What happened to spring? What went wrong? I took all these photos this morning, Friday 2nd March! Our snow storm came from the East, from Siberia….
Some weeks ago I remember admiring blog friend Jodi’s snowy winter photos and wishing I could have some snow too. Well you know what they say “Be careful what you wish for, you may get it…. ” and we got it !!
We’ve got a whole 8 inches of it and where the snow has drifted in the wind it is 12 – 15 inches deep. That’s a lot of snow for my corner of the South West of England. The snow was forecast several days ago and has affected most of the UK over the last few days. Yesterday it was our turn….
The Met Office had an Amber weather warning issued for us several days ago and yesterday morning it was raised to Red. Yesterday, Thursday 1st March , at 3 pm it started snowing. And it snowed, and snowed and snowed some more. Plus it was windy and very quickly drifted.
Our normally busy town is quiet as the grave today as many people can’t get to work, businesses and shops are closed and road conditions are treacherous. Walking through town this morning I noticed the canal had frozen over. Temperatures are about -1 C.
In the above picture, this is snow and ice on the outside of my mum’s kitchen window! At some point in the early hours of this morning it stopped snowing and started raining. But was so cold that the rain froze instantly leaving ice on windows and a sheet of ice covering the snow.
Well I got what I wanted! I do love the snow, it’s so beautiful but it does need to treated with a whole lot of respect – so here’s hoping everyone affected in Britain stays warm, safe and doesn’t take any unnecessary risks…..
My lovely brother-in-law Colin treated me to a lovely Jean Haines watercolour book: Jean Haines’ Atmospheric Watercolours. This is my version of the first exercise in the book. The purpose of the exercise was to practice holding the paint brush correctly (not to create a finished piece of work). I found this exercise very useful and now realize that I’ve been holding my brush all wrong!
This was my second attempt at this exercise – the first was a complete dogs dinner! I also used slightly different colours to the ones mentioned in the book. The paper I used was A5 Khadi paper.
This is a very beautiful book and once I open it I find I can’t put it down…. ! I love Jean Haines’ loose way of painting with watercolours. I will share more of my interpretations of the exercises in this book over the coming weeks as I progress through the book.
A small watercolour landscape. I painted this some weeks ago and I wasn’t sure if I liked it. So I just left it to one side for a few weeks and then went back to it. I do this with my photography sometimes if I have images I’m not sure about. When you look at images or art again after a few weeks you see things with a fresh perspective. When I revisited this watercolour I decided that perhaps it’s not so bad after all – I quite like it. I like the deckle edge of the paper (Fabriano Artistico NOT paper – 100% cotton)….
Today I decided I would also share just a few places that I get lots of wonderful watercolour inspiration from.
One page I love to visit is debi riley – The Creative Zone for Making Art. Debi is a very talented artist with many years experience. Her work is beautiful and she very generously shares her wealth of knowledge and experience on her blog. It’s a wonderful, inspirational place to visit for artists of all levels of experience. As a person still in the early stages of my watercolour journey, I’ve found it invaluable. My suggestion is: make yourself a coffee, make yourself comfy in front of the computer and lose a couple of hours exploring Debi’s blog – you wont regret it….
Next, I love colour. I love mixing colours and experimenting with colour. One stunning web page I love to visit can be found at Jackson’s, a UK art supply shop. Here you will find a beautiful Daniel Smith watercolour paint chart. Please do have a look.
What I love about this page is that you can view virtually the entire Daniel Smith range of watercolours all on one page and the colours are stunning. What I also love about this page is that you can click on each individual colour and it will tell you the pigment numbers that make up that colour and the properties of that colour, ie. it’s lightfastness, transparency, whether it’s a stainer or granulator etc. This information is invaluable to me. How can you not be inspired by all these beautiful colours…. ??
Another place I’ve found watercolour inspiration from lately is from a book called 10-Minute Watercolours by Hazel Soan. This is only a small book, inexpensive and it’s not a new book. But it’s a fantastic book – inspirational! This book simplifies watercolour painting and for me that’s a good thing. Hazel achieves many beautiful and inspirational watercolours in this book in just 10 minutes. Hazel makes two statements in this book that I will remember forever:
“Painting is an act of creation, not imitation.”
“….you are using the subject matter to create a watercolour, not using watercolour to re-create the subject.”
Those statements are quite profound and I will leave you to think about them….
I will share more of my sources of inspiration another time….
Monochrome landscapes in indigo watercolour. Mountains interest me at the moment. Maybe it’s because I’m off to Scotland in a few weeks and we’re going to be surrounded by lovely hills, mountains and lochs…
You can click on the images to view them larger
I decided to keep my mountain watercolour landscapes very simple – simple shapes, shadows and colour. My blue mountains have been glued into my watercolour sketchbook. The smaller landscapes above are a mixture of Prussian Blue and Intense Blue (Phthalo Blue).
I first started to experiment with mixed media art in the spring of 2014. I bought a few books and started to try out some of the techniques. It was during this process that I very quickly discovered I love watercolour paint. However, I carried on with my mixed media experiments and it’s only now (3 years later) that I’ve made a conscious decision to develop my love of watercolour paint.
As far as art goes, watercolour painting is my first love. Whether I ever become any good at it is another matter entirely… but perhaps that’s not really what’s important. What’s important is that painting with watercolours is something I love doing and find enormously relaxing and therapeutic…
A few pics from my trip to the Scottish Highlands…
The photo above and below is of the beautiful Shandwick Bay in Ross-shire, Scotland
Both images have been given some vintage processing…
Below is Rosemarkie Bay on the Black Isle, Ross-shire…
Rosemarkie is situated on the shores of the Moray Firth
Above is a view of the shores of the Moray Firth from Chanonry Point, near Rosemarkie. The Moray firth is home to Britain’s most northerly pod of Bottlenose dolphins. Hope you’ve enjoyed a brief glimpse of the east coast of the Scottish Highlands…