Friday, 30 November 2012

Learning from Nature Novenber: 2012

Frost on Leaves
A beautiful abstract composition

This morning I woke to a very enthusiastic Beardie who just couldn't wait for his morning walk. As I looked out of my window I saw the ground was covered in the most beautiful frost. It was as though someone had lain icing over our garden overnight, creating the most beautiful of sights.

I grabbed Baileys lead and my camera and headed out to the countryside that surrounds our cottage. It was a fantastic walk. Everywhere I turned I could see possibilities for new paintings. The autumn golds that I love so much have been gradually disappearing as the trees lose their leaves. Now the sky carries an incredible hue which in turn casts fabulous light changes on the fields and grasses.

Returning to my studio I cannot wait to paint and as Bailey is now tired I may be able to do so in peace! I love owning a dog. The bond we share enriches my life daily but without him I doubt I would have  seen such beauty this morning. 

Baily with his ball on the icy grass this morning.

 We learn so much when we are not at our easel. We observe. The added bonus of the break along with fresh air can give such a boost to studio time and fuel much needed inspiration that can be lacking if we don't go out.

Have a great weekend and happy painting!


Thursday, 29 November 2012

Australia : Watercolour Workshops 2013

Fun Koala, morning warm up exercise 
Obviously affected by my emails to Australia!
I am thrilled to have recieved a message from Dianne who is organising my Watercolour Workshops in Australia next year. Apparently she has been inundated with requests for places there in April 2013.  Even though the information was only released yesterday afternoon. 

It really will be a very exciting trip and I am so eager to paint new subjects there. Hopefully I will get to see the Koala I adore so much, kangaroo and vibrantly colourful parrots.

There will be so much that  is new to me as an artist so I know its' going to be a very memorable time.

If you are interested in meeting me and attending a workshop please contact Dianne as soon as possible, because places are strictly limited, to ensure the workshops are incredible and enjoyed by all.

Full information via this link


There is accomodation at Frogs Hollow and at the gorgeous country hotel at Killarney,15mins drive away.

Please book early!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Christmas Gallery Exhibitions 2013

" I'll Tell you What I Want!"
Cockerel from The Frame Gallery in Odihams Christmas " Small Painting " Exhibition

I am in several wonderful Christmas Exhibitions this year and my collections can be seen at

The Wey Gallery in Godalming, Surrey.
This gallery exclusively sells my horse racing scenes including the extra large paintings. I have sheep, sailing and many more subjects in the collection, now on show so please visit!

Dogs in Art Gallery, Stockbridge,  Hampshire
If you would like to see my West Highland Whites, Bearded Collies or owls head to Stockbridge in Hampshire and enjoy a cream tea opposite the gallery!

The Frame Gallery, Odiham, Hampshire
This gallery is hosting a small painting exhibition with many pieces included especially for the Christmas season. Definitely a show not to be missed! I have cockerels, cats, flowers and reindeer in this exhibition.

Picturecraft Gallery, Holt in Norfolk
I am delighted to be showing in Norfolk fo rthe first time this year so if you are in the area please call in to see my  favourite cockerel collection. Copies of my book "Atmospheric watercolours" and  my card collections are also at the gallery.


Australia Watercolour Workshops April 2013

Kangaroo Splash!
I am so excited about my first workshops in Australia and it has shown on my easel!

Some time ago, I had been invited to hold watercolour workshops in Australia. Until now my schedule has been so full that I haven't been able to fit dates into my annual programmes. It has been so  disappointing, with so much on the idea seemed almost impossible.

The good news is I have just confirmed workshops in Australia next year and I will be there sharing my passion for watercolour in April 2013. I am thrilled!

There will be  a weekend  workshop on Saturday and Sunday
20th and 21st April

And a three day workshop running from Tuesday 23rd April to Thursday 25th April.

The theme will be "Atmospheric Watercolours" and we will be looking at a large variety of subjects , working without a preliminary sketch to bring subjects to life with unique and original results.

Artists will recieve a material list of what to bring and as this will be my first time holding workshops in Australia I suggest everyone expects the unexpected. It is going to be a very memorable experience!

 For further  information please contact Dianne

Location and details of the venue can be viewed via this link

My USA workshops were sold out very quickly so please contact Frogs Hollow as soon as possible to avoid  disappointment!

Monday, 26 November 2012

The Frame Gallery Small Painting Exhibition 2012

"Snowdrop Gathering"

This afternoon I will be delivering my small paintings for the 2012 Christmas Exhibition at The Frame Gallery in Odiham,Hampshire. I will also be taking the reindeer painting that has created so much laughter  over the last few days.

I often feel, as artists we can take ourselves far too seriously and I am meeting many established professionals who have been painting for years but admit they have lost the enjoyment in picking up their brushes. In all honesty I know that will never happen to me because I truly am an art addict and can't wait to start painting each day.

At the moment I am working on my 2013/2014 watercolour tours and a fabulous collection of art for my 2013 exhibitions.

There is as always, so much to do and I am  so happy there is!

Happy painting!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Name the reindeer to win a reindeer!

The reindeer painting I shared yesterday created so much laughter that it has now sarted a competition via the Frame Gallery in Odiham,Hampshire.

You can win one of the reindeers this was modelled from by giving my reindeer a name!

You can find details of the reindeer competition on my Facebook page.

The competition runs until next Thursday!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Last Years Rudolf !

Rudolf 2011
 The Frame Gallery in Odiham

Just for fun I am sharing last years Rudolf painting that was  displayed at the Frame Gallery in Odiham. This was such a fun painting to create and I laughed non stop during its' creative process. As artists we often take ourselves far too seriously so having fun with our brushes is good for us, bringing  back the feeling of joy when we paint.

Have fun with your art at times and keep that spontaneous feeling alive when you create.

It is worth it!

Oh Christmas Tree : Nutty Reindeer! 2012

Oh Christmas Tree

Here is my finsihed nutty reindeer painted for the Frame Gallery in Odiham , Hampshire, UK . Every year Jan from the gallery stocks amazing reindeers which are her Christmas decorations for the gallery but for sale. I now own a few and paint a new one each year. Last years painting was so funny and created so much laughter that I couldn't resist painting one again tis year.

Here is my tubby model against my painting background.. I prefered to make the one in my painting sing carols!

Reindeer Model!

If you wish to see my painting or the real reindeer visit The Frame Gallery in Odiham and  enjoy their 2012 Christmas Exhibition!

Details via this link

Friday, 23 November 2012

Spreading Joy :Step by Step Christmas 2012

 My Christmas "What is it?"

Last Christmas I had so much fun on my blog with a  "What Is It?" challenge. I must admit the answers coming in for the first stage were hysterical so as I have decided to paint another  watercolour of the same subject.  I thought I would share the stages on my blog because I can't stop laughing at this stupid reindeer!  The story behind the paintings stems from a selection of cute reindeer decorations at a gallery who represent me in Hampshire.  Jan the owner knows I buy a new reindeer each year and I can't resist painting each new model.

Stage 1. I started with the round head,bulbous eyes and then a santa hat leaving white paper for the  furry part above the eyes. See first image, above.

 Stage 2. I added the antlers at each side of the head.

Adding the antlers to the very "bored" reindeer!

Stage 3. He needs a body and the model is rather tubby! I started with his red and white scarf . Then worked colour around the white fur on his hat and the bobble at the end of the point.  I have painted a soft fuzzy body leaving a red  round shape which was to be a button originally.

"All I want for Christmas "
My snooty reindeer is appearing. He looks as though he would only shop at Harrods. 
"Hark The Harrod  Reindeer sings "

How many Christmas Carols can you fit into one blog post?!

I showed the gallery my painting at this stage by email and loved hearing Jan laugh.She  recognised the reindeer immediately.

Stage 4 With a few simple touches I can make my reindeer sing! I have added facial features following the face on the Christmas toy. The Christmas tree was from my imagination. Cute isn't it and within a few minutes I have laughed non stop, made a friend laugh and hopefully made you laugh too.

"The First Noel"

Life shouldn't always be serious and neither does art have to be. There are times when its' great to let your hair down and have a laugh with your brushes.  I just did.

So when you are looking at your Christmas decorations this year pick one to paint and have fun with it. Share that  happy feeling with others around you and spread joy via your art. Its a pretty wonderfulworld when you do.

Happy painting!

Christmas Exhibition 2012 The Wey Gallery in Godalming, Surrey

"Only Ewe"

The Wey Gallery
Christmas Exhibition 2012

I have a wonderful display of watercolours currently being exhibited at the fabulous Wey Gallery in Godalming Surrey . The collection includes Frankel, my favourite racehorse ; sheep, sailing and many more gorgeous subjects. There are a few very large pieces available and the gallery are happy to help with enquiries on opening hours and sales.

For full information please contact

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving 2012

"The Turkey who wished they were a sheep!"

It is so funny how many times in peoples lives they wish they were someone else. When I was a child I always wanted to be the pretty little girl next door who had  her own parents who loved her very much, a travelling Uncle who always brought her expensive gifts and the most beautiful clothes I had ever seen. If she wanted anything she could have it. It was as simple as that.

I was often dressed in clothes that I was told I would grow into. I never did. I was told looking forward to getting something your heart desired was far better than just being given it.  I look back at so many wise  replies I was given as a child and to be very truthful I think I only appreciate what I have in life now because of what I had to go without as a small girl. I learned that nothing comes without hard work and if we had food on the table with a roof over our  heads we were blessed.

Years later it feels as though many of my dreams have come true. I am so very lucky and my luck seems to continue as I have so very much to be thankful for. As I type there is a storm outside but it is nothing compared to the Hurricane I witnessed in New York on my recent trip there and I have been thinking about all my friends who have endured so much following the wrath of Sandy.

This Thanksgiving Day I am thinking of all those who  have and the many who have not. And I really do give thanks for being so blessed in my life.


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Italian Influences!

Venice In Watercolour
On my Easel waiting to be completed

I know everyone is expecting me to be sharing robins or even cockerel paintings at the moment but right now I am working on huge landscapes. The above painting is a smaller version of a large piece that has captured my heart today. I am in love with the Cerulean Blue pigment of the upper part of the architecture whilst a mixture of pinks give a warm glow to the facade. I am trying to avoid too  much in the way of  tiny detail in too many sections. Mainly as I do not  want to lose the spontaneity of the piece. Spontaneity which I could easily miss out on if I used a preliminary sketch!

There is so much life in this and a feeling of energy which is amazing considering I am working on a building. And so after working on the floor with this painting, I placed it on my easel to photograph and I now cannot wait until tomorrow to continue with this theme.

Whatever you are doing today I hope it makes you feel as happy as I do right now.

I heard "Atmospheric Watercolours" , my latest book is to be published in Italian next year so I am thrilled!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Robin Paintings for Charity

Robin by Joe McFadden

 I am thrilled with the number of robin paintings that are appearing following my request on the weekend, to unite as artists and paint for a  cancer charity of your choice.

JoeMcFadden  painted the above fabulous robin which I first saw on Twitter. Thank you so much Joe!

And Brian Morrison has not only painted a robin but has also encouraged other artists to do the same via his blog and art club which you can see via this link. Thank you Brian!!

I hope to share more robin paintings if I get time but for now  thank you so much to everyone who has joined in by caring and sharing!


Autumnal Inspiration

Rosehips from my garden today

This morning as always I took my dog, Bailey, for a walk. As the light was so beautiful I took my camera hoping to gain some beautiful Autumnal images. The golds from the oak tree leaves falling are creating the most miraculous of carpets on the ground, in the woodlands and country lanes. But even before we set off I was drawn to the rosehips in our garden. They are simply stunning this year. I couldn't wait to race home to paint them but my Mondays are now my administration day. And it has been hectic.

I have been liasing with Australia regarding an opportunity to hold a workshop there next year. I have also written a feature in the form of an interview for a magazine. I sadly had to decline a few invitations to demonstrate in 2013 because I am already heavily commited  next year. So my brushes lay patiently waiting for me to pick them up. 

This image has stayed in my mind all day and I just had to share it, because even as a photograph it teaches so much about art. Look at how the light plays on each hip? I see these sections as white paper but each highlight is unique in shape. When I hold workshops artists often paint every single  highlight on a cluster of berries exactly the same.

We can learn so much from nature if we truly open our eyes and observe!

Happy Painting!


Saturday, 17 November 2012

Artists United : Robin Step by Step Stage 3

Pulling it together to make a complete painting.
Robin Step by Step
Adding Details

Stage 3. Now we have a first wash of a robin hopefully from the previous two stages on my blog. It is time to start adding detail and the background. Again you will have to either imagine a robin, or you can refer to a resource photo to see what the beak looks like. But it is pointed and suitable for forraging for food!  I have exaggerated the point of the beak on my robin for interest, purely because it appeals to me more this way! It gives my bird a little bit of character. I did use my fine rigger brush to paint this detail as I find my brush very handy for this kind of  work.

Adding the beak detail
 I like this as it is, so could start a whole new painting of just the robins head!

Now to add interest to my imaginary background. I have my robin sat on a branch but you could make yours sit on a log, watering can, garden statue or chair, absolutely anything you fancy! I do want to paint a wintery scene so I am opting for a lovely cerulean blue sky  and I am working in a negative approach leaving white paper at the top of my branches to form a snowfall effect on them. I haven't used any masking fluid as I prefer to work around the white of the paper.

Snow on the branches formed by leaving white paper

Tip: Make the two branches different in colour. The distant lower branch here is  paler to give a feeling of being further away from the viewer.

And this is where it gets really interesting because I can now decide what to do next. I can add a blue background leaving small dots of white paper in sections to give a feeling of snow falling. Or I can add holly leaves behind to create a more Christmassy atmosphere. I can at this stage do anything I want to bring my painting to completion or I can leave it until tomorrow morning and look forward to adding the very last touches.

A beak,snow on the branches brings this robin further to life as a painting!

How is your painting coming along and where can I see it? Send me links by reply to this blog post please so that my blog followres can see your  paintings and stages!!

Happy painting!

Artists United: Robin Step by Step Stage 2

Step by Step Stage 2
Adding the red chest and wing, plus a branch to sit on

Okay I will admit that the eye was the easy bit but for some of you far too easy and possibly a little bit boring! So now  we are going to have some originality and excitement about adding colour to the robin.

Before you have a heart attack or imagine the next stage is really difficult, read what I am about to say!

Before you touch the paper with your next brushstroke I want you to close your eyes and imagine you are looking at a real robin. On a cold winter day. The feathers could be fluffed up against the cold and if you notice that chest isn't really red in colour is it? It is more of an orange. But  for some reason as a child I always called them robin redbreasts!

Anyway lets move on and add more colour now.

 Working away  from a starting point!

Painting the red section. The eye was your starting point . Now  slowly  work around the eye with Alizarin Crimson and drop a touch of cadmium Orange into the new wet section to allow the pigments  to merge and give you a softer red/ornage appearance. Work VERY slowly at first around the eye then bring this soft red colour  downwards  to form the chest section.

TIP: Keep the colour very soft as the subject is soft and could fly away.

Painting the head and wing. Now use a soft brown shade and add a hint of colour the top of the head . Next, hint at one wing too in the same colour. 

 If you bleed the edegs with a damp burhs loaded with clean water you will get a beautiful looseness  that creates a feeling of movement and life in your results.

I have added a touch of cerulean blue  at the under belly area 

Using a deeper shade of the same brown I added a twig for my robin to sit on. I allowed colour  to run from the body to the twig to form one leg!

Use your imagination on where to place your twig or branch so that your painting is original!

This is supposed to be fun so please smile while you are painting!

Artists United: Robin Step by Step Stage 1. The Eye!

Stage 1.

So easy  that everyone can do it!

With this painting we are going to work from a starting point and that may sound very easy but its important to choose where to place your first mark! The whole robin will have to fit around it so please don't place the eye to close to the edge of the paper!

I have used French Ultramarine Blue . Artists from my workshops will know I NEVER use black as I find that kills  the life in my work!

I have made a small circle  shape leaving a tiny white area of paper showing for the highlight of the eye.

Now let this dry completely and  be really proud of yourself for making that first step to helping a worthwhile charity!

Artists United : Robin Step by Step

Robin in Watercolour
Step by Step in aid of Cancer Charities
I know I have blog readers from all over the world so how about you choose the cancer charity of your choice if you follow this step by step.

Here is mine.

Step by Step Robin in Watercolour. 

To take part in this step by step you need to feel happy about painting because you are aiming at helping others. 

Step 1. Choose a cancer charity of your choice before you pick up a brush please! 

Step 2.  Materials
You will need white paper, at least 140lbs in weight.
Watercolours : Alizarin Crimson ,Cerulean Blue,Cadmium Orange, Burnt Umber, Winsor Violet and French Ultrmarine Blue
Palette to put these colours on
A size 10 watercolour brush ( sable like mine is best)
A water pot full of clean fresh water.

Lets' go! 

Step 3. Share this blog post on Twitter, Facebook and your blog and get everyone you know painting robins for C , remembering that the letter C isn't just for Christmas!

C you in my next blog post! 

I will try to share my favourite robins painted by you on my blog so please join in and let me know what charity you are helping and why with this idea!

That Time of Year

Robin in progress

I am sure everyone reading my blog expected me to say that it is that time of year again when we think about Christmas. Wrong! Last night was the annual Children In Need event and people raised over twenty six million pounds to help children. Celebrities and non celebrities joined forces in a superb effort to raise smiles while working  towards one goal. Improving the lives of youngsters. I cried, smiled laughed and without a doubt  realised how lucky I and my family are and have been.

One little girl on this years Children In Need show caught my attention and touched my heart. She has cancer and is so inspirationally brave. I wondered how on earth I could help a child like her who should never have to suffer in the way that she has. Maybe you, as a reader of my blog, could help me.

What if we all painted a robin, red being the colour of love and donated it in any way we can so that the funds raised can go to a cancer Charity? What do you think?

So my next blog post is how to paint a robin. My free step by step to you, but you must promise me to either teach the painting to others and raise funds in an art class or sell your robin painting in aid of a cancer charity.

By uniting  for Children in Need so much was gained.

Lets unite with our  paintbrushes!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Picturecraft Gallery, Exhibition in Holt,Norfolk

A collection of my cockerels in watercolour can be seen at the SWA, Society of Women Artists exhibition at the

Picturecraft Gallery in Holt , Norwich.
 From 9th November to  21st  November 2012

For full details please  see this link

Copies of my latest book "Atmospheric Watercolours" and  the latest designs of my cockerel Greeting Cards are also available at the gallery

Not Just a Moggie

"Not Just a Moggie"
From a recent Art Society Demonstration

Cats are obviously very popular subjects because at every single workshop recently I have been asked to demonstrate them, and on more than one occasion. And on top of that, at the moment, I don't have a single painting of a cat in a gallery as they have all sold out!

My own cats are deliberately trying to distract me from my painting today so it only seemed right to share this demonstration. The eye is really standing out in colour against the ginger colouring of the fur. There is already an expressive look on the face. The animal almost seems impatient for me to finish painting them.

Artists tip: If you are painting animals please try to capture their character as well as their apearance. It makes such a difference. This one is definitely " Not Just a Moggie!"

Sunningdale Art Society Workshop 2012

Victoria Plums WIP

It  is quite funny how my botanical past is catching up with me on recent workshops. In New York I demonstrated how to paint damsons in a "one on one" session with an artist on my workshop there . I loved the very quick demonstration which led to a finished painting in minutes.

Last Saturday I made my way towards Ascot and the Sunningdale Art Society where I was the invited guest artist to give a weekend workshop. I had a fabulous time meting and talking to members there. I started the day with my usual workshop opening and then by the afternoon everyone was raring to go on their own individual subjects. There was just about everything you could think of  as a subject from a nude, a red squirrel, autumn leaves, dogs, cats and flowers.  I loved the variety in the room and one of my favourite demonstrations was the branch of Victoria plums above which even as a half finished piece looks fascinating due to the selection of colour and form.

I do so love visting so many art societies and I am so  lucky to be continually invited back. This was my second visit to Sunningdale and I have just opened a wonderful email asking me back for a third time!

To all the members who came, I hope you are  having a ball painting and don't ever forget to be unique!

Best wishes

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Remembrance Sunday : Poppies

Remembrance Poppies

Today is Remembrance Sunday. I respected the two minute silence at 11.00  this morning, in respect for those who gave their lives for their countries. I thought  of all the parents who have lost their sons knowing mine are safe. Watching the service was emotional on so many levels especially witnessing servicemen  remembering their comrades on this day of all days and honouring ultimate sacrifice they made.

As a child, my father talked often of the war, his father also shared memories and as a young teenager I couldn't see any value in looking back at yesteryear or living in the past. I was so tired, then of all the war movies and stories of heros who fought for their country. But I am an adult now and my  feelings have changed. Now I admire everyone who serves their country, in the hope that one day there will be peace.

If only the world could unite through learning from the past and move towards a future where their would be no fighting, no greed or thirst for power. Just compassion and understanding of our fellow man.

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them." 


 Copying: I have received several emails  letting me know my "Remembrance Poppies" watercolour has been copied and  is even for sale online since I first posted it. Can I ask that all proceeds from the copy if it is sold goes DIRECTLY to the British Legion..

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Raymond Blanc Charity Event 2012

With Raymond Blanc and Lorraine Chase at Brasseric Blanc London
 A charity event in aid of the Lady Taverners

This week the cover painting of my latest book "Atmospheric watercolours" was auctioned at  the Brasserie Blanc in St Pauls, hosted by Raymond Blanc.

My original cover painting  went to the winners of the highest bid at £5700 and I am thrilled.The funds raised from the night will go towards buying mini buses that are especially equipped for children to enjoy for years to come. It was a superb evening and  thanks to Raymonds generosity everyone had a great time while supporting a very worthy cause.


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Remembrance Day Poppies 2012

Remembrance Day Poppies
(This will be in a gallery this week with  proceeds going to the British Legion)

Growing up with my Grandparents I often heard stories from my Grandfather, of how he was in the war. He would show me photographs if him riding oi a splendid uniform on a stunning horse. As a little girl this didn't mean very much to me but as an adult the full impact of him being on horseback at that time hits me very hard. He gave for his country and  never questioned  his duty to serve.

I would love to  continue to believe that one day there will be world peace and that those who gave their lives so long ago did so for a purpose. Many people from all walks  of life are still giving selflessly in order that others may live in peace.

Every year I aim to paint a watercolour of a poppy. This year my watercolour is of a row of gloriously red flowers connecting through flowing colour as we unite across the world in the hope of peace one day. And recognition for  all who are in service now and who have been in the past.

It will be Remembrance Day this month and we shouldn't forget.


How to Paint Colour and Light in Watercolour: Out Of Stock!

My first book " How to Paint Colour and Light in watercolour " is currently out of  stock  at my publishers. I have heard that it has gone into reprint again but the new stock will not be available until mid December. If anyone would like to buy a copy of this book I have none available on my web site at the moment. But you can still buy from other sources such as Unfortunately if it sells out before the  new prints arrives there will be a wait so please get your copy now if you want one for Christmas!

"Atmospheric Watercolours" Cover Painting Raises £5000 For Charity

" Morning Light"
Cover Painting of
"Atmospheric Watercolours"

Last night I was a guest at Raymond Blancs charity event in aid of the Lady Taverners held at  the new " Brasserie Blanc"  restaurant in Watling St, London.  I have donated several cockerel paintings for  these evenings hosted by Raymond. Each time their popularity has seen wonderful bids coming in during the auction section of the occasions.

Raymond is an incredibly generous personality and  gives so much to the Lady Taverners so it is  an honour and pleasure to be linked with him in this way. I had saved the cover painting of my latest book so that it could be donated for  auction and last night  my husband and I made our way to London carrying the original painting and an accompanying book, which was to be personally signed by me for the winning bidder.

It was a fabulous night, champagne flowed and the  canapes were incredible which is what you would expect from a master chef such as Raymond.  The wonderful auctioneer was Niel, husband of  TV personality Judith Chalmers and he suggested I said a few words about my painting to the attending guests in the audience.   As I did so Lorraine Chase displayed the painting beautifully so that everyone in the room could see what they would be bidding for.

On stage I couldn't say this is one painting I hadn't really wanted to let go of.  It means so much to me and will always be one of those pieces that touched the artists' heart. I had even put it on show in an exhibition earlier this year but with a Not For Sale dot on it , because I knew it would be hard to part with. I loved the day I painted this piece. The eye is magcially full of life in an almost mischievous way. I also knew immediately that this was the piece I would want as the cover for my latest book because it just sings of energy, life and does seem full of atmosphere. And I love the feedback I am  now getting from all over the world about  this particular cockerel.

The bidding began as soon as I left the stage and the figure of two thousand pounds was  very quickly reached. But the bidding continued as the final and highest bid  was well over £5000, in fact I believe the final  amount was £5600 but I couldn't hear due to the noise in the excited room at the time.

I am absolutely thrilled to now part with my  special cockerel because it will bring so much joy to  children who need help  and their parents also who will know how much this will mean to the charity. I do believe  there is a better purpose in giving than recieving. The  knowledge that this painting will keep giving with a specially equipped bus will keep me happy for years to come too!

My book is still selling internationally and  is now classed as a best seller which is fabulous news. It will  be published in Italian next year and I hope to repeat my book signing tour of USA in 2013 so please watch this space!  

For now my book is selling very quickly so if you would like a copy please get yours as soon as possible from my web site or!


Sunday, 4 November 2012

Texas Watercolour Workshops 2012

Cowboy coming to life during a watercolour demonstration in Texas 2012

I am hoping to catch up on my blog next week with wonderful photographs and news of my recent trip to Texas for my USA book signing and workshop tour.

I did have a fabulous time and I met so many incredible people. The warmth and kindness shown by everyone making me feel so welcome will never be forgotten and I am looking at my dates now for my return, next year to the States. I will be building on my experience from this visit and putting  together a special programe of events so please watch this space.

I will add that I am looking ahead to 2013 and 2014 and will be visiting two destinations each year so please get in touch still if you would like me to visit your Art Society in USA. Until my plans are finalised I will still be considering options.

For now I am going to look back and share my 2012 trip on my blog over the next few days and give special mentions to the  incredible people and artists I met  during my travels!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Judi Meadows Memorial Fund Art Auction 2012

The Judi Meadows Memorial Fund
Art Auction 2012

There is a reason I was so desperate to get back to UK from my USA trip. I had promised to donate the above watercolour of a nude to the Judi Meadows Memorial Fund Art Auction  and hadn't had time to take it in for framing before I left for my book signing tour in America. I thought I would have plenty of time on my return.

But of  course Hurricane Sandy interrupted my plans and I was not only stranded in NY but unable to deliver my painting to the charity.  From New York I was able to arrange the collection of one of my horse racing scenes from a gallery instead but the thought that Judi herself loved paintings of nudes has been playing on my mind. As the days went by I became even less optimistic that I would be home in time to donate this piece and it was so important to me to do so. For Judi, Roger and Amy.

The good news is that I am now back in UK, have managed to take the painting for framing and it will be online for auction as soon as possible. As well as my horse racing scene which I am keeping in the auction. You can look at this link to see my work already on the web site for online bidding amongst many other generous artists work.

Amy, the daughter of Judi is doing such a great job in the name of her Mum and I wish her such great success in her mission to help others.

Thank you to  everyone who is helping or making bids.

BBC TV : South Today Interview

New York after Hurricane Sandy hit last week

I will be sharing news of my book signing and watercolour workshop tour of USA soon but at the moment I am still recovering from the anxiety of trying to fly home last week after we were stranded by Hurricane Sandy. I feel nauseous due to the stress and more than that, I feel so guilty for enjoying wonderful sunshine, a peaceful home and beautiful surroundings when so many people hit by  Sandy are still without power,cold and suffering due to the impact of this  historical storm.

Yesterday I was interviewed by the BBC and today will be on "South Today" at lunchtime and this evening news. It felt unreal as my husband had just collected our pets from where they had been staying during our trip. Bailey was so happy to be home but nervous of the TV camera in my studio where the interview took place. Biscuit,one of our cats meowed loudly during the whole of the filming.When she was gently shushed out of the way, by the interviewer, she made her presence known by pushing a box on the floor around with her paw. Finally Bailey got over his nerves of the camera and made his way to my side but still looked warily at the intruder in my art room.

The animal antics distracted me at times and I was relieved because inside I have been feeling sick. Maybe it is a collection of the anxiety from the last few days but watching the USA news constantly while I was in NY,sitting and talking to strangers whose lives have been so badly affected and hearing all kinds of  traumatic stories has taken its toll. I don't feel like "me" at the moment.

This time last week I was taking my first watercolour workshop in New York. I met wonderful people and over the next two days  totally fell in love with them and I will be going back next year. But in a twenty four hour period the atmosphere changed and I doubt if anyone will ever forget that time. Witnessing the colour drain out of Manhattan.

I will share happier news on my blog really soon but this week has hit me for six and it will take a little time to bounce back. Especially when so many are still suffering.


Friday, 2 November 2012

Hurricane Sandy, New York Trip 2012

 Colour draining from Manhattan this week due to Hurricane Sandy.

My blog has been quieter for longer than I expected, as I have been stranded in New York due to Hurricane Sandy. I was teaching there the day before the storm hit and only got back home last night, which was really lucky as the only flights home offered to us initially had been next week.

I have had a fantastic time in Texas and New York and will share my news later but for now my thoughts are with everyone so very badly hit by this storm. I have heard stories that are heartbreaking, hugged complete strangers who have had to move out of their homes and  I have heard about lives lost. Many people have been evacuated from their homes with no clue as to when their lives will be anything near normal again. The damage to some areas is unbelievable.

My main personal concern has been getting home but I had a home to return to. Many people this week will not. Please think of them right now. This hurricane is an experience I would never wish to repeat but I will be returning next year to USA  with more watercolour workshops so please follow my blog or keep an eye on my web site for news.

And to everyone I met on my travels, I love you , miss you and am so happy I had the chance to speak, not type, to you and share my passion for watercolour!

I am tired and emotional after the last few days and definitely needing a rest.

I have just given an interview with BBC TV so will be on South Today tomorrow in the lunch and evening news again this week. Bailey who had just  come home from kennels insisted on being interviewed too!

Best wishes,its good to be home.