Saturday, 20 May 2017

Card printing

Its all go at Coalhouse Studios today printing greetings cards of my artwork, I must admit to a cheeky glass of red wine tonight though, so I think I should stop while its still going well!
Just another thing to spend your pennies on at Venue 52, Hindon Village Hall, on the wylye valley art trail. Starts a week today!

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Those of you who are regular visitors here will notice that I have had a bit of a spring clean and a change of image. I really felt it was about time so I hope you like it.
And those of you newbies, welcome.
 I must just apologise for a couple of glitches in typeface where it keeps changing colours. Unfortunately it seems Blogger will not let me change it so its only the older posts. 

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

art trail

It's coming soon, not long now. 
 We will be at venue 52, Hindon village hall, so come and say hello. 
we will be selling tea and cake, and look forward to talking about what we do best. 
check the website or pick up an art trail book with map and info, 
we have lots of them being distributed throughout the area. 


I am just loving these little cuties. 
They are called Beach Belles, 123 and 456, as you can see from their door numbers. 
These are much smaller paintings, and I will have to check on the sizes and add later. 
But round about 10" x  4" I think. Prints will be available too.

2 More paintings

The image on the left has just been completed, and I am really pleased with the misty effect of the background trees.
This is called Misty Morning Glow.

The one to the right is the image used in the art trail book, which has gilding flakes and glass bead paste on it. I still do not have a proper title for that one yet!
they measure 20" x 30"

Framing prints

Not long before the big event, in fact we are counting down, and only 10 days left.
All very exciting.
I have been busy framing these limited edition prints, each one comes with a numbered certificate of authenticity, and signed by myself. I actually think they look so much better in 
a black frame, but judge for yourself once you look at the post below this one. 
We will be offering the chance to win one of the small prints you can see here, alongside a piece of glass art by Claire Waters.
This was very popular when we did the last art trail in Wiltshire which was 2 years ago.

The larger two are Arboreus, one of my personal favourites,- I think because it was a very large meter square painting, and one of the first in this style.
Plus Stourhead Secrets, which is a much newer piece of work.
The small ones are Petunias, and Summer Morning, 
and the middle sized one is Alum Illumini. 

Sunday, 16 April 2017


I have just mounted and framed these lovely images which I think work really well in white. I may try them in a black frame next time to see if it gives more impact though, as it is difficult trying to cater for all tastes.  

They are now for sale at the Grove Arms, Ludwell nr Shaftesbury along with Autumn Walk which is another popular image.

Alum illumini 

Summer morning

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Stourhead reflection, different style.

Stourhead reflections. 

I have had a lot of feedback about this painting since I posted it onto facebook the other day.  I keep being asked "how do you get it so glass like?" And "can I teach others to do it?" 
It started out as a demo piece for an art group, where one afternoon in my studio I Just picked up a big flat brush and went straight onto the canvas, no drawing whatsoever,
 Being really bold.
When I finished I was pleased and surprised as it did'nt look like it was painted by me! It is not my usual style but I am glad I have finally loosened up and had fun.' 

First I chose my reflection line using the third and two thirds principle,  placing a piece of masking tape on the bottom edge of this line which will be the waters edge.  
Next I painted a basecoat of orange where the trees would be worked over the top. This was to give a warm autumnal feeling to the painting as some of the colour shows through, then I filled in my sky colour.
 I added the trees and temple, working the paint up to the edge of the masking tape where the water begins.

Once dry I peeled off my masking tape to reveal a good straight edge to work up to.
 I covered the area of reflection in a dark green/brown 
Mixture of paint, working the reflected shapes in a slightly lighter mix loosely into the Wet paint. I use a flat brush dragging the colour down from top to bottom adding lighter
Colour and highlights, building the shapes gradually, elongating them slightly.

My painting is almost completed. I have added the light colour in the foreground for the reflection of the sky. Plus a couple of thin lines across the water to give it that glass like finish.
This is the view across the lake of the temple at the national trust stourhead gardens in wiltshire.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Stourhead reflections

Just completed this painting in acrylics which measures 20" x 16"
Based on a photograph taken one very cold autumn day at stourhead gardens.
 The fog started to come down and made the lake like a sheet of glass, and I remember how 
still and quiet it was. I captured this just before twighlight set in.

This is a demonstration piece for an art group I am teaching in a couple of weeks time.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

portland seasons

 My winter project is finally complete... 

 Over the last few months I have been working from many photographs, in my studio,
 trying to convey the feeling of each season on the isle of Portland.
 I have been studying cloudy and clear skies, the flora and fauna, and just the light,
 bouncing off the lighthouse and buildings at different times of year.
 I think Summer was probably the hardest, especially with all those flowers, 
 completing that one just a few days ago, - Yes, in January!  
 It was hard to get into the right mood while looking out of the window at the pouring rain!

 This is a sneaky peak, a cheeky preview if you like, before they head off over to 
 the gallery in the next few weeks. 
 They will be for sale at the Cove Gallery, Trinity street, Weymouth, Dorset, in a few 
 weeks time, and coming soon as limited edition giclee prints.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Autumn Gilding

This is quite a large painting, which I really enjoyed working on. I think it was the tree that 
initially caught my eye, (as usual!) but also the rolling countryside, which I haven't really turned my attention to just lately. 
inspired by a camping trip to Dorset back in September, I was really itching to get started on this painting which measures 20" x 30"

Studying reference photos, I draw out my planned image loosely with white chalk, I often 
draw out lots of small thumbnails in my rough sketch book, to see how it works composition 
wise, and if the whole thing flows comfortably. 

Because this painting is so detailed and busy, I decided to give it a plain quiet sort of sky.
 creating a part of the picture where the eye can rest.
Next I added the glue where I wanted my gilding flakes to be, and after the glue has gone
 tacky I stick them on with a dry paintbrush. I leave them for a while to set in place,
and go painting a different part, I know I can rub off the excess once 
it is all completely dry. 

I don't really have a plan when I paint these big pictures.
Sometimes I try to be more structured and plan how I will work. 
Maybe from the top down, but in this case I painted the sky then the tree, 
then concentrated on the foreground finishing with the bottom right corner 
and the pathway.
I have recently taken this painting and 2 others to be photographed professionally,
ready for the Wylye valley art trail which runs from 27th may 2017 to 4th June 2017, 
you can see more info on their website and this painting will represent our venue
 in the trail book.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Getting ready for the next painting

 So doing my best Banksy impersonation, I am getting ready for my next creation.  Really enjoying the chance to loosen up a bit.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Purple haze.

finished painting  20"  x 25"

I was asked to create a painting which would compliment a wallpaper, and this had a very limited pallet. It was very enjoyable to do even though I don't normally do a lot of "decorators art" as I call it.This is something a bit different from the usual stuff that I do. Still with acrylics, but I also used montana cans and liquitex spray cans to create the soft misty  background. I also used rags, glass bead paste an a little lava paste.
The people who commissioned the work were really happy with it, and asked if I could add a few flying insects at a later date.
Had a lot of good comments onthe net about this style, also my son and his partner would like one for their bedroom now.

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 is the Splatt and Shards exhibition I did with Claire Waters in Shaftesbury art centre.
Had some lovely comments as always, and sold a few small ink drawings and other pieces.
I have added some pictures for you to see, although my video virtual tour video was too long to load on here, you can see it on my facebook page. Moira ladd images.