Friday, 31 July 2015



                 Slack Tide and Sky   Oils on canvas board   5 x 7 inches   

Loosely painted and abstracted, my love of sky and coast come together here in this gentle study.  The warmth of the sky and the cool water are intermingled to give the whole picture some cohesion.  I like the freshness of this little painting.  

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Amazing Times.

                       Marsh Magic   Oils on canvas board   6 x 6 inches  

Licence renewed in this oil study...artistic imagination and saturation create the glow over the marshes at Thornham.  

Depicting light on the marsh grasses I turned them into blue/green to stand out like a carpet of colour in this watery landscape.  Not quite sea, not quite landscape the marshes are a magical place for a painter.

Pushing the paint around abstractly and a few final flourishes...time to lift the curtain on this staged production.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

All shapes and Sizes.

                 Thornham Pools   Oils on canvas board   6 x 6 inches   SOLD

Shapes in the landscape are of interest to me as a painter.  I learned to 'see differently' several years ago when I began my painting life.   Texture and tonal colour also feature in my vision and I like to show this in my work.  In fact, I think my work is really about this and less about depicting reality.  

The marshes and mud around coastlines are a steady stream of inspiration for me.  This study is about the area around Thornham in Norfolk.   I began the study on a burnt sienna toned canvas board by scrubbing in the darker banks and mud parts...brush strokes and pressure on the support are showing up in the fore and middle ground.  I like to leave these as a textural gesture and little glowing parts of the under-painting make the image pop.

The blues (cerulean and phthalo with white and a touch of magenta) depict the watery parts and I loved their shapes...especially the C curve at the bottom.  The sky was played down to give more boost to the foreground.  Final parts were the luscious browns and violets of the wet mud, bottom left.  Spread on and sculpted with my brush I was delighted with the broad brush marks.  Leaving them alone and not spread about gives interest for the viewer. 

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Night beckons.

                 Restful Evening   Oils on canvas board  6 x 6 inches   

There is something relaxed about this painting.  A warm glow over the wet beach and mud banks.  Low tide relaxing before the turn.  

I used a coloured canvas board and some of the burnt sienna is glowing through on the foreground.   My palette again is phthalo blue, cerulean, yellow, burnt sienna, and magenta.  I like to keep a minimum of colours and use mixes of these for the work.  I find a small palette of colours is less likely to become muddied.  

All was going well and I walked away from the painting three times thinking it was finished but returned to the sky each time to 'improve' it.  Ha!   Fatal mistake.  I was aiming for some darker clouds at the top to show the night clouds drawing in.  Twice I messed it up but the third attempt was left as I realised it was the supporting act and the main stage was the warmth in the foreground.

I am happy with it...and like the little touches of cerulean brushed over the sea/horizon and the flicks of paint as my wrist twisted the brush to lightly place the highlights on the bottom.

Job done!  Walk away Anne.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Quiet please.

                       Dream Time   Oils on canvas board   5 x 7 inches  

Artists dream...well I know I do.  Mostly about the next painting, trying to keep up the momentum of a daily painting challenge.   So far, so good.  

One of my pleasures in front of the easel is to put a blank canvas or board up and make the first marks. Painting is all about making marks.  Some work, some are scrubbed out or 'tonked'.   Actually, tonking with some paper pressed onto the paint leaves a softer image and can be a saviour.  Piling paint on top of paint to recifiy mistakes is not helpful and usually wastes oils.

 For daily painting my favourite sizes are 6 x 6 and 5 x 7 inches.   I have some supports already coloured with a wash, maybe sienna or a blue or occasionally pink magenta.  Others are left white.  I like them all.

If I choose a coloured one little parts of this under-painting are allowed to peep through in parts and this can add interest.  This support was white and I began scrubbing on the paint (phthalo blue with a little magenta)  in the top right corner.  This was also carried down into the water and marshy parts.   Magenta, lemon yellow and white were used for the rest of the sky, sculpting a light part for the sun streaks.

The land is quite flat around this marsh area with the occasional post sticking up.  Boats use these waters around the Norfolk coastline and I have seen old relics resting at an angle in the mud.  I wanted this painting to be simple and empty of human presence so I focused on the shapes of the mud banks and the standing water.  

I used a half inch brush for most of the work to keep it loose.  A smaller short, flat brush was used for the reflective strokes, quickly and lightly 'whizzed' across the surface to suggest light on the water.  

Sunday, 26 July 2015


                Rosebay Time   Oil study on canvas board  6 x 6 inches 

July and Rosebay Willowherb time again.  Every year I am seduced by this wild plant and this year is no exception.  We mow paths through the long grass in our meadows and each side sports a large clump of this beauty.   It is said this plant likes to colonise ground where fire has been.  I can confirm it also likes to colonise wherever it chooses.

Brush strokes are vigorous and rough to give an impression of the exuberance of the plant's flower spikes.  I kept the grass and undergrowth grayed down to allow the pink to pop. The focus is on the pink.   Fun to paint too.

Saturday, 25 July 2015


                       Corn Corner   Oils on canvas board  6 x 6 inches

Standing corn last week in our neighbour's field.  The morning sun brought out the colours and attracted my attention.  Loosely painted, broad brush strokes suggest the undergrowth and 'rubbish' weeds along the ground.  

Friday, 24 July 2015

Gently does it.

                 Evening around Cromer    Oils on canvas board   5 x 7 inches   

Subtle colours for this little study.  I wanted it to stay gentle and calm.  It came together quite quickly and I refrained from adding more to 'tighten up'.  I used loose, scrubby brush marks for the cliffs and beach.  Simple strokes with a few flourishes to finish.  I like playing fast and loose...(with paint).

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Special Moments.

                      Indigo Beach   Oils on canvas board  7 x 5 inches   

Sunset and sensationalism...imagination and realism.  A little of each in this little oil study.  

Low tide and standing pools of water pick up the colourful reflections.  Mud, rocks and sand add a tonal contrast.  I expect by now viewers and readers will have gathered that I am a sunrise/sunset obsessive. 

Something about the oils and their lovely luscious feel invites me to sculpt the paint with my brush.  I find brushes are gentler on the support than a knife and I can create a twisting brush stroke to simulate water movement.  

 For a small support like this 7 x 5 inch I will normally use two brushes...a 2cm or larger for blocking in and sculpting the shapes.  Then a 1cm brush is mostly used for cutting in, highlights and 'swift flourishes'.  I like to use long and short flat synthetic brushes as they are soft and not harsh on the paint.  Scrubbing in with the oils on the canvas board wears out my brushes quite quickly but the 'fuzzy' worn brush comes in handy for dry brushing to create grasses, tree tops and other rough areas.   I never throw them away...they are part of my studio.

Oils are my choice for painting.  I have used acrylic and their advantage is quick drying but there is something about the feel and colour of oil that suits my personal way of working.  If I want the oils to dry faster I use an alkyd medium which can also double as a glaze.  

(My apology...this photograph has some glare as the paint is still wet)

Art on the Map Group Exhibition, Stamford Arts Centre, Lincolnshire 

I have five oil paintings in this exhibition.  Here is a photograph of the gallery during the hanging process...

These are part of my abstract collection 'Beyond Reality'.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

More glitter.

                                Nightfall   Oils on board  5 x 5 inches   SOLD

More fun at my easel.  Another chance to play with paint and create the effects of dramatic light at the coast.  These tiny paintings offer me a spontaneous way of making art.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015


           Sheep may safely graze   Oils on canvas board   7 x 5 inches  

A return visit to Hackthorn for my framer Graham Perkins to fit a painting for me.  Armed with my camera I walked around the lanes.  This picture is part of a large meadow and I selected this part for my painting.The house and its silver slate roof peeps through the trees and there is a red roof of a farm building nearby.  A whole flock of sheep grazed peacefully in the field but I only wanted a few.  These seven were like woolly blobs in the long grasses so I painted them like that.  

I like my art to be a suggestion rather than formal reality.  Capturing the essence of the place is more important to me than detail.  A quiet, calm pastoral scene in rural Lincolnshire.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Bird Sanctuary.

                 Lakeside, Whisby   Oils on canvas board   6 x 6 inches  

The old gravel pits at Whisby, near Lincoln have abundant wildlife on the lakes and ponds.  Created when the gravel workings ceased, this lovely Nature Park is open to visitors all year.  The sun highlighted the golden grasses on the far bank.  

Whippet loves a run here as a part of the reserve is open to dogs.  I took my camera last time and this scene captured my imagination.  I enjoyed loosely brushing the paint across the board to create the lights.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Early Birds.

                       Waking Up   Oils on canvas board  4 x 4 inches   

This is an awesome moment...the fact that I saw it at this early hour is incredible.  The birds were singing their hearts out...the colours and glow were spectacular and I was privileged to be there.  Our little village of Broxholme in rural Lincolnshire at 4.30 am in July.  One for the record book.

One of my great pleasures when painting is to loosely state the image rather than render tight detail.  I like the spontaneity of it all and when I feel the image is about right I shout in my ear...'walk away'.

This time I refrained from returning to add that little bit more and locked the studio door.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

When all is done.

                       After Sunset   Oils on canvas board   6 x 6 inches  

A favourite subject...the sun has set, I have had a great day in my studio and I am very happy with this little painting.   It has behaved very well and just shows some days are perfect for flexing a painting muscle.  Well done Anne!    

Friday, 17 July 2015


                         Before Sunset   Oils on board   5 x 5 inches   SOLD

Nature cannot be beaten and this little sketch is a poor substitute.  However, I gave it my all and really enjoyed myself.  Easel Mania.

Thursday, 16 July 2015


                           Creek    Oils on canvas board   6 x 6 inches   SOLD

Sun, sea, sand and oil paints.   Easel heaven in my opinion.  I love moving paint around to create an impression of how the East Coast is shaped by the sea.  Some creeks are deep and dangerous at high tide.  Walkers can be cut off by the advancing water.  At low tide the creeks make interesting shapes with the standing water catching the light.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Further impressions.

                            Mud Melody   Oils on board   5 x 5 inches   

Light on the landscape with reflections on the ebb tide.  The mud banks and pools are alive with colour in this second sketch of Morston in Norfolk.  I wanted to focus on the stripes of colour and keep the whole painting loosely stated.

This rough little sketch is as bright as a patterned scarf.  It might be tiny but I think it has made a statement.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Day Out.

                         Eastern Marsh   Oils on board  5 x 5 inches   SOLD

Tiny oil sketches are fun to paint and this subject is a favourite.  I like the S shape of the little creek, with the sunlight on the sand and grass.  A final flourish was the brush loaded with white to show surf at the water's edge.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Day Out.

               Wingaersheek in May   Oils on canvas board   7 x 5 inches  SOLD

A long way for a beach outing...this is in Massachusetts.    Ideal for families and friends with rocks to climb and sand for castles.  People were on the beach but I (removed) them to paint this little study.  

Actually...I have cheated as my daughter took the photograph and sent it to show me where she had been for the day with some friends.  I liked the rocks and creamy white sand with the coastline on the horizon.

I also like the name...Wingaersheek.

Sunday, 12 July 2015


                  Round a Corner  Oils on canvas board   6 x 6 inches   SOLD

Continuing my exploration of a village I came across this little house bounded by a tall hedge.  Not wanting to pry I took the reference photo away from the gate.  I like the element of mystery...there is a way into the garden...sunlight on the grass and some outbuildings behind.    The painting is mostly greens but relieved by the terracotta roofs adding warmth.

Using broad brush strokes I wanted to keep the painting like a sketch, suggesting rather than depicting detail.  

Saturday, 11 July 2015


                    Passing Time   Oils on canvas board   6 x 6 inches   

Waiting for my framer to finish fitting the new frames on some paintings, I walked around the village of Hackthorn with whippet and camera.  Lo and was some inspiration.  What a lovely old barn all mellowed and aged sitting waiting for me.  I liked the dark shadows in the open doorways and the bleached blue of the painted doors.  There was a slash of sunlight on the meadow with nettles and grasses up against the walls.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Eastern Promise.

                    Capture the Day   Oils on canvas board  5 x 7 inches   

Up at 3.30 and out to see the sun rising.  What a spectacular sight...saturated colour and too good to miss.  Loosely painted to give a sense of immediacy I wanted to capture the essence of the moment.   Two hours later and the spectacle had gone but the moment was mine.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Sing a song of summer.

                Boontown in Summer   Oils on canvas board   6 x 6 inches   

Across a lush, green field Boontown Cottage nestles in a country garden.  The grit path leads to the cottage.  There is a cattle grid at the gate next to the road to deter the bull and his ladies from roaming.  

I love the gentle feel of this little study and hope it says something about this little corner of rural Lincolnshire. 

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Come on in...

                        Flower Store   Oils on canvas board   7 x 5 inches   SOLD

On a corner in Horncastle there is a little flower, fruit and vegetable shop.  It was a wonderful subject to practice angles and perspective.  Not a photographic replica...just my interpretation of a happy little shop.   Choose your flowers and come on in...the light is on and the door is open.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Early Bird.

               Dawn over Boontown   Oils on canvas board   5 x 7 inches   

Getting up at 3.30 am is not something I would want to do every day.  However, on this particular morning there was the promise of a spectacular sunrise so after a pot of tea and some toast I set off down the lane with my camera to observe the light effects in the sky and on the fields.   

It felt cool and dewy and quite ethereal with a golden glow cast low across the ground. Parts of the fields had a blueish tinge too.  The sky was a mix of blue, bronze, peach and yellow with a bright slash of bright white where the sun was appearing behind the trees.  

I walked until there was a gap in the hedge where the path went over the field to the cottage.  From there I could see the sky at its best and it was a perfect backdrop for my painting. I took a photograph and came back to my studio.   Fifteen minutes later the low coppery glow had gone but my photo was enough for me to start a sketch painting of the scene.   

This little study of the sun behind Boontown Cottage will remind me of this beautiful morning when no-one was around except for the birds.  

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Glazed over.

                      Bay Watching   Oils on canvas board   5 x 7 inches   

I love every part of painting a seascape...even if I ruin it and have to scrap it or wipe over and start again.  It is so exciting to watch it coming to life, adding the little flourishes with my brush to make the sparkles or suggestions of surf on the water.

I didn't have to wipe this one, luckily, as I told myself to 'walk away' and leave it overnight to dry a little.  Next day, I thought parts of the cliffs could benefit from having a transparent glaze to add depth and tone. I used a touch of ultramarine and permanent rose with some alkyd medium to darken some of the foreground and the grassy cliffs above the beach. 

I refreshed the beach areas with a sweep of paint to suggest sun on sand.  
Finally, I added the yellow in the foreground for the gorse bushes and suddenly the image came to life.

The sea and sky are close toned and kept quietly in the background as I wanted to focus on the curves of the sandy bay with the shallow sea.  It is a simple study which might be useful as reference for a larger piece sometime.  I like it and it makes me happy.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Dramatic Performance.

                    Evening Drama   Oils on canvas board  7 x 5 inches  

The stage is set for a dramatic performance as the sun is setting.   Capturing the light and colour to create a sense of time and place is an exciting subject for me to paint.  Loose, understated brush strokes help to keep the scene uncluttered.   The colours and tonal changes attracted me to paint this simple study. 

Friday, 3 July 2015

Pause and reflect.

             Rhododendron Corner   Oils on canvas board   5 x 7 inches 

Re-kindling past memories of showtime in this garden.  Rhododendrons are in flower and this corner of Belsay Quarry Garden is the show-stopper.   The great arch is very high and this small landscape board might not be the ideal format but I wanted to focus on the side walls with the mass of rhododendron flowers in this corner.  It is the perfect position for the colourful shrub which invites the visitor to pause and admire before going through the archway to the next delight.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

On the bend.

                      Sunny Paddock    Oils on canvas board   6 x 6 inches  

Last Saturday I took some canvases to my framer Graham Perkins at Forge Arts in Hackthorn near Lincoln.  Whilst he was fitting the new frames I walked around the little village with my whippet.  At the end of this lane the paddock was lit by the sun and inspired this small study.  I took the liberty of removing the gate (in the painting, not for real) to invite the viewers eye into the field.

The cottage was also interesting but I played down the details so I wasn't distracted from the focus.  The field won my attention on this occasion.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Jostling Match.

                       Homestead   Oils on canvas board   6 x 6 inches 

This jumble of plants, trees and shrubs is next to our bungalow and my garden studio.  The garden is overflowing and I have to push my way through but it is wildlife heaven.  Birds, butterflies and bees are in residence here.  It was difficult to be totally realistic and I wanted to create more of an impression of summer so I stuffed them onto this little canvas with abandon.