Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Holiday sketches.

I haven't updated the blog for a week or so, as I have been away staying with some
 friends in Northern Tenerife. I must say it was very inspiring, and some marvelous architecture, still loading up photos to my pc!
 I managed a little watercolour, which is below,  and a pen and wash sketch from 
around the villa gardens which I will add later. 

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

cottage commission

A few years ago my niece fell in love with this cottage while we were out on a wander one day. She said she would love to live there, and called it her dream home. 
So when I was commissioned to paint it in watercolour, by its new owners I really looked forward to working on it. 

I hadn't done any house portraits for a while, as I have been working mostly in acrylics on canvas, only coming back to watercolour for the odd piece of work, and when asked to do classes.

 I used to paint pictures of houses and pubs which were commissioned presents for retirement, birthday or wedding anniversaries, when my children were small. 
Alongside a part time job, and I do not know where I found the time!

I made a pen and wash sketch to start with, to make sure
the owners would be happy with it, then I started with 
the trees at the top of the painting.
I built it all up very gradually in washes to get the muted 
colours in the roof tiles and thatch. Then got the details in.

It was even better when I had a mount fitted, which 
I like to add so that it is properly finished and
ready to frame.

 I am really pleased with how this painting has turned out and now it resides inside the cottage, with its happy owners. 

Saturday, 12 November 2016


I have just been invited to join the group of artists for the Art@Eype exhibition - July 2017.
I am so pleased as I always wanted to participate in this one. 

The exhibition takes place every year for 3 days with different artists and makers,
in a lovely old chapel in Eype village, just outside of Bridport, in West Dorset.
So of course I have accepted and I will keep you all informed about this later on next year.
So glad I bought myself a new diary, as there are a few important dates coming up in 2017.


I had a lovely day with the Sparkford art group, showing them how to paint a splashing wave with masking fluid, using a cotton bud and a straw.

We also added some simple beach huts, (which a few people said would be pointing out to sea for the view!.) 
I wanted to show how to work the windows and shadows, so that they could try it on other building subjects.

 We then added a watery reflection on to the promenade. 

 It was really interesting to see the different interpretations of work, with the use of colour and style, some adding birds, or a glow in the street lamp. 

 My favourite part is always the bit at the end when we all stand our work on the stage, and 
compare notes.  Once again a really good effort from everyone, all having a peice of work completed to take home. 
I must say thank you to them all for making me so welcome, as I am still relatively new to the teaching side of art, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. well done. 
Please click on the images to make bigger. 

Friday, 11 November 2016

Seasons on Portland

Just finished, these are part of the series of 4 paintings, seasons on Portland.  
ON the left is "Autumn Winds"  and to the right is "Ray of Light"  - both measuring 20" x 16"
I have just begun work on the Spring painting, and then just summer to do, in which I have ideas of shimmering seas, and wild flowers. 
There will be giclee prints of the set of paintings available soon.
So watch this space. 

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Mists & mellow fruitfulness

Interested in different mediums on the market at the moment, I wanted to see what 
effects I could incorporate into my style of work and make them more exciting.

Experimenting with glass bead medium and lava paste, along with gilding flakes and interference medium, you can see what an exciting effect I achieved and I have thoroughly enjoyed the process.
Varnishing was interesting to do.  I had to literally drizzle the liquid over it very carefully so as not to disturb the glass beads, that was because I was using high gloss varnish to bring out the shine, I think in hindsight I may spray it over next time. 

I hope the photographs have captured the textures and shine for you to see. 

This painting is entitled "MISTS AND MELLOW FRUITFULNESS" 
Size - 20" x 16"       on deep edge canvas, finished with black edges. 

click on the images for a larger view. 

Sketching in Dorset

We recently became proud owners of a trailer tent, and I must say I was pleasantly 
surprised at how comfortable it was. My partner wanted to take it on a trial run before it 
gets wintered away, so we had a couple of lovely autumnal days down near Charmouth, Dorset, last week. 

The countryside was so lovely, and so many subjects to paint.  As we live on the border of this beautiful county I was well aware of its appeal, so was prepared to take lots of photographs and sketches as reference material. 
I didn't really have a lot of time to sketch, but I did manage the small pen and wash sketch above, from the comfort of my chair, with my little friend for company. He is just keeping an eye on those sheep wandering up and down the field. 

My sketch view 
alfie keeping an eye on those sheep.

Inspiring countryside which I hope to paint soon.

Monday, 26 September 2016


Sitting on the bank of the river Dart, high upon Dartmoor, 
I was studying the colour of the leaves where the sun shone brightly through them. 
The dappled light glittered through the tree canopy, while below, the water rushed white foam
over the rocks to the bridge further down. 
This is the result of my half an hour sketching. I also took photographs so that I can 
work on a painting in more detail later. 


Completed a couple of weeks ago. This painting measures 80cm x 30cm
It has bronze highlights in the grasses, which shine in the light, 
and you can just see the rolling hills of wilts and Dorset in the distance. 

It was inspired by a trip out in my car one August evening, driving round the village. 
You could smell freshly cut hay where the farmers were reaping their harvest, 
birds were singing high in the trees and the sun still felt warm. 

This is a close up view of the painting as it is now in its finished state, 
and the image below shows its scale, and what it looked like before I decided to add the distant hills. 
This painting is titled "FIELDS OF GOLD"

Friday, 5 August 2016

Splatts and Shards exhibition 2016

This has been a lovely exhibition space, unfortunately not as many visitors as we would have hoped for. I think it could have been the time of year, as the weather was really warm and sunny, so people head off to the coast, and with school holidays, I think a lot of people were away. Hving said that it was a steady flow of people through the doors.
We had some coach parties in, and foreign exchange students, who love to ask lots of questions about our work, and a lot of good comments on the standard, and how well it all goes together. - we get a lot of that. 
I have added some pictures for you to see, although my video virtual tour, was too long to fit on here, you can see it on my facebook page.

Monday, 25 July 2016

AUTUMN GOLD, gilding flakes.

Here is the latest painting I have completed, and I must say I really enjoyed going a bit less detailed and a little more abstract. 
Not much mind, as I don't seem to ever loosen up with my work. 
I had a gilding kit for Christmas a couple of years ago, one of those box sets you buy from 
QVC, and have used it a couple of times to embellish my work. 
This time I decided to be a lot more daring, and gild larger areas for autumn leaves. 
It is really hard to capture the shine on camera, but hopefully you can see how exciting it 
looks, and imagine how it changes when the light is upon it.
I have titled it AUTUMN GOLDS 

This painting has now sold! 
quite quickly i must say.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Painting the mural in the beer garden.

When I went to the Grove arms at Ludwell, to see the landlady Nina about displaying my artwork, she asked me if I knew anyone who could paint a mural as she had always wanted one on the wall of the beer garden. 
She showed me her little pond of grasses in a beer barrel, and it became the inspiration for 
the mural. 

I went away and worked on some drawings, and she was really pleased. 

I was lucky that it was not work on ladders, as I have had to give up murals like that a long time ago. Because of my Fybromyalgia, I have to pace myself, so I was able to sit down and work. It was the hottest couple of days of the year, but I was sat in the shade, and they were
so good to me, bringing lime and soda and jugs of ice water. The lunch was good too. 

You can see from the picture above that I started by drawing out the design with chalk, and graphite. I then filled it all in with black masonary paint. 
My partner helped too by painting some of the bottom, as he often worries if I do too much. 
The finished part was when I finally added the creatures at the top. The bee and the dragonfly, there was also a leaping frog.

There is bad news about this mural.
 It only existed for about 2 months, and is no longer there!
I really enjoyed creating it, but the brewery decided that it was time for a makeover on the pub.  Nina Bartlett the landlady, tried everything she could to keep it there, but after a lot of discussion they painted over it !!!!! 
Of course I am upset, but I have lots of photographs, and they are hoping that one day I will be able to re create it for them. It will probably be in the springtime now.
Until then, the artwork is still inside for all to view. 


Sherborne open art exhibition has come around again, and another very hot evening.
Every year it seems to be very crowded, and everyone fanning themselves with their programmes because it is such humid weather.

I am pleased to say that all 3 of my entries were hung on the wall, and all in good positions, which is good because they do not notify you if your work was successful, you just have to go and find them on preview night.
It was lovely to listen to some of the comments about my work, all good, and some quite 
I also feel very pleased with my watercolour FORGOTTEN DREAMS, which looks stunning in its frame.
The standard of work at this exhibition is very high, and some really lovely art that I would have liked to buy, if I didnt need the space at home!   
well worth a visit to The Digby Hall, Sherborne, there is a car park right next to it so easy to get to.

The olive tree, (greenhouse)

Friday, 15 July 2016

Atkinson Gallery, Millfield school, exhibition

I have been so busy this week! 
what with handing in work for the Sherborne open exhibition ready 
for next week, collecting prints for The Cove Gallery, preparing flyers for my exhibition
with Claire, and selling work at the Grove arms, Ludwell.

Here I am again at another exhibition preview evening, and I am pleased to say 
that I am quite good now, and actually stay off the wine!. 
Yes, that really is just orange juice!!
There have been some amusing pictures of me with a shiny red face, enjoying a few 
glasses of red, and slightly tipsy at some of the earlier venues I have attended, so I 
have come to the conclusion that it is'nt very professional. 
(I made up for it when I got home mind.) 

This is the Atkinson gallery, at Millfield school, Street, in Somerset, 
 where my painting "Mother's day" is having another outing. 


an interesting and varied exhibition of works.