Friday, 10 April 2015

A painting holiday in Grasmere, Lake District.

A studio waiting for artists to explore.

Grasmere will look different in June, gone are the Daffodils but replaced with Foxgloves and fields full of Wild Flowers. The Lambs will be a little bit chubbier, but the Herdwick's will still be here, gently grazing near the windows of the Studio. The leaves on the trees will be pretty shades of Green with long Summer shadows cast below. And if you're lucky you will see a deer or Red Squirrel from the window.

Grasmere really is the most perfect place to be based for a painting holiday. Avillage full of famous Poets and Artists and a view to capture around every corner. The only problem is you won't want to leave!
 Painting at the Glenthorne in a  wonderfully relaxing place, with views from every window and the fells from the open doorway.

 The view from the studio with Silver How and Loughrigg fells and  Grasmere Lake just hidden below.

The Glenthorne nestled quietly but only a few minutes from the bustle of Grasmere Village

An Aladdin's cave for the artist, with a new colour or sketchbook just for you.

I have two courses with a few places left all with single en suite rooms or a double.
Monday  21st to 24th June promises warm sunshine for watercolours full of colourful flowers and reflected Lakeland scenery.
Monday 12th to 15th October will be just in time for the Autumn glow.
 Both of the courses are for beginners or Intermediates painting in a small group with plenty of one to one tuition and demonstrations along the way. Price £395.00
To reserve a place or for more details email Jane at

Friday, 3 April 2015

Easter Exhitibition at Grasmere

Here are my paintings that will be on show at the Grasmere Easter exhibition, all quite different and
four mediums! The exhibition runs from today until Sunday 13th April.

Autumn Stroll Watercolour

Helvellyn painted in Pastels

Tarn Hows painted in Oils

Grandes Jorasses, Chamonix painted in Acrylics

Evening Flight, Derwentwater painted in Watercolours

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

How to paint Ullswater Daffodils

Wordsworth Daffodil poem is 200 years old today, so had to go and see these little beauties on the shores of Ullswater. I love painting this scene and feel it's the start of Spring, even with gale force winds and fresh snow on the tops forecast. I managed a quick sketch of the distant fells and came back to work in the warmth of my studio!
 A limited palette of colours, was used to paint  Ullswater Daffodils in watercolours, a loose wet in wet approach in the distance and warmth hues with more detail in the foreground trees.
 Bright Primary Yellows are used for the Daffodils and Winsor Blue helps give strength and tonal values to the grasses and leaves.
 Ullswater Daffodils is the first project painting on my 2nd Online course and it's a wonderful colourful tour around other Lakeland scenes for the six projects 'Tarn Hows and Buttermere in Winter, a walk onto the fells above Windermere in Autumn, down on the shores of Derwentwater and a walk through a Bluebell wood at Grasmere. If you fancy learning a few new techniques in watercolour and would like to sign up for my Online watercolour course.
Or if you fancy outdoor painting in the Lake District I have places available on Monday 22nd to Thursday 25th June this course is based at Grasmere and we will be painting Rydal water suitable for beginners and Intermediate

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Sharp Edge, Blencathra

Sharp Edge, Blencathra Stage One
Alfred Wainwright the famous Lakeland walker writes  'Sharp Edge is a rising crest of naked rock of sensational and spectacular appearance a breath taking wave carved in stone' I couldn't agree more!
We walked up Blencathra early in February, I did have my sketch book ready, but the wind was so strong I could barely hold the camera steady. I did spot a lone walker heading his way towards the ridge, a crazy idea on such a wild day.
But what a joy to come back and paint this dramatic spear of rock, with the sunlight accentuating it's ridges and shadows. I love to paint many different scenes that catch my eye, but a ridge like this really gives you something to get you teeth into!!!
The pastels have been brought out recently and having a break from them and re kindled my love for them. They are the dirty and messy to work with but can produce some super effects.
I worked on 'Sharp Edge' in quite a methodical approach applying the pastel colour directly on the paper with shapes and marks. With only blending happening in the clouds.

Sharp Edge, Blencathra
Painted in Pastels

Friday, 13 March 2015

A painting challenge in Keswick

I'm enjoying watching Painting Challenge on BBC1 there are some things I find a little harsh and wonder if some of the students will ever paint again. It's fantastic to see people out in the field been challenged even by giant Chess pieces! It's great what you do learn from watching other artists work. I often find myself watching a total beginner with no ideas of rules, apply paint and something magical will happen. Painting is a challenge, it's not just a click of a button and a picture is taken.
A painting can be so simple with just a few marks of beautiful colour.

Dusk painted in Watercolours
I love the simplicity of this watercolour. Allowing the colours to merge together and using a limited palette to create a harmonizing peaceful scene.
Sitting beside the lake watching the peace!! is important for artists, and such a joy.

Just a few steps away another beautiful scene is beckoning to be painted. I love the tree shapes in this view and often sit and watch and listen to the birds on Lords Island. Again I think this shouts 'Get your watercolours at the ready'
What ingredients do you need to Create a painting
Atmosphere, Harmony, Composition, Light and the need to create!

Taking a photo, is an art though. I'm not sure I would win any awards, but I love this little fella framed in the tree.
If you fancy a day painting beside Derwentwater
either small group or one to one prices from £75.00
Gift vouchers  are available for presents.
Email for more details.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Three paintings of three seasons.

I've had all three painting mediums out this week getting ready for an exhibition at Grasmere over the Easter Week. Monday started with watercolours taking a walk through an Autumn Wood. I used a very limited palette of colours to give the painting more drama and harmony.
Afternoon Stroll
Painted in Watercolours
For sale at Grasmere Exhibition.
Wednesday had me finishing an Oil I've been working on.
A reminder of a Summers day in Italy, quite enjoyable to paint on a lousy wet March day.
I used Williamsberg Oils for this study.
 My main aim was capturing the vivid Red Poppies swaying in the field, light on the trees and distance of the field without too much detail.
Italian Poppies
Painted in Oils
For sale.
Finally at the end of the week. The pastels came out and P400 pastel paper which I've not used for at least a year. And it seems like I have painted three seasons in a week!!!
 I've made a bit of a start but with quite a way still to go, on this scary ridge.
I'm hoping to capture Light, drama and thrilling atmosphere! All with pastels and great faith!!
A quick update on courses in Grasmere
May is fully booked
 Monday 22nd to 25th June and Monday 12thto 15th October  both have a few spaces including double or single en suite rooms for more details

Friday, 27 February 2015

How to paint a Lakeland stream with watercolour and pastel

Stage One Watercolours
I set myself and the Wednesday art group a real challenge
with this demonstration painting.
 A Lakeland stream with flowing water.
Starting with shades of Naples yellow with hints of Permanent Rose added, these were painted swiftly into the background and sky area. Ultramarine was added for shadows. Working with warmer and brighter shades into the middle ground. The wall was loosely painted in with Naples yellow and shadows of Ultramarine and Permanent Rose helped to give it structure. The white of the paper was left in many areas and touches of masking fluid helped to define the running water.
Many rocks were painted, maybe a few too many!
Along the way colours were added into the stream, Phlalo Green with touches of Ultramarine and Winsor Violet all helped to create a flash flood in the Borrowdale Valley!

Stage Two
I strengthened with stronger tones of colour tying to capture light and dark areas, but at the same time creating a running river. At this stage I started to add pastels. Mainly inscribe and a few Unison. Thinking along the lines of creating flecks of light in darker areas.

Stage Three
I worked into the background first, dragging the pastel on the side helped to achieve rough ground and scree areas in the Fells. A couple of trees helped with the direction of light and shadows. The old wall was bought to life with a few cream pastels for lighter areas that would catch the sun and a dark purple was used for shadows in the wall. Emeralds, aqua and soft blue greens all helped to show the direction of the water flow. Finishing with white pastel laid heavy in places to show the white foam catching the light.

Bubbling Stream, Seathwaite
Painted in Watercolour and Pastel
If you fancy a watercolour painting course in the Lake District
I have one organised from Monday 22nd to 25th June staying at the Glenthone, Grasmere
Each day we will be painting outdoors discovering beautiful areas of the Lake District just waiting to be painted. The price £395.00 per person staying in en suite accommodation with full board.
To book a place please get in touch or
 for further information