Watercolour homework

Is there anyone else out there that still has recurring dreams and memories about how little revision you’d done come the morning of your exam? As I’ve become a lot older, but only marginally wiser, I am generally better at managing my time but, truth be told, I’m still prone to a little bit of last-minute-ness!

Regular followers will know that one of my annual highlights over the past few years has been contributing to Heart Research UK’s anonymous heART charity art auction. This year will the fourth year that I’ve submitted work to this great cause. Over the past three years, the works that I’ve submitted have raised over £1,000 for Heart Research UK.

This year, the deadline for receipt of artwork was 30th June. This is earlier than in previous years but it still isn’t a good enough excuse for me sailing right on past that deadline! I think I’ve sailed past it in every other year too and, everytime, it reminds me of my schooldays; not to mention and many days since when I’ve found myself desperately trying to salvage a situation that was totally avoidable!

So. Here I am (late) again!

This means that while I desparately pull something together to submit for the auction, I don’t have anything new to share today! I can give a little sneak flavour of what I’m working on this year, which is to produce some A5 versions of some of the paintings that I’ve enjoyoned painting the most over the past few months. This means that some of them may be recognisable – but only to those that follow me here or elsewehere! So far I’ve finished three and hope to finish a fourth.

I daresay that my school report will, once again, be characterised by a certain sense ‘Could do better’ and ‘must try harder’

Here’s a quick summary of what I’ve rustled up in the past:


I was totally at a loose end in 2020 for so many reasons – many of which felt by the entire population of the world – so I know I was in good company! In the end, I didn’t create new works for the auction, but cropped A5 details from existing paintings. While this felt like a little bit of a cheat, I really enjoyed the exercise of taking an A5 mount and running it over lots of larger paintings looking for crops that I thought would work:


I vividly remeber painting these while we were on our annual camping trip in France. I’d taken some watercolour books with me, including one of my favourite Rowland Hilder books. Many of these submissions were based on his paintings (and were all acknowledged as such in the descriptions that I supplied for the auction).


Again, two of these studies were taken from my French holiday sketchbook while the third was based on one of my many London photographs.

So far, I’m quite pleased with the three that I’ve done for this year so am hopeful I’ll once again be able to raise a few pounds for this great charity.

As I do each year, I’ll share the results once the auction is over. Right now though, I have a little matter of the England Denmark European Cup semi-final to attend to!

Thoughts on Watercolour homework

10 thoughts on “Watercolour homework”

  1. John, I had saved this post for future reading, this the late remarks. You really cracked me up with this post (made me laugh)! Hey, we all have those old high school ghosts. I am really good at planning my time, but I do blow stuff off too – especially home base projects. I get in trouble with the wife alot. This post was fun because it shows your human side. That’s awesome.

    And by the way, I loved the paintings. You definitely are quite talented. Good luck with the show!

    1. Thanks so much Tim – funny that we all have those high school ghosts (and that they’re often so similar!)
      Your comments remind me that I’ve got quite a few long overdue tasks at home to sort out that I can’t keep putting off for ever!

  2. Pingback: Watercolour painting and footballing waiting

  3. Ah.. ✋ absolutely guilty of morning of exam studies. Hate thinking about it even now, lol. 😭 I love the textures in the paintings you created from your France camping trip! I’m a sucker for moody grey/cool landscapes.

    1. Thanks so much for this Shaima and I’m glad I’m not alone with exam morning panics! So pleased that you like some of these paintings too, much appreciated!

  4. I cannot believe it’s a whole year since you last did this. Well done again in keeping up with your contributions even if they are a little late.

    1. Just another example of how much time flies when you’re obviously having so much fun Rob! To be fair, you may only be casting your mind back to the autumn, which is when I shared the final results from the auction. I think they want to run the auction a little earlier this year so the deadlines have changed. Fingers crossed that, unlike my teachers, they’ll accept a late hand in!

      1. Personally, I have a whole range of anxiety dreams; they include exams but more often, as an ex-teacher, I can’t find a classroom or haven’t prepared a lesson and am faced by an eager classful. I’ve even had an unprepared maiden speech in Parliament dream, would you believe?

        1. I can totally appreciate your ex-teacher dreams and where they might stem from, but I especially like the idea of your unprepared maiden speech in parliament dream! I’m sure your therapist would have a field day with that one!

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