Friday 31 May 2013

Watercolour Workshops UK, USA, Australia and Italy

 Jean Haines Watercolour Workshops

UK Workshops this year including Dedham Hall are fully booked but 2014 dates will be available from September.

USA Tour 2013

New York    FULLY BOOKED Waiting List closed

Dallas         FULLY BOOKED Waiting List Closed

Lubbock , Texas   November 2013 One workshop has a few places available.

Mexico  November  2013 Places Available.

Contact for details.


Watercolour Workshops 2014

Italy April 2014 Places  currently available for a one week course.

Australia and USA details to follow.

UK workshop information will be released in September 2013.


I have been invited to teach in several locations in both USA and Australia in 2014  so will update on these new workshops at a later date. I will be  working on my 2014 programme of events over the next few months so please contact me directly if you wish to attend in any of the above locations. .

I am also planning  an exciting international workshop programme for 2015 .

 Could all artists wishing to attend workshops in 2014 please contact me to be placed on my email list.


Lilac Time

Lilacs coming to life in a vibrant floral wash
I desperaely wanted to paint today.  Having taught workshops all week I found my fingers itching to hold brushes and as the day wore on I just couln't resist  playing with colour. I had taken some lilac into my workshops as subjects to paint. Having brought them home for floral arrangements I noticed they were beginning to droop today. So time was running out if I was to capture them in watercolour.

The blossoms were a pale mauve in colour that didn't make me feel energised so instead I painted my favourite variety which is a deep purple. The whole point of the exercise was to free me up from teaching mode and get me back into the zone for writing and working on my next book.  The rich colours definitely did make me feel good and I now  have a million ideas for my next paintings. Maybe a large vase of lilac next or huge sprays on a lilac tree.

We will see!


Flamenco, Penguins and Fertility Statues ? May Workshops 2013

Flamenco demonstration
May UK Watercolour Workshops 2013 .

What an incredible week. Over the last few days I have held three, very individual workshops in Hampshire UK which were advertised last year. Places booked very quickly and as I am still recovering from my accident in Australia artists saw me entering the venue on crutches to teach. But I was definitely smiling as I knew what the days would involve. What I hadn't foreseen was the International flavour in the room as there were attendees from Thailand, Panama, Ireland and France in the room. Each day was genuinely fantastic.

 The opening session was held especially for artists who have never been to me before. I am finding, over time, that as my courses become more popular places are difficult to obtain for new people who have only just discovered my work. So everyone in the room was new to my teaching style and techniques. It was a brilliant day, I loved the group and the atmosphere in the room. The next day was all about moving subjects and the first dancer of the week appeared in the form of my demonstration study above. Colours flowing with soft and hard edges made the flamenco dancer  quickly come to life on paper. two more watercolour dancers followed the next day as the next group of artists attended my  "The Artist In You" workshop.

There as so much going on in every single session with  not only gorgeous people in the room but high energy, inspirational and motivational moments and of course fascinating subjects appearing from such diverse groups. I was asked how to paint penguins, carnival faces, animals, owls,flowers, landscapes and even a fertility statue which was the most wonderful and amusing short demonstrations.

I adore teaching. I love giving away as much of me as possible with time, tips and  guidance on so many levels. I also see so much talent that is untapped or almost hidden away from the rest of the world. 

I am teaching again in UK in July but my courses are fully booked. I will be sharing information on next years, 2014 workshops later this year and will give details on how to book a place.

For now I haave had such a great week and all I want to do is paint, paint, paint. I hope everyone who came to me this week feels  exactly the same!


Monday 27 May 2013

Canterbury Bells, Campanula in Watercolour

Canterbury Bells

Everywhere I travel these delightful little flowers seem to have different names. In Norway they were described to me by the name " Bluebells" and they grew  beautifully alongside quiet roads in the natural, wild countryside when I was teaching watercolour workshops there some years ago. In America I also came across them and was given stunning photographs.

Here in England I see them in many varieties and colours, usually purple or white. I love the tiny variety that I have in my garden but last year became fascinated with the giant form that  grow  quite tall with massive clusters of bells hanging from the stems. No wwe hve these in our cottage garden too. I will confess that as a child I always imagined fairies lived inside each little bell shapes. My Grandfather had told me many stories about fairies and elves and I used to believe every word he uttered!

Following my experiments painting forget-me-nots, yesterday, I moved onto to slightly more purple hues in my palette today and was delighted at the early results in my washes.

Summer is a season where my brushstrokes are always lighter,softly gentle. Almost breathing life into my work as I paint. I cannot wait to start a new painting of Canterbury Bells. And this is the exact feeling I aim to instil in my workshops. That magical enthusiasm of wanting to paint and not feeling satisfied until you have moved your brush at least once a day!


Sunday 26 May 2013

Red Is For Love

"Red is for Love"

It is a stunningly, sunny day here and I feel as though I could be in France right now. I am surrounded by beautiful geranium flowers which always remind me of market days from my time living there.

The above painting is in a gorgeous frame and is currently being exhibited at the Frame Gallery in Odiham, Hampshire ,UK. This is one of those pieces that makes me feel like racing for a summer dress and a glass of chilled wine,to enjoy in my garden.

My solo exhibition has many pieces ranging in price and will be running until the end of May. The owner of the gallery is happy to send abroad so for full details of my collection please contact the gallery directly via this link

Saturday 25 May 2013

Forget-Me-Not Whispers

Coming to life in a simple colour experiment.

It is incredible how one simple experiment to capture  the colour of a subject can lead to a painting that was completely unexpected. This morning I shared an image of colour for "forget-me-not" flowers that was simply a warm up experiment. But as always I have now fallen in love with the tiny flowers and how they seem to float amongst all the other plants in my garden. I almost felt as though I was breathing life into each stem on paper by gentle brushstrokes. The stems have now become my new area of fascination, so you can see them added here in the foreground on the initial colour wash.

This will probably end up being one of those paintings that was initially started aimed for the bin as an enjoyable experiment, but will end up framed for myself! A white frame might be nice. Oh no, I am even thinking about frame options!

This really goes to prove if you start out with a simple idea,minus pressure or great expectations of a result you may just gain one!


Forget Me Not

Forget- Me- Not Blues

Each year I adore a tiny flower that is insignificant by size but adds colour to my garden in the least expected of places. It drops seed and flowers at will.  In fact its so like watercolour in that it is free and spontaneous. You can't really control where it seeds or flowers but you can sit back and enjoy its happy accidents of   blocks of colour appearing at will. Each interacting with the existing design of the garden and improving it naturally.

I love this tiny flower for so many reasons. Its history is so sweet in that this little flower was often given to world war heros to remember their sweethearts at home by  It adorned many Victorian cards. The very name " Forget-Me- Not" is so romantic.

And so this morning as my warm up I carried a tiny sprig of this flower into my studio and aimed to capture just its colour not form. I thought it would be easy but it turned into quite a challenge.  I found many of my blue shades far too rich. So a very heavily diluted Cerulean Blue with a touch of violet ended up becoming my final choice for this delicate first wash.

Maybe I love the name because I don't want to ever forget each experience with my brush when I try to paint a subject for the very first time. That thrill of anticipation, then,is always so strong and I often never know what to expect. The smallest of subjects often become the most fascinating of experiments and I am so happy this was mine this morning.

Artist Tip of the Day : Pick up something that you think you know well and try to paint its colour. You may find you are not as observant or as accurate as you first think!


The Frame Gallery, Odiham, Hampshire Solo Exhibition May 2013

Essence of Africa

A collection of my original watercolours as now on show at the FRAME GALLERY in Odiham,Hampshire including beautiful subjects of horse racing, elephants, dogs, florals and kingfishers.

The exhibition will run until the end of May .

Full details can be found on this link.

Wednesday 22 May 2013

New Addition To Personalised Brush Set : Its here!

 New Jean Haines Wash Brush!
 In addition to Jeans existing personalised watercolour brush set

I can finally share the news that I  now have a fabulous new  large brush in addition to my existing personalised brush range.  Several artists on my workshops know I have been looking into and working on a project to find the right brush to add to my existing set. It has taken me since some time last year to finally agree on a design and excellent quality to meet my needs.

Why this new brush? I have been finding on my workshops that many new artiss buy cheaper brushes at first. Mainly to find out if they enjoy working in watercolour before investing in high quality art equipment. Often artists will come on one of my sessions and fall in love with my own brushes. Some of which actually cost well over £200, but these have been given to me as samples and for various demonstrations throughout my career. It is far easier to work with the best products and more enjoyable. But I certainly don't expect everyone who paints as a hobby to  part with large sums of money on one brush.  I knew there had to be a way to come up with a design. I wanted to have my name on a large brush that was accessible price wise to the majority of people who paint. And one I would love working with.

So for the last six months I have looked at many prototypes. Unfortunately I wanted the best but I also wanted to sell it at a reasonable price! The time taken in findng the correct brush and materails hasn't been easy. But I am thrilled now because all the work in the design has finally paid off as my new large mop brushes arrived this morning. just in time for  them to be launched at  Patchings on Friday 7th June!

They load well, release well, flow over paper ,spring beautifully and have a blend of hair in the brush mix which is unique.

Keeping my existing brush sets in stock has been difficult as they have become so popular. Not so much by advertising but my word of mouth. It seems that everyone who owns them loves them so quickly recommends them. I have a feeling these new, long awaited brushes will sell out quickly too!

I will share details of prices as soon as this fabulous new brush is launched so please keep an eye on my web site and blog!

It is a beautiful brush and watercolourists are going to love it!


Broken Ankle Update 2013

Blue Eyed Honey Birds
Australia 2013

I have loved reading the kindest and most wonderful of messages asking me how I am since my return from Australia, following surgery for my broken ankle. Well this last week has been incredible especially with the speed at which I am recovering. I visited a specialist in UK last Thursday who took further xrays. These showed the broken bones are healing really well although I will need futhrer surgery in the future. I visited a physiotherapist yesterday and they were amazed at how well I am doing. I have recovered far better than anyone expected at this stage in healing process. I can stand and easily walk on crutches although I need to rest my foot as much as possible. Small achievements have made my days. Like the first time I successfully walked upstairs alone or stood in the shower. Placing weight on my injured foot is now comfortable.

I will need to be on crutches for the next few weeks and I will be wearing the big black boot!. But I am expected to be fine again in weeks, not months as first expected. If I do as I am told!

It is very hard sitting still as I often dance when I am painting. And stand! But I keep thinking how lucky I am. I could have broken my wrists and this could have effected my future of painting and writing.  I am also aware that several friends have been sending healing prayers, reiki and distance crystal healing. Whether anyone belives in this kind of help or not, the outcome is incredible. Knowing you are being given loving support at a time when you need it. That positive help alone is a huge boost to my morale.

I was taken to the specialist in a wheelchair last week on the Thursday. Yesterday, the following Tuesday, I happily walked into the physiotherapist on crutches and asked if it would be okay to just walk with one now. I was advised to stay with two but I am eager to be well again and fighting fit. I haven't time in my life to be immobile! And at this rate I can see me trying Zumba in Autumn! 

Watch this space, health is a state of mind and mine is saying I am fine!


Thank you so much for all the lovely messages,healing, prayers and support. You may be healing me too quickly but   I am thrilled you are!

Atmospheric Watercolours : Selling Out Internationally

Atmospheric Watercolours
Selling Out Internationally

I have recieved several emails asking me why my latest book "Atmospheric Watercolours" is  not available on USA.  I made enquiries and was told that "keeping this book in stock in USA has become a full time job!" This is great news for me but not wonderful news if you are wishing to buy my book and can't get one.  At the time of my typing this blog post there are currently only nine copies of "Atmospheric Watercolours" left available on  in UK  too.

If anyone would like a copy there are several stockists who can help. The Book are selling my book at a reasonable price with free shipping worldwide. You can buy a copy from them via this link

I am sure it will be in stock with Amazon very soon too. I can't begin to describe how wonderful it is to hear that the passion I poured into writing "Atmospheric Watercolours" is being appreciated and loved all over the world. Thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time to send me such wonderful emails about "Atmospheric Watcerolours". I have read every one and feel overwhelmed by the kindness in each message. I adore working in watercolour and my only goal from writing and sharing is to ensure everyone who wishes to use this fabulous medium enjoys it as much as I do. And I will be working even harder on my next book, I promise!

I will be signing book at Patchings in UK this year and on my USA tour in Autumn. 

For now, if you haven't a copy of my latest book and wish to buy one stocks are running low so please buy while you can.


Wisteria in Watercolour 2013

Wisteria in Watercolour

The front of our cottage is now covered in wonderfu wisteria flowers. I adore this time of yea and  wait eagerly for the front of our home to be adorned with  these stunning purple and lilac forms. They are so artistic that I find myself simply watching them for housr rather than racing for my brushes.

You will find these flowers and the techniques used to create them in my latest book "Atmospheric Watercolours"

Wisteria from my garden,photograph taken  this morning.

Artist tip for the day : Don't be in a race to complete a finished painting. Try playing with a scrap of paper capturing the exact shades that you see in a subject. Then work out colour combinations to make that shade even more exciting. 

Don't forget to admire the beauty of nature every day as it changes so quickly with the seasons,weather conditions and light.

Saturday 18 May 2013

Are Bluebells Blue?

May 2013

I am happily back in my studio and as I walked around my garden this morning I picked some bluebells. Now here I should be very honest and point out that I was on crutches so the challenge of the day was to for me to pick a flower to paint and I am thrilled I did!  I leant on one crutch and leaned over easily. My recovery from surgery, as far as I can see it, is purely a state of mind. I can sit watching television or get on with getting better! And as an artist there is no finer way to detract from pain than painting.

My dog Bailey followed me with great excitement as we both went on the adventure of my learning to walk further on crutches. He barked excitedly with my every move. I'm doing so well that I even managed to bend down and pick up sticks to throw for him. However , he resented my heading back to my studio as he obviously felt our "stick games" should have gone on for far longer. Sadly my standing time is limited at the moment. but I am getting stronger every single day.

I picked a bluebell and worked on a scrap of paper to capture it as a warm up exercise. Its' amazing but when I place this popular flower on my palette its' true colour leans more towards violet than blue. I can see gorgeous turquoise hints in it as well.  The morning sunshine gave an illuminous effect above the heads of the delicate bells making them seem angelic so the name "bells" reminded me of church bells ringing.

I have loved taking time out to  imagine how to capture them on paper. The familiar questions before painting any subject arose. What colours to use and how to portray the delicacy of the flower ? What colours would you use for painting bluebells? How would you make them feel like bells ringing, moving in the breezes?

For my painting I have opted for Cobalt Blue heavily diluted, with hints of Winsor Violet and touches of Turquoise. For my greens I have mixed Cadmium Yellow with the Cobalt or Turquoise and then with my rigger dropped my violet shade into the foreground greenery.

Isn't it amazing how one tiny flower can lead to so much interesting thoughts in a creative process?

Artist tip of the day : Pick something from nature and capture it in a quick simple study but let your thought process beforehand take longer than the painting itself!  Learn from the thinking process.


Friday 17 May 2013

Thank you So much!

 Australia 2013

I am recieving some wonderful thank you messages following my accident in Australia. I can't thank everyone who has sent email messages and commented on my blog, Facebook and Twitter enough. Its' impossible to let anything get you down when you are surrounded by such great friends!

Thank you so much!

Learning To Walk 2013

Floral Energy

Yesterday I saw a specialist as a follow up to the surgery in Australia on my broken ankle. I'm delighted to share the news that I am now out of a wheelchair and on crutches. I listened to advise on what I can and can't do and fully understand that the length of my recuperation depends on me. So today I have been learning to walk , placing weight on my ankle and moving around my garden. It hurts! Each step is uncomfortable but I am going to have to push myself if I am to heal well.

It is a very strange feeling learning to walk again. In many ways I am reminded of learning to paint in watercolour. Everyone told me it was going to be difficult. Facing a blank piece of white paper years ago is similar to my looking at the garden path ahead of me now and wondering if I can make it to where I am aiming for. The thing is, unless I try I will never know.  Each step isn't going to be plain sailing and I may make mistakes in how I place my foot or crutches. Just the same as placing a brushmark or choice of colour in the wrong place which can have less than wonderful results.

But I do know this. Every single effort that I put into learning how to paint in what is classed as the most difficult of mediums has been worth it. And so will be that fantastic feeling of walking again unaided,standing alone and reaching for anything at all without having to ask for help.

I am very independant and also usually very energetic.  Having to slow down right now and think about  my every move is possibly frustrating. Yet there is an inner calm about me which is  quite beautiful. I know I am going to be better but I feel this is a great opportunity time for me to just enjoy nature around me. Absorbing the beauty I see daily and considering where I am heading, not only with my feet but with my art! I can work on my book without interruption or distractions and love being quietly in my studio. perhaps an angl eon my shoulder decided this is where I need to be in my life. Reflecting and looking forward quietly.

I am positive. I am detremined not to have a permanent limp as has been suggested and I am convinced I will be dancing again in heels in the future. Just like I was when I first picked up my brushes. I wanted to master watercolour so badly I never gave up then and I won't give up on my recovery either!

Whatever you are doing and whatever difficulties you may be facing always stop to consider that every single thing that happens to us makes us stronger. Paintings that don't always go right are the ones that teach us the most. Lifes hiccups are just like that.  Their bonus is teaching us to appreciate the smooth times even more. For example I will never take for granted being able to walk in future!

Artist tip for the day? Its' obvious.

Don't give up!
Never, ever give up!

Koala Impressions; Australia 2014

Koala Impression
Study 2013

Having returned from Australia I have found myself emerged in reading over a months worth of emails. Many inviting me to teach internationally. I will certainly be replying personally but for now I am looking at my diary trying to schedule a return to Australia in 2014. I'm hoping to offer a workshop for those who missed this years as I have been inundtaed with requests for places.

I will share information as soon as dates are released!


Sunday 12 May 2013

Australia Watercolour Workshops 2013: That accident!

Gorgeous Sunset in Australia 2013

I know all my friends are eager to know how I am so I'll begin my blog return with an explanation of how I ended up in hospital in Australia. I flew over to take watercolour workshops at Frogs Hollow just outside Brisbane. It was a very rural location. Both my husband and myself were met by the organiser and taken to a charming cottage to stay for the duration of my visit and teaching sessions. I met the first group of artists on the Saturday and we had a fantastic weekend exploring waterolour techniques. In fact by Sunday I wished I could be with everyone for another day as they were so  amazing. But the second group of artists were arriving on the Monday evening for the next workshop which was to commence on Tuesday morning.

As Monday was my day for a break, my husband and I enjoyed looking around the countryside with me taking photographs of subjects I wished to paint with my next group. That evening we met the artists for an evening meal and I left eagerly looking forward to the next day. I was so excited when I woke on Tuesday morning as I had planned a terrific first day session which I knew would have everyone racing for their brushes. The demonstration pieces were in my arms as I headed for the car. So enthusiastic, I was leaving really early as I wanted to set up in good time before my class were ready to begin. Unfortunately thats' where everything went wrong. Outside the cottage were a few steps and as I left the last one I slipped and fell awkwardly. There was no hand rail to grab onto so my fall couldn't be prevented. Immediately pain shot through my leg and my husband said straight away that he thought my ankle was broken. To make matters worse there was no mobile phone connection so my husband walked to the nearest house and asked if they could ring for an ambulance. All I could think about was getting a message to my class but everyone else was really concerned about me. The neighbour was so kind and leant an umbrella to keep me in the shade while we waited for an ambulance to arrive which felt like an eternity.  I had been given a " green whistle" ro dea with the pain but at this point I was convinced the doctors could patch me up and I would be returning to the workshop to teach. That really is all that was on my mind. I even planned to run the class into the early evening to make up for my being late. In my mind everything was going to be fine and I would paint non stop later on to make up for my being late.

I arrived at the first hospital where x-rays put a whole new picture on what was going to really happen. Here I was told to forget anything other than to be prepared for a stay in hospital and surgery. It finally started sinking in how serious my fall was. I was given fluids by drip and then my husband drove me to Brisbane where I could have surgery. It was the quickest option as shock was beginning to set in.  Roz, one of the artists on the workshops came with us and directed us to the Wesley Hospital and stayed with us while we were settled in. If you can imagine a two hour drive with your ankle broken in two places and no pain killers you can also imagine how amazing Roz was, remaining calm and cheerful all the way dealing with the situation as if it was an every day occurence.  On this journey I was still convinced there would be a way somehow to put me in some kind of cast so I could STILL teach my workshops and then have surgery on the Friday when everyone had left. But this was not going to be an option.

I was heartbroken. Not for me but for all the artists who had flown from all over Australia to meet me and to enjoy the workshop which I had been so looking forward to. I listened to everyone around me telling me how long the surgery and healing process was likely to be but I didn't take their words in. All I knew was that I badly wanted to get back to the class. I felt numb at this point. Disappointed, still believing this could not be happening.

It took three days alone for the swelling to go down before the  surgeon could operate. Then a metal plate was put in one side of my ankle and pins were placed in the other. My fall had not only broken both sides of my ankle but the tissue in the surrounding area had also been badly damaged. Within hours of being admitted, it seems, a beautiful gift box of orange flowers appeared, from Jo one of the artists on the first workshop. She has taen in how much I love translucent orange and the kindness of her thought touched me so much. I looked at them and felt less frightened of what was to come. Then John, husband of Karen another artist on the first workshop arrived with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Soon my room was full of arrangements and became the favourite place for nurses to visit as it soon began to look like a garden. Even my publishers Australian contact and an Art Society sent me a gorgeous bouquet.

I obviously then had to stay in hospital  following the surgery and have lessons on how to use crutches which will follow the early recuperation period in a wheelchair.  I left hospital and stayed in Coolum, again thanks to the kindness of Roz who had arranged for us to stay in her apartment for as long as we needed. And its' taken a long time to be allowed to fly home. That journey in itself was no mean feat, needing anti -coagulant injections at each stage to prevent problems during the flight.

So now I look ahead to a few months where I will be getting used to moving around in a wheelchair and later on, using crutches. But I have already made it into my studio so I will be fine. I will need physiotherapy and I will need to be patient but there are so many positives from this experience.

Firstly I was so lucky not to be alone when the accident happend as I could have lain there for hours before I was found. Secondly  I could have broken my hands which I know I would never have dealt with easily. I met so many wonderful people in Australia and witnessed their kindness in a way I will never forget. I also now have to return earlier than planned to give a free workshop to everyone who missed me on this occasion and all I can say is that the sessions then will be memorable because I am planning them already.

We never know what life is going to throw at us but each hiccup is a time to sit back and realise how lucky you are in life. I am so blessed as my husband is an absolute star in how he handled the whole accident and me. I also will be out of this wheelchair, not in it for life. How lucky am I?

I'm going to be fine. I will heal and I am looking forward to my next workshops. I even made it to the preview of my solo exehibition which opened on Friday night, regardless of a thirty hour journey beforehand ,with a broken ankle from Australia.

So, I am back on my blog, almost back to normality and I will be getting better every day from here in.

Watch this space!


I will be writing to all the artists who missed the last workshop due to my accident. Please email me if you haven't heard from me by the end of this week!

Breaking a Leg ? Australia 2013

The Wesley Hospital, Brisbane 2013

When I left UK a few weeks ago for my workshops in Australia I had no idea how my trip was going to turn out and it will take several blog posts to catch up. But the reason my blog has been so quiet is because I had an accident in Australia which led to a week in hospital, surgery and an extended stay until I was able to fly home.

I can't begin to thank everyone for their wonderful kindness during what could have been a very traumatic experience but for now I send my heartfelt thanks to Roz who is a true star when calm and kind generosity is needed. Karen and John, Jo Duckworth especially deserve a mention as well as Di who organised my trip and her terrific husband Ned.

I will explain in my next blog post what happened but for now, I am happy to say I am home again, in a wheelchair and recovering but  its'  going to be a long healing process ahead so all the smiles and laughter you can share would be really appreciaited!

I'm home!