An experiment

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I’ve done a fair amount of painting since my last post and today decided to try something new. In an effort to work in a looser style I’ve made a watercolour abstract background with rough textured paper, cling film and salt (and of course watercolour paint). All I have to do now is decide how to carve out ‘a story’ from the random shapes and patterns created!

I think it will be something under the sea, but haven’t decided quite what yet.

The donkeys, Casper and Victor, continue to be a pleasure to have around. Casper hasn’t had much to do with me for a few weeks, but I’m back in his good books this week and he’s delighted to see me each day. Quite what I did to offend him in the first place remains a complete mystery. Victor, on the other hand, is always the same – he loves everyone and everything:

I can’t believe how woolly they look in the photos above which were taken a few weeks ago; since then they’ve both gotten finer, summer coats (Casper is on the left, Victor on the right). The grass isn’t that green these days either, as the past few weeks of sunny weather have dried it out.

Harvest time has thrown us some visitors to the garden. Last week we had a fox and yesterday evening a little Muntjack deer came visiting. I’ve seen the Muntjack’s in the fields before, but this is the first time I’ve seen one in the village.

If the watercolour experiment turns out okay I’ll post some pics in my next post.

Until next time.

Jackie

 

Something fishy

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I’ve just finished the first of a few watercolours I’m doing with a fish/seafood related theme. Here it is, a Brown Crab:

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Brown Crab Watercolour Painting

There’s a Lemon Sole that’s almost finished and I’m now contemplating what will be third. Maybe a cod… or oysters… or a lobster?

My plan is to compile some fishy paintings and have them on canvas wraps in a tiled effect. Whether they will look okay together remains to be seen.

Earlier this week I painted some Blue Poppies. Here’s the beginnings of the painting and the end result:

 

I’m trying to get a bit done as I’m having some enforced time off next week due to a minor health issue that requires surgery. Bri has compiled a mental list of things that I can be doing around the house during my ‘rest’ – I think it would be easier for me to carry on working as I’m not really up for decorating a bedroom and the kitchen.

The reason for the home improvements is that we’re contemplating moving. We’ve contemplated moving previously, on a number of occasions, but this time it seems a bit more likely that we’ll actually go through with it. We like the South West and would like to buy a doer-upper that has a bit of land with it for the donks and a horse. Whether we can find anything within budget is another matter! I keep having a look at various auction sites to see what prices houses with land are going for and persuading myself it’s doable. We’ll see!

Until next time.

Jackie

 

 

Picking up a paintbrush

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I’ve had a break from painting for a few weeks, mostly because I’ve spent time getting to know the donks and needed a change of routine for a while. So I haven’t blogged for a while because there’s not been much to tell – I’ve been working as usual, but my ‘day job’ doesn’t make for exciting reading as it mostly entails packing parcels and doing the business admin.

I got my watercolours out of retirement last weekend and painted Casper:

As you might glean from the photo of him, he can be quite moody. At the moment he’s very cool and aloof with me – I’m not sure what I’ve done to offend him, but he certainly bears a grudge as he’s been sulky for over a week.

On the other hand, the little donk, Victor, is always cute and cuddly and he likes everyone:

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I shall no doubt be painting Victor too in the near future.

It must be the season for big ears as I’m currently working on a hare in acrylics. It’s ages since I painted in acrylics and I’m enjoying the change, but I’m very slow. Here’s the hare so far:

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Eventually he will have some meadow grasses and flowers around him, but for the moment he’s sat on my easel – I’ll hopefully push on with him a bit more over the weekend.

That is all the painting I’ve done for the past few weeks, but I’ll be doing more over the coming weeks as I’ll be taking a break here and there from selling over the summer holidays, so will have more time to paint. Hopefully the weather will be a bit kinder to us all for the rest of the summer?

Until next time.

Jackie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pretty Boys and Poppies

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Just a quick update on the long awaited donkeys. They arrived today and settled in remarkably well. A picture paints a thousand words:

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Excuse the bird poo – we have barn owls in the field shelter.

The bigger donkey is named Casper and the little guy is Victor. I’ll write a bit more about them soon.

And here’s some poppies I painted in watercolour earlier this week:

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Until next time.

Jackie

 

 

Seeing Red

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I seem to be doing a lot of work in warm colours just lately. It must be the warmer weather that’s making me reluctant to paint anything dark or cool.

I keep having a bash at painting foxes and here’s my latest:

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Vixen and Fox Cub watercolour

After the foxes came a flamingo:

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pink flamingo watercolour

And this evening I’ve been practising painting flowers. I used a couple of new colours: Vermillion and Rhodonite Genuine, both of which I really like, especially Vermillion. Here’s a bunch of poppies I painted using those colours:

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Poppies watercolour

I still need to loosen up more and I also need to learn a little more patience in letting the colours dry enough to go back in and rework them without lifting off the washes. Oh how I love red – it is so vibrant and cheerful.

All being well the donkeys will be here this weekend and there may be another addition to follow on soon after. I’m nervous and excited at the same time. I’ll bore you senseless with photos and tales of my new family. Brian has been busy replacing rotten fence posts in the field and we had the grass topped last weekend as there was a lot of dead stuff from last year that needed getting rid of.

I’ll let you know how the little chaps settle in!

Jackie

Hello Blossom

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Well it would seem that Spring is here at last. I have never known so much rain for so long and the last few weeks have been depressing to say the least. I’ve been waiting to move the donkeys onto my field but needed to get a contractor to harrow and roll it first. I’d have expected it to be dry enough (to get a tractor on the land) by the end of March, but here we are in May and it’s only just starting to feel solid underfoot. All being well the little blighters will be here next weekend and chaos will commence. I’ll post some pics when they get here.

As a tribute to the better weather I painted a bumble bee yesterday:

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bumble bee watercolour

And today I’ve painted a blossom tree with a Japanese feel to it. Here it is drying out:

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I got to use some of the lovely new watercolours including Rhodonite Genuine, Opera Rose and the Quinacridone Coral I mentioned previously. A little bit of Quinacridone Magenta added some strong tones to the shady bits.

Giclee prints of the bumble bee are on the website here and I’ll be adding prints of the blossom tree soon.

As usual, I’m not sure what I’ll be painting next – I take each day as it comes and see what takes my fancy.

Until next time.

Jackie

 

 

 

 

An Auction for Maverick

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I did a watercolour of a young Clydesdale horse called Maverick a few weeks back. The original painting was donated and is being auctioned to raise funds for his veterinary fees following a very serious accident in 2015.

The auction is being run by Maverick’s owner, Helen. Here’s the link to the auction which is being held on Facebook.

Here’s the picture. It’s A3 in size (11″ x 14″) and it comes mounted in an ivory mount. The painting is on Fabriano Artistico cotton rag paper and I used Windsor & Newton and Daniel Smith watercolour paints (including the lovely shimmery Amethyst Genuine I told you about, for Maverick’s flights). If you know someone who likes heavy horses, please share the link on your Facebook page or spread the news by other social media.

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Clydesdale Horse ‘Maverick’

Enjoy the Bank Holiday and I hope we all get some long awaited nice weather.

Until next time.

Jackie

 

Just don’t mention windmills

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So I decided to try the windmill painting which has been on the back burner a while. The sky went in okay, as did the washes for the windmill itself, and then I over egged the pudding with a group of trees. The trees were too vivid for the soft hues of the sky and windmill, so I binned it. I did contemplate continuing but my heart wasn’t in it and I knew it wasn’t right and more importantly, wouldn’t come right with further work.

After a couple of hours doing other jobs I decided to paint a simple little French scene… which took about 2 hours more than anticipated due to the many washes that I applied. I’m quite pleased with the result; it looks a bit washed out here with the camera flash, but you can get (hopefully) the gist of the loose feel of the painting:

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The Parfumerie

Husband likes it, which surprised me as I thought he’d find it a little too twee for his taste. I enjoyed painting it, so will be doing a few more in a similar style as and when the mood takes me.

But I still love my wildlife/animals the best. Here’s a little Long Tailed Tit I painted a couple of days back:

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Long Tailed Tit

They are such pretty little birds – we get them on the bird feeder from time to time. The Quinacridone paints came into their own with this little painting – the crisp colours combined with their transparency helped me to build layers of delicate colour.

We also get a pheasant in the garden each day. He started out as a very timid visitor and he’d scream and run/bluster off if we went outside. Oh those were the days! He’s now completely sure he owns the place and struts up and down screaming and puffing his feathers to all and sundry, especially if there’s no food waiting for him. Sometimes he brings a girlfriend or two for dinner, but mostly he’s alone and stuffs the birdseed all to himself. He was particularly vocal yesterday and here’s why:

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Another male fancied taking over his patch, so they spent about an hour pulling up grass and then spitting it out at each other. I eventually went and told them to clear off – there’s only so much grass spitting and associated verbals one can take, especially when it’s within 2 metres of where you’re working. I’ll have to paint them one day… I’m sure there must be a really hot market for grass spitting pheasants:-)

The Long Tailed Tit watercolour is available in giclee prints on the website here and I’ll be selling the original (it’s A4 size) when it has been mounted and framed.

The Parfumerie painting will also be on the website within a few days.

Maybe I’ll try the windmill again before too long?

Until next time.

Jackie

 

 

 

Little Hummers

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I’m going through a hummingbird stage at the moment. I painted one last night and got to use a couple of wonderful Quinacridone colours by Daniel Smith (no this isn’t a sponsered post):

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Hummingbird watercolour

The beauty of the Quinacridone watercolours is their versatility – put them on wishy washy and you will get a delicate, ultra transparent wash, or use them with just a little water for a vibrant pure pop of colour.

I used them again today on a larger painting and also used the lovely Amethyst Genuine which has a beautiful shimmer to it:

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Hummingbirds and flowers watercolour

Now I’m knackered and hummingbirded out.

The single humming bird is being sold as an original (mounted and framed) and you can find it on the website here

The larger painting will be available on the website next week in A4 and A3 giclee prints.

The donkeys I told you about a couple of weeks back aren’t here yet. My field is soaking wet and I’m having to wait until it dries out so that the contractor can harrow and roll the ground in preparation for their arrival. Very frustrating for everyone – I’ve never known so much rain for so long. It was very cold this morning with a sprinkling of snow, followed by a hail shower this afternoon. Hopefully next week will see us turn a corner with the weather…

I’m torn between a windmill or a wildlife for my next project – I’ll see what takes my fancy.

Until next time.

Jackie