Saturday 26 April 2014

The Cast

The Cast

With the Mayfly season approaching and what is affectionately known as "Duffers Fortnight" when the Mayflies rise, I am keen to get amongst the action artistically speaking!  

Watercolour seems quite the perfect medium to capture the sport of fly-fishing on paper and with a relatively small amount of intervention, the flowing washes can create the effect of rippling water under their own steam!

A few months ago, I was given the opportunity to display paintings at The Greyhound on the Test which resides on the famous River Test.  As the season gets into gear, I am really enjoying studying the lines of the cast - with a relaxed hand and a rigger brush loaded with paint, you can cast your own line across the paper!  I will have a new selection of paintings to deliver in a couple of weeks and, with fingers crossed for good weather, I hope to walk along the river to quietly observe and gather inspiration for more work. 

And what better to finish at the pub for a drink and bite to eat, all in a days work!

Thursday 17 April 2014

Golden Moment

Sometimes a photo really does capture a Golden Moment and, although this title was a slight play on words, this piece was also a golden moment in my painting world!  With an album of photographs that made it hard to choose which to select, I chose the photo which I felt would best show Sam’s character in a loose watercolour style.
Sadly Sam is no longer with his lovely owners, and I know they are feeling a huge loss and somehow this painting had to be special.   Slowly but surely the image started to appear on the paper and I began to feel hopeful that Sam’s owners would see their lovely dog in watercolour.  Somehow I feel that this won’t be the last time I paint Sam.  There is a lovely photograph of his head resting between the seats of the car and I can feel this one beckoning me to pick up my brushes!
Watercolour is such a magical medium – the loose ethereal washes can really capture a fleeting moment in time and, in this instance, there was some gorgeous back-lighting to the fur and a far away expression in the eyes.  Irresistible!
Thank you to the lovely owners for the opportunity to paint Sam and I hope their painting brings happy memories in time x

Friday 11 April 2014

101 Top Techniques for Artists

A good friend once asked me whether I thought he should buy a particular reference book on photography and my advice to him years ago was…..”if you pick up one hint or tip from the book, it will have been worth it!”  He bought the book and reminds me of this comment on many occasion!
I again remembered this when looking through the book that the SAA have compiled.  101 Top Techniques from over 100 international artists…’s amazing!  I was totally thrilled to have been asked to contribute and, on my page,  I have explained a technique that I use one way or another in almost every painting, tonal counterchange.
You will gain more than one hint or tip in this book, in fact it’s a treasure box of wonderful, special hints and possible secrets that artists are willing to share in this gem of a book. Although I have now sold all my personal copies of the book, it is available for sale on Amazon.  Happy painting everyone!

Wednesday 9 April 2014


“Dust Bath”  Original Watercolour 560mm x 370mm.  
Prizewinner and Honorary Mention:  Art has no Borders.
When we create a piece of artwork, there are many decisions to make and, in a way, you can liken each to a junction in a road.  Maybe we have a destination in mind, or maybe we are on a mystery tour!  The decisions that we do make, however, should enable each piece of work to be totally unique and your choices regarding medium, technique, colour and composition can make your artwork drive right to the heart of the subject matter.
With this painting, standing at the first junction, I decided to take the watercolour route which would enable me to create the soft effect of the dust bath (with a strong underlying sketch and lots of water)
Reaching a crossroads on colour, I decided to pick the red route.  Why not?
I stood for quite a while at the next junction before deciding which path to take on composition!  The shape of the trunk and tail are crucial to the composition as is the diagonal sweep of red from bottom left to top right.
And finally, my decision to enter a competition… pleased I did.  Never be afraid to make decisions!

Saturday 5 April 2014

Artwork Pre-selection

"Burning Bright"
Original Watercolour
560mm x 370mm

I was so pleased to hear the news that two of my paintings have been pre-selected for a competition.  "Burning Bright" is one of the pieces that has been chosen to appear in the ibook "The Animal Kingdom" and I will share the other painting as soon as possible.
The competition has been arranged by "Art Has No Borders"  which is a series of iArtBooks, published through Apple's iBookstore, featuring artwork from around the world. The idea has grown out of the London based Cork Street Open Exhibitions and is an opportunity for artists to have their work included in one or more art anthologies covering a number of different themes.
The artist will have the opportunity to showcase artwork to a much larger audience than can be reached in a physical gallery.  Each edition will feature the work of contemporary and traditional artists and techniques, from painters, sculptors, photographers, and printmakers, to textile, digital media, and performance artists.

Thursday 3 April 2014

Monkey Business

I drove to Dorset a few weeks ago to deliver a painting that I wished to donate to Monkey World.  I received a wonderful reception and was advised that the painting would be displayed for sale via a raffle.  Following exposure via the Monkey World Facebook page, I started to receive requests for pet portrait commissions which put me in a dilemma as I wasn’t intending to create business for myself.  So I have decided that, for every pet I paint from exposure via Monkey World, I will match it with another donation to Monkey World!
So here is my second donation which we, as a family, will be delivering on Saturday!  Will we all return, that is the question?!
My first painting raised an amazing £722 for the Jim Cronin Memorial Fund.  Enquiries regarding “People Watching” shown here can be made directly to Monkey World from week commencing 7th April 2014.

Tulip Time - National Trust