Sunday 30 June 2013

Dogs in Art Gallery Exhibition. Stockbridge, Hampshire

"Hampshire Hog"

"Summer Sensations"
Solo Exhibition
Running from 13th July, 2013

I am delighted to be returning to the "Dogs in Art Gallery" for my annual Summer Show. If you haven't been to Stockbridge you are in for a treat. Plan plenty of time to walk along the river and take tea in the beautiful little tea shop with home made cakes or visit my personal favourite "The Three Cups" for lunch.

The gallery is fantastic and well worth browsing. In my show I will have sweet pea flowers, cats, horse racing and many more favourites including my new favourite subject to paint which is hedgehogs. "Prickles" from my last show became a very popular little prickly friend so please meet the new "Hampshire Hog" which will be making an appearance in my summer show. He will be in a stunning frame setting him off perfectly! A new collection of cards will also be launched exclusively at the gallery.

For full details and news of subjects as they come in please contact the gallery directly especially if you wish to buy a favourite subject. They are disappearing very quickly so early purchases are advised.

Wild Roses

Wild Roses
Developing in a watercolour study

The weather is wonderful and everywhere I look in the countryside I see gorgeous wild roses adorning the hedgerows. Yesterday I attempted my first walk with Bailey, my Bearded Collie, since my broken ankle accident. My wonderful husband  accompanied me as I am having to be really careful at this stage of recovery. I am slowly building up muscle around the  broken ankle but one slip could put me back by weeks. As my progress so far has been exceptional I am following Doctors orders of taking things very cautiously!

On our walk I noticed a cluster of roses perched on the top of one hedge. One branch had escaped and was wandering attractively down the side of an old oak tree. I have had visitors all week and my studio time has been restricted. So I spent a little time yesterday morning heavenly capturing the beauty of this delicate wild  flower. The problem is you really do have to paint these roses straight away as their petals fall when picked and carried home. They are great for teaching you as an artist how to observe from nature and use your brushes really quickly if you want to paint them from life.

I can't wait to paint them seriously but this means another walk with Bailey which will mean more strength to my ankle and my paintbrush!


Thank you to everyone who has sent me  emails  wondering where I am or how I am doing. I have wonderful exhibitions coming up where my work will be shown and will be sharing details very soon!

Sunday 23 June 2013

A Rose A Day

Rose study taking shape
 Quick Exercise

Life often is too busy to give us a chance to paint every day. I too have this problem due to gallery deliveries, administration for UK and abroad, plus  my writing. Often when I would far rather be in my studio painting. Obviously I have daily chores too that need attention! But no matter how busy I am I always find time to pick up my brush even if it is just for five minutes. At the moment I am still loving the bouquet of roses given to me by a neighbour which has renewed my passion for painting them. Above is a sweet little study that only took a few minutes this morning. It isn't intended as a piece to be framed but it kept me feeling happy because I had found time to paint. I also know if I keep painting small studies by the time I am ready for a larger painting when the time is right, peaceful and without life getting in the way I will be raring to go.

Artist Tip for the Day : Make the most of a few minutes every day to improve your art and keep your enthusiasm for painting at a high level!

There is an exercise for painting roses on my first DVD "Amazing Ways With Watercolour" available via this link


Saturday 22 June 2013

Rose Fever 2013

Roses painted on a scrap of paper

As much as I loved painting the roses in my previous blog post to me they felt too tight. They bordered in places on being slightly botanical . I always aim for a mixture of loose sections and fine detail to complete my watercolours as a mystical combination of styles. I haven't painted roses very much this year so decided to grab a few scraps of paper this morning and work on a few first washes, looking for roses in each. The next stages bring the rose to life with final brushwork.

The above study has a fabulous feel to it as a painting and now I wish I had worked on new paper not scraps! I have several gorgeous rose paintings decorating my studio today now, that would have looked wonderful framed.

For followers of my blog who have asked about my brush sets and want to paint roses in a loose style following my style. I use my number ten sable for the petals and wash. I use my soft sable rigger to "lift" petal edges, very gently to encourage the petal edges appear.  Please note, it has to be a soft sable as the technique at this stage needs to be carried out very gently.  Other brush mixes tend to damage the paper which  can leave obvious marks when dry.  My colours flow and interact, guided by my sable brushes which hardly touch the paper surface due to their design,quality and of course my gentle use of them. I also use my rigger to pick up tiny amounts of pigment which I drop into areas in a wet in wet technique, to add strength in colour where needed. Such as shadows at the base of petals.

My brush sets can be found on my web site. They are ideal for painting roses as they are made of the finest Kolinsky sable. They move easily allowing pigment to flow across paper. If you hold my size 10 sable away from the brush end and allow the point to form curves you can get a great result. Use my size ten brush for the outer soft petal edges and the rigger for detail and pigment dropping.

 Available from 


Roses in a vase

Yesterday a wonderful neighbour and friend came to visit me to discuss camera options as they are thinking of buying one like mine. They came bearing gifts in the form of sweet scented roses from their garden.  I couldn't resist painting them this morning.  I had arranged them in a tall thin vase and the composition was so pleasing to my eye that I loved looking at them to observe their form. Just like portraits, all flowers have differences. Colourings,proportions and petal shapes are fascinating to study.

As my own roses are flowering in my garden I have a feeling many more rose paintings will be following!

Thank you to everyone who is enjoying my "How To Paint Roses in a Loose Style" blog post. It is still a very firm favourite out of all my posts. Now its time to get painting roses again and capture not just their beauty but their sweet perfume too.


Wednesday 19 June 2013

Pansies and Blog Posts

Pansy Experimental Wash

Sometimes when I am painting "things just seem to happen"! Maybe its' because I have been working in watercolour for so long. Or right now maybe its because I am so passionate about the flowers that are blossoming in my garden. I feel so happy experimenting while I create. I know exactly what I can achieve so I consistently push myself to discover other ways to gain more interesting results when painting familiar subjects.

As the sun is shining I started my day with some gentle gardening. I say gentle because I am still recovering from a broken ankle and standing for too long  is uncomfortable. I love the saying "Where there is a will theres' a way". I have magically found a way to manoeuvre myself around the flower beds in our cottage garden. Leaning on the wheel barrow when necessary and using long handled gardening tools because I can't kneel easily to weed. Most importantly I haven't given up. My life is just a little more interesting right now as I can't just walk to where I want to or work how I would wish.

The positive outcome is that I am bringing these elements and thought processes into my paintings. If I try a new subject I work out a way to get to a pleasant result even if my first attempt wasn't quite what I was aiming for. In my minds eye I see a finished painting and I want to get to that image via my imagination somehow. I have a few experimental washes of a gorgeous purple pansy whose petals seem like soft velvet. I have painted these flowers so many times over the years but I am bored of just working them to life with my brush,pigment and water. So this morning out came the cling film to create leaves and petal patterns. I am already getting excited as to other compositions I can create for the same flower, one which had accidentally fallen off the main clump  in a planter while I weeded.

Life is full of happy accidents.  So are watercolours!  Okay so breaking my ankle probably wasn't the best of accidents but it has taught me so much. Its taught me how much patience I have because I am taking my time, doing everything correctly while it heals. Just like painting, taking your time doing every stage correctly is worth it in the long run.

I have been enjoying the summer months so much that I have been in the garden whenever possible painting or working on my next book. Which has meant my blog has fallen quiet. Thank you so much to everyone who has sent emails asking if I am alright, wishing me a speedy recovery and for letting me know that you find my blog inspirational. I will keep sharing and I will be moving on from flowers when the muse moves me in another direction!

Artists Tip for the day: If you are painting a familiar subject take a few minutes before yu pick up your brush to think about options for painting new compositions. Try not to be repetitive in your work and continually push yourself to discover new ways to achieve unique results!

Saturday 15 June 2013

Cornflowers in Watercolour

Cornflowers from my garden coming to life in watercolour

Every day I have watched a wonderful clump of cornflowers in my garden grow and shine in sunlight with their glorious almost violet colouring. I couldn't resist starting my painting day with a quick study of them. They are soft and delicate, so perfect as a subject to calmly move my way into painting subjects that are a little more lively.

I do find working from life rather than photographs improves my eye with colour matching. And painting something completely new each day keeps my enthusiasm very high!


Thursday 13 June 2013

Sweet Pea and the Doll

Sweet Pea painted this afternoon

This is more of a story than my usual blog post of watercolours. I was painting these this afternoon and the flowers  I worked on brought back a childhood memory that I feel like sharing.

When I was a little girl I was brought up with my Grandparents. My Grandfather loved gardening and each year would have rows of gorgeous sweet peas whose beautiful scent filled the air on summer days. I loved the flowers and their delicate colours so much. The biggest treat for me then would be when I was allowed to pick just one or two  flowers which my Gradafther would then add to his carefully picked bunch to bring into the house we lived in. The sweet pea display were his pride and joy every year.

I used to hold little dolls tea parties on the lawn in the garden at the back of the house. My Grandmother never allowed other children to visit so I was always alone  except for my toys. A teddy bear named Rupert and a doll called Rosebud. Rosebud was a black doll with soft, curly hair. I had little cups and saucers and played endlessly with my "friends".

One day I couldn't find Rosebud. I searched everywhere for her and a hush fell in the house when I asked where she was. When I eventually wandered around the garden I looked up and saw her head perched on top of a sweet pea pole. My Grandfather had placed it there to scare the birds away. Crying wasn't allowed and so I cuddled my teddy bear and kept him hidden for fear he would face the same fate!

It is amazing how memories can flood back when we paint quietly. I still adore sweet peas and as I love my own garden so much now, I have forgiven my Grandfather. Come to think of it I have never had a doll since, maybe they bring back that bodyless image!

I hope you like my sweet pea painting, their perfume is filling my studio and tomorrow I will be completing my collection of watercolours of them


Wednesday 12 June 2013

Veronica : Inspired by Nature

"Angelic Morning"
Inspired by Veronica Flowers

I really have had to sit and study Veronica flowers as they are new to me. I love how their tiny spikes stand amongst the perrenial plants in my garden and move in the breeze. Tiny cup shapes of  almost white flowers stand proudly along the slim stems, which are headed by a thin cluster of buds. I have loved how they seem to "float" rather than be attached to the main stem. so I have aimed  at creating that feeling in this piece. It is a favourite of mine from todays' painting session because I had one of those gorgeous "Light Bulb" moments that artists get from time to time and I am dying to share my discovery in my new book which I am working on at the moment.

I am calling this "Angelic Morning" because it was so peaceful to work on and when I look at it I feel peaceful, full of a quiet calm that could be sensed as if in a church.

Sometimes we need to spend more  time looking at our subjects than painting them if we wish to improve our art. And whilst my ankle has been broken I have had plenty of time to do just that. Sit and look!


Tuesday 11 June 2013

Foxgloves 2013

First Stage
Foxglove in watercolour 

I sat in my garden and painted several studies of foxgloves over the weekend while the sun shone. Today its a real treat to enjoy the same paintings in various stages of development. In the collection I have many differing views of each flower. The painting above is, so far, one of my favourites. This lovely foxglove has managed to seed itself near an old, garden shed and is bursting into the light from shadows cast by the building.

I will be working on a series of these flowers this week and enjoying them while they are at their best in my garden.

Painting from life is always far more interesting than working from photographs which I avoid as much as possible. I often wander around exhibitions and its' quite often very easy to  see which artists work from real life or not. Please paint what you see from life as often as you can as it  definitely improves your  ability to not only paint, but see great colour combinations and light effects. 


Saturday 8 June 2013

Foxgloves 2013

 Foxglove washes on my easel from an hour painting in the garden this afternoon.

It is a glorious Summer day and as I am under orders to rest my foot I have sat quietly painting the first foxgloves that are coming into flower in my garden. The sun has shone on my shoulders and I have enjoyed looking at the tall foxglove plants in various stages of flowering. Some foxgloves are still in tight bud whilst others are already giving a fantastic display.

I did say while I was demonstrating at Patchings yesterday that I had a fantastically vibrant new colour that I have fallen  in love with. It is in all of these paintings and I am hooked! But its' far too nice outside to be sat inside typing on my blog so I am going back out to enjoy painting in sunlight!

Have a fantastic day and I hope you too find new colours that you can't live without!

Early stages of a foxglove painting in watercolour

Patchings 2013 Special Guest Artist

  Before the Crowds arrive
Patchings Art Festival 2013
Special Guest Artist Marquee.

 Yesterday I was a special guest artist for Patchings Art Festival. Earlier this year I was thrilled to recieve an invitation to be a  selected special guest artist and have my own marquee. So arrived very early to set up yesterday morning. My fantastic husband did most of the work at this stage because I am still hobbling around with my broken ankle.  I was delighted to see my publisher who came to check I was alright before the day started. Everyone was  very impressed with my outift, chosen to disguise the fact I was wearling a huge black protective boot  for my broken ankle. I can hobble around without crutches quite well on flat surfaces but the grounds at Patchings set me a new challenge!

In the morning I sat at my table easel to paint as I still can't stand for long periods. I was amazed to turn around and find my marquee already filled with fantastic art lovers. All enthusiastic about working in watercolour. I honestly feel its a privilege to be able to share a passion with like minded people and Patchings is a centre for just that. Swapping ideas and demonstrating how you work which I did with gusto. I loved the laughter, smiles and great questions throughout the day.

  Demonstrating at Patchings Art Festival 2013

 Demonstrating my techniques.

 My followers will be sure to notice the Scmincke Transparent Orange in my demonstrations, the shade that I love so much but I wonder how many visitors yesterday will know what my new favourite Daniel Smith shades are?

 Surrounded during a demonstration, a fantastic day and great feeling to be in a marquee full of watercolour lovers.

 The big black boot protecting my broken ankle.

 I will confess, my smile lasted all day and I loved demonstrating and meeting watercolour lovers at Patchings yesterday. But my broken ankle is  resting today as it probably was a bit ambitious on my part for my stage of recovery. Even so I wouldn't have missed it for the world!

To everyone who came thank you so much for saying hello and to everyon who has asked about workshops please mail me on !


Thursday 6 June 2013

Rosemary Brushes at Patchings: New Big Brush Launch

New Big Wash Brush
Available from
Rosemary& Co
Patchings Art Festival

I am thrilled to share the news that my new big wash brush will be available for sale at Patchings. You can find it on the Rosemary&Co stand at the launch price of £60.  Interest in my new brush has been fantastic!

Following Patchings it will be availble from my web site.

I will be at Patchings tomorrow, Friday 7th June and will have my brushes for sale with me then.

You can also  purchase my finest Kolinsky Sable watercolour brush sets from the Rosemary &Co stand too.

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Rose and Bee in Watercolour

Sweet Scent
 Rose and Bee in Watercolour

I have spent the most amazing day again painting in my garden. I started this morning with an appointment at the hospital to see the physiotherapist and they are really impressed with my progress. I see the specialist on Thursday and I am hoping he will be telling me good news on when I can walk unaided and minus the huge hospital boot I wear to protect my broken ankle.  I followed my appointment by delivering paintings to The Frame Gallery in Hampshire currently hosting  my latest solo exhibition. Within an hour of delivery I heard one of the new paintings I  had taken in had sold, a favourite of mine. As it was a floral piece I was thrilled to hear the news and delighted to be working on new flower paintings for a series.

I seem to be addicted to painting bees at the moment. They are in every single painting I create. This afternoon they settled on a very early rose in my garden. My mind was distracted  from the rose painting I was working on and I soon gave most of my focus to the small bees instead. So much so a piece of paper by my side soon became covered in bee studies.


 It truly is amazing what captures an artists eye and becomes a fixation for painting as a subject. I imagine I may be painting spiders next! Whatever you are doing, enjoy it. Life is far too short to be miserable, worried or serious all the time. Try not to be too bee-sy!


I am thrilled my "How to Paint Roses in a Loose Style" step by step is still being enjoyed on my blog. Summer is approaching so its a great time to get busy painting them again.

Happy Painting!

The Frame Gallery, Odiham, Hampshire Solo Exhibition

"Good Day Sunshine"

Solo Exhibition
Jean Haines Watercolour Collection


I have just delivered new work to The Frame Gallery in Odiham, Hampshire where my solo exhibition "Essence " is currently  running. The exhibition was due to close this Friday but as it has been so popular with many visitors, the gallery has invited me to extend the show which I am happy to do.

I was delighted to visit today and see my work hung differently due to the missing sales pieces The collection looks very vibrant, full of energetic colour and vibrancy.

So if you have missed the show you still have time to visit! 
It is a very varied collection.

Please ring the gallery for full deatils

Bumble Bee and Lupin

 Lupin Flower with Bumble Bee

Yesterday was such a fantastic day in my garden. I enjoyed painting so many flowers during the day. Sadly both time and sunshine ran out before I managed to paint the pink lupins that are towering over the other plants in one perrenial border. Today as soon as I could I headed towards the pink columns of flowers and settled to work. I calmly listened to sweet birdsong and the humming of many working bees, several of which had decided they liked the pink flowers I was painting as much as I did.

It soon became clear to me that painting the flower and the bee would be far more interesting as a composition. So in this piece, above, you can just see the hint of the little buzzy bee hovering above the flower. Nature  had attracted the bee by the vibrant colour of the flower. My watercolour attracted several bees too which is why I stopped at this stage. Maybe the biggest compliment on any floral art is when you fool an insect into believing they have landed on a real plant when in fact it is just a painting.

I hope to paint more gorgeous flowers in my garden this afternoon to make the most of this stunning English Summer weather.

Artist Tip of the Day : Allow nature to guide your  compositions. Learn from life as much as possible and save working from photography for days when its  raining or too cold to go outside.

Lupins and Bee on my easel, almost complete.

Monday 3 June 2013

Here Comes Summer

Studio collection developing on my easel after painting in the garden

I adore days like this. I have been sitting in sunshine and painting the flowers in my garden. I am still fascinated by the Veronica plants. The Hydrangea in the patio pot is beautiful too but now the Iris have come out near my pond. As fast as I paint one thing another catches my eye.  I have bright red peony, pink and purple rhodedendron and vibrant allium. I want to paint them allor at least capture them in quick experimental washes.  I wonder how many I can paint before the sun goes in!

It is a floral day. 
It is a fabulous summers day. 
And my happy mood is reflected in my brushstrokes.

Whatever the weather,enjoy your day and sieze that moment to paint!


Patchings 2013 ;Update Friday 7th June


Patchings 2013
NOW :  Friday 7th June All Day 

Originally I had been invited to demonstrate at Patchings  on every single day this year with two demonstrations on the Saturday, one on  Thursday and one on Sunday. Unfortunately life threw a hiccup my way by my accident and sadly, I will now only be able to be there on Friday 7th June. I will be there all day in my own marquee as a special guest artist invited by Patchings.

I will be there from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. and  I am looking forward to meeting everyone who visits on that day.

I have had so many emails from artists who had booked tickets to see me demonstrating with my publisher on the Thursday and I really am  sorry and hugely disappointed not to be able to make it. There are several problems that are preventing me coming. Firstly I cannot stand for very long due  to my broken ankle. This means I can't demonstrate to a large crowd as happened last year when I was there. Both demonstrations were sold out and there was standing room only.  I know that if I sat down people at the back of the tent wouldn't see a thing! Secondly I have my next appointment with my specialist on Thursday which is important for my moving forward with physiotherapy and being able to walk again. Having said that my husband has kindly agreed to drive me to Patchings immediately after my hospital appointment so that I will be there  on Thursday night, ready for the Friday. And that is sdaly all I am allowed to do at the moment.

I do hope to meet all the artists who said they wished to see me there on another occasion.

For anyone who had booked a ticket for a day I am now not there I really am so very sorry to miss you.

To those who are coming on Friday, I can't wait to meet you.


Gorgeous Hydrangea in Watercolour

Hydrangea in Watercolour

When the sun shines how can anyone not race outside to paint? The light is different in Summer. The colours are glowing, fresh and vibrant and an energy abounds that makes you feel so good!

I've been held back so much over the last few weeks as my broken ankle isn't allowing me to move around or as independantly as I would like. Painting in the garden means asking for help to carry my art materails to where I want to sit. But the problem is once I have painted one subject and the light has moved I want to sit somewhere else and paint something new!

Today the weather is glorious and I am making the most of the suns rays. I am allowing them to fall across my paper to bring each new subject to life. I am listening to birds singing and  adoring the warmth on my shoulders as I work. So shades of yellow , no matter how subtle, will be in every painting today!

I love hydrangea and they are my new favourite subject.


I have several floral paintings currently on show at The Frame Gallery in Odiham,  Hampshire and the Wey Gallery in Godalming, Surrey. Please see my web site for details.

Artists Tip of the Day ? :  Enjoy Seasons and paint everything as and when it turns you on. Tomorrow you'll feel like painting something else and you could miss or lose  your enthusiasm of today!

Learning To Walk

Beautiful Veronica Flowers in a soft watercolour

Ever since I broke  my ankle I have had to learn new things every day. At first I had to learn to overcome the pain and discomfort.  I also had to learn to let go of my independance as I have needed help doing even the smallest of  daily tasks.  For example I can make myself a cup of tea but I can't carry it anywhere while balancing on crutches! It will also be some time before I am allowed to drive. But each day small steps in the right healing direction have boosted my soul and confidence so much.

My accident and what it has taught me really has been such a positive outcome for my life as it is  today. For a start I realise what a fabulous husband I have as nothing has been too much trouble for him and not once has he complained about his new role of carer.

But I also have stopped and looked at a white piece of paper each day and imagined what painting is like for the beginner or the artist who is frustrated at things not going how they want them to. Everything we do in life builds from the earliest, small baby steps, every new skill you try and sometimes even gaining back lost skills, lost for whatever reason. I am going to have to learn to walk again. Something I took completely for granted. Of course I know how to walk but putting my foot down in exactly the right way isn't quite as simple as I thought it would be. It isn't co-operating without a lot of encouragement from me!

Isn't that like starting out in watercolour. We know what we want to achieve but things don't always go as we planned at the outset. The main secret to any skill we learn really is not to give up when the going gets tough and to practise as much as possible. I have loved painting the Veronica flowers so much and each time I start a fresh painting it is better than the last. I am learning all about my subjects' colour, form and even "feel" because it is so delicate and that is what I am trying to portray in my results.

Learning to stand on my own, and walk again will take time, patience and determination. But I know this.  I know that if you want something in life badly enough you will get it. So if you are on the point of giving up or feeling disheartened with anything in life , take  baby steps to achieving your goal and guess what. You will get there. Like me. 

But maybe we should put off running until we are absolutely ready!!

Artist Tip of the Day : Never Give up and don't run before you can walk!

Sunday 2 June 2013

Inspired by Nature

Experimental Wash for Veronica Plants.
Vibrant Wash

I have always believed that nature is the very best inspirational teacher for my art.  I see so much daily that tempts my brushes and as I admired my garden this morning the tall stems of the Veronica plant dancing above its foliage really caught my eye. The darker background from dense planting seems to set off the gorgeous pale blue hues of the petals.

 Veronica Plant
Soft Wash

Veronica Flowers

I have several washes on the go. One is  where I have deliberately worked a negtaive edge around the tiny flower shapes. See the image below.  Another is a beautiful delicate wash, above, where I have immediately  worked around the soft flowers, in places. Sitting in sunshine and just enjoying colour and form is so relaxing and a great way to spend a few hours on a peaceful Sunday

Flowers worked by leaving white paper and using hard edges of a negative shape to create them.
This is a whisper of a first wash


When you look at flowers it is so easy to choose one to paint that is familiar to you. Maybe one that you have painted many times before and know that you will get a reasonable result. But the most magical of adventures in art is painting something new to you.Something you think you cannot paint because then you often find your observation skills are at their highest and you focus.

Artists Tip for the Day? Try something new, be bold and enjoy studying a fabulous new subjects which in turn will encourage you to try even more new subjects in future!