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Painting as a Cure

March has started at 100 miles per hour, chasing around after the boys, Charlie with University interviews, a part-time job!!!! and Will with concerts right left and centre; along with my business and the house stuff cleaning, gardening, shopping etc, I am never quite sure how I remember everything but I do and that is the main thing.
In the back of my mind are all those lovely people asking me about painting and working out how I can share more of what I know, so with that in mind and at a very "baby steps" stage I am devising some lessons on dvd or to download. Now you will have to bear with me on this as sadly I think I am part of that lost generation who still think of computers as newfangled. I have the content ready but it is a few months off delivery but it is exciting and will hopefully help those of you who are too far away to attend my classes. You may of course already had enough of me and have found a new direction and that is as it should be, art is a journey and there are many paths; now I sound like Confucius!
If you know me you may know that I have the craziest dreams, really crazy and yes sadly I tell people about them. Don't worry I won't bore you with any now but must warn you that I am 'dream painting'. Yep, I am actually painting in my sleep and have luckily remembered the compositions so don't be surprised if next years SBA submissions are a little off the wall. I can't tell you what they will be or I will chase them away like a dream but am hoping to get something on paper soon, you have been warned. Luckily most of my dream painting is pretty so no headless chickens or similar I am sure you'll be relieved to hear that.
So onto March and my new colours, I have swapped my usual Winsor and Newtons for Sennelier, I know this will trouble many as you may have purchased the W&N colours but haver no fear the Sennelier can gradually be introduced once you have painted your way through the W&N, OR added to mixes if you please. To make things simpler I will be posting a conversion chart and have liaised with Sennelier to create a Billy Showell palette, which will be out very soon. The new Sennelier paints have honey in the mix, they are soft and dreamy to work with and largely transparent and luminous so they will make a great addition to your art box. The first 12 come in a specially designed box and there will be other small additions for the extra colours us flower painters need, so no excuse for not using the real artist colours.
Finding time to paint seems to be a real problem for me and for many other painters and students; the way I see it, is that one actually needs to make the time, as the peace and focus of the mind that painting brings is so beneficial, that it is essential to seeing off the blues that can creep into every day life. I find that time painting actually stimulates my imagination, I have time to think about the process and switch off from the mundane. Admittedly time is the issue but we are all guilty of wasting time, telly, window shopping, browsing freeby magazines full of stuff you don't need and dare I say it 'browsing the internet'..... there I said it, it wastes your precious creative time.
So without further ado find some space on a corner table prepare the paper, lamp, pencils and paint and every time you find yourself wasting time, stop what you were doing fetch something to paint (it could even be your coffee mug and a half eaten apple) and paint, paint!! Even if it is only 15 mins a day the improvement will be tremendous and the satisfaction of finding that little bit of creative time will be time well spent.
Life is really simple, but men insist on making it complicated. (Confucius)


  1. Well done, Billy! I will try to take your advice and do 15 minutes a day. I know it makes a big difference. Looking forward to your videos! M.

  2. Confucious! Love that word :) Great blog and wow you have so much planned! Now what am I doing on the internet at this time of night? Yup, wasting time! However I did paint for most of the afternoon and I have finished my ivy leaves :) Now busy adding to my lily painting. Now it's time to dream about painting!

  3. Really excited to hear about the Sennelier paints – I have some M. Graham watercolours that I got from Canada. They also use honey, and it does give the paint a wonderful flow. Can't get the M.Graham ones on this side of the Atlantic, so I'm delighted that Sennelier uses honey. Looking forward to trying them. Love your blog, Billy!

  4. I have M Graham too. But I gave many away to my daughter. Yes, they have always used honey. But I find some of their colors less clear and bright than Sennelier. Even less clear and clean looking than Winser & Newton.
    My favorite Sennelier color is French Vermillion. The only negative about these paints is the the tubes are only 10 ml or 21 ml. I like the 14 to 15 ml sizes. But they are so wonderful! I hope to collect more. I might even give all my other brands away.

  5. Really i appreciate the effort you made to share the knowledge.The topic here i found was really effective to the topic which i was researching for a long time. Old Beggar With A Boy


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