Spontaneous painting

My trusty companion for many years, water colour, is the perfect medium for spontaneous painting.     

No matter where I am in the world or what I am doing, I can always pull out my watercolours…..and I am immediately transported to a quiet, gentle, meditative place.

Rapid watercolour


Over the years, primarily using watercolours, I have recorded the people and places I have encountered.

Young girl at the Mission Hill School, Boston, USA


This has allowed me to meet and interact with people in a very special way.

This portrait of Catherine was painted on the day before her marriage a year and a half ago.     I first painted Catherine when she was four.


Like life drawing – these spontaneous portraits are all about observation.     If they take more than thirty minutes they don’t work.

Rapid life study.


My goal is to get under the skin of my subject – capturing the essence of the moment.

In this case, the nape of the neck says so much about the subject.


A Bientôt

15 thoughts on “Spontaneous painting

  1. teagan geneviene

    Janet, your portraits are always so amazing. But somehow the first one took me by surprise, as i scrolled down my laptop screen. I wasn’t expecting a person. I gasped when i saw how lovely it was. Hummingbird hugs. ❤

  2. Peter Wells aka Countingducks

    Apart from your striking use of colour their is an immediacy and character about your work which has a unique stamp about it. Few painters manage to create such a distinct personality on canvas, but you certainly have done in my opinion

  3. olganm

    It takes a lot of training to be that spontaneous, I’m sure, although I think you have a special eye for capturing the essence of people. Thanks for sharing, Janet!


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