Sunday, 30 May 2021


I've added some photos of our recent trip to Youtube.  Nearly the same selection as the stills in my previous blogpost, but adding here anyway - I maintain that Youtube makes a good place for 'saving' pictures and videos.

(just click the image below)

Friday, 28 May 2021

Photo reference

 I’m always looking for painting inspiration and recently have been busy with my camera (iphone actually) does a pretty good job.   

Now to create a file in pinterest for them.

Monday, 17 May 2021

A snake in the grass!

.....Not exactly 

More like 

On the steps

And perfectly harmless

Hubby made sure to carry the little chap/girl to the long grass

It's a Slow Worm.

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Bit of a catch-up


Being a volunteer artist for the National Trust at Arlington Court and with access to their volunteers "MyVolunteering" site,  I'm delighted that they contacted me and wanted an article for one of their monthly issues.  This was back in February, so I'm on catch-up here.

Although the article is only accessible to the Volunteers of the National Trust, but considering that I wrote the piece for them, I'm adding it here for you to read too......... 

Plein-air at Arlington

by Ann Hyde, volunteer artist in residence at Arlington Court

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Ann Hyde's depiction of the house at Arlington Court, Devon (Photo: Ann Hyde)

Artistic inspiration comes from all directions at Arlington Court, where my love of plein-air painting has plenty to keep me busy. Great when the weather is on my side, although I've been seen determinedly holding onto my easel when the weather gets up. On days like that, I’ll often retreat to the arcades at the Carriage Museum or the conservatory in the gardens.

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The conservatory at Arlington Court in Devon, as painted by Ann Hyde (Photo: Ann Hyde)

Initially, when I became volunteer artist in residence four years ago, I thought I may eventually run out of inspiration. However, the opposite has happened. New ideas have grown, from season to season, firstly using watercolours, the next year acrylics. Having a lifelong passion for painting, I enjoy watercolours, acrylics and oils.

It all began in the 1950s when my dad worked as a carpenter for Lord Mountbatten on the Broadlands estate in Romsey. Some days, I would go with him to Broadlands whilst he was working. I met Lord Mountbatten on several occasions and he kindly gave me books that I could start drawing in. To be honest, my artwork as a five-year-old was nothing exceptional, but it was a very good start.

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'Summer Evenings' by Ann Hyde (Photo: Ann Hyde)

My husband, our two children and I moved to North Devon in 1997, and I became a volunteer at Arlington Court in 2010. At the time, they were doing carriage drive rides for visitors and, as a qualified carriage driver, I was able to act as a volunteer groom on the carriages.

Sadly, the carriage rides ended. I then became a volunteer guide in the carriage museum. At that time, I was often going over as a visitor with my paints and sketchbook and would quietly sit and produce paintings of the views. I found on many occasions that other visitors would come over and have a look at what I was painting and stop for a chat. I could therefore see an opportunity to develop this into a volunteering role, and I had several meetings with the administrative staff at Arlington. Together, we developed this opportunity by natural progression, and it's still developing year on year.

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Another view of the house at Arlington Court, painted by Ann Hyde (Photo: Ann Hyde)

Over the last two years, I've predominantly been using oils on canvas. I love oil paints, using both brush and palette knife to convey light and textures, and this medium will remain my favourite. When a painting hasn’t been completed, I will either continue it on my next visit, or finish it in my home studio.

Obviously, my painting sessions have to take place outdoors. However, I've been able to take reference photos and pencil sketches in the house and have created oil paintings from them.

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Ann sometimes produces paintings of items inside the house from reference photos and pencil sketches (Photo: Ann Hyde)

Although very much weather dependent, I've tried to work on a fixed day, once a week, through spring, summer and autumn, with additional days slotted in here and there. Once I've set up my easel and started painting, many visitors will stop and chat. I see my role as part of their visitor experience. Many visitors come back on their same visit to see how the work is developing. It gives me great satisfaction both to paint there and talk to so many of the visitors.

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Once Ann's easel is set up, visitors will stop and chat with her (Photo: Ann Hyde)

Although curtailed in 2020 due to the pandemic, I had in the previous two years held a two-day exhibition at Arlington of my paintings, with proceeds going to the Trust. Any other sales of Arlington work that I do, also go to the Trust as donations. Hopefully, as we come out of the pandemic and the Trust gets back to some normality, my paintings will be exhibited for sale in the new reception / shop area that Arlington is building.

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Reflections in the Wilderness Pond at Arlington Court, painted by Ann Hyde (Photo: Ann Hyde)

I have, at Arlington’s request, produced paintings for Christmas cards for the past three years, cards for their Sponsor a Tree project, pictures for the development of the formal Victorian gardens and artwork for the Vinery Tea Room. There's also a further project they've asked me to be involved with - the opening up of a historical bridge within the wider estate.

Nowadays, I video and add to YouTube - the Ann Hyde Painting Diaries. I feel a series coming on! During the lockdowns, I've worked in the studio and have filmed the painting process.

The time-lapse video below shows Ann painting The Lake at Arlington Court:

It's nice to keep reminding myself of Arlington, even when I can’t be there - but in the end there's nothing like painting plein-air.

~ Hope you enjoyed reading this ~

Saturday, 8 May 2021

Plein air again

Another visit to Arlington Court - oh so lucky with the weather (it has since been raining non-stop)

Turned out to be a very good day weatherwise.   I did have a major rethink on the painting - the right hand side in fact, but heyho this is how the painting process goes sometimes.  It's quite nice to change something when not sure about it. 


Below is where I'm in the process of changing it...taken out a large tree 

For now the painting will have to dry.
This is why Oil paintings take time

1. If you happen the change something
2. Waiting for paint to dry

Friday, 7 May 2021

Plein air painting

I missed plein air painting last week at Arlington Court - for one thing the weather took a definite turn for the worst.  Those in the UK will completely know what I am on about - but those who don't, I will say that after weeks and weeks of lovely sunny weather, it all came back to bite us.  (I knew it would and why not, nature has her own agenda and the balance has to be completed.  The fields were looking so dry, and as for  the gardens, they needed a watering) --- Quite why we need the HIGH WINDS TOO, is beyond me but heyho it is what it is.....meanwhile I am .... 

Tuesday, 4 May 2021 philosophy is : Just Keep Going

Think I'm getting the hang of Youtube...(she says hopefully).  You can but try and I am, if nothing else, persistent - I hear you all agreeing - 🤣

And Yes, I've added another little Video to my Youtube channel....not very long, but it does show Close-up images of some paintings in my website.  

~ click the image below ~

What do you think?  Hope you like these little snippets plus there's music too.  

As I get more used to...

Recording > Editing > Adding to Youtube 

things will get more professional...umm just hold that thought for me 


Sunday, 2 May 2021


Towards the end of last year, I started a Youtube channel as a place to keep/store some of my painting videos taken at Arlington Court.    Now let me say, I'm no video maker, but it has been fun to set up my iPhone and record some of the painting process.    

I've found the most difficult part to be the Editing!   Oh boy, when I watch some Youtubers and they happen to mention Editing taking time, NOW I KNOW WHAT THEY MEAN!   It doesn't help in that I'm no techie, but once I get the hang of something I'm okay - the process just seems to take a long time for me.  Why recently I've suddenly got the knack of the iMovie app, is a mystery, but I have and hopefully this will be a great bonus from here on.

Up until this last week, I have had a few viewers to the channel....that's okay, after all the channel is for Storage.  I've added the videos to the usual "social media" as they like to call it (who ever They are).  

Friends and Followers alike have enjoyed seeing my little attempts at film production  🎞🎬🎥🤣   

However...and to my AMAZEMENT latest video has (to date of writing this) received a Whopping



and I have No idea how that has happened - especially as the video concerned is classed by Youtube as a Short   - my non-techie brain is reasoning it's because it is a short video?!   I'm thinking the social media concerned that's kicked this one in the air, has been Instagram (their Reels and Story section perhaps, I certainly don't know).

Anyway....if any of these 515 viewers are reading this, then


talk about a boost to my ego/encouraging me/and making me want to continue with Youtube.

Okay, this 515 phenomenon may never happen again, but you never know, stranger things have happened.

So if you haven't yet and would like to take a look then here's the link to my Youtube channel

just click the image below ....

And if you want to follow along then 

SUBSCRIBE - LIKE - and hit the BELL icon to be notified of upcoming videos

with a