Monday, 23 January 2017

Primroses in Watercolour 2017

"Tumbling Clusters"
Primroses in Watercolour 2017 
( Copyright Jean Haines )


Its' Spring and my heart is singing with the colours of the season. Primroses are flowering early in my cottage garden so I have managed to pick a few and paint them but in the warmth of my studio rather than outside in the cold.

Every year I paint primroses but this year there is an added excitement about my aiming to capture them in watercolour. I have time to paint on my own, discovering what I can achieve if I give myself the rare luxury of creating minus distractions of constantly teaching, travelling or giving presentations. Although I will be on tour in USA as from next week.

I decided this was my year. My time to paint alone and work, aiming to improve my own techniques so that I have more to offer when I am teaching and that luxury of  time for me has been worth it. Which is wonderful considering it is only January, the first month of the year.

I have so much to look forward to. So much to work on and so much to share as the months ahead pass.

This new painting of primroses,seen above, sings to my soul. It is exactly what I was aiming for. Before I leave my studio tonight I will be creating two large washes of floral scenes yet to be created and I cannot wait for the morning to see how they  have dried.

Giving ourselves new challenges, new subjects and new colours to try especially at the beginning of a new year is worth it because then we can work towards reaching our goals. By the end of this year I want to look back and see how far I have come. 

What about you? 

Artists Tips

1) Set yourself a goal of painting something you have painted before but try to better how you last painted it.

2) Give yourself the luxury of time to paint without distraction at least once a week.

3) Treat yourself to one new colour a month.

Happy painting!


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Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Les Fleur De Noel

"Les Fleur De Noel"

I have been excited. Enjoying new techniques, new colours and new subjects. This is the year where a change in direction hits my art and I can feel this in my soul.

I have no idea why this has happened now but over the last few months I have had the most incredible dreams. Starting with humming birds until more recently involving bright lights and glowing colours. Am I going crazy? I think not. I have read about many artists who this has happened to. Rather than ignore the dreams I am welcoming them and I am aiming to re create what I am seeing in them. Starting with this piece. White flowers  peeping out of the ground that is covered with ice.

I feel inspired and energised.

 I want forty eight hour days to pack all these new ideas in. There are never enough hours to paint. And far too many wonderful things to paint when I do pick up a brush.

Roll on to tomorrow and tomorrows' experiments. I can't wait to see where they will lead me.


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A Breath Of Fresh Air

"A Breath of Spring"

 I wandered around my cottage garden this morning and admired the early daffodils that are braving the cold weather to bloom. I love them. They are a sign of things to come and my year has started so amazingly that I know 2017 is going to be very magical in so many ways.

At the moment I have a lot on as I am judging a major watercolour show, being interviewed for international magazines and working on an exciting new project. Plus preparing for my Spring USA tour. I promised myself that no matter what my own painting came first this year. Which is why I am painting daffodils, a flower I adore as its' one of the first to bloom each year in our garden, reminding me that more glorious colour is on its' way and soon.

I wear many hats as an artist. I teach watercolour, I judge, I write ,I film,  I tour, and I exhibit. I try new products. In fact the invitations I receive now on a daily basis are phenomenal. But my heart lies in moving my brushes. And this year will see me doing more personal creating than ever before. I feel alive. Excited. Even more passionate about the medium I work with if that is possible. You would imagine that after all this time I would be bored of painting in watercolour but its' fascination for me continues to grow. I love it and I am so happy that it is part of my life. It brings me joy, lifts my spirits, energises my soul, calms me down and even acts as a distraction when I need one, as we all do at times.

So today I have been painting the rather delicate daffodils that are growing near my studio and studying their form and colouring.

Looking at them is like that breath of fresh air you need when winter has been cold and grey. A blast of something new, something vibrant, something hopeful.

A new day, a new painting and an  energised life!


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Thursday, 12 January 2017

Life and Chores

 Sweet Scented Narcissus
Work in Progress

 I am the same as everyone else. I have daily chores and responsibilities that keep me away from painting at times, even when my heart is desperately screaming for me to ignore them and get on with just painting. But as much as it would be a possible way to diet, I do need to eat and so does my husband.  And so shopping for food supplies is part of my routine. But don't you find chores can be so boring when your heart isn't in them?

I knew I wanted to paint spring flowers today and I knew I would be racing around the shops as fast as possible so that I could return to my studio. And that is exactly what I did. But I am so glad I went out. I had a much needed break from constantly working and I saw many flowers  on display which were tempting to my artists soul. And I bought myself several!

I honestly couldn't wait to get into my peaceful painting zone which my mind had reached long before my body had today. I was painting flowers all the time I was choosing fruit and vegetables.

I created an early start in a new painting  of some sweet scented narcissus first. As I worked I tried to breath life into my painting. I love how some of the tiny flowers are already bursting into life in this new piece. While this work in progress is drying I thought I would share the early stage on my blog. With you.

These narcissus have clusters of small flowers on one stem. Alone in a vase they look lost so I have added some greenery from my garden, and this addition aided my composition too with ideas for background brushstrokes.

I will add detail to some of the petals next and possibly add some more greenery when that is done.

The upper section seen below is enchanting. I loved it as it came to life.

 
 Upper section of my work in progress.

 The full painting can be seen below. I have tiny buds on the stem I am using to work from. These I may or may not add. A painting evolves and often tells you what it needs, if you have patience and learn to listen to it you will understand what I mean. By not racing to complete my work I can add or not, as my heart dictates.


Full painting of sweet scented narcissus waiting for the next brush strokes.
Work in progress.

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Artists Tip for the day?

Do those boring chores so that they are out of the way and you can then paint with a free mind and clear conscience!

But make those chores fun by continually thinking about what you will paint next.

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Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Christmas Roses : 2017

"Christmas Roses"
2017

Despite the cold weather I wandered around our cottage garden this afternoon and was thrilled to see the Christmas Roses in full bloom. These flowers have always fascinated me. They tend to grow with their heads facing downwards so their inner beauty is often hidden. Maybe like people, where our hearts tshine but others can't see how good they are. Or how kind.

I picked a few of the flowers and brought them into my studio to paint. My flowers have unfortunately been hit by frost, but to me this adds to the colour choices available to me to paint white subjects. I created a floral arrangement to work from using stems and twigs and began painting.

This is my first painting of Christmas Roses this year but it definitely won't be my last. In fact I have three washes right now painted with these beautiful floral subjects in mind and I am going to work on them, taking my time to enjoy what I am seeing in full view.

A lovely way to spend an afternoon. But thank heavens my studio is warm as it is freezing cold outside! 

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Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Spring Energy 2017



 Close up of one of my daffodil paintings, a section from a larger composition.


I have no idea what it is but at this time of year I always feel as though I am going through a magical transformation.  It is the energy I feel from the season waiting ahead of me. Spring. I love it and I adore all the Spring flowers that come with it.

Daily I am walking with my husband who has recently had full knee replacement surgery and as we left our cottage this week, one morning we were both delighted to see the first daffodil in bloom in our garden. These flowers have been in shops for some time now but nothing seems more fabulous than watching a bud appear followed by a full flower. From a bulb that you have planted yourself.

And as I already had a painting of daffodils on my easel it was easy to add the " treasure" I had witnessed from my morning walk to the existing and evolving glowing composition. So in this full scene of daffodils, seen below, I now have flowers in full bloom and a few buds appearing.

I have been Spring cleaning in our cottage. I started yesterday with the kitchen which was a massive and daunting task and it took me away from painting. But it was a job that needed to be done. I emptied every single cupboard, cleaned it out and washed and put back every single dish, plate and pan etc that we own. My husband walked in once or twice and made encouraging comments but I think to be honest he was fascinated.

Spring is a nesting season for wildlife. And I think humans catch that fever too. So today I am sat here feeling quite pleased with myself for yesterdays achievement. But that break from my studio effected my mind set for painting.

I am facing 2017 with an artistic soul bursting with energy to write and share new ideas and because of this my own art is moving forward. And in a thrilling new direction. There are no strings holding me back from flying into a new year with all the excitement and passion I can muster. And there isn't anything holding you back from having a great year of painting ahead too.

So I suggest you cut away any negative thoughts right now. Think positive and fly with me.

Lets' see what we can achieve by the end of this year art wise.

Are you with me?

Its' time to fly!



Daffodil painting
Evolving brush stroke by brushstroke
 
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Friday, 6 January 2017

Glorious Day : Daffodils in Watercolour

 "Spring Celebration"
Its' never too early for daffodils! 

After such a fabulous day filled with painting and then great news of my books being published in both Chinese and French , I am feeling so happy that it is impossible to sit still.

I grabbed a piece of paper today after receiving copies of my books in the different languages and covered each with colours that were in tune with my happy mood. Glowing, glorious, yellow shades ran together and merged with green.


 A daffodil painting coming to life on my easel

I am from Wales, where the daffodil is the national flower. On St Davids Day it is traditional to have bunches of daffodils in your home or wear one. For me, I simply look at a daffodil and feel terrific. How can you feel miserable when faced with glowing yellow as a vibrant, cheery colour?

In this afternoons painting session I have literally allowed the yellow shades to play and merge on paper. Then I  added centres for my flowers and a few negative edges. A work in progress and something to leave on my easel to return to in the morning, eagerly wanting to finish this painting.

As always there is a painting hidden within a painting. And here it is, my favourite section so far.


 A painting hidden within a painting.
A close up section of my composition looks really lovely so far.

Is this my favourite section, seen above?

Actually this other section seen below looks pretty too.


Second close up section of my composition, seen on my easel in full above, at the top of this blog post.

When I am happy, I paint in cheerful colours .
When I am tired , I paint to  energise my soul
When I am low, I paint to lift my spirits.

There isn't a single emotion that cannot be improved by painting.

My motto?

Just paint!


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