Welcome to Polly's Blog

Welcome to Polly's Blog
Watercolour, humour, this and that

Monday, 31 December 2012


I can't begin to tell you how inspirational I've found starting  my 2 blogs Painting & Nonsense (where I hope to make you smile)  and My Watercolour Blog which is more serious. I've met some lovely people and you have given me the joy of painting back.  I thank you.

I wish my arty blog friends a Wonderful 2013.

If you have your health you have wealth
If you have friends you are rich
If you have arty bloggy friends you have inspiration a-plenty
(Polly: 31.12.12 A.D.)

My New Year Arty Resolutions

1. Paint more often
2. Paint different subjects and media
3. Experiment more
4. Don't use ultramarine in every painting
5. Enjoy the battle, be brave and have fun throughout each battle

Have you any arty resolutions?

Friday, 28 December 2012


We've just come back from spending Christmas in the Lake District.  Typical Lake District weather!  Even so it was still very beautiful.  I never tire of the views. 

This is a view of the lake at Grasmere looking towards the village.   It's no wonder Wordsworth loved it so, and William Heaton Cooper painted it so often.   Every day and every hour the light is changing, never mind the changing seasons.  It is one of my favourite places.

Sunday, 16 December 2012


Here is the watercolour of a robin, done without a photo. Yes, I know that's brave!  You may guess it's a robin, but thought I had better tell you so that you weren't wondering if it was or not.  Busy week.  Art Club do, Art Class get together, day out with my lovely Sister and that's for starters.  So this will probably ..... not definitely ..... be my Christmas blog to you.

Friends are gifts you give yourself.

 Have a wondrous Christmas wherever you are.  Luv from Polly

Thursday, 13 December 2012


Went to my art class yesterday and forgot to take my photographs so this one is sorta made up.   I had a few conversations and helped wash the tea things, so this is all I got done!  Well I tell a lie as I have a robin too (he is terrible really I needed the photo) but want to splatter some snow on him.

Next week about 40 from the club are going to the pub next door to our club room, followed by a sorta normal club with mince pies etc. We usually have Jacobs table and quizzes! Are any other art clubs having ' a bit of a do' ?

Thursday, 6 December 2012


My hubs brought some lovely apples home, which reminded me of a painting I did on one of Hazel Soan's wonderful workshops.  She used all different reds for these apples. How exciting was that, when normally you add a little red here or there. It was painted on Khadi paper.  We wet each apple first and then added either transparent washes or opaque, and looked at the effect of adding a tiny amount of yellow, to give the apple a glow e.g. Cad Yellow which pushes into the red wash, or Indian Yellow,  which gives a very soft hint of gold.  Her control of the paint is so easy for her. This exercise is on her DVD The Essence of Watercolour.

 I know on her courses and holidays she usually uses a limited palette, but here she introduced me to Scarlet Lake, Quinacridone Red, Quinacridone Gold, Perylene Green and Indanthrene Blue. Yummy, as she would say!  The course was about colour, and instead of painting boring squares of this and that, we experimented (yes that is Hazel too) with these lovely hues. She explained lifting, staining, opaques etc in a  very exciting way. And did you know that opaques are easy to spot in your palette as their colour is really bright, yet the transparent ones are so dark that you can hardly tell what colour they are.

 We painted Masai, grapes, landscape, her favourite elephants etc. I now have my main palette and one with my special colours.  A very inspirational weekend.

Saturday, 1 December 2012


I've had some good advice by fellow bloggers Sharon Whitley and Laura Moore to crop my original painting of Carefree Days.  Well, like a good little pupil I have done as I am told, and yes teacher(s) always know best.  Here is the result, but only tried using photoshop.

Perhaps a little grey/brown in the sky, would give it more atmosphere.  Could even crop a little more. But I can see the improvement, can you?

Many thanks.

Friday, 30 November 2012


This painting has been taken to the four local exhibitions I enter each year.  It has run it's course and has been taken out of it's frame, to be tucked into one of the large boxes I have full of finished and 'in progress' paintings.  It was one of those paintings that I hardly remember doing, so to me I think was a success.  I now have 5 paintings framed and ready for next year.  I feel that I haven't painted so well this year, my inspiration has left me for most of the year.  My working area at home has been in dire need of  repair (lean-to come conservatory) has been so damp and smelley that I havent worked in there for 18months or so, so have only worked at my art class and club.  The conservatory is having to be rebuilt ££££ so I will get my studio back.  But will I get my inspiration back ............ I hope so.
I feel the sky is too pale and plain and I should have splattered more water.  Perhaps you have  an idea to improve it.
I really do appreciate anyone who has taken the time to look at my blog(s) it makes my day!!!
At the moment I am asking people to comment on Modern Art, ( it makes me feel grumpy), on my other blog, if you would like to leave a comment I would be chuffed.
dated 25 November 'Liverpool Art Exhibition'

Wednesday, 28 November 2012


Recently at our Art Class, we had a model  She was excellent, sadly my work wasnt.   It's something I know that I should work on.  So for once you will see not my better work but something I battled with.  Each one is about a 20min sketch,  A2 cartridge paper using a large squirrel brush, with minimal or no drawing.  The monochrome one is done using pigment similar to paint Rembrandt would have used and is made basically from burnt wood and tar.  Lovely to use, no drawing.  Here are four of the six sketches that I did. I enjoyed the battle!

Sorry pics all over the place been trying to place them, impossible.

I went to a contemporary art exhibition at the Liver Bldg in Liverpool. Was not to my liking!!!!!!!!!!!  If you would like a rant about modern art please leave a comment on my other blog pollyluvspaintingetc.blogspot.com dated 25 November 'Liverpool Art Exhibition' would love to hear other peoples opinions...................

Friday, 23 November 2012


I have just been looking at one of the blogs I follow Sharon Whitley who has done a brilliant card for her brother's 40th birthday, of him on his bike in all the cylcists gear and going at a helluva speed! Also today I bumped into a friend of mine who has become a great grandmother, I can't believe it, I think she is kidding me.  These two incidents reminded me of some cards I have done for people close to me who have had babies and cards that I painted for them. I so enjoyed doing them.  Here they are:-

They were all 5.1/2" x  4" on rough  paper.   I put the babies names on the trainers, initials on the booties, in the bubbles.  It was such fun researching subjects and miraculously I liked each one.  I stuck them on coloured card in the obvious blue and pink.  Can't wait to do the next one in the New Year for my nephew and his wife.  I hate doing anything twice, so I will have to get my thinking cap on.
Been having a rant about contemporary art at Liverpool on my other blog pollyluv's painting and I'd love your comments.  Don't want to go on about it here on my ' posh'  site

Friday, 16 November 2012


Liverpool is a place with many wonderful memories for me, from being taken to see Santa in Blackers and Lewis's when a child, feeling privileged in my teens to see the Beatles and other Mersey Groups or Bands as they say today, to the present day. I still visit the city regularly.  A city that is always buzzing and improving.  There is to be a big art and craft exhibition there later in the month in the Liver Building, which reminded me of some paintings I have done myself.  Let me show them to you

The exhibition will be at the famous Liver Building on the watefront.  This is my version called  'Lorra Birds Over the Liver Building'  16" x 10" lots of wet in wet and gold pen.

Guess who?  Enough said.  This is also 16 x 10 watercolour and with gold pen
Albert Dock on the Waterfront.  My hubby using binoculars to see a cruise ship sailing in the Mersey.  No not a Ferry Across the Mersey silly!  Though the ferry ships do sail around the ships when they dock.
Ofcourse you realise that I am showing you my best work and not the many, many failures.
Have a great weekend!



Saturday, 10 November 2012


Paintings for an exhibition at CHET which is Crosby Hall Education Trust, the profit from the sales go towards helping underprivileged children in the area.  You can have 10 pics, but I am opting for 5 (I never think I have anything decent, my art teacher Marion helps me find something).  This year they are all watercolours. 

Just got back from the glorious Lakes, remembered I had painted this previously of  Derwentwater, well it's going in the exhibition.

Was painted on the spot while on a course in Provence with Hazel Soan. See the man painting in the shade?  I can remember the heat, the gentle buzzing of the bees and all the butterflies.  Magical! The ultimate for an artist Painting in Provence!

I was inspired to do this when I saw the work of Viktoria Prischedko. It was such fun.  You can really see the negative shapes.

These two panoramas were inspired by Alvaro Castagnet after going on a course with him to Yorkshire. Top one is of Staithes. 
If you live in the Liverpool, Crosby area pop to see the exhibition, its in a lovely building, an old barn, most of the artists are professionals, what the hell am I doing there I ask myself, and there are stalls with jewellery, cards, crafts etc.  Its at Back Lane, Little Crosby (L23 4UA) between Fri 23 Nov and Sun 25 - 10 am to 5pm
If you go let me know what you think of the exhibition.

Saturday, 27 October 2012



Perhaps you remember the above programme, which finished about 10 years ago. Well I was on it!
Each day 3 contestants painted the same scene, which was chosen for them.  I loved the first series and the idea of three different style of painters painting the same view with completely different results.  I applied to Channel 4 and after an interview in a hotel room in Bakewell, was lucky enough to be chosen for the Peak District.   On the morning of the filming I felt ill, literally sick,  apparently I was white. I was shocked at the subject (Trams at Chrich Tram Museum) being a landscape painter.  I was talking to someone before it all started, he was really friendly and put me at ease (more on him later)

When I got painting I was ok, but dreaded each interview, I didnt want to come over as a complete idiot becuase I am not particularly eloquent.  Well, despite the rain, the camerman with the camera 6" away from my hand, interviews, tram noises, school parties, plus photographer and author, who were writing a book of the series, in the end I really enjoyed it. 

When they came to do my main interview I must have been rubbish, because the same man I had been talking to earlier, asked if he could do the interview.  He only just happened to be the director!  He just asked the same questions he had asked in the morning and I was fine talking to him. Needless to say, I didnt win, but Sheila Gill did I would have picked her myself. ( She is a brilliant artist have a look at her site).  It was a wonderful day.

From the Book

By transmission time I was a nervous wreck and worried how I would appear.  It was very emotional, sitting with my Hubby, watching ME on tv!  I even influenced the programme!  When the director asked me what music I would pick for the day (as I had admitted to painting to music) and I said brass bands, I noticed that they started the second half with brass band music.

It was strange being stopped by people who had seen the programme.  I felt like a star.  I was featured in the local newspapers and did a talk for a local U3A.

There was a book about the second series (so I am immortal and in print), and the work was exhibited in the Mall Gallery in London just off Trafalgar Square.  What a buzz that was.  Mine was not for sale.  A very special memory.

My finished painting, colours are a bit washed out as I photographed the painting in the book,  the middle tram was cream.
Painted at home 
I hope you enjoyed sharing my experience, albeit briefly.

Do you remember the programme and do you think it should come back?

P.S. You can watch the first series on Youtube.

Monday, 22 October 2012


I have just been out, and on seeing the beautiful autumn colours thought I would share with you some of my autum paintings.
One day that we were in the Lake District (UK) I starting collecting these lovely leaves to paint when I got home.  I wrapped them up in wet kitchen roll.  I painted quite slowly for me!  A study really.  My art teacher suggested I put some trees in, so I did.  I got the idea of them from Viktoria Prischedko in a book called Realistic Abstracts.  Look at her site she is wonderful.

The photo for this was taken on the same holiday as above, its called Penny Rock Wood on the shore of the Lake at Grasmere.  I decided to paint the leaves using a natural sponge, and candle wax for texture on the near tree trunk.

We have friends who live in Carlisle who we were visiting when I took this photograph.  The little family group were what took my fancy. It is a place called Talking Tarn! They don't know how it got it's name.

Enjoy the beautiful autumn colours before they are blown away.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Hazel Soan Workshop


Well I'm getting too clever by far.  I already have one blog on the go called pollyluvspaintingetc.blogspot.com which is really about my painting in general and a bit of this and that Polly luvs painting and other nonsense.  This will be my serious blog about my main love of  art which is watercolour, with its unpredicability, which to me is fun, you never know what it is going to do. this first post I will just give you some examples of my work, then later will go into more detail about various paintings, holidays, courses and tips etc.  I am, though, only a keen amateur artist who still goes to class in Formby and is a member of a local art club Churchtown Art Club

Here goes.....................here's some of my recent work. I hope some of you like what I have

The above were done whilst on a workshop with the wonderful Hazel Soan in London last month (Sept 2012) It was a people workshop. I found it the hardest one of hers that I have been to, and it shows me where my weaknesses are, I couldnt have tackled the above subjects without her guidance.

Do check out her website.  The last two summers she has spent travelling across the USA and has painted some excellent work. See below.
Hazel Soan's painting of Tombstone, Arizona

Hazel Soan's painting