Sunday, 29 November 2015

Good News

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”Franklin D. Roosevelt
Life has been incredibly busy these past few weeks, so much so that my blog writing has fallen to the wayside. 
The Agapanthus commission for the de Jager Bulb company has been by far the most challenging painting that I have ever painted. Getting it finished within the deadline meant that I have been spending long hours at my easel!

Painting long into the evenings. Thank goodness for Daylight lamps and coffee!
I will be writing about my "Agapantha-marathon" in more detail in my next blogpost, but there has been a flurry of good news recently, so here’s a quick update!

I’m delighted to say that I’ve been offered two great teaching jobs for 2016, both of which are distance learning.

 The first is as a tutor for the Society of Botanical Artists Distance Learning Diploma CourseI will be teaching the vellum module on Course 13. 
I’m immensely proud of this because this is the very course that I undertook to become a botanical artist. I can vividly recall feeling excited but nervous when I was accepted onto the course in 2010. It was therefore quite surreal to find myself sitting at a table with the very people who had taught me, in the rather grand settings of the Art Workers' Guild in London.

 They are an inspiring and accomplished group of artists, so it’s a huge honour to be accepted by them. If I can give my students even half of the encouragement and wisdom that these tutors gave me, I will have achieved a lot.  

 No trip to London is complete without a party, and I was delighted that my trip also coincided with the SBA Christmas Lunch! It was fantastic to catch up with good friends and the food was delicious.  I was really pleased to meet Dr Shirley Sherwood at the lunch. It was her gallery at Kew that first inspired me to consider becoming a botanical artist. Christmas came early to those in attendance, and we all left clutching goodie bags of  Daniel Smith Paints and Ampersand panels
I am looking forward to playing with my new toys!

Lunch with Katherine Tyrrell (Making a Mark blog)  and Julie Whelan 
My second teaching position is with London Art College, which offers an online tuition course. I flew over to meet the team last month and was very warmly welcomed. They are all so friendly and so knowledgeable, so I’m excited to be part of the LAC family!
Back home, I’ve started studying a Certificate Course in Digital Marketing at Dublin Business School, with a view to the online art market. It’s been fascinating to get an insight to the world of Social Media Marketing. I’m now fully convinced that it’s the perfect platform for professional artists, and will be writing a few blog posts about the different tools available to promote art online.

 My Facebook Page-
 The first step is to actually get online and to be consistent in your postings, so I’ve recently set up accounts for Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn and have been posting regularly to these.
 I’ve also been paying more attention to my Facebook Page which now has 1752 Likes!  

If you have an account on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or Facebook, I would be happy to connect! 

Being more active on social media is already beginning to reap the rewards. I was very happy to be contacted by Stillman & Birn CEO Michael Kalman last week, and asked if I would be a feature artist on their blog and social media platforms. Of course I said yes!

Daffodil Days Sketchbook painting Shevaun Doherty
 Daffodil Days in a Stillman & Birn Sketchbook
 I’m a huge fan of their sketchbooks and had been looking for the perfect one for botanical painting for a long time, so was delighted when their zeta range came out. I like how you can do a double page spread across the fold quite easily, and how the paper takes the paint really beautifully, giving crisp, clear colours and no buckling pages.  
The Stillman & Birn sketchbook was the one chosen for the sketchbook exchange last year. I painted this daffodil page for my friend Julie Douglas
Readers in the UK and Ireland can buy the sketchbook through Jackson’s Art.

Some of my work will be featured in this great book by Cathy Johnson. You can order the book here
And whilst we are on the subject of sketching, I’m delighted to say some of my work will be featured in a new book written by the wonderful Cathy Johnson. 
For years, I have been a huge fan of Cathy’s artwork and learned a huge amount about painting from her Art-Tips.  Looking at the list of incredible artists whose work also features in the book, I’m completely honoured to have my work included.  I’m sure the book will be a huge success.
And finally, I’m delighted to share this article which appeared in the Sunday Business Post today about my artwork! It’s put a huge beaming smile on my face and a bounce in my step!

 There are also a couple of very exciting plans in the pipeline which I can’t yet reveal, except to say that work has finally begun on my website at last! 
I'll be back with an Agapanthus Update very soon.

"Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire."



  1. I am truly so happy for you ! I'm going to check out these two courses right now. You go, girl.

    1. Thanks Candice! Yes, I'm as pleased as punch... next year will be a very exciting year! Ad Astra!

  2. Wow, I was so happy while reading this post. Happy for you Shevaun. It seems that you've been having a very good time now. It's so wonderful! I love when people are happy. Congratulations! All your hard work has paid off! I'm constantly thinking about SBA Distance Learning Diploma Course. I'm saving money for it (it will last forever). But this course is my dream. And now you are one of the great teachers. London Art College, interviews, featuring on S&B blog. Such a great time! The happy dance is appropriate here! :)

    1. Krzysztof, your work is already so good that I think you should just submit work to the SBA exhibition with a view to becoming a member. I'll happily send you a reminder nearer the time (February 2016), but you will need to have five paintings ready for submission. The theme next year is Shape Pattern Structure. It's not necessary to have works to fit the theme, but it's better if they are in keeping with the theme.

    2. Oh, I've just noticed your reply! I'm sorry! Really?? Thank you Shevaun! Becoming a member of the SBA would be just wonderful. Unfortunately, I'm quite sure that I won't manage to paint five paintings by February. This is because I have three more commissions to paint for the Museums at Nights (also by February). But actually it's good. I will have the whole year to practice more and learn more, and next year, 2017, maybe I'll be ready to try. I just feel that I need to learn more about botanical painting. Thank you Shevaun for your encouraging words. You really, I mean reeeaaly, made me want to work more in order to achieve something so valuable. There's hope for me, yay! :)

  3. so glad you slipped your anchor and can fly chickie..... go and soar with the eagles

    1. The anchor is long gone and at the bottom of the sea!

  4. Ad Astra indeed. You must be a Sagittarius.

  5. You rock, Shevaun!! Congrats on all of the wonderful news. I am so happy for you. Well-deserved. And what lucky students to have you as a tutor.

  6. Wow Shevaun, those are great news! NO doubt that you will be an excellent teacher and students are gonne LOVE you! Felicitations!

    1. Thank you Manon That's really sweet of you to say

  7. Just fantastic to read about your amazing journey! Your work is glorious and you deserve all your accolades and commissions! Congratulations, I'm really delighted for you 😃

    1. Thank you so much Lesley. I really appreciate your comments. I'm looking forward to next year!

  8. Great news Shevaun:) you will make a great contribution to the SBA course I'm sure.

    1. Thanks Dianne. You've been a brilliant support and great friend. See you next week! I can't wait!


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