web site. It is in stock and  making its' way all over the world. This news makes me feel really happy to be sharing my techniques. 

I aim to continue sharing as often and as much as possible.

Thank you to everyone who has bought a copy.



Thursday 23 February 2012

Contemporary Abstract

 Watercolour Addiction
No acrylics or inks.
Just pigment and water.

Colour is invading my art. 

My work takes on a whole new meaning as I explore the world of contemporary absracts and I find my artistic soul will not rest. 

In my imagination I consistently see new colour combinations. I yearn for new patterns created by a flow of directional colour placement.  I feel emotion  by visualising the strength of pigment interaction which forms before my eyes as I work.

I remember an elderly friend of Salvador Dali and their grand daughter  from a fabulous trip to Spain some time ago. Dali was the most amazing of artists who could paint absolutely every subject in any style it seemed. I visited the Dali museum and marvelled at his collective realist  paintings.

 However I didn't fully comprehend his more abstract work.
Until now.

Colour  and art seems to become an addiction.

I also believe there comes a point in an artists art joruney where you know exactly what you can do but  a fixation takes over as to what you have not yet discovered.  This is probably where I am at. On a cross roads. At a turning point which I don't partiulcarly want to cross and yet I feel compelled to do so.

 I am interested in the challenge to create glowing colour in compositions that are full of excitement and drama. Maybe there will always be the need to stretch myself and look for something completely new each time I  work in my studio.

And I to be truthful.
I positively love that thought!


Pause For Thought

I received a wonderful email today which I just had to share. 
My day is full and I shouldn't be online but this gave me food for thought which 
I knew would be perfect as a blog post.
Thank you Sharon for this wonderful message and taking the time to share it.
To Jean
  "I heard this on the radio today and immediately thought of you.
 It was a pause for thought on types of people and he ( the speaker) 
said that there were three types of people:
 Adders, Subtractors  and Multipliers. 
1) Adders made one feel positive and good about oneself; 
2) Subtractors have a negative effect. 
Making one feel a little less about oneself than before 
without actually being personally negative.
3 Multipliers not only made one feel anything was possible, 
but made one able to recreate that effect in others 
and so multiply positive events. 
I immediately thought of you, because you are a Multiplier."
Thank you Sharon!
What a terrific way to start my day and what a lovely compliment. 
I would be happy to be seen as an adder but to "multiply positivity" is a fantastic way to be seen!

I do try to  pass strength,enthusiasm confidence  to everyone who attends my workshops.
Belief that anything is achievable and I strongly encourage positive thinking.
Followed closely by kindness at all times.
Negativity kills the soul and is contagious. 
Unfortunately there are quite a few subtractors in life.
I agree with Sharon,
Bless All Multipliers and the radio presenter who shared their views!


On that note I will close as it is time to multiply my watercolours.




Wednesday 22 February 2012

An Artists Opinion

Watercolour Abstract created by pigment interaction

There are times when you wonder whether to share your experiences or stay quiet. This is one of those times but I hope by being open I can help any artists who are going through feelings of self doubt which we all do from time to time on our art journeys.

On my workshops I often meet artists of all levels and I am delighted to meet professionals who are coming to me for a complete change of direction in their chosen careers. I also meet the less established artists who are finding their way. I rarely come across artists who have had their souls badly destroyed by critics of their work but when I do I feel completely at a loss for words.

Firstly the joy of creating should never be denied to anyone who wishes to hold a brush. If an artist has dreams of reaching goals then positive encouragement with complete honesty is healthy. If anyone isn't ready for exhibiting or  belonging to a society again open feedback can really help.

But when anyone is "kicked" so low that they cannot get back up again because of unecessarily harsh words I have to look at the reasoning behind the art critics.

I met a gorgeous personality on one of my workshops last week, who shone in personality but it became evident something was wrong  right at the very beginning of the session. Gradually a pattern emerged where it was evident they had been receiving very hard feedback on their work. So much so that they were worried about every single brushstroke they made that day. Until the end of the day drew near when I quietly gave a very simple exercise to them , to see what would happen if I did.

I made a wise decision because in that time the artist  produced the most wonderful of watercolour studies. It was full of vibrant ,clean colour. It was unique in their own style, brilliant in technique and gave an insight into what they were capable of.

In short, they had talent.

Talent that had been squashed beyond all recognition by those who felt they had the right to destroy what little confidence the artist possessed.

Later I felt what can only be described as anger.

So this morning when I was invited to join a Watercolour Critique group I appreciated the invitation but declined the offer. I have so little free time to become involved in new groups at the moment as I am already turning so many invitations down which could be a draw on my studio time.

To offer critique I believe you need to be an expert in your field, understand the artists goal who you are offering advise to and be open enough to recognise talent when you see it. I also believe you need to be able to handle giving an honest opinion when asked and this isn't always an easy thing to do.

I give feedback on my workshops consistently and when asked, quietly by email I will also give my advise behind the scenes.

There is a big difference in being knowledgable and knowing how to pass on that knowledge or possessing arrogance in believing you are "the expert" who is in the best position to know all there is about the art world.

I confess I do not.

But sadly I know many artists who feel they do.

Often, they are mistaken!

Please only take on board advise from artists whose work you admire and take all criticism in a way that will help you grow. Learn from your mistakes and even more importantly learn from the mistakes of others. Not just in their art, but how they behave as artists.

And remember, there will always be far better artists than you or I in the world,and they inspire us to continually grow and stretch ourselves to achieve. 

If they didn't exist what would we be reaching for ?


Monday 20 February 2012


"Whispers in The Wind"

As the evening draws near the bullrushes and reeds along the banks near my cottage take on a different appearance. It is a wonderful way to unwind at the end of the day with simple brushwork to try to capture their shapes as twilight arrives.

I can see their form from my studio window.

Chinese Brushwork, subject placement within a simple composition and the story is told with very little detail.

A moment in time caught in an artists moment.


Monday, Monday.

Atmospheric Watercolours
My new book which will be launched im May 2012
Full details will be on my web site soon.

It is the start of a new week and whilst I was hoping to enjoy painting in my studio so much needs to be organised for my 2012 programme. I have a list of art events that are already in my diary which will be updated to my web site in March.

I am preparing for several exhibitions  which will take place throughout the year including an exciting solo showcasing my new subjects.

I'm making flight arrangements for my 2012 USA tour in October and am working on my 2013 Australia and New Zealand plans for next year.

Sadly I have had to turn down several invitations this year as I made a wise decision to allow studio time to paint for galleries and exhibitions.  This is a situation that probably hits many established professional artists. Whilst we are all so eager to share our passion for art it is vital to have quality painting time as an individual also.

Finding a balance between exhibitions, workshops, writing, demonstrating, touring and painting isn't easy. Requests to judge art competitions,to sit on art councils and look into my own product range have come my way. These are all invitations I would have once absolutely loved to receive. But there is only so much time in a day and I have needed to prioritise this year.

What has always come first is my love of watercolour. So for now I am  going to paint, enjoy moving my brushes, prepare for my 2012 exhibitions and the filming of my new DVD which takes place next month.

And love every minute of being an artist. 

But I can see how  quickly you can become distracted from your goals!


Full details of my 2012 exhibitions, workshops and demonstrations will be shared on my web site

Sunday 19 February 2012

Exciting Watercolour Effects

Watercolour Effects using watercolour pigment and water alone.
No inks,acrylics or salt have been used in this colour abstract.

I am working on a new collection of watercolours for a major exhibition later this year. The new collection is so exciting to work on and I am loving using the techniques from my new book "Atmospheric Watercolours" which will be released in May 2012.

At the moment my collection is very much under wraps as I prefer to release the new paintings as they become available in the gallery exhibition. They are full of life, colour, energy and vibrant pigment interaction.

Full details will be shared on my blog soon.


A current collection of  my watercolours can be seen at The Wey Gallery in Godalming , Surrey, UK

A Day Of Rest: Time to Reflect

Church From one of this weeks demonstrations
During my February 2012 Watercolour Workshops

I never know what to expect during my workshops. My technique lends itself to painting all subjects such as landscapes, portraits, animals, floral work and still life. My style is effected by my personality and how I see things. I have favourite colour combinations but as time goes by I  discover new pigment interactions that add to my ever growing fascination with watercolour as a medium.

An artist attending one of my workshops this week asked how I would interpret a landscape. I took a familar scene of Jane Austens church in Chawton, Hampshire and began a quick demonstration by painting the spire. I loved the idea that sunlight could be hitting the structure and enjoyed allowing  a flow to connect my focal point with the background connecting my composition immediately from the onset o fpicking up my brush.

This study took only a few minutes, if that, to achieve an idea  for a larger painting. So much can be learned by observing architecture and bringing it to life with unique results in watercolour. I rarely share my landscape work but may in the future.

For now I have several major exhibitions to work for  which means my subject choices will be quite different. I will be sharing news of my 2012  exhibitions and art events soon. But for  now I am going to enjoy my studio and the  watercolour collection that is  filling the once clear room.


Saturday 18 February 2012

Artist Daily: Watercolour Feature

 Blog  followers can read a recent feature I wrote for "Artist Daily" on Painting For the Bin and why I feel it is so important to  enjoy moving our brushes minus having constant pressure on our shoulders to always create a masterpiece.

I hope you like it.

Painting For The Bin

Experimental Colour Study used as a foundation for a wallflower experiment.
Demonstration during my 2012 Watercolour Workshops this week.

I often set tasks and challenges during my watercolour sessions. These serve two purposes. Apart from loosening everyone up on my workshops they give me the opportunity to observe how the artists in the room use watercolour.

This week we worked with cool and warm washes,then looked at ways to incorporate subjects into the experiments. On one small colour swatch I began to make a wallflower appear by adding petals on top of the exisiting warm wash.

This took about five to ten minutes and I gained so much from the demonstration. I now have a million ideas in my head for future paintings of these stunningly vibrant flowers. All from playing with colour for a few minutes at the start of the day.

Winsor&Newton Cadmium Yellow and Cadmium Orange worked well on top of the soft wash as the opaques gave me the depth  I needed for these strong petal shapes and clusters.

Thursday 16 February 2012

"The Artist In You" : Workshop 2012

Sharons Bouquet

I am certain anyone reading my blog from todays workshop will be taken aback to see I have returned to my studio,and yes, I am still painting!

I unpacked my car from a fabulous watercolour workshop today only to realise I had meant to show Sharon how to paint  some gorgeous pink flowers that were delicate and so pretty. Unfortunately we were side tracked all day with other subjects and techniques from demonstrations. It was only when I was re arranging all the flowers from my sessions this week that these  blooms caught my eye.

Sharon if you are reading my blog, I found Opera Rose along with the violet we all didn't like at first in todays group and then fell in love with was superb for the petals. I have allowed a feeling of movement  by using this mornings first washes technique which worked really well. 
Cadmium Yellow and Cerulean Blue make the foliage colour.

I have achieved buds by not painting buds as in an earlier demonstration today.

And now I just need to add the darks which is what we were discussing about your own paintings.

It was a truly inspirational day and I can't wait to get into my studio and work tomorrow morning!



Wednesday 15 February 2012

Watercolour Workshops February 2012

Watercolours With Life 
Tuesday 14th February 2012

Floral Flow
Carnations flowing in a free composition.

This week saw the start of my 2012 watercolour Workshops. Tuesday saw them opening with my now popular "Watercolours With Life" session. A one day workshop looking into my style and techniques.  It was a fabulous day with wonderful new artist friends in the room including Mai from Vietnam.  I find it very humbling that I have artists attending my workshops from all over the world and I feel very privileged to meet so many fascinating people through my passion for watercolour.

We covered many subjects and the day flew by as always. I have no idea why the hours in the afternoon always seem so much shorter than those in the morning but all too soon it seems  that the time has come to put our brushes down.

Beating The Blues 
Wednesday 15th February 2012
Working  with only blue.

Today was one of my favourite workshops which is entitled " Beating the Blues". I hold it annually and it is a great session for loosening up,opening the imagination and creating with textural effects. Another fabulous group of artists  attended and you could have heard a pin drop  throughout the painting periods. The concentration and focus on art was really amazing and there were some brilliant paintings created. Everyone left reluctantly at the end of the day,like yesterday, saying what a fabulous time they had had,which is what you want to hear at the close of day.


I thoroughly enjoy holding workshops. I wish I had the time to hold more throughout the year as I meet so many amazing people on them. I inspire and motivate myself as much as those attending and know as a mentor I stretch my own skills via the determination to give everyone a special day to remember.  Due to my exhibition and gallery work, my writing and travelling to demonstrate abroad, my time in UK is now limited but I will continue to teach and the workshop programme for 2013 is already well in hand.

New workshops will be available intended to get everyone  racing for their brushes and  creating  watercolours that are unique and full of life.

For now I need to prepare for my final workshop of the week. A new session called "The Artist in You" and I so wish I could be one of the artists attending so that I could paint on it too. It's going to be a very different day!


Sunday 12 February 2012

Polo At Windsor

Study of a Polo Player
Alexandra in Action
Every year we are invited to watch our friends wonderful daughter, Alexandra play polo. It is an event I always look forward to and the weather was delightful when we last arrived for a match. The speed of the ponies is incredible. They are far smaller than the horses I normally paint in my horse racing scenes and I am finding their movements and agility fascinating to capture in watercolour.

This is the beginning of a fabulous new collection that will be available in an exhibition later this year. I will be sharing details on my web site and blog but until the Private Viewing many of my paintings will be kept firmly under wraps to ensure the opening is full of surprises.

I am never  happier than when I am painting action scenes that hold a great sense of life, energy and excitement in them. This is going to be a wonderful year to achieve just that.

Out Of The Ordinary

Carnation Rhapsody

I have always looked for the unusual when  creating in watercolour. I can't see the point in painting an exact replica of what I see as that will already have been done a million times before me and by far better artists than I. So to paint a flower, as I have done this week, in a composition that carries meaning or excitement I have to look for something new. Something intangible that makes my heart race whilst I am moving my brushes. If I didn't I could become bored and lose interest in my own career yet alone lose the interest of others who  let me know they enjoy my style.

I have loved working on my new floral series this week.  Each day I have painted gorgeous flowers from life in my studio. The  weather here is  now very cold. Outside there is snow on the ground. The skies are violet and carry that feeling of more snow on the way.

I used this wintery atmosphere in my work today and painted a cool background for my arrangement of  carnations in this new composition. Although the green foliage in my previous work was so fresh and delicate,this new painting is far more unusual and carries a higher impact when you walk into my art room.

It isn't an expected colour combination and it works really well because of this fact.

We can all paint what we see. But to paint from our own imagination takes us into the realms of being an artist on a whole new level. It leads us into originality which I adore.

The best tip I can give anyone learning who paints, no matter what your level is, please forget trying to paint only what you see. Add another dimension by being unique and aim for the more unsuual.You could be surprised in your results if you do.


Wednesday 8 February 2012

Carnations in Watercolour

Carnations in a  Watercolour Composition
Winsor and Newton Alizarin Crimson,Cadmium Yellow, French Ultramarine Blue  and a tiny touch of Perylene Maroon for the inner shadow work.

Artists Tip: I use Winsor and Newton Watercolours because their formulation is perfect  for my layering technique.

I have had a delightful studio day.The treasures I found at the florist in the village yesterday afternoon have been an endless source of motivation to keep moving my brushes before the pretty flowers wilt and die. I see painting floral compositions from life very much like painting moving subjects outside. You really do have to be quick to catch the light, shadows and freshness of each blossom before they begin to lose their form. I could never paint anything like this from a photograph and eagerly urge new artists to forget learning from images. Working from life is a far more exciting way to paint!

Working without a preliminary sketch leads me to so many possibilities. I can add flowers and buds as I feel my painting needs them during the creative process.This painting looks fabulous in real life but I may add more detail to the disappearing flowers on the right hand side.

I have no less than four paintings of carnations on the go. Each very unique and it is hard to  choose a favourite piece at the moment. The really abstract one is looking very intriguing.

Of course,as always, there is a favourite section within my main painting. I love how the petals here were delghtful to paint, falling in different directions within the main centre of this flower.

Gorgeous close up of one particularly beautiful flower within the main painting.

There is a section in my new book on this technique describing how to paint hollyhocks and  carnations.But this technique also lends itself to Camelia ,Rhodedendron and many other flowers.

It is going to be a great floral year!


Painting From Life

Carnations Coming to Life in Watercolour

Yesterday was one of those days when I desperately felt like painting but had a routine dental appointment. I sat in the chair of my hygenist and imagined what I would be  painting on my return to my studio. It is amazing how much time I spend thinking about painting! I can see exactly in my head what I want to achieve and at times it is so frustrating that I cannot get to paper just when I want to. 

During this week I have already painted several flowers but I have been thinking about white carnations for the longest time. I walked past  the village florist yesterday and noticed a spray of white carnations. I was over the moon and raced home to experiment with my new "treasure".

The white flowers sat in buckets in the small shop  alongside many vibrantly coloured arrangements so I am using these as a backdrop to my compositions.

 Soft edges bring life to may painting of a carnation.

My  eye caught many gorgeous flowers so I have other subjects to tempt my brushes all beautifully arranged in my studio and calling to me.

It is time to paint!
A variety of subjects in my studio


Tuesday 7 February 2012

Roses in Watercolour 2012

Roses bursting to life in a watercolour composition

The single rose I painted recently has stayed in my mind. I loved how it came to life in such a simple way but from the minute I painted it I could see new compositions in my imagination that I just had to place on paper.

Today I took the idea of the single rose and gave it an "echo" by placing a second rose behind the first allowing the flowers to merge as if in sunlight.

I know me.

This creative process will continue until I have "rosed" myself out!


I have realised many of my rose posts on my blog have become very popular. I will be sharing more over the next few months and hope to inspire many rose paintings.

A huge thank you to everyone who has let me know they loved the rose demo on my DVD!


Cleaning My Palette

Market Seller: Dubai

At the end of every painting session I clean my palette. But not in the way you may expect. I study whatever diluted shades are left in the deep wells from my working day. These I use on scraps of paper to create small, quick studies.

The intention is to restrict myself with what shades are there. Not allowing myself options of adding new pigment. I also limit time. Only a few minutes are allowed for each study which is brilliant practise for not overworking pieces.

Yesterday I worked a small face in watercolour, a daily routine I used to practise when I lived in Dubai. Whilst there I became fascinated with the wonderfully characteristic faces I saw on my trips to the Souq or villages.

It is amazing how much life you can capture in just a few seconds via brushstrokes and it is a great way to close or open a day!


International DVD Sales

Amazing Ways With Watercolour

 Yesterday  copies of my DVD were requested from Finland, Denmark, Norway ,USA and UK.
It is incredible how so much interest is coming in with orders from all over the world.

Thank you so much to everyone who has purchased a copy. Living in this internet age makes being in touch and sharing art techniques so much easier.

Details  can be found on my web site if you wish to place an order. New stock has only just arrived and will be sent out immediately on request.


"Unleash your full watercolour potential with professional artist Jean Haines!

In this fantastic DVD, Jean will take you on a watercolour journey and reveal the secrets behind her signature style. She will show you just how easy it can be to explore colour and light in your paintings.

With this inspirational DVD you'll be capturing beautiful loose watercolours in no time!

New* Floral Card Collection

Beauty Of Spring

A lovely new set of cards is now available from my web site  with the them of  floral watercolours.

Primroses,Narcissi,Roses and Delphiniums complete the set.

These cards are blank so that you can write your own message. They look beautiful framed to give as gifts,to  keep and enjoy or to surprise art colleagues who love painting flowers.

Full details can be found on my web site.


My cards have become very popular over the years as favourite subjects sell out during demonstrations and workshops. In an effort to share my paintings with  followers of my style who cannot attend these sessions or meet me in person I have decided to  sell my cards via my web site by choosing just a few favourite designs throughout the year.

Monday 6 February 2012


East Meets West
Chinese Inks on Watercolour

I am constantly meeting so many artists who are not enjoying painting. The challenges and goals they set themselves are so high that they load unecessary pressure onto their shoulders to succeed.

My time living in Asia taught me how to respect and enjoy moving my brush. My paintings could be simple compositions or complex.  But each brushstroke had to tell a story.

Looking at the snow outside it seemed only logical that at some point today I would place a layer of violet shades to portray what I was seeing from my window to depict the cold, icy weather. But a shrub with wonderful formations on the branches moved as  the light changed this afternoon. I painted what I saw using my Asian brushwork techniques and this simple movement had led me to a million ideas for further paintings.

Painting what we see,simply and when we see it is  such a great exercise to improve our sight, spontaneous interpretation and art.

I loved painting this piece.


"Amazing ways With Watercolour" DVD in stock

"Amazing Ways With Watercolour"
DVD filmed by Townhouse Films

I am delighted to say  new stock of my DVD "Amazing Ways With Watercolour"  is now available from my web site

I am thrilled this film is being  flown all over the world and  really over the moon it has become so popular.

Thank you so much to everyone who has bought a copy.

It May be Winter Outside.

"In My Heart It's Spring"

I am surrounded by snow. When I look out of my studio window I see very dull, grey skies without even the slightest hint of violet. But the joy of being an artist is that you can make it any season you wish or experience sunshine on a rainy day purely by moving your brush with warm colours and subjects that herald more cheerful emotions.

In my heart its Spring.

Cadmium Yellow came to the rescue on a really cold day to add sunshine with  this painting of daffodils.  Plus it was really relaxing to paint. 

Who could ask for more!


Sunday 5 February 2012

The Elephants Return

Elephant Washes using techniques from my new book
"Atmospheric Watercolours" which will be available later this year.

Maybe when you are really passionate about art there is always a thirst to experiment with the aim to achieving something completely new in your work. I paint so many subjects as my style lends itself to seeing colour and light as opposed to trying to capture a direct form.

I see and feel what I am looking at as a moment in time and I try to capture the essence of that emotion in my work. For me, it isn't enough to paint a scene that a viewer can look at and enjoy. I want more. I continually strive to improve my techniques,  I consistently add to my existing way of working so that each time I pick up my brush feel I have gained a new insight into ways to paint my favourite subjects.

One of which is elephants which I haven't shared for some time. All my friends have expected to see many flowers in my studio due to my many recent blog posts of snowdrops, primroses, roses and the recent bouquet.  In reality I have cockerels, owls and elephants on the go plus a few hares that are watching me as I work.  The owls eyes are amazing as they really do follow me as I walk around the room. I can literally stand at any point in my studio and feel they are watching me. The hare look as though they will leap off the paper and race away whilst the elephants have been almost screaming at me to complete them rather than leave such exciting washes ready for final touches to be added.
I have an exciting new texture technique which I have shared in my new book and it lends itself to architecture and older animals or portraits. The  hide of an elephant is perfect for it!

Elephant coming to life in a first wash,small study.
N:B If you are interested in the shades used in these paintings they are Winsor&Newton Cadmiun Violet,Cerulean Blue, French Ultramarine Blue,Cadmium Orange and Opera Rose  in small amounts.

You can read more about my new book via this link.

Contents Include: 

Introduction:The Creative Journey, East Meets West, Philosophy, Losing the cage, Taking the First Steps, Materials, Getting excited about colour, Choosing what to paint, Getting started, 

Watercolour Secrets: Introduction, Glorious washes, Making washes work, Magical watercolour flow, Working from a starting point, Sunbursts, Positive negativity, Atmospheric illusions, Suggestive seduction,  

Hotting It Up,: Introduction, Energy washes (ending with the Venetian technique), 

Finishing Touches: Introduction, Composition, Capturing the essence, Light and life, Great connections

Lasting touch: An artist’s journey, Evolving as an artist, Jeanisms.