Friday, 10 December 2010

Home to snow

Well, the Oz trip is over and even before I get a chance to download some photos of demos, I am sidetracked by the journey home from the airport and the snowy sights that welcome us! All the way to the driveway at Shinafoot was a winter wonderland, and there to meet us at the bottom of the drive was Gail, looking like a Russian princess!!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Australian sunshine

Sorry I cant download some of the demos from the workshops in Oz but my little computer notebook is not and i really miss it for keeping up to speed! However, mastering the Iphone a little now, and apart from running up bills on that, I am behaving well and not spending too much on sightseeing in between worskhops! Cant wait to show you all some of the demos and places. Singapore, Perth, Sydney (wow) Moruya, Canberra, Deniliquin. Next will be Cobram, then Melbourne, Adelaide, back to Melbourne and my treat - to spend some time with Bob Wadem my painting hero, down on the Mornington Peninsula ( with an extra little pastel workshop squeezed in as extra). Keep me busy, keep me out of trouble!! Paintings to follow...I hope

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Pastels packed

The pastels are packed for their next big trip to OZ tomorrow. They are all safely tucked into their fantastic Heilman Box which is the best EVER pastel box for travelling.... see and drool and watch out for my posts from various corners of OZ demonstrating with it!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

The final Venice piece before OZ!

Well - managed to get this last one done before i leave for Australian workshops....simple and hopefully dynamic, as I saw it, sparkling through the narrow canal!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Phew - another deadline!

Just finished this off today...I think this makes a nice pair with the other....both going to Gatehouse gallery in Glasgow for their Xmas Show

Taking 'stock'

In the great cycle of work we produce, there are inevitably paintings that come back to you unsold...sometimes they get ditched, sometimes I rework them, either to improve or make a completely new painting out of, yet sometimes, an odd one just keeps it's charm reagrdless of how brutal you try to be with it!
I look back scathingly at old work, and work out all the ways to improve it - I think most artists feel this way - you are pleased with it till it is finished, then a day later, want to start again, because you feel you could do better. This is a good process, and helps us to strive for perfection & improvement. But now and then, one slips back into the 'scrutiny easel' and I still feel happy with it a few years later. This is one such work - I would happily have this piece at my 'deathbed' retrospective exhibition, and feel good about it representing my life's work!
By the way - everything hs to pass my husband Malcolm's critical eye, whether it is fresh off the easel, or returning from exhibitions...oh has to pass his eagle eye!

Friday, 29 October 2010


Hurrah...a large commission I have been working on has had the sign of approval from the buyer....Loch Rannoch & Schiehallion. The painting was made up from different sketches and photos (see earlier post) which were done in watercolour, and the painting combined the snow and autumn colours. The client said she is just back from Rannoch this week and it looks exactly like that...howzat for timing!!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Moody Moments...

No - it's not me being hormonal, just a little batch of small paintings coming off the easel today for (hopefully) Xmas sales in the galleries..... dont forget we take Paypal now so we can actually send paintings overseas now with ease if you pay first!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Venetian Vapours?

I still seem to be suffering the vapours from Venice - sniffing, coughing, stuffy , blocked-up....anti-biotics finished and still woozy....and still struggling to capture some of the watery visions in my head from our last trip...which is now 4 weeks ago! My how life races!
Only 2 weeks now till I get catapulted into another different timescale...Singapore, then Perth, Sydney.... and virtually the rest of OZ....busy, but beautiful...I will miss my family, worry about them all as usual..I AM a mother, first and foremost after all. None of us realise that constant caring that comes with motherhood, until it's too late- we start our own families, and we are sucked into it for life!!
Anyway back to the Venice!!

Friday, 22 October 2010

New adventures

Always a great thrill when the new brochures arrive in their boxes, and we start to send them out. An air of trepidation? Expectancy? Panic? What if nobody books anything? Ah well, on to bread and water for year to come! But I do hope you get in touch and ask for your very own copy of the brochure. It is in full colour, lots of examples of my work, and lots of tempting workshops and painting locations to bring you out of hibernation and in touch with your artistic side!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

...back to Xmas stock!

Much as I love indulging in painting tuscany, I do have to keep up the stocks of Scottish paintings, especially at this time of year when preparing for the Xmas Shows in all the galleries that represent me. here are a few new pieces from this week's easel hot-spot! Next I do want to get some new Venice paintings started at least before I leave for OZ in doubt I will come back and just want to paint wonderful Aussie Barns!!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Tuscan mists...... I am in the 'Tuscan' mood.....i think I will re-introduce this one to the galleries. It has been furnishing my studio wall for several years, so a little touch-up and off it goes to suit the mood of the moment!!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Slowly but surely.....

SOmetimes the week ahead promises soooo much time to finish and get on with paintings...I have some real nice pieces waiting for attention this week, but only managed to complete one of them...never mind, there is always next week. More delivering new work to lots of new galleries tomorrow, but Monday ----aaaah Monday will be a painting day ALL day ( unless other things happen....!)

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Painting in all weathers...even in Venice!

Showerws dont put us off....I showed the group how to balance painting with cover, umbrella and coffee today - they are getting the hang of it!!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Venice in the thunder and rain!

There's nowhere better to paint in a thunderstorm than under arches by acanalside in Venice....teaching my group this week to be resilient and not let a bit of rain put them off! Delicious subjects to paint!!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Preliminary sketches

Here are a couple of typical 'workouts' for a commission I will be doing soon. I do these in soluble pen first to sketch the composition and experiment with formats ie portrait, landscape, squeare etc, then dissolve the line with w/colours and play around with exaggerated and imaginative colourschemes. It's a low risk factor - it's only a sketch so more room to be creative, take chances and 'what if's'! Then select the best ( in this case the client will choose thorugh I already know which one I like best!) and do the painting in the agreed size, medium this space for the decision and the finished article...

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Travels-without pastels!!

Well my fingers are twitchy for pastels as I am just back from our Tuscan Dream alias daughter's wedding, and feel so desperate to paint some Tuscan scenes now instead of Glencoe and Skye! So spent the day carefully going through my sketchbook and sorting out a few new painting subjects for new this space....I LOVE Tuscany!!!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Rolling out the Oils!

Finishing off these 3 oils yesterday, was a good discipline for me. Pastels always take precedence over anything else, so I have to really work hard to produce these.
I find it helps to squeeze out lots of paint on the palette - I don't want to waste it and watch it dry out so I paint like mad to use it up!!! (ye olde Scottish philosophy!!) That makes a nice little set of 4 to go with the 12 pastels for the exhibition at EAS Studios Broughty Ferry Scotland!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

.....from watery mists.....

here is the middle and the end stages..... I will be writing about this in 7 parts for a magazine and introduce it to my lessons on

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Wet watery PASTELS

Can you believe the fluidity and fun you get when you add water to pastels? Watch this space to see this flowing river of pigment transform to a real live painting - I can feel it in my bones!!!

Sunday, 8 August 2010

How does inspiration grab YOU???

Do you ever get 'sidetracked' by something that just oozes ' paint me'? Much as I need to paint lots of new landscapes for gallery exhibitions, and do some roses in preparation for IAPS next year, this lovely 'distraction' grabbed me when one of my students took the photo last week....just 'waiting' to be painted!!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Pastels at home!

Not much 'Travelling Pastels' lately with workshops to run on watercolours, pens and just about everything else....also my time spent catching up on oil painting has paid off as some of my little oils have sold in the last few days....I trained in oils at Glasgow, but they take me much longer to build up than pastels...however i must not neglect them - they are great! Have attached a little oil to demonstrate how much fun they are! Watch out for next weekend when our Pastel Masterclass workshop is on and there will be several demos coming off the easel and on to the blog!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

New inspirations

About to start soon on a new batch of paintings for the Autumn season in the galleries. Lots of new images to inspire from my recent 'exile' in Skye, while manning my exhibition there...the scenery here is like being at the end of the earth, where life is simple and everlasting!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Sorry - forgot to add the images...!

Here are 5 of the 6 sold.....

Sales at Isle of Skye Exhibition

Well - it was goodbye to these babies over the last few weeks at the exhibition - some going to London and some abroad, 1 to Texas!! happy homes, nice people, and I hope a follow up from some others who were interested, and took away some of the lists....maybe a few enquiries later in the month - who knows! It was a worthy exercise, as i got inspiration from the landscape and the remoteness and inability to log on every night!!! Even picked up my oils again and started a few little this space!!

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

1ST sales of Skye exhibition

Just back from the Isle of Skye and catching up at home with the studio - sold 3 paintings this weekend, so hoping for further activity and a flourish in the next 2 weeks. We are planning our 2011 brochure now at home, and starting to fit in the dates around painting holidays already scheduled, so looking forward to tempting those of my students who didn't, or couldn't come away with us this year.....will be updating everyone soon.
Going back to Skye on Saturday....hope a few more have sold by then

Monday, 21 June 2010

Quick demo in Alghero Sardinia

This was a busy bustling scene in Alghero Sardinia last week, and lots to think about for the painting group, but everyone managed a decent record of the scene, and all the bustle & movement of the fishermen as they mended nets. The entire week was full of great landscapes, food, wine and company!! We'll be going again next year, and continuing on to Corsica afterwards, so get in touch if you are tempted to join us then!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Garden in Blooming June!

The garden looks great now we are back, and the irises are fantastic, and keeping me excited while waiting on my beloved roses!! Wish I had time to paint them, but the next workshop is flowers coming up on 30 June, so it is all shaping up nicely!!