A look back on a very busy year, and a look forward to 2019.
What a 2018 it has been!

Paintings and Commissions
The year started with a flurry of new commissions - these ranged from panoramic landscapes to small pet portraits. I love completing commissions as they are always a special gift to someone and the client commissioning has always put a lot of thought into what they would like to give. In total I completed 8 commissions and created over 75 paintings and drawings in oils, watercolours, acrylics and coloured pencils. I've also realised this year that using so many different mediums can actually limit the creative flow, and I'm hoping to focus on a more connected set of works in 2019 mainly using acrylics and watercolours; I will continue to create a small body of coloured pencil wildlife drawings over the next year but these will be limited due to the time taken to create them. I'm incredibly grateful to The George Farnham Gallery in Saxmundham who are the only gallery to buy my wildlife drawings from.

Workshops and Classes

It has been a very busy year for workshops and classes. I have continued to teach a monthly watercolour class near Newmarket for a dedicated small group of willing students, which always brings a great deal of pleasure. It's been really nice to get to knew the group over the last 18 months or so that we've been meeting, and it's been a massive learning experience which no doubt has helped me to improve my teaching and demonstrating style.

This year I've been very fortunate to be invited by Tindalls Art to provide all day acrylic palette knife workshops in Newmarket. These workshops have proved very successful, with workshops selling out and waiting lists growing each time. I look forward to teaching more workshops in 2019.

In total I've given 22 workshops and classes in 2018 across East Anglia - I only taught 8 in 2017 so that's a big increase! I'm pleased to say that I've already got 13 workshops and classes booked in for 2019.

Cambridge Open Studios 2018

The middle of the year is always dominated by my Cambridge Open Studios exhibition here on the farm in Swaffham Bulbeck. Over the last few years this has grown into my most popular event with a flurry of sales across the two weekends I open. Though visitor numbers were down this year (which seemed to be the norm for the whole event across the county) I met new visitors and made sales to happy customers. It's always a mighty effort to get ready for the event, with paintings to frame, labels to print and display boards to make. Once again I will be exhibiting in 2019 - watch this space for more info.

I'm always very grateful for every sale I make, not just at Open Studios time but across the year. This year I've been very fortunate to have sold 22 paintings and drawings.

En Plein Air Painting

In 2018 I made a conscious effort to paint outdoors more often; known as en plein air, I brought a new pochade box easel which fits on to a standard tripod, making it easier to transport than my larger french easel. This has proved to be really useful and so much easier especially when we went to North Norfolk on holiday - I could throw everything into a rucksack and travel lightly, making it great to find different views which I may not have walked to if I had to carry the french easel. You can see some of my paintings created outside in the montage above.

New Adventures

This year has also become the year of new contacts and new adventures being planned for 2019 and beyond. I was contacted by the owner of an art holiday company in the summer who had seen my work online. They asked if I've ever considered teaching on an art holiday - well, no, I hadn't! Long story short, I'm really pleased to be working with Arte Umbria and their sister company Painting in Europe to teach in Italy and the UK in August and September 2019.

As you can see it really has been a busy year! I'm very grateful for all support I've received from so many people in 2018. I look forward to seeing lot's of familiar faces and lot's of new faces in 2019 at the various events and workshops I'll be involved in.

Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and New Year!