Thursday, 25 June 2020

Man’s Best Friend

Over the years I have painted Man’s Best Friend a number of times so today when I was asked to send images of my work I decided a blog post including the doggie portraits would be a good idea. 

Norbert - watercolour on paper 
Kinsey’s pup - watercolour on paper

Laura’s pup - watercolour on paper

Laura’s pup - watercolour on paper

Blaze - oil on canvas 

Dakota, above and Belle below - both oil on canvas 

Monday, 20 April 2020

Autumn in the Studio

Update 15th May 2020

Tuesday class is underway, but newcomers are welcome. Please contact me at

It’s been a month since the Hamilton Road Studio moved online using Zoom. Theoretically Term 2 starts this week. It seems that we will remain online for some time to come so I would like to offer more variety. I have created a new online class using Zoom and will work in the same manner as the existing weekly classes where the artists interact with each other, share work and develop new skills.

Experimenting with materials

The emphasis will be on experimentation with simple materials that can be done in a small space - the kitchen table for instance.There will be a theme set prior to each week’s class with suggested materials that will be needed. Each week I will demonstrate some techniques so I will be experimenting as well.

The new class will run in addition to the regular three hour weekly classes which will continue as scheduled. 

I wanted to offer something shorter (although we do have time in abundance!) and more affordable. We will also be recycling older work that’s been lying around for some time - think collage, concertina books from paintings and revisiting previous themes that can be more fully developed. 
If you don't have Zoom please use the following link and download the app.

You will need to register and create a password. You can use your desktop, laptop, iPad, tablet or phone  as any of these will work. The larger screen will enhance your experience.

Monday, 13 April 2020

Studio classes - one month on...

Since establishing the weekly classes in my Studio almost ten years ago, one of the most treasured aspects is the strong sense of community that has been nurtured here. I love that I have  seen experimentation and developing creativity; artists mastering skills and techniques; and also the sharing of experiences - often happy and sometimes sad. 

It’s been a month now that we meet, not in my little Studio but online, I am both happy and thankful that this sense of community remains. 

I thought I would give you an idea of how it all works. 

The class schedules remain unaltered and we meet on the same day at the same times - routine is good. I start a class in Zoom and then the artists sign in. By the way, we have had no security issues using Zoom. At times the connection might be a little slow, (thanks to the whole world beong constantly online) otherwise it's been relatively easy. 

We can see and hear each other; have a chance to touch base and chat about our week; share work in progress and offer suggestions, advice and encouragement. The community atmosphere of sharing and friendship remains. 

The smiling faces of the Saturday group.

Before the class starts, I am sent photographs of work in progress. Then by using my iPad connected to my laptop we can all view the work. I can annotate the photograph showing any possible amendments. This is particularly useful when beginning a work and the design needs to be altered. I have worked like this in the Studio for some time so its good to be able to continue in the same way. 

Here we were talking about the contrasting vertical and horizontal aspects of this lovely watercolour of giraffes, and how the shadows at the bottom would add a strong design feature. 

This is a photograph of a still life set up was sent to me. Here, using Procreate I can demonstrate the wide range of colours found in the photograph - it shows that green is not just one green and brown has many variations too. 

Term 2 

Since none of us were going anywhere a communal decision was taken to continue with classes over Easter so the first term will happily roll into the second.


If anyone would like to join us please send me an email at, we would love to have you. There is also the opportunity for one-on-one sessions and individual mentorship. I would love to discuss your personal requirements. 


A recent mail from a Studio attendee:

Hi Carol,

Count me in Carol. Same time, same place.
I commend you on the effort you have put in. I was so surprised how you managed to make the class enjoyable and productive. You should feel very proud of yourself.
The accountability is good for me, and the rewards from producing my art ........ words cannot express.

See you tomorrow🎨👌

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Taking stock March 2020

It was a confronting realisation this morning to see that I have been MIA from my blog since the first week in January. I did have a couple of draft blog posts waiting but those were never completed. Now March is almost over, and the world is a very different place. When I advertised my classes I didn’t imagine that these would now continue in a whole new format. 


Zoom has become my Studio with students getting together to share their work and continue learning. More than this though, it’s a place to stay connected with friends and maintain the strong community that has developed over the years. We can share a virtual cup of coffee and have a laugh. 

Artists, writers, in fact all creative people, are uniquely suited to this new life. We do spend much of our time in studios, away from others, making our art. Now we have that much more time to do this. But we still need our supportive community. This is where, in 2020, society is fortunate to have amazing technologies that allow us to share and engage easily. 

Imagine living during the time of The Black Death 1665 or The Spanish Flu 1918 - 1920 - no phones; no internet; no Facebook groups or WhatsApp chats. It would have been very a lonely time. 

We might feel the constant bombardment of information oppressive but, indeed, we are blessed that life can continue in isolation but with the benefit of being intimately connected.

Forward Planning

My plan going forward is to spend more time creating. I paint and draw because I need to; I feel whole when I have made something beautiful. For that time that I am engaged I forget about what is happening outside the Studio, my chattering mind that churns constantly is stilled. My mood lifts.  I plan to share what I have made so hopefully I will encourage others to be creative too.

Here is something to brighten your day and cheer you up. This painting would have been submitted to the Rotary Art Spectacular, but of course that has now been cancelled. 

Strelitzia Squared - Oil and cold wax on canvas 505 mm x 505 mm

And, of course, if you love this and would like it to brighten your life forever, please contact me - it is available.

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Art classes 2020

The new year is time for new adventures. 
Why not explore your creativity by attending an art class? 
In addition to learning new skills, or brushing up on skills you already have, you will join a group of like-minded supportive artists and make new friends. 

Currently there are a couple of places available on Wednesday evening, Friday and Saturday mornings. Thursday classes are fully enrolled.
If you have a have any questions please get in contact with me via email at

Reviews for classes
This lovely email came from an artist...

Good morning Carol,
Just wanted to pop you an email to tell you about my experiences at your studio.

When I started art classes at your Studio 5 years ago I hoped that your classes would reignite my interest in painting.  I had dabbled with painting in high school and a few classes when my children were young but had not pursued it any further than that.  I have learnt so much from you….. I love that each student in your class is encouraged to pursue their own ‘style’.  

I love that we, as a group, encourage and learn from each other. I enjoy the little talks or mini lectures you give on a different style or artist and how your classes are not just about the actual painting but also about the ‘love of art’. So good for the soul. 

When I started 5 years ago I had hoped to achieve certain things.  I have done this and more.  I thank you for sharing your knowledge with me ....


One of the artists wrote this in an email to me after a painting was accepted for the Rotary Art Spectacular Exhibition:

Hi Carol
I’m so excited just to have my art accepted .
Your mentorship over the years has been invaluable Thanks Carol and looking forward to my projects for next term.


And one more recent email:

I would like to also thank you for making the art classes so interesting and giving us, especially me, the confidence to have a go.   I feel like I am finally getting into the hang of this painting thing and actually liking what I am doing.  

I did of bit more work on the sand grasses and actually forwarded a copy to family and friends, instead of just hiding it away.   Big step for me.   Thank you.