Saturday, January 3, 2015

My 2014 review January to March

Exhibition portraits January 2014

It's that special time again, time to look back over what I've been up to in 2014, take note of my achievements, remember fun times and travel, see what direction my paintings have grown and yes, pat myself on the back for a job well done before putting it all behind me and forging ahead with the exciting and new!

January 2014 got off to a cracking start with my solo exhibition in Nottingham and a whopping 30 paintings sold and off to new homes. I painted a different portrait in oils each day for ten days of the exhibition, while also handling sales and enquiries and putting the kettle on frequently! I was very grateful to my patient models!



Painting Ant who also painted me!

The large gallery with about 80 of my paintings hanging

February included a ten day holiday in France with the family, some plein air painting in Norfolk and some coastal studio paintings, plus an article I wrote about gouache painting was published in The Artist magazine.

Crab hut at Brancaster Staithe
Private Collection

Whelk sheds at Brancaster Staithe
Oils 11" x 14"

By the boat sheds, Brancaster Staithe
Oils 16" x 20"

I was really starting to get somewhere with studio paintings and actually enjoy doing it. I found ways to keep much of the freshness of plein air paintings and yet on a larger scale. I realised I needed as much background information as possible, e.g. paintings and sketches made on site, to help me keep the excitement and inspiration alive. The more I do of studio work, the more possibilities present themselves to me. It could never replace plein air of course, but I feel they both feed off each other. 

Kevin Macpherson describes it so well in his book 'Landscape painting Inside and Out':
"Many outdoor attempts fall short of successful, yet possess qualities that can be improved on into a grander statement in the studio. Each truthful colour note on a plein air study is a priceless seed of information that can transform your studio work to higher levels. Also, in the studio you can practise picture-making principles and experiment in a controlled environment.
Indoor and outdoor painting are complementary experiences. As memories of nature breathe life into your studio work, the disciplined approaches and principles you practise indoors will enable you to attack the canvas outdoors in new ways."

End of a perfect day, Sennen beach
Private Collection

In March I had two trips - first to Cornwall and then to Essaouira in Morocco with a group of painter friends. In Cornwall the weather was a bit disappointing but I managed to get some plein air work done and also enjoyed a fishy still life when it was pouring with rain outside.

Fairmaids of Mousehole
Private Collection

Towards St Michael's mount from Mousehole
Private Collection

Silver light, Mousehole
Private Collection

In contrast the weather in Morocco was dry, warm and idyllic for plein air painting, and I had a fabulous time. The locals were on the whole very interested and kind, and several remembered me from the year before. We even got invited to the private view of an art exhibition with an artist friend who I'd met while painting the year before and kept in contact with via Facebook, and I made some lovely new friends too. Plus of course the enormous benefit of having artist friends painting at the same time there from the UK, USA and Spain. What a great trip! 

One of my Essaouira friends, Monsieur Bouabid

Butchers shop Essaouira - poultry
Oils 10" x 12" £550

Butchers shop Essaouira - mutton and veal
Oils 11" x 14" £595

Boys diving into harbour
Private Collection

I'll finish this first quarter of the year with this bobby dazzler, companion painting to the one you know well that you'll be seeing again in the next instalment, when I take a walk back through April, May and June. I warn you now it might be a long blog post with a lot of excitement and exclamation marks!

Heading out of harbour
Private collection


  1. You have been a busy lady! Can't wait to see what you do in 2015!

  2. What an amazing year for you! Love love your artwork so much, both portraits and landscapes are equally fantastic. Happy New Year and have a wonderful year!

    Katrina Sophia

    1. Thank you so much Katrina, and a happy new year to you too x

  3. Applause....drumroll....what a wonderful start to your painting year! I especially love the quiet of End of the Day - the light is wonderful.
    Looking forward to part two.

    1. You are a great support Carol, so lovely to think that you've been coming along with me every year! Thank you! X

  4. You have proved an inspiration to me this last year, I went to both exhibitions at Nottingham and Patchings read your articles and met you briefly at Buxton. You are consistent in producing wonderful work and you deserve the success and recognition I do hope you write your book as I know it will be almost compulsory reading for anyone who wants to paint. All the best for 2015!

    1. I had a bit of a tear in my eye when I read this - how lovely of you Ruth, thank you. I was really glad to meet you at last, albeit briefly, and I hope you have a fantastic painting year ahead! X

  5. It's always lovely to look back over the year and take stock. What a wonderful year 2015 has been for you and I'm looking forward to seeing the next 3 instalments. I've enjoyed reading your blog this year .. so keep up the good work and thank you for allowing us to share in your art journey! I'm definitely looking forward to 2015.

    1. Thanks Jean! It will be an adventure if nothing else! :-)

  6. We've just come back from Mousehole and you've captured the light there perfectly. What a great start to your year, can't wait to read the exclamations!

    1. Thank you Julie! How lovely, you must have seen the Christmas lights there. Happy new year!


Thank you for your words!

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