My Pet – Challenge

We all love our pets, from the traditional Cat and Dog to the exotic Iguana!
The challenge is to capture your pet in the medium of your choice, painted with love and care, capturing their personality.

Jupiter – My saviour during lockdown!

Competition – 3. Win a £50.00 voucher to spend at Brambles Art Retreat. Inspired by your pet, a dog ,cat, hamster, horse, snake, spider…. we don’t mind what. Any Style any media. Entries to reach us by 6pm on Monday 20th July. Winner will be announced on Tuesday 21st July.
Tell us a little about your painting, Who it is? What media You used and the size.
Terms and conditions

This theme proved to be too challenging, perhaps painters needed more time!

The Gate – winner!

“The Gate” – the winner receives a £50.00 voucher to spend at Brambles Art Retreat, on a course or a piece of work. Thank you to all who participated this week, we had a broad selection of styles to choose from, the moody black and white, or the light through glowing through the gate, to bright bold colours and simple shapes.

It was great to see so many interesting interpretations – just what we wanted.
The winner – Tom Whaley
Acrylic with palette knives on Daler-Rowney Acrylic Paper 420x594mm
“Snowdonia through a Roadside Gate. No thoroughfare!”

The composition of this painting is really strong. The gate precariously perched on the cliff edge, the post leaning into the picture, with the battered old gate leaning the other way. The sea almost half way up the page but slightly higher, a lovely colour, a perfect backdrop framing the gate. The Snowdonia mountain range in the distance giving a good focal point beyond the gate. The roughy palette knife sky adds interest and movement in keeping with the style of the painting as a whole. Well done Tom!

Sketchbook Share

I’ve been filling sketchbooks for many years now. Using them for preparation for painting ideas and as teaching tools showing the drawing and painting process. The selection below are from a very special sketch book, my “Stay at Home” sketchbook that I started using lockdown.
it documents all the changes from March 2020 to now., some things in our garden and around the house. But mostly the lane nearby where I walk our dog Jupiter. A diary of the season changing, the flowers vegetation, growth a blossoming of the hedgerows.

It’s been a real eye opener, I’ve lived here twenty years snd not really seen that lane and how beautiful it really is. I know every inch of those hedges and can spot a new flower, tree or plant as it grows or appears.

The big difference between these sketchbooks and my usual ones is in these I write my emotions, my anxieties, fears and worries during the covid19 pandemic. It’s cathartic, it’s good for me it helps. I have encouraged others
to do the same.

The Gate Challenge

Mini Competition – 2

Win a £50.00 voucher to spend at Brambles Art Retreat.

The theme a gate, old, new, urban, countryside, real or imaginary.

Inspired by the fascination of gates, the gate often leads the viewer into the painting, tempting them to look beyond the gate. Farm gates that are often surrounded by wild flowers, and lovely views beyond.
Or can be an urban gate, even a battered old wooden gate, hanging off it’s hinges. The challenge is to paint your version of a gate in any style any media. 
Entries to reach us by 6pm on Sunday 6th July, winner announced on Monday 7th July. A selection of the entries will be displayed on our website. 
Send your entries to : janet@bramblesartretreat.com

Please supply a clear jpeg photo by email, tell us what size it is, what media you used and a few words about how you did it. Don’t forget to add your full name. We look forward to seeing all the entries. Good Luck!

Terms and conditions *

The Foxglove – Winner

Foxglove Challenge – mini competition 1

A big thank you to the participants of our first Mini -Competition. The entries provided us with range of very beautiful styles to choose from starting with the botanically realistic, others moody, and ethereal and an intensely coloured collage.

The winner receives a £50.00 voucher to spend at Brambles Art Retreat. The voucher is valid for 12 months. It can be used to purchase a piece of artwork or put towards the cost of a course.

The winning painting by Penny Whaley – Watercolour and Pen.

We chose Penny’s Painting because of its delicate ethereal style. Not too realistic, not too abstract, such lovely flower patterns and delicate bud shapes. Starting off realistic in the sky then merging into a sea of flower heads. The focal point on the lower left of centre, with the intensity of colour and pattern, not repetitive, but flowing. We love the colour of the flowers and the the use of layering to add strength and intensity.
Congratulations Penny!

Foxglove Challenge!

Competition – 1

Win a £50.00 voucher to spend at Brambles Art Retreat.

Inspired by the beautiful hedgerows full of foxgloves, at this time of year we are challenging you to paint your version of a foxglove. Any Style any media.
Entries to reach us by 6pm on Monday 22nd, winner announced on Tuesday 23rd. A selection of the entries will be displayed on our website.
Send your entries to : janet@bramblesartretreat.com

Please supply a clear jpeg photo by email, tell us what size it is, what media you used and a few words about how you did it. Don’t forget to add your full name. We look forward to seeing all the entries. Good Luck!

Pen and wash, watercolour!

Terms and conditions *

Roses roses roses……

“What’s in a name that which we call a Rose by any other name would smell as sweet; So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,“ thanks WS.


Oh to be able to post their sweet perfume, to bathe in their delicate scent, so heady, it takes me off to places dreamy and magical!

The garden is filling up with roses in such numbers I have not seen for ages. Even the David Austin in the front garden which has been so weedy for years, we built it a trellis last year to encourage it to climb and this year it has gone mad!

I fancy making Pot Purri as the rose heads are so full I wouldn’t need many. There’s lots of tips online and this is just one version I like from
Fifty flowers.

The hedgerows changing!

As summer approaches the hedgerows are springing into life.
I’ve been fascinated how each day things change, but this week the leaf growth has been abundant. The severely hacked back trees that are ravaged by the hedge trimmers in Autumn are now bursting into leaf.
Ive loved their architectural shapes dominating the skyline like arms reaching out passively or aggressively. They are now alive with new growth. Lovely fresh leaves, amazing colours filling up the hedges beautifully.

I love the shapes of these ravaged trees. In the early weeks the birds sat in the bare branches, getting frisky and singing their hearts out! Now they hide and nest amongst the foliage.
Time is ticking, things are changing…… is there light at the end of the tunnel? Hard to say, let’s hope so. I’ve been fascinated by these tunnels, the entrance to Rabbit burrows all along the beautiful hedgerows that have kept be sane and full of inspiration these last few weeks.


Colours from the Hedgerows.

As I walked our puppy in the lane this morning I was amazed at the amount of colour I found in the hedgerows. So I am sharing them with you and the secret to my clear bright paintings. Painted only transparent colours.
Here is my palette: Alizarin Crimson, Scarlet Lake, permanent Rose, Burnt Sienna, Transparent Yellow, Sap Green, Dioxin Violet, Phthalo Blue, Ultramarine and Indigo.

From my “Stay at Home “ sketchbook.

If you want to see a little more then go to my Instagram page and see the colour groupings. @bramblesartretreat

30/30 “Thirtyworks”

The challenge to create thirty pieces of work in thirty consecutive days.
Find out more www.thirty.works

Thirty works the first 9…..

It’s been a challenge, the muse has been with me most of the time. On the first say I wandered down our back lane, deep in the Devon countryside wondered where to start. I wanted it to be fresh and with purpose I didn’t expect to dig so deep, to find my oldest memories, my demons my existential musings…… but that’s what’s come out.

The following six, paintings a total to date of 15.

I followed my heart, I didn’t worry about painting style, the “Altered Glass” effect gave me such freedom. The simplistic style of painting I find pleasing and an easy way to develop a painting quickly.

The next 3, 18 to date.
This completes 21 paintings submitted.

I’m looking forward to the next 9 paintings. Watch this space!