Friday, 19 May 2017

Portugal - Day 1 & 2

I finally got the chance to do a little blog post about my recent painting trip to Portugal in Lagos. I'll split it in three posts as there are 14 paintings in total which might be too much in one post. 

So there it was, my first trip away from the family since the baby's arrival, 3 nights and 4 days in total. I left the house before dawn wondering what on earth I was doing, but as soon as I arrived there and picked up my brushes, I forgot I even had kids! I had the best time ever and there was the loveliest bunch of people, including our amazing host David Bachmann, and other talented artists David Pilgrim, Haidee-Jo Summers, Tim King, Michael Richardson, Tony Dakin, John Stillman, Mo Teeuw, Karl Terry and Andrew Roberts. I painted quite a lot considering the short amount of time, probably because I knew that back home with the kids, opportunities to paint would be much more rare!

Here is below the first painting I did a few hours after I landed:

Luz  16"x9" oil on board
Available for sale here


The painting in progress

Back at the villa, I managed to produce a little 5"x7" oil sketch before dinner. So many beautiful views to paint just from the garden of the villa...

Last light of the day, Cama da Vaca  7"x5"  oil on board
Available for sale here

Doesn't get much smaller than that!

Next day, we headed to Arrifana to capture the beautiful cliffs. The sun wasn't properly shining but it was a very luminous day which made all the colours stand out. Looking at my paintings from the trip, I think my style got a bit bolder and more abstract which reflects maybe my current busy life: when time is limited, I try to capture the essence!

Sunny cliffs, Arrifana  10"x12"  oil on board
Available for sale here


Below you can see Tony, David P., Mo and David B. producing masterpieces. You can see Karl in the distance, being all adventurous painting on the cliff... 

Here are a few steps of the painting:

Although our stomachs were rambling already, most of us managed to squeeze a last little painting before lunch, just looking towards the other side of the cliff, with the harbour. 

Harbour, Arrifana  10"x8" oil on board
Available for sale here

With Tim and Mo

In the afternoon, after a lovely lunch at a local restaurant, David, Tim and I painted a beach close by. It was rather windy but we had a great time painting. It was hard to capture waves that won't stop moving!

Monte Clerigo  11"x14"  oil on board
Available for sale here


Tim and David. And my easel in the middle

Finally, when we got back at the villa I saw Haidee and John painting in the garden. During these kind of trips, it doesn't matter how tired you are, if you see someone painting, you have to join them because you don't want to miss any painting opportunity! I did a quick study of the palm trees with the view. It is very rough and simple, but I quite like it for that reason. 

View from Cama da Vaca  10"x8"  oil on board
Available for sale here

Painting with John. Or rather chatting and laughing with John and painting inbetween!

I'll post soon the following paintings of the trip. All my paintings are for sale on my website with worldwide shipping and free shipping to Europe. By the way I also have a newsletter when I send infos about shows and I will send one soon so if you want to receive the updates please enter your email in here 

Sunday, 16 April 2017

The pond at Victoria Park

I've enjoyed working in the new studio on a larger canvas from a photograph I recently took during a walk in Victoria Park (Bath). Most people call it the duck pond, as this is where you feed the ducks bread. They are however remarkably absent from the painting as I suspect they were probably hiding away from my very vocal three years old daughter when I took the photograph! 

The blossom were out, the water reflections stunning, so I really wanted to give it a try. I had great fun doing it, here is the result:

The pond at Victoria Park    18"x22"   oil on canvas
for sale here

I loved depicting the various greens in the scenery:


And the sparkly water reflections:


And the blue sky showing through the leaves:


I love my new studio in the garden and it's good to be able to lock the paintings and paints away from the kids! My cheeky and highly curious daughter would otherwise probably love to paint over my paintings in Pollock's style! 

If you like this painting, well I can tell you it is now available for sale here on my website with worldwide shipping:

If you've ever wondered how I work and build a painting, the whole process of this painting from start to finish will be covered with a step by step in a future issue of Paint & Draw magazine
Fore more info, follow the link here to subscribe:

I currently write a different feature every month about oil painting. In the current issue that is just out now, I do a tutorial to paint fresh alla prima figures, so if you're interested you can get your copy at WH Smith or online here:

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Painting my garden from the studio

Things have been a bit quiet on the painting front as the new baby arrival last year means I had less free time but also because we turned my studio in the house into a bedroom for my three years old daughter. But I'm now very happy to say I have a brand new studio in the garden! I have to share it with my husband and his drum kit but really, between us, it's mine ;-)  (let's see if he reads this blog!)

I got given a couple of hours of kids' free time on mother's day to paint. The view from the room overlooks the garden and the back of our house. So what better way to use the space than painting the garden from the comfort of the studio. Here is the result below, with my daughter Louisa who posed for me on her bike for a couple of fidgety minutes. 

Louisa in the garden  10"x8" oil on board  - Not for sale



You can see below my set up and the quick drawing I did at the start. The question is, how open the door needs to be to be able to qualify this as 'painting in plein air'!?

This painting is not for sale but you can view all my available paintings on my website here:

Here are a few pictures of the studio for the curious ones... If you are in the area you are welcome to come for a visit!

Now, a few bits of info for those who don't receive my newsletter (to subscribe, simply enter your email address here If you do receive it already, then just ignore this bit!


For people near Bath, I currently have my paintings displayed in two places:

I currently have a selection of paintings on show at the Galleries Shop & Cafe in Freshford (near Bath). Great cakes and great views over there. (Feshford Lane, BA2 7UR)

I also have some paintings on display at the Chapel Arts Centre cafe in Bath (just below the venue). They make lovely vegetarian food there. (Lower Borough Walls, Bath BA1 1QR)


The first two features I wrote for the Paint & Draw magazine have been published and the latest issue is out now with my article about how to improve your brushstrokes. I hope you like it! Next one will be a Alla Prima step by step. Click here for more info.


I've had a few enquiries recently about tutorials so I just wanted to confirm that I do give one-on-one tutorials in plein air or in the studio. Mainly in Bath but Belgium is an option too as I'm travelling back regularly. I'm also considering organising a plein air group workshop in Bath this summer so if you're interested do drop me a line here and I'll keep you updated.


I'm available for commissions and you can find more info on my website here: I will be in Belgium during Easter and late July so if you would like to organise a commission I will be available to meet while I'm in the country.

That's it for now. I hope you are enjoying the glorious spring sunshine!

Monday, 19 December 2016

Delicatessen counter

I hope you are all feeling festive and getting into the Christmas spirit. This will probably be my last blog post of the year; I just wanted to give you a quick update on my art. 

First, here is my latest painting which shows the delicatessen counter at the Guildhall Market in Bath. I just loved the light from the counter so I gave it a try. 

Delicatessen counter, Guildhall Market  oil on board  10"x14"




On an other note, I have been commissioned to write a series of features about oil painting for the new english magazine "Paint & Draw" and the painting above will be shown with all the steps so keep an eye for this next year if you get hold of a copy.

If you want to start the year with my paintings, then you can get my calendar from my website (desk and wall formats available) alongside other items.Worldwide shipping available. Simply go to my shop here:

For people living near Bath in search of that last minute Christmas present, you are welcome to come and browse my prints and view my paintings in the next few days. Just contact me through my website here:

And finally, a quick note about shows:

Exhibition in Bradford on Avon (UK)
For the fourth year, my artist friends Bob Child, Andrew Taylor and myself are setting up an exhibition at the West Barn in Bradford on Avon (UK). It will be held on 6,7 & 8 October 2017 so you have plenty of time to get prepared and clear your diary! (And I'll hopefully have plenty of time to produce some new paintings!)

Exhibition in Freshford, Bath (UK)
Also, I will be exhibiting some of my work next year from 13 March - 1st May 2017 at the Galleries Shop and Café venue in Freshford, Bath. I'll give more details soon.

I already send you here my best wishes for Christmas and for a year 2017 full of joy and beautiful Art!

Friday, 2 December 2016

A bit of summer in the studio

Here are an other two paintings done in the studio while the baby sleeps... If I'm looking for inspiration and need some good reference photographs, I know I'll always find something inspiring in my sister's Instagram account... She takes the most beautiful pictures of her life in South Africa with her family (have a look here if you're curious: She has three adorable daughters and they make the best models for those pictures. I found two photographs that were begging to be painted, and they brought a little taste of summer back in the studio.

The painting below is Aprilia walking on a sunny path:

Sunny Path  8"x8" oil on board



Here are the step by step pictures for those who like to know more about my technique. As you can see below I work directly from the computer because it is convenient but also because an RGB display screen is generally richer that any printed pictures...

Step 1: I picked a background colour that fits the subject (something warm in this case), then applied a grid like on the reference photograph, then did a basic drawing.

Step 2: Bock out the darkest green and some mid tones

Step 3: Some lighter tones in the greens and work on the path

Step 4: Painting the figure

Step 5: Adding all the highlights and refining some details

Step 6: Stop now! Don't spoilt it! :-)

This second painting depicts Colombine and Aprilia heading to the swimming pool:

The gate to the swimming pool  10"x10"  oil on board



Here is the step by step:

(Note: I'm missing the picture of the basic drawing on step1 because I had left my phone in the baby's room to play the white noise app to get him to sleep! :-))
In this case I used a vivid orange background to convey the feeling of heat across the whole painting.

Step 2: Bock out the darkest greens and some mid tones

Step 3: Work on the figures and the background 

Step 4: Adding some highlights

Step 5: Adding more contrast and defining the shapes of the trees and gates

Step 6: Adding the flowers and final details

These paintings are not for sale as I'm keeping them in the family, but I just wanted to mention I'm available for similar commissions if you have a good inspiring photograph waiting to be painted! All my available paintings are for sale on my website here.

Also, with Christmas approaching, let me remind you that my 2017 calendars (desk and wall formats) are available for sale on my website here, alongside other products such as postcards and giclée prints. Worldwide shipping available.