Tuesday, 22 August 2017

"I Can't" I said.

Blue Tit in Watercolour

This afternoon I had a wonderful message from the owner of The Frame Gallery who are hosting my solo exhibition which opens on 1st September  , next month.  Apparently everyone loves the blue tit painting on the Preview Invitation  for my show. So much so, that several people wish to buy it. It has however already been reserved. Collectors often do this to ensure they get the piece they wish to purchase.

I loved reading the gallery message and smiled when I was asked 
" Do you have any other Blue Tit paintings ?"
"If you haven't, is there any chance that you can paint another?"

" I can't " was my reply.

Don't you just detest those words the minute you have said them.

And I don't even believe in the two words

" I can't". 

I tell everyone who comes on my workshops that they can because I believe negativity can pull us down. Knocking our faith  in our own ability.

But I can't  paint another bird in time because I have deadlines to meet for magazine features, and my new book to work on and I have to prepare for my upcoming USA tour.

" I can't" I thought to myself. 

But then on a branch outside my studio a tiny bird sat looking at me.

" You can" it seemed to say.

I tried to ignore it. But it put its' head on one side and looked at me again. 

" You can" 

Perhaps five minutes just painting it, I thought ,would be a welcome break as today has been so busy.

I grabbed my paper and almost willed the little bird to sit still for me.  Its' little  feathers lifted in the breeze. It flew away at one point but then came back. As if to see how far I had gone with my painting of it and I laughed. I must admit I don't sit still for long either so I didn't mind their brief flight.

Actually I have thought about it.

I can!

So there might be another Blue Tit painting in my solo show but you will only know if you are there!

Its' always best to believe " we can" and in this case I can honestly say a little bird told me so!


My show is at The Frame Gallery in Odiham , Hampshire, UK.
Full details can be found on my web site

A Brush With a Woman : Solo Exhibition opening on 1st September, in Hampshire UK

"Keep On Running"
Hare in Watercolour
H67cms. x 87cms.

From my upcoming solo exhibition 

" A Brush With a Woman"
The Frame Gallery 

My solo exhibition opens on 1st September and the preview event will be a terrific celebration of my new collection. 
Everyone is welcome, I will be happy to sign books and the event starts at 5.30 until 8.00 p.m. 

Please contact the gallery for your  preview invitation.

And please let them know if you have favourite subjects you are interested in. I'm afraid there is , as always, only one hare and this is it. My favourite hare to date as the eye is lovely when you can see the full painting close up and this piece is in a gorgeous frame!

Gallery and exhibition details via this link,


UK Watercolour Workshops 2018 : Update

"Colours of a workshop "

UK Watercolour Workshops 2018
  Almost sold out! 

I am slowly coming up for air after handling all the email requests for places on my workshops in 2018.  I am only running a limited number of courses because I too want to paint and enjoy creating, as well as teaching.  I announced the 2018 dates were available last Thursday evening. Emails have flooded in so a huge thank you to everyone who has been so prompt in getting in touch with me. I have been very fair and contacted everyone in the order that I received the emails and requests for places. So everyone who has been in touch with me should now have seen my workshop programme or been signed up for a place on next years schedule.

Please note :  If you haven't heard from me by now please get in touch.

Frighteningly, there are now only a few places available on next years workshops in UK. 
Please, if you are interested in attending any of my courses and haven't as yet emailed me, could you get in touch with me as soon as possible. 

Contact me on jeanhaines@hotmail.com
Title your email :  UK Workshops  2018

A few tips for next year .

1) If you do come on my courses , anywhere , please don't wear white and if you do please don't stand next to me when I am demonstrating. I am getting messier by the minute when I paint!

2) Do try to ensure you have some free time when you leave for home after the courses. So that you can paint using all the information absorbed, and at your leisure .  Trust me, you will want to be painting and how!

3) Many people make life long friends on my courses. Such is the dynamics of the groups. Even if you don't think you will. The courses are friendly, inspirational and motivational. And intended to be so.

4) I live in what is called Jane Austen country. Hampshire , UK . Non painting partners find  quite a lot to see and do. 

5) I'm addicted to so many new colours and products so you will possibly fall in love with many new ideas, but that's a good  thing.  We can't stay the same when we paint!


For the last few workshop places please email jeanhaines@hotmail.com ASAP

Monday, 21 August 2017

Crazy: A different day.

"Grumpy Babes"
Swallow chicks in our carport from this year.

Today probably proves just how crazy I can be but it was not the day I had planned. I headed to my studio first thing this morning to work on all the emails I have received enquiring after my 2018 Workshop programme which I have to admit is almost fully booked already. I had then hoped to work on my book. But my husband came into my studio and told me I should check the garage to see what had happened. I dreaded the sight when he explained what it would be.

Each year we have enjoyed watching swallows return to nest in our car port. We patiently move our cars out of the car port each year so that the swallows may nest without us disturbing them or them making a mess on our cars. When the last of the fledglings has learnt to fly we happily move our cars back in the car port. The swallows have had two broods this year and as we thought they had finished nesting for the season we moved the cars in yet again. But lo and behold more nesting seemed to continue and we recently again moved the cars out of the car port.

And so, I have been watching the parents fly in and out of the new nest  and I have been eagerly waiting for the latest young family to show their tiny heads, eagerly waiting to be fed. Its actually the first thing I do every morning, check to see if all is okay. But this morning I raced to my studio first and missed the awful sight that was awaiting me.

Magpies have been attacking these beautiful birds all year but the swallow parents seemed to have always won and protected their young. Not so today. Their nest was completely destroyed and tiny bodies of their chicks were lain all over the garage floor. I was heartbroken. I gently picked each little cold form up and checked to see if there was any life in it but no.  I could feel tears welling up because I adore these additional wildlife family members each year.  But then something happened as I held the last but one chick. I held it in my hands for a while. And I thought I would try something completely stupid. before I knew what I was doing I held the little bird to my mouth and I breathed warm air into its beak. I know. I am nuts. But I just couldn't bear to see these poor little things lose their lives so horribly. I know nature is cruel but not on my watch it isn't. Believe it or not, the little birds tummy moved. I breathed into its beak gently again and there was a flicker of life.  I wasn't mistaken. It was so cold but it was breathing. I quickly tried the same trick on the last little chick and that too started breathing again. I carried both the chicks inside, wrapped them snuggly as if they were still in a nest and gave them some fluids, then let them rest in the warm.

 Shocked but recovering. Baby swallows

I raced outside to see if the parents were in sight but no. They hadn't been all day. I then doubled checked all the other little birds but they really had lost the fight. So now I had two little chicks, no parents to look after them.  Great. What now? My husband John was out. So here I was carrying a little make shift nest around trying to keep the chicks warm as I then started phoning around to see where I could get help. Our vet gave me the number of a wildlife centre and John kindly drove me there late afternoon where we were assured the chicks stood a really good chance of surviving. I am thrilled because I love our swallows so much and at least I felt I had helped.

Coming around and wanting to be fed.

We returned home and I have continued to look to see if the parents have returned. As yet there is no sign of them. I have been told once a nest is destroyed the parents rarely  return. 

What a day, I am exhausted from trying to keep up with all my emails, write and rescue.

But I can honestly say I have never given a baby bird the kiss of life before. And perhaps I shouldn't be telling anyone that I did.

But isn't this a nice change from all my art posts?

 Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned.
Perhaps when you walk into a hopeless situation you should never give up. 
Perhaps a miracle can happen. 

This is how I found one of the tiny birds. 
Cold and lifeless. 
But it has a chance now. 

I didn't give up.


Sunday, 20 August 2017

2018 USA Workshops Tour : Places Available in New Orleans and Hawaii

Colours of a Workshop

Earlier this year I held workshops in Florida and New Orleans and absolutely loved both locations. And in 2018 I will be returning as well as holding workshops for the first time in Hawaii which is really exciting. There are still a few places available on this tour in New Orleans and in Hawaii . How too book and who to contact is below.

Wow! This is a fantastic location for a workshop as it is above an art store which is owned by the most enthusiastic art store owners that you can ever imagine. I found myself buying and trying new products which led me to painting poppies in vibrant new shades and with fun techniques The first two workshops sold out so quickly that I have agreed to add an extra course which is now open for bookings. If you would like to come and have fun do please contact the store urgently.

The dates are as follows:-

February 2/3rd 2018 NEW * open for bookings!
February 5/6th 2018   FULLY BOOKED
February 8/9th 2018  FULLY BOOKED

Contact details via this link for full information and advise for accomodation


Gold Coast Watercolor Society

1350 East Sunrise Boulevard

Suite 113

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304

Workshop 1:  16/17th January 2018  FULLY BOOKED
Workshop 2:  18/19th January 2018 FULLY BOOKED

Art Center Sarasota
707 N. Tamiami Tr
Sarasota, FL 34236

Workshop 1:  22/23rd January 2018  FULLY BOOKED
Workshop 2:  24/25th  January 2018  FULLY BOOKED


"Watercolour Inspiration"
 Exciting new two day workshops with places available!

Workshop 1. 13th -14th February 2018   BOOK NOW!

Workshop 2.  16th -17th February 2018  BOOK NOW!

The location is Akamai Art Supply


Please contact the hosts directly in Hawaii and New Orleans if you would like a place on these new inspirational workshops! 2018 is going to be the best workshop year ever!


USA and Canada Workshops 2017

"Colours of a Workshop"

USA and Canada 2017 Fall Tour

It will soon be time for my 2018 USA and  Canada Fall Workshop Tour . It doesnt seem that long ago that I agreed to make a return trip as the last tour was so successful, enjoyed by everyone ho whosted and attended my workshops and each course was sold out. Due to the wait list for places in each location I happily agred to repeat the tour and return this year. However, in each location an additional workshop or workshops  have ben added to meet demand and these have still sold out  Whilst these workshops have been fully booked for some time it is still worth contacting the organisers to be placed on their wait lists in case of cancellations. I will also be giving a free demonstration in Seattle where I try to fit a whole workshop into my talk to show everyone how much fun working in watercolour can be. I will be signing books at the Daniel Smith Seattle store also.

My tour dates for Fall 2017 are :-


Monday-Tuesday, October 23-24, 2017. 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
2-Day WORKSHOP: Watercolors  SOLD OUT

Wednesday-Thursday, October 25-26, 2017. 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
2-Day WORKSHOP: Watercolors 

Friday, October 27, 2017. 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
FREE DEMO: Watercolors

Saturday-Sunday, October 28-29, 2017. 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
2-Day WORKSHOP: Watercolors 

Monday-Tuesday, October 30-31, 2017. 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
2-Day WORKSHOP: Watercolors 

Seattle Store

4150 First Avenue South
Seattle, Washington 98134
(206) 223-9599

Please call 206-223-9599 to register for events



Two day Workshops:

November 2nd – 3rd and November 4th-5th, 2017 SOLD OUT

Please note a third workshop has been added due to popularity but this has also sold out.

Please contact Janice via this link to be added to the wait list for cancellations. 




Oregon Society of Artists

 I will be giving three twoday workshops in Porltand, Oregon. These have sold out but please contact to be added to the wait list in case of cancellations





Bookings are now open for my 2018 workshops in USA.  Information will be added to my blog in a new post shortly.




A Brush With a Woman : Solo Exhibition Opening September 1st, 2018

 Framed Owl watercolour from the new collection
To be on show in my solo exhibition in September 2018

My collection of  new watercolours have returned from the framers and were all beautifully wrapped  for transporting to my studio. Today was the day I had planned to get to work unwrapping each piece, measuring, pricing and ensuring the titles were all listed in preparation for my solo show.

I often think we walk into galleries to admire art whilst the work  behind the scenes is really what needs admiration. Months of  creating are what forms the basis for a collection. Then the framing choices for each piece has to be right. In most of my shows all my paintings are usually presented in white wooden frames which show off the freshness of watercolour as a medium. But  I feel certain subjects demand far more from a frame. The above owl painting I know is one of my favourite paintings to date. The eye is special. Wildlife quite often looks wonderful in wood or darker frames and this piece was sheer joy to unwrap this morning. It looks stunning in our home so part of me is already thinking " keep it!".  But it will go in the exhibition as it has been used on the gallery invitation and been included in promotional features.

When I looked at all the wrapped paintings this morning my heart sank a little as the sun was shining outside and I would have loved to have worked in my garden. I also know tomorrow I will be sat at my computer  for most of the day working through the many emails I have received  asking about my UK workshops next year. Today I had no time to go through them and I know I have promised to reply to everyone on Monday, tomorrow.

So I reluctantly got on with my task of carrying each painting to be unwrapped, measured,priced and then re wrapped ready for the show. Soon I was feeling that heady excitement an artist often feels when they see their collection together. It does look  so beautiful and there are many " favourite pieces" in the collection. I will give a few sneak previews on my blog over the next few days, as time allows, for those who can't get to the gallery.

For now, just a few more paintings need to be unwrapped. A job well worth doing and I cannot wait for the 1st September when the collection will  be on show for the first time.

If you would like to come, meet me or have a book signed I will be at the gallery on the evening of Friday 1st September from 5.30 -8.00 p.m . I will also be at the gallery on Saturday morning 2nd September. for a coffee morning so everyone is welcome !

Here is a link to the gallery, please contact them for full information regarding the show or for your invitation to the Friday Preview event. 

Almost finished! Checking frames of paintings for my solo show