Monday, 16 January 2017

There's a fox in the kitchen

So, what do you do when your husband comes in after a late evening shift at work, wakes you with a tap on the shoulder and says “don’t worry, don’t wake up, but there’s a fox in the kitchen”.
Well I would challenge anyone to go back to sleep, without going to have a peek!  And yes, there was a fox in the kitchen.
To cut a long story short, many years ago on a dark rainy night my husband had driven past the fox, noticing him sat still on the side of the road, his eyes, glowing in the light from the headlamps.  Stopping the car, and on closer inspection, he saw the fox was injured, so gently scooped him up in a blanket and brought him back to our little flat.  And, yes there he sat in our kitchen.  Bedraggled, wet, wrapped in a blanket and with some water by his side.  There was nothing more that could be done until the next day.
A completely different sight met us the following morning and I wonder whether this may be what draws me to the subject to paint.  He was now dry and his fur was a truly brilliant, fiery, fluffy red and he was wild, mad wild!  So, with a pair of elbow length strong gloves, he was carefully taken to the nearest RSPCA centre for the medical attention that he needed.  I wish I could say that there was a happy ending, but sadly his leg was broken to the extent that it was not possible to repair and the kindest thing was to put him to sleep.
I will never forget the vibrant red and wild expression of this beautiful animal and I hope my paintings do justice.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Winter Blue

Winter Blue
Watercolour on paper
37cm x 37cm

Having painted lots of commissions recently working to quite precise requirements, I decided it was time to push the boundaries and see how loose I could make a subject, yet it still be recognisable.  And with an injection of colour in the form of blue, I mixed a myriad of different colours in my palette and "went for it"!

There is no medium quite like watercolour, in my opinion, where it really does it's own thing when you let it.  I loved painting this and hope you like my little touch of Winter Blue!

Happy pansies :-)

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Painting white

I was lost in Hestercombe Gardens on a beautiful summers evening!  There was not much time to spare to find the small opening in the trees where I was to see a short drama production – I didn’t want to miss it and was striding along with purpose!
Catching a glimpse of something bright along the side of the path was enough to make me backtrack  to take a second look.  It was a single foxglove, backlit and standing tall and solitary against a dark green background.  My quick snapshot photo doesn’t really do it justice – it simply glowed.  I had to try and capture this moment on paper.  So just how would you tackle this tricky subject?  On closer inspection, there is actually very little white on the flower and the bits you can see really do accentuate the strong, low sunlight.  With watercolour, you have to be mindful of where you wish to see white.  Leaving dry paper where the white needs to be gives the brightest highlights.
The small painting is my interpretation of what I saw on that lovely evening at Hestercombe Gardens.  One day I hope to paint the whole foxglove – a custom frame would be needed as I can visualise a very tall narrow painting!
These moments are a reminder to make sure you have camera with you all the time, you never know when a glimpse of a subject will give you inspiration for a painting.
The gardens at Hestercombe House are truly beautiful.   On the evening I visited, the scent from the roses was amazing.  Well worth a visit.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Busy Bee

Honey Bee
Watercolour on Paper
72cm x 56cm

Private Commission
Image ©KayeParmenter 2016

My latest commission is five large watercolours for a luxury holiday accommodation in Somerset – one painting for each of five beautiful bedrooms.
Having visited the amazing barn conversion to discuss the paintings, we agreed that the paintings were to be big and colourful.  To my delight, one of the subjects discussed was to paint a favourite of mine…the fabulous honey bee.
This painting is indeed quite large, the frame measures nearly a metre wide and it was an absolute dream to paint.  The bee almost felt like it was coming alive under my brush and I loved the freedom of dropping  sumptuous colours onto the paper.
I am nearing completion of the commissions and I hope to share details soon of both the holiday accommodation and further images of the paintings.  I have a great, busy week planned, working to deadlines with an event approaching next weekend.  I’ll be back with more pics soon!

Friday, 13 May 2016

Friday Feeling

Watercolour on paper
37cm x 37cm
Private commission

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

A first step....

Strength, Determination, Courage, Spirit, Hope
Watercolour on paper
Various sizes

With the Invictus games underway, it seemed a great time to finalise my fundraising and make the donation payment to Combat Stress.  Thank you to everyone who purchased my snowdrop paintings, we have raised enough money to pay for a consultation with a psychiatrist - a crucial first step in coming to terms with the harrowing memories of combat.  

Monday, 9 May 2016

Not the Monday Blues

"Woodland Wonder"
Watercolour on paper

A2 Gallery Wells,
"Land, Air and Water Exhibition" 12th-29th May

Wishing everyone a happy and inspiring week!