Monday, 30 September 2013

Well, I did it. I painted every day in September

Well, I did it. I painted every day in September. it got easier and easier to get into the studio - I just got on with it!
A valuable exercise and I know I will paint more often too and if my house looks too clean and tidy then I will know I haven't kept my promise to myself.

I wonder how many of the 400 artists that signed up for the challenge did indeed paint every day??
I know that only about 200 pictures were posted daily on Leslie Saeta's blog

I certainly got a lot out of it, including some designs for this year's Christmas card and here is the final one

Angel with Star 6" x 8" Oil

Well, this may be the end of the challenge but I will endeavor to post here at least once a week. And,if you check in and there's nothing new - give me a poke :)
Thank you to all that have followed and for your lovely comments.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Day 29 of 30

Managed to sneak one in this morning in spite of having three little 'helpers'. I mean, I can't fall at the last post, One day left in the challenge and to date, have painted every day.

Penguin 6" x 8" Oil

One day left, what to paint on the final day????

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Day 28 of 30

Early start again today as I'll soon have a house full of grandchildren, well, only three but it does seem like a house full .
Still on the Christmas theme I thought this chap might make a good card. It needs a bit of tweaking - time ran out.

Santa 6" x 8" Oil
Of course the one thing I didn't think about when painting for cards is where the lettering would go. Fortunately I have a brilliant Daughter in Law who is a wizard with design & Photoshop and she says that it can be done.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Day 27 of 30

Yes, decided to run with the theme again today. It prompted another friend to start on her Christmas card too. What to paint?? I rummaged through the the Christmas box and came up with this angel.

Angel 6" x 8" Oil

I do have a another subject lined up for tomorrow but I may have the help of three Granddaughters aged 1, 2 & 3 years. I'll have to see how get on.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Day 26 of 30

Sorry about today's subject. You may get the same theme again tomorrow too.
Every year I fully intend to create my own Christmas card and by the time I get around to thinking seriously about it, it's too late to get anything printed. So, hence the snowman.

Snowman 6" x 8" oil

Still not sure if I'll go for this picture but I'll get a few done and choose.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Day 25 of 30

Hmm, I had a feeling I might fall behind this week. We were up quite late last night chatting so I'm not too bright this morning. Therefore, I shall post one I did earlier this month.
This 24" x 20" canvas was done over two days.

Cooling off at Cromer 20" x 24" Oil

Not sure if it's finished yet, I may take another look sometime. I do feel that if I painted it again now it would come out completely different. This daily painting has done me so much good.
There are still several artists participating in the challenge (some seem to have fallen by the wayside)
have a look at

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Day 24 0f 30

Early morning again. I thought I'd get into the studio before my friends surfaced. Judging by the alcohol consumed last night it could be a while.
They kindly set up a still life for me before going to bed - it was a kind of tower of kitchen implements and anything else that would stack!!! mmm, maybe not.
Went for another soft toy option instead.

Hug Me 6" x 8" Oil

Monday, 23 September 2013

Day 23 of 30

Only had a half hour window today to paint. Been getting ready for some of my oldest, bestest friends to arrive. We all met at college - quite a long time ago.
On the way home home from yet another trip to the supermarket I was planning out what I could paint quickly. I started thinking about old friends and suddenly I knew what I was going to paint and here he is -

This little chap is even older than me!!! He's lost all his fur, poor thing but I still love him.
I phoned my friends to find out their eta. I had 3/4 of an hour.
I grabbed an old painting, turned it upside down an started painting.

It looks a bit confusing, but if you are focused on what you are painting, you don't see the original. I did pre mix some colours as I find this saves a lot of time. Anyway, here is the result.. I felt a bit pushed and would liked to have spent a bit longer on him.

If only I Could Talk 10"x 12" oil

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Day 22 of 30

Up with the sparrows again this morning (and it's Sunday!!) Really fancied doing a still life again. decided to have a crack at an egg (no pun intended).
I set this up in the studio and, apart from the usual struggle with ovals, feel quite pleased with this one, you don't often hear me say that.

Sunday Breakfast 8" x 8" oil

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Day 21 of 30

Busy painting frames today ready for submitting so, I'm putting on a pic I did earlier this month after a lovely walk at Blakeney with Frank.
Have to go to King's Lynn now as Marie French has just opened her new exhibition and have to see that.

Windy day, Blakeney 10" x 8" oil

Maybe I'll be able to sneak into the studio a bit later - can't get behind.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Day 20 of 30

Phew, up with the sparrows and into the studio this morning as have a busy day. (note to self - see, it can be done!)
I worked on a painting that I started last week. it's another from my sketch book, a tonal sketch with colour notes. Because of what I have learned since I started it, I was sorely tempted to repaint the whole thing but decided that I'd leave it as the next one would be better. (aren't they all going to be? It's what keeps us artists painting)

Family Stroll, Comer 16" x 20" oil

Back to the studio now to tidy up, maybe start another before I go and collect new car, go shopping, take my lovely Dad out for a birthday lunch (he's 89!) then back to paint frames and frame up for submission tomorrow to exhibition. At least I don't have to cook, we are off to a dear friend's house for dinner. I suppose I ought to get some housework done at some point but this is way too much fun.
Thank you Leslie Saeta you can go to this link to see all the other paintings that are being done.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Day 19 of 30

After a busy day's workshop on Monday I came home all fired up and painted this from my sketch book.

Hunstanton, Norfolk 6" x 8" oil

It's again a very limited pallet but I think it works.

Day 18 of 30

I came home yesterday from a wonderful few days in Norfolk. I drove along the coast road, much slower but so scenic. A slight detour en route to the Grapevine Gallery in Burnham Market that
exhibits my work and was very happy to come away with a cheque in my back pocket.
On then to Brancaster Staithe for a quick paint.
Once again, I was battling with the elements so I turned the car round, popped up the boot and took what shelter I could from that.

Almost finished

The View

 I had a lot of folk stopping by for a chat and asking questions. I don't mind but it does take the concentration a bit and I can't be rude. I did meet a fellow artist as I was packing up and it was good talking to her.
As you can see from the photograph, I narrowed the gap between the post and the boat. I would have worked a bit longer but the rain defeated me.

Brancaster Staithe 10" x 12" oil on board

There are so many subjects here at Brancaster Staithe I could paint here for a month. Shame it's so far from home

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Day 17 of 30

Wow, the two day workshop went sooo quickly. I have to say though, I am exhausted. Don't think I've sat down. Never mind everyone seemed to enjoy it and all produced some good work. I got quite a few to work outside their comfort zone and they were very pleased that they did, saying they learnt a lot. Next years dates have been fixed already (2nd & 3rd June).

Worked in acrylics today. I use the Atellier Interactive acrylics as I love their colour range, the buttery feel of them and the fact they dry so much slower than ordinary acrylics.

In this demonstration, I am working from a sketch I made yesterday. It was late afternoon and the tide was coming in. A large group started to gather waiting for the boat to out and visit the seals.
I have a slight variation in pallet, yellow Ochre, French Ultra, Burnt Umber, Brown Madder Alizarin, Cadmium Yellow Light and Titanium white.
On reflection I think I should have stained the board with Umber as I felt the overall effect was a bit pink. What do think?

Off to see the Seals, Morston

Monday, 16 September 2013

Day 16 of 30

Excellent workshop at Morston today. Weather was bracing but a few hardy souls ventured down to the quay.
I gave a quick oil demo to get people in the mood and gave lots of tips as I went along.
The skies have been fantastic the last few days here in Norfolk so this was the main focus of the demo.

Although I managed to get a couple of other little ones done today, I decided that the demo would be my no. 16

Blakeney 14" x 18" oil

I used my limited pallet but with the addition of Burnt Umber. It was a shame that the tide was not due to come in until mid afternoon. It will be an hour later tomorrow so if we are quick in the morning we may just catch it on the way out. I hope to get there bright and early.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Day 15 of 30

Today was a challenge. I went to Weybourne beach, about two miles from the cottage. I knew it would be windy but wasn't quite prepared for how windy. First job was to tape the pallet to the easel and weigh every thing down. I had to smile as I tried to add a delicate brush stroke and it ended up an inch off target as the wind caught my arm. Oh joy of joys here comes the rain! I have bought a good brolly that attaches to the easel but if I'd used that I'd have ended up in Cromer a couple of miles down the coast.
I persevered for another 15 minutes before admitting defeat.

Storm at Weybourne 10" x 8" oil

I would not normally have posted such a failure . I think this is one I will have to come back to.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Day 14 of 30

Cold and rainy in Norfolk. Not very inspiring.
I headed out to the studio. It's still quite new so, I haven't accumulated many props so I revisited one of my favourite places, Burnham Overy Staithe. I worked from a painting that I'd done on location last year.
Decided to go back to limited pallet. Burnt Umber, French Ultra, Cad Yellow and a flick of red at the end.

Burnham Overy Staithe 10" x  8" Oil

I'm quite pleased with the finished painting, done in less than an  hour.
 Good to have a change from still life.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Day 13 of 30

Early start today. Got sort out all my painting gear as I'm off to Norfolk for the weekend and then a two day workshop at Morston, Monday Tuesday.

First though, into the studio.
I blocked this in yesterday knowing I was going to be very busy today.
I enjoyed the rich colours in the tomatoes and when I found this lonely Dahlia in the garden, I knew I wanted to paint it.
The checkered cloth was an after thought as I thought the balance wasn't quite right.

This was done very quickly. I think I work better under pressure - no time to fiddle!!
Ok, off to pack the car now and make a detour to call in on a poorly grandson

Dahlia 6" x 8" oil  £45

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Day 12 of 30

Decided to go with the flower theme again today, nothing like being out of my comfort zone.
Actually it is very much out of my comfort zone.
Found these lovely Campanula hiding in a corner of the garden. I have a collection of  vases in my studio, bought over the years for still life and love the colours and shape of this little vase.

Having set up I tried premixing my colours. Well I failed with my limited pallet so delved into my box of half used tubes . I think I tried every combo of blues, violets & pinks that I possess, could I get that elusive colour that nature has so beautifully made?? Could I heck as like.

Well, this is the best I could manage

Campanula oil on board 6" x 8"

I think I will have to revisit this subject again. I hate to be defeated. I'd better show you what I was really trying to acheive

The funny thing is, looking at the photograph, I can kind of see where I went wrong. Hopefully I'll get it right next time

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Day 11 0f 30

Another studio day.
I'm really enjoying this journey, meeting lots of amazing artists, new to me, along the way.
Decided to go a tad larger today. Also to go for stronger colour. What better than tomatoes?

I had to bring in another colour for this one. I added Cadmium Red to my pallet.
Once I was pleased with the composition, i put a square 10" x 10" board on the easel. It was a painting that I'd done ages ago and wanted to paint over it. A tip here is, if you want to paint over an old picture, turn it upside down. That way you won't be distracted by the original.
It's a lovely surface to work on, I often do this, sometimes leaving some of the original showing through. (Doesn't always work with nudes!)

This painting almost painted itself and was finished in an hour

Tomatoes 10" x 10" oil on board  £120

To see some of the other artists' work go to

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Day 10 of 30

What to paint ? It's raining so, my planned trip has been abandoned.
Those pears look good, I'll have a go at them.

I want to paint these fast and lose so I premix my main colours using Ultra, Perm Rose & Cad Yellow + white. I wanted to get lots of texture in the paint

Pears 6" x 8" oil on board £45
I resisted the urge to adjust and am quite pleased with the results.

I am enjoying following the progress of the others artists. I think some have fallen by the wayside but my favourites are still in there. If you want to have a look go to

Monday, 9 September 2013

Day 9 0f 30

Spending the day in the studio today.
I thought I'd take the pressure off by posting a painting I did a couple of days ago.
Flowers are not a subject that I'd normally tackle in oils but in my quest to push myself out of my comfort zone......

An Apology 10" x 10" oil on board  £95

A friend brought these round. There is a story behind the title but that's for me to know and you to wonder about.
Needless to say she is forgiven

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Day 8 of 30

A wonderful lazy Sunday. Spent morning with two granddaughters, her other grandparents and Jo.
After lunch went to a local Gala and met up with friends we'd not seen for too long plus other folks we chatted to. By the time we got home time was getting on. Normally I wouldn't have bothered painting but ..... the challenge! Still determined to paint from life I went foraging in the garden and came back with some plums.
Who knew there were SO many colours in a plum!!! This one was quite a challenge and if it weren't for the fact I want to post the days' painting I don't think I would have put it on the Internet .

Had another look this morning and just wasn't happy with the shape of the bowl so I allowed myself half an hour to tweek and here is the FINAL painting

6" x 8" oil on canvas board £45


Saturday, 7 September 2013

Day 7 of 30

Busy day day today. I got a horrible bug, I think it's called the cleaning bug. For some reason I had the urge to blitz the bedroom. Stripped the bed washed all sheets, curtains, towels. Steamed mattress, pillows, carpet! What I am I doing?... It's the weekend! Anyway that done had nice lunch with Frank then went into town to look at buying me a new (secondhand) car. Not bothered what as long as it's got a wheel on each corner. Fell in love with a Citeron DS3. White with wine trim. We'll see.....
Anyway, went shopping , came home, Frank cut lawn and came in these figs.

A lesson learnt from yesterday's events, pre mix my colours. Note, I am still with the colours I put on my pallet yesterday, Ultra, Cad Yellow & Perm Rose.

By this time it was getting on for 6pm, an eek moment as I guess I had to prepare dinner. No problem, it's Saturday and my lovely man brought me a G & T. Is this wise? Heck, why not..
Well, this is the result. Not what I would call my my usual style, but if if you like it, let me know and I'll have a G & T next time I paint.

Freshly Picked

oil on board 6" x 8" £45

Friday, 6 September 2013

Day 6 of 30

Early start this morning. I had to be in Newark for 10am. Bit nervous too, why?? I was having a web clip recorded for my page on the SAA web site. Never been in front of camera before, yes, I can do this.
I met the other three PAs (Professional Associates). They were lovely and we were all very supportive of each other. I then found, to my horror, that I hadn't received a rather important letter that detailed what we were doing that day. I had assumed that I would just paint for about 1/2 an hour and it would be edited into a 10 minute clip.....wrong!!! We were first to talk to camera about ourselves, eek, then we had just 10 minutes to do our painting/tip to camera. double eek!!!
I'd taken a 14" x 18" canvas board to paint on. I couldn't paint a picture on that in 10 minutes.
I asked a techie chap if he could cut my board down to 10" X 12" for me. I premixed my paints too, that'd save time.

I was to go first. Goodness, what a twit I felt, chatting and smiling at a camera. I managed the chatty bit in two takes, dread to think what I came out with. Everyone else had theirs written out and rehearsed. Then the painting, well, that was ok, but I knew I had to work pdq. After what seemed like three minutes I was told there were only two left to go. I quickly painted over what was going to be the pier and dashed in a couple of figures as that was one of the things I'd planned to talk about. Then, it was over.........and breathe.

I suppose after that rant I'd better post the painting.

Cromer Beach. Painted in 10 minutes

Don't think after today's experience I'll look for a career as a TV presenter

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Day 5 of 30

What a scorcher it was today. Into the garden me thinks.
Sunscreen suitably slapped on I serched for my suject. mmm... those geraniums look easy. HA!!!!!!
Any way I persevered. I think a little more planning would have been helpful. The area behind the pot was very dark and I painted it so. The result was that the leaves looked as if they were floating over the board, so I had to rethink that one. I suggested a few more leaves in the background to lighten it, better but still not quite there.
Conclusion - flowers are not my subject

6" x 4" oil on board $65


Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Day 4

A wonderful sunny day today. Can't waste it. I packed my gear on my old ladies shopping trolly and headed for the local churchyard. Another subject I'd always fancied.
I was not disappointed, the shadows and shapes were amazing.

It was hotter than I thought and paint dried quickly on the pallet. I was working so quickly and got so involved that I forgot to take a photo.
The resulting painting was completed in just under an hour.

There are now over 400 artists signed up for this challenge. If you fancy having a go or just a look at everyone's paintings go across to

I did manage a second painting but I think I'll save that for a rainy day

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Day Three

I took my easel out into the garden this morning. I spend a lot of time designing and tending the garden and friends always say 'I bet you paint out here a lot' The answer I'm afraid to say is , no. Usually if I'm in the garden, I'm weeding!
The potting shed as we call it has always appealed to me, so this challenge is the push I need to get out there

The light was a bit flat as the sun was on the other side of the massive Chestnut tree but I sketched it out with a thin mix of Ultra and Cad Red.

I decided to leave out the sun dial and the white jugs as I thought it would be too busy. 
I then put in the darks

Oops , suddenly it was lunch time. I had an appointment at 1pm so put the easel under shelter as the sky looked a bit ominous.
The light had changed completely when I got back and I was keeping my fingers crossed for a bit of sunshine. It finally came out for about a minute. I was too slow to grab my camera and it was gone, not to be seen again. I had to work from memory for the last part but on the whole was quite pleased with my efforts. I will have to revisit my potting shed on a sunny day.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Day two

The best laid plans and all that! Was going out with the easel today but a poorly granddaughter changed the plans. I am determined to work from life for the 30 painting challenge so I scoured the studio for my subject. I always meant to paint these three little egg cups so, why not now?
I pre mixed my colours as I was working small but changed them as the painting progressed.
I find it difficult to draw oval shapes so drew it out first

I put in the shadows working quickly as my little person was having her afternoon nap. I had to change the shapes slightly by cutting in. I painted the background and the egg cups simultaneously adding the highlights at the end.i was slightly distracted at this time as Peppa Pig was on in the background and I had one eye on a not so poorly anymore granddaughter .

The photo has come out a bit on the warm side. I will definitely give this subject another go. Maybe towards the end of the month ,then I'll see if any progress has been made.
There already some great paintings that have been done by the 300 or so artists taking part .

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Day one of the 30 day challenge

In my previous blog I talked about the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. This morning I realised it was day one. What to paint? I said as much to Frank who said. Why don't you just paint what you see. Yes, I knew that.
I looked around, just then the sun came out. The play of the shadows on the studio took my eye. There was my subject. I took my easel out into the garden and set up. I realised that I only had three colours with me so all those greens were going to be a challenge in themselves. So with my Ultramarine , Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow and white I was off.
Time flew by and after three quarters an hour I was nearly there so stopped for a coffee break.

Suitably refreshed I returned to the painting and added a few highlights and finishing touches.
I resisted the temptation to fiddle and decided to stop and here is the finished piece .