A surprise parcel arrived from a lovely friend - a "Daniel Smith" tube of watercolour paint in a beautiful subtle green.
It would be naturally tempting to paint a landscape with a green paint, but I decided to try something different and in a moment of pure joy, this ostrich appeared with a magical blending of pigments.
And that, I believe is the beauty of watercolour. It is when the painting seems to paint itself and quite often the phrase "less is more" springs to mind. This painting was created reactively. Whilst I sort of led the process, at times the paint mingled and moved on the paper in a way that I just watched it with joy - effects appearing as the washes were drying.
I love this Daniel Smith pigment painted on my favourite Saunders Waterford paper and I think my next piece using it will again "not be a landscape". More importantly though, I must thank my friend for her kindness in sending me this gift and it reminds me that constantly experimenting and trying new things is one of the most fulfilling and exciting parts of creation.
And every now and then, don't forget to put your head above the parapet :-)
I was recently asked to paint a commission for someone who had sadly recently lost her Dalmatian dog, Dizzy.
The owners of the pups from Dizzy have clearly formed a great friendship. They have all joined together to buy a portrait commission to present to their friend to try and help with the enormous sadness felt by the loss of such a special pet. When I'm painting in these circumstances, I always remember the bonds - there are none quite like the one between us and our canine companions.
So with a selection of photos to paint from, I chose the one with the most spots! The pink collar gave me the idea to bring greys and pinks into background and shadow areas. The painting has a dreamy, ethereal effect and I had to paint carefully so as not to spoil the fresh delicacy of the initial wash.
My thoughts go to Dizzy's owners and although I know the painting can't take the pain away, I hope that it brings a little comfort.
A few weeks ago, The Queens Club contacted me and asked whether I would be able to paint a very large tennis mural on the walls within the members enclosure for the Aegon Championship.
Time was an issue for me. The only time that I had available to go to London and paint on the wall was the weekend directly before the event – perhaps even too risky for me! So we agreed on an alternative that I create as many very large works on board as I could in the time within my studio and deliver them for installation.
I delivered these to Queens Club yesterday. The atmosphere there is amazing. Buzzing with activity in the build up to the start on Monday. The paintings are going to be attached to the wall fairly high up for good visibility and then framed with navy blue architrave to match the colour theme of the event. I am really excited to be returning to Queens on Thursday to see them on the wall and to watch the tennis. I will be able to post more photos then.
There are some amazing players participating in the tournament, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinkle, Marin Cilic, Milos Raonic, Gregor Dimitrov to name a few.