Sunday, January 31, 2010


Not exactly feeling in the romantic mood for Valentine's exactly (don't get me wrong, still feel romantic but that's supposed to be all year and not one day). Instead I'm thinking commercially as all businesses do around this time (or actually right after Christmas when the Valentine's stuff goes out onto shelves). Still thinking, and hoping, for some stock material.

I may do some baking because I have some nice cookie cutters and some heart sprinkles, though. But that's next week.

Food (again)

So the food theme continues. I keep thinking that maybe such images would be good for stock sites so we'll see. I have to look into that more this week. I have a whole to-do list in my head for getting back on track and trying to achieve my goals. Another is to set up a website for consultancy or at least work out the details and get some photographs taken and some text developed. Lots to do this week.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

January 29-30th - More food

The food theme continues. We have a sliced lemon, a spring onion, a brussel sprout, ginger, a sweet potato, some green beans, some cloves of garlic and a sliced tomato (roma variety). Good enough to eat? Don't know but I feel like my dinner now.

More time for painting tomorrow and another cold day so the perfect excuse. I got all of my weekend chores done on Friday so no excuses or interruptions. Yay!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Thought I should be doing more practical images in case I might get some freelance work. Ideally I would love to get some magazine work. I actually do have images published but they're of the academic variety. It would be nice to have something more fun. So food could be a start. We got a fabulous subscription for Fine Cooking for Christmas 2008. Due to a slight hiccup, we're just getting them now. Great recipes and they inspired these images.

New York in the pink

Today's effort. Very sketchy, maybe shouldn't have been. Saw this pink shop along either Prince or Spring St. (I've changed the name of the store). And I always forget to erase pencils marks. Sometimes I like the addition of the pencil drawing below but other times I wish I had erased before I scanned the picture. I'm just in too much of a hurry to get scanning and blogging.

Paris - end of the row

Just a quick sketch last night. I had tidied my desk and put my regular paints in their fab new wooden case so I just used my watercolour pencils. I also added some black ink for a change. And voila, as they say. Not entirely happy with it (bit wonky, don't look too closely).

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Experimenting with the 30s

Cheering myself up with some painting tonight. But isn't that what I'm supposed to be doing every night?

Anyway, I was thinking about 1920s and 30s poster art and the blocks of shades beside each other. Two of these images are based on stills from the movie Atonement. I loved the costume in that movie especially the green dress. It was more of an emerald green than I've portrayed, though.

July 19th - stuff

I wasn't really in the mood to paint but maybe that's when you should. And it looks like I'll still have time to do just that since I didn't get the job that I was up for. Looking for a plan B. Until then...

Sunday, January 17, 2010


For a change of country, here's Spain. Barcelona to be exact. I went to Madrid, Bilbao and Barcelona with a friend in 2003. I loved it, especially the architecture in Barcelona, like this window.

January 15th - Verona (again)

Another Italian inspired painting (there may be more). No painting yesterday because we were out roaming around our old neighbourhood with my new lens. After putting it through its paces I was tuckered out and didn't even upload them yet from the camera. I'm going to go out again tomorrow (avoiding a certain phone call) so I'll probably wait until after that. I'm sure I'll be able to fit in a painting or two today. We'll see. Chores and visiting to do first.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

London rooftops

Well I did Parisian rooftops so I had to do London, right? This is based on a photo taken from our swanky hotel room (one night only and a fabulous deal). The name of the hotel escapes me but it was the best place I've ever stayed. That was is 2005 and the same trip that I bought my wedding dress. Great trip.

Verona, Italy

Thought I would look back at some of my old photos and thought Italy was a perfect starting point. Think I went there in 2001 or could be 2000. Anyway, I wish I had the camera I have now or at least a digital camera then instead of worrying about film. It just means that I'll have to go back one day. Oh well, I got some good shots and thought I would explore them in watercolour.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Living etc.

Still leafing through the January issue. Better day today. I got out to the gym and then up to the Danforth shops and sat in a cafe. I was trying to avoid actually taking the call to tell me if I got the job or not but I got an email instead saying the decision was being postponed until next week. Guess I do the night-before worrying all over again.

Here's an cupboard and table and chair from a feature on a woman living in Cologne.

Playing around - January 12th

Yesterday I just felt like I had to do something late in the afternoon. It had been a bit of a down day (etsy problems, still waiting to hear about a job etc.) so I took myself out of the house, went to a nice cafe after taking some pictures at the beach, and then bought myself two magazines. I figured I could because I went out on Monday with the express idea to buy a lens (birthday present) and to use money from my aunt and uncle and I bought nothing. I just love the bright colours in the British magazine Living etc. I just love that magazine period. It's so good about featuring homes in other countries too. I also bought a photography magazine with some great tips. I was too tired last night to give that one my full attention.

Anyway, so here's the result of playing with my watercolour pencils and being inspired by Living etc.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mamie Gateaux, Paris

Well, so much for knuckling down and doing more painting in 2010! But I do have an excuse. First, interview on Thursday and then exhausted that night. Second, well Friday there was no excuse except feeling like not wanting to do anything. Saturday, party and preparing for that. I could have got more done today but there was cleaning up after the party and putting the tree out and the Christmas decorations away. So there are all my excuses and here's another Parisian shop front. Not very happy with it, bit boring, but I will work harder.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Eiffel landscape

Just a quick watercolour pencil sketch based on a photo in the Marie Claire Maison magazine (Sept '09) while I waited for my birthday lunch with my parents (thank you). It was my birthday yesterday. I did bring a sketchbook with me to the cafe (my treat to myself was to go and sit in a cafe for part of the day) but instead I emailed friends (yay free wifi!), drank my large chai latte, looked up lenses for my camera and mostly just wrote in my sketchbook notes for my interview tomorrow (yikes!). So that was my day. Had a lovely evening with the hubby who bought me a book with my Paris photographs printed in it (very sweet) and never got around to painting. So that's my excuse. I did a quick calculation the other day and I have to pick up the pace a bit more. Thought I was doing well lately but that's not making up for periods when I didn't or I was away. Must work harder towards this in 2010.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Parisian rooftops

My largest watercolour for a long time (21.5 x 8"). I actually had to stitch it together in Photoshop. You probably don't know this, or maybe you've guessed, but I work quite small usually. So this was fun and I was using paper that I used to use (Arches) but forgot how different it was from the pads of paper I usually use (which go from Fabriano, Hahnemuhle, Canson, Strathmore and Cartiera Magnani to name the most often used). I forgot how much the paint bleeds into the paper and how it almost has a sandpapery texture.

Anyway, I might try some more like this but maybe smaller next time but still "panoramic."

Saturday, January 2, 2010

African theme

Doing the same sort of pictures mounted on wood panels covered with plexi. These are for a friend who just had a baby and who has done an African theme for the nursery. So we have a giraffe, an African daisy and a butterfly from Africa. Hope she likes them.

Friday, January 1, 2010


A quick sketch of a street in Leicester. Parts of the town are quite pretty. Think that's enough work for today although I should be working on a map for a publication but it's a holiday, right?

Happy New Year!

...and time to play today. I photographed some lace and also scanned some paper to create my own textures so I've been playing with photography today but onto painting next. Here's a sample.