Karen Neale Art

Home - Autumn 2020

Keep calm and carry on...keeping creative! Join me sketching real life and through zoom ‘what’s on your table’...details below

View from the Top of Tower Bridge across the City
© Karen Neale, watercolour artist London

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My passion is sketching the World around me and brings me a lot of peace and pleasure. I also know that anyone can doodle, draw, scribble and sketch…..and a dabble at doodling can bring a little calm to our current strange and surreal situations…….

View from 120 Fenchurch Street, London
© Karen Neale, watercolour artist London

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Since May, I’ve been leading interactive zoom sketching sessions of ‘what is on your table’ on Thursday and Friday mornings.
Drawing can be a great soother for anxious and stressed brain cells, and if you can hold a pencil and write your name, you can draw! All you’ll need is a pencil or pen, a piece of paper, and your coffee mug. Thursday’s session is through the lovely Stamford Arts Centre and costs £3.50 per session. Friday’s session is through Mindspace, the wonderful local charity which encourages the improvement of mental health and well-being for all in and around Stamford. The Mindspace session is FREE (donations to Mindspace welcome). More details are below under EVENTS for how to join.

One of my zoomy zoom zoom sketches.....
© Karen Neale, watercolour artist London

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A few Sketching tips.....
© Karen Neale, watercolour artist London

Here is my little sketching tips sheet which I use for me and my sketching groups. to encourage drawing what is around us - be it the cup of tea/coffee/gin, bowl of fruit on the table or a city skyline…..
All you need is a pencil (that chewed up one in the back of the drawer will do) and a scrap of paper or card ….
If it seems a bit daunting, just take one object to begin with, such as an apple, a mug, whatever, and really look at its overall shape, draw that, then add a little detail, such as the stalk, or handle, or pattern……..then looking carefully again, see the light and shade on the object probably a bit darker where it sits on the table and on one side – add the shade with gentle even strokes…………you can also see what is outside your window…..

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Detail illustrations from a recent commission
© Karen Neale Art, Stamford

Give it a go….. the only rule is to ENJOY and remember however it comes out it is your own unique creation and that is great!
And join me through the zoom sessions if you can. There are also a couple of little sketch videos on my Facebook page.

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The Circus Comes to Town at Stamford Arts Centre February 2020,
© Karen Neale, Watercolour Artist Stamford

Back in February, in the days before social distancing here’s what was achieved by hundreds of humans from 2 to 82 and beyond, in a few hours for the Family Arts Day at Stamford Arts Centre. Imaginative individual creations coming together to make a magical community masterpiece – The Circus Comes to Town.

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View from Platform 1 of Blackfriars Station, London, June 2019
© Karen Neale, watercolour artist London

Whatever your new reality is …. keep calm, safe and well, keep creative and carry on doodling, drawing, scribbling and sketching! Please do Contact me if you'd like any more information about any of the above and yes I am still available for commissions and also have my books and prints which can make very special and personalised presents and open little windows to that wonderful world out there…... Do continue below for more information on my forthcoming events and about 'me and my work' and you can also see what I'm up to on Facebook.

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A wonderful commission from 2019 for Rules - the oldest restaurant in London, Rules Restaurant’s new menu above.
Menu Illustration for Rules Restaurant, London, July 2019
© Karen Neale, watercolour artist London

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EVENTS Autumn 2020

• Thursday mornings 11am – Midday – Zoom sketching session through Stamford Arts Centre - Contact Stamford Arts Centre to take part and for more details. It costs £3.50 per session to make it viable for the Arts Centre.

• Friday mornings 11.30am – 12.30pm - Zoom sketching session - through Mindspace the wonderful local charity, which encourages the improvement of mental health and well-being for all in and around Stamford. Contact  [email protected]  to join the session. It is FREE!

• ONGOING - Monday Morning Sketching Stamford Workshops - in staggered groups 9.30-11.30am and 10am - 12noon , meeting at various locations around town , please Contact me if you are interested and to confirm which Monday sessions will take place and where! Each session is £10 payable to me on the day.

Statue detail in St George's Church above -
© Karen Neale, watercolour artist London

View from the Top of Millbank Tower, London © Karen Neale, watercolour artist London
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Here are my printed cotton bags . There is a colour, detail picture from my 'Broad Street Market' and 'Top of All Saints' Church paintings, on each side of the bag. The bags are made out of natural cotton (38cm wide x 42cm long x 10cm deep) with long cotton handles. They are durable, washable and are great for the environment. At £8 each they are a great investment as charges for plastic bags are now here.

There's more about 'me and my work' below and on the other pages, and from other perspectives, here are a couple of the current press articles from Wanderlust Travel Magazine, Frost magazine and The Culture Trip - though there is a slight error in that I never have time to see Downtown Abbey or Doctor Who - just Danger Mouse with my little boy! There will be more press articles to follow very soon......

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And for now, a shameless 'Look at me, look at me and The Queen!' But it is all in a very good cause. Her Majesty The Queen is the patron of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust(WCMT) and generously hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace on March 18th 2015 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sir Winston's living legacy - the Churchill Fellowships. Being awarded a Fellowship not only enabled me to undertake a journey of a lifetime, it also opened so many doors to wonderful opportunities in my subsequent work, such as commissioning me to produce a painting which we presented to the Queen in 2006. WCMT award Fellowships in enormously diverse subjects, so if you are a British Citizen and passionate about your subject keep this in mind - it could be for you!

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Karen Neale Art: 'Me and my Work'

That's me braving the winds racing across Waterloo Bridge. My passion is sketching and painting the world around me in my annotated sketchbook diaries. I stand ‘in situ’ and draw with an ordinary black biro as much as I can of what is going on around me in my book. Then, I add colour with my small field box of watercolours. The notes I make around the perimeter are observations I’ve made whilst I’ve been sketching. It is a great privilege and pleasure to simply spend time in a place and draw, and it is a wonderful way to get to know a place and its people.

San Gimignano,Italy
© Karen Neale, Watercolour Artist London

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Avignon, France,
© Karen Neale, Watercolour Artist London

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I’ve kept sketchbooks since leaving school, throughout my architectural studies at Newcastle and Sheffield Universities, subsequent move to London and eventual qualification as an architect in 1999. My sketchbooks have taken me on some wonderful adventures. In 2001 I was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to undertake an artist’s journey inspired by World Heritage Cities and Sites, from France travelling eastwards through eight countries to Nepal, recording it all in the pages of my sketchbook diary. Subsequently I spent time in Cuba, culminating in a solo exhibition of my work at the British Ambassador’s residence in Havana.

Havana,Cuba © Karen Neale, World heritage artist London
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Closer to home I continued the World Heritage theme with a community project along Hadrian’s Wall. Then in London, I was privileged to sketch in and around the Palace of Westminster and was artist in residence at the Athenaeum Club in 2004. Rather auspiciously I was appointed ‘MCC Young Cricket Artist for 2005’, based at Lord’s Cricket Ground, and subsequently artist in residence at The Queen’s Club for the 2007 tennis season.

Cley-next-the-Sea, Norfolk, © Karen Neale, watercolour artist London
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I’ve had some fabulous commissions. In 2006 The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust commissioned me to produce a painting to present to Her Majesty the Queen. I’ve also worked with Bob Wilson’s charity, The Willow Foundation, sketching in and around Arsenal’s football stadiums.

The Old Highbury Ground, Arsenal, London © Karen Neale, watercolour artist London
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In October 2006 my first London sketchbook diary was published by Methuen, entitled ‘London in Landscape’ with Winston Churchill’s daughter, Lady Soames generously writing the foreword. In 2009 ‘London in Landscape Volume II’ was launched with an exhibition of my paintings in the Barbican Centre, London. Both books are available through Methuen, Amazon, and me. Since 2010 I have resided in Stamford in Lovely Lincolnshire. In 2011, Stamford Georgian Festival, Stamford’s local bookshop published my Stamford sketchbook. And now in 2015 A Fellow Traveller!

Broad Street Market from Browne's Hospital on Market Day, Stamford © Karen Neale, watercolour artist London
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These books have been a real labour of love for me as I’ve been out in all weathers, on tops of buildings, along the streets, in various wonderful institutions, sports grounds, churches and cathedrals, markets, museums and so on. It is an utterly uplifting experience to be able to just sit and draw in a place and become a part of that place for a few hours. If you would like to contact me for further information, please click here to e-mail or call me on
07710 406967

I hope you enjoy looking around the website!
Karen Neale Art
Watercolour Artist London and Stamford.
World Heritage Artist, London

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