Friday, 24 February 2017

Rocky Road - defender

"Rocky Road"
Landrover Defender
Original watercolour
Private commission

I was recently given a photograph of a Landrover Defender to paint for a commission as a present for a birthday.  I could get the detail that I needed from the photo but, with a bit of artistic licence, I decided to "muddy it up" a bit!

Having been on a Landrover experience day and let the car drive to the higher end of it's capability (holding on to the steering wheel), it makes me smile wondering how many people drive their landrovers off-road in this way.  

So, with the watercolour painting, I could use the qualities of loose washes and muted colours to give the effect of a muddy climb on rock.  They are without doubt huge fun to drive and I can see why people become so attached.  As they are not being made anymore, I can see why people are keen to hang on to their defenders!

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The Boss

The Boss

The kingfisher is irresistible as a choice of subject matter.  With its complimentary colours and fleeting nature,  the kingfisher is an artist's dream!

Within the past two years, I was introduced to the Greyhound on the Test with it in mind that I display some fly-fishing paintings.  And, with a walk along the beautiful river bank, I am never short for inspiration.

The fly fishing season is soon to start and I am making plans to hopefully see the mayfly rising this year.  The riverside, light on the water, atmosphere and gorgeous landscape work really well with watercolour and I look forward to creating more paintings and art along this theme.

My cheeky take on nature's fisherman with the painting of the Kingfisher appeared briefly at the Greyhound on the Test and I'm sure there will be many more paintings to come this year.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Spring Inspiration

Feeling the love for Spring? Paint daffodils with me.  Online tuition available soon.

There are so many fabulous ways to create art using the wonderful medium of watercolour.  One of the beauties is the ability to use lost and found edges to add a hint of softness to the piece.  Capturing light is an another consideration. In my online tuition for painting daffodils in watercolour, I am hoping to cover these aspects when using this great medium.

More details to follow soon.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Hard to Beat - Chargot, Bettws Hall

Chargot, Bettws Hall

 1st of February marked the end of the pheasant shooting season at Chargot Estate and I was excited to have been invited to go along to the beaters day to meet the team.
 Having taken down the paintings that had been on display for guests at the lodge throughout the season, I waited for the party to return from their first drives.
 Hungry and eager for lunch, a large party of beaters, pickers up and friends plus dogs arrived at the lodge and I was greeted by a happy and bubbly group – evidently working well together as a close team to support the running of the shoot.
 I adore Exmoor anyway, but I was thrilled to be offered a lift to Kennisham, a drive that I had already painted earlier in the season.  Driving into the estate, along narrow and sometimes steep lanes, we arrived at the most beautiful high drive, nestled in a valley with a small stream running through.
 Positioning myself at one end of the guns, I quietly studied the scene and gathered much visual information and inspiration for future paintings.  I am always inspired by the dogs; I cannot express in words how committed they are to the task.  It brings out the very best of their nature; loyalty, enthusiasm, stamina and, above all, the never ending desire to please.   I could watch them all day.
 Zeiss, the estate manager’s black spaniel, particularly caught my attention, although I found it hard to photograph him, as he moved so fast.
 I’d love to thank both Chargot and Bettws Hall for the opportunity to exhibit work with them this season, it has been amazing.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Bramble's story

Bramble’s story:
As I was painting Bramble, I became intrigued to learn his story, and his owner has shared this with me:
“I knew Bramble from a puppy when he had 2 eyes. A friend of mine owned him when I was at college. Whilst with them, Bramble ran away and came back with a bite mark from something through his eye. The vet couldn’t save the eye sadly and we don’t know what was responsible for the damage. 
 My now husband started working with Bramble’s owner and the family decided they wanted another dog. The introduction didn’t go well and my husband brought Bramble home for a “couple of days” until the new puppy got settled in and Bramble calmed down.  Well….he never went back. They decided it was best for Bramble to stay with us, as he was much happier. He came with nothing, not even the knowledge of the word “sit!” He was around 3 when we got him and had been 1 eyed for about 2 years, so was none the wiser! 
 He has now been with us about 6 years. He has an entire log basket full of toys, 5 beds around the house, comes to work with either me or Gaz every day (he has severe separation anxiety so is never left alone). He comes with us absolutely everywhere from coming in the car whilst we go food shopping, to family parties and bbq’s! He attended our wedding as Guest of Honour in November. He is known as the Pub mascot in the village as he comes in with us (along with his bed) every day! We live the country life with Bramble in tow including when we go shooting and he is put alongside Labradors and Spaniels to pick up birds….he beats them all and even experienced shooters are so surprised at him! The “YOU CANT TEACH OLD DOGS NEW TRICKS….” not true! He sits, lays, spins, paw, high 5 and lots more!! 
 He is much loved by all of our friends, family and colleagues. He is rather famous in Warwickshire to be honest (perhaps he has also produced a number of good litters of puppies recently). I know most people say their dog is the best, but this chap has something extra that I have never seen before! Everyone asks how he is before asking how we are! We are inundated with dog sitters, people who want to know if they can come and say hi to him. To be honest, I think he is more human than dog!
He is certainly one in a million and is just the most loving and brilliant dog (probably as he is so used to spending time with people as he is never left) with the calmest nature, but can run and go mad for hours when needed . And we get told this but strangers too!
He is our world! “

Tulip Time - National Trust