Tag Archives: spontaneous watercolours

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. Joseph Campbell

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.   Joseph Campbell.  (1938-1987)


The following watercolour sequence is about – spontaneity and letting go. 


An American mythologist, writer and lecturer, Joseph Campbell’s works cover the elemental aspects of the human experience. 


I have enjoyed his books, particularly ‘The Hero’s Journey’


When I need a dose of courage….I read Joseph Campbell. 


A Bientôt

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



Energy and Movement

Capturing a sense of energy and movement in painting is a constant source of pleasure for me, and watercolour is the perfect medium to bring a sense of spontaneity and life into my work.


Frame 1

To achieve a sense of energy and movement it’s important that I experience within myself the same feeling as the bird taking flight.

Being part of my subject rather than a separate entity brings an understanding that all of life is interconnected.

In this frame I have sketched out the goose using a black felt tip pen.


Frame 2

I then wet the area around the sketch (the negative space) and apply strong, juicy colour.     Note that I leave the goose as dry, white paper.


Frame 3

I then bring some of the background colour into the body of the bird, along with other colours.   Note that I am using very loose brush strokes, which emphasise the sense of energy and movement.


Frame 4

In the final frame it’s important to note that all the white areas are dry, white paper.


As it’s my 68th birthday, later today I will post some fun pictures from early childhood on:)

A bientot