Wednesday, 7 March 2018

The difference a week makes

Blue Tit
Original watercolour on paper
15cm x 15cm

This time last week we were 15cm deep in snow and just seven days later we have lovely warm spring sunshine and the snow has completely disappeared.  I wonder how these delicate birds cope with our extremes.
So this little blue tit is the latest addition to my website under the small paintings section.  The happy accident watermarks were perfect for the fluffy feathers.  The directional brush strokes reinforcing the angle of the tail hopefully catches the fleeting moment where the bird lightly lands on the feeder.
My favourite bird is the blackbird and we have them in the garden usually hopping about on the ground looking for earthworms but more recently we have had blue tits and goldfinches visiting.  I am always really excited to see them and would love to encourage more to the garden.
Leading a busy life, I don’t have much time at the moment to spend on the garden but the birds seem to appreciate this, well Mr Blackbird does anyway 🙂

Saturday, 13 January 2018


baby penguin watercolour art painting Antartica

Original Watercolour
37cm x 37cm

Personally, I have always loved penguins.  Christmas and birthdays, I used to receive an array of gifts from penguin slippers to jumpers and games, fabulous!  Their family life is fascinating – the females leave the nestlings with Dad while they go in search of food and how they manage to find their family upon return, hidden amongst the thousands of other penguins, is amazing.
Imagine my delight when a friend, who recently retuned from a trip to Antartica, presented me with a memory stick full of penguin images.  Aside from the instant oohs and aaaghs of the sweet images, I wondered if I could try and capture the images on paper in watercolour.
So here we are, my first baby penguin painting, I’m sure there will be more to come.   Often I am asked how long it takes me to produce a watercolour painting.  The most important thing is the thought process and planning behind a painting, together with understanding how to achieve a result.  These “furry” effects have been achieved by years of learning the behaviour of watercolour and painting daily.    I did do one preparatory small watercolour sketch to gather my ideas, and then I just “went for it!” 🙂

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Polar Eyes

Polar Eyes
Original Watercolour

When we are visually bombarded on social media, it's often easy to glance over posts and not really take in the detail.  However, recently I was completely stopped in my tracks with a video on Facebook of a polar bear, starving and struggling to find food where the ice had melted.  It was a stark reminder of what we are doing to our planet with global warming and how the many beautiful species are going to struggle to survive unless huge changes are made to slow down the rate of warming.

It is a good thing when these type of images go viral as it raises awareness.  My painting was a thought-provoking piece to paint.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Silent Killer

"Barn Owl in Flight"
Work in Progress
Watercolour on paper

A while ago I watched a television programme that filmed a selection of birds flying from one post to another and scientists measured the level of noise they make during flight.   At one end of the scale, the wood pigeon was quite funny with the loud flapping and energetic noisy wing movements.  On the other end of the scale was the barn owl whose noise was barely able to be registered.  The barn owl, in this instance, was referred to as the "Silent Killer".

Although this is not the nicest title, it is what I was thinking of when painting this  watercolour wash.  It is my most current piece on my easel at the moment and I have stopped to take stock - as it stands now, it is just a whisper and I like is sort of implying "quiet" and may just be the essence of the barn owl's flight.

I will be adding more detail - just not quite sure how much yet!

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017

You got yourself a convoy

partridge art watercolour painting

Partridge Stance
Watercolour on paper
Upon delivering a collection of paintings to Chargot Estate, Exmoor, last week, I was transfixed by the beautiful French partridge.  Busy little birds, they tend to stay in groups (a covey) and  as I found out they are quite tricky to photograph.
There were lots around however, whenever I tried to get a photo, they turned their back on me and walked away.  With patience and a long lens, I managed to take a few photos and I admit I am totally transfixed by their beautiful colours and markings. So here is my painting created from my images to celebrate their beauty – a study of the various stances of the partridge.
On leaving Chargot, it was a different matter!  Despite their early apparent shyness around the camera, they are more than happy to form a convoy in front of a moving car at 2mph!   Maybe escorting me off the premises….love them 🙂

Thursday, 24 August 2017

One Step Ahead

Badger Art painting watercolour

"One Step Ahead"
Watercolour on Paper
56cm x 37cm

Monday, 31 July 2017

Above the Parapet

Ostrich watercolour painting art

"Above the Parapet"
Watercolour on paper

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 :-)

Have fun with your painting