Sunday 30 December 2012

Christmas 2012

Cottage Cheer,
Christmas Cards sent with love

The lead up to Christmas felt as though I was in one of my now popular horse racing scenes with me desperately racing towards the finish line of  having beautifully wrapped presents under the tree and a kitchen full of  tempting goodies to eat, in time.  The image above is a window of my cottage adorned with cards. I have run out of space to put the many we received this year and my dog Bailey has thoroughly loved waiting for the postman to arrive each day!

Bailey in snow

I keep thinking about all of the wonderful people I keep meeting due to my love of watercolours. Not a day passes where I don't open an email letting me know how someone has enjoyed my books or DVDs and it may surprise you to learn that each message makes me feel totally in awe of this world that connects so easily by the internet. Warmth and kindness in enthusiastic  comments from all over the world flood towards me from my computer screen and I find it totally magical. As this time of year always is.

Christmas Mince Pies

This week my artistic side has been connected with creating in the kitchen rather than with a brush in hand. Wonderful aromas from home made mince pies, cranberry suaces and stuffings have filled our countryside cottage and my plans came together for the festive season I realised that everything about Christmas is similar to a painting.

You plan in advance by buying ingredients such as gifts to wrap or recipe ingredients.This links with your art materials as having exactly what you need helps achieve the best results. Then after the preparation is in hand you need the skill to  cook, know if you have the right gift or how to paint your masterpiece.

Somehow it always magically comes together but my main ingredient in everything I do sounds corny, but it is love. I adore buying gifts for friends and family. I am at ease in my kitchen experimenting with new recipes and as everyone knows, I am passionate about being in my studio.

I was once told as a child that food always tastes better if you love the person you are cooking for. I think its the same with painting. If you love creating, the outcome has to shine more than if you are painting as if it a chore.

But this isn't a time to be serious as a new year approaches.

On my last Sunday in 2012 I am hoping you had a wonderful Christmas and that all your dreams will come true in 2013. And as the Midnight hour gets closer on New Years Eve  try a Celtic superstition that I grew up with. Think of all those you love and make the best wish possible at midnight for them. Those good wishes will come back at you, doubled. I must have made far too many good wishes last year as 2012 has been  stunningly fantastic for me! It is best to bear in mind that unpleasant or bad wishes magically stay with you and treble too so please be careful!

Make a wish and I hope it comes true,

Happy Christmas and an even Happier New Year!!!

Sunday 23 December 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Bailey in his Christmas Antlers

Tomorrow will be Christmas Eve and surprisingly everything in our cottage is ready for this special time of year. Presents are under the tree,  wonderfully tempting  food is in every corner of the kitchen and the scents of cinnamon fill the air. I have always loved Christmas and  spend months before hand thinking of recipes and ways to decorate our home so that it is welcoming to all who visit. This has been instilled in me since childhood. I never tire of the Christmas songs or season and love every second while it lasts.

Each day the postman has delivered Christmas cards from friends who live overseas and its' been a magical time opening them and reading each message. A photograph of my God daughter was probably one of the nicest surprises and I imagine Jo, her Mum, has absolutely no idea how happy it made me to see how Amy is growing and her brother, Noah too who are beautiful children.

I look back at last year and feel so lucky as so much has happened. Many of my artist friends have been concerned at how much I seem to be doing. I had a new book launch in May with "Atmospheric Watercolours" and this week heard it has had to go into reprint yet again because it has been so popular. I also heard my first book "How to Paint Colour an Light in Watercolour"  is reaching incredible sales figureswhich is great news. I filmed "Watercolour Passion " my new DVD which  along with "Amazing Ways with Watercolour" is selling really well also. Then there was the launch of my personalised brush sets with Rosemary &Co which are so sensual to use. The feedback on each has been phenomenal. I have said all along that all I want is for everyone to share the joy of  working in watercolour as much as I do and I am really grateful to everyone who has taken time to let me know how much they like my books, brushes and DVDs.

My workshops this year were all fully booked and I met some incredible people on them. I am still taken aback at how far  artists come to attend in UK. This year we had people from Vietnam, Iceland, USA, Spain and Portugal to name but a few countries.  I travelled and taught in USA for the first time too and I can't wait to return next year, but this time it will be like returning to a family as everyone gave me such a warm welcome.  I owe special thanks to Karla, Joanne and Patty for making this happen. My 2013 UK workshops  filled up as soon as the dates were released and sadly my diary  in England is heavily committed next year, so the best way to see me now will be at Patchings in summer but please book your place early! I taught at Dedham Hall also for the first time and loved it so my week course there next year is going to be great fun but again is fully booked.

I have been fortunate to show with amazing galleries and have exhibitions in 2013 that will see me working studiously and loving  bringing new collections to life. But most of all news wise I have an exciting new project of a book that for now is really a wonderfully delicious secret and I can't wait to share the news about it at a later stage.

I do take on a lot and my life is rich because of the time I put into painting and sharing my passion for watercolour. But by my side I have the most amazing husband who I love so much. Artists attending my workshops here and abroad have also instantly recognised how great he is, having met him in person. I would be lost without him which is why in each book there is a dedication to him.

In life, it does make a huge difference if you are loved and capabable of loving. This happy emotion flows into my brushstrokes and text when I am typing. So my wish for Christmas and the New Year is that whoever you are,whatever your dreams, large or small I hope they come true. And I genuinely wish you the happiest of Christmas's with an even happiest of years to follow.

I can't thank you enough for all the kind emails and messages you have given to me. 
All I can do is seriously wish you a very 


Monday 17 December 2012

"Atmospheric Watercolours" Great Christmas Gift

"Atmospheric Watercolours"

When I wrote "Atmospheric Watercolours" I aimed to include many tips  for readers to enjoy when working in watercolour. are so many ways of working in this medium. Often the smallest hint on how to include backgrounds in subjects, texture effects or even how we think when approaching a painting can drastically change our results.

I am so thrilled with all the fantastic comments coming my way from people all over the world who are enjoying my book. It makes all the time put into creating it worthwhile.

While I was so busy writing, giving away  my tips and hints I felt as though each chapter could be like opening a Christmas present when it was read. But I never imagined all the joy in giving then would later come back in my direction, from readers who have bought "Atmospheric Watercolours" and are enjoying it so much. These replies and messages have made my own 2012 Christmas so magical and I am really grateful for the time taken in letting me know how much my work is enjoyed.

There is no point in loving anything we do in life unless we can share that joy. And my life is rich because of the people in it and readers like you.

Thank you so much.


Christmas Watercolour Gift Orders

 Thank you to everyone who has orderd my books, DVDs or personalised brush sets for Christmas Gifts. I have been amazed at the number of orders that have flooded in to my online  web site shop found via this link.

My book is also available online from and if you order quickly it may still arrive in time for Christmas!

Thank you also to everyone who is sending me such fabulous comments about  my latest book "Atmospheric Watercolours"  and paintings created after reading it. This is making my Chrisrmas such a special time knowing how happy I have made readers and watercolour lovers.


Marrakech : December 2013

In Marrakech, December 2013

I have just returned home from a fabulous trip to Marrakech. It really was such a fabulous  break. The sun was warm and the skies so blue. Walking around the souqs fed this artists imagination for paintings next year. My workshops are going to be rather unique with the fantastic new subject material and colour combinations at hand now.

I have eaten in wonderful restaurants enjoying beautiful Moroocan food, smelt the heady aroma of spices and seen fishmarkets galore on the coast with figure scenes that  cried out to be  caught in watercolour.

My enthusiasm is now even higher if that is possible and I am dying to get  working in the peace of my studio but my dance moves while I work will possibly now be more Morrocan than before I left!

While I was there I was invited to hold a Morrocan Watercolour Workshop. Now that would be interesting!


Friday 7 December 2012

The Christmas Gift of Love

"Mans Best Friend"
Painted with love in the same way that my book was written .
With love.

I read an email this morning and had to take a few moments to allow the content to sink in. The message was thanking me for my latest book because it had been so inspirational in the readers life and their own art journey.  Then I opened a second email from Malaysia and again my heart was  touched with the warmth in the words the message contained. I find it amazing that I am reading wonderful messages daily now from all over the world. All from people who are reading and loving "Atmospheric Watercolours". I am overwhelmed. And in a way lost in how to say thank you to everyone who is taking the time to write to me.

Firstly, I should explain. I am not anyone special. I never have been or ever will be. I don't see myself as a celebrity or famous artist although I keep meeting people who try to tell me I am. I truly am not. There are far more talented artists in this world who are more deserving of that title. I really am just someone who loves working in watercolour so much ; it has changed my life and brought me to a career that I am 100% passionate about. I want others who would like to paint to enjoy their art journey as much as I am enjoying mine. And that is why I write.

I shared my personal journey in an interview this week which I will share a link to on my blog when it is published. By answering a few of the questions raised I had the chance to look back at my life. I can smile now at being a small, skinny child with bright red hair who was always wearing overly large clothes. that I was to supposed to grow into. I was teased so much at that time in my life and wanted to look like everyone else. I would have given anything for brown or black hair.  And it would have been wonderful to not be so shy. I was painfully quiet and withdrawn.  Art ,even then changed my life. I could draw happy subjects that made me feel good as an escape. It was a form of therapy where I could lean on colour to lift my spirits.

Years later I travelled and when ever I was in a new country I would settle through art again. Either meeting other artists to paint with or going to classes where I could learn from masters. This led to my eventually teaching. The one thing that I find incredible is that on my workshops I  often meet people who have no idea how talented they are. Who have the capability of furthering their own careers but don't know how.  I meet people from all walks of life outside my workshops who believe they cannot paint because they think they have no artistic gifts.

I wrote "Atmospheric watercolours" because painting in watercolour makes me feel incredible. The excitement of facing each new piece of white paper is a heady high I will never tire of. I wanted others to feel this way too. Able to get to a happy place by the touch of a brush. I desperately wanted everyone to know their dreams,whatever they are, can come true. So I wrote a book from my heart trying to include every possible tip I could give. Feeling as though every page or chapter would be like opening the best of Christmas presents for each reader.

What I didn't foresee was the response I would get in return. When you give from the heart you don't set out to receive. You just want to give and freely. I truly am overwhelmed by all the wonderful feedback coming my way. My heart is touched to the point where I have been in tears by reading some of the messages I have opened and read quietly in my studio.

So, from this non famous artist, a huge thank you to everyone who has written to me or who has bought a copy of my book. I am  over the moon it is selling so well and becoming so popular and if I could do anything to show my gratitude for everyones' positive reaction I would.

But I do have an idea. I can show you how much your thanks mean to me by writing another book that will inspire on a whole new level. And that will be my next dream to come true.

For you.

Thank you.


Thursday 6 December 2012

Australia and USA: Workshop Tour 2013

I really am looking forward to my workshops in 2013. My UK sessions are fully booked and the programme is incredible with many new subjects and techniques to cover.

 I will be holding fabulous watercolour workshops in Australia and USA in 2013.
For full information please contact the following for places available, location details and fees.

Australia April 2013
To book please email  
New York October 2013To book please email
Texas November 2013To book please email  **********  I cannot stress enough how important it is to book early for these events as there are limited places available. I intend to make each a memorable occasion so expect the unexpected!

Christmas Exhibitions 2013

"Over My Shoulder"
Original painting from my latest Book "Atmospheric Watercolours"
On display at Dedham Hall.
My watercolour  course there next year is fully booked.

I am really busy painting in my studio this week preparing for an exciting solo exhibition next year. I currently have work in four Christmas Exhibitions. Two in Hampshire, one in Norfolk and one in Surrey.

There is a a beautiful collection in a small "Jean Haines" Christmas exhibit at the Wey Gallery in Godalming, Surrey. This includes my major horse racing scenes plus  the all time collectibles of favourite sheep.
My cockerels are at Picturecraft Gallery in Holt ,Norfolk .. 
Dog watercolours of  course can be found in my collection at the Dogs in Art Gallery in Stockbridge, Hampshire.
Favourite flowers such as snowdrops are in The Frame Gallery in Odiham,Hampshire.

It is a busy month!


Wednesday 5 December 2012

New York Watercolour Workshops 2013

New York Workshops 2013

I can't really believe I am already typing this but I have confirmed that I will be returning to New York next year to  hold watercolour workshops again. This year was so fantastic meeting artists on Long Island that even Hurricane Sandy couldn't spoil the sessions!

There will be two , two day workshops but as this years event  was so popular can I suggest you book very early to avoid disappointment.  We didn't advertise my 2012 watercolour session  very much due to the high demand for places. So you are hearing it here first and from me!

Dates for your diary are

"More Than Watercolour"
Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th, October 2013 
10.00 - 4.00 p.m.
A fabulous experience looking at ways to bring a variety of subjects to life minus the use of a preliminary sketch. This two day course aims to bring the best  out of you as an artist and inspire at a high level looking at where you are heading with your art. Please book early to avoid disappointment.

"Atmospheric Watercolours "
Tuesday 29th  and Wednesday30th October 2013
What better way to  approach Hallowe'en than working in the most magical of mediums? This will be an incredible two days working on a number of subjects with vibrant colour combinations. Expect the unexpected and relax in this memoralbe two day event.


All bookings can be made through the Art League of Long Island via

Tuesday 4 December 2012

Buy Early For Christmas!! Books, DVDs and Brushes!

  "Atmospheric Watercolours "
An internationally best selling book showing techniques on a variety of subjects!

This is a reminder  that if you wish to buy a signed copy of either of my books, or a set of my personalised kolinsky sable brushes or my DVDs please order this week to ensure your gifts arrive in time for Christmas! Details of all my products can be found on my web site online shop.

The very best Kolinsky Watercolour Brush  Sets
Still ONLY £45!

Watercolour Passion
Inspirational DVD showing how  to paint subjects in a loose interpretative style.

How to Paint Colour and Light in Watercolour
Internationally best selling watercolour  book

Amazing Ways With Watercolour
My first and most popular DVD with Townhouse Films!

THese are all ideal as Christmas gifts for watercolour fans! Order yours early while  stocks last.

Wonderful Studio Time

Elephant painting, work in progress for 2013 Exhibition

I have a glorious week in my studio to catch up with writing and painting. It is heaven! I am working through folders of art that have been stored for safe keeping. These pieces are for 2013 exhibitions and my facbulous project of a new book. Life couldn't get any more exciting, or could it? I recently received a wonderful invitation from a gallery that is new to me to exhibit with and am happily putting a collection of pieces together for the show which will open early next year.

I am also having a fantastic time working on my new horse racing paintings that will form part of an exciting collection for my solo exhibition at the Wey Gallery in Godalming,Surrey which I am really looking forward to. Keeping this work secret, at times, has been so hard because as each painting has evolved during creation I desperately wanted to share my excitement. Especially with the thrilling colour combinations and feeling of movement in each new composition.

I will share details of  next years events later but for now I have original watercolours in some incredible Christmas shows in Hamphire,Surrey and Norfolk so please take a look at my web site if you wish to visit them.

Sunday 2 December 2012

The Best Of Nature

Fox in snow
Photograph taken in my garden last year

It has been an amazing week.This morning I spent time in my studio quietly working. As I looked through my window, at the frost outside, I saw the most beautiful fox. It stopped and gazed at me for a moment before  continuing its' walk around our garden. It then returned to my studio and sat outside, almost asking to come in out of the cold. This ,naturally, had to be the one and only morning I had left my camera in my cottage! All I could  do was sit and admire it. Its' colouring was magnificent and its eyes really shone in the early morning light.  Now I have a painting in my mind which I hope to capture when I have time.

However, time is precious for me this month with so much planning ahead for neaxt years workshops and exhibitions. I will be travelling to Australia in April 2013 and may possibly be giving a workshop in Hong Kong on my return to Europe. I have trips to Morocco and Spain planned and I will be holding workshops again in Texas and New York in Autumn. My 2013 UK workshops are fully booked  and as I am hoping to start writing again, the time I have free will be spent on a new project and my exhibiton collections.

I have given several magazine interviews which will be published next year and I will share  more news in other posts. For now I am enjoying the last month of December with the joy of a new trip approaching which is research for my next years subjects.

My life is never boring but today, as it is Sunday I am going to take a well earned break to enjoy this  incredible  scenery while I can!

 My morning walk today, isn't the beauty of nature incredible?


I would like to add a huge thank you to artists taking part in my robin challenge to raise fundss for  Cancer Charities. I have been  inundated with emails and I didn't expect such a huge response. Thank you so much! I hope to share more soon!