Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Borrowdale Bluebells

Borrowdale Bluebells
Painted in Oils
For sale
Just finished my first Bluebell wood of this season, I love seeing and painting these beautiful fragrant flowers. I wanted to keep a  loose approach and not get too detailed. Thinking of colour harmony and complementary all along the way. I'm looking forward to painting many more Bluebell scenes, some old haunts and some new.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Step by step Bluebell wood oil painting

 Stage One

I thought I would share the Oil painting I'm working on at the moment. You won't be able to recognise a Bluebell wood from the 1st stage! Weak transparent primary colours were added and left to dry.

Stage Two
I have a bit of a addiction to masking tape, it all started when I watched a programme about Matisse. He often would tear strips of masking tape to help negative shapes appear in paintings. I also wanted to keep the transparent colours in the tree trunks while I happily applied the foliage behind.

Stage Three.
A mass of Bluebells are starting to grow! We still have a species of Rainbow trees often seen in the Borrowdale Valley. I'm using the gorgeous range of Williamsburg Oils that are a total joy to mix with.

Stage four
I'm stuck!! I'm at the point where I need to find my way and pull the painting together, probably with more light, detail in the foreground, but not overworking. We must remember that it is a painting and not a photograph!
I do find standing back helps, even looking at the painting on a pc screen!
I've just received a lovely email from an Online student
 I have just completed the snow painting which I really enjoyed.. I am absolutely delighted at your critiques and it has helped me to grow in confidence. Many thanks

I got the idea of the critiques, after reading John Ruskin's 'The elements of drawing' with interesting notes and explanations to help students through the process of drawing and painting. He started with students drawing a box and then shading it, this was done for a few weeks!
The online watercolour course does have a little more interest than a box and many watercolour techniques and colour mixing ideas are put into practise over the six project course. The feedback is  positive, and sometimes getting an idea on how to change or improve a painting can be really useful, especially when you get stuck!!
If you would like to sign up for the Online watercolour course
just send me an for more details or
 you can see more information at
I'll keep you posted on the Bluebells

Friday, 24 April 2015

Gaining inspiration for painting ideas

I find no better way to get the inspiration flowing, than to get out into the Countryside.
Cycling down the quiet lanes, looking over the walls and hedges passing by, noting for reference ideal painting locations. I always try and have the camera within reach to capture special little shots of time going by. It's great for the mind too, good fitness and you can cover more distance and see more inspiration.
The Lambs at the moment are a pure delight and I like the negative spaces between the Sheep, the row of old cottages and the fells in the distance.

Looking either way and across to the Sharrow Bay Hotel, a super place for Afternoon tea

A Windy road next to the lakeshore with wildflowers coming into bloom. 


Washing out at the Old Farm

I'm not sure why this glimpse of a track inspired me? I think it was the light, shadows, a tunnel of trees or just a path to nowhere!


Friday, 10 April 2015

A painting holiday in Grasmere, Lake District.

A studio waiting for artists to explore.

Grasmere will look different in June, gone are the Daffodils but replaced with Foxgloves and fields full of Wild Flowers. The Lambs will be a little bit chubbier, but the Herdwick's will still be here, gently grazing near the windows of the Studio. The leaves on the trees will be pretty shades of Green with long Summer shadows cast below. And if you're lucky you will see a deer or Red Squirrel from the window.

Grasmere really is the most perfect place to be based for a painting holiday. Avillage full of famous Poets and Artists and a view to capture around every corner. The only problem is you won't want to leave!
 Painting at the Glenthorne in a  wonderfully relaxing place, with views from every window and the fells from the open doorway.

 The view from the studio with Silver How and Loughrigg fells and  Grasmere Lake just hidden below.

The Glenthorne nestled quietly but only a few minutes from the bustle of Grasmere Village

An Aladdin's cave for the artist, with a new colour or sketchbook just for you.

I have two courses with a few places left all with single en suite rooms or a double.
Monday  21st to 24th June promises warm sunshine for watercolours full of colourful flowers and reflected Lakeland scenery.
Monday 12th to 15th October will be just in time for the Autumn glow.
 Both of the courses are for beginners or Intermediates painting in a small group with plenty of one to one tuition and demonstrations along the way. Price £395.00
To reserve a place or for more details email Jane at

Friday, 3 April 2015

Easter Exhitibition at Grasmere

Here are my paintings that will be on show at the Grasmere Easter exhibition, all quite different and
four mediums! The exhibition runs from today until Sunday 13th April.

Autumn Stroll Watercolour

Helvellyn painted in Pastels

Tarn Hows painted in Oils

Grandes Jorasses, Chamonix painted in Acrylics

Evening Flight, Derwentwater painted in Watercolours