Saturday, January 24, 2015

From Major to Minor WIP 1

I thought I would have a change of pace for my next painting as the last two were both so full of energy and movement. This one, I hope, will be much more thought provoking.

For my inspiration I am using a quote by Ehssan " Life is like a piano; the white keys represent happiness and the black show sadness. But as you go through life's journey, remember the black keys also create music"

 We cannot really appreciate happiness without its mirror emotion sadness. Both sides help us in our  journey of life. Happiness provides satisfaction and resolution, sadness on the other hand helps us develop perseverance and strength.  Accept both and hopefully you’ll be playing a perfect concerto. 

Not much to get into a painting is it LOL. I Love a challenge though. I am still very early on in the paintings development but I thought I would share with you my progress so far. The background is actually a deep rich maroon in the darker areas. The camera really doesn't like the many layers of glazing it took to create it.

My model for this painting, Mira, has long black hair so it will take me a while to paint it. I think I will find some quiet piano music to listen to as I continue to paint.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Animato Assai

I had enormous fun doing this painting, especially capturing the movement of the hair. I have chosen the title 'Animato Assai' because it is the Italian musical term for very animated and I hope the painting evokes both happiness and the feeling of movement.

Thank you Sarah for being such a wonderful model for this painting.


Thursday, January 8, 2015


Here is today's update on my progress. The clothes are finished and next I get to paint all the fly away hair. I have some fun plans for this part and will probably be several days working on it as my tiny 'two haired' brushes will be getting a real workout so lookout for the finished version sometime next week. 


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Progress update

I have made a lot of progress since yesterday morning. Sarah's face, hands and T shirt are now finished and I have started painting her hair. I have been listening to lots of happy music as I have been painting.  Thank you for the suggestions you e mailed to me. I can't wait to finish her hair as I have some fun plans for it but I will need to finish her clothes next.

The camera is doing better today but its still not picking up the more subtle hues in the purples. For the painters its the quin violet which I used over the carbazole violet to give it a more pinky purple hue that is missing.


Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year

Happy New year everyone! After a couple of weeks break for the holidays I was eager to pick up the brushes again. I thought I would start the year with a fun party atmosphere painting. It is still in its very early stages but I just had to share this magic moment that happened this morning when my model Sarah's  smiling joyful face started to appear from the paper. It certainly made me smile. The saying is so true. Smiling is contageous.

As usual it is hard for the camera to capture the colours accurately at this stage but it will hopefully give you an idea of what I am working on. If you have some ideas for fun music I can listen to as I carry on with the painting, let me know.


Sunday, December 14, 2014


I have finished my last painting for this year. Time for me to get ready for our christmas holidays now. This one was a huge challenge for me and I must admit I found it hard painting with these bright colours but it was a huge learning experience too so I am very glad I did it.  I am calling it Acceso because this is the musical term for 'ignited, on fire'. In spanish it also means bright, enthusiastic and passionate.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Acceso WIP 3

It is amazing how colour effects mood. I am finding that the vibrant oranges and yellows in this painting makes me want to rush at things. As a result I keep making silly mistakes which I then need to correct. Nevertheless I am making steady progress.

I had some fun today giving the arm a feeling of movement by blurring it just a little. I just thought it would add some more energy to the piece. I can't wait to paint the violin.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Acceso WIP 2

It has taken me 4 days to paint in the hair, layer by layer. I used the hairdryer as I usually do to help speed up the process. Do you think maybe the settings on it were a little on the hot side? Look what has happened to the hair! (grin)

Sorry, the camera is really struggling with capturing the bright colours as they are in the painting itself but hopefully this at least gives you an idea of my progress. Clothes next I think. 


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Acceso WIP 1

I can't believe it's December already. This year is flying by. I have been working on a new watercolour over the past week. It took me 3 days and 27 glazes to build up the background. My subject is Sarah the violinist who I also used for my painting 'Heart Strings'. She is a great model. Heart Strings was all about the quiet inner thoughts as you play on your own and reach that moment when the music can just fly away and you are at one with it. I want this painting to have a very different feel to it. I want it to be full of energy and life with a real sense of movement. 

I've been listening to the music of Lindsey Stirling as I am working on this. It really helps me to get into the feel of what I want the mood of the painting to be. As you can see from the WIP photo I have now basically done Sarah's face, just the odd tweak here and there so I am now beginning work on her beautiful red hair. I am going to have some fun with the hair. If any of you know musical terms, the word 'Acceso' might give you a clue as to what I am planning to do with the hair.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

'Here's looking at you Kid'

I have been busy drawing out, stretching and masking a new watercolour this week. This involves a lot of waiting time as the stretched paper and masking fluid dry so I used this time  to  have some fun drawing "Here's Looking at You Kid".  Little Act-Ted utters the famous line  of the movie Casablanca with the deepest voice he could muster.  Do you think we should give him the part?

 I just couldn't resist doing this one in scratchboard as it really helped me to capture the Film Noir feel.  It is  drawn on a 11 by 14 inch Ampersand museum grade board.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Several of my art friends who do scratchboard have been wanting me to have a go for ages so I decided to try it out.  Harry very kindly posed for me. I used a touch of watercolour in his eyes. Any guesses what he was looking at?

 This drawing sold today. Someone saw it on my facebook page  so will be on its way to the US in the next day or two once the scratchboard is sealed.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Harry's in print!

My copy of Strokes of Genius 6: The Best of Drawing hardback book arrived in the mail today. Of course my now famous pup Harry had to have first look.

 He was so pleased that he is right at the begining of the book right opposite Rachel's introduction because turning the pages with his paws was quite tricky (grin). After finding page 7 and admiring the drawing of himself he had to read what I had written about him. He liked the bit best about him having a soulful expression. He does do this expression so well don't you think?

Hope you enjoy the photo's. If you would like to order your own copy of this book or Splash 15: The Best of Watercolor both are now available in bookstores or directly through North Light Books


Monday, November 10, 2014

Wherever my music takes me...

I had so much fun creating this painting, following my imagination and seeing where it took me. Just me and my guitar, with the warm sun on my skin and a faint breeze in the air.

Transparent Watercolour 32 inches by 17.5 inches


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Progress update

 James took this photo this morning. He was behind and above me  as he was taking it but this is almost the view I get as I am painting. Kind of fun isn't it. As you can see, I have nearly finished the giant guitar shaped platform.  I loved the idea of the fret board at this size acting like a long walkway and was reminded of a quote by Angus Young " I just go where the guitar takes me" when I first thought of the idea.

 There really isn't much detail in the painting so far. I am just trying to create the feeling of space, and a sense of depth and distance. How many of you have been high up in the mountains early in the day as the sun is rising? It's a wonderful sight. That's the atmosphere I am trying to capture.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Journey of Creation

After nearly a month without painting it feels so good to have my brushes in my hands again and to begin another journey of creation. I hope you will enjoy coming on the journey with me.

James took this photo of me earlier this evening well after the light had faded. I was just putting the finishing touches to the background section of the painting and was illuminated only by the strip of halogen lights above me. I have also inserted a separate photo of just the painting so far in the top left side so you can see it more clearly. I wanted to create the atmosphere of a misty morning sunrise in the background. It's sort of symbolic really because in any creative journey, however much you plan, you often have to take a leap of faith and head off into the unkown. It's scary sometimes but very exciting too.

I can't wait for tomorrow when I can continue on my journey of creation.  Hope you like the photo.