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Exciting news !

A few folk told me I should apply for a new BBC NI programme looking for local artists …and I did!! The exciting news is that I was picked …along with four other artists to appear in three programmes being recorded at the moment! I haven’t started my three paintings – inspired by Belfast Artist William Conor – yet! Yesterday we started filming (7 hours!!) and we have a lot work ahead of us but I am EXCITED …to say the least. Wish me well … 32411175_1247645542034380_17017442110799872_nit’s going to be a busy two months 

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103 year old artwork!

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Well…not really 🙂 ! I have to admit I adore books. Not brand new… spine not yet broken books. I love books with a musty smell, pencil notes in the margin and foxing (is that the correct term?) on the pages. A few years back I bought a book for 50p in Belfast …falling apart but over 100 years old …how could I resist? But it’s been sitting doing nothing for three years. So in order to give these old pages a new life …I decided to do little watercolour and pen art on them. I like the way they’ve turned out. If you’re interested in having your own wee piece of history … just get in touch !


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Deaf Awareness Week – Art Session

Well…that’s another two hour teaching session under my belt!! 🙂  This time we had both deaf and hearing people painting together (with our BSL interpreter!) at a Deaf Awareness Week event.  We had a wonderful couple of hours using the Sostrene Grenes art materials!  We started out by drawing practice, then progressed to techniques of applying the watercolour paint and finally the small group produced some wonderful floral rings! It’s amazing to think that some of these people have never painted before!!  Wow…very impressed!  Well done x


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Update – Søstrene Grene art demo day!

Wow …what a day! To say that the Søstrene Grene art event was a success would be an understatement. We had so many folk trying the art supplies…and I could not have survived without my twin sister Denise of Denise’s Boxes / Denise McDowell Art!! She was superb with the younger ones who wanted to try to paint sunflowers and floral rings…amazingly patient and encouraging…thank you sis!! Thanks again to the staff and Manager – Nuala – from the Belfast Ann Street store – it was a joy!! 🙂 … so happy it went well and some folk even bought the art bundle to continue their creativity at home 🙂 !!

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Søstrene Grene Art Demo Day – Belfast



******** AN INVITATION TO YOU **********

I am thrilled to say that on Easter Saturday 31st March 2018 I will be in Søstrene Grene (Ann Street, Belfast) showing the customers how easy it is to do some watercolour floral paintings!! Demonstration begins at 1pm! I am so excited about working in partnership with this lovely store and want to thank the Manager – Nuala for her encouragement. The shop specialises in wonderful interior design, stationery, gift wrapping, crafts, kitchen goods and toys for children. I’ll be showing folk how to use the Søstrene Grene art products which are extremely good value! More information to follow !!


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Online Watercolour Sale – this Sunday!


… You are invited to my online Watercolour Spring Sale this

Sunday 18th March 2018 9pm GMT …

Why buy a print when you can treat yourself (or someone else!) a one of a kind original watercolour?

… remember there’s more people on the attending list – than there is artwork available.  First come … first served!

Watercolour Spring Sale

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Featured Artist – Annabel Burton

Happy New Year!! 

For a long time I have wanted to do some Featured Artist blog posts.  I have now plucked up the courage and asked some of my very favourite UK artists to answer some questions about their art journey.  Today I am thrilled to say that the lovely and talented Annabel Burton  is my very first featured artist.  I am very fortunate to have some original artworks in my home and my twin sister Denise also loves her little gallery of Annabel’s beautiful watercolours.


Many thanks for being so willing to share your insights Annabel!  If you wish to see more beautiful artworks please visit Annabel Burton Art facebook page and say hello!

How has your practice changed over time?
Having not practiced art for many ears while raising children, I feel now that I have so many ideas and just let them manifest. Previously I was too self critical which hampered progress. Now I see my art goes in a circular organic route, and consequently I feel much more free. I have learned to value the sketches and drawings as much as the finished piece and previously I felt it was necessary to do loads of prep work and then the final painting which is basically how I was taught at school. I don’t use a sketch book, but use my phone to take pictures, and to record colours, ideas etc. Everything can work on some level and sometimes I will cut up a painting and work on the pieces. There are no rules! I feel that my drawing has improved with practice and I have worked hard with colours too. I tend to have an emotional response to colour and their interactions with each other which I play around with all the time. I have also spent more time absorbing influences that I like and are drawn to. It is has been enormously helpful to be an artist at the current time of social media and I love how a picture can be completed, photographed and be out in the world in minutes. I have bypassed galleries altogether and I love that prints of my work can be bought with the week’s shopping. It makes it much more accessable and less elitist.


What themes do you pursue?

I tend to make art from I love which is fairly broad. I live in the countryside, adore flowers, am fascinated with the sea and shore, and have a fascination with small white cottages. This comes from being born in one and spending many years staying in a little white cottage by the sea – a theme that I never tire of as it so personal to me. I love the humble rather than the grandiose and like to explore things at a fundamental level – seed heads, grasses, trees, the lie of the land in this part of the north west of England. I can’t take people and animals seriously so there is usually a touch of humour here with a lot of affection. I also love certain 1950’s textile designers and print makers and their approach to the natural world.

What’s the best piece of art advice you’ve been given? 

Both my Mum (who was a brilliant artist but went on to pursue other things) and my art teacher at school said ‘Draw every day’. Also, ‘simplify’ but I can’t remember who gave me that advice.
Favourite or most inspirational place?
Currently, it’s the Highlands and islands of Scotland. I stayed in Inverness for a month when I was a student and also went last Autumn. I find the play between the sky and the land and sea totally incredible and breathtaking. I also love the emptiness. I also feel very drawn to the south west and those wonderful little fishing villages.

Is the artistic life lonely?

Yes, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I need time and space to explore ideas and my imaginings, which I can’t do if I am surrounded by other people all the time.


Thanks again Annabel!!  Please go over and give Annabel Burton Art page a like!!

…Another Featured Artist soon!

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30 Paintings in 30 days :)

I decided to start September with a challenge to myself – to complete 30 paintings in 30 days !  I had been given lovely watercolours from a colleague who didn’t use them.  This prompted me to start some floral wreaths in various tones.  Happy to say I’m keeping on course … here they are ….. so far!!

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