Friday 9 November 2012


   Paintings it is! And I will probably do as Buttons suggested and do each one in turn anyway! So don't worry Amy, Servietten technique will be here soon!

      I used to hate painting! but I still adored my art lessons in school so much so that when I was about 8 and struggling with maths lessons, the teachers decided a group of us should do extra maths lessons. Their chosen time to do it happened to coincide with the one weekly art lesson - for a WHOLE term!- I thought I would never stop crying.....My love of art class continued but with a hatred of paint...My teacher used to despair as I drew a good picture but refused to add colour. A friend in the class agreed with me that colour 'ruined' pictures (pencil can be erased but a mistake with the paintbrush can be disaster) and we stubbornly refused to go near the paints....a middle ground was met with coloured pencils and pastels and I passed the Art o'level easily (that shows my age!)

     After leaving school, photography took over as my focus and that was where I thought my creativity would go. I never drew anything or made anything. It took another 13 years before I re- discovered arts and crafts and loved it. As I have said before my first try of crafts was when my mother-in-law, Gil, handed me a fabric painting kit...It was a gift and I can't remember the occasion but to be honest Gil doesn't wait for birthdays or Christmas if she sees something she thinks someone will like. My first thought was "I can't do that!" Words that she has heard me say countless times, and as always she ignores that instinctive negativity and says that I can! The kit produced a lovely painted bag and I was hooked.

     For a special birthday in 2002 my husband and I were trying to think what to get Gil. I knew she loved mushrooms so I suggested painting a picture for her...Was I mad? Painting!!! What was I thinking?!!! It might have been a moment of insanity but the painting actually went well and I enjoyed it - so much so that I actually did a second painting for her and she loved both (I will include it in another post about gifts I have made) I thought the good result was probably more luck than talent and I put the paints aside.

      My interest in painting was there lurking in the background and I began to dabble a bit in trying to produce some things. I was given a set of watercolour pencils and that seemed to me to be a good compromise on the painting issue!....I think I began to enjoy painting in 2004 when my daughter was 1 year old and for her birthday we decided to put on a puppet show...complete with home made theater and backgrounds for scenes (we got a bit carried turned into a full scale production with lights, sound effects and music!) Anyway, I am getting off subject here......

    The painting of the scenery and backgrounds got me interested in painting at last. It was many years later that I eventually got a small decent watercolour set and joined an art group - And I began to paint. Sometimes I love it, sometimes it goes wrong - and I have overcome my dislike of paint!

    When I joined the art group I realised that I really didn't know how to paint - or at least I was needing to learn some effective techniques. It wasn't a taught class - you just went along with whatever project you were working on and sat and painted. It gave me a much needed 'me' time away from housework and kids. Just two hours of sitting painting. Although we weren't taught, there were some very experienced painters there who were very willing to offer advice and I quickly learnt how to correct what I was doing wrong. One day I was standing by the book cupboard looking for some inspiration and someone asked if I needed any help. "Yes please, I would like to learn to paint flowers" she grabbed a book from the shelf and said "You need to look at Janet Whittle paintings then"....I glanced through the pages and adored them. I am certainly inspired by Janet's flower paintings and although I am far from mastering the beautiful blended paints and depth and beautiful haze in her paintings - I quite like the results I have achieved


 This is one of the first Janet Whittle paintings I did

This is an unusual painting of mine as I used a different technique. Usually I draw the flowers then paint. For this one I dampened the paper, swirled watercolours everywhere and tilted the paper to blend them. Then I began to paint the detail. If you look at the sky - that is what the entire paper looked like before I began to paint in the detail. The idea is you create the flowers in the blended colour. In the yellow flower area you can see a larger blended yellow area but I picked out small flowers and left the larger area blended into the grass. 

This painting I liked, but it has a terrible that happened due to my lack of patience. I was about to throw it away and my best friend rescued it and said she would have it! I must say I don't throw paintings away anymore - I used to rip them up and chuck them but my daughter stopped me and insisted I recycle by painting on the back of them to save trees (hang my head in shame!)

   I won't say what the mistake is - If you don't notice it then perhaps it is only in my eyes!

This isn't a Janet Whittle painting. One of my friends is a florist and she put a photo up on Facebook that I liked - so I painted it. I had never painted roses before.....

And so began my interest in painting Roses!

   And it continues........!

This one used an interesting technique - Salt was sprinkled over the wet watercolour and left to dry. The salt absorbs the paint and leaves this sparkle effect. If you want it to be less dramatic then you dry the paint with a hairdryer.

                            Flowers are my main painting subject - but I have done others


  I didn't know whether to put this in Architecture or still life! I suppose it is more still life than a painting of a building....This is my Mother-in-laws house in the Czech republic. I think she had set this all up hoping I would paint in the courtyard. One hot sunny day I did just that....and it is one of my favourite paintings.

On the same holiday I joined an Art group having a painting holiday. This painting was the result of a day trip to paint architecture. It was wonderful. I found a quiet place, away from the crowds and sat painting this beautiful church....

 This is a painting of Oaxaca Cathedral in Oaxaca de Juarez, Mexico. Sadly I wasn't there to see it for myself and paint it. I saw the picture in a magazine and loved the bright bold colours and I decided to paint it. To capture the intense colours I needed to work in acrylics - something I had not done before. It was quite nice using another medium...and acrylics certainly appealed to my fear of ruining a painting with a mistake. Acrylics can be very easily painted over...the sky was re-done about seven times before I was happy with it. That certainly cannot be done with watercolour!

This painting came about because I went to see a demonstration of painting reflections by William Newton. He did a gorgeous painting of a house by a lake. When I got home I was trying to describe the painting to my husband but he looked confused (or bored!) so I said "You know, it is probably easier for me to paint it" So for the next 20 mins I sat painting this from memory - I never intended it to be kept - I just wanted my husband to know what I had seen. When I was done I looked at it and thought "That's actually not bad" It isn't as good as the original - but I do like it. I love the fact that painting it was easier than explaining it!!!

                                                                     STILL LIFE

 When I was planning to paint the cathedral picture I bought some cheap acrylic paints and a pad of acrylic card. I thought best do a small practice painting (having never painted in acrylics before) so I grabbed a couple of apples from the fruit bowl and sat down to paint. I soon found out that mistakes are easier to correct and actually enjoyed using acrylics. However watercolour remains my favourite, even though it is very awkward at times. I love the hazy quality you can get from watercolours that is difficult to get with the bold acrylic paints.



          This was a photo I saw on an online news site (I think the article was about the weather!) and I adored the photo - so I had to paint it

       This painting was done at a demonstration at the Art club. This time someone had been asked to come to the class to do a teaching demonstration about cloud painting techniques. We all selected a photo and she taught us how to paint clouds. This painting is one my husband loves (the other he really liked was the cathedral) so both of them I framed and gave to him. He hasn't yet asked for any paintings of roses ;o)


               Thank you for being here! See you soon........



  1. Ooh lovely. Nice to see so many of your paintings at once - but where are my mushrooms. The foray has to feature!

    Sadly the courtyard doesn't look quite like that at the moment, November in the Czech Republic is not friendly to flowers.

    By the way, I think you should ask butterfly how to change the blog setup so that one can add comments without going to the specific post...mine seems to offer the opportunity to comment even if one is not just at that post. If you see what I mean....

  2. The mushroom paintings will be featured I promise! I plan to do a 'gifts' blog. I am going to ask Alison to help me sort out various problems with the blog - the comment issue will prevent people posting as it isn't obvious how to do it! Love and hugs xxxxxxxxxx

  3. There you are, I knew Alison would have a reason for picking paintings and boy was she right! Love the different styles you have used. In particular I adore the clarity of form and colour you have achieved with your flowers. Truly beautiful. Looking forward to seeing more. Hugs, Buttons x

  4. Thank you! I am so glad you liked them. I am still finding my way with my painting style but it is an interesting journey! Hugs back!x

  5. Beautiful! I haven't seen quite a lot of these, so that's gorgeous... and I'm sorry I didn't get your email in time to say that of course you could use the garden one you painted for me... Next time, eh?!
    Alison x


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