Friday, 27 February 2015

Inspirational Workshops : February 2015

Sea Turtle coming to life in watercolour
February 2015 demonstration

Last week saw the first of my 2015 watercolour workshops and each day was absolutely brilliant.  Artists arrived early each day to set up for the session ahead and entered the teaching venue with a mixture of anticipation, excitement , enthusiasm and for some on the first day, sheer fear!

I think we, as professional artists, often forget how daunting attending your first workshop with someone you don't know very well can be. My teaching methods are slightly unique too but after the first introduction section of my courses everyone usually starts to relax very quickly and have fun. The excitement last week built up as days passed and by Friday I was very sad to see the week come to a close. Almost as quickly as it had started.

I could probably enjoy teaching every day but then my own painting would suffer. I need quiet studio time to enjoy painting too. By doing so I have more to offer each time my courses come around. It was terrific to know that everyone had a ball last week and there were also many memorable moments that will stay with me forever.

Like the moment I demonstrated painting a sea turtle in watercolour. A completely new subject to me that I found completely mesmerising. The resource image I was following for  information was gorgeous with sunlight playing on the turtles back and it shone with glowing colours making it seem vibrantly alive. As I love colour, I exaggerated these effects to enhance the beauty of the stunning subject.

I do believe if we constantly paint what we know our work can not only become repetitive but risks becoming boring too. Painting new subjects keeps me very much alive and enthusiastic as an artist and I frequently set myself new challenges.

Thank you to everyone who attended my courses last week. And for being so incredible.  I hope you are now painting up a storm which was the purpose of coming, to be motivated and inspired.

I am!

Monday, 16 February 2015

Beating the Blues Competition : The Artist Magazine 2015

Beating the Blues Competition
The Artist Magazine

For anyone who has missed it, I have a magazine feature in the February 2015 issue of The Artist magazine. It includes a terrific competition with great prizes.

If you would like to win a set of Daniel Smith blue shades and a copy of my new book please see the following link.

The deadline is March so you still have time to get painting!

Good luck with your entry to everyone submitting a blue piece.

Daniel Smith Blue shades


Almost Spring

"Almost Spring"
Primroses in Watercolour

This week sees the first of my 2015 watercolour workshops in UK and they are fully booked. I must admit I'm eager  for tomorrow to arrive. I think by now everyone knows I adore sharing my passion for working in watercolour and as each year passes my love for this medium seems to grow even stronger. And I never imagined that would be possible. But it obviously is.

To every artist attending, I can't wait to see you. And to those unable to attend my sessions I hope to share some exciting blog posts that are full of inspiration when the courses are over.


Thursday, 12 February 2015

New DVD 2015

Jeans'  new book "Jean Haines World of Watercolour " is available to pre order on 

New DVD!

I have just had a very exciting phone call with Town House Films who create my DVDs. The conversation which included a terrific invitation should please the wonderful people who have been asking me to create a new film because I have agreed. And accepted their  fabulous offer for me to film again!

My new DVD will be available later this year as I will be filming this Summer.

You heard it here first and as you can see, I am absolutely useless at keeping secrets!


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Badgered !

 A pair of watercolours on my easel , badgers in nearby woodland

I am very lucky. I can walk in the evening to watch badgers at dusk. When Spring arrives and the weather improves this is a favourite pastime. Standing absolutely still and looking upwards to the mounds of earth where the badger sets are. The most magical sight is in moonlight, when the light dances along badgers backs giving them a heavenly appearance. Mystical and magical. On one occasion a badger stood silently staring back at me as if it knew I meant it no harm. That is still such an amazing memory. Feeling at one with nature and totally inspired by it.

I am still horrified that the UK government is intent on culling these magnificent creatures. I don't wish to turn my blog into a political forum but with so much evidence clearly indicating killing this protected species will have little impact on Btb. one has to ask why? I can only gather it is a useless exercise to win votes within the farming community. At the risk of losing votes from the high number of people totally against this cruel, mass slaughter.

But I'm moving away from my paintings in topic now. Please excuse me, but the usually gentle side of my character can easily get very angered when it comes to needless cruelty. The previous two years culls have proven to be inhumane. The latest fear is that badger cubs will be slaughtered next,as they are easier to target which doesn't bear thinking about. How ashamed I am of the people behind this action and decision.

But for now  badgers are appearing on my easel in a series of watercolours.  Outside my studio window the colours of the season are grey with a few autumnal hints still. Hence the use of orange and golds in my recent works.

 "Disappearing Badgers"
Given this title because in cull zones badgers are at risk of becoming extinct. No one has accurate numbers of the current populations and yet they are to be wiped out in large numbers

" Badgers Rights"
I strongly believe that animals have as much right to be on this planet as humans. In fact I am convinced the biggest danger to man is man himself, as he seems intent on wiping out  what was once here for all to enjoy.

I hope to get some cards printed if I can, to donate and sell in aid of a charity to protect badgers.

On that note. There are so many charities that need help and all artists can easily contribute in one way or another. You do not always need the charity to sell your art. I often sell work on my own and donate quietly behind the scenes minus making any huge announcements. Its' a part of my life that makes me feel as though I am giving back for all the pleasure that painting gives me. And to  the wildlife, without which many artists wouldn't be able to make a living from. Without its' beauty and inspiration.

Worth thinking about.

If you enjoy painting wildlife, help protect it via your art.


Saturday, 7 February 2015

Never Forget

"Never Forget"
Elephant in Watercolour
No preliminary sketch.

I love wildlife. I always have and my heart is often  broken by news of unnecessary cruelty. This morning I watched a recording of an amazing programme called " Animals in Love". During the programme there was an incredible story about a herd of elephants who never forgot the man who had helped them. On the day that he passed away the herd  walked to his home and stood in silence outside for two days. From then on they made an annual pilgrimage to his home on the exact day of his death to stand silently. Could this be a coincidence? Or do elephants possess the ability to store memories and carry emotions. I believe they do.

Cruel acts by poachers for the ivory trade are effecting these gentle giants. How can their evil trade be stopped?

To close my studio painting session today I decided to paint an elephant. And the minute it started coming to life my heart ached. I don't feel this painting belongs to me. So I will look into having cards printed to raise funds for a wildlife charity that can help elephants. And donate the painting.

Sometimes as an artist, the action of creating is much more than for the pleasure  of painting alone or personal gain. Sometimes we can achieve far more by giving a finished piece away or by donating it to charity.

This is such a piece.


Long Island, Book Signing event and workshops 2015


Jean Haines
"World Of Watercolour"
To be launched in June 2015 
Available to pre order on 

NEW YORK  2015
October/November 2015
Book Signing/Demonstration and Workshops

I am thrilled to be returning to the Art League of Long Island in October 2015 for two, two day workshops covering techniques and new subjects from my new book. " Jean Haines World of Watercolour". I will be giving an evening demonstration at the venue on Friday 30th October followed by book signing at the close of my presentation.

Only a few places are currently available on each workshop so please contact me urgently if you wish to attend.

30th October 2015 Art After Dark :  Book signing and presentation at the Art League of Long Island, New York   
31st- 1st November October 2015  Weekend workshop : Places currently available
2nd -3rd October 2015  Workshop : Places currently available
 Please email me on  for further information 


Workshops And Demonstrations Update 2015

 Patchings Demonstration in St Cuthbert Mills Marquee 2014
I will be returning this year!

An update on my workshops and art events this year. My UK workshops have sold out. 
N.B. :At the moment there are a few workshop places in Long Island in October 2015 at the Art League of Long Island. Please contact me urgently for information if you wish to  book one of these courses.

UK Workshops 2015
All my workshops in UK are fully booked for this year. There are waiting lists, in case of cancellations in place. 


USA Workshops  and Demonstrations 2015

  April 2015
Seattle Two Workshops FULLY BOOKED
24th April 2015 In store presentation at Daniel Smith
October 2015 
St Louis:  Two workshops FULLY BOOKED
West Virginia: Two Workshops  FULLY BOOKED
California : Sonoma:   Three Workshops FULLY BOOKED

New York   October/November 2015
30th October 2015 Art After Dark : New Book signing and presentation at the Art League of Long Island, New York  
31st- 1st November October 2015  Weekend workshop : Places currently available
2nd -3rd October 2015  Workshop : Places currently available
 Please email me on  for further information

Patchings Art Festival 2015
4 - 7th June 2015
Demonstrations in the St Cuthbert Mill marquee Thursday, Friday and Saturday
Full details to follow in seperate blog post.

Moreton On Marsh Art Events
Talk and demonstration with afternoon tea  at the Manor Hotel on 16th June 2015.
Limited ticket available for this new book signing event
Please book early :  Places currently available
Tel: 01608 650501 Email:

Plein Air Convention 2015, Monterey, California
13th- 17th April.
Full details via this link.


That Time of Year

 Spring Energy

It is impossible to ignore the early Spring flowers for sale in every single florist at this time of year. I am eager for my own plants to flower in my garden but  before they do, I am already getting my brushes moving on these gorgeous subjects. By purchasing small bouquets each time I go out.

The white narcissus have long been my favourite flower to paint. Ever since a close friend turned up at my studio one year clutching a bouquet of the delicate tiny paper whites, asking me how I would paint them. Now each year I relish the thought of seeing the first displays of these flowers for sale everywhere I go. ( Thank you Helen! )

So this week my easel is adorned yet again with floral paintings. And I have a feeling this will be a daily routine until I have painted these out of my system. 

As if I could!

 Paper white narcissus on my easel from this weeks painting sessions. By not using a preliminary sketch I can allow the tiny flowers to appear in my washes as if my magic. There is life and energy in each new piece which in its  own way makes me feel more alive too!


Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Snowdrops in Watercolour

Winter Bells

I updated the gallery on my web site for Winter flowers this morning. I have been so busy that my web site has suffered! I'm now looking at a year ahead when I hopefully can keep it more up to date.

The above painting was my design selection for my personal Christmas cards this year. And the feedback I received from everyone who was sent a card was so wonderful. Its' lovely knowing that my cards are welcomed each year and often framed. A growing collection that obviously increases in time. Just like my circle of friends worldwide.

Here is a link to the snowdrop paintings in my online gallery

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Christmas Roses in Watercolour : Hellebore

 Hellebore flowers coming to life on my easel

It is cold outside. Far too cold to tempt me to sit outside to paint. But annoyingly a bright white flower has caught my eye and I haven't been able to ignore it. From the kitchen window of my cottage I can see this  beautiful white flower standing proudly in the flower bed outside, bravely facing the snow and drop in temperature this week.

At first I made a quick watercolour sketch of the flower in situ. And I must admit it was a very quick painting. Then I picked the flower and brought it into my studio as painting with gloves on isn't really my thing!  Once inside, in the warm I could think about how the flower grew naturally and work with the colours from my quick sketch.

My observation of the plant itself taught me that even though it would be lovely to paint a perfect bloom, this flower is far from that. Edges of some of the petals  were brown, effected by the frost. These blemishes added to the flowers beauty for me so I added them in my painting.

Frost bitten petal edges

I started two paintings using two of my favourite techniques.  The study on the left, below, is worked from a starting point and then building up the painting from there. The centre of the flower was my first place to add colour and the petals built up around this section, leading to  then adding an interesting background. The study on the right is created by painting a beautiful background surrounding  the form of the flower, created as a negative edge.

 Two techniques. Working from a starting point and working around a negative edge by painting the background first.

  Both paintings have their own beauty so far. The light on each is very important to me. As it is such a dull day I am almost having to invent where sunlight would be hitting the flower. Even typing the word " sunshine" feels good in Winter!

Negative edge painting, with colour from the background allowed to flow into  a few of the upper petals.

I have found that the more I paint, the further away  I have grown from working with photographs. When I very first started painting, having a collection of photographs that inspired me seemed so very important. Now,in a way, I see working from photographs has actually held me back at times. Only by looking at life can I really gain a true feel for my subjects. And only be seeing and observing each detail can I bring life into my results with interesting colour combinations that are missing from photographic images.

So my artist tip for the day ?

Forget all those photographs and start painting from life. It is so much more rewarding! Unless of course you are painting elephants or wildlife that doesn't sit still. But even then, see it for real if you can rather than paint from a source that isn't personally connected to you. Your artistic results will benefit and whats' more, be totally yours!

Be unique!