Friday, 31 January 2014

I did it!!

30 paintings in 30 days

What a wonderful way to start the year. Hopefully it has got me into good habits. I have learned how to ignore clutter that always had to be cleared before I could go into the studio. No more excuses!!!
To see everyone else's efforts and collages go to

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Day 30 Cromer

Another studio day today - stupid weather!
This is officially the last day of the 30 day challenge. Tomorrow we are to make a collage of all our paintings

I worked a bit larger today and did this from a plein air sketch at Cromer.
I had great fun putting paint on and scraping it down, building up textures and layers. The final layer was mostly applied with palette knife.

Cromer 12" x 16" oil on canvas £490

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Day 29. Necklace

I enjoyed painting my favorite necklace so went and had a rummage through the 'crown jewels' and came up with this one, a previous favorite. This I bought at an airport returning from Spain. My group had given me some Euros to spend so I got this to remember them by.

Spanish Necklace 8" x 8" oil on board

  Last day of the challenge tomorrow. mm...what to paint then???

This painting is for auction at

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Day 28. Favourite Necklace

I bought this neck;ace a few years ago. I was driving through the Atlas mountains with a group of students. We stopped at a high point to admire the view and from nowhere a guy popped up with a suitcase. Well, after much haggling and bartering most of us had bought something. This is my favorite necklace. Not just because I love it but for the lovely memories of painting in Tarroudant with a lovely group.
I am looking forward to retuning to Morocco in March with a small group of painters - might just have to go shopping for more 'subjects'

Moroccan Necklace 10" x 8" oil on gessoed card

This painting is for auction at
Starting bid £50 ($80)

Day 27. The studio

Definitely a studio day today. What to paint? Sometimes a subject is just in front of us. I decided to paint what I saw. Now you can see what a mess I work in.

In the Studio  14" x 12" oil on linen covered board

I tricky subject but I resisted the temptation to move things around to make a better composition. and of course there is the obligatory cup of coffee!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Day 26. Cafetiere

Wet, wild and windy in Norfolk. Hadn't planned on going anywhere but then youngest son, Stephen turned up with our two grandsons. Rufus aged just four had his new bike in the car and was desperate to try it out in the park so, suitably wrapped off we went.
I was very impressed by the drawing that Rufus did of his new bike. He has his helmet on and the pic shows the back of Daddy's car as they had raced. Rufus won hence the medal in the corner. Note how his leg is behind the wheel.

By Rufus age 4

When they left I thought I'd better do my painting so, following the recent theme, I painted my cafetiere .

Cafetiere 12" x 10" oil on board

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Day 25. A nice cuppa

Thought I'd try something simple this morning. Who was I kidding?
This teapot drove me nuts. However hard I concentrated on negative shapes and ovals, it just didn't look right. Anyway this is as good as it got.

A nice cuppa. 8" x 10" oil on board

Friday, 24 January 2014

Day 24. Coffee anyone?

Late start painting today. We packed our bags early to head off to Norfolk and spent a leisurely day driving, pub lunch and walking in the local park. I painted this coffee pot in rapidly fading light.
I was a amazed at how many colours and shades there were. The more I looked, the more I saw!

A tricky subject but one I want to tackle again.

Coffee anyone?  6" x 6" oil on linen panel

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Day 23. Big Tree

There are lots of narrow lanes around us and very few trees. I rather liked the look of this ivy clad one so set up my easel. all was going well but after 3/4 hour looking at brilliant sunshine, I felt a drop of rain. I looked behind me and I don't think I've ever seen such a black sky ! Within minutes I was soaked, the easel had blown over and I lost half my brushes in a dyke - oh the joys of plein air.

Ivy Clad Tree  oil on board 10" x 12"

Would you believe it, by the time I got home the sun was shining and there was an amazing complete rainbow


This view is only1/2 a mile from my village. And you think Holland is flat!!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Day 22. Four Bottles

I enjoyed the challenge of painting glass the other day and thought I'd have another go as i had a bit more time (that's not always a good thing).
I tried putting the paint on a little thicker this time. I like to see brush strokes, I think it make a painting a bit livelier.

Bottles 8" x 5" oil on board

Day 21. Daffodil

Had a lovely surprise visit from an old college friend yesterday. We first met when we were 18, many years ago. We always pick up where we left off and so much to chat about. I was quite late when this was done so no chance of posting yesterday.
It is very sketchy but I quite like that. Also i was trying out my new Rosemary brushes - I LOVE them and recommend any artist to try them.

Daffodil 6" x 6" oil on board

Monday, 20 January 2014

Day 20. Flowers from a friend

We had a lovely Sunday lunch with good friends yesterday. I had some lovely flowers and plants bought for me and I couldn't resist painting these Paperwhite Narcissus and Anemones.
I put them in the window of my studio and found it rather challenging to portray the white flowers against a light background but pleased with my efforts in the end.

Narcissus and Anemones  14" x12" oil on canvas

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Day 19. Bottles

I had hoped to get up early today and squeeze a painting in but as soon as I got downstairs I started preparation for our lunch guests today. Feeling organised by 11am I snuck into the studio and managed to paint this while the potatoes par boiled for the roasties.

Not the best but I was quite pleased considering it only took 1/2 an hour.

bottles in the window 6' x 6' oil on board

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Day 18. oops

Well, I'm sorry to say I've failed today!
My gorgeous granddaughter, Lilah (actually, I've got 3 granddaughters and they're all gorgeous)  held her 4th birthday party in the village hall. I spent the morning making fancy biscuits with the help of Princess Lilah & sister Ishobel (age 2). My kitchen looked like an explosion in an icing sugar factory.
After lunch we then went to the hall to help out, clean up etc.

On returning home Frank & I felt we needed a bit of fresh air so went for a good stomp around the village. When we got home I started preparations for tomorrow when we have 8 friends coming for Sunday lunch. Plus cooking our evening meal and making some dutch style Pea & Ham soup .
I may get up ultra early tomorrow and get a couple of pics done but somehow I doubt it.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Day 17. Moulton

Went out to paint in my village of Moulton today. I'd stepped out earlier and it didn't feel too cold so I didn't put all my layers on. That was a big mistake. I was only painting for half an hour and was frozen to the core. I hightailed it back to the house for a bowl of hot homemade soup with fresh homemade bread - lovely.

The picture is more of a sketch than a finished painting but I am quite pleased with it as it is

Moulton River 10" x 12" oil on board

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Day 16. Spalding

Back in Spalding. It was a lovely morning but had loads of jobs and correspondence to catch up on so decided to paint in the afternoon - mistake. Pulled up at my selected location just as the first drops of rain fell so went shopping first. An hour later I was back at the river bank. It had stopped raining but, I feared, not for long.
Never mind, I can work quickly, which is just as well. This was done in 3/4 hour which was how long it took before the rain got too heavy to paint :(

Fulney Church & Power Station from the Coronation Channel


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Day 15. Nottingham

Had a brilliant day. Met up with friend and fellow painter Gail Tointon and drove to Nottingham to see Haidee-Jo Summer's exhibition. Well worth a visit. It's an excellent show with some fabulous pictures.
Gail and I then headed off into town with our painting gear. We attracted quite a lot of interest as we set up on a busy thoroughfare. All par for the course. After just over an hour we had to thaw out in Costa before nipping back to see the progress Haidee had made on her portrait. (She has a different sitter for each day of her exhibition) It was going very well as we left. Hopefully we'll see the finished picture on Haidee's blog here you'll also get info about the exhibition.

Nottingham 10" x 12" oil on board

Here I am freezing in the town

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Day 14. Thornham

Yesterday, painting my way back to Lincolnshire, my final stop was at Thornham, Norfolk. The sun was getting low and it was getting colder but I managed to get this oil done. I had to stop after an hour as the tide was coming in so quickly, it was changing the picture too much. I took a photo and had another half hour on it in the studio today.

Thornham, Norfolk. 10" x 12" oil on board

Day 13. Warham

I found a lovely spot to paint in Warham, Norfolk. You could turn through 360° and there was a picture at each point. Maybe have to go back one day. The sun was very low and casting long shadows across the road.

Warham, Norfolk 10" x 12" oil on board

Day 12. Warham

I confess, I didn't actually paint on Sunday. We had friends stay over at the cottage and when they left Frank and I went into Norwich. By the time we got back to cottage I was exhausted so, I decided not to beat myself up about it but just enjoy the time with my man.
On Monday I wandered through the back lanes of Norfolk on my way home to Lincolnshire and came across this delightful scene.

Warham, Norfolk 10" x 12" oil on board


It was lovely to paint with the sun on my face but was still pleased that I'd bought a pair of sallopets as was still only 6c

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Day 11. Cromer

In spite of the cold yesterday I was able to get a second painting done. I was rather pleased with the way it was going but was forced to stop after an hour as I couldn't feel my fingers. I've spent 1/2 an hour this morning just putting in the highlights as I remember them.

Cromer 10" x 12" oil on board

Friday, 10 January 2014

Day 10. Cromer

A lovely crisp morning so I headed to the beach with fellow artist Helen.
It really was a case of not knowing which way to turn. The light and shadows were fabulous.
As the tide was coming in I decided to look along the beach towards Overstrand.

Towards Overstrand. 10" x 12"  oil on board

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Day 9. Brancaster Staithe

Set off for Brancaster this morning in the rain. 'Of course it will be fine when I get there' - it wasn't!
Met up with Helen and Gail and went for a walk, not far as we got rather wet. Nothing else for it, we headed to the pub for a coffee.
By 11.30 rain had stopped so we set up overlooking the marshes by the White Horse pub. 'Twas VERY windy and cold but we persevered until 2 pm when it was time to thaw out again in the pub.
I had fully intended to paint again after lunch but having finally thawed out in front of a nice fire, the marsh kind of lost it's appeal plus the fact that we'd had a lovely lunch and arty chat and suddenly it was 4pm!
Anyway for what it's worth here is my effort for today.

Marshes at Brancaster Statithe  10" x 12"  oil on board

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Day 8. The Coronation channel

Once again I wasn't able to paint until late on in the day.
I stopped on my way back from town to paint the Coronation Channel, this was opened in 1953,to divert excess waters around Spalding and ended the flooding that was frequent in the area.
We had brilliant sunshine this morning but by the time I got cracking the sky was a familiar grey colour with a hint of warmth as the sun went down.

Coronation Channel   8" x 10" Oil on board

Here it is in situ

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Day 7. Power Station

Had a busy day today, delivering paintings, packing up the Christmas decs, organising a painting course, a trip to the Lincolnshire gallery and a bit of shopping so, I left it a bit late to get my painting done.
I drove around looking for inspiration and settled on this view of Spalding's power station.
I loved the long shadows across the cabbage field and the light in the foreground puddles.

Spalding power station  8" x 10" oil on board

Here is a photo of the painting in situ

Spalding Power Station. 10" x 8" oil on board

Monday, 6 January 2014

Day 6. Blakeney

Back home in Lincolnshire, so much to do having been away so long and not not being well before Christmas.
First job was to take down the decorations - so many!!!
I kept putting off the painting today as it was so cold out and to be honest, Lincolnshire isn't any way near as inspiring as Norfolk. Eventually I lit the  fire in the studio and went through a few old sketch books, after several cups of tea and quick tidy ups I settled on a picture of Blakeney.
I tried to put myself back on the spot and limited my time to get a plein air feel to the painting


Blakeney. 10" x 14" oil on board


Not sure if I achieved my objective but at least I managed to get my painting done

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Day 5. Frosty Morning

OO, brilliant sunshine this morning, only downside was that there was a sharp frost. Donning extra layers I popped into the field to paint the cottage next door.
Really enjoyed painting this but felt a bit rushed as we have to visit neighbours for drinks at 12, pack up the cottage, deliver a painting and head back to Lincolnshire today.

Sheringham Road, 10" x 12" Oil on board

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Day 4. Shattered beach huts

Stormy wet morning so I worked this painting from a sketch I started yesterday before getting rained off. The storm had done much damage to the pier and seafront at Cromer. Not surprising then to see a heap of coloured wood at the base of the cliffs. These used to be much valued beach huts.
A few people were out strolling in spite of the threatening rain, I liked the way they reflected in the wet sand.

Approaching storm 10" x 12" oil on board

Friday, 3 January 2014

Day 3 Cromer Beach in the Rain

Very grey this morning with a few showers, wondered if I'd manage to get out. Fortunately by mid morning there were a few blue patches in the sky so quickly nipped to Cromer 5 miles away. The tide was just on its way out so the sand was reflecting the amazing sky and the pier. I set up facing into the wind this meant I had to hang on to the easel with one hand. The sky was changing so quickly it really was a challenge to capture the feel of it. Also very hard to paint straight lines as the wind kept blowing my hand to the side. Reading this back you must be thinking, Why do I bother? Well, there is nothing quite like being there, although I will say the weather could have been kinder

Cromer Pier 10" x 14" oil on board

I did turn round and start another painting after this but 5 minutes in the heavens opened. I carried on for another 5 but, oil and water don't mix!

           10 minute sketch in the rain. Cromer Beach

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Day 2. Bitterly Cold

Went to Blakeney today and was shocked by the storm devastion. This boat was left high and dry, at least 50 metres from its mooring. Lots of people were out walking in spite of the bitter cold. I had to give in in the end as I couldn't feel my fingers.

High and Dry 10" x 12" oil on board

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Day 1 A Good Start

I've decided that to get the year off to a good start re painting I would once again join Artist Leslie Saeta in doing a painting a day in January. Each day artists post their paintings on Leslie's blog.

I didn't think I'd make it today as we spent the night in Nottinghamshire celebrating the new year with old friends and new. We left at 11am, quick dash to Lincolnshire to collect clothes  and then on to Norfolk. We got here at 3.30, light was fading fast so I had to move pdq.
This picture painted in rapidly fading light is the view from just outside our cottage

10" x 12" oil on board Sheringham Road, West Beckham