Saturday, 30 May 2015

Showing off.

                            Brazen   Oils on canvas board   5 x 7 inches  

This is the last of my lavender paintings (for now) and these beauties are really showing off.  Bold brush strokes give an expressive feel to the picture. 

I am really breaking some of the 'rules' of composition by making the lines come together nearly in the centre, and the horizon is nearly halfway too.   Someone once said...if you are going to break the rules, do it in a big way and make a statement. (Or something like that.)

I decided to be brazen about it using a bright, 'summer' palette.    For a different approach look at the painting below by Edward Seago...


      Edward Brian Seago  'Wolferton Church, Norfolk'  Oil on panel  8.5 x 10.5 inches

I am posting this little painting by the Master of Atmosphere.  A scene in Norfolk, his home county.   Balanced and understated, this painting is not brazen.   I like his gentle colours, a subtle 'winter' palette.

Friday, 29 May 2015


                     Gathering In   Oils on canvas board  5 x 7 inches  

Purple quite often finds its way into my paintings.   I can see purple in lots of places; skies and clouds, shadows, and of course, flowers.  Twilight brings out the purples in my garden making them glow.   I cannot grow lavender well in my soil, the plants are always straggly but these rows of lavender are like plump cushions.  This is echoed in the sky as storm clouds gather on the horizon.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Heady Stuff.

                             Flower Power   Oils on board  4 x 4 inches  

This little oil sketch of flower fields in Norfolk shows how a few strokes with a broader brush can say enough.  Reducing clutter can be quite liberating and as the saying goes...'less is more'.

The late Norfolk landscape artist Edward Seago is one of my painting heroes.  His work is an excellent lesson in the value of broad, confident brush strokes to create a sense of place. 

                Here is one of his paintings from the UK Government Art Collection.


                                  Edward Brian Seago    'Corner of the Stackyard'  

This is an example of Seago's use of colour, tone and brush strokes.  Nothing is overstated.  A simple brush stroke is all that is needed to say so much.  I love his work.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015


                           Colour Test   Oils on board   5 x 5 inches  

Imaginary worlds are not reserved for the very young.  The child in me wanted to push the paint around to create a land and seascape which went beyond the realms of reality.  In fact, if you look closely, the bottom of the picture might be interpreted as a landscape whilst the top is resembling a sea and beach at sunset.  

It began as a study of the beach at Scarborough in Yorkshire but it wasn't coming together as I had hoped.  It started to test my patience but rather than put it aside as a failure I attacked it with gusto and pushed it beyond belief.  

Once more...not a masterpiece but I am happy that it lives to tell a tale.  A 'testing' piece.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Feel the warmth.

                      Sunset Bay   Oils on canvas board   7 x 5 inches   

 There is warmth in this little oil study as a few loosely stated brush strokes give an impression of peace and quiet.  Red sky at night, sailor's delight as the saying goes.

Opposites on the colour wheel are in this little painting.  The warmth of the orange is balanced by the cool of the blue.  There is a small tonal range too as the black and white version of the photograph below shows...

I can see 5 values in the painting changing from colour to monochrome.   Looking at this I could have increased the darks a little but I didn't take a photograph until now.  I find that taking photographs as I work disturbs my 'flow' so I am reluctant to do this.  Maybe I should get used to it so I can talk about my work as I paint.  Also, my values would improve as this little exercise demonstrates.  Another lesson learned.

I admire artists who can talk and paint at the same time...especially when being watched by an audience or being filmed.  I mostly enjoy a solitary life at my easel but I love to meet up socially with other artists and exchange ideas or just for encouragement and inspiration.  

Monday, 25 May 2015

To frame or not to frame??

Some of my larger abstract pieces on stretched box canvas are not framed at all, they are painted around the edges and hang as they are.  Framing can be expensive for a large piece and my choice might not be what a purchaser would prefer so I am always willing to remove a painting if it is in a frame and sell the piece without.

Whilst float frames are my favourite for stretched canvas, my paintings on board are framed in a simple flat black frame or a hand-painted wood frame. 

Overseas mailing...

At present I ship my little daily paintings without a frame mainly to keep the costs down but also to allow the purchaser to choose their own frame.  

Exhibition and Display... 

I try to have a standardised way of framing my work for exhibitions.   A tip I gleaned from another artist is to paint in a series and have all the frames looking the same as this creates a balanced look.  Grouping similar styles and subjects together works well too.

I do this each time now and as an example, these photos below are from my solo exhibition last year at the Arts and Heritage Centre in Caistor, Lincolnshire.

                                           'Storm Born'       and       'Thoughtful'

                                                              'Suspended Shore'

                                                              'Coastal Features'

                 Abstract landscapes with a reference to nature yet not depicting it directly.

This was a group of paintings in a series

   'Beyond Reality - Colour and Form'

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Perfume on a grand scale.

               Lavender Haze   Oils on stretched canvas  5 x 7 inches  

          This little study of lavender fields reminds me of summer.  I like the purples and violets with the little pop of lemon to liven it up.  My aim is to give an impression of the place and time so I find a sketch is my best way as it keeps the painting loose.  

Saturday, 23 May 2015


                  Keep  in Line    Oils on canvas board  6 x 6 inches  

            A sense of movement towards the hill as the lavender lines converge.

Light, bright and cheerful, this is a complete change from the drama in my seascapes.  Rather than depict detail in every flower stalk, I used my brush in one sweep to give an impression of the grandeur of these lavender fields. The greens of the fields and trees are just simple marks but add a sense of calm and somewhere to rest the eye.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Daily Challenges.

              Robin Hood's Bay (re-visited)   Oils on board   8 x 8 inches   

It was a very thrilling moment when I placed the last flourish of paint on this painting.  It had been a very challenging time and it very nearly hit the bin but I gave it another chance.

There are days when my painting session does not go well.  This was one of those times and after wiping paint off this board three times, and tonking it with kitchen roll I was well and truly at the end of my patience.  Something inside told me to step away...(which I should have done several times previously) I left it to dry and took a photograph of the abandoned work, shown below.

                                             Robin Hood's Bay, the wiped piece.

I try to end my painting day on a good note so a few hours later, before bedtime, I went back out to my studio and looked at the painting sitting on the easel.  It was dry and begging me to have another try.  Using what paint was left on the palette I attacked the picture with a larger brush and pushed the paint around surprising myself how quickly it came to life.  This time I stepped away before I ruined it.   It possibly isn't my best piece of work but I am happy with the result.  Persistence paid off.  Here it is again...

                                            Dangerous Times...and Inner Voices

The night after this I took a dangerous step and in my heart knew I shouldn't...but a little niggling voice in my head was telling me to do it.   I hasten to add it was not the end of the world and nothing fatal but I mention it because it happens time and time again and I don't seem to learn.

My painting 'Simply Sun' (on hold for a possible exhibition) but posted on my DPW gallery page was sitting quietly in the studio.  Something about it was bugging me.  As I am rather an impetuous soul I thought I would go back into it and alter the composition a little.  Really Anne?  Is that wise?  Hmmm...

Around an hour later and plenty of wasted paint I realised I was not on track.  Now I had in front of me a totally ruined painting covered in sludge.  Out came the paper towel for seemed a little better now as most of the thick paint had gone.  Another rag with spirit brought more paint off.  I stood back and surveyed my foolish action and realised the painting had to go.

The canvas is now in a heap of similar disasters.  I will leave it and move on.  I am trying to be better at stepping away from a painting but it is a hard lesson to learn.  Here is a last look at my picture.  I might open an art shop one day called Tonks and Wipers.  

                                                   Simply Sun - Final Setting

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Beyond reality.

     Robin Hood's Bay   Oils on stretched canvas   5 x 7 inches  

It takes some believing but this tapestry of colours is Robin Hood's Bay in Yorkshire.  I loved placing the colours to vibrate against each other.  Quite abstracted and textured...a dramatic piece.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015


                Sunrise, Whitby   Oil sketch on canvas board  5 x 7 inches   

Multi-coloured skies at dawn on the Yorkshire coast.  I love the reflections glowing in the pools and wet sand.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Memories of Runton.

                  Sunset, West Runton   Oil study on canvas board  5 x 7 inches   

Happy holiday memories at Runton with our children.  Carefree camping and exploring the area until sunset.  



Monday, 18 May 2015

Catch it while you can.

                       Golden Moment   Oils on canvas board   8 x 8 inches   

Speed is the essence when catching the effects of light before it disappears.  This was such an occasion and I hope I managed to convey the colours and reflections in this small abstracted oil study.   Sundown at Cayton Bay, Yorkshire was the time and place and I really enjoyed painting this one. 

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Demonstration of an oil painting.

I have been asked if I would demonstrate how I work on a small 'daily' painting showing the different stages along the way.  My art is a kind of evolves as I work and at the end it mostly does not look like the initial idea.

For this example I will use a photograph of a coastal sunset which is clipped to my easel.  I don't always work from photographs; sometimes I use sketches and occasionally I will paint outside but mostly I prefer to be in my studio so I can use my imagination and not be distracted.  Getting ideas comes from walking in the countryside and the coast or in the town.  I look for light and how it adds drama to the subject.  I take my camera and notebook for sketches and notes so I can get references to use later.  

This small canvas board is set up on my is 6 x 6 inches.  The first thing I do is select my palette of oil colours which I am likely to use this time.  I am using Winsor & Newton Artists' quality oils.   Ultramarine blue, cobalt blue, phthalo blue, quinacridone magenta, cadmium red, lemon yellow, cadmium yellow, Winsor yellow deep, raw sienna, burnt sienna, and titanium white.  I may use some or all of these.  I have a small amount of quick drying medium in a lid at the side of the tray.   I use short and long flat nylon brushes.  Not too small which encourages looser strokes.

The first stage is to scrub some oil onto the board to take away the bright white.   A thin wash of ultramarine, magenta and burnt sienna is applied and then wiped off and left to dry a little.

Stage 1...

Stage 2...

I begin blocking in the main shapes for the composition and wipe out highlights with a rag.  I add some colour too but this may change as I progress.  This stage is to get a rough idea of  how I want my composition.  I shall make adjustments along the way after I step back to eye it up. It is easily wiped over if I am not happy with the overall design.

You may have noticed that the photo is upside down...I always begin the painting this way until about halfway through so I just see shapes and colours and not too much detail.  This keeps me from tightening up in the early stages and becoming too precious about the subject.  I can see now that the horizon line is too central and the water's edge is running off in the top left corner.  Time for some re-positioning.

Stage 3...

 I turn the canvas and photo around to check my composition.  

The land looks better placed now but the horizon still looks too low.

Horizon is about where I want it but the land has slipped down again so needs adjustment.

I re-positioned the lights and adjusted the other shapes and colours. I am beginning to get a feel now for how I want the painting to look but there is still a long way to go before I am happy with it.

Stage 4...

Adding more paint and varying the colours I started abstracting the subject a little.  At this stage my reference photo takes a back seat as I want to let the picture evolve and put my own stamp on it.  I like to express myself in my art and not render something to be 'reality'.  

At this point I sculpt the paint with my brush making shapes, aiming to create a 'sense of place' and atmosphere in my picture.  I add more colours, take some away and generally push the oils around teasing out a composition to my liking.  I am not afraid of destroying parts of the work to create something new.  Taking risks is part of my growth as a painter.  I work until I feel the picture is balanced with a sense of harmony then I step away.  There is a fine line between stopping in time and ruining it by wanting to add just that little bit more.  

Here is the finished painting.

  I am happy with it now and will give it the title...

     ' Norfolk Melody'   

Oils on canvas board  6 x 6 inches   SOLD

Posted on Daily

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Sense of Place.

                                   Last Lights   Oils on canvas   5 x 7 inches   

As a sketch before painting a larger piece, this little study aims to capture the fleeting effects of sunset at the coast.  I was inspired by the golds, oranges and pinks in the sky reflecting on the beach.   

                      Tomorrow I am posting a demonstration of how I create my art.  

Friday, 15 May 2015


                       Evening, Donna Nook   Oils on board   10 x 8 inches   

A quick oil sketch for a larger painting, this piece is about capturing the effects of sunset.  Donna Nook is on the Lincolnshire coast and popular with visitors as home to seals giving birth to their pups.  

                                                    An 'English' palette of colours.

I like a simple palette of colour.   The colours I have on my palette for these beach scenes are two reds, two blues and two yellows (cool and warm of each).  Plus burnt sienna, raw sienna and titanium white.   I can usually mix most of my hues from these warm or cool shades.  Our part of the country has not got bright, clear colours like the is more muted except for the magnificent sunrise and sunsets in our open skies.

Tube greens...I sometimes add viridian  which is useful for mixing summer greens and currently I am testing sap green and olive green. However, I prefer to mix my greens from my basic group rather than use from the tube so I use a little yellow with the tube greens to vary the hues.  

Grey is a lovely useful colour.  I mix from the basic colours I have on my palette with a little white to achieve the sort of grey I need...warm or cool.   For bright areas in the painting I put something dull next to a grey, warm or cool makes the colours pop.  Passages of grayed down colours also help to create restful places for the eye. 

Left over paint at the end of a session is good for priming a canvas/board so nothing is wasted. I scrub the paint onto a gessoed surface, allow to dry and put aside for future use.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Tools of my trade.

For those who would like to see inside my painting world here is my work tray and some of the oils used for painting.  I like to work with Artists' quality oils as they have better colour and density than cheaper paints.  Many of my oils at present are Winsor and Newton.  I find them easy to use and for faster drying I have some Liquin medium in the little jar lid at the side of my palette.  Just a small amount on my brush mixed with the paint lets the painting usually dry overnight. 

For my palette I am using glass out of some frames.  I put masking tape around the edges for safety and a piece of white paper beneath so I can see my colours as I mix them.

I use acrylic brushes for my small pictures.  They suit my brush strokes and hold plenty of paint.  They need replacing often as I wear them out quickly when I scrub the paint onto the canvas.  

At the end of a session I cover the oils with a plastic tray to keep them viable for the next day.  This little set-up sits on the trolley at the left side of my easel ( I am left-handed).  It is a kitchen trolley and ideal for my spare canvas boards, kitchen roll, reference sketches, photographs, glass jars of white spirit for brush cleaning and other 'stuff'.  

Imaginary Land.

                                Flashpoint   Oils on board   12 x 12 inches 

Making shapes and textures I used my brush to form the image by scrubbing the oils around to tease out a composition.  The bottom part of the image could represent land with the upper part depicting sky and the effect of a storm.  

Going beyond reality like this allows me to create abstract 'landscapes' which are pure fiction.  There is no plan or sketch as I like my work to be spontaneous and from my imagination.  There is freedom in making this kind of art but no road map...I have to trust my own sense of direction and take risks.  This is what excites me as a painter.  By taking chances with some paint, a board and a brush I can create something new and hopefully bring it to life.  

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Journey to work.

Here is my pathway to work.  This time of year is fresh and inspiration for me as a painter of landscapes.   My studio building looks quite small in this photo but it actually has enough room for my painting area, gallery space and a sitting/relaxing part.   

Tuesday, 12 May 2015


My studio...   or part of it.  I am very fortunate to have a timber cabin in our garden to call my own.  All girls should have a shed..right? is mine.  My main work area is to the left behind the chair and hanging panel.  

I thought I would post some photographs to show you where I create my pictures.  Over the next few days I will add more to give you an idea of what my workspace is like.

Today has been quite varied.  Morning was spent in the garden cleaning and filling bird drinkers, and pruning some out of order apple trees.  In the afternoon I finally got back to my easel and produced two little paintings.  They are drying now and might be too shiny to photograph so I will post in the morning.  

One major decision I made today over coffee was to discontinue my website this November at fee renewal time.  I have thought quite a lot about this and now I have this blog and my gallery on Daily Paintworks there is really no need to duplicate.  I can post my larger abstract paintings here instead.

Oh, before I go...two more views of my easel area for you and if you look tomorrow there will be more.

My two main easels

                             My useful worktop on wheels with a tray for my oil palette and stuff.

Further impressions...

                   Evening, Holkham Beach   Oils on card   10 x 8 inches  

An impression of sunset in North Norfolk with abstracted shapes and exaggerated colours.  My aim was to give a sense of place rather than a literal image.  I think it is a dreamy, gentle painting and the free brush strokes give the impression of relaxation.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

A little bit of happiness.

                                Happy Valley   Oils on board  10 x 8 inches   SOLD

A cheerful sight of poppies in the Lincolnshire fields.  They might invade the crops but their brief splash of colour is a happy moment for me.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Splash of colour.

                                  Poppy Trail   Oils on board   10 x 8 inches   SOLD

The Lincolnshire Wolds in bloom with a simple but colourful flower.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Sands and Marsh.

                                     Sandy Marsh   Oils on board   8 x 10   SOLD

Marsh along the East Coast of Lincolnshire gets a covering of sand by the tidal movement.  Brief sunlight adds warmth on a breezy day.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Violets are Blue

                                     Lavender Blue   Oils on board   8 x 10  SOLD

Norfolk lavender fields in full flow.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

First Flush.

                            Wolds in Bloom   Oils on board   6 x 8 inches   ON HOLD

A cheerful sight amongst the crops, poppies set the fields 'on fire' with their dancing blooms.  The distant hills are a rest for the eye.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015


                             Approaching Storm   Oils on board   6 x 8 inches   

Bright yellow Oilseed Rape contrasts with the stormy sky as a rainstorm approaches.  Wild Campion is a welcome colour peeping from the hedgerows along the roadsides.

Monday, 4 May 2015


                                     Bedtime   Oils on board   20 x 25 cms   SOLD

It is possible to think the sky and wet beach are all one as the sunset gives a tapestry of colours which seem to vibrate.  Sheringham Beach in Norfolk is the place and a wonderful subject for another painting.  Loosely sketched and then left to dry, I shall leave this piece in an 'unfinished' state as I think tidying it up will lose some essence of the occasion.