Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Thanks again for all your support.

I've finished the goslings. They were such fun to paint but this painting is intended as more than just a painting depicting their cute fluffy characters...

‘They paved paradise and put up a parking lot…’

is the opening line of a Joni Mitchell song.

for these young Canada geese, along with many other animals, their habitat is being destroyed as a result.

This new family of goslings are on ‘Rations’. They have found a Dandelion growing through a crack in the parking lot but it is the only piece of vegetation in the sea of tarmac.

here are some close ups of the little goslings


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Rations WIP 2

Firstly I would like to thank you so much for all the congratulations that you have posted on the blog and sent by e mail. I really appreciate all of your support.

I've been busy painting some of the baby geese over the weekend. They are such fun to paint, their tiny fluffy bodies and their legs and feet which seem so out of proportion and then their cute faces.

I have now finished 4 of the 6 goslings so let me introduce them to you by showing you this close up of the finished section of the painting.

You have already met the good little gosling on the left who is patiently letting her brothers and sisters have their turn. Beside her is the eager gosling who is more than a little determined to have more than his fair share. Next to him is his brother who has toddled a long way to get his share of the rations. His wings are outstretched because they just seem to help maintain balance whilst trying to walk. His younger sister on the far right really would like some food too but the whole business of standing up is prooving to be quite difficult.

As you can see below I have the two geese on the far left hand side still to paint. Hopefully I will get then done over the next couple of days..


Friday, July 16, 2010

Updates and Exciting News!

Hi Everyone, It's been a busy and exciting couple of days for me.

I've finished the labrador drawing. I was going to call it 'Missing you' but as I have been drawing it 'Waiting' seems to fit so much better. What do you think?

I've also begun working on the little goslings in my watercolour painting 'Rations'. They are quite fiddly to do so it's taking me a while but I'm really enjoying it. I've finished the good little gosling of the group. She is sat nicely beside the food and doesn't mind sharing with others. I am now working on the other gosling who is near the food. He is a little more forceful in his endevours to have his share of the rations. I havent taken a photo of the whole painting, but cropped in on the section I am working on so you can see the little goslings themselves. I am trying very hard to convey that cute awwwww factor whilst painting them because I want this to contrast to the more serious message I am trying to convey. I hope it works.

And to my exciting news...I received a letter in the post yesterday saying my painting 'A Bleeding Heart' had been juried into this years Pennsylvania Watercolor Society International 31st Juried exhibition.

This was painted after I researched the legend of the Bleeding Heart flower. I loved the story and immediately went out into my garden, found a bleeding heart flower and used Rebecca's lovely long eye lashes as my reference. For those of you fairly new to this blog or who do not remember the story that goes with this painting here it is again.

You have to imagine that I have a Bleeding heart flower in my hand as I tell you the tale.

Once upon a time there lived a beautiful princess. Young men from far and near came to try to win her heart. But the princess was very vain and would have nothing to do with any of them. A young prince from a neighboring country fell deeply in love with her. She ignored him like the others, though he tried and tried to win her love. One day the prince found a pair of pretty pink rabbits at the market. At this point, I pull off the two outer pink petals and set each on it side to show the animals. He sent them to the princess thinking,"these will surely melt her heart." But the princess went right on ignoring him. Then the prince sent her a pair of beautiful earrings. Next I separate the two inner white petals and hold them up next to my ears. Still the princess would have nothing to do with him. The young prince was so heartbroken that he took his dagger and drove it into his heart. The remaining centre of the flower in my hand is shaped like an outline of a heart with a line down the centre. I hold the heart up, remove the dagger-like line, and plunge the "knife" through the heart's centre. The princess, realizing too late that she did love the prince, cried out, "My heart shall bleed for my prince forever more!" and her heart bleeds to this day.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Waiting and Rations WIP updates

I am really enjoying my new resolution to have two works in progress at a time. While I was waiting for each layer of the background glazes to dry on the watercolour painting I could pen in some more of the labrador. Both are progressing well.

I have now finished the background for the gosling painting. I chose to use a lot of the colours that I will use when painting each gosling in my background. I wanted to create that feel of a barren landscape apart from the one small piece of vegetation growing out of a crack in some tarmac to contrast with the cute fluffy goslings themeselves and to help to convey my inner message. We are building over so much of their natural habitat maybe in the future what is conveyed in this painting could become reality.

I now get to do the fun part... bringing each of the little goslings personalities to life.

The labrador is still not finished but is progressing well too. I have added the colour to the eyes and I am pleased with the effect it creates. It seems to accentuate the soulfulness of his eyes.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Having fun with pen and ink!

I felt in the mood for doing a pen drawing this weekend so I started this one of a labrador looking under the fence waiting for his owner to come home. I know how many times I've seen our labrador Harry waiting patiently with his head on the floor and how happy he is when his 'pack' returns.

It's still a 'work in progress' but I thought i'd post an update now so you can see. I have added in all the darkest darks and am now working on the midtones.

I have been planning my colour scheme for the painting of the geese and have spent a couple of hours today masking the whites of the goslings feathers but nothing much to show yet. I'll post an update on that one when I have done the background.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Homecoming close ups and the next idea for a painting!

Thank you for all your lovely comments about the Kettlewell painting. A couple of you have e mailed asking if I could post some close ups so here they are:

firstly of the shepherds and their sheep

and secondly of Blue Bell Inn.

I am so glad that the relaxed feeling comes across in the painting. Creating an atmosphere is a large part of what I enjoy most when painting landscapes.

A few of you also wanted to know more about the village itself so if you are interested click on this link to find out more.

I'm thinking about my next painting already. Well actually I'm already beginning to draw out the outline. Its a change of subject matter once more. We took some photos recently of a group of Canadian geese youngsters and they each had such wonderful characters I just have to paint them. So, I am going for a cutsie painting of the baby goslings but with a very serious twist to it. There are just a couple of blades of grass left, poking through a tarmac'd path, symbolizing human's destruction of habitat.

I have drawn out the goslings. You will have to imagine the remaining blades of grass in the area of the middle two goslings. I am now thinking about the background. I plan to keep it fairly plain except in the area where the last remaining blades of grass are. I am really looking forward to developing the characters and feelings of each of the little goslings over the coming weeks.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010


It's taken a while but i've finally finished the Kettlewell painting. Before I show you I thought I would let you see Doug's reference photo and explain how i decided to use it.

I wanted to change the composition slightly so that the sheep had somewhere to walk. Its so useful having google steet view just to be able to add in the extra parts of the building on the left hand side.

I also wanted to change the light direction and general feel of the scene. I was imagining a time late on a summer's afternoon when the light turns that wonderful golden colour. I decided to take out all of the modern day extras and even make a road appear more rural without the road markings. I just wanted that relaxed feel to the piece, away from the hustle and bustle of modern day living.

so this is my finished painting.