Sunday, 18 November 2012

Pearl Earring

Oils on Board 18" x 12"

After Vermeer.

One of my favourites so of course I had to paint it.  As usual I have not quite finished, but I'm pleased with how its going. I never thought I would be able to paint it and I always put it off until now. 

This is my first attempt at Girl with the Pearl Earring and it was very hard painting in layers because I am not a patient person and usually paint alla prima.  Quite a learning curve!

I would like to improve the skin tones, but hey, I'm just getting started and still so much to learn!

Sunday, 11 November 2012


Oils on canvas board 12" x 10" (Unfinished)

Still a way to go with this, but it was fun trying - another great weekend!  This is becoming a bit of a habit :) but a good one I'm pleased to say.

I wish I could devote more time to painting, it's so very enjoyable and I would really love to improve.  Improvement comes only with diligent practice and a grim determination to continue the journey no matter what the obstacles.

Monday, 5 November 2012


Oils on Canvas board 16" x 12"

Sorry about the glare on this one, I will try to get a better photo soon.  Orchids are so elegant and beautiful they called to me to paint them.  I just wish I could do them justice, but "never give up" is my motto and therefore I will be attempting another painting soon.

I may even go back to work on this one too.  It was not easy, but then nothing good ever is.  I will stand it where I can see it and let my mind work out what needs to be done.

Time spent thinking and dreaming is never time wasted.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Pink Hydrangeas

Oils on canvas board 12" x 10"

Quickly did this little one last night in poor light and alla prima!  Quite pleased with it -  I like elements of it, like the background and the pot.  I think I am learning with backgrounds, but now I would like to improve on painting flowers.

Breaking things down into elements, focussing on one part at a time is much easier than worrying about a large problem.  You just have to nibble away bit by bit until finally there is no problem at all.  When I paint I try to improve one part at a time until I am confident with it, then I focus on another element.  It works for me.

Yellow Begonias

Oils on Canvas 16" x 12"

Just finished this one that I had begun some time ago.  Increased the dark/light contrast and added definition without losing the painterly feel that I have come to enjoy.  I hope you like it too.

Sometimes it takes a while to actually see clearly what needs to be done.  Patience brings its own rewards.  Like a good wine clarity takes time and cannot be hurried or forced, but being patient is well worth the wait.  I am glad I did not hurry this one.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Cyclamen on Canvas

Oils on canvas 16" x 12"

Two weekends in a row I have managed to fit in some painting time... Wow, I could be on a roll here!

I really enjoyed getting the contrast of light and dark in this.  I know the flowerheads could do with a little more work, but overall I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

I've had a great weekend.  Yesterday was family day which was wonderful and today devoted to painting!  Yay!

Sunday, 7 October 2012


Oils on canvas board 16" x 12"

Today was the first time in such a long time that I made time to paint. It was an amazing feeling being back at the easel, smelling those glorious smells that come with painting in oils and just forgetting everything else but the process.

It's just a start, nothing fab, but I love it anyway partly because it is the first in too long a time and secondly, because geraniums always remind me of my childhood when my dad enjoyed growing them and always of course in terracotta pots.

I hope this is the beginning of my return to painting.  I have missed it so much.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Pomeranian Pooch

Gel pen in sketchbook

Had 40 minutes to spare and chose the challenge of this pretty Pomeranian from a photo ref on WetCanvas.

Sometimes when we least expect it things turn out much better than planned and every now and then it turns out worse.  Such is life.  Pick yourself up, dust yourself down and start all over again.  At least the little pooch brought a smile.

Friday, 6 July 2012


Used felt tip pens and wax crayon to capture this lovely day.  My son agreed to take me shopping as long as we went to Macdonalds - well, it doesn't quite fit in with my diet, but a Happy Meal cannot have that many calories can it?  :)

We went hoping for sunshine but took a brolly just in case - good thinking!  It rained but we had a great time and discovered this was the day the Olympic torch was coming through town.

And yes, I bought some amazing shoes... actually they are the most comfortable shoes I have owned in a long time, beautiful soft leather.

The thing about being British is you know how to enjoy life even when it rains.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Garden Market & Beach Day

Sketched in pencil and then decided to ink up part of it.  I think the ink looks much better than the pencil.
It was a great day.  We bought plants from the market and garden centre then had doughnuts with fresh cream and maple syrup at the seaside and a stroll along the beach.  Weatherwise a little drizzly but we had a wonderful time.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Babushka Doll

Watercolour pencil in sketchbrook

I have always know them as Babushka dolls, but now I find this is incorrect and they are in fact Matryoshka dolls.  Anyway I always wanted a set of nested dolls.  A friend brought me back this little lady from Russia recently and of course I had to paint her.  Isn't she cute?

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Summer Solstice

Watercolour pencil in small moleskine sketchbook

Summer Solstice was earlier this year, I am told it was because it's a Leap Year.  The Longest Day.  The day indeed seemed long to me because I managed to pack so much into it and even had time for this quick sketch.

Standing stones are so magical, they always capture my imagination.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Cool Cats!

Ink in moleskine sketchbook

This is not so good, but  maybe a crooked cat is kind of interesting...

Today was good, the sun shone and that always cheers me up but also work went really well.  I achieved a lot and even managed to get people working as a team, so all were cool cats!

An hour for lunch.... well, it only takes 10 minutes to eat a sandwich and so.... 50 minutes well spent I think.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Monday Morning Blues

Watercolour pencil in moleskine sketchbook

I thought I should try to get back to doing a sketch a day if I can like I used to.  Life got in the way a bit, as it so often does, but now I feel able to make time in my busy day to do that which I love.

This is just a quick sketch.  Monday is always the worst day for me, having to be at work, start of the week and the weekend seems so far away.  I often think of Bob Geldof's song "I don't like Mondays".  Of course I don't go and "shoot the whole day down"  :)   I usually simply try to find the positives and today it was the people in my life, not just friends but also acquaintances that got me through my Monday morning blues.  A cheery smile, a laugh, a chat... little things that mean a lot, just people taking time to show they care.

Monday, 7 May 2012


Acrylic on deep canvas 12" x 10"

detail showing how I wrapped the painting around the edges of the canvas.  I think it looks cool and saves on framing.

The photo has brought out as white what is in real life more subtle creams, i.e. the hat.  I really enjoyed painting this one and (although I never thought I would say it!) I am fast becoming a fan of the quick drying acrylics.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Another Seago study

Oils on canvas board 16" x 12"

Another study of a Seago painting. I really loved doing this one and I must say it looks even better in real life - sadly I can never quite get the colours correct on screen, but this is pretty close.

After Seago

Oils on canvas board 16" x 12"

An amazing weekend spent painting in oils. Studying the work of Seago I found I loved the sketchiness of this.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Blue Vase

It's been a long time coming, but at last I have had time to paint again! This is acrylics on canvas and I am hoping it is good enough to go into an exhibition in May. Fingers crossed.

Sorry quality of photo is poor, but it was taken with my phone. It also took longer than my usual 60 mins! :)

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

On Blogging

I love blogging. It’s never a chore, always a delight. It's good to share but also a way of keeping some of my favourite (and not so favourite!) pieces together. It’s fun to look back at and to review how my art has improved when I look at the start of my blog and compare with what I am doing now.

I have always blogged for myself, as a record of my journey, as a motivation for regular sketching because I think it’s very important to keep my skills sharp by practising art regularly. I was surprised when people started to follow my blog and delighted too.

A blog also helps to motivate you as you may want to paint or sketch something to put on the blog, although I have found that I tend to do it the other way round - I sketch/paint and then think hey I could put this on the blog. It’s fun to share and every now and then someone comments and it’s lovely to get that feedback too.

I have never felt pressured to make regular posts – I tend to just post as and when I feel like it. Looking at my blog stats many people are still viewing my old posts so nothing is lost, they’re still visiting my site – I think the search engines put you higher on their listings the more often you blog. You do not really have to worry about getting internet traffic as if you use Blogger it does it all for you – at least it seems to because I get traffic even though I do not actively do anything to attract it other than post. I think the labels you attach may help with this.

Blogger is very easy to use and I like the layout. I tried Wordpress but did not like it as much. I also have a website with Sitekreator for my real paintings and artwork for sale. I find I update the blog much more often than the website.

Blogging is like an artist's sketchbook – it gives an insight into who you are. I find reading other people’s blogs very interesting and I hope others find my own of interest.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Painting is the best medicine

Feeling poorly - full of cold and no energy but I sooo wanted to paint.

I managed this sweet little gouache and it cheered me up so much. My artwork is what keeps me going, gets me through the week. I really love gouache it has such a magical quality and just like watercolour results are quick.

Next weekend when I'm hopefully better I have promised myself time for oils.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Pure Bloggers - Scam?

I noticed an email from in my spam folder and took a look. It said that someone liked my blog and had sent an invitation for me to join pure bloggers site. There was a link. I was about to click when intuition told me to check it out first.

I discovered many others had received the same email and some had noticed them appearing many times in their blog stats. I was wary then. Is it a phishing site?

Apparently someone did sign up and discovered that you are brought to a page where you can "connect" to all your social media... facebook, twitter, youtube, etc. Which ok may just be legitimate but.... they also want your full birth date for sign up. Not much other information about them but I for one will be steering clear and leaving any future emails from them in the spam bin!

Sometimes you just have to follow your instincts.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

More Anne Anderson

Inspired by Anne Anderson

Managed to get time during my lunch break to produce this little quickie in watercolour pencil.

Sunday, 5 February 2012


A wonderful project on WetCanvas, Classical Forum -

After Anne Anderson.

I used watercolour pencils and ink. It was great fun to do.

Friday, 6 January 2012


Page 5 of the Journal 2012.

Not so good at animated cars, but this one was fun to draw - I tried to make it look as if it was rushing in at speed although I think it just looks like its travelling leisurely downhill.

These little sketches are proving to be quite addictive!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

My Hero... well, sort of!

Mixed media - page 4 Journal 2012

So far he has had three different names, so I'm keeping quiet about that right now and allow him to choose his name in his own good time, but he is the hero (sort of) who assists in this exciting new project. I rather like him, even though he is just a little arrogant. :)

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Kennard will guide...

Page 3 of the Journal 2012.

So far I am keeping on track but drawing the dog was not the easiest thing to do. I enjoyed the background though.

Mixed media.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Enter The Shadow Witch

Page 2 of my Journal 2012.

Enter The Shadow Witch who shows no mercy.

Again this is in mixed media and was lots of fun to create.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Journal 2012

First day of the New Year - Happy New Year Everyone!

This is my first creative project for the New Year - I still cannot believe it is 2012! I have been having fun with mixed media. Using oil pastels and watercolours and ink (of course!).

This is the beginning of my journal and it is to be a special journal (hopefully) as I hope to add to it as often as possible throughout the year.

Experimenting with different mediums has always been a favourite pastime of mine. I enjoyed choosing the colours for this and the process of creating it. It's great fun.