Monday, 21 April 2014

Where has the time gone?...

I don't know what happened to the time between 8 March, the date of my last post and now.  Tempus fugit indeed!  

Well the Easter holidays happened and also a lot of activity around my new DVD.  I'm really pleased at how well it has been selling and copies have winged their way all over the world.

If you haven't ordered your copy yet, remember that it is now for sale on Amazon UK:

as well as through my website:

I notice that on the Amazon site, two lovely people have given the DVD a great review and I thank them warmly!

I heard the other day that one of the paintings I entered for this year's Patchings competition in the Artist category received a "highly commended".  Given the incredibly high standard of work exhibited at the Patchings June Exhibition every year, I am well pleased with that!

Highly Commended in the 2014 Patchings Competition
"Backlit Hellebores"

Despite all the good news, I haven't been in a very fertile place painting wise lately.  Perhaps it's because we are a bit unsettled at the moment as we are on the move.  Yes, moving house after 24 years!  Wish us luck!

But the other day I started a painting inspired by the Clematis Montana that is coming into flower as we speak.  Here's the drawing...

Saturday, 8 March 2014

My free Clematis Painting Tutorial for you to view now on YouTube.

For those of you who do not do Facebook where this has already appeared, I'm posting a link to my eleven part video tutorial featuring a Clematis painting from start to finish.

Hope you 'll click on the above and take a peek and enjoy looking over my shoulder as I go through from masking to first wash to negative painting, leaf details, shadows right through to the finishing details.

If you click on Playlist you will see all eleven videos in the right order.

Why not subscribe (it's free!) and then you will be informed of any new videos that appear.

You can also get to my Ann Mortimer Art youtube channel via my website where there is a link on the homepage

Enjoy!  And feel free to comment!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Inspiration....a strange and elusive phenomenon.

My Hellebores watercolour 

What is inspiration?  It's a strangely elusive thing.  But feel that I caught sight of it the other day when I painted these hellebores from a photo I had taken in my garden against the low Winter sunlight.  

My drawing with some freshly picked hellebores from the garden

It helps if the flower that you're painting is resplendent in the garden as the hellebores are right now.  But the photo had a mood and atmosphere to it that I really wanted to try and capture.

Here are one or two of the stages of the painting.

First wash with masking in place.

Tentative filling in of negative spaces to test colours.

More washes in the background keeping light at top centre.

Masking removed, flowers painted carefully to leave light created by masking.

As the painting developed over a couple of days, I felt that the light effect had worked and that inspiration had visited the studio that day!

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

DVD now available on Amazon

Backlit snowdrops

Just to let you know that I have made the DVD "Watercolour Techniques by Ann Mortimer" available on Amazon.

Many people do not have a PayPal account and perhaps don't want to create one (even though it's a really useful thing to have!).  But I know that many people, like me, order regularly on Amazon so it made sense to put my DVD up for sale there.

It has been a beautiful spring day here in Nottingham and the Spring flowers are out in force...hellebores, primroses, tiny iris reticulata, crocus, snowdrops, daffodils, and many others.  Such a cheerful sight!  

I painted the above snowdrops from a photo that I had taken when the low Winter sun was lighting up the tiny bunch of blooms from behind.  I love that effect, but it requires quite a brave use of darks in the background to bring out the pristine white snowdrops as well as some deep shadows on the petals.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Affiliates Exhibition at the Nottingham Society of Artists 15 Feb to 23 Feb 2014

Sunny Doorway

I've just been to deliver some paintings, folios, cards, books and DVDs to the Nottingham Society of Artists Friar Lane Gallery, NG1 6DH today for the Affiliates Exhibition starting on Saturday 15 February until Sunday 23 February 10am til 4.30p

I've put my name down to steward on Saturday morning and so I will be there at the start of the exhibition,
so why not pop in and say hello if you are in town.  

I only joined the society last year and so this is the first time I've had a chance to exhibit and I'm looking forward to getting involved.  

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Backlit an opportunist with camera at the ready.

One of the good things about Winter is the way the sun is low in the sky in the afternoon and creeps down and lights your subject from behind.  When I see this happening as I walk out into the garden, I run inside, grab my camera and take a photo.

That's how I caught these primroses being backlit and hoped that it would provide a good subject to paint with lots of contrast and drama.

With tiny flowers like this, it's difficult to paint them from life in the garden and so a photo opens up all sorts of possibilities.  The shadows on the flowers and leaves can be fully understood and observed.  We are so lucky to have this extra help with painting these days.

I liked the way this painting turned out.  I think it shows how you can go very dark with your background while retaining the dramatic light in the main subject.

As with everything in this game you have to paint what you see and be brave with the shadows within the flowers.  Hope you like it!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Posting worldwide...

Finished painting of white flowers on my DVD Watercolour Techniques by Ann Mortimer
Available at

We sent off copies of my new DVD yesterday to far flung places the USA, Hong Kong, Canada and Italy.

We sent the NTSC version to the USA and Canada and the PAL version elsewhere as there are two different compatibility types worldwide.

Amazing how the worldwide web makes these things possible.

I watched the whole DVD for the first time on my large television screen.  Never too comfortable watching yourself but I wanted to see what everyone would see.  I was happy.

My thoughts are now turning to other projects for further films, some of which will be available free on line.

There is nothing better than seeing someone actually applying the paint in front of you, and watching the nature of the brush strokes and the use of water and pigment.  I have always loved to watch others paint and the DVD answers this need perfectly.  I'd love to share my tried and tested watercolour techniques with you!

Please head over to my website

and click on the DVD page to find out how to order through PayPal.

or email me at

Friday, 31 January 2014

DVDs are here and can be ordered from my website...

The DVDs have arrived!

We will be shipping to those people who have already ordered first thing in the morning.

I have envelopes already addressed to people in the USA, Australia, Norway, Italy, Ireland, England and many other places.  I can't believe that there are going to be people all over the world watching me paint!  It's a humbling thought.  I am grateful to those lovely artists who are ready to put their trust in me and order this DVD.  You will not be disappointed.

We have been determined to make something of quality which will be of real use to those who buy it.

I hope all who receive it will have fun and be inspired and will share in my love of this fascinating medium.

So excited!

Thursday, 30 January 2014

DVD arriving tomorrow...dispatch imminent!

I’ve just heard from the company who are producing our DVDs that they have been dispatched to arrive tomorrow, Friday.  Exciting!

I will be sending them off straight away to the people who have already ordered.  It will be a bit later than we intended but I will email to tell everyone that their DVD has been dispatched.

We are ensuring that the correct version of the DVD will be sent to the different countries.  We have the NTSC version for the USA and Japan and PAL for the rest of the world.

Remember that if you want to order the DVD, the only way is via my website.

If you go into the DVD page on the main menu, you will see a button saying “BUY NOW”.  Click on that and you will be given clear instructions as to how to order and pay through Paypal. 

If you don’t have a Paypal account you can open one very easily.  It is a useful thing to have as Paypal is internationally recognised as a safe and trusted way to pay for all sorts of things on line.

But don’t worry if you are in the UK and feel this is not for you because you can pay by cheque by contacting me personally via the website or by emailing me on

I will email you and give you an address to send your cheque.  

So don’t lose out, order today.  It really is good value at £12 plus p and p for nearly two hours of painting tuition which you can come back to again and again.

Here’s the third excerpt I promised you...

Friday, 24 January 2014

First painting of 2014 and DVD on its way...

Sunny Sweet peas

I picked up my brushes again at last. 

I was inspired by a photo I’d taken of the sweet peas in the garden last year.  They filled the garden with glorious scent for the short time they were there.  I had to pick them often to keep them flowering and so the house was full of their lovely scent too. 

One day I set a vase on the kitchen window sill in the sun and they cast an interesting shadow.  Can’t resist cast shadows!

The painting features a glass vase; always fun to paint glass and for some reason glass in a painting always attracts our attention. 

My new DVD has a glass painting demo in it.  It’s going to be released very soon now.  There have been one or two production issues which have had to be dealt with but we are getting there!

Those who have pre ordered will soon be receiving their DVD.  But I thought I should point out to those who want to buy a copy that this DVD is only available through me and my website.  It will not be appearing on Amazon, neither will it be available via the SAA.  So be warned, if you would like a copy then please get in touch with me via my website

There you can pay through Paypal, which is a well known, entirely safe and totally internationally reputable way to pay, or you can simply send me a cheque.

The DVD is very reasonably priced at £12 plus p&p for nearly two hours of painting tuition and loads of useful techniques explained fully and clearly.

So why don’t you go for it?  I’d love for everyone to benefit from our hours of preparation, filming and producing, which has been a great learning curve but huge fun as well.  We wanted to produce something of real quality and I think we have.

Want to have another peek at the trailer?

Here's the link

And please look out for another excerpt here on this blog coming soon!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Here's the second excerpt from my upcoming DVD available for pre order from my website

Watch me as I put in the first brush strokes on the recycled glass vase.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

An excerpt for you to enjoy...

Here's another short excerpt from the upcoming  DVD.  Pleased to say that orders have been coming in thick and fast.


Thursday, 2 January 2014

DVD trailer on you tube...(pre ordering available) and new website.

It's been a long time coming and it's been exciting putting it all together but now here it is!  The new DVD filmed in my studio and covering three projects with subjects close to my heart and which I really enjoyed painting for you.

The trailer introducing the new DVD is now available on you tube.

As you will see the DVD is available on 2 Feb 2014, but can be pre ordered now to arrive on that date.

Please also have a look at my new website which includes a new gallery and a shop page with books and paintings for sale.

Please  click on the DVD PAGE in the menu for more information about the DVD.

Enjoy, tell your friends!  Let me know what you think!

Sunday, 29 December 2013

New year rings the changes and brings exciting news...

Just come in from the garden after some slash and burn.  Great weather for gardening today, no wind and sun shining.  Bit of a problem seeing anything clearly looking South as the sun is so low, it's blinding!

I cut back the hellebore leaves to expose the new buds which are numerous and fat and healthy.  I know they wont look as grand as the ones depicted in my painting above but they will soon provide a welcome bit of colour and beautiful form.

I'm busy writing an article on Painting Glass for Leisure Painter to appear in the April 2014 issue.  I'm going to be talking about one of the projects that is on my new DVD which is due to be available at the beginning of February at a very reasonable price for 1 hour 50 mins and three full projects.  All the details will be on my website which is undergoing an update as we speak.

New features will include a new gallery and a new SHOP page where paintings and DVDs and books will be for sale through Paypal with one click of the mouse or by simply contacting me.  Over the last few months several people have asked mainly via Facebook where they could purchase my paintings so this will be a big improvement.

Exciting!  A you tube trailer for the new DVD will be available for you to see here on the blog and on my website so please keep coming back.  I'm reliably informed that the trailer will be ready around 3 January so look out for that.

A Happy New Year to everyone and a warm thank you for your continued support.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year!

Christmas holly

It’s amazing how Christmas takes over your life every year!  But nice too and I have to say that, despite all the hype and commercialism, I am grateful for the festive atmosphere and my gaudy Christmas tree lights during these cold days and long dark evenings. 

But art work and painting falls by the wayside a bit.  It’s partly due to the myriad little jobs that need to be done, but also there just isn’t enough daylight to really get going on something. 

So I was glad to go and join in with the life drawing session today at the Nottingham Society of Artists.  Some painting at last!

As I sneak a little look past Christmas, I foresee my first DVD that we’ve been working on over the last few months.  So look out for that.  There will be a trailer on you tube soon.   And I hope to make more and also upload free tips on video to you tube next year.

But the main point of this post is to wish everyone who reads this blog a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Happy and Inspirational 2014. 

Thank you each and every one of you for visiting and staying loyal and one of my many New Year resolutions will be to write here more often and share my day to day art stuff. 

Happy Holidays everyone! 


Friday, 15 November 2013

Still posting...

I was touched by the many comments following my blog about stopping teaching.

People were surprised, sad, sympathetic and showing solidarity. 

I was surprised!  I didn’t know anyone even read the blog!

It made me realise how much I value this means of communication and what an important channel this is for artists like me working on their own in what is necessarily a solitary existence.

Other people have mentioned it in emails and phone calls since then and I think I need to clarify one or two things.

I’m stopping teaching classes and studio workshops but I intend to keep a presence on line and to post things on my two blogs.  Reason being that I enjoy sharing my discoveries and I know there are people that benefit.  And that is incentive enough.

As I say in the intro to the is meaningless unless it’s shared.

It’s the classes that take up the time with all the preparation, the thinking up and organising of projects, the gathering of materials, the booking up, the readying of the studio and so on.  I’ve enjoyed it while it was happening but now time to move on.

But I’m still going to be sharing on line, so the people who are following this blog and my other one, please keep with me.  I value the fact that you’re there and listening!

The image is of a painting I finished the other day of clematis growing early this summer on an arch in the garden.  

Thursday, 14 November 2013

A room with a view

I’m staying on the south coast of UK at the moment where my husband is working on a project.  And so I have the benefit of a wonderful sea view.  I’ve set up my painting table in front of the window and have an unbelievably beautiful aspect to enjoy as I paint.

The view changes throughout the day, the sea, the waves, the sky, the people walking their dogs and fishing on the beach, the seagulls and cormorants swooping by, the boats sailing’s an ever changing scene and is fascinating.  You are never bored of it.
Everyone, not only artists, is affected by their environment and sitting gazing at the scene here makes my mind turn to seascapes and the elements that make up the picture...the pebbly beach, the rocky sea defences, the people silhouetted against the sea as they walk by, the sun rising through the clouds in the morning.

  It would be good to try and render some of this in watercolour.
So to make a start I’m going to walk out and see what I can find to bring back in and have a look at...perhaps some pebbles and shells to start with...

I am a flower painter so this is a big change for me!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

My last teaching project

I’ve decided to stop teaching watercolour. 

I do enjoy sharing what I’ve learned with people, which is basically what teaching is.  And from the feedback I’ve had, I think many have benefited from that sharing.

I have enjoyed the sociable side to teaching.  There’s nothing better than getting together with a group of like minded people who are keen to learn and improve.

The trouble is I get totally involved in any teaching project I embark on so that everything else is secondary to it.  So my identity as an “artist” is consumed by my role as a teacher. 

So I find myself always thinking “how can I put this technique over to students?” or “what stages can I divide this painting up into to best teach it?”, all of which does not exactly lead to artistic spontaneity!

There is no point trying to teach something unless you really put yourself in the place of the student to understand how they are learning and what their difficulties might be.  But in doing that you wave goodbye to that special private and secret state of being an artist with an idea that is your own to express.

An artist does not explain why.  An artist expresses freely with no thought to how the idea is going to be received or understood. 

Some practising artists seem to be able to “teach” while preserving their authenticity as an artist.  Bu t I think that probably they are not “teaching” but rather offering a master class to demonstrate their work; two entirely different things.

So here I go into a different realm...where vision, inspiration and creativity are paramount.  It is a much more solitary and secret and selfish place, I think.

Stay tuned, as they say, I’ll let you know how I get on!

(Mind you, never say never again!)

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Sent to Coventry...

We had a really nice day at the Centre of England Arts yesterday painting clematis.  I promised to upload the photo we used.  So here it is.

The members of the group have my permission to print it out and I hope you all have fun finishing your paintings.  They were already on their way and looking excellent when we displayed them at the end of the day.  Well done was solid work but so absorbing and many of you said how much you had learned.  for me that is the most important thing, that you can go away and have another go using those techniques.

Click on the photo to enlarge.

The CoEA is a particularly useful venue to know about and to consider when you want to do a workshop.  It's just off the M42 between Birmingham and Coventry and so is easily accessible.  As you can see the studio is large light and airy and part of a complex of converted barn buildings...very beautiful.

I always enjoy my time there and being greeted by Julie Hyde, its creator and such a clever, lovely woman.

Course members getting into their drawing at the beginning of the day at CoEA

Have a look!