Monday, 19 September 2016

Portraits in Watercolour - 2 Day workshop UK

I had such a wonderful afternoon demonstrating at the Babylon Gallery in Ely a couple of weeks back, while stewarding at the Society of East Anglian Watercolourists Selected Exhibition.

It's a beautiful gallery in a lovely setting on the river, lots of light and a charming area. 

This was the painting I did for the demonstration. Today it sits in my studio while I decided, what and if it needs more. I have to thank Frans Devriese for the kind use of his photograph.

I have been invited to teach at the East Devon Art Academy on the 13th and 14th October this year, so if you would like to come join me and learn how I paint just get in touch with me or the Academy.

©Stephie Butler
©Stephie Butler

"In this exciting, informative workshop, Stephie will show you how to paint portraits in watercolour full of colour with an impressionistic feel. Suitable for all abilities. Stephie will share how to portray feelings and emotions in your work making it unique."

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Portraits in watercolour


13th & 14th OCT 2016


East Devon Art Academy
Old Fore Street
EX10 8LS
Tel: +44 1395 516284

Monday, 25 July 2016

The Society of Women Artists 155th Annual Exhibition

The Society of Women Artists
155th Annual Exhibition at Mall Galleries, London SW1

I am delighted to have two paintings hanging and for sale in this wonderful Exhibition, Please come along and visit the exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London, SW1. 



Private View 10 am – 8 pm  Wednesday 27 July

HRH Princess Michael of Kent SWA Patron will present the Awards.

Daphne Todd OBE PPRP HSWA opens Exhibition at 11.30am 

Open to the Public Thursday 28 July – Sunday 7 August  10am – 5pm daily (closing 3pm final day)

Special Charity Evening Tuesday 26 July 6.30 – 8.30pm
Guest of Honour Dame Zandra Rhodes

Invitations for Breast Cancer Now Champagne Reception are available from for free admission.

Sue Jelley, President SWA

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The SWA will be staging their Annual Open Exhibition commencing with a Private View on Wednesday 27 July when HRH Princess Michael of Kent will be presenting the Awards. Daphne Todd OBE PPRP and an Honorary SWA , the renowned Portraitist who won the first BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery,  will be opening the show.     We have 140 members most of whom are professional artists who will be showcasing their work together with that of our new Young Artists.  Our Summer Show is an Open Exhibition and we are thrilled that each year we are able to feature talented non-member artists who, hopefully, will in time, become Members of the SWA and therefore secure the future of the Society’s importance in the art world.

special thanks to Gunnar Salvarsson for the use of his photo

Diversity is our strength and in 2016 our exhibitors have provided an eclectic range of works that will not only entertain but provide debate.  Joanne Powell’s Landscape quietly and simply reminds us of how beautiful the world can be whilst Christine Southworth’s ‘Dangerous Games’ reminds us of the horrors of war.  Rebecca Fontaine Wolf’s ‘Eternal Occurrence’ is a powerful portrayal of a mother’s love for her child but with the emphasis on the mother’s unfulfilled desires passed on to her child who then becomes part of the cycle.   

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Ten members have very kindly donated a piece of work to be auctioned at the Champagne Reception on Tuesday 26 July 6.30 – 8.30 when Dame Zandra Rhodes will be our Guest of Honour.  The proceeds of the auction will go to this worthwhile charity.  Re-named BREAST CANCER NOW their aim is to wipe out this disease by 2050 and with recent good news they will now fulfil their promise. The Special Invite for 2016 is available from President Sue Jelley on

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Mall Galleries are hosting a talk/discussion Wednesday 3rd August at 2.30 and President of the SWA Sue Jelley will be part of a panel who will debate ‘Women Only – is there now a growing trend for more Women’s Exhibitions and Awards’ ?

We have all been asked about ‘The relevance of a Women’s Society today.’  Well, as far as we are concerned we are a modern tradition and are proud to celebrate the work of female artists past and present.  Our aims to encourage and nurture tomorrow’s artists is of paramount importance to us and since we are now probably more popular as a society than we have ever been why not carry on with our plans for the future?.

On the Panel with Sue will be Eliza Gluckman MA (RCA) Curator, New Hall Art Collection, Murray Edwards College, Cambridge University and Melissa Cassoff of Freelands Foundation.  Media Executive, philanthropist and Tate trustee Elisabeth Murdoch has launched a £100,000 annual prize to give female artists a mid-career boost.  This initiative embraces artists that other awards overlook.  Called the Freelands Artist Award after Murdoch’s London-based arts education foundation.



Watercolour Portraits

13th & 14th October 2016

Delighted to be asked to give a workshop at the East Devon Art Academy
 Limited places available
Please contact me and I will send you the relevant info or visit their website

Monday, 2 May 2016

New work . . . .

I have just got back from a trip to Holland where I gave a workshop. I'd like to say a big thank you to all those who attended. It was such a lovely friendly atmosphere and hopefully you all learned a lot to help you move on in your journey. You created some amazing work and made me very proud as a teacher. I'd like to also say a huge thank you to my friend Joanna who put so much work in to helping me and the students, couldn't have done it without you.

After the workshop I spent a further two weeks with Joanna visiting various places in her country and of course lots of painting. This was one I completed while I was with her. There is nothing more inspiring than painting with a friend, you bounce ideas around and develop your each others creativity.

This one was based on a photo I took on a recent trip to The Gambia. As yet it's still untitled, but that will come in time.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Moving forward, trying something new . . .

Every artist needs to move forward, otherwise we are in danger of painting the same old. The way forward to this is to play and try out new things, whether it be a new subject, a different medium or new colours.
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With every goal I reach in a painting, i'm thrilled, with each piece of work afterwards becoming more comfortable to paint, then soon the need to reach the next goal steps in. I've come to the stage where I'm wanting to move on and paint something different, right now putting in a little more of a figure than just the face. Along with pushing for a difference in the subject comes the desire to use different colours as well. I was fortunate to be given a wonderful gift by a friend, of some Daniel Smith paints, must say I love them. I haven't use these too much as yet so am picking up ones gradually and trying them. I also bought Janet's Violet Rose by American Journey, this is a gorgeous colour, especially for portrait work.
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When you are introducing new colour to your painting, work in smaller areas of your subject, don't be tempted to use it everywhere. Remember to stop and look from a distance, evaluate before deciding if you need to use it elsewhere to balance your work. I often let my paintings sit for some time before moving on, i've overworked to many in the past rushing in. Very often you will find when you go back to it that it doesn't need anything else. Think about working a another in the meantime, to stop you being tempted to rush in.
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This is what i'm working on at the moment and the slight change of colours. When you do this, take it slow, but remembering it's important to enjoy and play. I'm often asked how you develop your own style, well this the way, by experimenting and playing.

When you are trying new colours and mixes, be sure to try them out on a scrap piece first and write down what you have used for later reference.

Painting information taken form Ken Bromley Art Supplies and Cheap Joes. 
 With thanks to Gunnar Salvarsson for the use of his photo as ref. 

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2016 Workshops
16th & 17th April 2016 - Portraits in Watercolour - Franeker
NETHERLANDS   (2 Day workshop)
Contact me

19th June to 25th June 2016 - Portraits in Watercolour
Bandouille, FRANCE
Painting holiday

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Wednesday, 13 January 2016

France Painting Holiday 2016

Come join me in their final year of doing Art Holidays at Bandouille, France

2 Day workshop in Holland - last few spaces

I am pleased to announce I will be back in Holland this year giving another 2 day workshop.

The workshop will be held at the Hotel de Valk, in Franeker.
If you would like to attend the workshop, please contact me through the contact page on my website

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Derwent Art Supplies Award 2015

Absolutely thrilled to be awarded the Derwent Art Materials Award 2015 at the Society of Women Artists 154th Exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London for my painting "Why". The award was presented to me by the Patron, HRH Princess Michael of Kent. To have my parents there with me to see me receive my award made it a very special day, I can’t tell you how proud I felt.  

A very special thanks to Frank Janssens for the use of his photo.

Friday, 15 May 2015

New paintings....

In between doing a workshop in Holland and demos for art clubs I've also been working on some new paintings. This one was a little different to my usual stuff and a bit of a challenge as well.

On a recent trip to "The Gambia" I managed to collect lots of reference material and am eager to work from them, this one was taken at Serekunda Market. Sure bought you back to the real world when you see how some people live from day to day. This lady was selling soap powder for washing clothes, little bags of it. Each day the people go to the market to sell whatever they can make or acquire hoping to make enough to feed their families for that day.

There were lots of times along the way I wasn't sure it was going to work, it is true that it makes a difference if you work from your own reference, it has a different meaning to it . I think it all came together in the end.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Essex in Mayfair 2015

Thrilled to have all 3 paintings selected by Essex Art Club for their Mayfair Exhibition. PV to be opened by Ken Howard OBE.


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