Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Racing Into 2010

 At The Races Original Watercolour by Jean Haines

How quickly a year passes. I am seeing  2009 out by saying goodbye to a favourite painting that sold recently. I have learned so much from my art. Not just painting.

I know when I look at a fresh piece of white paper I have that incredible feeling of excitement of adding colour to it.This is how I feel with a new year too.What will we all paint and achieve in 2010.

It is time to say goodbye to yesterday and open our hearts and imaginations to our new tomorrows.

My goal is to be a better artist............and work  towards a very special dream.

I wish you joy,happiness and all your dreams coming true in this new year.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year 2010 Competition’.

I am saying goodbye to 2009 and giving a welcome to 2010  by  painting from my heart for love and to help a worthwhile charity.  " Glorious Giant" an original watercolour of an elephant by Jean Haines was sold recently in the 2009 Art Liberating Lives Exhibition at the Mall Galleries,London in aid  of Sue Ryder Care.

Elephants seem to have played a "mammoth" part in my watercolour journey in 2009. They have been a favourite subject in all of my exhibitions and have led me to meeting some incredible people. Each year I now host an African workshop which is usually fully booked the minute the dates are set because it has become so popular. In 2009 my Autumn session adopted an elephant and a moon bear from the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation. In 2010 I hope to use the workshop to again help fund DSWF projects that are saving species in the wild.

This month I was delighted to create a simple step by step demonstration for the email newsletter which has been circulated this week by the SAA, Society for all Artists.

Quote : "In this exclusive SAA e-newsletter, PA Jean Haines demonstrates how to paint a gorgeous elephant in a loose watercolour style. This exciting step-by-step project is a great place to get some inspiration for the ‘David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year 2010 Competition’.
This competition is open to all amateur and professional artists aged 17 and over, the first prize is £10,000 with all profits from the competition going to help save wildlife! There are five categories: Endangered Wildlife, Wild Places, Wildlife in 3D, Wildlife in Action and Open, and a short-listed selection from each will be exhibited at the Mall Galleries, London in May 2010. The deadline for the competition is Friday 15th January 2010 – just a few weeks away!"

SAA members will have read the full feature where I used unusual  colour combinations and  water effects to create an unusual portrayal of a popular subject.

   Step 1. The Starting point had a fabulous formation of colour to create the centre of the elephant head.

The background was full of rich colours merging with water to  form " water illusions" which are now very common in my style.  People who " follow" my journey in art are delighted to see how my growth in technique now brings these patterns strongly into play in a huge variety of  ways.

The contrast of vibrant directional brushstrokes in the foreground seems to make the background sing even more.

When we paint we do so much. We " tell stories",  we create illusions and we aim to portray  any given subject in a style that is unique to us as artists who wish to be original.

I am hoping via my art I can  do more than simply create paintings. I want to help others via my passion for watercolour. My paintings in 2010 will strive to be full of  obvious emotion, life and movement in a unique way. I am aiming to achieve more for charity and improvement as artist than I have in 2009 so I am giving myself quite a challenge!

There is still time to enter the David Shepherd Wildlife of the Year Competition 2010. For full details please see this link...................


Thursday, 24 December 2009

Poinsettia Promises

 Poinsettia Promises.

At this time of year it is really difficult finding the time to paint.But if watercolour is as much an addiction to you as it is to me a day without picking up my brush is  sheer agony. Over the last few days I have quietly allowed colour to literally run on an easel placed at an angle to see what could emerge. Poinsettia are the perfect flower to  create almost abstract images from. My initial paintings were formed like "Poinsettia Promises" seen above using mainly Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium Orange.

But then I decided to explore using a wonderful blue for a half background to contrast with my orange.

 Here I am working further to bring out individual petals.


From these studies of a size of 18" by 12" I have gained some incredible ideas for beautiful ful paintings using texture and placement of not only my subject but also my colour for interest.

 I also have ideas for brilliant projects  to work on in 2010 so I hope you are as eager to paint next year as I am!

Have a wonderful Christmas!

It is Official.........,

 Bailey has his own blog.I realised he could take over mine with all the photographs I take of him and Taffy! So for any dog lovers please follow Bailey on this link.....

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Joy to the World...........

   Bailey  loves snow!

I had such a beautiful email yesterday from someone newly following my blog. Thank you so much and to everyone who has added their name as a follower too. I had an idea for the new year to share monthly projects as I know some of my friends find it hard to find inspiration or even the motivation to pick up a brush on a regular basis. This will be a great commitment for me to also paint a suitable subject each month! I will think about setting up a link to the project zone and send invitations to those interested  in 2010.........lets see how many terrific paintings we can create next year!

 Its impossible to feel anything but happy with wonderfully energetic pets  around. I live in the most beautiful countryside and see new ideas for paintings every single day..........

What colours would you use to paint this scene........?

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Simple Snowdrops

 " Pure and White " Snowdrop Study.

Following on from the simple snowdrop study I have experimented with colour,salt and texture effects to achieve a soft snow scene of a group of snowdrops. Clusters of these small white flowers line the drive to our cottage .Many are often hidden under the  shrubs that line the pathway so you may only see hints of  their form rather than whole flower shapes.

Studying and learning from nature is  so beneficial to the artist who is passionate about painting every subject in a variety of techniques.

I have a feeling many more snowdrop paintings are on their way!

A White Christmas?

With beautiful snow falling outside the cottage  I am looking back thinking of how I started 2009.  My first demonstration of the year was at Farnham Arts Society where I covered a number of subjects. The favourite appeared to be a simple study of a snowdrop. Looking at the snow today it is easy to paint one  imagining how it would look covered with snow. Here I have not used masking fluid as I find it can often create hard edges. These can sometimes kill the feeling of the wonderful light I am aiming for to add excitement in my finished painting.

                                                           "Snowdrop Study"  Stage 1.

Today I walked past a local farm in the middle of  country fields. It looked just like a scene from the cover of a chocolate box / I couldn't help  painting it as such exaggerating the colours and hinting at warmth  missing in the winter scene of  cool grey and violet.

These quick studies on scraps of paper are a wonderful way of warming up before tackling a serious painting. I have ideas now on how to create a beautiful large scene of snowdrops and the farm could make an amazingly colourful abstract if it lost the " prettyness" and became more expressive with energetic and varying brushstrokes.

Out of interest all the local shops are running out of salt as everyone is  laying it on paths, lanes and roads to prevent  slippery icy roads. I am keeping my  supplies for snow scenes locked in my art studio where it is  hidden only for my use!

Friday, 18 December 2009

Beautiful Snow

We woke this morning to beautiful soft snowfall. This meant there was a wonderful opportunity to  take my Bearded Collies for a walk and capture images to paint  in my studio  long after the clear white blanket has disappeared. Bailey is still very much a young pup when it comes to playing in fresh snow and for me,makes a gorgeous subject in a variety of poses. This is a favourite to paint as the composition is almost perfect for what I have in mind.

 I am fascinated by nature and the almost abstract patterns to be found  throughout each season.These icicles adorning the front of our cottage make brilliant patterns and shapes. They almost seem to form a magical curtain of glittering lights in the afternoon sunshine.

The thatched cottahe where I live  adorned by a curtain of icicles.  Natures Christmas decorations.

Watching the afternoon sunlight play on these amazing shapes has given me so many ideas for new paintings. Seeing through the eyes of an artist can be absolutely magical!

Monday, 14 December 2009

A Christmas Wish Come True.

" All I want for Christmas is..........." 
Taffy our Bearded Collie in Santa Hat!

While I am recovering from surgery placing gifts under the chimney to make our cottage feel as though Santa has  paid an early visit a brown envelope arrived by post. I knew immediately what was inside.This year I recieved the most exciting gift of all as a dream I have long carried is about to come true. I have always wanted to write a book on watercolour. Over the years so many people have asked me to do just that sharing my  way of working and ideas. At the beginning of this year I was in touch with a publisher who started the magical journey to this dream coming true.

And so I came to hold the first proof in my hands and read the text along with seeing the images in print for the very first time. I held the package for the longest time before I opened it as the feeling of knowing what the contents were was so wonderful I simply  wanted to hold on to that sensation for the longest time. The feeling of excitement and  joy from putting it all together over the last twelve months is so hard to describe but this will be my happiest Christmas. In another way I also feel as though I am giving gifts to friends all over the world who I already know and those I have yet to meet via sharing my ideas and thoughts on watercolour. To all the artists and students along with friends who have told me I MUST write a book on watercolour I owe a huge thank you.

I know I am so very blessed with wonderful people in my life who encourage me and enrich my life in so many ways. Sometimes I feel I live a magical dream so that even a minor blip of having to go into hospital at this time of year is nothing other than an excuse to rest before the next exciting adventure.

2010 will see a huge dream of mine come true along with many other exciting experiences from teaching in new locations and countries as well as continually sharing my passion in painting with watercolour.

I wish everyone reading this blog the happiest of Christmas and a wonderful New Year to follow!