Tag Archives: Mariethe salort artist

Warm sunshine from one of my sketchbooks….

Given the autumn like weather we are experiencing at the moment, I thought I would re blog this post to remind us all that summer is just around the corner………

The following images are from one of the many sketchbooks I have filled over the years.   They show moments in my life when I was sitting in warm summer sunshine…doing what I enjoy most …which is to commune with nature and paint.

Waterlilies painted at Monet’s Garden, Giverny.   


A special July 4th spent with fellow artists Mariethe Salort and Bonnie Halsey Dutton at Couriers sur Sein, France.     Watercolour/gouache. 


Looking down onto the rooftops of Geberoy, France and across the beautiful countryside of Picardie.  watercolour/gouache. 


Houses in Geberoy, Picardie.   Watercolour/gouache. 


Monet’s garden at Giverny, France.  A very special moment when I was sitting alone in the garden on a beautiful early summer’s evening.   watercolour/gouache. 


From a boat in the harbour at Kinsale, Ireland.   watercolour/gouache


From Conca dei Marini on the magnificent Amalfi Coast, Italy.   watercolour/goache.


It’s always lovely to re visit my sketchbooks, because they take me back to a moment in time.

Clearly during all these moment, the hummingbirds were weaving their magic.


A Bientôt

Janet Weight Reed video by Bonnie Halsey Dutton

Bonnie Halsey Dutton and I have been friends for 24 years.     We met at an art opening in West Chester, Pennsylvania.      At the time Bonnie was new to the area and looking to connect with fellow artists.   The rest is history.   We have been good friends ever since.

I have travelled to Bonnie’s home in Spearfish, South Dakota and Bonnie has stayed with me in Wales and London.      We have also enjoyed working and playing in France with our mutual artist friend Mariethe Salort. 

Bonnie is currently studying at the University of Arizona…and several months ago conducted an online interview with me on how I use the internet and social media for my work in general and more specifically for teaching purposes.      As part of the same project she made this video.

This video doesn’t exist

Enjoy Bonnie’s beautiful work on her website at http://www.bonniehalseydutton.com

You will note that there are Magical Hummingbirds in the video:)  HummingbirdHQ.com

A Biento




The Importance of Keeping Sketch Books – 2

Carrying a sketch book at all times is a good idea, however this time of year is perfect to put a small sketch book, palette, brush and pen into your bag.    Then find a place in nature where you can doodle and enjoy….oh and don’t forget something to eat and drink…

Sketch books come in all sizes….and although I like to carry a pocket sized book for quick notes, every now and then I will use a bigger tablet, which was the case with this sketch book I used in France during the summer of 2012.

The first two rapid watercolours appealed because of the reflections of the boat and overhanging trees…plus it was such a peaceful place to sit on the banks of the Sein.



This sketch was painted on July 4th 2012….I was with artists, Mariethe Salort, and Bonnie Halsey Dutton….We had just enjoyed a lovely champagne lunch provided by dear Yves….our taxi driver:)

Courriers sur Sein  – watercolour and gouache 


We spent another blissful day in the beautiful village of Gerberoy.   I remember that the Tour de France was close by that day, and every time we passed riders, we yelled ‘Viva La France’ from the car…

This sketch was from the church which sat high up over the village of Gerberoy,  overlooking the beautiful French countryside.


Mariethe Salort managed to arrange for us to paint in Monet’s Garden at Giverney after all the tourists had gone.     It was a wonderful experience to sit in the gardens with no one else around.

Sitting in Monet’s Garden, all alone. 


A bridge over the lily pond at Monet’s Garden, Giverney. 



Remember to click on images to see a larger version.


You might even see some Magical Hummingbirds.




A Bientôt



Beginning the day with a magical hummingbird

It is important for me to have rhythm and structure in my life.      These two elements allow me the freedom to create.    I have also learned that the way I begin my day is vital.

Image I used to listen to the BBC news first thing, and realised that it was 99% negative and designed to ignite fear and anxiety in the listener.

ImageI now listen to soothing music for the first hour or two while either writing or doing a warm up watercolour.

ImageToday I start with painting a gentle magical hummingbird.     I have used hummingbird imagery in my paintings for over thirty years.    They symbolise for me the unseen magic in our world.

ImageI am using watercolour paper with a neutral ground which I applied some time ago.    Remember when working from a ground…it is important to let the ground colour dry at least 24 hours before painting…otherwise mud is likely to occur!

ImageBecause I have worked from a ground, I have applied Winsor & Newton Permanent White Gouache for my lightest areas.

This took about 20 minutes and along with the music was a very soothing exercise….and at the same time, I now feel awake and fortified to listen to the news or whatever else the day has to throw at me:)

Note in the finished sketch…I have allowed colours to bleed into one another…..

ImageI had a lovely visit with Bonnie Halsey Dutton, who is now staying in Paris with our mutual friend, the artist Mariethe Salort, and then she is on her way to a summer school in Orvieto, Italy.    I will write a separate blog about our time together along with some photographs.

Wishing everyone a peaceful, loving day.


A Bientôt


Water lilies in Monet’s garden at Giverny


Painting and observing water lilies is always a treat, but when those water lilies are in Monet’s Garden at Giverny, an even bigger one.

Two summers ago my friend the French artist, Mariethe Salort, took me and another American artist friend, Bonnie Halsey Dutton to paint in Monet’s garden, after everyone else had left!  In other words, for a few blissful hours we had the Garden to ourselves.

It was a little like being presented with the most exquisite table of food, and only being able to sample and digest a very small portion.

Having been to the Gardens a few times before, along with hundreds of other visitors, it was a deeply significant experience to be there in total silence, except of course for the beautiful sounds of nature.     I could imagine the great man himself,  wandering the gardens and all the time painting, endeavouring to capture the rich play of light.

I made as many rapid sketches as was possible……including lots of quick observations of the water Lillie’s.

Frame 1

Note how I quickly sketch out the Lillie’s and then immediately go into the negative space using all the reflected colours from the surrounding flora and fauna.

Before adding the colour, I wet the area surrounding the lilies…..keeping the lilies as dry, white paper.


Frame 2

I strengthen the colour surrounding the lilies and then add a little colour to the actual lily pads (still keeping some dry white paper).   I have indicated the pink flowers very loosely…..


Frame 3

This is a detail from another rapid sketch made on the same day – note the strong dark (a mix of burnt sienna and Prussian blue) surrounding the lily pads.     This is a reflection of heavy foliage from above.

It’s important to note how much dry, white paper is left.      This gives a watercolour, sparkle.


A bientot