Saturday, 28 December 2013

Santa's Other Helpers

Here's a seasonal watercolour painting I made in the last few days:

Santa's Other Helpers

These two little sweethearts will be winging their way to their new owner in the New Year.

Hope you all had a good Christmas.

Monday, 23 December 2013

From our house to yours, a Merry Christmas

I got a chance to paint yesterday and today!

So here, From our House

to you, in yours

A very Merry Christmas!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Getting ready for Christmas ...... and the Morning Commute

Good morning my blogging friends!

Isn't the run up to Christmas hectic? I haven't painted anywhere near as much as I usually do - although that is also in part due to the fact I was catching up on all the things I hadn't done, because of writing and publishing my novel - All in the Leaves.

We put our tree, decorations and the lights on the house up, yesterday.
Now there are ordinary cards to write, presents to wrap and food shopping to be done. I have a feeling that painting will take a back seat until I break up for the holiday after this weekend.

So here, my last post of this year  - the Morning Commute
I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

A few painted cards

Good morning my blogger friends!

Gosh, it's been hectic round here. There's been a book launch and birthday party (see HERE ) and now I'm posting out some thank you cards.

So what have I got to show you on the painting front?
I've got a few painted cards that I made, that I can show you, because they have arrived at their destination. I have no non card related paintings. I do hope you'll enjoy these - and once Christmas is all over, I hope to get back into my blogging routine!

This card was made as a 'thank you' to the ebookpartners, Matt and Diana Horner, who helped me get my novel out there, ready for sale.

and a thank you card for my editor, Diane

a birthday card for a good friend, Hayley

Then, a Christmas card for the wonderful illustrator, Teresa Palomar Lois, who designed the cover of my novel, All in the Leaves.

and finally, a card for my Painting Friend - in our Christmas card exchange.

I hope you've enjoyed viewing my recent artistic efforts. I'm looking forward to seeing yours, soon x

Monday, 25 November 2013

Trying new techniques and having fun!

Usually when I go to art club, I do my own thing, even though the tutor demonstrates weekly. That's not bad manners, he is fine with that and demonstrates to help those who have lost inspiration.
But this time, he was demonstrating techniques that were new to me, so I decided to watch and learn!

We learned how to paint wet on wet, let it dry, then paint layers of wet on dry to give a fun result.

This is my attempt at that:


Then we painted a wet on wet, let it dry and painted some wet on dry colour blocks. This is my attempt on that:

and finally, because I'd finished way before everyone else, I had a play with the meerkat, coming up with something of my own - wet on wet with salt background and the kat painted in Chinese Ink, using a brush!

This week has been hectic, I'm getting prepared for my book launch/birthday party. I am delighted that some of you have read and enjoyed my book - and even reviewed it. Thank you so much. If you'd like to get the links to the stores selling my book, 'All in the Leaves' - then please look HERE

Friday, 15 November 2013

Interrupting the painting to tell you - Novel is on sale!

Here we are, All in the Leaves is out for sale.

The first store to list it is Apple's iTunes! Well done Apple :)

and this is the link!


as soon as it appears in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, Waterstones - I will let you know!

STOP PRESS! Now on Amazon UK and Amazon US .. direct links on my website
The live links will be added there, so please, keep checking!

All in the Leaves

A tea-leaf reading.
A prediction of a fabulous life to come.
Can your future really be told in a cup?

Anna is feeling down in the dumps. She's nearly thirty, painfully shy and has no boyfriend. She's still living at home and has a boring job. Can this really be all there is?

A chance bout of tears leads to a tea leaf reading which predicts a wonderful future for her.
A future which promises a new career, a new home and a husband. All by the following Christmas.

Join Anna as opportunities arise, calamity strikes and the battle for happiness begins.

Monday, 11 November 2013


For Armistice Day, I post this in Remembrance of my Grandad and all who served.

For your sacrifice, thank you.

Monday, 4 November 2013


Good morning friends!
It's the time of year to be painting my Christmas cards, which means there isn't a lot of painting to show you!

But, I can show you one - that's because it's going to be the card for my OH.

Here it is - loosely based on our darling Missy


Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Last Outpost.... a seaside painting.

Good morning Friends,

I saw a cobbled wall, a crumbling sandcastle, with a plastic flag stuck in it, with beach huts beyond.
It struck me that if I painted the beach huts as red, white and blue, there we would have the colours of the Union Jack. The Three Lions flag harks back to Richard the Lionheart, who first used it on his Great Seal.

I could imagine a child playing with their sandcastle, repelling all invaders, saving their own country - hence naming the painting:

The Last Outpost


Painted with Winsor & Newton paints, on Saunders Waterford 140 Rough Paper - a quarter sheet.

Monday, 21 October 2013

A meditative painting..... and a starry night which needs your help!

Good morning Friends,
I've got two paintings to show you today, both painted in watercolour.
The first is a calm, meditative one.

The Boathouse

I can imagine sitting on the foreground island and getting lost in a reverie.

The second is a starry night abstract, which I really struggled to photograph. It may be my little compact Fuji Finepix isn't up to the job. The electric blue rings are all painted to the same level - blue all the way round. Yet when I photographed them, some turned out white! How that happens, I have no clue. Perhaps you can help me, by giving me some tips on how to photograph a night time painting. Until then, I'll have to let you imagine that all the rings are indeed blue.

The Voyage Home

Looking forward to hearing your suggestions, and your comments on my paintings.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Chesterton's Donkey .... and a Rainy Day Sunday

Two paintings for you to enjoy today - firstly, there's the finished donkey painting. Inspired by a poem (see HERE)

Chesterton's Donkey

and then, when it was raining fit to bust yesterday, I painted this:

Rainy Day Sunday

and if you haven't seen the cover of my novel, All in the Leaves, you can find that, HERE 

Monday, 7 October 2013

Book news, a painting in progress.... and a quick sketch.

Good morning friends!

I've been a bit lax on the painting and blogging front this week... with a good reason. I've been making the final changes to my novel, All in the Leaves! It will be going off to the publisher this week - and should be out for sale by the end of the month!
It's very exciting.

So, what I have to show you this week is a work in progress and a quick sketch I made as I was waiting for the sky wash to dry.
The work in progress was inspired by a favourite poem of mine, by G.K. Chesterton, called The Donkey. You can read the poem HERE

In these four quick sketches, I worked out my placements for all the parts, so it would feel like a cohesive painting.

Having decided on number two, I drew the picture and started on the washes; painting the sky, the mountains, the blood red moon, the river and the first layer on the field,
then I painted the figs on thorn, some reflections, the colours on the fish, and some of the background trees.

Here's the quick sketch I made whilst waiting for the sky to dry:

The painting has been left at this point, because the novel took over - I'll show you the rest of the stages next week, because I should get to finish it on the second half of this week.

From next week, I should have time to visit your blogs- and I am so looking forward to that relaxation and enjoyment. I never knew how much time and energy writing, editing and polishing a book would take. I don't regret it, but would like a few more hours in each day!
Hope you have a good week.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Painting a Wedding Couple, copyrights and completing a demo by Mollie Jones

I met a lovely lady in one of my Creative Writing Courses - and we became firm friends. Recently her daughter got married, and I wanted to paint a memento of the day for them.

So, the first thing I had to do was to speak to the wedding photographer. He owns the copyright to his photographs of the day, like I own the copyright to my images. Before I could paint this memento, I needed his permission to use the photo as a reference.
I spoke to Adam of ARJ Photography and he kindly agreed to my request. He takes fabulous photos - his website is HERE

Having the permission, I set about painting the picture. I decided to paint it relatively small, so that the framed painting would be able to find a place on a wall in my friend's home. You know sometimes, when paintings are very large, it's hard to find a space on the wall. So this one is 8x11" only.

The Wedding Couple
 My friend and her husband received the painting this weekend, and I'm pleased to report that they were delighted with it.

The demo by Mollie Jones was posted in Painting Friends - a friendly online forum of people who love to paint.
It is of a set-up of perfume bottles and a glass vase. Mollie is so generous with her time and expertise, she's the one who made painting crystal a favourite of mine. She didn't even mind when I changed some of the colours!
Here's my version of her demonstration:

Mollie's Dressing Table

I hope you've enjoyed viewing this week's offerings. Wish you a happy painting week.

Monday, 23 September 2013

The painting doldrums - and how I regained the joy

I'm putting all of these paintings in the same post, because I wanted to show you all what I did when I lost the joy of painting. My mojo had disappeared somewhat over the summer. In my whole month off, I only painted three paintings - I could easily do that in a week before.
When I'd finished them, I did the  red flower, one painting for a friend, but after that, although the technique was there, the sheer joy I had in painting was lost. I was due to go to art class and wasn't at all inspired.

 I had a friend visit and asked why I didn't paint something randomly, to see what came out. My answer was that if I paint randomly, I get mud and a mess.
 But after she'd gone, I tried it, just wet the paper and doodled with paint. Slung paint at it and when it was done, decided it needed fish, don't ask me why - even I'm not always sure how my brain works! So I painted blue water around some fish shapes. Painting was suddenly fun again - even though it's not a masterpiece, I enjoyed it and it gave me the oomph to pick up my brushes, so I'm grateful to my friend and the painting!

When Fishes Flew

once this was done, I had some permanent rose left in the palette - and some of the gold paint in Fishes reminded me of Chinese letters, so I painted this:

Waiting to Shine 

very simple, one large sable brush, a few swishes and she's done. Sometimes simple is what you need!

Then Mollie Jones, bless her, of Painting Friends, had done a demo of crystal and berries - so I tackled that - and this is the result.
Thanks Mollie, for your time and generosity!

Waiting for Mollie

I'm really not expecting you to coo over the paintings (except maybe the crystal one) but I wanted to show you one way out of the painting doldrums, should you ever find yourself in them.
Until next time.... 

Monday, 16 September 2013

Memory Lane

All of this week, I've been working on a painting, which is going to be a present for a friend. I can't show it to you yet, because it would spoil the surprise - and because I haven't painted anything else, I thought we'd take a trip down Memory Lane.

So here are some of my crystal and glass paintings.
That's because I'm sure I've shown you the dog ones before - and I thought you might like to see something different!

I hope you've enjoyed this little trip down memory lane and I look forward to having something new to show you soon!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Summer splash

Up until yesterday afternoon we were still having beautiful sunshine, which all my flowers appreciated!

So what did I paint this week, but a flower!

Here it is, a vibrant Summer Splash

Monday, 2 September 2013

Summer paintings

Hello friends, it's nice to be back after the summer break.
I've only got three paintings to show you from my month off, because I was rather busy with getting my book of short stories out - and then working on my forthcoming novel- All in the Leaves - which should be available for sale at the end of October.

Here are the three paintings, newest first:


Saunders Waterford 140 Rough

She was a little outside of my comfort zone, but I'm happy with how she turned out. 


Saunders Waterford 140 Rough

Lifeboat was made using techniques I've come to love, pouring and spraying! 
Brushwork was centred around the lifeboat and a few wave shadows.


Life is.. a bowl of cherries, so I've heard :) 
This one is 11x8 and was the first of my holiday paintings. 

I hope you've enjoyed them all. 
Be round to visit your blogs soon.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Exciting news!

I'm interrupting my summer break to bring you some exciting news!

My first book of short stories is now available on Kobo's bookstore, for the princely sum of 1.99p!

You can find it HERE

If you buy it, I hope you enjoy it!

I, of course, am ridiculously excited at this dipping of toes into the water that is the self-publishing world!
Right, back to my hols :) 

Sunday, 28 July 2013

The Laughing Chief, Mollie's Picnic and a Summer Break

Good morning friends, I have a couple of paintings for you, before I start my summer break!
Every year I take the whole of August off, to keep my hubs company. We spend the time enjoying the local area, time in the garden and being together. Mostly the computer is off. I look forward to it every year.

To the paintings - this first is our darling Missy, painted in a very experimental style - I mean, there's no way she's shades of yellow and green!
The second is a more traditional style painting, and one that was demonstrated by Painting Friends very own Mollie Jones. The link to Painting Friends is on the sidebar, all artists are welcomed.

The Laughing Chief 

Mollie's Picnic

I hope you've enjoyed seeing these. See you in September!
Enjoy your summer, whatever you do.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Pure Pleasure

Painting is pure pleasure to me.
There's something about wielding a brush, or pouring paint and tilting a board, that makes me smile.
Time is of no consequence when I paint, I am lost in swishing or tilting, then making something recognisable from the results.
Its a fabulous hobby that can make you forget time and the pressures of a day.
I'm not surprised so many of us enjoy it.

I hope you enjoy viewing the latest results of me, having fun.


To Be Free

both are painted on Saunders Waterford, 140lb Rough.
That's my new favourite paper. I love rough paper for all the texture you can achieve on it, as well as the way the paint flows and fizzes together, effortlessly.

They are also both quarter sheet in size - 15x11 inches - which is my favourite size to paint. Its my favourite size because its one easily accommodated in most houses; easy to file too, should I be keeping the painting and rotating it in my own house.

How about you, do you paint? Is it enjoyable to you? Do you have a favourite paper or size? Or are you one of my many followers who happen to love looking at my pretty pictures?

Whichever you are, wish you a fabulous week. Until next time.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Two Paintings, one competition and much experimenting!

I've been experimenting again!
These two are the results.

The Fisherman

15 x 11 inches
Saunders Waterford 140 Rough

Toward Skye

15 x 11 inches
Saunders Waterford 140 Rough

The first of the two to be created was Toward Skye.
I poured some blues and blue-greens onto wet, stretched paper.
(I do use a paper stretcher when I know I'm going to use a lot of water. The  one (five!) I have came from a UK seller on ebay, called Arthur, whose page you can find HERE, should you wish to buy one.)

Then I used a spray bottle, with the nozzle set to fine jet, to move the paint around the paper in various patterns.
How do I know where I want to spray the paint? In this case, it was random, because the whole object of this exercise was to make something up from the result of random spraying!
When I'd had enough playing with squirting paint - which by the way - is immense fun, I left it to dry in the sun. (A mere 92 in the garden at that point!)

When the painting was dry, less than five minutes later, I took it inside and propped it against the TV cabinet. I retired to the sofa to contemplate. The whole painting screamed to me 'sea'.
It still needed something, so I decided the something would be seagulls. Two in the top left and one lower right, flying across the ocean to be where his friends were flying. Once the gulls were in, I was satisfied. The painting felt complete.

Because the sea looked good to me, I decided next painting had to be The Fisherman.
This time, I wanted a recognisable face. So firstly I drew him lightly on the paper. Just enough lines to give me a feel for the face. Then I masked the pieces I wanted to stay white. I use a fine needle for applying thin lines of mask. When they were all dry, I wet and stretched the paper.

Once the paper was ready, I poured paint and sprayed it again, this time lighter blues and blue-greens to give the man the feel of the sea. When I was happy with where the colours lay, I stopped spraying.

When that part had dried, I darkened up a few areas, using a damp brush to fade them into the surrounding area. Satisfied, I removed the mask - and the resulting painting is the one you see above.

I quite like pouring and spraying - it's fast, frantic and great fun!
Give it a go - you might enjoy it too!

I've entered The Fisherman into a competition! Ken Bromley Art Supplies (here) have a cover competition once a year. The shortlist will be made public on the 23rd July. I'll let you know if it gets through.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Here comes the Sun..

I so enjoyed posting once a week, that its going to be my new normal :)
Here's this week's efforts on the painting front - and all to do with sun!

Sun Worshipper

11x8 inches
Saunders Waterford 140 Rough

Sun Dance

15 x 11 inches
Saunders Waterford 140 Rough
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