Advent Artist Day 7 – Gerard Hendriks

Flaming Flowers (watercolour 6 x 4 inches)
Flaming Flowers (watercolour 6 x 4 inches)

Today’s December Give Away is a typical Christmas table decoration. The shops are full of pots filled with gloriously vibrant Poinsettia plants.

Advent Artist for Day 7:

My Advent Artist for Day 7 is Dutch artist, Gerard Hendriks. Gerard is a prolific watercolour artist who has an exciting, dynamic style of painting. His style is very loose and dramatic, with wonderful textures in the paintwork. Gerard can also be found on his Facebook page.

Advent Artist Day 6 – Dean Crouser

Festive Heart (watercolour 4 x 6 inches)
Festive Heart (watercolour 4 x 6 inches)

Today’s Advent Give Away is called Festive Heart.  I thought I’d play with some texturing and some graphic elements in this painting to produce a funky heart painting in blue and orange.

Advent Artist for Day 6:

I’ve followed Dean Crouser’s work on Facebook for a while. Dean is an American artist based in Oregon. Dean paints simple images in a loose style and presents them in his own spontaneous style.  Dean’s work can also be seen on his Facebook page.

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Advent Artist Day 5 – Marc England

Guardian Angel (watercolour 4 x 6 inches)
Guardian Angel (watercolour 4 x 6 inches)

Today’s Advent Giveaway painting subject is Guardian Angel – it reminded me of the churches painted by Marc England.

Advent Artist for Day 5:

Some years ago, we went to Malta for a week’s holiday. It was our first visit to the island and we spent some time exploring Valetta on foot. We wandered into the art centre built into the city walls and discovered Marc England’s work. The low vaulted ceilings of the space were perfect for the exhibition of atmospheric church paintings. I was mesmerised by the drama of his work and the artist’s treatment of light in his works. I recommend you wander through the gallery on his website and enjoy the powerful images he creates. Marc’s work can also be seen on his Facebook page.

Advent Artist Day 4 – Harriet Lacey

Round Robin (watercolour 6 x 4 inches)
Round Robin (watercolour 6 x 4 inches)


I’m having a wonderful December with this Advent series and giving away my paintings on Facebook. It’s a bit of a stretch finding time and thinking of a new subject every day – I may run out of Christmas subjects, but I’ll find something else to paint when that happens. I’m using the painting give away series as a way of having fun with some of the subjects and experimenting with new styles of painting. Today’s painting is called Round Robin. If he pops one more seed in his beak, that tummy will actually be dragging in the snow.

Advent Artist for Day 4:

And now for today’s artist share. Today’s Advent Artist, Harriet Lacey is a young lady to watch. Eighteen year old Harriet was the 2013 winner of the Young Artist Award at the East Suffolk Design and Fine Art Society. She’s an accomplished wildlife artist and you can follow her work on her website, or her Facebook page.

Advent Artist 3 – Sophia Khan

Cone Cluster (watercolour 4 x 6 inches)
Cone Cluster (watercolour 4 x 6 inches)

My old school friend, Karin Panaino-Petersen suggested on Facebook that we all give away something every day for 30 days. Since I’m doing my Advent Artist Challenge, I decided I would try and do a painting every day and give it away. I’m not sure whether I’ll make 30, but there will be a good series of Give Aways this month.Today’s give away details are here

Advent Artist for Day 3:

Today’s Advent Artist Share is Sophia Khan. Sophia is an architect who loves painting as she travels. She has a beautifully delicate touch, which is just perfect for the medium of watercolour. Have a look at Sophia’s gallery or follow her Facebook Page

Advent 2 – Spoiled for Choice

Spoiled for Choice (watercolour 4 x 6 inches)
Spoiled for Choice (watercolour 4 x 6 inches)

This little painting is my December GiveAway for day 2. Click here to find out what you need to do to be in the draw

Today’s Advent Artist is Rhonda Carpenter who blogs at Watercolors and Words.

Rhonda is so generous with the shares of her workshop experiences and exhibition news. Recently, Rhonda shared her perspective workshop drawings so I though this painting would be an appropriate one for the post about Rhonda’s website. I was really impressed and inspired by the skill on her exercises – so I decided it was time to do a painting that consider perspective in a more direct way.

Rhonda’s blog is a treasury of information and a great way to discover the websites of new artists. This is a bit of payback for Rhonda – hope you enjoy reading her blog as much as I do. It’s one I never miss.

If you want to nominate an artist whose work you like, share the love by adding them in a link below this post (or in a comment if the linking thing feels a bit of a hassle).

Advent 1 – On Holly and Christmas Fairs

This is the first day of the Advent Challenge. I invite you all to introduce us all to a new artist every day. You can do this in three ways:

– Add their details to your blog post for the day and put a link to your post in the Inlinkz collection at the bottom of this post
– Add their Website or FB directly to the Inlinkz collection (in which case, please add a comment and say who you’ve recommended so we know who recommended them)
– Share their page on your FB page and add a link to that post on your FB page to the Inlinkz collection below. (To do this, click on the date in the post on your FB page. A long URL will appear in your address bar. Copy that use that as the link to share).

Christmas Light by Sabine De Rode
Christmas Light by Sabine De Rode

This is not one of my paintings – this lovely Christmas image is one of the Running With Brushes paintings done by Sabine De Rode. I will be painting my littl holly picture when I get home after the Christmas Fair and I’ll add it to the website later.

Got to it – Here’s the Holly picture. It’s going to be given away to someone at the end of next weekend. Find out more here.

Advent 1 - Holly. (watercolour 6 x 4 inches)
Advent 1 – Holly. (watercolour 6 x 4 inches)

Today I am posting from the Old School Studio where I am manning the stall on the second day of their Christmas Fair. I’ve had the opportunity to have a good look at the offerings of the other artists here and I’ll be sharing their pages. I’m always impressed with the enterprise of the people who hand-make gorgeous things and I’m keen to support them. I think it’s noticeable that people who practice a craft are often the most staunch supporters of others – I’m sure, in large part, because they know how much love and dedication goes into each item.

So to kick off my Advent Challenge with a bang I’m going to share the pages of the other exhibitors (the ones in the same room as me rather than the ones I shared yesterday who are in the same complex).

Pru van der Hoorn has done a roaring trade in her beautiful flower pots. I earmarked one to buy for a family member but it sold yesterday so Prue is going to make me another one (thank you, Prue).

Tricia Taylor designs and makes wonderful elegant silver jewellery. I nudged certain members of my family in her direction and I’m hoping to have a little parcel from her stock under the tree in a couple of weeks.

CosyMama ‘s felted slippers for tots have been charming everyone as they walk in the door. It’s almost worth finding a small relative, no matter how distant so you can see them toddling around in their little warm slippers.

Verdilla Flowers has a collection of their Christmas table decorations and wreaths on display today. Many a table and door will be adorned with these beauties this year.

– Upstairs, photographs, decorative bowls can be acquired from Val.

– and if you have a little fairy in your life, Dinah has wings and alice bands that will evoke squeels of delight on Christmas morning.

Unfortunately, Val and Dinah don’t have websites so if you’re not luck enough to be here, you can’t see their creations today.

So, now for the linking to begin. I’ve seen two posts go out today already – I’m looking forward to meeting some great new artists and creators of hand-made glories.

Each day’s link will be open for a week in case anyone (like me) is running around like a mad thing pre-Christmas and needs to play catch up.

Advent – Part 2

I was a bit annoyed with myself last year because I missed my personal Advent challenge target of one painting a day. In hindsight I didn’t do too badly – here are the 18 I did manage in the 24 days of potential painting.

This year I’m not going to push myself to do one painting every day, but along with sharing the website of a new artist every day from the 1st December until Christmas, I’ll also try and paint some of these Christmas subject along the way:

Xmas tree
Pine cone
Christmas fairy/angel
Tree decorations
Santa hat
Elf shoes
Mince pies
Mulled wine

Some of these are duplicates of subjects I painted last year, but I’m sure I’ll still gain something from painting the same subject again. I’ll work on a different treatment of it this time around if I do work on a repeat. If you decide to have a go, please share a link to your painting in the comments on the day you publish your painting.

Don’t forget to join in the Advent Artists Sharing challenge. Starting on Sunday.

Advent Challenge 2013

Watercolour painting. Little Red Boat (watercolour 12 x 17)
Little Red Boat (watercolour 12 x 17)

Studio time this weekend was spent finishing the clear out I started last week, and preparing for the local Christmas Fair next weekend. We’ll be joining the Old School Studio team with the Running With Brushes collection and some of my small watercolours. The results of the weekend’s studio time were quite satisfying – three small watercolours mounted and ready to take to the exhibition next weekend and a couple of Running With Brushes paintings completed (something I haven’t done for a while).

Last year I started my own personal Advent challenge at the beginning of December. I aimed to do a new painting every day and post it on my blog. That was a pretty tall order given my usual workload, and at Christmas it was probably even less likely to be completed. That said, I did manage to do more than half the 24 days.  It was a good discipline and a lot of fun to do.

Over the past year I’ve had a few conversations with people about the idea of sharing the pages and images of other artist’s work on social media. By this I mean sharing with full credit and the intention of introducing that artist to your friends and followers. I think art is to be shared. If I enjoy someone’s work, I love sharing it with people who follow my blog or social media posts. So this is my Advent Challenge for 2013:

From 1st December to 24th December I will publish a blog post about the page of an artist I follow.  That’s 24 artists to be discovered via my blog during advent. And that’s my challenge to my readers. Join in and share the websites and Facebook pages of some of the people whose artwork you admire. Christmas is a time for sharing so lets spread a bit of that sharing spirit around the art community and show our appreciation of the work of some of the artists we admire. If you want to take part (and I really hope you do), here’s what to do:

– Add your name and URL to the Inlinkz link at the bottom of this page – that’s sharing your blog as a start. You don’t have to post every day – just as often as you can.

– You don’t have to be an artist yourself to join in – and you can share the webpages of any creative people (artists, crafters, photographers…)

– Every day from 1st December, once you’ve published your blog post, add a link to your post to the Inlinkz link on that day’s post on my blog. It’s really easy, and you’ll be getting more visits to your website at the same time as doing something good for another artist.

– A few thoughts on your posts: You don’t have to post a photograph done by the artist whose page you are sharing – you’re welcome to write a post about your work as usual, and add the introduction in as an extra paragraph on your post with the heading, Advent Challenge. Or you can simply publish a post about the artist whose website you want to share.  We’re all busy in December so my suggestion would be to just keep it short and simple. Let us know the name of the artist, their website (with a link) and why you love their work or their website. Two of three sentences is all it takes.  I’ve already got the first few of mine lined up.

I’m really looking forward to discovering some fabulous new artist in the next couple of weeks. Hope you decide to join in, and let your fellow artists know. The more shares, the more merrier.

(I’ll be posting two links each day – one for the artist I’m sharing on my blog and one for the Running With Brushes artist I’ll be featuring on the RWB blog)

Washing Girls meet up again (in Cambridge)

Last week this time we were coming to the end of a fabulous long weekend with fellow Washing Girl, Olivia Quintin, her husband Alain and their 14 year old daughter, Elyse. I recognised Elyse instantly from having seen Olivia’s portraits of her.

Olivia and Alain 1


For those of my blog readers who don’t know the history, the term ‘Washing Girls’ was first coined by Olivia and refers to the seven artists who took part in the 100 Wash Challenge, an online project to get each of us posting 100 watercolour washes online with notes. We had a year in which to achieve this.  It was both an amazing learning experience, and a great way to make friends with other artists.

Almost exactly a year ago, we travelled to Vannes to meet Olivia. At the time, I had no idea whether we would like each other, but we had spent so much time having virtual chats over the 100 washes, that I wanted to meet her. I said at the time that I wanted to meet all of the other artists but so far, life has got in a way a bit and I’ve only managed to get together to Olivia. (So, who is next, girls? Maggie, Theresa, Christy, Suzanne, Jane?)

I get a bit over-excited when we have visitors who have never seen Cambridge. I love the richness of the history in this place so I am always happy to play unofficial tour guide and take them on a walking tour of the city.  That was Friday’s focus. We did the classic Cambridge sites (and sights): The Backs, the whale at the University Zoology Museum, a wander down Old School Lane and then Trinity Street to have a look at the colleges. The Eagle pub and Kings College Chapel, and finally, a punt down the Cam to see the back views of all colleges while our young punter, Sam, told us all the snippets and anecdotes about the buildings as we glided past on the water.

Punting on the Cam
Punting on the Cam

And then of course for the rest of the weekend we ate and we painted (and ate and painted, and ate and painted) – not necessarily at the same time.  There were English meals (Roast lamb with mint, and full English breakfast), and a slap up South African braai (has to be done in our house). And there was painting in the garden and then down at the river. Our house is at the edge of the village and we are lucky to have a footpath that goes virtually from our back garden, alongside the churchyard, down through the trees, across the field and to the river. It’s a great place to take a short walk, and Alain and Olivia spent some time working on paintings down there. They found the bench at the riverside and painted the view: that electricity housing has never looked quite so charming as it does now.

Electricity by Alain Fortier (pastel 10 x 8 inch)
Electricity by Alain Fortier (pastel 10 x 8 inch)


Electricity by Olivia Quinton (watercolour 6 x 4 inches)
Electricity by Olivia Quinton (watercolour 6 x 4 inches)

Olivia painted up a storm for Running With Brushes. She created 10 paintings for the charity while she was with us, helping us get closer to  the first 100 mark which should happen today. It’s brilliant to have such support and enthusiasm for the project from friends. We loved having time with Alain, Olivia and Elyse (who is a fantastic assistant in the kitchen).

Et maintenant, nous pratiquons parler français. Parce que  Septembre prochain, nous allons visiter Belle-Ile avec Olivia et Alain pour une semaine de peinture.