Monday, 23 May 2016


Paint Yourself Calm, my new book is now available !

I am receiving many emails asking me if I have fallen off the planet as I seem to have disappeared! 

I am still very much here but so very busy. Each time I think I am really busy I get even busier still. This month I have been away to France for a week, and I am now working on magazine interviews regarding my new book " Paint Yourself Calm".

Never has the timing of a book been so badly needed but this time for me personally. Since Christmas my life has seen a few hiccups that have knocked me sideways. Nothing fatally serious but enough to distract me and knock me right off course from my usual cheerful and very bouncy self. 
But as I laughingly mentioned to one of the galleries who represent me earlier today 
" Normal service will soon be restored!". 
They laughed back, and totally understood what I have been going through recently.

For now though I am preparing for my UK workshops next week and my  exciting return to Patchings the week after next!

Life is full so please bear with me. 

On top of my busy schedule I am happy to say both of my sons are getting married this year which is keeping me very much offline! 
It is family time!

Have a great week ahead and happy painting!


Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Forsythia in Watercolour 2016

 "Sunlight and Birdsong"
Work in Progress
Final detail to be added.

Right now my life is really busy with so much going on. I have so much to look forward to as it is the launch of my new book "Paint Yourself Calm" this month and to be very honest that is exactly what I have been doing this afternoon. Painting myself calm.

I started the day by gardening. I give myself a small planting challenge each day so one hour in the garden every morning is my physical workout. Today I planted foxgloves. Giant white, peach and pink blooms which will be sheer joy to paint when they flower later this year.

Next I tackled admin as I have workshop invitations to reply to, requests for places on my courses to respond to and on top of this I need to prepare for my demonstrations and marquee at Patchings Art Festival next month. And an exhibition to start framing for. So it is all go. But if I am not careful my time with administration will take over from my painting time and I cannot let that happen. In fact I refuse to!

So I set up my painting table and began working on capturing the glowing forsythia outside my studio, in watercolour. I know if we don't paint flowers when we can they easily go past their best and these flowers are such a joy to paint.

I have used Cadmium Yellow for the blooms and Perylene Maroon for the stems. Both colours by Daniel Smith.

The light I have caught today I feel is better than my previous work. My heart is light, I am listening to birdsong as I paint and feeling the sun on my shoulders. This is a heavenly way to spend time. Painting to feel calm, relaxed and stress free.

 Capturing light and a feeling of calm in my work

The real forsythia has been flowering for weeks but is beginning to show signs of being beyond its best. So I need to paint it now before it withers !

 Forsythia in my cottage garden

Below are some previous studies of forsythia, painted in my garden  last year.

I think I am more light hearted this year. As my work today seems to be lighter and more glowing!

 Last years forsythia paintings

 Study 1
 Study 2
 Working from the real flower

A collection of studies on my easel


Artist Tips for Today

1) Make time to paint, no matter how busy your life is!
2) Paint flowers whilst they are in season and from life as often as possible.
3) Don't waste sunshine. You can paint indoors on rainy days!