Wednesday, 17 July 2019

#471 'Mortson Quay' 11x14"

I timed the paint to be in-between tides, but the water rushed in so quickly I painted the edges of the banks first so I had a pleasing shape before it disappeared. (see picture below for how the water looked when I finished)
Contra jour light, around 8am. I used a pre-stained board with Burnt Sienna, very light in tone but gives a warm base to work on. Especially the lights show up straight way - on a white board much harder.
I didn't put all the boats in as the size board couldn't take it, editing out to make the composition work.
Just my sort of subject!
Standing on a rickety jetty trying not to drop anything between the gaps!

Monday, 15 July 2019

#470 'Sunday Sailing, Morston'

Quite tricky to find a composition that worked with lots of comings and goings of boats and people because it was a sunny Sunday morning. 
I was there with the ROI (Royal Institute of Oil painters) and the IEA (institute of East Anglian painters.) A painting day with lots of amazing artist, really inspiring to see how they worked and paint with them.

I liked this National Trust hut silhouetted with the contra jour sun. Everything was high key and bight. Lots of interesting activity as well, the boat sail was a bonus! 

I kept it loose and sketchy wanting it to feel fresh and lively, to suit the day.
I felt honoured that David Curtis wanted to paint the same subject as me so he ducked in behind and this started a line of other painters joining in with this subject! ....

 The tide quickly drained out of this area, plus the blue foreground boat was taken away!

Friday, 12 July 2019

#469 'Wells Next to Sea, Norfolk' 11x14"

There are many ups and downs of being an artist and I was feeling a bit self doubting. 
We had arrived in North Norfolk the previous night and I was keen to explore this area which I've not visited before. It was raining and grey I could see there was lots of subject fodder but my mind was getting in the way. I did a painting in the morning which I haven't finished yet but then had an amazing opportunity to paint with David Curtis, he has been plein air painting for over 50 years!! 

We painted side by side for 2 1/2 hours and he was such a tonic and I felt a lot better by the end of it! You could say I got my mojo back and felt so inspired by the subject. 
It's good to paint with others who are more experienced. I wouldn't have chosen this subject on my own as it was extremely complex. But seeing him tackle it gave me the confidence to try and I'm really pleased with the result.

A grey day can put me off painting but this painting shows there can be a subject out there!

Thursday, 11 July 2019

#468 Pink Peonies

I wanted to get the colours as vibrant a possible so kept mixing until they we’re bright enough - I used Magenta to help with the intensity. Peonies are such happy flowers!! 🌸

Oil on board 10x10"

Friday, 5 July 2019

#467 Morning Light, Langstone

7am in the summer time and the sun is already quite high but there is some warm interesting light. 

Driving down to the coast I thought I'd check out Langstone first before I went further along the coast towards Bosham. But this scene grabbed me and I could envisage it on the upright format. I knew I didn't have long before the sun would be out of my picture and the tide was rapidly emptying! 
I started blocking in the main elements that are going to change. I put the horizon in first just above a 3rd up and then the boats. The clouds made a lovely pattern around the sun which I sketched in. Also the shape of the mud flats I like the little opening of water which leads the eye in. 

I spent an hour and 20 minutes painting on location but by then the tide was gone and the sun had moved it was a different painting. So I stopped and completed that afternoon in my studio while it was still fresh.

#466 Blue Canal Boat

Not a subject I would have gone out to paint but a friend asked me to help her with plein air painting. 
When I first started painting outside I would choose a single object like this boat as it was similar to a still life - light a dark on a single element. So she honed in and I did a little of the surrounding. 
Canal boats are so tricky with their perspective being long and narrow but this little fella was a short version and seemed to have a character! 
An enjoyable paint but got terribly sunburn on my neck, not used to the sun yet!

Monday, 1 July 2019

#465 Daisies & Grasses

I wanted a light an airy feel, difficult with light flowers and a fairly light background. Contrasted dark grasses helps with the tonal composition.

#464 Cows

A quick sketch, I saw them all through the window of my studio while I was painting something else at the time but couldn't resist them. So I crept out not wanting to disturb as they are so curious and friendly.
Managed about 15 minutes before they all got up to come and see what I was doing.

Saturday, 22 June 2019

#463 'Towards Chelsea Bridge' 35x45cm

Working on a larger scale again out en plein air. Was lucky with the sun coming out so provide sparkles on the water and great silhouetted shapes. My sort of subject! I wanted to paint as much as possible outside -because it takes me out of my comfort, pushing to make decisions and bring areas to a conclusion, I took about 3 hours and did 90+% of it, pleased to manage this, and with the outcome.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

#462 'Early Summer The River Wey' 35x45cm

Clambering over dewy wet grass some of it as tall as me in search of an inspiring composition and scene....Morning light with the greens so bright plus the gate and reflections, worth a paint!

A canvas bigger than usual 35x45cm as I want to challenge myself which I do with so many greens to mix and get right, focus on cool and warm, light and darks. Considering there isn't much to the composition I'm pleased with the outcome.

This is the start with my mixing palette as well.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

#461 Daisies & Peonies

Daisies in Blue Jug 8x8"

I have rather neglected the blog recently having returned from London and my solo exhibition to distributing sold paintings and sorting out framing for people plus getting ready and taking part in the Open Studios its all go!

So here is a combined post of two recent flower paintings.

The Peonies were light in tone plus light background, the fluffy blousy type! A light touch is needed with the paintbrush to convey the soft petals. Someone said to me you should hold it so delicately to describe this sort of thing that you would almost drop the brush!

Cottage Peonies 10x10"

The Daisies are a lot stronger with lights and darks and deliberate brush strokes. I placed the blue-green behind which compliments the yellow-orange centres. The daisy petals in the shadow are an important element to make the lights stand out.

Surrey Open Studios we are on the final weekend 15th, 16th June of being open to the public, with over 100 visitors so far and enjoying it. Had some lovely people visit - one lady came all the way from Hamble a good hour away! Having read this blog - thank you Brenda and it was great to meet you! - It is so nice to meet people who have been following my blog journey and it encourages me to keep going with it :-)
See my exhibitions page on this website for more information if you are free this weekend and fancy a chat a look at paintings and my husbands photographs.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

#460 Langstone Harbour Reflections 11x14"

A familiar area to me (because I used to live around here and Ive painted here many times), looking slightly more east than usual though, I liked the contour of the South Downs on the horizon.
Plein air is not easy! When I arrived it the clouds fluffy and reflected in perfectly still waters. By the time I had set up and started to map out the wind had got up and not reflections to be seen! The clouds were moving so quickly as well, it was catching a moment in time. I waited till near the end when the waters calmed again - although the tide was pretty low but still able to put the reflections in. Even with this trickiness I enjoyed it very much!

Reflections painted at the end - low tide

Saturday, 1 June 2019

#459 Garden Peonies & Open Studio 2019

I painted these in my father in laws garden, I worked on getting the greens to work with the dark pink - complimentary colours and quite similar in tone, pleased with the outcome!

It's been a busy week trying to fit some painting in and preparing for the Surrey Open Studios which starts today! 

The studio is looking good with over 50 paintings and cards. My husband Nick is also is showing his photographs in his studio.

My studio wall with a mixture of subjects framed & unframed

Venice selection

Garden path leading to the studios
This year we've teamed up with 6 local artists to make The Golden Valley Art Trail, with a trail map linking us all. (We have maps to give out if you come)

I will be painting throughout so come and chat, drink elderflower, look at paintings and photographs and enjoy our garden in the sunshine.

Dates open: 1,2,  7,8,9,  14,15,16  June 2019
Times: 11-5pm
Where: 2 Gorse Cottages, Little Hammer Lane, Bramshott Chase, Hindhead, Surrey, GU26 6BT
Phone: 07813 320066

Set up ready to paint these beautiful peonies!

Monday, 27 May 2019

Solo Exhibition London 2019

My statement piece - 80x100cm 'Sunset, Albert Bridge'

The last few weeks have felt a whirl wind and I'm finally able to do a blog post about my solo exhibition! 

My husband Nick and I drove up on the Sunday unloaded a whole van full of stuff and started to unwrap the paintings. Monday spent all day hanging the show.

The room is an old studio used by artists around a 100 years ago. Two doors along Turner had his studio! The high ceilings and homely but grand feel suited my work a lot more than a white square box type gallery.
Getting some sun!
We opened Tuesday morning and had our first visitor at 9am! In all we had 181 visitors over the 5 days. Which felt a good amount, enough time to speak to everyone :-)

46 framed paintings on the wall & 46 unframed
The Private View Tuesday evening I was incredibly nervous and couldn't stop shaking! The unknown reaction of what people would think and whether they would buy as well. It felt as though I was hanging on the walls along side my paintings, incredibly exposing. But I needn't have worried, the reaction was positive and overwhelming. I felt giddy with all the compliments about my work - with the amount I had painted in 8-12 months and the quality. Some said they thought I would be an old person because the paintings had a maturity - I'll take that as a compliment!
A huge boost which alleviated my fears and set me up for the rest of the show. 
Me in the blue dress PV night
So many people came including my sister & her partner who flew over from South Africa to see it and support me. My mum also came so nice to share it with my family. Artists friends and people like the Haslemere Art Society ladies and Instagram and facebook 'friends' all made the effort to get up to London which I feel blessed for their support.
My family helping to pack up the sold paintings.

I was lucky to have a friend and collector Natalia on my side she worked hard to get her Chelsea/London contacts into my show, which really helped.

I sold 51 paintings which is AMAZING! So happy and pleased that my work is out there and being enjoyed. 
I have worked very hard the past 5 months to paint enough and organise it all. Nick my husband also at the end worked full time on it and was with me throughout the show (a gem!) 
It hasn't put me off doing a solo show and I will do another in time.

We are hardly home and now preparing for the Surrey Open Studios, bring it on! I will post again about that soon.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

#458 Walk Through The Bluebells & Solo Show Invite!

Its been hard to stay on top of the blog during this incredibly busy time before my solo exhibition - which starts a week yesterday!! More about that at the end of this post.

Painting in the bluebells with a stunning carpet of bluey-purple flowers a heady scent, & lots of birds chirping! Arrived for sunrise although it was very fleeting enjoyed a quick sketch swipe to see it & great photo taken by husband Nick Oakley.

Not long now till my solo show It starts next week - 14th-18th May. 
I have over 90 oil paintings & 50 of them framed with some larger works too. I can't wait to show people. I hope you will be able to come and as a thank you for following me and this blog here is a little offer for you:
If you are coming print this out or show it on your phone that you do read my posts!

Here is more information on times and how to get there:

If you can't make the exhibition I have a a selection of the paintings in my show on my website under solo show catalogue. Here's the link:

Monday, 29 April 2019

#457 '6am Langstone Harbour' 24x30cm

Some paintings just paint themselves, and this was one of them! Gorgeous colours and light, making the most of the recent good weather. I set up usually an hour before the sun is due to rise as it gives me time to mix colours and do a small quick study of light, helps to get my eye in and satisfying too.
Here's the 5am one:

I used a tinted board which I haven't used so much recently - tinting with a mix of Burnt Sienna & Ultramarine with Gesso acrylic white you can see the colour peeping through. 

Painting plein air you can choose when you commit to a time - this was just as the sun was peeping up, it looked good about 109 mins later too and I wish I could have done another! It's when a photo is handy I can use the info form this one and the photo and do another in the studio.

I have painted Langstone many times now, it's different every time and each time makes a difference as I learn more of the subject and memories of previous paints fuel the new one.

Saturday, 20 April 2019

#456 'Dawn, Tower Bridge'

Painted on the same day as the previous Tower Bridge I posted, just a little later in the morning about 7am. I finished it in the studio as it was a bitter morning -1 degree! Seems a distant memory now with the lovely sunshine we are having. 

The cloud was actually behind me in the sky but I felt the composition needed something more so I turned around and painted it in :-)

This is where I got up to en plein air. 30x40cm

Thursday, 18 April 2019

#455 'Evening Light, Hammersmith Bridge'

I have been working hard on all the elements required to put on an exhibition in London. Only 4 weeks to go now and I'm counting down... 
If you are interested in my paintings and want to see a taster of the show I have uploaded some of the paintings on my website under - solo show catalogue have a look :-)

I managed to get a plein air paint in, wonderful relaxed feel, almost like Europe, The Blue Anchor Pub spilling out onto the Embankment and people enjoying a drink and the evening sun. I got moved off my great perch when the club rowers were launching their boats, huge 8 man vessels, interesting to watch them all.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

#454 'Lights on Tower Bridge' 6x12"

Up crazily early 3.45am to get to London to capture the the illuminations before they were turned off! And the deep ‘blue hour’. Its surprising how quickly it changed from this to daylight see pic below - about 20 mins! I do enjoy the race against time and putting the impression of the place without too much details more shapes and colours.