Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Left and right painting!

I started this painting last week it's on a full imperial size Ken Bromley board. It's the view from Sulzano in The Italian Lakes. I've used quite alot of Prussian blue and also a water spray, which is great fun a little scary but it helps me to try and loosen up. The water spray by the way is sprayed on the paper and paint not me! I've also done the usual Jane technique of starting in the top left hand corner and working over to the bottom right. Can't quite figure out why I do this! Keep watching to see what happens in the elusive right hand bottom corner!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009


I was asked to paint the Langdales for a 40th birthday present. We decided what season and medium, late summer early Autumn and in pastels. So off I went down the valley to find inspiration and a decent view. Not too hard with those classic mountains Bowfell, in the background and the Langdales in all their glory.It's quite nerve wracking when you hand over the commission. When someone buys a painting in a gallery it's because they like it usually! But with a commission I do like to think of where the painting is going and who to, it is usually more of a struggle with sweat and tears! I once painted a cricket game without meeting the team or seeing them play.Luckily I have a couple of cricket advisor and I know they will be happy with a certain score!!

Monday, 24 August 2009

Thank you

Where would we be without friends and partners that help, when problems arise! My computer and web site decided it would throw a wobbly and after a few days of struggling along, I gave in and called my web genius friend to shout help.After an hour he had it back on track so thanks to Mik I now have my new dates for next year on . Another thank you is to Jason at After my camera broke in Italy I still had 250 photo's on the memory he kindly downloaded them. So now I can share my thank you to Nigel . I like to wash my palette in the Lake, It is only watercolour so shouldn't kill any fish! I find it 'at one with nature feel' BUT when I did this in Italy my four blue pans somehow disappeared into the lake!! What would I do with no blue!! A girl can't paint in Italian Lakes with no Blue. So thank you Nige for putting your goggles on and finding my blue paints in a blue Lake!!

'Why did you wash them in the Lake? Where do you think that they went!'
'I can't see anything' Nige says 'maybe feel them with your toes' says Jane
''What am I looking for, Can't see a thing' Four blue pan sets about 2 inches big, get your goggles on'

After half and hour four blues were reunited with four yellows and a few pinks!!

Saturday, 22 August 2009

What a week

The mouth is healing, still not chewing on a steak yet but maybe next week. Went to Betty's yesterday to celebrate the stitches coming out and managed a tasty quiche, and took home to Cumbria a curd tart, we can't buy them in Keswick. A friend asked on Tuesday night if we would like some tickets for the U2 concert on Thursday? I am a big fan, so forgot about the sore mouth, jumped up and down and sank till I was hoarse here's a link it was fantastic, I've seen them a few times and if anyone out there knows if 'Bono' would like free watercolour lessons then please let me know.
We just had one little hiccup getting back to the car park about 11.15 we managed to get out at 1.45pm with still a two and half drive home. But eh ho it was a great night. So what with dentist trip, new fish, U2 concert ahhh and my new little baby sat on my lap! I've got a shiny new netbook, so I will be able to blog away from home more and look after my online course students.That is if I can find wireless! Next week I am hoping to get some painting done, the heather is looking at it's best so hope to get up Walla Crag.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

A fish is for life too!

I've had quite a traumatic last few days, I don't enjoy having any work done at the dentist. I'm quite happy seeing Steve my dentist for the last 29years! But when he told me I had to have one of my back teeth out, and he may break my jaw,the tooth might snap or worse, I was dreading 11am Monday morning. Anyway to cut along toothache short it came out eventually and to mine and Steve relieve in one piece. Mind today I do feel very delicate and have found the way to ease the pain with 'Ben and Jerry Chocolate Ice Cream' I am a big baby when it comes to pain. But Steve gave me this certificate for been a good girl. The dentist is a 160 mile round trip but was worth every mile when I great confidence in someone who is yanking with what felt like pliars my big back tooth. So on the way home we dropped in at the pet shop and I bought myself a new goldfish, I would have liked a puppy or even a rabbit but a fish can be left for days on end!

I've named him 'Jaws' after my traumatic day! He's the little golden one, Spike is the black one!

Friday, 14 August 2009

Mixing Green in watercolour

Finished the August course, it was a delight to teach, everyone was so keen to be painting on location even though the weather was quite mixed. Some of the students had never been outside with paints and paper but they took to it ' like a duck to water'. Wednesday found us in the tiny hamlet of Millbeck with pretty cottages like the one below, a quaint post box in a dry stone wall and farm buildings with the magnificent Borrowdale valley stretching out below. We watched the milk float arrive, the post man came and the farmer was back and forth all day watching I'm sure how the paintings were coming on.

The view from Millbeck, showing a slither of Lake sparkling in the sunshine.
A glimse of heaven through dappled light
Thursday found us back in Portinscale, some decided to paint in the hotel grounds while others could not resist been drawn to the lake edge! Unknown to us happy artists painting madly away Gordon Brown was holidaying and spending his time on the shores of Derwentwater, maybe he had cast an appreciated eye over our work, but we were to busy getting the correct shade of green to notice the prime minister!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Painting rain showers in watercolor

With my band of intrepid artists covered in sunscreen, big sun hats and sandals off we went for a day painting on the shore near Keswick. Catching the sun rays while we waited patiently for the launch to arrive and take us scenically to our first location. We soon found base camp and set up our stools, grabbed pencils and paper and ready to capture a view .It started well, but soon cardigans were pulled out of bags followed by scarfs and coats. The wild August weather didn't stop them from creating in 2 hours masterpieces. After a quick Coffee and Big date slice, all calories are lost on a 'Lakeland art course' due to paint mixing! So with energy levels high off we went over to Crowe Park for a quick hours paint and sketch. Ten minutes after setting up camp the rain clouds moved in bright mountain scenery was replaced with tonal grey mountains. Half of my intrepid gang legged it back to the shelter underneath the Theatre while the brave others battled with the elements.The rain is coming! Here is Lucy her first ever day of watercolours.

The rain, It's very near!
One of the joys about been in the Lake District is weather watching, you can see it approach and then it's upon you and within a few minutes the sun is out again, or maybe an hour!!

This is the demonstration piece I did in the rain and in between the showers.

Here is Sue, a real artist she was the last to come undercover and got a round of applause.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Watercolor painting in the Lake District

Our 1st painting location for August watercolours in Keswick and around Derwentwater, we were greeted by 'Mizzle' and 'Midges' for those who don't know what mizzle is it's soften and finer than Drizzle, not bad for keeping your watercolour damp and working wet in wet! Luckily the midges didn't bite. Even though the sunshine didn't show it's face till later in the afternoon
it was still a pleasure to work outside. Low grey heavy clouds, misty mountains and long reflections perfect for capturing in watercolours.

My wonderful, Lilac brolly got an outing today, will it be out tomorrow, fingers crossed for the sunglasses and sunhat!! It is August

Friday, 7 August 2009

Easy techniques on how to paint trees in watercolour

Looking back at the photo from the last blog of the slender tree, I thought it may be a good exercise for my Total Beginners on line course. Trees can be a bit of a nightmare but if you keep them simple and think of them as shapes and not trees it can help. The background is the famous Catbells. If you fancy joining up to the course just click on to see how it's done in easy steps. It's going really well are the Watercolours online I've got students in Amercia, Canada and Turkey and Keswick! The projects are mainly the wonderful Lake District in all seasons.

Caught the sunset last night down at the Lake, you can't beat those lovely warm evenings.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Artists walk, Derwentwater

This is my frequent walk or sometimes run down to the lake it's about a 3 mile circuit. Walking down the old bridleway covered in wild flowers towards Borrowdale. After a mile you reach a road take a right and the view above greets you. There's an old gate to lean on and take in the view down the field under the pretty copse of trees and on towards the Jaws of Borrowdale. Late afternoon and the shadows are just perfect. I think this would make lovely Oil.
You've walked down the road to a gate on your right. Walking through this small wood keep a watch on your right for Deer and also water forget me nots, there can be some big puddles down here if we've had a few days of rain. Walk over the little bridge and a field of wild flowers is on your right with a glimpse of Blencathra through the trees. I like the way you can see the light in the field which turns the it into a lovely acid lemon.I fancy doing this in pastel.

Now we arrive at my favourite lake, this 200 metre stretch to Friars Crag is probably the most scenic. From here we can see Catbells with wonderful late afternoon shadows and again peeping out is Newlands valley. I find Catbells quite a difficult mountain to paint, I think because it is full on and very long!But if you take a look down the lake towards the Jaws of Borrowdale soft mountain shapes and tones come into artists eye.

A slender tree with not an inch of fat, run round and make a wish.

Here we have a classic, the famous Friars Crag I've painted here many times, portrait and landscape but maybe a square format could work? Pastels, Oils and watercolours could be used on these shapely trees. But remember don't put all the fence in leave a gap to get through the painting. A couple of birds can work too leading you through.

On the way back you take another right at the Mountain rescue base to see the glorious Skiddaw with it's purple coat of Heather in August. Skiddaws shape comes alive in the late evening light.