Tree Peonies

I went straight into another watercolour of the tree peonies. Here it is. I was interested in the one that was back lit at the top. Love that contrast and translucency with the light shining through the petals and casting shadows within the flower.I feel I am getting nearer to the softness with contrast thing that these flowers require. Not easy to get the definition and keep them soft. It’s a case of… well, perhaps the photo did the job better! But such a great learning exercise about edges, soft shadows, and so on. I will take what I’ve learned on to future projects.

Beautiful Peonies

I’ve been looking at peonies as it’s been their time. They are hard to ignore being such extravagantly exuberant flowers. They’re not the most straightforward flower to paint, as they have complex petal formations but they do reward a bit of study as the huge flowers contrast so brilliantly with their rich dark blue green foliage. Here’s the photo I took in my friend’s garden. You need space for these shrubs and she has it aplenty. The photo is a crop of a larger one but I like the pattern the leaves make against the flowers and the edges of the picture. Plenty of scope for negative painting!!

Painting holidays in 2011 at Alison House

Back to English now! The 2011 painting holidays at Alison House, Cromford are booking up nicely. For instance there are only a few places left in August. The second course is at the beginning of October when the Autumn colours and mellow tints will be starting to kick in but we should still have decent weather. Really looking forward to a few days of immersion in the peace and beauty of the Derbyshire countryside to think of nothing but painting. Scroll down on this blog to read more information or email me to find out more.

Pour mes lecteurs francais…

Je sais qu’il y a des gens qui lisent ce blog qui sont francais. Je vous souhaite la bienvenue! Et en meme temps je m’excuse pour la traduction automatique que vous devez lire. Quel execrable francais! Je suis desole! Je veux simplement dire que j’aime beaucoup la France et sa langue et voudrais ecrire ce blog en francais aussi mais je n’ai pas assez de temps! Salut et j’espere que vous continuerez de me lire.

Post Patchings ponderings

The cars have been unloaded, the cards and prints tidied away, the paintings rehung (no not yet…give me time!) the table coverings folded up for another year. Patchings Festival is over and we had a good four days. Seeing old artist friends and comparing notes about the year that’s passed and prospects for the year to come. Glowing from lovely compliments from the visitors but secretly puzzled as to why all my paintings were not immediately snapped up. Hmmmmm! But I enjoyed being able to paint during the four days and share tips…people stand for ages looking on and gleaning as much info. as they can. Here is one of the demos I did and was quite pleased with.

Watercolour Painting Holidays for 2011 at Alison House

This is the time of year when I can benefit from seeing everyone at Patchings to tell them about courses over the next year.

I’ve been running day courses in my studio and they have been full to bursting and we’ve had a great time and some wonderful painting has taken place (although I am becoming more and more convinced that people were really coming for the delicious lunch served by my lovely husband!)
There are still five of those still to run, (all booked up I’m afraid.) But in 2011 I am going to run some residential courses where we can get away from it all and they will be open to more painters.
Here are some details…
Dates August 22 – 25 2011
and October 3 – 6 2011
Venue Alison House Hotel and Conference Centre, Cromford Derbyshire, DE4 3RH
Price £395 to include
– 3 full days tuition with demonstrations from Ann
– AA 4 Star accommodation in ensuite double rooms (TV, Wi fi, tea/coffee, hairdryer etc.)
– Breakfast, lunch and dinner with wine each day.
– Tea/coffee available through the day.
Concentrating on Flowers/ Gardens/ Garden features/ Flowers in the Landscape, our course programme will be…
Monday evening. Arrive, settle in, dinner followed by introductory demo by Ann
Tuesday. Full day’s painting with demos and tuition from Ann
Wednesday Full day’s painting with demos and tuition from Ann
Thursday Painting till lunch, then course review and feedback, packing up for 3-4pm
Non painting partners sharing a double room welcome at a special price of £200.
Cromford is a centre for tourism and historical interest in the Derbyshire Peak. Within walking distance of the Hotel, there are a range of shops, sites of historical interest, eg. Arkwright’s Mill and beauty spots, eg. River Derwent and Cromford Canal.
Talking about it is making me want to go now and get away from it all with no cares apart from having to change the painting water occasionally!
If you’re interested you can get in touch via the website Drop me an email or give me a ring or sign up at Patchings Festival.

Patchings Art and Design Festival coming up on 10 – 13 June

Everything stops now for Patchings, the art festival at Calverton near Nottingham where I have had a stand over the last few years and this will be my sixth time at this friendly but incredibly well frequented show. Art societies from all over the Midlands and further afield come in coach loads…there’s a huge car park, luckily…as there is so much to see. Apart from the painting, and there are huge numbers of excellent artists demonstrating, including Shirley Trevena, David Curtis and Lucy Willis to name but a few, there are art materials for sale, crafts, sculpture, pottery, jewellery, etc etc.

And yours truly will have a stand there over the four days. I will be exhibiting and selling my paintings, and will have giclee prints, cards, books, step by step guides for sale. And the whole time I will be demonstrating and painting. And I will be have information about the residential watercolour painting courses that I am running in 2011 at Alison House Hotel and Conference Centre at Cromford in Derbyshire. More info about the festival at
Here are a few of the paintings I’ll be exhibiting.