A Good Year – 2016

I know that 2016 has been a crazy year for so many reasons but I’ve spent some time going back over the year to reflect on where I started creatively in January and where I’ve arrived at in December.

So here are my highlights.

January to March 2016

What can I say – lots of painting. I really did begin with a bang and managed to keep this up for quite some time.  My favourite painting is this one of my son’s first pair of shoes which I have kept all these years.


I had the pleasure of participating in the #TwitterArtExhibition which supported Foster Pride NYC New York, USA.  TAE had the biggest number of entries they had ever seen with close to 1000 cards from artists covering 35 countries around the world.  I’m pleased to report that my postcard sold on the first night raising funds for Foster Pride’s “Handmade” Programme, where young women in foster care learn to create and market a unique line of handmade goods.

If you fancy supporting this, click here to see this years event which is being held in the UK.



April to June 2016

Exhibiting at an Art Fair was a first for me and I took part in the Frome Art Fair in Somerset.  I enjoyed spending the weekend talking to people about art and I’m sure it’s something I’ll repeat again.

I joined Artists 303 in April and now enjoy being part of a formal artist community.  We’ll be exhibiting at the Round Tower in Frome, Somerset in May.

Remember the collaboration project I did with my printmaking friends.  Well, we turned this print into a tea towel and it has sold like hot cakes!  Such a good thing to do with others.

The end of June saw a return to Staithes and the production of my favourite painting of the year.  I’m not sure I’ve even given it a name, but I’m sure I’ll get around to it.

img_5111I started painting this one en plein air (outside) but I got so cold, I packed it in and came indoors.  I finished this at home using my sketches and a photo.  I was really pleased to say that all this painting outdoors is developing my visual memory and I was able to recall quite a bit of detail about the scene.

It sits in my studio to remind me what I can achieve with a limited palette and some good brushes!



July to September 2016


#DrawingAugust came around again and although I didn’t get as many drawings done as I’d like, I was so pleased to see so many drawings on my twitter feed from all level of drawing ability.  Great fun!

I took part in Somerset Art Weeks again. This time I shared my exhibition space with two friends and I have to say, it was our best SAW yet.  Lots of visitors, tea & cake, sales, commissions and bookings for workshops.  A great result all around.




October to December 2016

After all the hard work of getting ready for Somerset Art Weeks and the exhibition itself, I flew off to Portugal for a painting holiday.  It was unseasonably hot which brought its own challenges.

I received a number of commissions for artists books during Somerset Art Weeks and these were mainly for Christmas presents.  Nothing like a deadline to keep you focussed!

deerparkAnother commission that meant a great deal to me was for a friend who married the love of her life in November.  They were married at Deer Park in Devon (such a lovely wedding) and so it only seemed natural to combine the name of the hotel with my love of nature.  The Deer Park commission was born.

This was an edition of 35 just for the guests on the day.



I realise that in doing this post, I have neglected to post so much throughout the year.  An indication of how much has been going on.  Hopefully this year I’ll be more disciplined about posting on my blog.

Happy New Year to you.  Thank you for your support through the many likes, shares, and comments/feedback that I receive.  It means a lot.  I hope that 2017 is a good year for you and that you have a successful year.


Drawing August Anyone?


This is the 4th year for #drawingaugust – it’s great that people still want to do it. So as we approach August this year, I’m putting out the annual call.

I’m not keeping a list of participants this year, all you have to do is the following;

  • On 1st of August, make a new drawing.  The choice of subject is yours
  • Take a photo of your drawing or make a scan of it.
  • Post the photo/scan on Twitter using the hashtag #drawingaugust. Also put the date on it.
  • REPEAT the process every single day until 31st August.

At the end of the month you can look back on 31 drawings that you’ve produced; see your progress and remember summertime memories!  You can also be part of a great community of creatives who encourage each other, especially in August.

Wales Arts Review published a great article (thank you Gary).  If you want to know more about how Dean and I started this movement, click here to read it.


A little sketch .. One of the main characters on a programme I’m watching at the moment. Ah! Which one? See if you can guess.  By the way, it’s not photo-realistic, this is just how I see her, perhaps you see her differently.  

#DrawingAugust 2015


Well, who’d have thought that we are embarking on another year of #DrawingAugust.  This will be our third year and I’m hoping that we will all have another fantastic twitter feed filled with a vast amount of drawings in different styles and genre.

I am keeping a list of sorts so if you want to join the #DrawingAugust 2015 group, just send me a tweet or a comment on this post and I’ll add you to the list.

This is a great way to keep up your drawing skills, regular practice will help develop your drawing skills and help you to develop a sketching habit.  It’s also great fun!

If you want to take part, just do a drawing each day in August and post it on Twitter with the # #DrawingAugust.

I’m certainly looking forward to it this year!

Sketching Interlude

I spent Sunday in Bristol with a new group of sketchers who are embarking on an affiliation to Urban Sketchers.  I’ve been an Urban Sketcher for a while, but it’s great to be part of a group.  It’s a small group at the moment, but with every effort to publicise it we should get quite a crowd out sketching in Bristol and the surrounding area.  If you want to keep up to date with the dates etc, just click here to go to the Facebook page.   Apologies if FB isn’t for you but it seems the most sensible option.

Here’s my two sketches from the day.  There was a lot of coffee drank and lunch of course! A good day and something to be repeated!

IMG_0084 IMG_0083

Falling in love with Etching


It’s been a very busy week in the Stevens household so there’s not much art to show you. That said, I wanted to show you my Hare etching that I’ve done off the back of a sketch I did last year.

I love etchings, for the fact that you can make such fine lines; a real drawing quality that you can’t get with Lino (or that might just be me!).

I haven’t done etching for a long time because of all the preparation you need to do; preparation of the metal plates, using hard ground/soft ground , using an acid bath, lots of mess (again that might just be me, I constantly have messy fingers). And, if you’re really lucky, you end up with a lovely print.

I’m out of practice with the acid bath, but Hare turned out well, so he’ll be featuring in my exhibition.

Hope you’ve had a good weekend, and have had great weather. It’s been a lovely day, too lovely for paperwork!