What's happening...


From Friday 9th September to Sunday 18th September I'm taking part in an exhibition to mark the 200th anniversary of Huntley and Palmers, at the wonderful Turbine House Riverside Museum next to the Bel and The Dragon in Reading.

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My next workshop at Micklems Farm will be in the new year (2023): Painting the winter landscape in oils. Please check back for details or sign up to receive my newsletter below.

Plein air painting in oils

Thursday August 11th 2022 10am - 4pm

at Micklems Farm 

Painting outside, especially with oils, can seem a daunting prospect, but once you’ve tried it, hopefully you won’t look back! This workshop aims to provide the practical advice you’ll need to make this a regular part of your art practice.

After a brief introductory talk about equipment and method, we’ll be leaving the studio to explore the outside space and beautiful gardens at Micklems Farm. Shelagh will advise on how to choose a subject to create an interesting composition and how to simplify your set-up to deal with the everyday practicalities of working outside. On-going advice and help will be given throughout the day.

Shelagh is equally happy teaching beginners and more experienced artists so this workshop will suit anyone who just wants to have a go at painting plein air.

Please note, acrylic paints will not be suitable for this workshop.


What to bring:

  • a small sketchbook and soft pencil

  • 1 or 2 canvas boards, probably not larger than 10 x 12”. You may like to put a thin wash of raw sienna down in advance to provide a toned background

  • an easel – many plein air painters use a pochade box and tripod combination, or a French box easel.

  • artist quality oil paints (traditional or water-mixable) Useful colours would be: titanium white, lemon yellow or cadmium yellow pale, cadmium yellow, alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, cerulean, raw sienna, burnt sienna. Nice ‘extras’ would be cobalt violet, sap green, naples yellow and yellow ochre. I will have stand-by paints if you’re missing any colours

  • an oil palette – this could be a hard or a ‘tear-off’ palette

  • palette knife

  • brushes (ideally in a brush roll) – synthetic or bristle, whatever you like working with

  • odourless thinners and receptacle with a lid

  • rags or kitchen towel (to wipe your brushes on)

  • warm layers (even on a sunny day you can get chilly)

  • sun hat or visor

  • apron or coverall

Looking back....

In 2021 I was lucky enough to be selected to take part in one of my favourite TV shows, Sky Landscape Artist of the Year. It was a last minute application - I've always thought it would be fun if you were chosen to be one of the 'wild card' artists, who look as though they are having such a good time (even though it does always seem to be raining). 

It was quite an experience and although I had a bad case of imposter syndrome, I really enjoyed the whole process; the production team were so friendly and bent over backwards to make the  contestants' experience as positive as they could.

It was amazing to reach the final three.

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At the semi-finals in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park - it poured with rain!

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The final paintings - Kew Palm House, the commission piece - and the view down-river from Trinity Buoy Wharf, East London

"If I came across this in the Gare d'Orsay in Paris, I'd think - what a nice early Monet, or Sisley..."