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The story of "Lone Tree" by Lynda Cookson

A funny thing happened with this little watercolour called "Lone Tree".

I'm using up old pieces of watercolour paper which belonged to my Mum way back when, and I mean really way back when. She probably bought the paper close to 25 years ago. I've been trying out different brush stroke techniques and this piece of paper took the paint in different ways. I liked it so I left it. There's a block to the left of centre in the blue sky where the paint took smoothly. For the rest of it, "it blotched". The effect was to make a simple brush stroke more interesting ... with a hint of weather.

I used a wet on dry technique and the paper seemed to be very absorbent either side of the oblong shape where the paper allowed the paint to be brushed on smoothly.

"Lone Tree" by Lynda Cookson

Fine Art America links

sheep metal prints


I'd like to introduce you to Harriet. She just popped up from nowhere on a sunny day with a secretive little smile on her face.

"Harriet" is a watercolour on paper measuring 4" x 6" (10 x 15 cm)

I'm beginning to learn a bit about which type of watercolour paper I prefer to use, how much water is good or bad on my brush, which size brush is best for what ... and just generally what comes naturally with a bit of practise.

There's been a lot of moving the studio (grand word for a little space!) around so that I'm comfortable and not tripping anyone up with the extended legs of my easel. The palette of watercolour paints has now found it's place at the top of my easel and a shelf has been cleared for water and brushes. I need a safe place for the water because I'm a real klutz and knock and drop things very easily indeed.

Now, with a swivel of my chair, I can be at my computer keyboard, be oil painting or glass painting on my table, or be watercolour painting at my easel. And there's still space for Bridie the German Shepherd under my table. Voila!

"Harriet" by Lynda Cookson

My art website  :

Open Studio

Living in such a small space as we do now in our "old age"... (Okay, I should remove those inverted commas around "old age" because although I don't feel it, I think one of us in our mid sixties and the other in his early seventies, is actually considered being in your old age. Sigh.)

To finish that first sentence about a small living space, I've sorted all my work which can either be sold or given away, and set it all out in our motorhome! It's become my Open Studio even although it serves as our only car as well. We don't go out much in summer - too hot for both me and Bridie the German Shepherd - so why not?

My acrylic abstract pendants are there, along with glass painted tea light holders, mini paintings on mini easels, abstract acrylic vases, mountboarded paintings and framed paintings. The whole shebang.

Now to make myself a sign.

These are a couple of the paintings, and some of the pendants, on show there.

 "Blue Headed Red Breasted Bird" oil on
mini deep edge canvas with silver leaf

"Toadstools" mini oil painting on wood with gold glitter glue 

Abstract seascape pendant. Acrylic 

 Abstract landscape pendant. Acrylic

Owl Pendants

My art website  :

Palette Knife Painters Group Images 19 March to 1 April 2018

The life of an artist

You know it's jolly hard work being a professional artist.

 "Green Tea Pot" by Lynda Cookson

It doesn't just start and stop at creating work with paints and other mediums, and then getting it framed. Then sold.

The work begins, often not with an idea, but with the process of looking for an idea. Trying out various inspirations in your head, choreographing them into compositions (still in your head) and playing with colour and shape. There are sleepless nights involved in this process!

Along with the creation of the piece, unless you have a large studio where mess and organisation are not that important, a lot of housework takes place with cleaning, sorting, and looking after your brushes and tools. Unless you're Francis Bacon who worked in a small studio with such a mess there was hardly a space to walk. The mice loved his studio.

"Ancient Forest" by Lynda Cookson

Often there's the preparation of the surface you're going to work on. This is not a huge process for me for each surface as I use artists' gesso. In the olden days artists had to mix and cook their own form of gesso. Just like they used to mix their own paints.

After the work has been created and framed if necessary, and because there are so many artists in these times who do not have the luxury of an agent, the marketing begins.

Each piece is photographed, having spent the time to set up a suitable space where the light is good and the painting is lying flat or is propped at the correct angle. The images are downloaded onto the computer where the originals are edited (cropped, and the correct light and colours fine tuned). Each edited  image is then saved in a separate folder (see my ePlan for how this is set out ). A second programme is opened in order to edit the edited image to a size suitable for online use and this is also filed.

Then each painting has to be protected with cling film and stored safely, especially if it has been well (and expensively) framed.

Looking for new galleries to represent you and your work is constant. In the present economic climate, unless you have already established yourself as an artist investors look out for, prices cannot be set that high if you want sales. To pay the bills and put food on the table you therefore need more sales and consequently more outlets selling your work. After paying shipping/delivery costs and gallery commission, then taking into account the costs you had to outlay to get the finished piece, the profit in your pocket is not very high at all.

Although I have managed to get my work into four galleries at the moment (it used to be more but some galleries have closed down) I still find it necessary to try and sell directly from my studio as well.

"Storm" by Lynda Cookson

This brings me to the present. Yesterday I spent most of the day pricing, setting up and displaying my paintings and other craftwork in our motorhome which will be my public studio for the summer. Each time we need to go to the shops or out somewhere, because our motorhome also serves as our daily vehicle, I have to stow everything away safely (probably on the bed!) and then set it all out again when we get home.

There's also the matter of how and where to advertise. This usually involves designing and printing signs and/or leaflets which need to be distributed in various relevant ways and places. More time spent.

In my case, I also take studies which I have produced in the process of making my formal art work, and I put them out publicly somewhere - like a bench at the swimming pool, with a note on them saying it is a gift to whoever finds it. In this way I hope to lead more people to my open studio.

Lastly, I have to make sure that whatever work I am doing whilst running an open studio, is something that can be dropped at a moment's notice if someone visits the studio.

It's really constant work, and sometimes very physical, but I love it!

"The Scent of Rose" by Lynda Cookson

Charcoal Line Drawings on Abstract Monoprints

I have been having fun sorting paintings from my stock. They've been packed away for a while and are only being brought out now for some Open Studio days during summer.

Here's a rather different collection of 4 Charcoal Line Drawings on Original Abstract Monoprints.

During a couple of life drawing classes a few years back I found two of the models to be rather grumpy in temperament which put me off formal drawings. Instead I produced comical line drawings to counter their grumpiness. Later I repeated the ones I liked onto original abstract monoprints.

"Told You So!" by Lynda Cookson

 "His Foot" by Lynda Cookson

 "My Eye" by Lynda Cookson

 "She Shrugged" by Lynda Cookson

Mirror Frame

I poured acrylics on an old frame yesterday, hoping to upcycle it for a framed mirror.

I loved how it turned out on Day 1 .... BUT with acrylic pouring, whilst the paint dries sufficiently over the next 24 hours, there is a nail-biting period of watching and waiting to see if the paint moves drastically from how you want it to be, to how it wants to be!

My prayer for those hours was "Please stay like this. Please stay like this. Please stay like this." LOL

This is how it was immediately I had finished pouring and manipulating the paint to where I wanted it to be.

I resisted waking up in the middle of the night to check on its progress but do admit to rushing through first thing in the morning to gawp at what had happened, or not happened, during the night.

To my delight there wasn't much movement of paint, only a sinking in and drying. Even although I had gesso-ed the surface of the frame - twice, I think - a lot of the moisture of the paint had sunk in. It ended up giving it a great look though because the grain of the wood shows through as an embossed pattern and I love it!

Here it is as dry as it can be the next morning.

Hardly any difference, just the colour fading very slightly, but I'm not worried about that. As soon as it's dry enough and "cured" enough, I'll gloss it again with a couple of coats of varnish. Voila!

Colourful Days

I wonder, does anyone else see the days of the week in colour? I always have and somehow thought everyone else would too ... but it would seem not!

This is what I see when you say a day of the week to me:

Monday BLUE sometimes WHITE (mood related?)
Tuesday GREEN
Wednesday ORANGE
Thursday PURPLE
Saturday CAMEL / BEIGE

Anyway, it feels like Sunday today, although it's Monday, so I'm choosing a yellowy abstract which makes me think of Sunday and my country of South Africa.

"Hot Lands"
Oil and Mixed Media on Paper
8.25" x 11.75"

"Hot Lands" by Lynda Cookson

Remembering ...

Lately, after helping my son launch himself on the road to being a digital nomad, the part of me which loves brain-tickling techniques of marketing became a little too involved with other ways of earning my keep - and I almost forgot I'm an artist and that art is my passion.

In this case, depression was a good thing! I became rather down in the dumps and realised it was because I was giving less and less time to painting and playing with images. I needed to get back to beautiful things and to start getting them out in the world again.

There's no better way to start getting creative again than by choosing colours, pouring paint and making a lovely big mess ... which is exactly what I did. But now I have to wait for it all to dry because I've run out of drying space.

Never mind, I'm back to editing a blog I created some time ago about art and artists. I had published excerpts of artist profiles I wrote when I was writing for an Irish magazine from about 2004 to 2010. Now I'm completing those articles on the blog and adding loads and loads of beautiful art books for readers to drool over.

You might like to watch the progress here :

As usual, it wouldn't be me if I didn't add an image to this blog post. I've chosen an example of the poured acrylics I was talking about.

"Ancient Forest" by Lynda Cookson

Palette Knife Painters Group Images 5 to 18 March 2018

"Fields of Gold" by Lynda Cookson

A day of admin work and writing today. I need colour and paint and images!!! Now!!! LOL

This is a new style. The first in what I hope to be a little collection. But so far there is a lot I need to tend to, to improve what I have in mind for them.

Too much blue around the edges for a start ..... hmmmmm ..... another learning curve!

"Fields of Gold" by Lynda Cookson

Finding and working with art galleries

I've uploaded an article on "Finding and Working with Galleries" on the home page of my ePlan promotional page. You'll find the link in the right hand sidebar, a little way down under the image of Alan outside Gallery 1608.

The article is drawn from my experiences with working with galleries and I'd really love to hear other artist's experiences too.

Please message me with your stories.

Email :

You'll find the article on this page :

The ePlan

Thank you to all the folk who are joining me with the ePlan.

The ePlan sets out a system of online tools, and a routine, to help you to strengthen your Online Identity, whether you're an artist, a creative or a small business owner.

"Resist and Recover"

This is the art event in Washington DC where my painting "For Faith and Country" will be exhibited in May 2018.

My son Gary Scott, a creative writer based in Cape Town, has written poetry and text which will be exhibited alongside the 40" x 30" diptyche I have created and I am so proud to have  him working with me on the project!

Most of the work - all of it political - is likely to concentrate on the political state of America at the moment, along with some international pieces.

I am honoured to have been invited to be on of the gallery artists and have chosen to bring attention to the horrific Farm Murders in South Africa as my subject for "Resist and Recover"

More later, with an image of the painting, once the Opening Night towards the end of May has happened ....

My websites


A snippet

A positive for palette knife painting!

This image is a bit blurred and that's because it's a tiny fragment of a 40" x 30" diptyche I've just finished ... and I can't show you the rest of the painting until it's been exhibited at the Opening Night of a Washington DC gallery near the end of May 2018.

What I did realise though is that painting with palette knives is far more healthy than with brushes! And that's because palette knives just need wiping clean, whereas brushes need turps or something similar to clean them.

As long as I stick to palette knives, I can paint away happily in my tiny space and not worry too much about inhaling fumes.

My websites


"African Mood" by Lynda Cookson

After my 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge my studio space got a little messy, so a tidy-up was necessary. I found a few bits 'n bobs - as you do - and here's one of them.

It's probably my second or third watercolour painting from way back in 1998 or 1999 while I was still living not too far from Cape Town in a little village called Greyton.

"African Mood"
Watercolour on Paper
Approx. 10" x 8" (20 cm x 26 cm)

"African Mood" by Lynda Cookson

Palette Knife Painters Group Images 19 February to 4 March 2018

The ePlan. Develop your social media identity

My new ePlan to assist artists and small business owners to develop and strengthen their social media identity and online presence.

The ePlan helps you to establish your identity as an artist or a small business owner online. New articles and updates are added as often as possible and when relevant.
Thanks to the inspirations of a group of artists here in Brittany I'm in the process of writing an article about approaching galleries to display artists' work. Thanks you guys!!

Read all about The ePlan by clicking this image ...

"Red Sail" by Lynda Cookson

Last day of the 30 day challenge. Thank you so much everyone out there for putting up with me on a daily basis this past month ... your lovely comments and patience have been very appreciated. I know that if I hadn't put it out there for public viewing every day, I wouldn't have learned nearly as much as I did.

Halfway through I felt quite drained with it but got past that and may even do it again on an annual basis. Who knows :-)

Painting no. 30 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge
"Red Sail"
Acrylic on Paper
5.5" x 11" (17 cm x 28 cm)

"Red Sail" by Lynda Cookson

"Umbrella Flower" by Lynda Cookson

Please click the image to see the entire painting.

Second to last day ... and after deciding that I don't want to always do a painting a day ... I'm going to miss it! Silly, I think it suits sometimes ... and not other times when I want to really get stuck into a big project. And that's the pleasure of living a seesaw life LOL

Painting no. 29 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge
"Umbrella Flower"
Oil on Paper
8.5" x 6.5" (22 cm x 16 cm)

"Umbrella Flower" by Lynda Cookson

"Impact" by Lynda Cookson

Another abstract study to help me with The Big Painting.

Painting no. 28 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge
Oil on Paper
7.5" x 11" (19 cm x 28 cm)

"Impact" by Lynda Cookson

My website :

"Sweeping Landscape" by Lynda Cookson

Ta da! A freely painted, abstract, palette knife, oil painting which made me feel happy to create ... at the end of a long day considering and repainting ... then consider and repainting ... then considering against and repainting again ... that large piece which is dominating my life at the moment.

I think I should dedicate this painting to my very supportive husband, Alan, who, whilst helping me move two large canvases, got white oil paint on a favourite jacket :-( And he's still talking to me!!

Painting no. 27 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge
"Sweeping Landscape"
Oil on Paper
10" x 6.5" (25.5 cm x 17cm)

"Sweeping Landscape" by Lynda Cookson

"Farm Windmill" by Lynda Cookson

This one's not for sale. It's a study for a much bigger painting I'm working on.

Painting no. 26 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge
"Farm Windmill"
Oil on Canvas

"Farm Windmill" by Lynda Cookson

"Butter" by Lynda Cookson

I'm working on a large diptyche at the moment, with a South African political theme, for a gallery in the States ... so the colours on my palette are the warm colours of Africa. This is how "Butter" the cow quickly came to life when need for a quick painting arose!

Painting no 25 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge
Oil on Paper
6.5" x 10" (16.5 cm x 25 cm)

"Butter" by Lynda Cookson

My website :

"Oranges" by Lynda Cookson

I can see I'm getting tired now LOL but I'm damned if this challenge is going to get the better of me!!!

Painting no. 24 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge
Oil on canvas (impasto, palette knives)
14" x 10" (36 cm x 26 cm)

"Oranges" by Lynda Cookson

"Ruin in Connemara" by Lynda Cookson

This is my second attempt at the same watercolour theme where I tried to be more controlled ... and I think I like the other one better! Ce la vie!

While editing the image I tried to Auto Color facility and preferred that too. I've included that image too below and it is the one with darker and more rich colours.

Painting no. 23 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge
"Ruin in Connemara"
Watercolour on Paper
10" x 14" (26 cm x 36 cm)

"Ruin in Connemara" unedited 

"Ruin in Connemara" using the Auto Color facility

"Cottage in the Hills" by Lynda Cookson

This was a double challenge for me - watercolour is always a challenge and "Cottage in the Hills" is Painting no. 22 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.

Inspired by my years living in Connemara, Ireland :

"Cottage in the Hills"
Watercolour on Paper
10" x 14" (25 cm x 36 cm)

"Cottage in the Hills" by Lynda Cookson

All paintings in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge are for sale here :

Palette Knife Painters Group Images 5 to 18 February 2018

"Pals for Tea" by Lynda Cookson

I often keep surfaces (paper, board or canvas) from failed paintings and clean my palette knife on them ... or fill them with palette knife strokes of left-over paint. They make interesting backgrounds and props for simple, warm-up paintings. Here's one of them:

Painting no. 21 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge
"Pals for Tea"
Oil on Board
4.5" x 6" (12 cm x 16 cm)

"Pals for Tea" by Lynda Cookson

All the paintings in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge are for sale here:
My website :

Chasing a Dream

Painting no. 20 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge
"Chasing a Dream"
Oil on Board
13" x 12" (33 cm x 31 cm)

"Chasing a Dream"by Lynda Cookson

Now and Zen in White

This one's for me and will probably find a permanent in our Milly the Motorhome :-) I started out aiming to paint the Buddha which sits at my desk (called "Now and Zen") and put in this white underpainting. And there I stopped! I love it ... it seems to represent to me everything that the Zen philosophy is - simple, pure, peaceful and with a depth you have to look for to find. It's mine, mine, mine. :-)

Painting no. 19 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge
"Now and Zen in White"
Oil on Paper
Approx 11" x 13"

"Now and Zen in White"

Be My Valentine

Another challenge painting (which, funnily enough, I did use a palette knife on when I was moving the paint in the middle of the two big red flowers!) ... watercolour on Yupo Paper.

I find it keeps me fresh to be fiddling with watercolour or a craft object during the palette knife painting of a more formal painting. Otherwise I tend to fiddle with the formal painting and usually ruin it in some way LOL

"Be My Valentine"
Watercolour on Yupo Paper
8" x 12" (20 cm x 30 cm)

"Be My Valentine" by Lynda Cookson

"Spirit Flowers"

Although mainly an oils painter using palette knives, I love to challenge myself by using other mediums and other tools. Sometimes it works, many times it doesn't ... and sometimes I don't mind you seeing the okay ones.

Painting No. 17 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.

"Spirit Flowers"
Black Ink on Paper
5.5" x 7.5" (14 cm x 19 cm)

"Spirit Flowers" by Lynda Cookson

"Tall Pot of Geraniums"

Painting No. 16 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

"Tall Pot of Geraniums"
Watercolour on Paper
11" x 7" (28 cm x 18 cm) approx.

"Tall Pot of Geraniums" by Lynda Cookson


Painting no. 15 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Oil on Paper
11" x 7" (28 cm x 18 cm)


"A Deep Message"

Painting no. 14 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

"A Deep Message"
Watercolour on Yupo Paper
8" x 12" (20 cm x 30 cm)

As you can see LOL this is my first time using watercolor on Yupo Paper and there's a lot of work to be done there!!

"A Deep Message"

"Fat Blue Vase"

Painting no. 13 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

"Fat Blue Vase"
Oil on Canvas
12" x 16" (31 cm x 41 cm)

"Fat Blue Vase"

"Daily Baguette"

Painting no. 12 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

"Daily Baguette"
Oil on Paper
7" x 11" (18 cm x 28 cm)

"Daily Baguette"

"Birthday Bouquet"

Painting no. 11 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

"Birthday Bouquet"
Oil on Paper
5" x 7.5" (13 cm x 19 cm)

"Birthday Bouquet"

"Big White Flowers"

Painting No. 10 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

"Big White Flowers"
Watercolour and Pencil on Paper
11" x 8" (28 cm x 20 cm)

"Big White Flowers"

"Damara Dik Dik"

Painting No. 9 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

"Damara Dik Dik" (A small buck with large ears found in South Africa)
Watercolour on Paper
11" x 7" (28 cm x 18 cm)

"Damara Dik Dik"

"Cherry Blossom Tree"

Painting no. 8 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

"Cherry Blossom Tree"
Oil on Paper
11" x 7.5" (28 cm x 19 cm)

"Cherry Blossom Tree"