Friday, 13 May 2016

Painting holiday in Grasmere


The base is the Glenthorne Hotel in Grasmere. 
I love running my painting courses from this relaxed beautiful location nestled just a few minutes away from the village centre. We had some gorgeous weather, in fact I think it could have been the best in all of the fourteen years I've been painting at the Glenthorne. 
I organised the course around the Bluebells, quite risky when ten days earlier we had fresh snow. With the gorgeous hot weather, it seemed that the Bluebells had all flowered at once and the display was magnificent. The Herdwicks also stole the show. We had a little lamb born before our eyes, Sylvie from Paris had never seen such a sight.


Having a couple of different  locations each day, a steady and beautiful ramble to each. 
Wandering along the Lake shores, spotting wildlife and choosing what to paint, was the hardiest decision of the day. 


Sitting peacefully in Bluebell woods, surrounded in fragrance and warm sunshine drying the paints, it really doesn't get much better than this for an artist.






We did have a few critiques along the way, Mother Duck brought the Chicks along, the Swans really wanted to be the focal point and even the Cuckoo sang with delight.



Mother Herdwick paddled the river with Twins in tow, we didn't see the Kingfisher, but heard it's strong tune, brushes stopped creating masterpieces and we gazed up and down the river banks.


A wonderful course with intrepid enjoyable artists, many ideas, sketches, painting and photographs all to remind us of a special time spent in Sunny Lakeland



If you would like to join me on a painting course in Grasmere, with gentle walking to beautiful painting locations, some indoor work, if the weather is not too brilliant. I have a course in August and also Autumn watercolours in October, both are suitable for beginners and Improvers with single en suite rooms.


Friday, 6 May 2016

The secret of Green


Lantys Tarn showing Orange underpainting.

I've often struggled with Green landscapes, I've even gone as far as only painting Winter scenes or Months which have the letter R in them!! That's got you thinking. September to April.

 When gorgeous Summer days come, you do want to walk amongst a meadow full of flowers  or sit beside a tranquil lake underneath a tree full of Green foliage and let inspiration run wild. 
My Greens were either too acid, too bright or maybe it was Fear of Green.

Lantys Tarn was tackled in a positive mindset and in the month of May with no R!!
Firstly I applied an Orange watercolour wash onto white Pastelmat and then let it dry.
Touches of warm Orange help to warm the painting, harmonise and stop the Green Fear.
I also was aware of  Green tonal values. 
I can now say ' Bring on Summer and those Green fields and lots of Happy outdoor painting.




Lantys Tarn.
Painted in Pastels.

If you fancy a day painting in the Lake District, just get in touch by email.

Painting Days start from £50.00


Friday, 29 April 2016

Watercolour course for Intermediate


An online watercolour course for Not total beginners, ideal for those who have dabbled a little bit, or had a break from painting and want to get back into this wonderful medium.


This is my second course of six projects, each different with many handy tips on techniques and colour mixing. For those that enjoy landscape painting, I'm sure you will enjoy, find it challenging,   the personal feedback is a big help with extra hints on improving your work and any questions you have on materials and painting techniques.

At £55.00 for the course which includes, sketches, colour tags, step by step guidelines and photographs of every stage. If you fancy joining the online watercolour course just send me an email 




Ullswater Daffodils the 1st project.



Above Windermere with soft muted colours and atmosphere.



Famous Tarn Hows in Winter painted with a limited palette


Buttermere, painting reflections and warm hues of Winter.


A classic Bluebell Wood, Spring shades and colour mixing for the Beautiful Bluebells




Latest Reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed this project the colours were lovely. I have had to adjust them slightly to fit with the colours I have. Carol

 Looked a bit intimidating initially but I felt happier once I got the sky out of the way. Enjoyed it after that. Interesting colour combinations. John


Here is my latest attempt. I have learned quite a bit doing this painting. Not least that you can be too generous with masking fluid! Josanne


Once again 2 versions ended up being not too bad. Far from perfect but I'm having fun doing them. Will be practising trees over the next few days - they are definitely over worked. Chris

 I  use too much water sometimes and end up with a bloom where I don’t want it! Any tips?  Anyway, I enjoyed doing the painting and look forward to your comments! Sally
Please find attached my second attempt. Went ok until I got to the trees across the lake which started to look like a large bush. Also had problems with the reflections which I muddled through a bit. This one I found harder with lots going on and new skills to pick up etc.John
I have to say that your course has really helped me focus on small steps.  The tendency can be to dive off in all directions with different techniques and subjects and buying new equipment when all that is needed is a few colours and brushes, some decent paper and a bit of know how. I am enjoying it very much. Chris

 I had lots of fun with this because of the bright colors and it was liberating to just splash the paint on and watch it do its magic. Thanks Debbie




Saturday, 23 April 2016

Viridian Gallery 'Mountain High' exhibition.


Mountain High 
Saturday 23rd April – Sunday 5th June
Viridian Gallery Keswick 


I have  exhibited at Viridian Gallery for nearly fifteen years and was delighted to be asked to paint a collection of work for the Spotlight on Exhibition 'Mountain High'. From an early age I discovered a  great love of painting outdoors, Enjoying  walking amongst inspiring high fell and mountain scenery led me to paint what I really love, capturing dramatic light conditions on lakes, mountain ridges and tarns, especially in winter moods. 

After a break of eighteen months living in the French Alps, I have come back to the Lake District with fresh eyes full of inspiration for painting the scenery I truly love. Walking in wild winter weather to locations, feeling the conditions and taking in the magnificent atmosphere of the Lake District all have a direct response on my paintings. Using mainly Pastels has helped to create vivid yet muted beautiful colours of Lakeland fells in my new work. I find working with Pastels is a direct and tactile approach and gives me confidence and also pure joy in painting dramatic valleys, high mountain tops and capturing the light playing with the Lakeland fells.


Into Langdale 
Pastel



Ullswater 
Pastel


Blencathra
Pastel


Along the Ridge
Pastel



Bluebells
Oil








Monday, 18 April 2016

Rambles with an artist Sheffield Pike, Ullswater


The name Seldom Seen caught my imagination for this  beautiful walk in Ullswater.
 The pretty bay of Mossdale, just south of Aira Falls is a starting point and a truly tempting viewpoint for any artist with stunning classic Lakeland views.
  My aim and fell top  was Sheffield Pike a much quieter fell than it's famous neighbours but at 2232 feet quite imposing with lofty  360 degree views of Lakeland and towards the Pennines.




'Seldom Seen' are ten miners cottages sitting snugly on the fell side cradled by Glencoyne wood. Each with a long garden some full of Daffodils and with views down to Ullswater.
The walk takes you though the edge of the wood, beside the old wall quickly gaining height and entering into a peaceful Lakeland walk.
A decision needs to be made, the artist can either take the easy route up Nick Head following the side of the fell to the craggy top, or the more elevated, rockier route towards Heron Pike and then along the South east ridge to the summit top.
I love a bit of drama in my Lakeland paintings so the Lofty approach was taken.




At last Spring sunshine and all around paintings ideas can be brought together. The peacefulness of this valley helps to give inspiration while the slog up the fell side promises stunning views.


Sheffield pike is seen, or so I thought, the bright Ochre Green grass against the rich textured Umber bracken and a Rowan tree all bathing in sunshine.


The view behind has crept up, while we made our way to the top. Ullswater stretching out a perfect shape for the artist to capture, a lead in towards the Snow covered Pennine tops.




Glimpses of Glenridding village can be seen with High Street in the background and towards Red Screes and St Sunday Crag. This would fill any  mountain artists appetite and a perfect place to stop and sketch. Sandwiches and Hot flask are necessary to make the journey more enjoyable.




A marshy top with a few tarns, help to create an interesting foreground and with spectacular 
Striding Edge in the distance, what more do you need.


The descent is an easy path down Nick Head with plenty of views to enjoy of Ullswater and cuddly characters along the way.


A visit to Glenridding Gallery is a must and also Tea and Cake to end a beautiful walk  in Gleridding

Friday, 15 April 2016

Morning Light, Mont Blanc painted in Watercolours

Spending time in Chamonix, watching the magical light on the snow covered peaks was totally inspiring for this artist who loves Mountains. I sketched them early morning, afternoon on the slopes and late in the afternoon, catching that gorgeous Alpine Glow. Never getting bored.

It's a wonderful medium is watercolour, very portable, a few brushes, small palette and a favourite sketchbook. I took two along, no Three to be precise!! 



Stage One 
A full imperial piece of Saunders waterford was taped down and ready to go.
 Pre sketch done.  Brushes picked, palette cleaned and fresh paint squeezed.
 Radio on. 
All ready to go 
Washes of Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine, Winsor Blue and Cobalt Blue were all used in big wet washes, giving them time to merge together. 
The white of the paper was very lightly stained with warm Orange. 



Stage Two

Darker tones are added in wet washes and also onto dry paper. Mist is softly painted in with the help of transparent washes, a water spray and tissue to soften.
Larch and Spruce Trees are added with more detail and tonal value, a little wax and the help of a  palette knife.


 Morning Light, Mont Blanc.

Do you fancy learning the total joys of watercolour with personal feedback with every project.
I have three courses with six projects in each, all with step by step guide.


Sunday, 10 April 2016

Painting Bluebells at Grasmere


Fancy four days painting around Grasmere and Rydal Water.
I have a couple of places available, a small group painting Bluebells in Woods, reflected lakes and mountains and wonderful Lakeland  scenery all in beautiful sunshine, fingers crossed. If the day does bring a shower of rain there is a gorgeous studio in the gardens of the Glenthorne. So plenty of demonstrations in  watercolours  and Pastels. 

The date is Monday 9th to 12 May staying at the Glenthorne Hotel in Grasmere 
Price £395 including Bed, breakfast and evening meals plus the famous Glenthorne afternoon tea.
Send me an email to reserve a place