How Do You Get Inspired?
I get inspired by going for walks to parks, places of interest, a nature scene perhaps, even my garden when the flowers are really blooming.
We went on a walk in Eton playing fields one day (near Windsor) and took an unexpected walk to the left, rather than the right, and was very inspired by the beautiful and exquisite gardens here, the arches, the colour greens in the range of plants and foliage that I saw and the vibrant colours. Hence, this was my painting of Luxmore Gardens - on my website - and was excited and engaged with the range of colours, the textures, the play on light and shadows that I saw.
When I painted out in my garden recently I was inspired by the eye-catching, vibrant yellows of the lilies, the spikiness of the Alliums and the lush pinks and reds of the asters amidst the busy garden. This is in front of the fencing behind. This reminds me of the parable that Jesus told in the Bible (Matthew 6: 25-34). "And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow, here today and gone tomorrow, they do not toil nor do they spin, yet that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. Basically if God provides for these, he is sure to clothe us!"
What Else Inspires?
I get inspired by visiting galleries and museums, studying the old masters, other artists and looking at popular art television programmes like Sky Arts and Bob Ross plus inspired by visiting websites and art magazines. As well as this, I get inspired by doing sketchbooks and journalling at times.
I am inspired by the sea so have painted a few sea scenes - attracted by the foam, the waves, the colours, the roar and noise of the crashing waves and the sheer beauty of the colours and vastness of it all.
So here in this painting I have painted this very choppy and reckless sea with a range of brushes including fan brushes, pallet knife and guess what? A toothbrush. I have also been inspired by the storm clouds above and the bright sun at the back of the storm.
I am inspired by stories, from books, from popular texts and from the Bible.
Also I inspired to paint people, from people watching in bars, children's faces and pub scenes. So I painted a few people and crowd scenes. This one is a large painting, which has paintings in it, when a few of us met in London and went to this big London pub.
What Else Inspires?
Travel has inspired me as I had been fortunate enough to visit Prague, Budapest, Croatia, Romania, Amsterdam, Spain and Malta, not to mention Gibraltar in previous years and France. Plus I was fortunate enough to visit the USA. There is a wealth of paintings that I have done which would be too many to mention. Please visit my website at
On September 1st I am teaching online via Obby.co.uk a simple portrait drawing class for 1 hour. Right from the start of a blank canvas or your paper, I will take you into an easy way to draw someone's head from scratch. Taking into consideration the head, the face shape and neck, forehead, bridge of nose and facial features and how they relate to each other. For a practice portrait or for a basis for a possible painting, this short course is perfect for the start of a beginner's journey in drawing.
When drawing a portrait head, it is important to get the basic proportions correct, because it is these which help to produce a good likeness. While establishing that it is partly differences in proportion which distinguish one head from another, it is useful to start by getting the basic or normal head proportions firmly fixed in your mind. The task of sketching the human head becomes simpler and easier if we break it down into manageable portions.
Therefore you will need to bring a photograph or reference of someone you are drawing. Or you could do your self-portrait. For more details contact http://www.obby.co.uk/classes or you can book on my website: https://www.jackienorman.com/
Online Classes For Beginners from 8/9/21 to 22/9/21
For details of these please see http://www.obby.co.uk/
Please visit my website where you can also book your classes:
Acrylic/Mixed Media on 20" x 24" Boxed Canvas
I have made a good start on this latest painting. A couple of years ago, before the pandemic began, I was holidaying in Croatian with a good friend of mine, Ellen Collins, where we stayed at this small apartment which was about a half hour journey from Dubrovnik. This very stunning and breath taking scenery was a view from our apartment. I remember it being very quiet and there were lots of cats! The woman who owned the apartments was very self-sufficient so grew her own fruit and vegetables.
The sea was such a wonderful shade of blue and there was a variety of boats going across the sea. I have been a bit experimental here and used eggshells and an acrylic texture paste for the rocks below. In the distance there were lots of trees, houses and other guest houses and apartments. It looked like there was an abandoned warehouse there as well, which I have tried to capture. I am attempting here to really bring out the lush greenery and luscious plants in the foreground as well as the rich fruit trees and foliage.
I am still working on this so painted into the sky and the sea. All done in acrylic paint using fan brushes, round filbert brushes and palette knife. Please feel free to leave a comment.
How embarrassing! Technology at it's worst! First of all, I was not on Google Chrome to do this online show. Next, I was trying to do this from my computer. Thirdly, there were not many people attending. Last count, there were about 3/4 people. It was a good thing in a way that there were not many people.
I will do another Virtual Online Show at a later date when I re-educate myself on Facebook and how to do an online event!!
The excitement builds up! As I am having a virtual online show from my home on Saturday 10th July from 10.45 am. I am showcasing my paintings and doing some demonstrations.
So far, I know that a lot of you are busy on Saturdays and have some people are attending. It would be nice though if people can come on board though it will be recorded.
It will take place from my Virtual Online Show Facebook Page this coming Saturday.
I found these jokes recently:
What did Michelangelo say to the ceiling? I got you covered.
Did you hear about the guy who stole all those paintings? He tried to brush it off but I think he was framed.
A gentleman visits a museum. Suddenly he stops and says to the guide:
“Ah, it’s ugly!”
“I beg your pardon” says the Guide “It is a Picasso!”
Further on, he exclaims again:
“Ah! It’s really ugly!”
“That, Sir, is a mirror!” exclaims the Guide.
You must be an Artist if:
The highlights in your hair are from your palette, not Clairol,
You are having lunch with the girls and the fragrance you wear is eau d’linseed, not eau de parfum.
You butter your toast with your fingers, just to feel it’s texture.
You bought paint, instead of food.
You draw your letters instead of writing them.
You like to get plastered and paint the town red.
You purchase a ton of books….with blank pages.
You know what shade of green the lichen on the trees is.
You can’t find a nice outfit for your date because everything has paint smears on it.
You date ends up with paint smears on him/her.
When viewing a sunset, you think in terms of cadmium yellow, alizarin crimson, violet and tinted teal mixed with yellow ochre for the water.
There are Prussian blue fingerprints on your phone.
here to edit.
"What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?" Van Gogh
"Creativity takes courage" Henri Matisse
These quotes resonate with me because they are from favourite artists. Van Gogh was a Dutch artist who was thought not to sell many paintings in his lifetime, but he sold more than a couple. His Uncle Cor commissioned him and he sold to an Art Dealer, Julian Tanguy. Also his brother, Theo sold another to a gallery in London. He often traded with other artists - often in exchange for food or art supplies. He actually was very experimental with his work and very influential, creating very colourful and painterly, using pattern and textures. He actually created 2,100 works, 860 were paintings that he did in the last 2 years of his life. He was known as a manic depressive and had some problems and died at 37 years old. He kind of puts me to shame. Tremendous courage!
Henri Matisse was a French artist known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. Also he was a printmaker and sculptor and lived to 85 years old. He was known for significant developments in painting and sculpture. Initially labelled a Fauve, which means "wild beast". Also known for his radical outrageous use of colour and pattern. Originally he trained to be a lawyer but because of a case of appendicitis at 20, his mother brought him some paints, which inspired him so he became an artist. This disappointed his father however. He was influenced and became a good friend of Picasso and he loved cats and doves. Unfortunately in the last years of his life he was confined to a wheelchair.
Both of these artists were influential and independent. They didn't just attempt at doing things - they achieved so much. As an artist, it takes courage to keep painting, keep striving, keep experimenting and to keep going. Another quote:
"Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant; there's no such thing. Making you unknown known is the most important thing". Georgia O'Keefe
I share my wok because a lot of work goes into making each piece, hours of time, paint, colour, organisation and design. A determination and grit to keep painting, even when you don't get any sales. It is something I have to do because God wired me with creativity, which takes courage.
Please visit my website on: https://www.jackienorman.com/
If you subscribe to my mailing list, you get a free print and/or an ebook.
Thanks for reading.
This was my Creative Collective Showcase video which was shown on the night of Sunday 14th June via Zoom together with 9 other artists online. It was a wonderful experience and so grateful to be part of such an array of talent with musicians, singers, poets, film makers, actors and other visual artists. So much potential for entertainment and memories, which I will remember from Lockdown.
Hi, my name is Jackie Norman and I live in Slough with my husband, Dave. We have two grown-up girls who have now left the nest. I hope you received my previous blog post, "Is Creativity Important?" earlier. Does creativity make you happy? I think it does and certainly at this time it is important to me and gives me focus, passes the time happily and it gives me an opportunity to share what I do.
I have always drawn and painted from an early age, especially since receiving a watercolour box as a prize for a piece of written work I had done. I am a Visual Artist working in acrylics, pastels, oils, pencils and charcoal, some watercolour, marbling and mixed media. Sometimes in encaustic, which is hot wax. However, over the years I have turned my hand to a variety of techniques i.e scraperboard, screen-printing, collage, etc. I love portraits in particular and figure drawing. I would say my work is mainly realistic as opposed to the abstract, except encaustic/marbling which lends itself to it. I generally though draw and paint from life, from photographs and what I see. I do have paintings for sale on my website.
As you can see from my Facebook page, I like variety and, as well as art, I like salsa and zumba dancing, aerobics, swimming, music, reading, puzzles and problem solving, as it keeps my brain active. I like to experiment with different materials and techniques and also turned my hand to some digital illustration. I love to paint in bright colours and like the play of light and shade. I particularly love the Impressionist painters and draw inspiration from them e.g. Degas, Manet, Monet, Seurat, Toulouse Lautrec etc. However, I look at a variety of artists like the pre-Raphaelites, Matisse and Sorolla, Anthony Hopkins, Rembrandt and Picasso.
I took early retirement after working in a school for over 18 years, where I worked with SEN children. This gave me the chance to do backdrop for plays and murals, display boards, face painting and helping out in the drawing and art lessons,
My work varies between:
Seascapes, nature and landscape, gardens, encaustic art, Windsor Castle, cityscapes, buildings, London scenes, people in an environment, pastel jazz pieces, pastel portraits, cafe scenes, portraits and portraiture, pet portraits, pen/ink drawings, still life, fruit paintings, floral paintings, biblical paintings, religious paintings.
You can find my work on my website which is:
Contact me for more information.
Hi, my name is Jackie Norman and I live in Slough with my husband, Dave. We have two grown-up girls who have now left the nest. I am a Visual Artist of many years. Is creativity important?
Everyone is creative to some extent. Does creativity make you happy? Does creativity reduce stress? Drawing and painting is creative that is true, but so is pottery, making things, needlework, knitting, crochet, building bricks, gardening or cooking a meal. Creativity has certainly helped me in this Coronavirus to have something to do, is calming and soothing and is developing a way to cope during these times when we are at home. It helps focus the mind on something instead of the endless TV programmes, social media and other things that are negative. It can drive you mad after a while!
Scientists have discovered over the years how creativity comes about through play and how creativity helps mental health. When we look at children in the early years, the play with paints/paper, sand and water play, learning to write, playdough and sing, learn to play musical instruments and dance. They all may be different but they are all learning to create in their learning. Can creativity be taught? Where did creativity come from? Everyone has creativity in them so it is nurtured and it does improve over the years from practice and cultivating it, as drawing and painting can improve over time. In schools there is a link to mathematics and art, as measuring and calculating are in the art process. Also in cooking and needlework, in fact a lot of creative arts.
Do animals have creativity and imagination? It has been discovered that elephants have been known to be able to paint and in animal watching, we discover that cats and dogs are creative, birds sing and dance and we see it across nature.
Does creativity decrease with age? I think it is so important that we keep nurturing our creativity as long as it takes. It slows down the ageing process so we should all nurture our creativity in the many ways we can do so. Where did creativity come from? I think God wired us in the first place with creativity in the many gifts and abilities he has given us. We are all different, all unique, all extraordinary in many ways. So in this crisis time it would be interesting to find out what people are doing to cope with this time?
This Self-Portrait is an Acrylic Painting, which is painted in a semi-impressionist style, lots of yellows and blues, on a boxed canvas 18" x 24" x 2". I painted this for a competition at the Mall Galleries Portrait Competition. Competition was extremely high and so were standards of excellence. Why did I paint myself like this? This was a fond memory of mine where we visited Bournemouth, my husband Dave and I, staying at the Chocolate Boutique Hotel. It was Dave's birthday in the October, hence the coat at the time. I used to love that coat but I lost it when I visited the USA at Charlotte Airport, I have tried to capture the smile and stance. I am seated on an animal skin chair, which is kind of fascinated me. I am at the top of some stairs where is near a small window with venetian blinds. We had been for a walk and just relaxing before dinner.
The painting is a personal one but I can do commissions of similar portraits and portraiture, in acrylics or oils, watercolours, charcoals or in mixed media. I also paint pets/animal portraits and portraiture. These are at reasonable prices and rates. At this size I would charge around £250 for acrylics, but I could paint in oils, watercolours, mixed media or in black/white charcoal or smaller portraits if desired.