Atmospheric Flowers in Watercolour by Jean Haines (Extract)
“Learn from nature; absorbing as
much information as possible until
you find yourself breathing life into
At the beginning of each new book that I write, I try to explain to the reader why I am writing and what they can expect from the following pages. You may believe you have purchased a book that will help you paint flowers in a loose style. While that is true, I am hoping that you gain far more from the chapters to come.
I want to take you on a journey
that involves using watercolour
materials to create beautiful
paintings. I also want to share with
you the joy I feel when painting
flowers and how doing so has
improved my life. More importantly,
I want you to discover your true
artist’s soul. I hope to pull out of you
the very best floral artist you can be;
so that you surprise yourself not only
with your art but by the peaceful
way you feel when you have finished
painting floral work. I want you to
yearn to paint each day, every time
you see a flower, a plant, or even an
insect, as we are looking at all these
fascinating subjects within this book.
For now I want to share how I first fell in love with flowers, long before I even started painting them. As a child I lived with my grandparents. One of the first things my Grandfather told me was that there were fairies at the foot of their garden. He told me I should never pick a flower, because I might disturb them. Crayons were placed in my child-sized hands and I played with colour as soon as I was able. I am thankful, because this is where my love of art began. All the gorgeous flowers in my Grandfather’s garden were soon my favourite subjects. I learned about their colour, form, and about each special season when they would begin to appear. Over time I have found that my life has been like seasons: my childhood and youth as the springtime of my life, followed by the beautiful summer as I grew, married and had children of my own. I would like to think I am now in the autumn rather than the winter of my lifetime – but oh, how much I have learned along the way.
In all of my international watercolour workshops I am asked how to paint flowers. Before you can paint them as a subject, I believe you have to absorb information about them: this will enable you to breathe life into your paintings. That is what I am hoping to do with this book: help you create more than just art.
I want you to achieve a level where
your paintings are stunningly unique
and speak to the viewers of your
finished pieces, so that they feel they
can touch soft, silky petals or take in
the heady perfume of each bloom you
have completed in watercolour. Petal
by petal, step by step, we are about
to begin a journey together that,
hopefully, will be totally memorable.
I can’t wait to get started.
From the introduction to Atmospheric Flowers in Watercolour, by Jean Haines. Search Press, 2018. Reprinted with permission. The extract was featured in the Autumn 2018 Cygnus Review. Atmospheric Flowers in Watercolour is available for purchase from Cygnus Books.