News and musings

Chester exhibition 2017


As part of the 2017 Chester open art exhibition one of my artworks was on display at
And also at the Chichester Arms Chester.

I came 2nd place in this art competition!! Wahooooo :)

Many thanks to Anastasia and her amazingly team for organising such a fantastic event.

Artist of the year 2018 and 2019!


Delighted to have been shortlisted and see my work on display for Artist of the year 2018.
And again 2019!.
The exhibitions were held at the wonderful mall galleries in London and were truly inspiring.
It was also really lovely to mingle and meet with all the other shortlisted artists there too....what talent!

The 2019 exhibition was also a double whammy for me because my painting " Hello sunshine " was one of the paintings that sold at the event. What a lovely feeling.

Big thanks

Jacksons painting prize 2020


In 2020 one of my paintings made the longlist into the jacksons painting prize.
For me personally this was a real privelage and meant a great deal to me. There were around six thousand entries from wonderful talented artists, so to get into the final 400 longlist is very difficult indeed!.
Daunting but fun.
There's always amazing paintings to be viewed and admired at the jacksons painting prize exhibitions, utterly breathtaking.

Artist, wildlife fan, bird watcher, gardener!


Cottage garden

Where do I gain inspiration from for my paintings?, I'm often asked this question.
The answer is that I gain inspiration from the natural world around me, as is the case for many wildlife artists.
I'm also extremely lucky to live in a semi rural place, the lanes and sandstone trails around my village are notoriously beautiful, natural, and full of wildlife. I have the added advantage of also being ultra close to a large and wonderful forest, rich in natural habitats for British wildlife.
However, one of my main typical daily points of inspiration is actually my own garden!, I don't have to look far in order to find a sublimely beautiful flower, or creature, many are already here in my garden!. poppies, thistles, lavenders, echinacea, irises, roses, many varieties of wild meadow flowers and nectar rich flowers and herbaceous perennials all grow in abundance in my gardens. Too many to even list!.
I've spent around 14 years creating many of the planted areas for wildlife...and of course for my own enjoyment, I grew up in the country and will always be a country girl at heart.

So there ya have it, all of my floral and landscape /meadow watercolour paintings are created using my gardens as the main first point of inspiration.
For my other animals paintings however, I tend to gain inspiration for those while I'm out and about on my travels, i usually make quick sketches in situ, and take reference photographs for when I'm back in my studio, ccasionally I'll also paint the animal en plein air if time/weather allows.

But what if you need even more inspiration!, or just a few reference photographs for the more exotic animals, well pixabay is a good place to start and a great resource for many artists.

You can also free to message me if you are an artist starting out and need some good clear HD wildlife photographs to use for reference and inspiration. I have lots of good clear images that I've taken myself over the years, and zillions from my own garden. Always happy to help a fellow artist.

The busy artist


Bee painting holmes
I'm busy in the studio today preparing beautiful little original watercolours to go off to their " forever homes ".
I'm so thankful to my regular customers for sticking with me during these very hard times.
It means everything to me.
So thank you!.

Cornflower blue


Cornflower painting L J Holmes

Cornflowers painting Lisa
Cornflower LIsa Holmes
.....................When my cornflowers appear so do the bees, they just can't get enough of them.
I grow both the perrenial and annual types, thus ensuring I have lots of nectar rich flowers ready to welcome them.
And of course this also means lots of inspiration for my paintings in the summer months.
Cornflowers I've always loved, that beautiful clean clear blue shade just blows my mind, i work very hard to get the shade just right when I'm painting them ( not too much cool ultramarine but not much green pthalo). I often also use a bit of cobalt blue mixed with a very very watered down lavender shade.
I tend to paint these paintings en plein air using my garden as reference, and paint many of my floral and insect paintings without a pre sketch in order to capture the spontaneous nature of the subject matter, and also to capture energy and moment. I find that a pre sketch can sometimes create a stunted look, a look I've always tried to avoid.

Wet in wet


Sunflowers lisa
I'm channeling my inner van gogh for some reason today, playing around with sunflowers. But I'm painting in a very loose wet in wet style and painting just for fun today. Purely a day of fun rather than any thoughts of being correct or painting in any guided way.
It's nice to have a day like this occasionally.

Working with nature


My gardens are a big source of inspiration for many of my wildflower paintings, and an valuable source of nectar for the wildlife.
Dog daisies Lisas garden

Lisa's daisies

Natures kitchen


Chives allium lisas bees
Lisa's  bee garden

Lisa chive garden

For many many years I've grown a large range of alliums and chives in my garden. If you want to observe up close the wonderful energy and fascinating behaviours of bees, I'd say a good place to start would be to grow these usefull and pretty plants, the bees adore them, sometimes I can hardly even see the flower heads for the bees!... fantastic :-)