Thursday 27 September 2018

SWA Society of Women Artists Annual Exhibition 2018 , Mall Galleries, London

With one of my paintings from the SWA Annual Exhibition

SWA Society of Women Artists Annual Exhibition 2018
Mall Galleries

Heaven knows how time is flying. I have been so busy filming my next new book and working so hard on it that I have neglected my blog for far too long but I hope to add some lovely posts on it soon.

For now though catching up!

Yesterday I went to the Private Preview of the SWA Society of Women Artists Annual Exhibition 2018. Held at the fabulous Mall Galleries in London ,UK. I have to say it is a superb show. I have missed participating for a few years due to my constant travelling itinerary but this year I managed to submit work and deliver it to the Mall Galleries in time to take part. I am truly honoured to be a member of this prestigious society. And each time I go to one of the annual exhibitions I am literally blown away by the diverse collection of talent on display. This year was no different. The work selected that made it into the show was of a very high standard.  For me the most exciting part of going is to see new blood. New artists emerging coming into the exhibition. To see new styles, new names, new ways of working in a variety of mediums, new approaches to familiar subjects and subjects you may never have considered painting. This is eye opening.  Everything is here in this exhibition to both inspire and keep the more enthusiastic artist fully alive and motivated.

I am going to have to be honest here and ask have you ever wandered into an annual art society exhibition knowing you are going to see almost exactly the same thing as last year? I have and it is really boring! This does not happen at the SWA events. The variety of art grows from members and non members alike each year and I alway sleave feeling the urge to race to my studio and paint.

Of course there will be work in any show that you don't admire. That is natural. We don't all like the same things which is a good thing. There were possibly one or two paintings I might not have selected had I been on the SWA selection panel this year but as I mentioned to the friends I was with yesterday. Those were the very paintings that captured my attention. I studied them long and hard to see why they had been chosen. These were the extra dimension adding colour to the show.

I have to take my hat off to the whole committee who work so hard to make this event such a success. I am a past member of the SWA committee and I know what goes on behind the scenes and it is an incredible amount of hard work from a truly dedicated team who often put their own needs and careers on hold to put the society and its' members first. They deserve congratulating on this years exhibition.

I also would like to give credit to Soraya French who is the current President of the Society. I know Soraya as a dear friend. She is well loved and well respected. Not only for her wonderfully colourful art but also for her amazing personality and nature. She is warm, generous and so giving. Do look up her art and books if you haven't come ascross her name before.

As I wandered around the gallery a lady and her friend were looking at my paintings, two o fmy floral pieces which were in the main gallery. Soon a red dot appeared next to one of them and I happily had my photo taken on request from thedelightful  buyer. You know,  it isn't even the red dot or sale that is important to me. That lady fell in love with my painting and I know it will be going to a home where it is enjoyed for years to come. It was a wonderful moment at the show and added to the already fantastic day.

The SWA exhibition is an annual event and you can see submission details and information on how to become a member on their web site. So take a look. Visit the exhibition and if you think you would like to join in, consider submitting next year. Bear in mind the selection process is one you will need to go through as with any good art society but if you get in the trill and honour is worth while.

Do visit the exhibition if you are in London and say Hi to my only available rooster painting at the moment.

Happy painting and I am back on my blog!


Monday 3 September 2018

Instagram ? I am finally on it!

Blackberry  First Wash

While writing a new book I tend to lock myself away consistently but I have recently joined Instagram. When I say recently I mean this weekend! Everyone has been begging me to join for ages but my problem was thinking " Do I really need to be on one more social media site!"

Well I am there now and as I am painting prolifically I am sharing my work each day so if you would like to find me there just look for my name and  you are welcome to follow my watercolour antics! You will also see my latest work there that I haven't had time to share here. But I will still be writing on my blog because of course this is where I share my workshop news and I can write much longer posts here!

But right now I am going to paint as the sun is shining and its a beautiful day to be working in watercolour but when isn't it a beautiful day to be working in watercolour?



Be Exciting! 2018 Those Warm Up Washes.

 First Wash for Blackberry painting

I have just had the last of my UK workshops this year and last week was wonderful. I shared so many new ideas and products and each day seemed better than the last. My whole ethos about teaching is to not only inspire but to give everything I know that works away so that other artists can use my techniques too and hopefully evolve them to suit their own style. I cannot be secretive. I like to give every single piece of information away and I'm happy to say the courses were really enjoyed by wonderfully enthusiastic attendees.

My next courses are in USA and at present there are about two places left in Bonita Springs Florida if anyone would be interested in coming but be warned. These may be my best workshops yet as my passion for watercolour is at an all time high! 


I am working on a new book that cannot be "quiet"  . It builds in colour so excitingly that I am having a ball creating it. But back to this blog post.

Each day I find new inspiration as in subjects to paint and this morning I walked to the top of the hill I used to take my dog Bailey too. I find it difficult to go there without him now he is not with me anymore. But I did this morning and at the top I looked down and thought of all the happy times we walked there together. I had taken sharp secateurs with me thsi morning  to cut some bramble and hedgerow to bring back to my studio to paint in the comfort of my peaceful space.

When I returned I took a deep breath, calmed my soul and allowed colour to flow across the paper. I looked at the branches of vibrant glowing colour I had brought home and let them decide which colours I would add and where in my first washes. These colour wash flows are far more dynamic following my workshop sessions. I think I  inspired myself as much as everyone in the class and I couldn't wait to get home to paint after each session.

Two of my washes are shown below, side by side on my easel and I will finish them by adding detail next.

 Two dramatic Autumn first washes waiting to be completed!

My favourite wash so far is below. I love the flow in this piece. I won't add leaves until I know where each berry will definitely be sitting in the composition

 Favourite first wash for blackberry hedgerow painting.

I am sharing a close up below of a section of my favourite first wash, seen above If you look at the area in it  that seems to have more texture I will explain that this effect is gained by using granulation fluid. Demonstrated on my recent courses. Although I often do not use this product at all as I find my Daniel Smith colours granulate perfectly left on their own to interact. However I like doing things differently at times and this morning I "went for it" with my warm up washes using a bottle I had placed near my easel, to remind me to use it!

Close Up Section : Granulation effects achieved by using Granulation Fluid.

It is good to use different things from time to time. It pushes you to be adventurous  with your art and encourages you to search for new ways of  achieveing dynamic results in your work. At the moment  I'm listening to birds singing and now can't wait to get back to painting. I hope you are feeling inspired by nature too. I do believe going outside for a walk, taking a deep breath and absorbing the energy around you is a great start to every day.

So my artist tip for today is

" Go OUT"!

Look for treasure to paint and don't get stuck in a rut as to sitting inside non stop, as that can seriously block your artists' soul and energy.

Have a great day! And happy painting


P.S I am now sharing a lot of my work daily on Instagram so do look me up there!