Thank you Jean Haines for agreeing to be our Featured Artist this month. I love the spontaneity and freshness of your Watercolours.
Living with a Passion for Watercolour
Jean Haines SWA ,SFP
Thank you so much for inviting me to be the featured artist of the month. An invitation which I believe is a wonderful compliment and honour. I never take for granted how lucky we are to be able to share with friends and fellow artists from all over the world with the technology now available to us. We can be inspired and hear of art that once we may otherwise never knew existed.
Arab Face Appearing from a First Wash
As a child I remember watching a young teacher giving a talk to our class. I was in awe of her energy, thirst for life and enthusiastic way of sharing her knowledge. She held a painting of a small blue flower for all to see. That single moment in time led me to my earlier career as a botanical artist. But I have never forgotten the young woman who enthralled the class with such simple beauty on paper. I was fortunate to have incredible art teachers throughout my education who saw in me what I did not. Only years later do I now fully understand what they were trying to tell me. They thought I was born to be an artist. All I know is, that as an adult I wish I hadn't waited so long to believe in their faith in me!
"Jacob" An earlier portrait.
I met, fell in love with and married a wonderful man whose career took us all over the world. Whilst constantly moving I never tired of learning from masters I met in so many countries. In Asia I studied brushwork from an established artist from Shanghai. Her words of wisdom have remained with me and I pass on her wonderful tips in my own workshops. I absorbed the vibrancy of colour from my time in Dubai. Here I met amazing artists from India and Pakistan who gave me so much in the way of influences for portraying subjects that are full of life and character. This was my time to study portraiture and I did eagerly. Taking in every single tip and piece of advise.
Pinks, a floral study coming to life using placement of the subject in a simple composition.
I write features for a variety of magazines. Each time I aim to add something new as my exploration into technique leads me to meeting manufacturers who have vast ranges of new shades available. Years ago I would have worked totally with one brand of product. Now I am very aware of the need to keep up to date with what is "out there" on a regular basis. Life as an artist has never been so rich because via the internet we know what other artists are using and we can share our discoveries so easily. Colour is so important to my life and art so I always look for something that is exciting and new to keep my watercolour fresh and alive.
The cockerel from the cover of my new book and a favourite painting because of the vibrant orange combining with red in the main section of my subject. I won an award for a body of cockerels during an exhibition and they seem to now follow me everywhere!
I do believe that listening is a vital key to being an artist. Not just to experienced artists who may encourage us in our journeys but to our chosen subjects as well. Often I find mine lead my brushstrokes almost guiding me to where I will lay colour next. I work minus a preliminary sketch as I allow colour alone to build my compositions which are often impressions of what I see. I aim to tell a story in each new painting, leaving sections for the viewer to fill in using their own imaginations. This communal bond between us tends to add to the magic within each piece. And I don't use the word magic lightly. I often watch as subjects appear half way through a painting session and feel mesmerised by how they have come alive simply with colour and brushwork. I have painted for so long now and yet I still feel a sense of awe when pigments interact creating incredible patterns.
I exhibit in a number of established galleries and hold solo shows during each year. Right now I am looking forward to 2013 as I have some very exciting events already booked which will ensure my brushes move continually on fabulous new subjects that have not yet been unveiled. I hold international watercolour workshops in Hampshire, UK. and I love that artists are attending them from all over the world including Vietnam, Iceland, Canada. France, Italy and South Africa. I look forward to each season and meeting new artists on every session. I feel so blessed to continually keep meeting wonderful people who often stay in touch long after the sessions are over. In Autumn 2012, I will be holding workshops in Texas and New York which truly is very exciting and I can't wait!
Passionate about working in this medium, my enthusiasm led me to writing. Taken on as an author, my publisher launched my second book "Atmospheric Watercolours" earlier this year in may 2012. To hear it is selling well in so many countries, in all honesty, has taken me by surprise and overwhelmed me a little because all I have ever wanted to do is share my love for working in watercolour. And encourage others to enjoy painting in this medium as much as I do. I wanted to give all I knew to others so that if the day ever comes when I cannot paint, everything I have enjoyed will be there in a book .
I have simply shared my love of working in my chosen medium in a way that I hope others will follow to either learn how to paint, gain motivation and enthusiasm and also reach their own dreams.
If anyone had asked me what my dreams were years ago I would have said " I want to be an artist ". I still do and I cherish each day I am able to move my brush because capturing a subject on paper is the most thrilling of all feelings in life. I want others around me to know this pleasure and joy and most of all, I want everyone who has a dream related to art to see that vision become a reality. I dreamt of writing a book, being in galleries and exhibiting. I wanted to write art features. I never dreamt of having my own brush range but I do with "Rosemary&Co" and I love them. I still have dreams for the future. Maybe if I come back in a few years time I can say what they were and if they came true also!
"Beauty of Venice"
The cover from my first book " How to Paint Colour and Light in Watercolour"
For me, I see beauty around me constantly. I am always on the happiest of highs and I love life. I have so many fabulous friends who I care about so very much and a terrific family. Without anything else in it, my life is rich but if I can just have paper, watercolour pigments and my brushes as well for the rest of my life along with the gift of sight I will be very blessed!
Full details of Jeans books, exhibitions and art can be found on her web site