Spring is in the Air

bunch of flowers blog

It’s pretty cold out there, but there are definite signs of Spring which is really exciting.  At last there is the light at the end of the tunnel of Winter and soon things will warm up.  I’ve become so excited that I have been painting flowers non stop all week!

bottle flowers detail blog

I find flowers very difficult to paint most of the time.  Its so very hard as there is so much detail.  The difficulty is to know where and when to simplify.  It’s often best to squint your eyes to see what needs to be in detail and what not.  Our eyes can find detail in so much of what we see yet most of us prefer paintings which aren’t always in focus throughout.  It’s similar to when and where to lose edges and where and when to accentuate them.

snowdrops blog

‘Snowdrops’ – oil on board 10″x8″ – £65 from Alicesarthouse shop at Etsy

I tried an impressionist quick way with the snowdrops which has a blurry style which I probably like the most. For the other flowers I tried to concentrate on only parts of the flowers which I think works on the the large bunch of flowers rather than the smaller flowers.  For the larger bunch of flowers I tried to use a larger brush throughout.  It’s nice to try different things/styles/brushes etc.



Love is in the Air

Valentine's cats

My cats decided to send a quick message out to all of you this week.  Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone and thanks for all your support. We love you guys.

One Man and his Dog

Stewart portrait blog

I was asked to do a portrait of a good friend of mine, a portrait if him and his dog.  I was very flattered that his partner asked me on the sly to paint this picture of him for his birthday/Christmas.  Obviously as this was on the sly I painted it from a photograph.  I was a little worried by the photo as it was a quick snap that someone took on their phone and so the detail and focus wasn’t as good as I would have liked.  I had a go and kept with the same dulled down colour palette from the photo which I think worked.  I also tried to keep the background in a slight blur so that you would concentrate on the portrait which I think worked too.

It’s always a little nerve racking doing a portrait of a friend as it means so much more to you as an artist to get it right,  but at the same time at least you really know them so you can tell when you’ve got it right.

It was also the first time I’ve painted a dog, and again this dog means the world to my friend so again this has to be right – scary!

I tried hard. I hope they liked it!

Breakfast Disaster

boiled egg blog

Boiled Egg and Soldiers – oil on canvas 25cm x 30cm available at alicesarthouse@etsy.com

Well this week I geared myself up to doing a 3 hour still life painting using my new set up in my new studio.  I was rather inspired by a still life that I did a few weeks ago of a raw egg on a plate so I decided to do a set up of something similar.  I took the challenge of painting an egg, butter and some toast.

As I started, life felt great.  The music was playing and the set up looked good.  Mr T was nestled sweetly on the bed.  It couldn’t have been better.  After half an hour or so I needed to get something from downstairs very quickly.

smashed egg blog

As I opened the drawer downstairs in the kitchen I heard the most almighty crash upstairs.  I ran upstairs to the studio to see what the matter was.  I found Mr T scarpering in a panic. It was quite obvious that he had attempted to steal the butter and in doing so pulled all the still life onto the floor!

Bad cat.

Pop up Exhibition

pop up exhibition

Over the last couple of weeks I have had a couple of exhibitions which I have been rather worried about.  It feels like a big step to go out there to sell your work when you are so unsure of it in the first place.  It’s hard as an artist I think to really believe in your work.  It’s hard to see the good things.  Instead we see all the mistakes and where we could improve.

Exhibiton pop up 2

I have been totally shocked and astounded by the way my work has been received over the last couple of weeks.  I have had so much positive feed back and people have been so kind.  It’s been quite a learning curve. Somehow its still so hard to believe that people like your work and want to buy it.  It’s an amazing boost and helps me to realise that despite all the mistakes I see, someone else likes and enjoys them.  Some of these paintings have been around my house for quite a while – I’m so excited and pleased that they have been sold, but I will also miss them.

Thank you very much for your support.


Exhibition Time!

Ploughed Field

Morning Light on a Felsted walk – 5″x 7″ oil on board
Framed (dark wood tray frame) –  £100

I’ve been really busy this week finishing off work for an exhibition I have in Essex UK on the 24th November for a week.  Its an exhibition of Essex landscapes of which I’ve painted 10.  It’s been great working on these, I’ve really enjoyed it with the challenging light, colours and skies.  All 10 paintings are tiny – the biggest being around A5 size. It’s been a learning curve as I’ve never painted landscapes before.  I’ve taken it slowly and tried to concentrate on the good old formula of starting dark and then continuing  into the lights.  I also found out a good tip about giving the sky a wash of pink first which gives it more depth.  It definitely works.

If you are around and you can make it to Essex, I would be delighted if you came to my exhibition.  The details are below.

Exhibition flyer




Clementines web

Clementines – linen on board 10″x6″ £60 unframed

It’s been a while since I posted a blog I realise.  Life has been very busy with styling, people staying, my flatmate leaving and working towards an exhibition I have at the end of November.  I’m still managing to paint most days which is good and here is an example of one of my paintings from the last week or so.

The studio has a very dark grey background.  It’s painted that way so that you can easily see the intensity of colours and the warmth and coolness of what you are painting.  After a while though it can get very boring to paint.  For this subject matter it was perfect.  The intense orange and warmth was very clear to see.  The plate that they sat on was a little more complicated as it was a real mixture of warm and cold. Getting these right is really essential for creating the three dimensional feel of it.  From this bowl you can see that the clementines were lit with a warm light from the left, but that there was a cool light (daylight) creeping in from the left.  This is where the coolness of the grey background really helps you to distinguish this .

I’m very pleased to say that many of my pieces of work will be in Homes Garden (UK) January 2018 issue which will be out on the 30th November so please do keep an eye out for them leaning up in one the houses.

All my paintings are for sale.  You can find them at AlicesArtHouse on Esty.com