Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tulipa 'Talitha' Finished

The remaining tulips were painted with washes of quinacridone magenta, permanent magenta, carmine and caput mortuum violet. Then I increased the colour of the stamens and stigma with naples yellow adding small splashes for the pollen.
Tulips are one of my favourite flowers, so I will certainly paint some more.
Original painting for sale in my Gallery.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Tulipa 'Talitha' Stage Three

I have started to increase the colour in the painting, adding less water to the colour washes.  
I added another wash of neutral tint and midnight green to deepen the background. I decided the background needed a couple more leaves, and lifted out with a damp brush, some of the background colour, then I added a lighter green. I also lifted out some highlights on the leaves and stems. 
The fringes are quite tricky to paint, I am adding some white gouache to achieve the effect I want. Next week I shall finish the Tulipa painting.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tulipa 'Talitha' Stage Two

Here I have started to add watercolour paint. I always paint the whole picture with the palest colours first, it helps to define where everything is in the painting especially if it is quite complicated. I applied midnight green and neutral tint for the background using a no.2 brush. With the tulips I used a pale wash of quinacridone magenta and naples yellow for the stamens.
Next week I will build up the intensity of the colours.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tulipa 'Talitha'

This is the first stage of my Tulipa 'Talitha' Watercolour and Gouache painting. The drawing is based on photographs taken at the Keukenhof Gardens in Holland. The gardens are beautiful, so many tulips to paint. I particularly love the fringed group of tulips. They look spectacular with their stunning fringes. 
I like to draw everything out before I start painting. I am using Langton NOT (cold pressed) 200lb watercolour paper. When I have drawn out my chosen composition I always take a tracing of it. I keep it for my records, and in case I have to start again. 
Next week I will start painting.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

New Idea for Prints

All my print prices now include professional mounts and frames, and postage and packaging. 
I have been selling prints on my website for a couple of years now, they were sold just as they were -  unframed and mounted and posted in envelopes. Customers have told me that they find it quite difficult to find a framer, and are unsure about which mounts and frames match my work.
When I first started painting I would frame my own work, I soon realised that it was harder than you might think to choose the right mounting board and frame for a certain piece of work. I had many disasters. I decided a professional was needed. I get all my paintings and prints framed at a Professional Framers now.
So, no more worry about which frame and mount work well. It is all taken care of. Postage and Packaging is also included in the prices. Check out my prints here.    

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

This is a photograph of my first painting of grass and raindrops in watercolour and gouache, painted in 2007. It was painted from photographs I took. I had been out for a walk when it started to rain. I thought the grass just looked so beautiful covered with raindrops. It was sold to a private buyer. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Man-eating plant

This is a photo of the stage scenery of the Clwyd Theatre in Wales at the weekend.
We went to see the 'Little Shop of Horrors' on Halloween night. The musical was brilliant, the singing and dancing superb, but the star of the show was the man-eating plant. It could sing and dance and eat people, and grow flowers. What a performance. Wonderful musical for a botanical artist. Now should I try a botanical painting?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Autumn at Orchard Hotel

This is a photograph of trees in the grounds of the Orchard Hotel, in Nottingham. Mike and I attended the British Fantasy Con for the weekend. It is a convention for Fantasy Writers, Publishers and Agents. I always pick up a lot of useful information from the Cons. Writing and Art are very similar businesses with the same sort of challenges.
In one of the quieter moments I managed to get outside and photograph lots of autumn leaves, I have more material for paintings. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Viburnum davidii

The fruits of Viburnum davidii really are the most astonishing metallic blue. The leaves have three distinct veins. This watercolour and gouache painting was based on sketches and photographs taken at Ness Botanic Gardens.
The original painting sold at the Society of Botanical Artists 'Botanical Celebration' exhibition in London at Westminster Central Hall.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Autumn Sparkle

This time of year whenever I go out for a walk, I come back home with acorns and conkers in my pockets. I cannot help myself. If I see them lying on the ground I have to pick them up. I have a nature tray at home were I deposit my goodies for further study. 
Unfortunately I cannot pick up all the leaves, but I love taking photos and painting them, this painting of Autumn Leaves has a small amount of water on it to add I little sparkle.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Autumn Colours

Burleydam Garden Centre was the source of inspiration for this watercolour and gouache painting. I had been visiting the Garden Centre when it started pouring with rain. I took shelter in the cafe with a cup of tea until it stopped. The sun came out and it was just too good an opportunity to miss, so I snapped away taking lots of photographs of this shrub. I love the colours of the leaves at this time of year.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sea Holly and Nettle

The coastal path between Rhyl and Colwyn Bay in Wales, is a favourite walk of mine, and this is were I found Sea Holly. 
It is a very large prickly perennial and loves to grow in sun or part shade. The roots of the plant have medicinal properties, they are anti-inflammatory.
The nettle adds a little extra colour to the painting.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Wirral Society of Arts Members' Exhibition

'Sycamore Leaf' was awarded the Maureen Hinchcliffe Award for a drawing or watercolour at the exhibition. I was thrilled to be presented with the award by Mike McCartney. 'Sycamore Leaf' is one of two paintings I had accepted for the exhibition.
The exhibition is open until 18th October, Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm. (closed Monday and Tuesday)
It is held at the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum, Slatey Road, Birkenhead CH43 4UE.
It is definately an exhibition to visit, as it is so diverse and interesting.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Autumn is on the way, so I thought this was an appropriate picture to post this week. I love reflections on water, they are very interesting to study. Making the leaves look like they were floating was quite a challenge but fun. This is painted in watercolour and gouache.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


This painting was done for a commission. It was extremely difficult to paint as it was so detailed. I feel I just got the hang of it when I was finished. Valerian is a beautiful flower, and the leaves are very interesting. I must paint some more.

Thursday, September 3, 2015


I painted this picture many years ago, before I started adding raindrops to everything. I thought it would be an appropriate picture for the time of year. It has certainly gone cold and it looks like Autumn is on the way. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


When I was working towards my diploma with the Society of Botanical Artists, on one of the assignments I was asked to paint a study of mixed leaves. 
It really made me look at the leaves properly. Sometimes it is easy to rush into painting the rich colours of flowers and forgetting the fact that the leaves are just as important. I often paint more leaves than flowers now. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Flowers at Tatton Park

Some photo's of the mixed flowers at Tatton Park Gardens. The display of flowers was very impressive. The gardens are a real delight to walk around. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Lilium 'Harmony'

Raindrops on flowers are particularly difficult to paint, but I like a challenge and this painting certainly was one. 
The watercolour and gouache painting is based on photographs I took in the pouring rain. There really was no time to do some sketching as it was really wet.
The Lily genus is made up of a large and diverse group of hardy bulbous plants, with about 80 species and numerous hybrids. 
'Harmony' is a mid-century hybrid with wide broad pale tangerine petals and dark spots.The flowers are very flamboyant and particularly beautiful covered in raindrops.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Robin at Overbecks

This is my new watercolour and gouache painting titled 'Robin at Overbecks'. It was painted from photographs Mike my husband took at Overbecks National Trust.
It was a wonderful visit, a hot and sunny day. Overbecks House was very interesting and the gardens were a delight full of flowers. 
It was fun to paint the coastline in the distance, I almost enjoyed painting the background more than the Robin, I do like tangled undergrowth.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Travelling in a Box

My husband has released his new book, 'Travelling in a Box'. It feels so funny to actually be in a book and be part of the adventure. There I am on the front cover holding a paint brush. Mike is a science fiction author with many short stories published worldwide, so humorous travel memoir is a little different for him. It certainly has been fun reading it. Amazon

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

NEWA at Gordale

 'Ladybirds and Lichen',watercolour and gouache painting
'Seven Spot',watercolour and gouache painting

Both my paintings have been accepted into the National Exhibition of Wildlife Art which is being held at Gordale Garden Centre, Chester High Road, Burton, Wirral CH64 8TF. Both paintings are for sale.
The exhibition is still open until 2nd August. Daily from 9.30am - 6.00pm. Free Admission. It is well worth a visit.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Liquidambar styraciflua Finished

I deepened some of the shadows in the Liquidambar leaf, using the same colours but with less water. Then I added gouache for highlights on the raindrops, also small sparkles in the grasses. 
I finished painting the background leaves with Vandyke Brown and a number two brush, keeping the paint quite dry. I always enjoy adding the last details of any painting, and I just kept going until I felt it was finished.

To buy a print of this painting please visit my website, here.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Liquidambar styraciflua stage five

Here I am adding colour to the background leaves. I am using a number one brush and a very wet wash of Permanent Rose. I just have to keep building up the layers of paint on the leaves until I am happy with the tonal values. Next highlights will then be added to the raindrops. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Liquidambar styraciflua stage four

Most of the grass is finished. I am now splashing colour onto the leaves. After all that green its nice to see some bright colours. 
I am using wet mixes of Cobalt Magenta, Quinacridone Magenta and Permanent Rose on the liquidambar leaf with a number two brush. 
I am also picking out the veins and raindrops with a thick wash of Permanent Magenta and a number one brush.
For the other leaves in the background I am using  Burnt Sienna, Sap Green and Alizarin Crimson in quite wet washes with a number two brush.
Next I will be adding more details, I love the details it is the best part of painting.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Liquidambar styraciflua stage three

Watercolour and gouache painting Liquidambar styraciflua stage three. 
Here I have started to paint the grasses. I have turned the painting upside down, sometimes this helps with painting the direction of the grasses. 
I am using thick mixtures of sap green, midnight green and neutral tint with very little water for the dark background. I love painting complex backgrounds sometimes it is more fun than the leaves. I am using a number two brush and also a number one for the smallest detail. 
You can see to the right of the painting the masking tape that I use to surround the image. When this is removed at the end it leaves a crisp border round the edge.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Liquidambar styraciflua stage two

This is stage two of my watercolour and gouache painting 'Liquidambar styraciflua'.
Here I have been quite loose about adding the first wet watercolour washes. I always like to cover the white paper with the lightest washes of paint. 
The background grass is painted with midnight green, which is probably one of my favourite colours. The leaves are very wet washes of vandyke brown and quinacridone magenta. 
Once the painting is covered it is easier to see where everything is in the composition. Now I can begin building up the layers of paint then adding details.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Liquidambar styraciflua, stage one

This is the first stage of my watercolour and gouache painting of 'Liquidambar styraciflua'.
I was walking round my favourite gardens in the pouring rain, Ness Botanic Gardens on the Wirral, when I came across this beautiful leaf covered in raindrops. I just love painting raindrops I cannot resist them. The leaf is a bright pink in colour, I thought it would make a change from painting green.
Back home in my studio in the dry I drew the design on Langton 200lb watercolour paper, basing it on photographs and quick sketches I had taken in the gardens. It is now ready to paint.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

After the Rain, Camellia Leaf 'Frances Benoit'

There are a large range of Camellias at Ness Botanic Gardens on the Wirral, and Camellia 'Frances Benoit' is one of my favourites. I came across this plant after it had been raining and the sun was shining through the clouds. I just had to paint it.
Mr A.K. Bulley was the founder of Ness and one of the sponsors of George Forrest, the plant hunter who introduced many species of Camellia to the gardens.
Camellias are hardy evergreen shrubs and trees. Their leaves are glossy, mid to dark green, and beautiful in their own right. The word Camellia is named after a Jesuit of Moravia, George Joseph Kemel. He travelled in the East and Asia.
There is an old wives tale that says: if you place your used tea-leaves around camellias, using them like mulch, it will benefit them. I don't know if this is true, I have never tried it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ness Gardens

Visited Ness Gardens yesterday afternoon and the sun came out for a couple of hours. The gardens are really looking beautiful. I took so many photographs.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tulipa 'Talitha'

Tulipa 'Talitha'
Fringed Group, Liliaceae
This painting in watercolour and gouache was based on photographs I took at Keukenhof  Gardens in Holland. The gardens are a delight for tulip lovers. The 'Talitha' tulips stand out from the crowds because of their spectacular fringes. These are the first part of the plant to show signs of fading and the contrast of colours really show them to advantage.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Success with Tulips

I love Tulips, but when I plant them out in my garden they never appear. I don't know what I do wrong, maybe they get eaten. Last year I decided to try planting some in pots.
Success, I have some Tulips. Now I need to buy more pots.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Grosvenor and Funky Aardvark Exhibition Openings

Two Art Exhibition Openings in one night. What a great idea.
Started off at the Grosvenor Museum's 11th Open Art Exhibition in Chester. Fantastic display of paintings. Then it carried on down the road at Not the Grosvenor Museum Open at Funky Aardvark. Another wonderful display of work. A really enjoyable and interesting evening.