News: Summer Exhibition at a new gallery!

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delphinium detail           I will be showing 5 new floral works in the Summer Exhibition at a gallery in St. Ives, Cambridgeshire called the VK Gallery!  I am very excited to be showing in a new gallery and showing with such wonderful painters and crafters.

VK Gallery Summer Exhibition

  • Mon, Jun 1, 20159:30am  Sun, Aug 30, 20154:00pm
New paintings and crafts available throughout the Summer months.
Extended Opening Hours 1st July – 31st August: Mon – Sat 9.30am – 5pm Sundays: 11am – 4pm
18A Bridge St, St Ives, Cambridgeshire PE27 5EG 01480 498130

Painting process: Moody Sky, 12 x 12 inches

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I am currently working on small landscapes for my solo exhibition in October.  I love to paint bright bright sunny days, maybe because I'm from California.  I also appreciate the days where a storm is coming or has just passed, the sky looks amazing and the ground below becomes so bright against the darkened sky.  So, here is the painting process for the moody sky landscape I painted yesterday from a photo reference.  Above is my simple sketch.

I am currently working on small landscapes for my solo exhibition in October. I love to paint bright bright sunny days (maybe because I’m from California). I also appreciate the days when a storm is coming or has just passed, the sky looks amazing and the ground below becomes so bright against the darkened sky. So, here is the painting process for the moody sky landscape I painted yesterday from a photo reference. Above is my simple sketch.

Blocking in the colour.

Blocking in the colour.

underpainting close-up

underpainting close-up

Starting the sky underpainting.

Painting in the sky.

Underpainting is finished.

Underpainting is finished.

Now I'm using the palette knife.  I would usually start by painting the darks first, but the dark clouds are in front of the blue sky.

Now I’m using the palette knife. I would usually start by painting the darks first, but the dark clouds are in front of the blue sky.

sky detail

sky detail

Working my way towards the darker clouds.

Working my way towards the darker clouds.

clouds detail

detail of clouds

At this point the sky is almost done.  I need to add the really dark bits and the lightest bits.

At this point the sky is almost done. I need to add the really dark bits and the lightest bits.

dark clouds detail

dark clouds close-up

The sky is now complete.

The sky is now complete.

Starting on the land below.

Starting on the land below.

land detail

land detail

Here is the finished painting.  There is lots of movement in the sky and I like the blue bits of the sky peaking out through the dark clouds.  Well, I'm off to paint another cloudscape.

Here is the finished painting. There is lots of movement in the sky and I like how the blue bits are peaking out through the dark clouds. Well, I’m off to paint another cloudscape.

In my studio: Floral still life with fruit and veg

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I have been working on this painting for about four days.  Here is the condensed version of the process.  Above is the underpainting.

I have been working on this painting for about four days. Here is the condensed version of the process. Above is the underpainting.  (Painted on a 30 x 30 inch board.)

I'm halfway done at this point. My fruit and veg set -up is looking a bit wilted and dried out.

I’m halfway done at this point. My fruit and veg set-up is looking a bit wilted and dried out.

I managed to switch out a few fruit and veg with fresher replacements.  Even though I was very tired towards the end I finished the painting.

 Even though I was very tired towards the end, I kept going and finished the painting.

This is the bottom half of the painting. You can see all the deferent elements a bit closer.

This is the bottom half of the painting. You can see all the deferent elements a bit closer.

Painting process: Lilies with Peony Tulips, 30 x 30 inches

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While at the Lavenham Farmer's market this past weekend I found some wonderful tulip peonies.  I also found a very nice slice of lime and courgette cake but that is beside the point. Above is my sketch and as you can see I am using my favourite spotted jug along with stripes.

While at the Lavenham Farmer’s market this past weekend, I found some wonderful tulip peonies. I also found a very nice slice of lime courgette cake but that’s beside the point. Above is my sketch and as you can see I am using my favourite spotted jug along with stripes.

I have loosely blocked in the colours.  I chose these  tulips because they where a funny mauve peachy pinky colour and paired with lovely pinky yellow ones.

I have loosely blocked in the colours. I chose these tulips because they were a funny mauve peachy pinky colour and paired with lovely pinky yellow ones.

I painted in the background with a brush and have started on the flowers.

I painted in the background with a brush and have started on the lilies.

Detail of an unfinished lily.

Detail of an unfinished lily.

The lilies are complete and now it is time to work on the vase.

The lilies are complete and now it is time to work on the vase.

Completed vase detail.

Completed vase detail.

Working on the darker peony tulips.

Working on the darker peony tulips.

Peony tulip detail.

Peony tulip detail.

They yellow tulips are coming along nicely.

The yellow tulips are coming along nicely.

Yellow tulip detail.

Yellow tulip detail.

My favourite spotted jug is now finished.

My favourite spotted jug is now finished.

This is how the painting looks at this stage.  Next steps are to finish the stripes and lastly, the figs.

This is how the painting looks at this stage. 

Finished stripes.

Finished stripes.

Finished fig and stripe detail.

Finished fig and stripe detail.

Fig close-up.

Fig close-up.

Yay, I'm done!  It is quite a different colour palette for me but I think this painting has great harmony.  I am very pleased with this one!

Yay, I’m done! It is quite a different colour palette for me but I think this painting has great harmony. I am very pleased with this one!

New paintings have arrived at The Hunter Gallery!

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DSC_0031 New paintings have been dropped off at The Hunter Gallery in Long Melford today!  Beautiful bright landscape and still life paintings to brighten up any room.  If you happen to be in the area, pop in and have a look.

Painting process: Delphinium Border, 16 x 28 inches

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I just had to do another garden scene!  This time I am painting a delphinium border against a brick wall.In the photo the blues and purples looked lovely against the orange of the brick.  Above is my sketch.  It may look like a mess but the different lines and strokes are creating a map for me.

I just had to do another garden scene! This time I am painting a delphinium border against a brick wall.  In the photo, the blues and purples looked lovely against the orange of the brick. Above is my sketch. It may look like a mess but the different lines and strokes are creating a map for me.

I have scrubbed in some colour for the background and the greenery.

I have scrubbed in some colour for the background and the greenery.

My underpainting is complete.  Look at the lovely indigo, purple and magenta colours!

My underpainting is complete. Look at the lovely indigo, purple and magenta colours!

underpainting close-up

underpainting close-up

With a small brush I put in the darker tones.  this adds depth and separates the plants.

With a small brush I put in the darker tones. This adds depth and separates the plants.

The background has been painted in.  Since I could still see my brick pattern through the underpainting I used it as a guide and painted it in with a brush.  You can also see that I have added other little flowers and grasses near the wall.

The background has been painted in. I could still see my brick pattern through the underpainting so I used it as a guide and painted it in with a brush. You can also see that I have added other little flowers and grasses near the wall.

painting detail

painting detail

With the plants in the foreground more defined I can start bringing the delphiniums to life.

With the plants in the foreground more defined, I can start bringing the delphiniums to life.

My painting is finished!  I could have kept on fiddling with it but I feared I would overwork it and wouldn't be able to correct it.  Sometimes you just have to leave it alone and back away. I wish I could accurately capture how rich the colour is, especially in the darks where there is deep turquoise. I would have liked to use some palette knife somewhere in this.  Maybe on a larger one I will find a way to incorporate.  I just have to keep experimenting with these garden scenes.

My painting is finished! I could have kept on fiddling with it but I feared I would overwork it and wouldn’t be able to correct it. Sometimes you just have to leave it alone and back away. I wish this photo could accurately capture how rich the colours are, especially in the darks where there is deep turquoise. I would have liked to use some palette knife somewhere in this. Maybe with a larger one I can find a way to incorporate it.  I just have to keep experimenting with these garden scenes.

delphinium detail

delphinium detail

another painting detail

finished painting detail

Painting process: Inside the walled garden, 16 x 28 inches

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We've been enjoying wonderful sunny weather in our neck of the woods!  All this sunshine inspired me to paint a beautiful garden.  I have a whole bunch of reference photos from a trip to Helmingham Hall Gardens.  I chose an image that included the building because it has a wonderful pattern on it. Above is my sketch.

We’ve been enjoying wonderful sunny weather in our neck of the woods! All this sunshine inspired me to paint a beautiful garden. I have a whole bunch of reference photos from a trip to Helmingham Hall Gardens. I picked an image that included the Hall because it has a wonderful pattern on it. Above is my sketch.

Using a brush I added a wash of colour to the sky and hall.  Then I carefully mapped out the garden.

Using a brush I added a wash of colour to the sky and the Hall. Then I carefully mapped out the garden using various lovely colours.

Underpainting close-up

Underpainting close-up

The sky and Helminghan Hall have been painted in.  I haven't painted any buildings in a long while, I used to paint mostly cityscapes.

The sky and Helminghan Hall have been painted in.  

Helmingham Hall close-up

Helmingham Hall close-up

With a brush I add the darks to create some depth and help separate the various plants.

With a brush I add the darks to create some depth and help separate the various plants.

Starting at the back near the hall I begin adding texture with a small palette knife.  I also have painted in the grassy path.

Starting at the back near the Hall I begin adding texture with a small palette knife. I also have painted in the grassy path.

garden detail

garden detail

Here is more progress on the garden.  I am working my way to the foreground, getting more vibrant and detailed as I go.

More progress on the garden. I am working my way to the foreground, getting more vibrant and detailed as I go.

You can get a bit overwhelmed by so much detail when painting this subject.  I had to keep telling myself to relax, simplify and keep things loose.  The painting is now complete and I am quite pleased with it.  It is so different than anything I have done before.

You can get a bit overwhelmed by so much detail when painting this kind of subject. I had to keep telling myself to relax, simplify and keep things loose. The painting is now complete and I am quite pleased with it. It is so different than anything I have done before.

garden flowers detail

garden flowers detail

close-up of more garden flowers

close-up of more garden flowers

Painting process: Daffodils and Lemons, 20 x 20 inches

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There were bunches of daffodils available in the grocery store over Easter.  I thought I would grab a bunch and use them in a still life.  Here is my set-up for today.

There were bunches of daffodils available in the grocery store over Easter. I thought I would grab a bunch and use them in a still life. Here is my set-up for today.

Here is my sketch.

Here is my sketch.

I have blocked in the colour now.

I have blocked in the colour now.

I have drawn in the pattern for the background.

I have drawn in the pattern for the background.

Before I start painting in the pattern, I mix piles of the colours. This way I don't have to stop and mix paint as I go.

Before I start painting in the pattern, I mix piles of the colours. This way I don’t have to stop and mix paint as I go.

The colours are added to the pattern.

The colours are added to the pattern.

background detail

background detail

finished background

finished background

finished background detail

finished background detail

With the stems done, I begin painting the daffodils.

With the stems done, I begin painting the daffodils.

daffodil detail

daffodil detail

More progress on the daffodil bouquet.

More progress on the daffodil bouquet.

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close-up of more daffodils

The daffodils are done now and I have started on the jug.

The daffodils are done now and I have started on the jug.

Shown is the finished painting with the still life set-up.  I would have showed more of the painting process but I got in the zone and forgot to document the rest of the steps.  Sorry about that.  Well, I think this painting is very cheery and Spring-like and no stripes this time.  Overall, I think it has a lovely feel to it.

Above is the finished painting with the still life set-up. I would have shared more of the painting process, but I got stuck in the zone and forgot to document the rest of the steps. Sorry about that. Well, I think this painting is very cheery and Spring-like and no stripes this time. Overall, I think it has a lovely feel to it.

Pomegranate Half: painting process, 20 x 20 inches

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Here is my simple set-up.  Because I am tall I get an interesting perspective when looking at my still life set-ups.  That is why most of my painting have a kind of aerial view.  I  pulled the table close to me and I was looking down on my subject.  I propped it up a bit with blu tack.

Here is my simple set-up. Being tall gives me an interesting perspective when looking at my still life set-ups. That is why most of my paintings have a kind of aerial view. I pulled the table close to me and I was looking down on my subject. I propped it up a bit with blu tack.

After I sketched the shape and the pips, I did the underpainting with thin washes of colour.

After I sketched in the shape and the pips, I did the underpainting with thin washes of colour.

Now it is time for the palette knife.  I started with the pomegranate top using a small palette knife.

Now it is time for the palette knife. I started with the pomegranate top using a small palette knife.

Then it is time for the pips.  iI outline the pips in a very dark red.  I used a mix of Alizarin Crimson with a teeny amount of Phthalo Turquoise.

I outline the pips in a very dark red. I used a mix of Alizarin Crimson with a teeny amount of Phthalo Turquoise.

I fill in the pips with Alizarin Crimson (which is very transparent) with a hint of white  so it is every so slightly opaque.

I fill in the pips with Alizarin Crimson (which is very transparent) with a hint of white so it is slightly opaque. 

Pip detail

Pip detail

Using various mixtures of reds, orangey pinks and red orange, I render the pips to look juicy and jewel like.

Using various mixtures of reds, orangey pinks and red oranges, I render the pips to look juicy and jewel like.

finished pip detail

finished pip detail

Now it is time for the juice stained flesh.  I start from the bottom and work my way up to the yellow flesh.

Now it is time for the juice stained flesh. I start from the bottom and work my way up to the yellowish flesh.

painting detail

painting detail

Here is the finished product.  The colours are wonderful!  I am thinking about doing another one, but I am still thinking about what background colour to use.  I hope you enjoyed this demo.

Here is the finished product. The colours are wonderful! I am thinking about doing another one, but I am still thinking about what background colour to use. I hope you enjoyed this demo.

Small landscape: Poppy afternoon-painting process, 14 x 14 inches

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So, I painted another small landscape.  This one is full of lush greens and vibrant poppies.  Here is the underpainting.  I left blank spaces for the larger poppies to make them pop.

So, I painted another small landscape. This one is full of lush greens and vibrant poppies. Here is the underpainting. I left blank spaces for the larger poppies, the red paint directly on the white background will make them pop.

I always start with the sky when it comes time to add thick paint with a palette knife.

I always start with the sky when it comes time to add thick paint with a palette knife.

Here is the painting filled in with the first layer of thick paint.  I play around with other colours and move it in different direction in order to add depth and movement.

Here is the painting filled in with the first layer of thick paint. I play around with other colours and apply it in different directions in order to add depth and movement.

With more colour added.

With more colour added.

painting close up

painting close up

Because the foreground is in some shadow the majority of it has cooler greens.  I add a bit of a warmer lime green to hint at some sunlight and also to highlight the path of the poppies.  I don't want too much red on green, the direct contrast can be jarring to the eye.

Because the foreground is in some shadow, the majority of it has cooler greens. I add a warmer lime green to hint at some sunlight and also to highlight the path of the poppies. I don’t want too much red on green, the direct contrast can be jarring to the eye.

cooler green and blues

cooler greens and blues

warmer greens with turquoise and scratches in the paint to hint at blades of grass.

warmer greens with turquoise and scratches in the paint to hint at blades of grass.

Here is the finished painting.  I has quite a different feel from the previous landscape post.  It is mistier, cooler in colour and bold.

Here is the finished painting. It has quite a different feel from the previous landscape post. It is cooler in colour and bold.

poppy field close-up

poppy field close-up

another poppy field close-up

another poppy field close-up

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