Monday 12 October 2015

Drawing with letters

Vision is the art of seeing the invisible.          Jonathan Swift

It's Big Draw time again. Last year's Question mark creative challenge was great, more than 1200 children took part in the drawing project globally.
This year I a drawing project, fun and a bit different, for people from everywhere to join in, not just children. 
The idea is simple and is based on a creative exercise to engage with shapes and forms. 
How it works: 
An A4 template with the handwritten words t e l l  m e  a  s t o r y printed upside down is to be used to create a flower garden drawing with.  

The letters, acting as shapes, to be incorporated in a drawing of a flower garden, only black lines, no colour to be used. 
This template is also a handy card when done in the UK at different venues. One thousand cards had been printed and available to be used as long as stocks last; see The Big Draw for details. 
On World Kindness day Friday13 November 2015, the completed card artwork is to be given to an adult to be coloured in. The idea is to give it to someone in need of a thank you or cheering up. The colouring aspect is in response to the trend for grown ups to colour in. I came upon the idea of creating a card and colouring in combination after one of my paintings was featured in the Autumn edition of Fitting into my Creative Community Project concept it is an added bonus to be doing something fun and art related in schools and art fairs involving the wider public as well. 

Join in this project, schools, groups, individuals, artists, young and old, any time from now until 13 November when I will be doing a live Periscope letter drawing session from 7-7:30pm at the Windsor Contemporary Art Fair.

The card as it appears, A3 size, to be folded in half, on the back page is a finished #lettergarden, a drawing I made from the words 'Every drawing tells a story' (upside down)  this can be coloured in as well, lots of birds, insects, hearts and eyes are hidden, a little bit of fun for eyes to seek out and colour in. Here is the Dropbox link to download the template. You can download the A3 size, of just the front of the card with the large writing on it.
See the youtube chanel  for videos of letter drawings. 

Alongside the purpose of this drawing project to promote art and creativity in the community I'm raffling a painting for Sightsavers, a vision charity. 

Donate £2 or more to Sightsavers via Justgiving Every £2 buys a virtual ticket. An original painting of 30x30cm, based on the concept of letters in art is being auctioned.

Lettergardens, the original painting being raffled.

Saturday 27 June 2015

Developing an online painting course.

This is me doing interactive painting with visitors at the Windsor Contemporary Art Fair last November.

Around six months ago I decided to create an online painting course.
The reason for this was a demand from people following my fb page and encouragement from fellow artists and friends. I occasionally do workshops and projects to promote creativity in the community, but time is often an issue and creating my own art has taken 

Having thought long and hard about how  this will proceed I looked in depth at the way I create.
My working process and methodology is unorthodox and very intuitive, focussing on creating calm from a rather chaotic and colourful background.

Starting off with colour shapes

Completed still life.

A busy visual to start off a landscape painting.

The landscape painting nearing completion.

To demonstrate this practically in the course I have experimented with shapes, colours, a variety of techniques and drawing marks. A tentative formula and working process to be implemented in this course will include live elements and interaction thanks to digital technology with virtual 'hands on' elements to be included by myself drawing digitally on students' developing artworks to offer guidance without actually touching the physical item.

It's quite tricky to explain, and I will release a short video to explain the process in more detail. 
Meanwhile, I've documented the creative process of one of my still life paintings in a time lapse video and demonstrated some of the techniques to be used in the September course.  

I limit places on the course to 60 in order to interact with students effectively. A further course might be added in October as the September one is nearly full.Further courses on Landscape painting and a more Floral design based option will be offered early 2016.If you are interested in the course, have a look for detail on the link at the top or see

Explore Colour Online Course 12-20 September from Este Macleod on Vimeo.

Registration opens on Monday 29 June with the option to benefit from an early bird 15% discount with preregistered students being offered spaces first.
Early bird discount is offered for 24 hours until 12pm 30 June GMT.
Course price is £150, with the discount, £ 127.50
A deposit of £27.50 by end of June will secure a space at the discounted rate in the course from 12-20 September.
Payment of £100 is payable on 1 August onwards. 

Friday 22 May 2015


Wow what a week! 

I've just returned from #New York where I exhibited a selection of my paintings as images together with an art collective at #SURTEX from 17-19 May.

The show is intended for designers and agents showing new surface decoration images for licensing. Applications for designs range from textiles to billboards, greeting cards, publications wall art, wall paper, rugs and interior design.

I exhibited in a booth with Cultivate Art Collective, a selection of nine designers from the UK, Canada and USA. 

As this was my debut licensing event it was an interesting experience and not knowing what to expect I was quite amazed at some of the visitors who approached me enquiring about licensing options. Certainly some pleasant surprises and more will be revealed in due course.

The brighter work seemed to attract a lot of attention from visitors and hopefully some of these bold designs will become textiles in the future. Watch this space!

Three of my paintings, two landscapes and one still life will also shortly be available exclusively to Adairs in stores across Australia as part of their Wall art collection. 

Black hills

Stephanotis plant with spoon

Blue skies

Colourful birds

Find the bird.

I'm now back home in the UK and very happy to get stuck into completing paintings for several exhibitions happening over summer.

'Yellow flower' 
This painting has raised over £200 so far through the online Just giving raffle and a winner will shortly be drawn from the many donators who pledged £2 or more towards a very worthy cause benefitting Starfish greathearts AIDS charity
Under a £100 to be raised to get to the target, to be in with a chance please donate on: Just giving

ETSY: New prints and a few originals will be available in my store this weekend.. 

Saturday 9 May 2015

Manic, Magic May

I love the month of May, it's often the busiest time in my calendar as well.

The first long weekend of May is the time I have my studio doors open during the Henley Arts Trail2-4 May, it was a busy and brilliant weekend with over 220 visitors, many repeat customers and several new faces. Fourteen paintings sold as well as sculptural glass and ceramics.

I'm taking part in an annual Still life exhibition at Will's Art in London. It started on 8 May and continues until the end of June.

A bit of travelling for me will happen as well this month as I am going to New York next Friday to show new designs and images at the SURTEX trade fair,  happening from 17-19 May at the Javits centre.

I am starting to get excited about the eminent New York adventure, meeting some of my fellow artists and designers, buyer, attending seminars and visiting a few museums and galleries as well.

A selection of my paintings can be seen at the Hong Kong Affordable Art fair from 22 - 24 May I am represented by Will's Art.

My store is one year old, to celebrate over 100 sales in the first year I am having an offer of free shipping on all orders over £15. 
Offer expires on Monday 11 May. 

I am continue to work on the EXPLORE COLOUR online course to happen this September. If interested please have a look at the link at the top, and get in touch if you would like to be added to the list.

Wednesday 29 April 2015

Open Studios 2015

It's that time of year again.
From 2 to 4 May I am taking part in the Henley Arts Trail.
Everyone is welcome to visit my studio over these days from 11am-6pm.
New work, still lives, landscapes and colourful floral and bird paintings will be available.
Many of these paintings had been created whilst I was visiting South Africa.

More paintings will be added in this post shortly.
If you'd like to visit see more details on HAT15
All items in my ETSY shop will be available at a 15% discount, use coupon MERRYMAY15

Blue Sky is one of these paintings, and is about to be licensed for wall art prints. The original is available.

Busy birds acrylic on canvas 60x60cm. Available

Birds and Butterflies acrylic on canvas 40x40cm Available.

Sunday 15 March 2015

The Changing Season

I love springtime. At the moment with winter turning into spring it's lovely to see things growing as the days are getting longer. 
Seasons, nature, travel and the environment inspire me to create.
I also love colour, it is probably the most important and continuous inspiration for my paintings. 
Here is a documentation of a 40x40cm acrylic on textured canvas. 

The creation of Blue skies:

I started on a black gesso background. Applying thin layers of colours to create a texture and rythm to build upon.

A meadow with a small bit of sky started to appear. GOLDEN high flow and fluid paint is used for thin but opaque layers and marks.

White details are over painted with transparent washes of acrylic matte medium and GOLDEN* fluid paint.

More detail is added on an blocks of colour defining the fields, sky and trees.

The final outcome.
Fresh bright greens and little pink flashes to catch the eye and lift the heart.
This painting was sold before the paint have dried
Prints are now available on
An A3 print will be given away to someone on the mailing list. 
To join the list either go to or sign up on the top right hand side of the page.
Winner of the print will be emailed.

I'm currently working on the content of an online painting course. In September a two weekend long workshop exploring colour will be offered. Students will get to experiment with new acrylic painting techniques as developed by myself in my practise. Using paints such as FLUID, HIGH FLOW, HEAVY BODY and OPEN along with painting medium, it's bound to be engaging, fun and informative.

Spaces are limited to sixty students.
If interested please email

Sunday 22 February 2015

The Creative process

I am regularly asked about the way in which I work and my creative process. How I plan the painting beforehand, and the application and use of colour. As a painter I do not work in mixed media generally, I paint exclusively in acrylics, Golden artist materials in particular.. This is s wonderful material with a high pigment content in the paint and a wide selection of mediums and pastes to create texture and variety.  I used to paint in oil paint, but find this a better alternative with paints ranging from Heavy Body to High flow. Paintings mostly start off with a black gesso surface occasionally mixed with a texture paste such as pumice gel or moulding paste. At the moment I enjoy working quite freely by applying colours to the surface in a selection of flowing patterns, organic geometric shapes, drips and marks. There is some planning involved and colour sections are kept relatively clean and defined. These marks and shapes inform the next process of finding the correct composition for the artwork as it comes to the fore from a the busy background. There is some structure to this, I add some painterly brush marks and an interesting surface as this helps to create interesting areas to work with.

Once I have figured out the direction I want the painting to go, I use the colour and marks to guide the process. I find this way of working create a different kind or energy and use of shapes other than the marks I would normally create when making a painting and planning a composition before I start, I use this way of working for still life, landscape and more design led paintings.

The painting develop further as layers of paint is applied mixed with a matte painting medium.

More layers  and colours of paint are applied.

In this case I finalised the painting 'Sunday morning' with a dry brush technique using Golden' titanium white fluid paint.  If you would like to see a time lapse video of a painting being created sign up to the mailing list. If you are interested in doing a two weekend long e-course focusing on colour, creativity and mark making, sign up as well. More detail to follow next week. The course will take place in the second half of 2015. 

Here's another painting's progress:
Starting with coloured texture areas that allow me to 'see' objects and let the painting flow from there.

I continue to fill in the negative space.

More detail added

And the final outcome
Blueberries 30x30cm acrylic on deep stretched canvas. 
Both paintings are deep stretched on canvas and available.
See other available paintings and prints:

Sunday 8 February 2015

Spring is in the air..

..and so is love.
For this week ending with Valentine's day, I have been creating some paintings featuring hearts.
A bit of love and colour in these paintings to brighten up your day.
I'll also be picking a winner of a print of a brand new image. 
To go into the draw just leave the number you guessed in the comments box. The question is:
'How many hearts shapes can you seen in the painting 'Spring is in the air'
Winner picked from all entries next Saturday 14 February, regardless of the answer.

'Spring is in the air' 40x40cm acrylic on linen. Original available, limited edition of 50 40x40cm prints available on

Two 22x30cm deep stretched paintings are available as well from my studio.
Pink bird 22x30cm Acrylic on deep stretched canvas. Available 

'Canary' 22x30cm acrylic on deep stretched canvas. Available.

Sunday 18 January 2015

New work on ETSY

One of my aims for 2015 is to create more art as paintings as well as designs.
I love creating these ones featuring birds and flowers. These will become textile designs as well.
New prints and a few paintings have been added to my page, available with a 10% discount offer this week on all items.

Have a look in ETSY

Bird and Butterflies. 40x40cm Acrylic on deep stretched canvas. Original and prints available

'A blanket of snow' A new print available on Etsy.

Saturday 10 January 2015

New year, new ideas.

Flying fish acrylic on linen, AVAILABLE

New beginnings!

2014 was a great year for me and I have got some exciting plans for a busy and eventful 2015.
More of my paintings will be turned into textile designs and surface decoration.
Next week 50 of my current designs will be on show at Printsource in New York 13-14 January, I am represented by Cultivate Art Collective.
In January a few more small paintings will also be made available directly from my studio via ETSY
In July I will be doing an interactive painting project over four days at Art in Action more on this later.

Sign up..
More details about Art workshops, demos and events coming up soon, as well as possible short e-courses towards the end of 2015.
I am an GOLDEN paint artist educator, and workshops and demos will focus on some techniques and methods I use for creating my paintings.
Sign up to the mailing list via Este MacLeod or this page and receive a newsletter with fresh information, special offers and links to demos every six weeks.
Felix - sold painting, prints available via ETSY

Buttons and Birds SOLD prints available via ETSY