Friday 27 December 2013



In the usual busy run up to Christmas, I have had little time to update my website with new paintings and I’ve had to keep secret the commissions waiting to be given as gifts.
A while ago, I was presented with a commission to paint the beautiful “Letty” (Lettuce).  In amongst the mass of honey, shiny curls and long lashes, lay the most gorgeous eyes – I couldn’t wait to get started.  I can’t begin to explain the level of concentration and excitement when you begin to see the painting come together, and then knowing when to stop –  a delicate balance.
Letty was framed, floated in a beautiful black frame and then travelled safely to Oman to be given as a gift.  Everyone who knows me, understands how much I love to paint dogs and receiving the photographs of this gorgeous dog felt like a gift to me!  I hope that, in 2014 that there will be many more canine chums to capture……love it!  Thank  you so much for the opportunity!
To find out more about commissions
(please click here)

Saturday 23 November 2013



In our blogposts, we are constantly advised to write good pressure, lol!  Today, my content is merely to say a huge hello to everyone so it really is no pressure :-)

It was a lovely surprise to see new followers and I reach out to everyone to say a massive thank you.  I'd love to know who you are, how are you?.....Are you painting, where are you on your journey and what inspires you?  This new age of technology can sometimes be overwhelming but also so fabulous when you think we can chat at any time across the world.  

We do all lead busy lives don't we, so much going on all the time - but not for me at this very moment in's very cold here tonight, but I'm warm inside, propped up with three pillows and a cushion and saying hello online, I couldn't be happier :-)

Thank you for following my blog!

Sunday 6 October 2013

My latest exhibition

(Private Collection)

"To the heart of the subject"

I have visited my current exhibition at the King John Inn, quite a few times now and upon each visit I can’t fail to be totally inspired.  The pub is nestled in the idyllic village of Tollard Royal on the Wiltshire/Dorset border and it has been extensively refurbished to an impressive standard by the current owners, Gretchen and Alex Boon.  With a zest to provide an amazing atmosphere, the owners and staff deserve the great reviews that King John Inn regularly receives.
Now in the midst of the Shooting Season,  I am thoroughly enjoying the process of looking deep into the heart of the subject matter of “The Shoot” and my original watercolours are receiving attention from both members of the shooting parties and visitors to the pub.  I am updating and refreshing the paintings during the course of my exhibition there, which runs from 1st September until 1st February 2014.
For anyone who would like to receive updates regarding the exhibition, please do contact me by email.  Alternatively, if you get the chance I would thoroughly recommend a visit to the pub.

Tuesday 1 October 2013

Colour Fusions

I’ve loved carrying on with my experiments with Roses.  In between painting larger pieces of differing subject matter, I keep returning to small sketches of roses, each time trying something new, introducing different colours and alternative ways of laying washes to achieve different effects.
For anyone, like me, who can feel frustrated when a watercolour experiment “goes wrong” or turns muddy, it can help to remember that in this instance, it is indeed a learning exercise.  From a small play session resulting in a disappointing watercolour, a seed may grow – even from just the smallest shape or fusion of colour.  In a way, it’s probably a really good idea to really let your hair down and try unusual colour combinations, spray water, tip the paper, watch the paint run, allow back-runs, add water to drying paint, lift colour…..the possibilities are endless.  Just enjoy the process and watch.
I still haven’t finished with my “play” with roses and my next session will be to really study the petal shapes and shadows between petals.  I am veering towards trying to use some warm and cool colours, possibly complimentary.
Let me know if you are painting Roses too, I’d love to hear how you get on….

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Mischief Makers!

"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much"
-Helen Keller-

Sometimes being an artist can be a solitary existence.  I have just spent at least 5 hours on each of the last three days alone in my studio painting.  Whilst I really do enjoy my time doing this, I know that I couldn't do what I do without a number of people who are always there to help.  I feel very lucky to have a fabulous local framer, a great printer, galleries and really helpful website support so, although I produce the artwork, I do very much feel part of a big team and together we can do so much!

Tuesday 20 August 2013

To the point

There are moments when I paint that I realise why watercolour has stolen my heart!  With each new challenging subject, comes an excitement that is difficult to describe, particularly when the painting comes to life under the brush.  Personally I find, with watercolour, that planning your work is vital, freshness can be lost by unnecessary brushstrokes and continual agitation of the washes.  Bold application of pigment and leaving washes to merge can be addictive!  It is simply a pleasure to sit and watch paint dry!

Capturing the essence of a subject is also part of the creative process, and for this I believe you need to study shape, tone, light, colour and background, no mean feat when you are staring at the blank piece of paper at the start, but remember, dive in and "get to the point!

Saturday 10 August 2013

The A2 Gallery, Wells

It was wonderful to receive an email recently from Alan of the A2 Gallery in Wells.  Alan and Amanda have found new premises in Wells to reopen their fabulous Gallery of Contemporary Art.  Not only have they now got a large display area downstairs, there is also great exhibition space upstairs whereby they are  renting space to local artists to display their work.  The Gallery has something for everyone, it is well worth    a visit and a nearby coffee shop provides the opportunity to have a great afternoon in Wells.
I have several pieces on display in the gallery including my “Three Little Pigs” which is in the window!  The official opening will be announced shortly but, in the meantime, I believe the Gallery is open for business!
Happy days.

Friday 26 July 2013

Ain't Nothing but a Hound Dog

“Ain’t Nothing but a Hound Dog” 
Watercolour 30cm x 20cm
We used to have a basset hound (or Monty-dog as I call them). It’s only when studying the eyes closely to paint them that I now understand why I was putty in his paws!  All our friends and family have memories of Monty, varying from his innate stubborn tendency to give up on a walk half way round to tricking people by whatever means to get them out of their chair so that he could sneak up.
He made us laugh.
So why paint him now?  I am building up to a possible exhibition in September and “All things Hound” could be appropriate.  However, seeing Monty’s face appear on the paper when I painted this piece, has stirred up many memories and those eyes were just amazing to paint.
There was many a time though when those eyelids were just too heavy!………..

Monday 1 July 2013

An Amazing Day

The British Polo Day Charity Cup was a truly glamorous, exciting and amazing day.  Attention to detail in every aspect from the grand champagne reception to the traditional grooms’s asado was second to none.  The Charity Auction raised close to £70,000.
The sun shone on the stunning fields, home of the Black Bears Polo Team and the matches were played with the winning team fighting for their country and a 5-star holiday selected by Abercrombie and Kent!  A “flash mob” style dance/fashion show-case and hot air balloon provided further entertainment as the evening went on.  The photograph here shows my fellow artists, Astrid Harrisson and Jeremy Houghton.
What a wonderful place to exhibit and I thank British Polo Day for the invitation.  Hanging paintings from the marquee wall was an experience, but it was so totally worth the effort.  More photographs can be seen on my facebook page:
Also my new website can be seen:

Friday 24 May 2013

Galloping on!

I am absolutely thrilled to say that British Polo Day have asked me to be one of their artists and have invited me to exhibit at their British event at Henley in June.  I am finding the resource subject material that they are able to provide me, totally inspiring.  It is a very dynamic sport and looking to capture angles and compositions to produce exciting work is proving to be irresistible!

Alongside me at the exhibition in June will be artists Astrid Harrisson, Jeremy Houghton and George Bingham, all of which produce the most stunning artwork.  I can't wait to see the work in situ.

I hope to share photos from the day which is at the end of June.

Thank you British Polo Day and here's to a wonderful day.....

British Polo Day

Tuesday 21 May 2013

The Art of Paragliding

Looking for an unusual angle on this exhilarating sport, I loved painting these two pieces.  I recently followed "Flight Culture" on their facebook page, and suddenly realised I was looking forward to seeing their next post and news on adventures in far and exotic places!  The scenery is stunning and I'm guessing there is no beating that feeling of launching with a glider (and a spare one on your back)!!!  I have in my mind further pictures including lots of colour, maybe larger parts of the glider in the picture - I'm hoping to go and take some photos soon for inspiration (although in the meantime I'm thoroughly enjoying looking at John's, Flight Culture)! 

I know the weather has been causing problems recently and flying has been quite intermittent but, fingers crossed, John and his colleagues might see better weather soon.

Sunday 19 May 2013

Realising Dreams

Realising Dreams

A special person in my life has a dream to own a Landrover Defender.  Not to be obsessive, we do already own a landrover - but not the DREAM one!  Maybe the dream is not practical, but do we always have to be?

So how do we realise dreams.  I guess we need to know what they are first....and then, there should be nothing to stop you reaching for them.  

A while ago, on a "Landrover Experience Day" in Exeter (which I have to thoroughly recommend!), I was given the keys and nervously sat in the drivers seat next to the Landrover guy - he must have had more confidence in the vehicle than me!  At the top of a steep, muddy, rocky incline I was asked to remove my feet from all pedals and let the vehicle "drive itself" down the hill.  What a strange but exhilarating feeling, especially when it's not your vehicle, and it did indeed fact perform to perfection!

There are two things....the vehicle did precisely what it was built for and it did it perfectly slowly - and when I say perfectly, I mean accurately.  Maybe this is something that we can think of when trying to realise dreams.  Decide what it is that you want to do, do it carefully and not necessarily at speed, aim for perfection.  I think you will achieve your dreams.

I have received lots of lovely good news recently regarding my work and I am realising my own personal dreams - it would be lovely if one day I could help someone with theirs!

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Developing Performance

Developing Performance

I would like to share something I read today.....

In his 2008 book "Outliers", American writer Malcolm Gladwell examined his successful people achieved their success.  Whilst researching his book he discovered that in whatever field they became successful (e.g. music, sport, science or business) they all had one thing in common.  They all obeyed the 10,000 hours rule.  This rule states that top people have to practice/train/study for at least 10,000 hours in their chosen field to achieve success.

I love this, and by rough approximation, I know how many hours I have practiced/trained/studied - it's an interesting thought.

I have shared my F1 drivers helmet...wondering whether they train for this time! 

Friday 19 April 2013

A Splash with Watercolour!

Original Watercolour 

51cm x 41cm

Copyright: Kaye Parmenter 2013
On display at East Lambrook Manor Gardens 1-31st May 2013

Just two weeks now to my major solo exhibition at East Lambrook Manor Gardens starting on 1st May.      
It is the most gorgeous of venues and it is hard to explain how beautiful it is there.   It is one of the best-loved privately owned gardens in England created by the late Margery Fish, celebrated plants woman and gardening writer.  The Grade 1 listed garden is renowned as the premier example of the English cottage garden style and is noted for it's specialist collections of snowdrops, hellebores and hardy geraniums.

Downstairs, approached directly from the entrance to the tearooms, is the studio where I will have at least 15 floral watercolour paintings - a favourite amongst visitors who have previously felt that the gardens have been brought inside with the watercolours on display.

Upstairs in the Malthouse will be a variety of paintings to see ranging from my trademark animals and landscapes to some more contemporary subject pieces including "Grand Prix"  There will be something for everyone!

I welcome visitors to come and see the paintings and I will be there as often as possible during the month to give watercolour demonstrations.

Wednesday 3 April 2013

As if by magic.....

Having just posted a video of one of my paintings to youtube, I was delighted to receive the lovely comment....."as if by magic".  That is how I feel when painting with watercolour.  With the confidence to allow it time to move and mix on the paper, it can work magic on its own.  Resisting the urge to fiddle is one of the most important things about watercolour and  sometimes, but moving around the paper and painting as if you are plate-spinning, you can avoid staying in one place for too long and remove the urge to play "too much" in one area!

To see the video, please click on the link below

Thursday 7 March 2013

Spring Sunshine

Spring Sunshine

I love it when I see a quote that makes me smile and here is one for today.....

"Dance, even if you have to warn people to get out of the way first!"

Today, I let go......not by dancing, but I whipped up a frenzy on the paper -  abandonment with washes!    Although this wasn't my first painting of primroses today, this is where I finished, seeing rays of sunshine dancing on my primrose petals!

It's a great idea to let go sometimes with watercolour and simply have fun!

Thursday 28 February 2013

That time of year!

Exhibition Preview

It's that time of year again....invitations are being printed! The Preview for my Exhibition at East Lambrook Manor Gardens is on Saturday 4th May 2-4.00pm. If you think you may be free, and would like to join me for Pimms and a preview, message me your address and I'll post an invitation!

Wednesday 20 February 2013


There is something wonderful about seeing a friend’s photograph and caption that makes you laugh out loud.  And this is what this little furry cat did to me!  Not only did it make me laugh but I also saw something really special that I wanted to capture in watercolour.

Here is the painting, followed by the caption:

And there he is, sulking because the automatic feeder failed to feed him err... automatically. He might have lost a bit of weight from his cheeks”

There is so much to consider when choosing a subject and deciding how to paint it.  Sometimes it can be a matter of “what do you leave out” as much as “what do you actually paint”.   This portrait is so unusual as you can hardly see the eyes, yet even without this, there is a magical expression.  Sometimes things click and a little bit of magic happens!

Friday 8 February 2013

Live for the moment!

Mischief Maker!
Original Watercolour 
Framed Oak 12" x 12"
Copyright Kaye Parmenter 2013

"Few of us ever live in the present, we are forever anticipating what is to come or remembering what has gone" - Louis L'Armor

I love this quote and have been contemplating it over the last few days.  I have tried to do this - to enjoy living in the moment and I was delighted that it can work for me!  Although I know it is important to have plans and dreams,  there is nothing you can do to alter the past and the the future is yet to enjoy where you are now!

I was working on a sketch to illustrate a point for my next watercolour course whilst planning and thinking of all the things I have to do.  My mind was busy and preoccupied!  The sun appeared outside and, all of a sudden, I changed tack completely and spontaneously painted the above black lamb.  It was a moment of pure enjoyment....just living in the present and appreciating the moment.

I hope my little Black Lamb makes you smile.

Monday 28 January 2013

Don't wait.........!

Don't wait until Valentines Day to tell someone special what they mean to you :-).

But if you do want to produce something special for the day, watercolour is an expressive medium to be creative this Valentines day!

These 3 roses have been painted, each using a different technique.

Artistically speaking, as we head towards Spring, we sometimes rush to pick up yellows to capture daffodils and primroses - these little splashes of warm red tones after these cold winter months, is very welcome!

So don't hesitate, grab your brush and have a splash with red - something special for someone special!

Thursday 10 January 2013

Those who reach touch the Stars

Flooded Levels

Original Watercolour
Framed Oak
Size 25" x 20"
Copyright 2013 Kaye Parmenter

"Those who reach touch the stars".  I'm not too sure who initially wrote this quotation, but I love it.  Over the Christmas break, I have seen many artists work online.  Although at many different stages of careers and levels of ability, it is wonderful to see so many people with aspirations and desires to move forward and up in the art world.  The internet makes it possible for us to share and give encouragement.

At whatever stage you are,  remember, you may need to check that you're heading in the right direction, but with determination you can touch them!  This New Year brings opportunities to us all, choose them carefully and aim high!

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Happy New Year!

"The Tackle"
Original Watercolour 32cm x 32cm (sold)
Copyright Kaye Parmenter 2012

Welcome to the people who have joined my blog and I would like to extend warm wishes to everyone for a very Happy and Healthy New Year.

 As a mum of two boys and also a busy watercolour artist this inevitably means that life is never dull.  I love Christmas and the associated chaos but equally, I find the festive holiday a wonderful time to reflect and plan for the future year.  

The forth-coming few months hold so many exciting things for me work-wise.....I have two online watercolour painting courses almost fully booked, a further one to develop, two exhibitions and gallery commitments to fulfil.  When searching for a suitable caption to go alongside the rugby painting, I came across a quotation to share:

"Action is the foundational key to all success"
Pablo Picasso

As I am a firm believer in constant practice and experimentation in art, perhaps this is a good quote to keep in mind and remember to keep those brushes handy - even if you just pick them up for a quick sketch a day.

Happy 2013!

Tulip Time - National Trust