Thursday 30 December 2010

As the new year 2011 is approaching, I have had time to reflect on my charity work in 2010.

At the start of the year, I was gathering momentum to launch a collection of paintings for a silent auction in support of Help for Heroes. An amazing few months ensued and many opportunities arose to meet some truly amazing people, all with the common aim to help in some way. It was a truly humbling experience and something that I will never forget.

There are times in your life that things are brought into perspective. During the course of my fundraising campaign for Help for Heroes there are things that I have seen and heard and all have been a very important reminder to me that I should be grateful for what I have.

2011 is beckoning me with an enticing gleam in its eye!! I have already written a book and am actively fundraising to self-publish. 100% of the royalties from sales of the book will be going to Great Ormond Street Hospital "Kiss it Better" Appeal. We haven't even welcomed in the New Year but already I have been contacted by some lovely people who bring special stories and photographs and are helping me to achieve my aim. Again I feel very grateful and am cherishing this sense of pulling together for a common aim......there's no feeling like it.
Here's to a happy, fulfilling and healthy New Year.

Saturday 27 November 2010

Starlings Roosting

At this time of year in Somerset, we see starlings flying overhead in large groups, heading towards the levels to roost. It is quite a sight, both my children comment and say, "look, there's a formation of birds!"

I am hoping that we can get closer this year and take some photos. There are some reserves close to Glastonbury with hides and river walks and if we arrive at the right time, I 'd love to see the birds swoop down to land.
At the moment I'm wondering if it's just too cold!...........

Thursday 11 November 2010

White lilies and Gypsophila
I've always been drawn to bunches of flowers with gypsophila. I loved the challenge of trying to reproduce this effect in watercolour and I've turned to salt to provide the speckles of the tiny petals. This painting was definitely one to sit and watch dry. It was possible to continue to add more intense pigment as the paint was drying and also continue to add tiny salt crystals where needed. Then sit back and watch it work its magic.
I've put the dates for my watercolour workshops on my website for 2011 and spaces are filling up fast. I'm looking forward to sharing some techniques with people who love watercolour too!

Thursday 28 October 2010

New Seasons

Thank you to everyone who is following my blog, I am always very grateful for the lovely comments.

It makes me smile when I think that the clocks are changing this weekend and many are sad that we lose our lighter evenings - artistically, winter can be a tricky time with shorter daylight hours in which to paint. But, I'm still smiling!! November brings some amazing sights by way of the the trees changing colour, amazing skies and sunsets and I have many new vibrant poppies paintings in view of Remembrance Sunday approaching.

I hope that you enjoy this time of year as much as I do!

Monday 18 October 2010

Inspired to carry on!

Two for one!

And, see, I couldn't resist developing the swan painting (first painting, monday morning!).

This is a much larger piece of work, 16" x 12", but based on the ideas from the smaller sketch from my last blog post. I managed to retain the light on the back of the swans and, by accident, the reflection under the swans began to take on a life of its own - this, I believe, has added some magic to the painting.

For now, I am satisfied with this subject and will find inspiration elsewhere for my next piece.

Friday 15 October 2010

"Being Inspired" or "Finding Inspiration?"

"Butterfly, small sketch 6in x 4in
What motivates us to paint? As a professional artist, for me is it money? I know that I wouldn't spend every available spare moment (as I do) painting, if it was purely for money. Amateur or professionial, I believe that painting passionately from the heart produces the best paintings. But in the real world, there are times when we all lose direction or inspiration.

When this happens, it can help to change this question from "What subjects do we paint?" to "What subjects don't we paint?" and then ask yourself, could I?

I'm not sure why but, for me, butterflies have never been an inspiring subject to paint, but I decided to give it a go. The result's far from perfect, but I've "found inspiration" rather than "been inspired" and I think there is a difference. I'm eager to experiment further. Try to work on small pieces of paper to take the pressure from attempting to produce a masterpiece.
Swan, small sketch 6in x 4in
Riding high from finding inspiration from the butterfly, I decided to paint a small sketch of a swan. Again this is a subject that I wouldn't normally choose to paint. As with the butterfly, I'm not sure why. I think maybe I have not been enticed by the apparent colours in the subject.

Asking myself "could I?", I decided to have a go, but this time I threw in some unsual colours to base of the swan and some salt for texture in feathers. What I saw appearing on the paper was an exiciting light on the back of the swan which, I think, is great. I have found inspiration in this subect and can't wait to develop this idea.

It will be a case of developing, experimenting and enjoying these working processes as they evolve hopefully into larger and even more exciting paintings.

Monday 11 October 2010

Too Early?

Or does the Early Bird Catch the Worm!

Sorry folks, yes I am on about Christmas. I have to prepare early for Christmas exhibitions and these wouldn't be complete for me without a "Fluffed-Up" Robin! As time goes on, I'm painting more and more on the edge....almost out of control, but not quite! This watermarks work effortlessly for fluffy feathers and with an addition of a little salt, we have great feathers!

I have taken a small piece of video of this piece being painted, and you can see this on my facebook page:!/pages/Kaye-Parmenter-Watercolours/103084793061470

Saturday 2 October 2010

Trowbridge Gallery

Here is a photo taken whilst I was hanging a display of my paintings at the Trowbridge Gallery in Castle Cary which is available to view until the end of October. This is an exciting gallery showcasing some wonderful artists and the displays change on a regular basis.

And, of course, to enhance any experience, I can thoroughly recommend the coffee shop directly opposite the Gallery, and we can also vouch for the wonderful chocolates - tasted in the course of duty!!!!

Wednesday 22 September 2010

This title has made me smile as this is how I'm feeling at the moment! With Somerset Art Weeks in full swing and preparing to appear in a Gallery new to me next week, I am painting with the same level of enthusiasm and determination as these Tour of Britain Cyclists! I've also prepared a tutorial which is available to view on my website "Painting Waves in Watercolour"
I never feel short of subjects to paint - with evenings drawing in, I can feel the gorgeous autumn colours approaching (glowing low sun catching the warm oranges and reds of falling leaves).
Tomorrow I will be painting Somerset Rhynes - both morning and evening views. We have the morning mists appearing here and some amazing sunsets - the levels are stunning!
Happy painting everyone!

Friday 10 September 2010

Summer Fun

Worms Head, Rossilli, Gower Peninsula

Having taken a break from painting to enjoy the summer holidays with the family, I have returned to my painting refreshed, inspired and eager to paint.

We have visited some amazing places, ranging from the most breath-taking beaches in the Gower Peninsula to the mountains and lakes around Ullswater in the Lake District. We have seen red squirrels, sunshine, rainbows - been fishing, on a motorboat, walking in the rain, surfing in the warm waves glinting in sunshine and sharing the breakers with Jellyfish!!! Memories.

Somerset Art Weeks are approaching rapidly and I have got so many subjects to enjoy. We live in a beautiful world!

New on Website (Review of 3 new SAA paints and "Painting Waves" Tutorial)

Monday 9 August 2010


Time to reflect!

With the summer holidays in full flow, there's no time to pick up a brush. Frustrated? Yes! But in a way, I think it's good to have a break. I'm enjoying the places we're visiting and my camera never stays at home. There have been so many inspiring views and, although no time to paint, I have time to think. Ideas for next year are forming in my mind, it's so exciting to chase your dreams.

For Somerset Arts Week in September, I'm painting at the A2 Gallery at Wells and ideas are coming to me on light, contrast and tone - but also following my recent Hare paintings, I'm thinking life, movement and energy. So many ideas!

I hope you like this photo from the Gower Peninsula.

Thursday 22 July 2010

Happy Days

With the Summer Holidays finally here, what better than to share a bit of beach play in the sunshine with this small section taken from a larger painting - I really hope that we see some good weather! I loved playing with the reflection in this subject .

This month has been busy, but wonderful. My paintings are back in East Lambrook Manor Gardens until 31st August 2010 and I am gearing up for Somerset Arts Week in September. My tuition sessions have been particularly rewarding and I've enjoyed the comments from my students, many who found the wet-in-wet style rewarding.

I wish everyone a very happy summer and, if you're going away, don't forget to take your brushes!!

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Fast Motion

Fast Motion - This is how life feels at the moment!

I recently received the wonderful news that a painting of mine had been chosen by the editor of "The Artist" magazine to appear in their August Edition (Apple Blossom). I then received a lovely email from a reader of the magazine and I have subsequently managed to arrange a workshop in Harpenden, Hertfordshire - quite a way from Somerset but my family will smile!!

I have made a few decisions regarding plans for 2011, there are so many exciting opportunites and so many avenues to explore, life definitely is moving at quite a pace!

I'm demonstrating Watercolours at Yandles, Martock on Saturday 17th May if anyone wants to come along and say hello!

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Making Friends - Original Watercolour 16" x 12"
going to Auction at an event in Suffolk

I received a telephone call last week to let me know that a painting that I had donated had been auctioned at an event in Scotland. I was thrilled to find out that the painting had reached a sizeable sum to go to a variety of charities including "Combat Stress", "Help for Heroes" and "Erskine Recovery Centres".

The event organiser explained to me that her life is not focused on raising money, but to "be there" for our soldiers and their families. As she speaks from the heart, she has the ability to reach out and touch the hearts of others which ensures success in the events she organises.

I am totally humbled when I hear of the stories of great bravery and huge loss - I wish I could do more................

Thursday 1 July 2010

Anyone for Tennis

Life is unbelievably hectic at the moment, not necessarily to do with painting, but more with all the sport that is "happening" at the moment. I couldn't resist a little bit of tennis action though! Having witnessed my son's tennis coach's serve the other day, I felt that I would like to capture the power somehow - just a sketch and an idea!

We're hopping between the tennis and football at the moment, great fun. Hope everyone else is enjoying the sporting events as much as we are!

Thursday 24 June 2010

Smile in the Sunshine

Something I hope will make you smile!

A couple of years ago, having had a wonderful carpet of new turf laid in our garden, we vowed to keep this little patch of green garden weed-free! Walking past the lawn yesterday, I had to smile as I saw the thickest patch of daisies I've ever seen - flowers two or three deep and not just one or two, but hundreds. I think it is fantastic but slightly funny! I can't wait to have a go at painting these overlapping petals - if anyone else wants to have a go and painting them too, please do!

Tuesday 15 June 2010

On Show

There are so many fantastic subjects that we can paint, inspiration comes from so many directions.

I am taking stock and really enjoying splashing out on some unusual subjects, looking for a different angle - something to create a stir, cause a reaction or to produce painting that simply states, this medium of watercolour is magical. I am so lucky to be able to do what I enjoy - my eyes are well and truly open to light, colour, character, transparency and all the things that make me say "wow"!
Next week, I have a couple of days where I can truly experiment and have some fun without the pressures of an exhibition, hopefully more posts to follow soon!
Happy painting everyone!

Sunday 23 May 2010

Sunny Days

I need to paint more to supply to the galleries who are waiting for work, but I'm still trying to keep afloat with my current exhibition! There are not enough hours in the day to paint and, this weekend, my brushes and paints have been returned to their box while we've enjoyed being with our friends and family in the gorgeous warm unbroken sunshine.

Wherever you look at the moment, there is inspiration all around so I'm not short of subject matter and, with a trip to Cornwall approaching, I can envisage rocky coastal scenes and late evening beach scenes.

I wish everyone the happiest of weeks..........

Monday 10 May 2010

May Flowers

My feet haven't touched the ground for nearly two weeks .... I have met so many wonderful people at my exhibition and my senses are being enriched in so many ways. We've had sunshine today after a very cold weekend and I'm painting more and more flowers - you have to duck under the drooping branches of a cherry tree laden with blossom as you enter the grounds where the exhibition is being held. From then on, the colours and scents of the flowers in the gardens are amazing - a total inspiration - I'm sure this feeling is shared by my students in my tuition sessions which are now fully booked.

I am entranced at the moment by lilac and cherry blossom, May will forever now be a special month for me and I owe so much to everyone around me who supports me with my art; friends, family and all the people taking the time to call by and view my work.

Wednesday 5 May 2010

Post-preview but still buzzing!

Three weeks of unbroken sunshine and, bang on the opening time of my exhibition, the heavens also opened! I was a just a little disappointed not to be able to offer my visitors the complete experience of the iconic gardens as well as the paintings, but the people who came to share my day with me made me feel very special and some even braved a spin round the gardens in the rain, thank you!

This is now day 5 of the exhibition and between a third and a quarter of the paintings have sold, and I have received the most amazing comments and emails from people who have viewed my paintings. The experience has been quite overwhelming but at the same time, so very very exciting! So for now, it's back to the easel!!
To see the paintings, please visit

Friday 30 April 2010

Exhibition - East Lambrook Manor Gardens

That's it!! Paintings hung, wine collected, cheese and biscuits purchased - we're ready for a preview!!!

I've been flying this week, but to see everything ready and up on the walls is fantastic. Yet again, I feel I have to thank family and friends for being so patient with me, whilst I've been frantically busy on this latest collection.
I have had a tremendous response from the few people that have already seen the new paintings, and that has given me confidence at such a nervous time - I'm really grateful for the positive comments.

For those not able to come to the preview, the paintings are all available to view on my website and, for this exhibition I have decided to offer a limited number of prints as well as the original paintings. Thanks for looking!

Sunday 25 April 2010

You've got the power!

Just a couple of months ago, a gallery helped me to organise my first preview and I'm so grateful to them. And, now just after a short break, I'm heading towards another. I have a feeling a bit like the swans - taking off in a big flap!!

I will still be painting flowers as I am running courses in the Malthouse for the duration of the exhibition but soon after, I'll hopefully have more to share on varying subjects. Artwise, there's been a few highs and lows this week....quite the rollercoaster of a journey but I firmly believe it's good to feel both.

As I have said goodbye to my otter painting, I shall soon replace this image with another.

Thursday 22 April 2010

I've been quite overwhelmed today with the number of lovely comments about my paintings and the warm wishes for success of my exhibition.

I know that we should all really enjoy the subjects that we paint and hopefully like our own paintings, but there is nothing quite like the feeling when someone else likes your work!!

I have lived with my flower paintings for a while now and become used to their appearance unframed - but today I've seen them finished and I can't wait to show them to my guests at the preview!

Thank you again to friends, family and all the lovely people who take the time to comment on my work.

Tuesday 20 April 2010

Spring is here!!

The apple blossom is just beginning to appear on the apple tree in our garden - encouraged by the sunshine that we have had over the last week. It's a wonderful sign that spring is here!

I'm frantically preparing for my exhibition next week at East Lambrook Manor Gardens near South Petherton, Somerset. I always find this stage really exciting - the paintings are framed and ready, lots of invitations to the preview have been posted and I have many plans for the opening afternoon. I hope to provide some watercolour demonstrations, it's such an inspiring place!

Anyone who may wish to come along to the preview, please contact me

Monday 12 April 2010

In the heart of Somerset

The Smokery, Somerset 2010.

I have successfully exhibited paintings here for the last 3 years and it is a gem of a place. Located in the Heart of Somerset, it is the most wonderful place to visit and sample some wonderful food. And here is the view.......

Burrow Hill

My exhibition was supposed to have finished on the 31st March but the Smokery have requested that I continue the exhibition throughout April. So if anyone's in the area and fancies trying some eel.........!

Saturday 3 April 2010

I was recently asked to donate a painting for a charity auction in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital, and in memory of a little girl called Poppy. I was keen to find out whether my painting (similar to the one shown here) was successful at the auction but I wasn't prepared for the news that I received.....

As the bidding increased on the painting, which included bids from Poppy's mum and dad, the final moments saw the watercolour go to someone else. It was when I heard that the successful bidder then gave the painting to Poppy's mum and dad as a gift, that I realised that I have the best job in the world. The painting did raise a good sum for the charity and the total event raised over £12,000 for Great Ormond Street.

What can I say.

Friday 2 April 2010

The First Dance

Memories, special moments, things we've all seen at one time or another, things that move us and, in my case, inspire me to paint. How do we go from an idea in our head to putting this down on paper?

In this painting, my focal point is the children dancing. Here I have maximum focus, maximum contrast and the subject is placed off centre on the paper. I was looking for impact at the focal point and the suggestion of dancing in the background.

I think I'll return again to this subject and try to paint it in a completely different way, new composition, new colours, different technique and see what I can learn.

Wednesday 31 March 2010

Stand still and you won't be seen

This image is a section from a larger painting that I've said goodbye to today. It made me stop and think of the place that inspired me to paint this cheeky creature. We will be returning there this summer - a holiday cottage near Ullswater in the Lake District where red squirrels are actively encouraged into the garden. If you stay perfectly still, you can see them, but they can't see you!

I'd also like to mention here a friend and excellent Wildlife Photographer If you wish to follow his news, he has created a facebook page which you can find under search "Wildlite Nature Photography".

Thursday 25 March 2010

I ran the "Race for Life" a few years ago and, like so many people, found the experience emotional. For me, I was aware from the many messages on clothes of the number of children running for their mums. The pink carnation is an emblem for Mothers Day and has the meaning "I will never forget you".

Thinking of the many people running the Race for Life over the next few months and especially my thoughts go to those who have lost someone special - a tough day, physically and emotionally.

Wednesday 24 March 2010

Have you ever stood beneath a magnolia tree in the summer and looked up to the blue sky above? It's the most amazing sight and I have enjoyed trying to capture the wonderful effect of looking through the branches and flowers in watercolour.

Some distant buds are visible but only as a blur. And those magnificent large flowers stand proud from the dark intertwining branches.

The wet-in-wet technique was perfect for this subject - I'm dreaming of blue sunny skies now!

Tuesday 23 March 2010

Still painting flowers.......but here's a peacock to put on a show instead!!

I had a visit from someone today to request a special commission and his words meant the world to me. I have been in touch with some truly amazing people over the past few months, and work has been a juggling act, trying to be in the right place at the right time with the right painting!

Some days, when things may not be going to plan, a simple kind word or generous gesture has arrived with perfect timing, I'm so grateful to the people who have supported me.

Just a few flowers to go......and then a friend has given me some gorgeous photos of a misty Venice and I can't wait to doodle!

Monday 22 March 2010

Exhibition Time

Just over 1 month to go to my exhibition at East Lambrook Manor Gardens in Somerset. Amongst feelings of nerves, I am looking at my paintings critically and beginning to wonder if they are "good enough". 'Geraniums' is a painting that I'm very fond of but it still may not make it into the exhibition! For me, I like the light falling on the left flower, which puts the right in shade. This image is only a part of the entire painting.

If anyone would like to come along to the exhibition, please do email and I will send you an invitation.

Sunday 21 March 2010

It is this time last year that a member of an art group, who had invited me to demonstrate, said "come and see our lambs"! Two days later, I'd witnessed a birth, chased around a field trying to capture that perfect shot, then come home with a tray of 24 eggs and a car smelling of sileage. Happy days!

I can't wait for spring - each time we drive through our wonderful villages in Somerset at this time of year, there are fields full of cheeky lambs. The daffodils are nearly here and the sun is coming out. I have my exhibition "Seasons" approaching at East Lambrook Manor Gardens. In between painting flowers, I am desperate to paint other things and these cheeky lambs are taunting me!

Monday 8 February 2010

It is with feelings of excitement and anticipation that I head towards the two week period that contains my solo watercolour exhibition and the Thanks-Giving Service at Wells Cathedral on 27th February 2010 in support of Help for Heroes. The exhibition preview is on 13th February 2-4pm, please come and share a glass of wine with me at the A2 Gallery in Wells
This painting "Hugs" is the final painting before the exhibition and will be exhibited in the Cathedral on the 27th. The little hand clutching the back of the jacket "says it all" for me. The painting has already been sold but will give guests at the cathedral a taste of painting they can expect to view at the gallery - 11 of which are available to purchase by silent auction with all proceeds going directly to Help for Heroes.
Thanks for looking!

Wednesday 3 February 2010

Apples, Daffodils and Snowdrops - East Coker Village Hall

Welcome to my blog today and I'd like to say a huge thank you to my students today at East Coker Village Hall - a simple comment from someone saying "I'm inspired" makes the session so rewarding for me. (And I'm also quite proud that I managed navigate the alarm system to get in!)

As promised, here are a few images of the paintings from the morning. We painted both Apples and Daffodils using three different methods, wet-on-dry, dropping colour into plain water painted onto the paper and a complete wet-in-wet sketch with background.

At all times we were aware of where the light was coming from and careful to leave dry patches of paper where the light fell.

The repetition of painting the subject across a narrow strip of paper is something that I'd recommend, particularly with the apples (daffs may need a larger piece of paper!).

And, finally, the demonstration of the snowdrops, this is where I am at my happiest, water running free and fast "almost" out of control!

The next watercolour session at Barrington Village Hall is fully booked, but I have spaces at Long Load on 18th March 2010 and East Coker Village Hall on 16th June 2010. Please visit my website for full details.

Happy Painting!

Sunday 31 January 2010


Welcome to my blog. I'm looking forward to posting small sketches and sharing ideas with fellow artists and friends.

I'm busy preparing for my watercolour tuition at East Coker on Wednesday. I welcome all my students to visit my blog and view sketches from the morning.

Grabbing small moments in between preparing for my exhibition in Wells in February has meant that I have put this blog together in a short space of time. I'm sure, as with all our art, it will evolve as time goes on!

Until the next post............

Tulip Time - National Trust