Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lily's gift

I've a few bits and bobs for you today. I've had a really good day getting on with some of the work I've fallen behind with due to my snow obsession! I've also been taking photos of my snow paintings so I'll be able to show you better images of those.
Yesterday I went out with the intention of painting but only managed this drawing of a horse beside it's ramshackle stable and I just love the snowman. He looks as though he is surrendering! I've always wanted to paint snowmen.
Anyway, I've started a large-ish studio painting on the basis of this sketch which I'm quite excited about at the moment. The tricky thing will be keeping up the momentum, as you know I really need to get outside to paint from life, it's my passion.
I'd like to try more studio work based on my plein air studies, it's an avenue I want to explore. I really like this quote from Kevin Macpherson - "Indoor and outdoor painting are complementary experiences. As memories of nature breathe life into your studio work, the disciplined approaches and principles you practice indoors will enable you to attack the canvas outdoors in new ways"

This is the lovely photo of Ken Howard that I took at his exhibition last week. As I was sitting talking to him a lady came along and pulled out a painting from her bag wrapped in a little bubble wrap. It was a self portrait that he'd painted when he was 22 years old! It had obviously been in the lady's family for a very long time and was wonderful to see. Ken is hoping to exhibit it at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters exhibition alongside a current self portrait, aged 80.

I had a very nice surprise in the post yesterday! My youngest blog subscriber is Lily, a little girl who lives in Normandy in France and she has made me this wonderful keyring! Isn't that just so adorable and kind? 
Merci beaucoup Lily! Ça me plaît énormément! Gros bisous à toi :-)

Today I discovered that my painting (Ice cream shed) is on the front cover of the next issue of The Artist magazine, and my article on how to find your own style is now featured online on the website so you can have a sneak peek before the magazine hits the shops!

Finally, I spotted this snow family in my village! Please email me a picture if you've spotted any fun snowman or snowlady- I never tire of seeing them!


  1. I so enjoyed your article in The Artist - I read the online version. Such good sound advice!
    You'll be pleased to hear I did a couple of watercolours outdoors on Sunday - not marvellous but a start!

    1. That's really lovely to hear, thanks Carol! :-)

  2. I love the horse and snowman sketch, such a strong composition! Thank you for the quote from Kevin Mcpherson. (Do you have his books? They are great.) Since I have been painting mostly outside for a while, it makes me wonder if I have that disciplined approach indoors that he speaks of... I suspect I'm more disciplined outside, certainly I'm neater.

    Great pic of Ken Howard, I envy you the experience of talking with him and seeing his new paintings.

    Enjoy your new key ring!

    1. Thanks Bobbi, I think I have two of his books, very inspiring and interesting and easy to read as well as being lovely to look at!

  3. I've tried to comment before but I think I have forgotten my password or something as to why this hasn't worked. I've followed Ken Howard for years, so I am envious of your ability to go see him. I didn't realise he was 80 years old now.
    I lived in London almost 4 years but I was housebound and my art materials were back in NZ. I should have researched more as I didn't know where to send work even if I had produced any. I am giving myself two years to get my wildlife art up to a high standard. I have been drawing a pastel painting a day so I guess I should look at doing a blog like you have. I've just finished th neighbours cat for the little girl next door as a surprise/late Xmas present. I wish I had tried to get hold of some vellum though, as it looks like that may be more suited to rendering fur. Love your site and that you try to do a painting a day. I like portrait painting as well but there is not much call for it here in NZ.

    1. Thank you Vickie, lovely to hear from you. A blog is a great way to watch your own work develop - a visual diary. At first you may feel like you are talking to yourself but eventually people will come and want to see what you are up to!
      I used to try to do a painting a day but it didn't suit me to put so much pressure on myself to get something finished and photographed so quickly. Eventually I discovered other ways to keep my blog regular but without the feeling of gloom - showing sketches, works in progress, adjustments, gallery exhibits, competitions and prizes, travel... in fact everything new that is to do with my painting. I think it makes for interesting content and means that my subscribers can really get to know me. Good to have you on board and good luck with your pastels and blog! :-)


Thank you for your words!

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