Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Snowdrop Snow

Facing Winter

What a wonderfulseason this is with so much excitement surrounding us. I am one of those annoying people who adores Christmas. The months leading up to it mean fabulous Christmas shows in galleries and meeting up with friends old and new to celebrate this very special time of year.

I enjoy looking forward to opening the stored Christmas decorations. As I hold each one  it always without fail reminds me of special memories over the years. I can look back and smile at the many times certain ornaments have adorned our trees. I  think about my life journey while I do and where I was when  many were bought or given to me. I have a tradtition of giving  Christmas tree ornaments to friends so that when they hang these on their trees each year they will think of me. I have already bought this years gifts for wonderful friends who have come to mean the world to me over time. In fact I couldn't imagine my life without them in it.
And just like dear friends some painting subjects come to life at this time of year. Painting them brings a feeling of magic that just doesn't seem to hang around in any other season. So I am painting with blues and frosty white snow effects. Robins have been on my easel more than once this week and gorgeous clusters of snowdrops.

I am working on a new horse racing collection which won't be on show until 2012 and the fast sense of movement in each is really making me think of all I have to do to makethis season brilliant for everyone around me.

Whatever you are creating I hope you are having a fabulous time doing so,and I hope your sesason is fantastic as well!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

November Watercolour Challenge: Derwent Watercolour Pencils

 Leisure Painter and The Artist Magazine

 Rabbit  created using Derwent Watercolour pencils on top of my usual watercolour techniques

November Watercolour Challenge and Prize

I haven't shared a watercolour challenge for November as I have been really busy working on Christmas Exhibitions and  looking forward to reading the first final proof of my completed book which has been a full project for me this year.

For those who are missing submitting paintings I have a wonderful opportunity for followers of my blog to participate in an online challenge with the Leisure Painter and The Artist Magazine who are running a feature of mine with a fabulous prize of over £100 worth of Derwent Watercolour pencils for the winner.

I have been working with   various ways of creating texture for a variety of subjects over the last few months and loved creating fur over my usual watercolour results by adding final touches  with watercolour pencil.

For full details of the competition please follow this link and forward your own original art  and ideas to win this fabulous prize. I will be selecting the winning painting and look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Good Luck as this  is a really great way to stretch your creative imagination!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Stockbridge Dogs in Art Gallery, Hampshire

If you are  near Stockbridge in Hampshire it really is well worth  visiting the Dogs in Art Gallery in Stockbridge. The art on display is  out of this world for  dog lovers  of all breeds.

My Cards are also on sale at the gallery including my Christmas Bearded Collie in his Santa Hat.

This is a beautiful gallery in a gorgeous location and a perfect place to find that slightly more unusual Christmas Gift!

The Wey Gallery: Christmas Collection 2011 Opens Today

With Celebrity Angela Rippon at the Lady Taverners Charity Event during the
SWA 150th Annual Exhibition 2011

Today is the opening of the Christmas event at the Wey Gallery in Godalming. I am delighted to have an exciting watercolour collection in the show including new horse racing scenes. This has been such a wonderful year for me in many ways and I am delighted to have on show favourite large pieces and watercolours that have been a thrill to create.

If you would like to view the paintings or see this outstanding gallery you can find more details on their web site.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Fabulous Opening; The Frame Gallery

Last night I arrived at The Frame Gallery to find it absolutely crowded and full of festive  cheer. It was wonderful to meet up with my friend and fellow SWA member Soraya French who also has a collection of work in the exhibition. There were so many people it was almost impossible to enjoy the art on display but that didn't deter sales by any means. It will be easier to view the paintings next week when the gallery may be a little quieter although at this time of year that isn't always the case! Especially at The Frame.

It was a terrific occasion and so great to meet up with old friends and new .

Friday, 25 November 2011

Dreaming of a White Christmas?

Christmas seems to have spilled over into my art as everything I paint gets the snow treatment!

Swans dusted with sprinkles of snowflakes,robins sat on icy branches and snowdrops galore. All my paintings at the moment have beautiful hues of blue and textural effects that are really enjoyable to work with.

I really am finding less and less time for my blog but when I do have a minute it seems like heaven to share here!

Two deliveries of collections to gorgeous galleries for their Christmas Shows took place during the week with the first opening tomorrow night.

It is certainly a magical time of year!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Christmas At The Frame Gallery: Invitation

WIP, Work in Progress.
The finished painting  is part of the Christmas Show at the Frame Gallery

My new series of swan paintings will be on view for the first time at THE FRAME GALLERY in Odiham, Hampshire very soon. I delivered my Christmas collection of beautiful white swans and a snowy series of snowdrop paintings yesterday as they will be part of their fabulous seasonal event.

Other artists in the show include fellow SWA member Soraya French and fantastic wildlife artist Pip McGarry.

As this is a running exhibition any paintings sold will be taken on the day of their sale so if you would like to see the whole collection it would be wise to visit the gallery as soon as possible.

Friends and colleagues of mine will recognise the beautiful model for my paintings as it is the incredible swan who has adopted our garden as his home for the last few years.  " Sydney" has become a regular part of our lives and often surrpised one or two visitors with his  antics. He even disrupted a meeting with my publisher for my new book when he decided he would like to join our lunch party. He demands feeding by running  his beak noisily along our  french windows and raps on the glass impatiently for food. Many a time I have knelt gardening thinking my dog was sat at my side only to look up and find Sydney there instead calmly watching and sat quietly alongside me.

When he first appeared I was nervous of him.  His size out of water is rather impressive. I also feared him being too near my dog Bailey, a bearded collie. But the two have a very wierd relationship. At times they ignore each other, at times Bailey plays a harmless game of  herding Sydney into the water which the  swan seems to enjoy because seconds later he will be on the lawn again almost daring bailey to do it again.  I have watched while they both sit enjoying sunshine as if it is nothing new for a dog and swan to be companions.

Sydney was even my chosen subject for a challenge I set in a recent workshop.

In many ways he has added to the magic in my life.S o it only seems fair he should add to the magic of Christmas in a gallery show.

I will be at THE FRAME GALLERY this Saturday to celebrate the seasonal event which will open at around 5.30 pm.

Everyone is welcome .

I have heard there will be carol singing  in the village as several shops  are opening  for the occasion. The evening looks to be a wonderful way to enter this  very special time of year. I have loved painting Sydney so much that I think swans will fast become my new favourite subject.

 In fact they may have already done so!

 " Sydney"
Sneaking the duck food!


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Christmas Cards 2011 , Only a few sets left!

Waiting For Santa!

A short time ago I shared the news that I have a new sales page on my web site.  There  are Christmas cards available on my sales page but only a few sets are now left so please order soon if you don't wish to be disappointed.

I think everyone appreciated my comment that they would make a lovely surprise as a special card to your artist friends.

Please order directly from

Christmas Exhibition 2012 , Hampshire , U.K.

Christmas Magic 2012


This year has been one of the most magical in my life. I have met the most incredible people on my workshops and at art society demonstrations. I have  loved writing my new book and am thrilled to be working in my new studio.

At this time of year I always love to paint for Christmas Exhibitions and I am delighted to share the news that I have a collection of new watercolours available at The Frame Gallery in Odiham during  December while their Christmas Show is running. I will warn everyone who likes my work in advance that this is not an exhibition so paintings will disappear as and when they are sold.

I have a lovely selection and am launching my new subject of "Swans"  at this event. The atmosphere is perfect with paintings of snowdrops in falling snow so a visit to the gallery would be really worthwhile.

My paintings will be delivered this week and on show very soon.

If you would like to have more information on prices and when the collection will be displayed please ring  the gallery

 Tel No. 01256 701082

"Carys" Especially For Wongaling News

Carys being her usual adorable self!

Not so long ago I held a watercolour workshop on how to paint dogs in a loose style.  To start the session and to open emotional channels with the artists attending, a gorgeous puppy called Carys came to the introduction section of the day. Just for a few minutes and the welcome she recieved was terrific.

The day followed with many fantastic paintings and a great time was had by all. I later shared a photograph of Carys on my blog.

I was thrilled this morning to read a really moving email from Queensland, Australia letting me know that the image of  this very sweet character helped cheer up the community there following the devastation by a cyclone 5 , "Yaris".

As a screensaver this wonderful dog has brought smiles to people so far away and little known to me at the time.

"I just wanted to tell you that the photo you posted has travelled across the world and brought so much joy and laughter to many people who have been struggling."

It struck me  today how we never know just how magical sharing a few memories online can be. And  to make things even more interesting I have not had time on post on my blog for a while. Each time I have recieved fabulous art news  which I would normally share here I found I had  priorities which kept me very much off my computer. To the point I almost felt like giving up my blog altogether.

However I constantly read wonderful messages from all over the world letting me know my posts are often not only enjoyed but looked forward to.

So Sue,thank you so much for getting in touch with me. I hope this wonderful new photo will become a favourite screensaver too. And I hope this post is a wonderful surprise as it is aimed directly at you and your colleagues,

Huge hugs and smiles from


Watercolour Workshops 2012 News


All my watercolour workshops including my new Motivational Masterclass are fully booked for 2012.

Unfortunately due to their popularity and the heavy demand for places on each session even the waiting lists for places on many have now had to be closed.

I really do hate disappointing those who are eager to come to my workshops and I will certainly be looking into the possibility of holding a few new sessions later next year so please contact me  if you would like your name to be added to the contact list.

I will be demonstrating at many art societies next year so will share my programme monthly on my blog showing which societies I will be visiting. Sadly I cannot take any more bookings for society demonstrations or workshops in 2012 as my diary  is now full.

USA Watercolour Workshops
I will be sharing news on my USA  workshop visit in Autumn 2012 and booking contacts but please book early if you wish to have a place once the information is available.


I am now already preparing for the 2012 watercolour Workshops which because my new book will be launched next year are going to be really memorable with a few surprises in each!

Please keep watching this blog  for updates.


November 2011

A festive robin making an appearance for an early Christmas painting.
WIP. Work in Progress

My blog has fallen quiet  and I have recieved some wonderful messages letting me know I am being missd.Thank you so much to everyone who has contacted me.

My life has become so busy of late with so many projects to manage including painting for Christmas Exhibitions coming up. I have so much news to share I really don't know where to begin but I will slowly catch up over the next few days.

For everyone eagerly waiting to see who won the October Watercolour Challenge, you may like to know a winning painting has been seleceted and will be on show here very soon.

Watch this space!


Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Days Gone By

First wash of an old man from Dubai.

 Working in my studio this afternoon I grabbed a half finished portrait and decided to try out some of the techniques from my next book on it  just to see what  would happen. I expected to throw my experiment in the bin as I was only painting for fun but I know once eyes have been added it could be quite interesting.

I have no idea why I have this fixation for painting portraits  or small studies of people from all over the world. It has been a long time habit of mine to paint on scraps of paper to  unwind at the end of the day often working from my imagination bringing a familiar character to life.

Sometimes it will be a gentle watercolour wash hinting at a face,sometimes it will be a complete painting. This all started when I lived in Dubai and fell in love with how a fabulous artist painted faces there. Tina Siddiqui to  this day still inspires my portraits as her knowldge and skill at the time was amazing to observe when she demonstrated in art classes.

I was working in pastel mainly back then for portraits, later I moved to painting them in watercolour.

I don't think I will ever outgrow this passion, or addiction as it seems to be and this week could just be the week for painting faces!

Days Gone By

Monday, 7 November 2011

Watch The Birdie

 First and Second wash,waiting for the finishing touches. 
Working minus a preliminary sketch as always.

The beginning of the week is always my best time to paint. I feel exhilarated and eager to move my brushes. Today I have been working on two upcoming exhibitions and a fabulous new collection is already beginning to take shape. I am thrilled and cannot wait until tomorrow when I will be positively racing into my studio to work. I can't help but realise how lucky I am to type those words.

How many people in this world can honestly say they can't wait to work!

The workshops I held recently really sparked the already lit "on button" for enthusiastic painting but completing my new book over the weekend has also pushed my approach to many new subjects  with fresh eyes and wonderful new colour combinations.

I always wind down at the end of a painting session with something just for fun or  sometimes to share with an artist who has been on one of my workshops. Recently a really terrific lady brought in some beautiful resource images to work from during one of my Autumn workshops. During each of my sesssions I aim to give as much personal tuition as possible so that everyone attending can leave with ideas to work on when home. I didn't get a chance to work very far with this chaffinch demonstration so here it is hoping the artist can gain some further techniques to master from the personal beginning I gave in class.

I had fun painting this little study which I will complete tomorrow although it is now coming from my imagination more than a particular image. We are feeding the wild birds daily since the temperature has started to drop for winter. Already we are noticing how greedy some species are becoming. It is a few weeks now since a chaffinch has visited us so this painting will have to keep me going until they return!

If you were in the classes you may remember the hawthorn berries we painted?  I have decided to add some to my painting of this little bird as a background. No exercise is ever without value at a later date and pulling everything  you have seen in one workshop can be quite interesting.


Watercolour Workshops UK 2012

My Watercolour workshops were so popular I am afraid all my sessions for 2012 in UK are now fully booked. Waiting lists have been closed on some of the dates whilst others remain open. If you would like to add your name to my email list for future booking availablity please contact me on


Watercolour Workshops USA

I will be releasing information as soon as possible on my sessions in New York and Texas 2012.

Enquiries and to be pu ton the workshop list of contacts please email me on


My next exhibition will be in France  starting in December 2011 and I will be sharing news on this event very soon.


Sunday, 6 November 2011

That Important Moment

That is it.

I have just  pressed "send" to attachments that hold the very last chapters of my new book and the feeling is very strange. From here in  all my paintings and text are in the hands of my publisher. The next time I see it will be in the form of a proof in my hands of the final layout,design and all the pages will have my images in place.

Part of me feels really sad that this time has come because the journey in writing this publication has made me a far better artist. I have been  quieter online over the last few weeks as the value of what I have been typing about has sunk in, inspiring me to work on my own collection of new watercolours which are far more alive than they have ever been in the past.

I feel as though I have taught myself how to improve, observe where I needed to change my ways and I have looked with  very new eyes at what I am hoping to achieve in my results. My new book will be out next year and I am now going to thoroughly love painting with the new techniques I have discovered and shared within its pages.

Will this be a time to relax?

I am afraid not as I now must work on my upcoming exhibitions and also write magazine features that have been very few on the ground since I took up this project. Apart from that I have a long list of emails I need to reply to with some very wonderful invitations. I am so sorry if you are someone reading my blog who has been waiting for a reply but I have shut myself away from the world to close my book. My emotions were running very high and that positive energy I needed to flow into my written words. I knew my goal and I have reached it with every single page.

A memorable day in my life and that moment I pressed send cannot be taken back.

My book is complete. Like a painting that could need one more brushstroke I have had to make a decision.

It really is finished!


Friday, 4 November 2011

My new book : Update

This week I have been working on the final text and chapters of my new book. All the paintings were delivered to my publisher a short time ago and now it is the text that is vitally needing attention with proof reading on my part and any last changes I feel I need to make.

At this stage in my books development it will soon leave my hands and go for approval with my publisher.  Decisions will have to be made regarding the cover image ad this is something very much on my mind, I can already see a vision of how I hope it will look.

I will need to write the dedication which is easy and written from my heart.Then I must add acknowledgements and I have so many people I would like to thank for supporting me and making this dream of mine come true. You may not realise this but every single positive comment I have received from wonderful artists attending my workshops,  amazing people sharing replies on my watercolour facebook page and here on my blog have made me feel so  inspired and encouraged to share even more than I already do. So if you have spoken to me even if it is purely by a small typed message I need to thank you too for being a part of my art journey and sharing every step of the way with me. It is people like you that help artists like me reach out for where  we want to be and I am very grateful.

I  am reminded of a wonderful old woman saying to me when I was a child that I had a beautiful singing voice and should use it  to give others pleasure. I was a shy and quiet little girl so found this very difficult. She told me there was no point in singing a  beautiful song if there was no one around to listen to the sound.  I wish she could have known I later sang as an adult to a crowd of 2000 in the audience and in Japanese. I am sure she would have smiled! I suppose this could be likened to painting a gorgeous watercolour but then not having the courage to show it to anyone.

I really cannot wait for my book launch next year which at this moment in time seesm so long away.

I will feel anxious before my books release, I will worry about it even though I know it contains my heart and soul and all I know about watercolour. I have been advised to hold things back rather than share  every fabulous tip given to me but I do know life is short. I want to give everyone who loves watercolour  all the techniques that have been passed on to me  from all over the world so that they can be passed on in turn to others. When it is my turn to leave this wonderful world I hope this new book will live on long after me and  give pleasure to many who simply wish to adore this magical medium.

It has been a very amazing week with many wonderful emails,contacts,requests and invitations.

Gradually when my time is more free I hope to share more again on my blog and for now I am simply looking forward to  enjoying all the watercolour paintings of lions!

October Watercolour Challenge 2011 Deadline

My blog has fallen quiet because this week has been more hectic than usual. But I just wanted to remind my blog followers that the deadline for submitting  your lion painting in Autumn colours for the October Watercolour Challenge with a prize of one of my palettes and  a favourite  watercolour shade is at midnight on the 5th November so by Sunday the  deadline will be closed.

I have received so many wonderful paintings and I am thrilled with the response. What has hit me so evidently is that working from a monochrome photograph has really captured the imagination of many artists and it will be a fascinating experience sharing all the favourite paintings later this month.

Thank you so much to everyone  who has  forwarded your lion watercolours and if you are still planning to time is beginnig to run out!

Happy painting!