Wednesday 28 November 2012

Online Watercolour Tuition Course

Following a recent trial of my online watercolour course, I am really pleased to say that it was a great success and as a result the course is now available to be booked. 

It starts on Monday 14th January 2013 and runs for 10 days (effectively two weeks as I hold an online gallery on the weekends).  The cost will be £25 and is available on a first come basis. The number of participants is limited on the courses so that I can give individual attention to all.

Full details on how to book can be found on:

Friday 16 November 2012

Pushing Boundaries

Original Watercolour
Copyright 2012 Kaye Parmenter
15" x 15"

With a focal point nearly off the page, this painting is far from conventional but, for me, somehow it works.  There's a hint of green to compliment the red and angles which direct your eye around the painting - there is room to move in this piece.

Artistic licence is such a wonderful and powerful thing.   It's tempting to jump in paint what you see, sometimes without carefully considering composition and the impact that it can have on the viewer.  Don't be restricted by rules and always push the boundaries!

Saturday 3 November 2012

Movement, life and colour

I have treated myself to a new watercolour paint tube - Daniel Smith Duochrome Mauve which has luminescent properties.  So far I have used it to paint wisteria, the little kitten and this owl.  Whilst this is not probably a colour you would normally think of using to paint an owl, I was intrigued to see the luminescent effect and it definitely warms up what could be quite a cool painting.  By using colour, lost edges for indicating movement and a combination of white paper versus deep blue for my darkest tone,  I looked to achieve the effect of him stopping to focus on something......

Have a great weekend all.

Sunday 28 October 2012

No pressure!

Frequently I say on my workshops and courses, how important it is sometimes to take the pressure off when you are painting.  Quite often, we are working towards deadlines, be it for galleries, exhibitions or simply the desire to produce a painting good enough to frame for our own walls.  Sometimes, along with this aim to try and produce a masterpiece, can come a feeling of frustration and disillusionment.

Taking a small piece of paper and simply painting for the fun of it, can sometimes result in the freshest and most spontaneous of paintings and it's a great exercise to do in between painting larger pieces.  Often you can have ideas that can then translate into larger works and the process can refresh your palette in so many ways!

Friday 19 October 2012

Black or White

It's been a week full of painting for me, and having worked on some landscapes, I decided to have a complete change of subject matter with these Zebras.  Faced with whites and blacks, the painting could seem pretty straightforward but as ever with my paintings, it's never really quite that straightforward!  I've got lost edges, found edges, merging colours, angles and shadows to contend with.  There's also a few colours in there you may not expect......Artistic Licence is just the most wonderful thing!  Have a great weekend everyone :-)

Sunday 7 October 2012

Red or black

Red or Black

This is a subject that I have covered on a couple of occasions.  I am inspired by the sharp, shiny shoes whilst challenged by the soft, diffused reflections.  Against these two opposites, I'm also considering contrasting colours, light and composition.  It's quite a complex piece! 

Visual stimulation is all around us and for much of the time, I wonder whether I simply take it all for granted.  I guess this is one of the things that I love about painting,  thinking about a subject makes you take the time to look in finer detail.

I wish everyone a happy week to follow 

Sunday 30 September 2012

In the pink!

Whilst I will temporarily have to say goodbye to pink tomorrow, I'm sure to return soon as it's such a beautiful colour to work with!  I've enjoyed these  ballet studies and I wonder at times if  I subconsciously love pink because I am so outnumbered in our house!!

In truth though, I love all colours in watercolour.  Friends visited today and they bought their lovely dog with them - his fur was a beautiful rich golden colour and, as we discussed this, I found myself seeing the colours in his fur as I would see them in my palette - perhaps he's a subject waiting to be painted ;-)

I have a full week of painting ahead and I can't wait!

Saturday 22 September 2012

Routine chaos!

During the Summer Holidays, in relaxed mode, I read a couple of books "focus on your aims" and "the on-purpose person" and I started afresh in September full of new ideas on exactly now I can achieve the many objectives I constantly set myself.  After a couple of days, I was laughing, as many of the ideas were impossible to achieve in amongst the chaos of everyday family life.

But, and it's a big BUT, I am trying to stick to a firm weekly routine and it seems to be helping.  We can all spend quite a long time on social networking, watching the television or running around doing everyday tasks but with a little careful planning it is, I think, possible to re-organise and prioritise your time.

I have already made time to develop an online tuition course which I'm finding really exciting and very soon I'll be looking for people to join in with a free trial.  I'll post more details on this soon.

Thanks for looking!


Friday 14 September 2012

Big Children!

Big Children!

During our holidays there were a couple of occasions where I saw adult birds looking after their offspring who were larger than them!  I managed to take some lovely photos of a swan and family of cygnets and I watched them for ages, preening and feeding - the parents seemed to be trying to let go and, at times they swam ahead, just looking back occasionally to check on their "little ones!".  It was lovely to watch.

On the technical side to this painting, my previous experience was telling me to lay a dark wash between the chests of the swan and cygnet to give maximum tonal contrast around the focal point.  But my heart and instinct told me to leave a passage of light between the two :-)

Sunday 9 September 2012

Demonstration Day - Yandles

Demonstration Day - Yandles

I smiled yesterday, remembering times when I've sat in the marquee at Yandles, demonstrating watercolours with a river of water running under the chair and table - our weather is so hit and miss!  Yesterday was gorgeous,  a sunny day, warm marquee and a steady stream of visitors wandering through watching the demonstrators at work with their crafts.

I covered subjects from Exmoor Ponies, to Badgers, Sunflowers and Lyme Regis!!   I was touched by the number of people who said that they were going home to pick up their brushes after watching me paint - they said I made it look easy.  Funnily enough, although not nervous anymore about painting in front of people,  I am still apprehensive that my demonstration may not produce a good painting.

Having thought about this many times before, I can probably say that I have this worry every time I face a blank piece of paper.  This, though, is the beauty of watercolour - I don't aim to control it and there are days where frustration can set in, and other days where magic can happen in front of your eyes.

There were a few moments of magic yesterday, and I was grateful to have the opportunity to share these with the visitors at Yandles and hopefully inspire others to pick up their brushes.  

Monday 27 August 2012

Seeing the light

Alas, this is the end of my postcards now as we have now left the Lake District and returned to Somerset and, although this marks the end of our trips away, I have one more busy week at home before returning to my studio to paint larger work for galleries and exhibitions.  I have really enjoyed sharing the postcards with you all and it has been lovely reading the emails from the people receiving them.

With lots of time to think when we were out and about on walks and cycle rides,  I have new ideas and hence quite a schedule is approaching in September!   I wanted to share the above photo which is one of many favourites - I noticed the light on the hill, grabbed my camera and stood in awe looking at the amazing light.

Seeing the light can happen in so many ways!   

Thursday 23 August 2012

Postcard 9

Perfect picnic spot!

We have been visiting the Lake District for years and years.....pre marriage, pre children and we've seen some changes over this time!  Today, we visited Ambleside and Grasmere - our one and only attempt from Alan for a bit of retail therapy and we were surprised to find charges to use the public loos in both places - seriously is this British??!

We've seen increased commercialism and noticeably changes to paths for protection to the environment.  But...this little picnic spot, for us, is the "Old Lake District".  We found it by accident last year, it has a gentle, undefined path to the most beautiful, peaceful and unspoilt view towards Ullswater.....

Please don't get me wrong everyone, I still love the Lakes - it will always be very special to us, we've too many happy, funny, and lovely memories and, after all, change is probably inevitable and necessary?
(ps - a little video of the red squirrels is to follow shortly!)

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Postcard 8

 Birds in the garden
Still absorbed by the wildlife in the garden, here are two blue-tits and the corresponding postcard!  Sorry if you can't see it too well, I was trying to show it in the surroundings with the feeder in the background.  This is nestling in a patio area very close to the house where so many animals and birds come to visit.  When painting the blue-tits, I did really have to think carefully about the colour - I wanted to paint their chests yellow, but on close inspection, their chests here are only just yellow!  

We have been cycling again today and walking too, trying to dodge the showers and not succeeding, lol!  Thankful we're not camping :-)

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Postcard 7

 A Room with a View!

How naive of me to think that I could paint a postcard a day during the summer holidays - all very well in theory!  After a short interlude, here I am again with a gorgeous little fella eating "the nuts in a shell that I can't remember the name of!"  After being in our holiday cottage near Ullswater for a couple of hours we'd seen red squirrels, a wood-pecker, red deer, blue tits, chaffinch, buzzard and many more birds that I'm afraid I'm not sure of the name.  I think Alan mentioned a Nut-hatch??    

Never satisfied, lol,  I still haven't seen the badgers.....although all their peanut butter sandwiches had gone by the morning!

Saturday 11 August 2012

Peek a boo!

Peek a boo!

For those that have noticed there's a little gap with my postcards, thanks for noticing!!  We had the most fabulous week in Cornwall and now I've had a quick chance to catch up with a couple of gallery commitments.  But soon I will be continuing with the postcards and I'm delighted that the people who are receiving them are loving the mini-paintings.   There will hopefully be some Lake District views to see soon.  Last year, I sat out in the garden at midnight in a cottage by Ullswater, with a glass of wine, looking up at the clear starry night and trying to tempt the badgers into the garden with Peanut Butter Sandwiches.  Who knows what will happen this time :-)

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Postcard 6

Postcard 6 - Rock-pooling! 

We were saying today, as many people as there are in the sea - there is usually the same number, if not more people in the rock-pools with nets and buckets looking to encourage some grumpy crab from his home!  It's not for me I'm afraid not being too keen on the smell of seaweed and the slimy feel between your toes, but my postcard for today is a sight I've seen many times this week!

The birthday girl has received her ice-cream postcard and seems to have had a lovely day :-)

Tuesday 7 August 2012

Postcard 5

Postcard 5:  Sail Away

A boating's postcard is inspired by watching sailing boats launch and sail away.  We hired a sea kayak yesterday and paddled along the shoreline.  We were lucky enough to see three seals, they were quite curious and seemed quite unconcerned when we stopped to look - a magical day!   

Postcard 1 has been received and they love it :-)

Monday 6 August 2012

Postcard 4

Postcard 4:  Baby Seagull 

Seagulls generally get bad press, but the baby seagulls have made me laugh today on the beach.  Although physically much larger than their parents, they still follow them round pleading to be fed.  I'm sure the parents must struggle to keep up!

Sunday 5 August 2012

Postcard 3

Postcard :  Nice as Ice!

I hope my postcard from today makes you smile.  I bought this ice-cream,  I had visualised a plain white one with a flake and cone, but I was asked for sprinkles and strawberry sauce too!  Fantastic gave me a lovely challenge with the drippy pink colour.  This postcard is for a special friend, it is her birthday in a couple of days and I wish her the happiest of days x

Saturday 4 August 2012

Postcard 2

Postcard: Day 2
Hydrangeas, delicate shades of pale.

Thank you everyone for commenting to my blog post yesterday and for thanks too for saying that you like my idea of painting a postcard a day to send to someone special.  I'm loving looking for inspiration and have had "two first-time" experiences today.....firstly I saw a a beautiful rainbow over the sea, and I'll share the other on a future postcard :-).  Hopefully the recipient of the first painting will receive it soon!

Friday 3 August 2012

Postcard 1

Postcard 1
For the next few weeks, I'm hoping to paint a postcard a day and send it to someone special - hopefully you can follow my progress here on my blog!  

Postcard 1 is the view form a garden in Cornwall - this view is so inspiring and can be seen in a different light many times throughout the day.  Hydrangeas and daisies are lining edges to paths and the countryside is rich with deep green colours.   Although it is now late evening and dark here, I can see the cliffs to the left of this photo (out of sight here) are illuminated as producers and a team film the new movie "About Time"!

Thursday 26 July 2012

Three Torchbearers 2012

The Olympic Torch Relay 2012

I have saved this blog entry to share as close as possible to the day that the torch reaches its destination!

We were very lucky to have the torch come through Somerton and on a beautiful morning with the town decorated with flags and bunting, we lined the streets waiting in excitement for the torch to be carried through the town.

I decided to paint a watercolour painting to give to our local junior school - this event is now a part of our town's history and this was also my way of thanking the school for adding to the atmosphere in the town square with the Morris Dancers and Samba Band.  Indeed, over the past couple of years, Monteclefe Junior school has organised some amazing celebrations for the town for both the Royal Wedding and Queen's Jubilee.

 It came to me that the painting would be even more special if each of our three wonderful torchbearers would sign the painting and the first destination was Wiltshire for Kelly Farley-Thompson.

Kelly's nomination story
She has been providing support to the British Armed Forces for many years, both as a Soldier herself and working as part of the General Dynamics United Kingdom Limited team delivering communications capability, and fund raising for both Help For Heroes and Combat.

 I then drove the painting to Bridgwater next for Jason Hedaux, (whom the painting was loosely based on) to sign the painting.  Jason very kindly and patiently spent time with the children of Monteclefe Junior school letting them hold the torch and have their photograph taken.

Jason's nomination story
Jason has worked relentlessly to provide interschool and community links to clubs and events for our pupils. We are a small rural school and without his committment to sport many of our children would have missed out on the opportunity to compete on a friendly or competitive level.

And last, but not least, we had a meeting for the last signature in
Langport Car Park!!!  Thanks Darrell Vickery.  I am very grateful for his patience with my many texts trying to arrange a convenient time and place.....thank you!

Darrell's nomination story

Darrell voluntarily donates hours throughout the year to encourage and train girls to play hockey and cricket at Taunton Vale Sports' Club.

Thank you to the three wonderful torchbearers who carried the torch though our town and I'm hoping that the children of Somerton, both present and future will enjoy the painting.

Saturday 14 July 2012

Thank you my followers!

I was delighted to see that I am close to 100 followers on my blog, so thank you to everyone who has taken the time to visit and leave comments.  I have added my painting of this boxer dog, simply because it makes me smile, and I've changed the header to a painting that is very special to me, inspired by the program "The Elephant Diaries" about orphaned baby elephants.  My art journey feels to me like a story unfolding and there are so many opportunities around the corner - if I was to say today how I feel, I'd say "keep an open mind, have an extra smile in reserve and a remember there's always a reason to give!" 

I do believe that the internet has opened up the world to us all in so many ways and we can connect in a way that I certainly wouldn't have dreamt would be possible.

Thanks for following me!!


Thursday 12 July 2012

Painting Loose Watercolours

Painting loose watercolours

I loved painting was loose and the watercolours mingled and merged on the paper as I saw the image appearing as I had hoped it would.  I am beginning to understand my feelings when painting - never completely satisfied unless I'm allowing the watercolours to work together on the paper rather than being too controlled.  

I suppose this is my personal definition of looseness in watercolour - it's not an easy way to paint as it's quite bold in the application of water and pigment.

Thank you Dawn, ablanksheetofpaper for your blog entry on loose watercolours - it made me think!  So many people express a desire to loosen up with their watercolours and this means something different to each artist.  As your style evolves, each little experiment and attempt to reach a goal, takes you one step nearer!

Saturday 30 June 2012

A special gallery visit

Exmoor Ponies
Mixed Media:  Watercolour and Pastel
18" x 18"

I have a vivid memory - 14 years ago - a holiday in Exmoor when I went into an art shop in Lynton to buy some beginners watercolour paints.  My husband suggested that I looked past the cheapest variety and encouraged me to buy the best artist quality paints we could afford.  A day later, I sat by the waters edge at Porlock Weir with my new paints, a pad of paper and quite a few intrigued onlookers.  I remember being happy that, without a hint of nerves, I was able to paint with an audience!

14 years later, now as an established Somerset artist, I am thrilled to return to Porlock, this time to deliver paintings to the Churchgate Gallery.  How wonderful is that?!

Thank you to the Gallery owners, Will and Rachael for their fabulous welcome.  They have two galleries, one in Porlock and the other in Minehead, together with an established framing and printing company.

Thursday 28 June 2012

A wonderful workshop!

Thank you to the wonderful ladies of the "Somerset Art Group"

I had the honour of spending a few hours with the company of a group of artists who are clearly very passionate about their work.  Meeting weekly to paint, they are actively arranging exhibitions and working together with their art.  I will be watching their progress with interest!

I had been contacted to ask whether I would be interested in holding a workshop for the group and although I have recently reluctantly cut back on teaching due to gallery and exhibition commitments, I was keen to meet this enthusiastic group of artists so I agreed to offer a tutorial session.
I appreciate that my style of painting is hard to teach and perhaps even harder to emulate but with a build up of exercises to explain certain aspects of the technique, I was so pleased to see everyone enthusiastically experimenting with the washes, wet-in-wet.  I truly believe that with any tuition session on any subject, if you pick up even a small bit of valuable information, the session has been worth it.  It is even more exciting to hear and see enthusiasm and smiles of enjoyment using a medium that the group clearly love! 
I wish the ladies of the Somerset Art Group every success in their future art ventures!

Here is a link to their website:

Thursday 21 June 2012

Going for gold

Exhibition:  "Going for Gold"
303 Gallery, Yandles, Martock, Somerset.

A huge thank you again to the 303 Gallery for hosting a wonderful preview evening and for those unable to make it on the night, the exhibition runs until August 31st and is well worth a visit.  Participating artists have entered into the spirit of the theme of the show, displaying art ranging from artwork coloured gold, to sporting and olympic subjects. 

I have included a photo of the amazing artwork of David Metcalff - galvanised woven wire sculptures of a hares racing over hurdles.  This is one of two sculptures and I believe that they make the exhibition very special - they look fantastic!

Thank you again to the 303 Gallery - your efforts are always appreciated!

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Hare Style!

Hare Style!
I have thoroughly enjoyed getting back into the studio after my exhibition.  Although I have a gallery exhibition approaching and a visit to a new gallery next week, I have had a few moments spare to gather my thoughts and decide what direction I will be heading in - not only over the next few months, but next year too. 
I can't deny, it's exciting!  I have so many ideas and and next year's calendar is filling up already.  I believe that building up can only be carried on great foundations and the foundation for me has to be the quality of the artwork......I am trying to work on originality, impact and technique.
Finding time for exploration will be really important for me - something that is sometimes not easy when you are rushing to hit deadlines.  I have learnt though from a recent course that sometimes a simple change in your daily routine can be enough to free up more time.
303 Gallery preview, Thursday 21st June 6-8.00pm GOING FOR GOLD!

Thursday 31 May 2012

A way to say thank you

Organising a solo exhibition is a daunting experience.  From the beginnings of an idea for a theme for the exhibition to the plans coming to fruition, it can be a journey feeling like that of a rollercoaster.  One of the very positive aspects is the building of relationships, with the people who come to view your paintings together with the owners of the venue who look to host your show as well as the many people who help you along the way to make it a success.

I am truly grateful for the support I have received and I saw opportunity this week where I could say thank you by way of a painting, and here is Sam!

Sunday 27 May 2012

The end or beginning?

The end or beginning?

My exhibition at East Lambrook Manor Gardens draws to an end this thursday.  My favourite comment about the exhibition arrived by email, it made me smile:

 "I made it to your Exhibition earlier in the month.  I had two choices that day  -  catch a glimpse of the Queen in Yeovil or view your show.  Happy with my decision!  I spent a rewarding hour surrounded by your paintings."

Other people have said that they find the paintings absorbing and compelling.  I thank everyone who has come to see the exhibition, lots of special people who have made the month a totally amazing one for me.

The title for this post is "the end or beginning".  Anyone who knows me will understand this. I never see the closing of an event as the end - to me it's another beginning!   I've so many ideas and inspiration that I can't wait to paint again...........

Monday 21 May 2012

Five Bar Blues!

A Brush With Watercolour
Exhibition 1st-31st May 2012
I can hear you asking, what is an Acrylic doing in a watercolour exhibition? Truth is, as the final days were coming together with the preparations for my exhibition, I had a sudden desire to paint in acrylic! Armed with credit cards (not to buy materials) but to use instead of a brush, I set about painting two pieces on board! I have thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful comments as to what people see in my abstract painting.

Although my heart does lie with watercolour, I can't guarantee that I won't dabble from time to time! Happy Days!

Sunday 20 May 2012

Pure Magic!

I write this post with a smile!  I haven't updated my blog for a while now due to exhibition commitments amongst other things.  I have so much news to share here and my mind is racing with thoughts of which image to post first.

After the match between Chelsea and Bayern Munich last night, I would like to share my John Terry painting.  I painted this a while ago however, with his latest activities on and off pitch, the  painting has been a great conversation piece at my exhibition today!   Our house, last night, was at fever pitch, with a match that saw so many twists and turns that left us all drained and exhilerated at the same time!

I will be painting many more football paintings, it is subject of great inspiration to me.

I hope everyone who watched the match, enjoyed it as much as we did!

Monday 30 April 2012

Exhibition Preview

I have been very quiet on my blog in the run up to my exhibition, and I have missed posting and sharing online.  The preview yesterday was the most wonderful afternoon and so worth the months of preparation and build-up to the day.  The only concern that I have with private shows is that it's almost impossible to devote the time that I would like to talk individually to my guests and friends - some who I haven't seen for a year or more.  This leaves me feeling that I've missed my chance to catch up with some special people who have made the effort to come and see me.

On the postitive side, the galleries were bustling and the tea rooms lively with guests enjoying tea, coffee and cake (if they could find a seat) ;-).  The weather was dire, constant rain, but this did not put off the wonderful people who came along.......thank you so much.  I am so aware that, without the support of the people who enjoy my work, I coudn't do the job I love so much.

Thank you all!


Tulip Time - National Trust