Tuesday 27 August 2013

Bristish Badgers,The Badger Cull and the Artist

  I love badgers. 
Please forgive my post moving away from my art , just for this once.
I usually share paintings and my inspiration for them on my blog. Unfortunately I have been working on a painting that simply isn't turning out. Each time I pick up my brush my heart sinks and I must admit, tears fall. You may think I am being overly emotive but I have been  desperately searching for facts that can put my mind at rest over the badger cull that has started to take place in UK supposedly to help reduce Bovine TB. I can't find any. Instead I keep coming up with statement after statement explaining why a cull could possibly make matters worse. So these beautiful creatures will suffer for no reason.
 For my blog readers who don't live in UK or who are unaware of what is happening here, the UK government has approved a cull which is going against all scientific findings and public outrage. Experts say this "cull" is wrong and yet the slaughter is going ahead in what has to be the most unbelievable manner. Not all animals slaughtered will be tested to see if they even carry the disease. Another frightening point is that as there are no accurate wildlife numbers in each cull  zone, the stated 70% of all badgers being slaughtered could lead to a complete  wipe out of a once well loved and adored animal from  our English countryside. 
I am an animal lover. I owe so much to the wildlife that has been a subject for my watercolours for so long. I find it hard to sit back and watch as thousands of innocent creatures are being destroyed when an alternative solution could have been found.  I have been horrified for years by the poaching in Africa, and the terrible Tiger situation. These atrocities gained worldwide attention deservedly so. But I naively believed we were a nation of animal  lovers in England. I also believed, as a country, we would be against killing any animal unecessarily or inhumanely.
There is so much to read online about this issue and I have shared a few comments below. But if like me you are horrifed as to what is happening please sign the petition against the badger culls via this link.
If you don't live in UK you can read more about this and sign an international petition via this link
  Please don't let them make the badger extinct. These animals need your help.
You can read the following statements which say far more  eloquently than I why the cull is so wrong on so many levels.
 Extracts from the Houses Of Parliament Debate June 2013
 Kerry McCarthy 
5 Jun 2013 : Column 1539
."The difficulty of knowing how many badgers there are in an area has been raised many times, including by Lord Krebs and others. Last year, the Government delayed plans to cull badgers as they could not work out how many badgers there were in the cull areas. I understand that according to the Government’s own figures, farmers in Gloucestershire must kill between 2,856 and 2,932 badgers, but according to Professor Rosie Woodroffe at the Zoological Society of London, the estimate of the population ranges much more widely, from 2,657 to 4,079, and there is a 40% chance that the figure for the real population lies outside that range. Professor Woodroffe has concluded that if the real population is below the minimum cull target of 2,856, farmers could kill every badger in the area, breaking the strict condition of the licence that forbids local extinctions while simultaneously failing to kill enough badgers to satisfy the terms of the same licence. The situation is similar in Somerset".
 "My hon. Friend the Member for Wakefield (Mary Creagh) mentioned the humaneness of the killing. The Humane Society International UK recently obtained from a freedom of information request the heavily redacted document that will be used to monitor the humaneness of the badger cull. I would like to take up the concerns voiced by the society. Will the Minister make public how wounded animals that retreat underground will be included in the humaneness assessment? That is not mentioned in the document. The document admits that no shooter will have prior experience of shooting badgers. My office spoke to Pauline Kidner from the Secret World wildlife rescue, which is based in Somerset and has worked with badgers for many years. She said that badgers are not an easy animal to shoot, and when injured will always go back to their sett. So free shooting is likely to result in a slower death as a result of secondary infections and starvation from reduced mobility, and that will prolong the pain and distress suffered by badgers."

“Vaccinating badgers could play a much larger role in controlling bovine TB while a cattle vaccine is developed and licensed.”
Nia Griffith (Llanelli) (Lab): I rise to speak about a serious problem that I know causes great consternation in the farming community. We know how serious it is to be faced with having to slaughter cattle, so Labour Members are determined to continue to make progress toward eradicating bovine TB. We commissioned the randomised badger culling trial, the largest scientific project on the effects of culling, which reported in 2007. That trial, which provided the most extensive scientific evidence on the impacts of culling badgers and which lasted 10 years and cost £50 million, examined the effects of culling at 10 high-risk sites across England. The report of the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB stated:

“After careful consideration of all the RBCT and other data presented in this report, including an economic assessment, we conclude that badger culling cannot meaningfully contribute to the future control of cattle TB in Britain.”
Lord Krebs, the foremost expert on bovine TB in badgers has called for a twin-track approach of developing an effective vaccine in the long term and improving biosecurity and cattle management to prevent herds from coming into contact with badgers and passing on the disease. He was one of 30 scientists who stated in a letter to the press:

“As scientists with expertise in managing wildlife and wildlife diseases, we believe the complexities of TB transmission mean that licensed culling risks increasing cattle TB rather than reducing it.”


Chris Williamson:.  The Government are taking the wrong course of action. It is not just me saying that as a trustee of the League Against Cruel Sports; this is the scientific evidence. Let me quote some of the scientific evidence for the record.
5 Jun 2013 : Column 1555
Lord Krebs, who chaired a review team that originated the idea of the RBCT, said on 12 October 2012 on the “Today” programme:

“The scientific case is as clear as it can be: this cull is not the answer to TB in cattle. I have not found any scientists who are experts in population biology or the distribution of infectious disease in wildlife who think that culling is a good idea."

"The recently retired Government chief scientist, Professor Sir John Beddington, has also refused to back the cull.
A letter published in The Observer on 14 October 2012 and signed by more than 30 scientists, including Professor John Bourne, former chairman of the ISG, Professor Sir Patrick Bateson, president of the Zoological Society of London, Professor Sir John Lawton, former chief executive of the Natural Environment Research Council, Dr Chris Cheeseman, formerly of the Food and Environment Research Agency, Professor Denis Mollison, former independent scientific auditor to the RBCT, and Professor Richard Kock of the Royal Veterinary College, states:

“the complexities of TB transmission mean that licensed culling risks increasing cattle TB rather than reducing it”.



Friday 23 August 2013

Glorious Summer

Butterfly Inspiration

I am making the most of glorious summer sunshine by taking many photographs that I can work from when the sun  has disappeared. My garden is  full of stunning flowers planted as subjects to not only paint, but also to attract a variety of wildlife. Watching huge bumble bees has become an obsession of mine, as has taking photographs of butterflies.  I am a keen photographer and the above shot appeals to me because of the colour harmony between the insect, the flower it is sat upon and background. This gives me a zillion ideas for future paintings and yet again I am learning from nature. By the way, isn't the blurred background  divine and perfectly suitable for a gorgeous watercolour composition?


I have had another busy week and the  information for my 2014 UK workshops has been finalised with some exciting new sessions. Everyone on my email workshop contact list will be recieving the information before it  is advertised on my web site so please ensure you have sent me an email on jeanhaines@hotmail.com to be notified as soon as the dates are released. 
N.B. If you have never attended my workshops before there are some wonderful sessions especially for you to ensure  new artists as well as returning artists  are able to get places.

Sunday 18 August 2013

Painting Roses in a Loose Style : Foliage

 Painting Roses in a Loose Style
Adding Foliage

 One of my most popular posts on my blog is "How to Paint Roses in a Loose Style" and I love that it is still viewed so often. But I have been asked to add another post on how to paint the rose foliage. So I am keeping a promise and here it is!

Once you have painted the simple first stages of the first washes with the roses in place and simple background colour it is time to strengthen the foliage building up the painting towards a full composition.  Here is  "How to Paint Roses Foliage"  in three simple steps. 

It really is as easy as 1-2-3 !

Stage 1.

Start by adding stronger green as an outline to only a quarter of your rose. NOT all the away around it! ( See image 1. )Notice how this green addition makes the main and lower rose stand out from the background.

 Image 1. Just a touch of dark green on two sides of the main rose to give hints of the outline

Stage 2. 

While these new green lines around the rose are still damp, bleed them away with a clean damp brush to make lovely leaf shapes. At this stage, drop in colour of the flower to the still wet leaf shape.  I have dropped in small amounts of Alizarin Crimson to my new,wet leaves. By picking pigment up from my palette with my sable rigger brush. This  addition of rose colour forms a subtle harmony between the rose and the foliage.

Image 2. Forming the first leaves and adding the rose colour pigment to them

Step 3. 

Now add some violet leaves in the distance,under the lower leaves. Next drag your rigger brush through the still wet leaves to give an illusion of branches.  Simple isn't it?

Image 3 Adding distant leaves and branches

If you study roses as they grow, painting them really does become easier. Observe leaf shapes, branches and how each flower connects with others. Have fun painting as many roses as you can and enjoy them.

There is a lovely saying "Take time to smell the roses". How often do we all take that time? And another saying is " There is no better time than the present"! Which is a suitable one as this demonstration is a gift to my blog followers who want to learn how to paint roses as I do.

My "How to Paint Roses in a Loose Style" demonstrations are given freely on my blog in the hope that readers will fall in love with painting them in a loose style and enjoy working in watercolour as much as I do. But if my blog posts do help you at all and you feel you would like to say thank you, a small donation to a Cancer Charity of your choice would mean the world to me.

Happy painting!


Watercolour Workshops 2014

Memories of France
When I lived in France I always loved the many gerinium I saw there in flower. 
Vibrant colour always is a treat to work with.

Watercolour Workshops 2014

I am receiving many emails  and requests for information regarding my 2014 watercolour workshop programme. There are no details posted on my web site and my 2013 courses are all fully booked in UK and USA.

So that everyone has an opportunity to book places here is an update on my workshop plans next year.

UK  2014 Workshops.  
My 2014  watercolour workshop programme of events in UK will be  sent by email to everyone on my contact list, by Christine who handles my bookings. This information will not be sent out until late September 2013.  The dates will be released later on my web site so, please, if you haven't already sent an email to be added to my workshop list  do so now as places go almost immediately.

Italy , April 2014
I will be taking a weeks watercolour course in Italy in April 2014 with Arte Umbria. This course is  already fully booked as places were taken immediately, as soon as the course was advertised.

Australia, November 2014
I will be returning to Australia and giving a free workshop to the artists who missed my last course due to my accident.  I will also be taking an extra  watercolour workshop for artists who are not attending this course. Only fifteen artists will be on this second course and full details will be shared at a later date.


For my USA friends, I have some very exciting news but will be sharing  this in another blog post especially for you!

Thursday 15 August 2013

Florals in Watercolour : Hollyhocks

Hollyhocks coming to life on my easel
using my  favourite "crinkle effect" technique with cling wrap.

Outside my studio there is a stunning hollyhock just coming into flower. This one towers over all the other flowers and is really tempting my brushes. I walked into my studio this morning determined to paint a hare for a gallery but couldn't resist painting these incredible flowers instead. The hare is still waiting! I have pink ,white, yellow and burgundy hollyhocks in bloom. The pink one is almost identical to my Daniel Smith Opera Pink shade so that was the one that really caught my eye first.

Readers of my latest book "Atmospheric Watercolours" will be able to find a demonstration for this subject on page 118 in the "Fabulous Effects" chapter.  Owners of my latest DVD "Watercolour Passion" can see how I apply the cling wrap to form the petals of each flower in my  carnation demonstration.

There are so many ways to apply cling wrap. Clever application makes painting complicated patterns very simple. You can see, in the close up below, how gorgeous the petals underneath the cling wrap look already. As an artist I will have very little to do to complete this fabulous painting.

 Close up of the hollyhock watercolour showing how cling wrap has created beautiful petal effects.

I do literally make the most of summer and my garden. I paint what I can when each flower blooms as I know their time to shine is very short.  In many ways I learn so much from nature. I remember my Stepmother, when I was a child ,often saying " Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today".  In the world of floral art that saying rings so true. Because if you wait too long the flowering is over and you have missed a great opportunity to paint something from life whilst it is at its best.

Hollyhock, opposite my studio door in my cottage garden

From my latest book  " Atmospheric Watercolours "

Page 118  Hollyhocks Exercise

"Simply Stunning Hollyhocks

When I look at any new subject the first thought that always comes to my mind is how I can bring it to life in watercolour. I consider the best techniques to capture the essence of what I see. The “Crinkle Technique” as I  call working with  cling film can be used to create stunning backgrounds or exciting foregrounds. However with well planned placement, this technique can be used to create complex petal formations for many floral subjects that could initially appear far too difficult to achieve."


My books are available from Amazon.com and my DVDs' are available from my web site online shop

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Birth Of a New Book. 1. The Journey Begins

Paintings from meetings with my publisher for my previous books

The Journey Begins.

I am not sure how I am able to type this morning. I have the inner excitement of a child on Christmas Eve combined with the nerves of a student taking their final exams, giving me a really incredible feeling. I hardly slept last night as ideas whirred through my mind while the thought of waking this morning seem so far away. I finally rose to walk my dog with my head completely in the clouds. Now I have raced to my studio to grab all my papers and paintings for what could be one of the most important meetings of my life.

My next book is about to be conceived. I use the word "conceived" because it won't be born until 2015 when I will be celebrating its launch with very special workshops. You may wonder why this new book will take so long to  publish. The answer lies in the content. This is not a book hurriedly thrown together. Nor is it a casual catalogue of demonstrations. It has a specific goal and its readers, I hope, will adore every single page and not be able to put it down. 

Here, I need to look back at how I came to this point in my own career as an author. I had been writing for an art magazine and was contacted by my publisher with an offer for my first book. "How to Paint Colour and Light in Watercolour" was a commission by W&N and because it was part of a series the lay out was almost pre determined. 

 How to Paint Colour  and Light in Watercolour
by Jean Haines

 But my writing and style led to my next book "Atmospheric Watercolours" which saw my dream of becoming an author of a hard back book come true. I wanted to share and give away all the tips that had been given to me over the years by artists from all over the world. It was important for me to put as much into  every chapter as I could and I loved writing it.  What I didn't foresee was its success coming. Or its international popularity.

Atmospheric Watercolours
by Jean Haines

"Atmospheric Watercolours" has had to continually go  for reprinting and in its first year alone sold over 10,000 copies worldwide. Which according to my publishers has beaten all their previous sales records for a hard back book. This is where you may be expecting me to say how thrilled I was when I heard the news. But I wasn't.  I was stunned. At the end of the day I am just someone who loves working in watercolour. .

But something has happened since writing my last book. By examining how I work, from this last book, my own art has grown and my techniques have changed. I now see so many ways to simplify that I missed before and I also see a whole new range of possibilities for making creating, in this medium, far more exciting. I have also eagerly listened to feedback on what has been enjoyed most about "Atmospheric Watercolours" and for everyone who has been kind enough to buy a copy and tell me what they love most, I want to give more.

Initially I took a break from writing and  gave my focus to my gallery exhibitions and my own workshops but the seed of an idea was already playing on my mind. A while ago I had a lovely message asking me if I would like to work on a third book and of course, my answer was already known. A resounding YES! But this is when things started getting even more exciting as the title was born before the book itself and it is perfect.

So why couldn't I sleep last night and why  am I finding it hard to type this morning? Because today is the very first meeting with my publisher where my new book becomes reality and more than simply the seed of an idea. Its' outline will confirmed in black and white and the planning for  filming of demonstrations in the year head will take place. I have a very fascinating foreseeable future where I will become engrossed in my world as an author. I will definitely have more sleepless nights where the excitement of a new chapter will completely take over my mind. I will certainly suffer the frustration of not being able to share what I am working on or painting with you , as I will be keeping many new subjects  secretly hugged closed to my heart, until my new book is published. There is so much already definitely going in it, plus I love the step by steps so much that I cannot wait to paint them myself, over and over again! 

It know it will be a long wait for this book but it is going to be so worth it. I'm going to give a little tip to anyone who is looking forward to buying a copy too.  Please "Pre -order" as the first prints will sell out quickly. I will share details when this is possible and it won't be for some time.

For now though I need to gather my paintings and  arrange them for my meeting. I am so excited and also very grateful I can share this moment with my blog readers. I feel you are all close friends holding my hand through this very exciting adventure. One which I intend to share all the ups and downs  of so that my journey will give a clear insight into how a book is formed from start to finish.

Wish me luck, its going to be a memorable day!


Sunday 11 August 2013

Hazel Nut in Watercolour 2013

Hazel Nut on Branch
Early Autumnal Study

At the close of my studio session I always pick up half finsihed paintings or studies and work a little further on them. My goal is to go as far as I can  by experimenting  to then throw the small pieces in the bin. I am relaxed,light hearted and having fun with colour at this point knowing I will be putting my brushes down, until the next day, shortly. This piece will not be going in the bin!

My blog redaers may know I started painting hazel nuts recently, as the hedgerows near my cottage are laden with the autumnal fruits already. One watercolour study in particular is my favourite. Today I gently added more background, to make the nut appear more obvious from the first wash. I have also added warm tones on the lower half of the paper to suggest that autumn may be on the way. This is a "mixed" seasonal painting as it is definitely still summer here with vibrant sunshine but these nuts are a clear sign of the season ahead. I am allowing colour to tell this story for me with light, bright colour at the top of the page  flowing into gold and purple further down.

"Nut" close up formed by a negative edge technique

I am really loving these early autumnal paintings which are a great break from my more serious compositions for a show later this year. 

Artists Tip: Make the most of nature and continually search for new subjects which can become your own new favourites too.

Scented Collection : Sweet Pea Florals 2013

" Pink Perfume"
Sweet Pea in Watercolour
Daniel Smith Watercolour "Opera Pink "

I love Summer! Who doesn't when there is so much that is fantastic to paint at this time of year. I am  also in love with the sweet pea flowers blossoming in my garden. Each day I pick a new posy for our cottage. I am quickly becoming addicted to painting them daily too. I am working with Daniel Smith Opera Pink at the moment which is a fabulous shade for creating roses and these delicate flowers.I first came across this shade when I was demonstrating at Patchings earlier this year. I was given a tube to try and fell instantly in love with it so it belongs on my list of "must have" watercolour products!

If you peered into my studio right now  you would see two smaller studies of sweet pea which look delightfully delicate, alongside a larger painting of them which was started working with giant sized free brush strokes. I am  having so much fun using my new personlised large wash brush as the tip makes beautiful patterns. Many perfect for specific subjects with little effort on my part as the creating artist.

 Scented Collection on my easel.
 The smaller flowers are created using my personalized size 10 Kolinsky Sable Brush for the sweet pea petals. I have used my  personalized Kolinsky Sable rigger for the tiny details at the edge  or centre of each flower.  The bigger  painting has been built up of brush marks by my new wash brush. All my brushes can be found on my web site online shop.

In my cottage garden I often sit admiring the sweet pea flowers  as they reach up towards the sky, with their fragrance filling the air.  They do bring back many memories of my childhood and Grandparents as they seem to be such an old fashioned flower. Maybe I need to find a company who manufactures perfume that is similar, as I really do love it so much. For now I am hooked on simply painting them over and over again.

Sweet Pea Blossoms formed in a small watercolour study

There is no better time to paint than when the sun is shining and the flowers are blooming.  It is relaxing and rewarding.  For now, I have to go outside and enjoy painting because it is far too nice to be on a computer!

Have a great day and happy painting.


I read a wonderful email this week from a reader in USA letting me know how much my blog means to them. What a fantastic message to read and if the sender is reading this post, a huge thank you to you for making my day!

Saturday 10 August 2013

Sharing An Interview

Watercolour minus a preliminary sketch.

I am often asked if I will give interviews and when time allows I am fascinated by the questions raised from the interviewer. Many this year , as well as those from magazines, have come from art students for their courses. I must confess I often sit back and think before I give my replies because  certain questions lead you down roads you may not have thought about for a very long time in your personal art journey.

I am sharing this interview and  hope you like it.


Creating Magical Effects - Jean Haines

I rarely paint grey or dull colours as they don’t appeal to my nature which is cheerful and bright. So my personality flows into my work.
— Jean Haines

You can read the fullinterview via this link.

Here are two of the questions and my answers

Question :Describe your feelings when you are completely one with your work, your artistic creation.
"When I paint there will come a time in any given composition when the whole world disappears. At that moment it is just me and my paper with colour flowing freely across it. Sometimes in my creations subjects will appear as if by magic and I find myself mesmerised as to what will happen next. Often with watercolour there is no knowing exactly what the result will be as it will work, interact and dry leaving incredible patterns. Each one can be a huge blessing in an art piece. I am enthralled by these moments and feel very blessed to live as I do, an artist’s life."

 For the love of Amy
My God Daughter and a true blessing in life

 Question : If you are to advice young minds who are chasing their own dreams in their chosen fields what would that be?
"My advice to any young artist is always ‘Be brave enough to be yourself’. Try to share a little part of who you are in your work. If you are someone who loves bold strong colour, let that be the main part of your compositions. But if you prefer peaceful quiet let your watercolours show the viewer of your finished pieces that you do. When we paint we tell a story but with colour. Not one person could watch an event and describe it in the same way as someone else, and this difference is what makes us unique. Never try to copy or follow where someone else has already been. Have your own adventure in art, inspire and allow others to follow you instead. Be brave and unique! "



Friday 9 August 2013

It Made Me Smile!

Bailey, my Bearded Collie, at the farm yesterday
Cooling down in a duck pool.

I wasn't the only one to enjoy my visit to the farm yesterday. Bailey, my Bearded Collie, came too and thoroughly enjoyed meeting all the animals there. He had been watching geese and ducks swim in a pool that had been left out for them. When he got nearer he promptly stepped in to it . He sat down at first, then he lay down to cool off.  I am not quite sure how many people took his photograph or stopped to laugh at him but it was hilarious seeing the happy expression on his face.

This isn't a posting on painting or art, but the moment made me smile so much that I just had to share it. I don't think this will be a new subject for me to create in watercolour but each time I think about him I smile! 

I hope you do too.


I am currently planning my 2014 "Animals in Watercolour" workshops for next year and I can honestly say they are going to be memorable!

Artists Don't Own Subjects!

Gorgeous new subject from my farm visit yesterday.

Yesterday I had a great day at a nearby farm and took so many photographs of my favourite subjects for workshops and future art features. I get out as much as possible to keep my own enthusiasm and motivation extremely high for continually  moving my brushes. As the subjects I love to paint are varied I go everywhere to research ideas for compositions and paintings that appeal. There were some stunning cockerels and chickens on the farm yesterday so yes, they are pulling at my artistic side right now. I cannot wait to get started creating them in watercolour. Which brings me to the point of this post.

When I recently shared a blog post on "copying"  some wonderful questions arose that are well worth adding to the discussion.  Maybe I didn't word my post too well as I  mentioned artists ideas are sometimes "stolen", in that we often see almost identical copies of another artists work. It is the  way the subject has been painted, not just the style but the composition or colours used etc that is copied. But as artists we cannot claim to own the subject. Some time back I won an Art Critic Award for a body of work that was a collection of  cockerel paintings. Following this, for a while , every single exhibition of mine included paintings of cockerels. Even now, no matter what I paint, I am still referred to as "The Cockerel Artist"  and I am often told by galleries they are disappointed if at least one isn't in my new collections. Often I receive comments from gallery visitors who love the way I handle them, as a subject,in watercolour. But I can't claim them as my own personal subject as that idea would be ridiculous.

Let me explain further. If anyone says the word "Sunflower" I instantly think of Van Gogh and yet I know many fantastic artists who paint theses beautiful flowers too. His art just immediately  pops into my mind as I adore his work. If anyone says  "Venice" I instantly think of John Singer Sargent, whose watercolours are so inspirational. Roses in watercolour always remind me of my favourite floral artist, Madam Blanch Odin. I like to think that if any of these incredible artists were alive today they would be horrified  if they learned that they were solely responsible for the end of their well known subjects ever being painted again. Far more worthy is the thought that as an artist you had inspired others to follow in your footsteps and love painting your favourite subjects too.  So when artists, as often happens on my workshops, paint cockerels or hare I am thrilled and really happy to advise if asked.

As artists we do not own subjects nor should we ever wish to claim them as ours alone. The world is a huge place and there are many gorgeous subjects  that will appeal repeatedly over the years to established artists and those just starting out painting for the first time.

All we need to do is enjoy painting what we love. 
The line of copying is only crossed when you directly copy another artists work. 
NOT their subjects!

I do hope that clears up some confusion!


By the way, I still believe learning by copying step by steps is a fantastic way to grow as an artist and if I inspire anyone to pick up their brushes and keep painting I am honestly over the moon!

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Dreaming of Texas: Cowboy Blues

Cowboy Blues
Quick Study

I am having a wonderful August because there is so much going on. I am preparing the 2014  programme of UK workshops which have me really excited. There are so many new sessions to look forward to and of course returns of favourites. The dates and full information will be sent to my email contact list later this year.  To be on this list  please email me as soon as possible.

I have been invited to write several art features for international art magazines which are fascinating as they are all very different. And of course I am having a fantastic time writing my new book.This painting time in the creative process is so hard because I have so many gorgeous step by steps and demonstrations lying in my studio. I am absolutely dying to share them. But of course I can't because if I did there would be no surprise for readers when they turn each new page in my next book.  
I have never been very good at keeping secrets so this is a really tough time for me!

I am also preparing a material list for my USA Workshops which start in New York this October. From there I will be travelling to Texas. A trip which must be playing on my mind if the cowboy study painted today (above) is a sign! 

My next big tour in USA will be for my book launch in 2015. I am already in discussion with  art societies who wish to hold workshops at that time. It isn't too late to be included in my USA book launch tour so please contact me on jeanhaines@hotmail.com if you would like details. The 2015 workshops are going to be very exciting as a celebration of my new books launch.

For now I really must get back to painting as I am really loving  what is on my easel.


Thank you so much to everyone who has sent me lovely emails and messages regarding my blog post on copying. It is incredible how many artists have had awful experiences in this area but lets' hope by being open and understanding we can  share what is, and what isn't good ethics when it comes to this fascinating world of art.

Monday 5 August 2013

Dogs in Art Gallery, Stockbridge



 Yesterday was a fabulous day at the Dogs in Art Gallery in Stockbridge. The weather was wonderful and the High Street was full of amazing stalls for the Annual Trout and About Food Fayre. The Gallery held a special "Meet the Artist"  event and it was a really superb meeting  visitors during the event. 

Joy, if you are reading this blog post how lovely of you to travel from Northampton especially for the occasion. I enjoyed meeting you and hope to see you again next year on one of my workshops.

The well loved watercolour "Loved", above, is going to a new home and I met the incredible couple who own, not one but, four dogs. So they completely understood the expression and emotion behind this painting. I love the communication between well cared for pets and their owners. This was a time when the right painting definitely connected with the right new owners.

 I will be visiting the gallery in the next few weeks as it is such a fabulous venue.

If you have missed the show details can be found via this link


Going Nuts?

 Hazel Nuts

Working on New Subjects.

In my workshops I often explain how I walk my dog daily and always find one "treasure" to carry home to my studio to paint. It will usually be something very small that has caught my attention. I strive to make each weeks "finds" subjects that are really fascinating to me,  to push my own creative process and art journey. In the country hedgerow, tiny hazel nuts are beginning to appear. In the past I have always waited for them to ripen so that their colours are more interesting. Unfortunately by that point  the local squirrel "mafia"  have stolen them all. The ground in the lanes are then covered with cracked empty shells instead.

So this year I have started early, by carrying home a green cluster of hazel nuts daily. This morning I  quietly studied their form and colouring. I must confess  I love the above study. It is leading me into some charming unexpected ideas for future compositions.

 Hazel nuts laying on watercolour paper and the early stages of a first painting. In this study you can see how I have found the subject within a first wash by making a negative edge around the nut I am painting. Leaving the surrounding greenery with soft and hard edges,these are blending into the hard shell.

Here is the real subject against the painting as it develops. 
A sense of sunlight is playing beautifully on sections at this stage.

It is incredible how something so mall can excite an artists creative spirit and gain them a new impetus on working. A walk, finding new treasure and allowing myself time to enjoy creating just for the fun of it has led me to so many ideas for the rest of my weeks studio time. I am re-energised on so many levels!

Artist Tip for the Day: Get outside as much as possible and find something  new to paint from life that you may never have considered as a subject before. Your results may surprise you in more ways than one!


Saturday 3 August 2013

Dogs in Art Gallery Stockbridge, Hampshire Fayre 4th August


Dogs in Art Gallery
4th August
Stockbridge, Hampshire. 

Tomorrow is the "Trout and About" Fayre in Stockbridge and the High Street will be full of fantastic stalls for this now famous annual event.  The  "Dogs in Art" Gallery will be holding a reception which promsise to be a wonderful occasion.  A few free tickets are still available from the gallery.

For full details contact the  gallery directly via this link and if you attend I will see you there!

"Reception and Private View, 12 noon to 2pm on Sunday 4th August
Drinks will be served and Jean will be present to give our guests a private viewing of the exhibition.  This is a private event for ticket holders only.  Space is limited and we expect to be oversubscribed so please contact the gallery asap if you would like to secure tickets.
The 4th August  is also our annual Food and Drink Festival so you will get to see Stockbridge at its best.  The High Street will be full of stalls laden with local produce and other delights.  Parking on the High Street is suspended that day but there is free temporary parking at either end of the village."

Being Unique : That " Copying " question.

Portrait gradually coming to life on my easel. 
I will be adding the hat and facial features next.

Having taken workshops last week I found myself facing a familar question that many artists get asked from time to time. 

"How do you cope when someone copies you?"

This is a question that requires careful considertaion when offering an answer. Firstly I teach,write books and  film DVDs in order to inspire other artists. If my workshops were not successful in aiding other artists to paint in a loose style there would be no point in teaching. Neither would there be any point in writing books  or filming DVDS if I didn't want readers or viewers to follow the included step by steps, that I work so hard to make interesting and achievable. So to all the new teaching artists who have asked me this question I need to ask you to consider why you are teaching. This is a part of my art  life that I adore and I am thrilled when artists who have come to me win competitions, get into galleries for the first time or start teaching themselves. But I do aim to teach new artists to be unique from the word go.

We must remember that copying is an invaluable way of understanding technique and building confidence. Many amateurs worldwide learn by following professional artists who are further along in their own art journeys.  It is a valid point that inspiration not only comes in following an artists painting style but from their career path as well.  And we mustn't forget that it really is a huge compliment when someone loves your work so much that they wish to paint like you.

But there is a fine line between being inspired and directly copying for financial gain. Copying to learn is a simple form of studying a style and perservering until you can work alone finding your own subjects and compositions.  To anyone who is copying to learn, well done. But to those who are copying and passing off the ideas as your own please think twice. Copying an image from a book, from facebook, a blog or web site and then trying to sell it as your own is not ethical and it is breaking copyright laws. Even sharing a copy of someone elses art online and pretending it is your own work, without the aim of a sale, is wrong.

One question regarding copying posed to me this week was from an emerging artist, whose work is wonderful. They had been directly copied for the first time. I can understand their frustration. I am afraid when sharing online this is going to happen from time to time. However the internet world is a very small place. No sooner has anyone copied a painting and shared online, than it often becomes a focus of conversation that doesn't always throw the copying artist in a good light. Nor is it easily forgotten.

In my case, I have good humouredly watched an established artist copy not only my ideas at times, but they also add to their blog in line with my posts. In fact they started a blog because of this one. Part of me finds it amusing, the other part of me finds it really sad because unless they start being themselves they will always be a shadow of someone else.  More recently there was the email I received when I first started painting Kingfishers.  Another "artist" started painting Kingfishers. A background had been added to one of their paintings trying to make the composition look different to mine but it was obvious where the inspiration had come from.  It could have, of course, been a sheer coincidence but the timing and similairty made their post look questionable. Did I mind? To tell the truth I didn't. If someone is picking up their brush and painting because of me I am thrilled because that is the aim of my books and DVDs. To inspire. But I do feel sad when people cannot openly admit when they have been affected by others art. There is no shame in honesty or admiring art that you think is beautiful.

I haven't contacted either of the artists mentioned. I am so happy in my own life and art career that I don't feel the need to do so. But I do understand how frustrating it is for the new artist when this happens to them for the first time. I have been there and in all honesty I think I handled the situation years ago very badly. A " friend" had directly copied a demonstration of mine and passed it off as their own idea online, putting their painting for sale as cards on a well known site. I was genuinely hurt by their dishonesty at the time more than anything else. And I was very naive.

Maybe that is the key word. Dishonesty. For anyone to pretend they have come up with an idea for a painting then passed off someone elses' creativity as their own is in effect stealing. The real problem is that once anyone has this label  of using anothers' work it is very hard for them to shake off. Trust in a copying artists integrity is non existent.

So please, learn from other artists but don't pretend their work is your own.

And if you teach, be compassionate because not everyone who copies is aware of what they are doing. The excitement of a painting turning out for the very first time can be such a wonderful feeling. I know some very innocent amateurs who in their wildest dreams would never wish to offend anyone by enjoying their art style so much that they wanted to simply be able to achieve a good result. If you have helped, as an art mentor, someone reach their goal be happy because that is such a rewarding feeling.

Lets' all help and guide each other and if someone makes a mistake there are kind ways to help them learn from it. Unfortunately there will always be those who care little about ethics or honesty, but I like to think they are in the minority.

So the question raised deserves many answers. What would you do?

"How do you cope when someone copies you?"