Monday, April 30, 2012

Venetian flowers in watercolour

Flowers in Venice
Click to bid
Watercolours on heavy weight watercolour paper, 50cms x 35cms.

It was my watercolour workshop today and we had a great time! Everyone did a great job exploring using watercolours in a vibrant and fresh way with paintings of Venice and a speckled hen!
I had forgotten how much fun watercolours are! All that juicy flooding paint and excitement! We used masking fluid, candles for wax resist and spattering. I have missed watercolours and I'm missing Venice too!

I'm also missing plein air painting! Today is the first day in two weeks it hasn't been pouring with rain, the fields are saturated and the roads flooded. Maybe I'll be able to get out and paint some mud again!
Off to Bréhat again in a few days time ready for our painting holiday! Now that's exciting and ... as long as the weather plays ball ... will involve lots of plein air painting! I've been studying the tide timetable to help me work out the best places and times for us to paint! :-)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

And then there was one...

Oils on canvas 16" x 16"

Ok, as I've said, I've been struggling with this one! I noticed the cool/warm, blue/orange colour scheme that I was running with and wondered whether the balance was too equal - equal parts of warm - cool. I did this little sketch which confirmed my suspicions.

Carried on working on it all morning yesterday, introduced some blues into the foreground rocks and then realised that all the things I couldn't get to work were to do with Daisy, the figure on the right! I was having trouble with her legs, her clothing, her head... It was looking like this at that stage -

 Briefly considered cutting the canvas off the stretchers, and ending up with this -

Then had the 'aha!' moment. After all, it's not even as if the girls seemed to be talking, each in their own world's... there was the big idea, Daisy had to go. (Sorry Daisy)
I do think it works now though - finished painting is at the top of this page.
And here's my favourite bit -

And I can't wait to run my hands over it when it's dry, very touchy-feely this one!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tulips and teacup

Tulips and teacup
Click to bid
I've been having watercolour fun today as you can see! Sunshine and showers all day today - more rain than sunshine it has to be said, but there were times today when my sunglasses were on, off, on, off... this is the joy of using a conservatory as your studio!

This watercolour painting measures 41 x 31cms and is available to buy at auction with free postage, click to bid. Auction price is $180, the equivalent of less than £112.


Here's a detail that I rather like from my oil painting that's on the go, really shows you the texture of the paint - I'd like to say a big thank you to Nancy Colella and Martine Alison for your encouraging remarks! :-)

I've had further good news today! Two of my three pieces entered have been juried in to the Patchings and The Artist annual exhibition at the Patchings Festival this year! I've entered a few occasions previously but never had any accepted so I am especially pleased! I will also be having my own stand at the Patchings Festival this year so I'm very excited about that, also a first! For those who don't know about Patchings I'll give you more info as it gets nearer!
The two paintings chosen for exhibition will be familiar to my regular blog viewers!

Union jack tea party

Painting from the model

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Slow burn!

Definitely a slow burner this one! In between visiting the dentists, putting food shopping away, walking with Maisie and picking children up from school I had a couple more hours to work on this. To be honest with you, I'm not too sure how it's going. One step forwards, two steps back maybe!
I'm laying on the paint quite thickly with brush and palette knife and even that I'm not sure about! I think it looks a bit contrived, a bit 'technique led'!
Now looking at the three images together I can see I've gone a bit over the top with the ultramarine in this most recent stage. Oh heck!
Think I will start tomorrow's painting session wiping rather a lot of paint off...
Bear with me!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Blossom and oilseed rape

Blossom and oilseed rape
Well thank you so so much for all the lovely kind emails and messages you have sent me saying congratulations! I am so truly touched :-)

For my friend in America who asked what the SAA is, it stands for Society of All Artists. It's a large society of 45,000 members, for anyone to join who loves to paint. They aim to inspire and encourage people of all abilities. They provide insurance for their members, a magazine six times a year, and discounts on artists materials. The website is

I did actually manage to focus and get some painting done today! I have finished this hedgerow painting from Monday. Working in the studio from memory I built up the colourful blossom flowers using the tip of a palette knife, increased the dark colours towards the bottom of the hedgerow where the flowers are less intensely clustered, and refined the background and sky. I'm really pleased with the overlapping colours and textures. Here's a close up of the paint surface...

I've also done a little tweaking and updating of my website lately, so I thought you might like to take a look if you haven't seen it for a while...

You might not know that I am on Facebook, my page is called Haidee-Jo Summers Artist, and recently on twitter too if you are a tweetie! @HaideejoSummers

Think that's enough to be going on with!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Artist of the year!!!!

Much giddy excitement!!
 Oh my word, I'm so excited!!!
 I don't know how to say this but I really wanted you to be the first to know.... I've only just found out myself this morning and I've been in a state of giddy excitement ever since!

 The SAA have awarded me their Artist of the Year award 2012!!!!

 I'm so so thrilled about it all!!
 The results won't actually be published for a while but I'm sure they won't mind me telling you, I really can't keep it to myself!
 Apart from the sheer thrill and honour I have also won fabulous prizes... £1000 plus £1000's worth of art materials, an engraved crystal goblet (which I will show you when I receive it!) and £500's worth of art materials to give to a school or art club of my choice, which I think I've already decided about!
 It hasn't really sunk in yet!
 Thank you so much for your ongoing support and encouragement, it means a great deal to me!

 Big smiles all round! And now I'm going out with my friends to celebrate!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Gerberas and lemons

Gerberas and lemons
Great day today at my flower painting workshop! Gorgeous flowers everywhere inside the hall and pouring with rain all day outside so we were definitely in the right place!

Here's the ladies working hard...

And the happy results! Everyone did themselves proud! :-)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Blossom in hedgerows

I've been seeing beautiful blossom in the hedgerows around as I dash from place to place in the car. When I actually went driving with my paints it took me around an hour to find a blossoming hedgerow that I could actually park nearby!
I didn't quite get it finished, but here's how things proceeded....

It was chilly when the sun went in! Oils on canvas board, 24 x 30 cms

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The apple generation

The apple generation
Challenging but I really enjoyed it despite the protests! Oscar with iPad, Milly and Daisy with iPod touches. I started sketching it out with thinned paint and brush, working really quickly because I didn't know how long I had with the models! I soon realised I wouldn't quite fit Daisy on and wasn't sure if compositionally it was a good idea to cut her in half but decided to carry on regardless as time was precious! Now I rather like it!
Oil on canvas board

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sketch 'en voyage'

I didn't expect to blog today, but thought I'd send this while waiting to disembark from the ferry in Portsmouth.
I've driven five hours in France, had six hours on the ferry, and now have another four hours to drive home. Tiring!
At least the traffic shouldn't be too bad at this time of night!
I sketched myself in the cabin onboard. Overhead lighting. Orange and black marker pens on A4 pad.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sunshine and showers

Sunshine and showers
Gouache on watercolour paper
9" x 13"

We survived the visit to the vets on the mainland. Maisie wasn't too happy, and spat out the anti-tapeworm tablets several times before we managed to get her to swallow, with the help of a syringe or two of water! Quelle bonne idée!
This afternoon I painted the old wreck, in gouache which I haven't used in probably 15 years or more!
Paint in tubes is pretty good at standing the test of time isn't it?
I really ought to be packing, and getting the house ready for our departure in the morning. Too soon :-(

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Plage privée

It's not really a 'plage privée', as far as I know! I just always feel as though it is when I come here. At the top of the stone jetty is a cottage which has a garden behind and fronts onto the beach. I painted it once, see 'fisherman's cottage' on my blog on the 14th November last year if you are interested! Sunny today but still very windy! Tomorrow is our last day and I must take Maisie to the vets under the UK pet passport terms. Then on Thursday I have to drive to Le Havre (about four or so hours) to catch the ferry back to England.
Oils on linen canvas, 30 x 30cms

Monday, April 9, 2012

Poule chocolat

Oh the beautiful hen made of chocolate! I've always wanted one of these French delights at Easter time (Pâques) but never bought one. This week we had the extreme good fortune to win, not one, but two poules! I've been on an overnight trip to Antrain and Saint Malo and came back to a rainy afternoon on Brehat island. What better way to spend the time than painting this little beauty.

Oils on canvas, 20 x 20cms.

Oh, and the chocolate didn't disappoint, taste-wise, either. Miam miam!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Grey sky, tide going out

The weather isn't too great, but the wind has dropped! I got out painting for a few hours this morning as the tide was going out. When I started this my easel was almost in the water! The sky was flat and grey and uninspiring so I focussed my attention on the rocks, which always have beautiful colour. I eventually packed up because of the drizzling rain. I haven't won the war with this one yet! I'll have to work on it some more - from the comfort of home maybe!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The rocks of ile nord

The rocks of ile nord, hazy sunshine and strong, strong wind
Oils on deep canvas
25 x 25cms

You will not believe, looking at this painting, how strong the wind was, how I was holding on to my brushes and pochade box throughout with a very firm grip, how I could barely place a brushmark where I wanted without the wind swaying my arm, how cold my hands were and how many times I asked myself 'why am I doing this?'.
It's all true! I didn't expect to be wearing a hat and gloves in April!!
Ah well, at least it's not snowing here!
I think the painting turned out ok, against the odds!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

High tide, dark sky

High tide, dark sky
Oils on canvas board 10" x 12"

The weather was variable today, some periods of sunshine followed by dark clouds that threatened rain.
I was thrilled when I arrived at Guerzido beach to see the turquoise in the sea. The sun came and went, came and went. The sky and the reflections changing so quickly.
I did my best to stick with my original impression of the scene, and to stop Maisie chasing after any pedestrians or dogs who dared to pass along the path. There weren't very many, and luckily nobody had the nerve to step on the beach. (Maisie's words, not mine)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

There is no blue, without yellow, without orange

'There is no blue, without yellow, without orange' said Van Gogh.

We left our English home at 2pm yesterday and after 24 hours of travelling we caught the 2.30pm ferry over to the island of Brehat today!

Being back feels like home straightaway!

After several coffees and checking emails in the garden I wanted very much to bring you a painting today and I was impressed by the yellow flowers of our broom against the blue sky.

So out came trusty Mabel with the oil paints.

It's good to be back!

Oils on canvas board, 20 x 20cms

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Antique shop, Venice

Antique shop, Venice
14" x 18", oils on canvas
The final day of the wonderful Sleaford art event. This is my demo from this morning, I decided to use a couple of photos that I'd taken of an antiques shop in Venice on my last trip. I love the loose, sketchy look of this and I'm definitely leaving it that way! I guess standing up to paint helps, and also having a slightly wobbly hand from talking all the time and laughing with my fellow artists Mike Webster and Phil Janes.

I also won the art challenge (the painting of the lady archer yesterday) so here's me with champagne and trophy! I'd like to thank all seventeen of my brothers and sisters for coming along and voting for me ... only kidding! :-)

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