My Day as an Artist!

Last week I spent a day on a painting course called ‘Making Watercolours Behave’. Why? Have I decided to give up writing and try painting instead?


Definitely not! I have always been hopeless at painting and drawing. When my family plays Pictionary at Christmas, my drawings always produce gales of laughter! Why put myself through more torment by going on a course?

Ollie, the main character in the novel I’m working on at the moment is an artist. Watercolours are his passion, and he’s prepared to sacrifice a lot to pursue his ambition. But there’s some old adage in writing advice that says Write What You Know. Do I follow it? Obviously not.

In Unravelling, the main characters are Vanessa, a knitwear designer and Gerald, a sculptor. I can knit, but design? Never! And as for trying to sculpt something!! The Piano Player’s Son centres around music, principally the piano. Three of the characters are expert pianists. So, can I play? I think you can guess the answer to that one. But I have been lucky in having people I know who have been able to help me with my research for both books.

So, when I saw the watercolour course on offer at the college where I teach, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to gain some insights. I’ve read a lot, but that can’t take the place of hands-on experience.

I learnt a lot, including the fact that I’m as hopeless as I thought I was, and that watercolours are a difficult medium to work in. But that difficulty, the fluidity, the challenge of making them do what you want them to do is part of the attraction.

This is one of my attempts at sky:

IMG_1552Mm! Think I’ll stick to writing!



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  1. Polly says:

    I love your watercolour sky…is this an impressionist in the making? 🙂

  2. Lindsay says:

    I wish, Polly, I wish!

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