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A new series and first events.

Night Scenes

I have been dying to share!  I’ve started a new series of paintings. I am really excited by them, although I have only painted three 5″x7” on canvas board so far. The night time contrasts of dark corners and brightly coloured lights reflected in the canal have really captivated me.  I have plans for bigger ones as well as some more in this size.  One month into the year and I am already wondering how I am going to manage all the paintings I want to paint. Hopefully with less travelling this year I will be able to get more done. We’ll see!

Out and About!

The first few weekends of The Art Boat 2022 route are sorted.  I had originally planned to be in Bollington for the Easter weekend, but instead I will be there earlier and Easter will be spent at Great Haywood at the RCTA market.  This should be a fabulous event with 19 boats attending.  This is a big market by floating market standards (which are limited only by the amount of towpath available) and I am really, REALLY looking forward to it! So let’s start praying for good weather now.  All the small floating businesses attending need a good one to get the year started.

I will be popping up on my own for the few weeks before Easter and for most of the rest of the spring and summer.  Here are the first few dates.  (As usual dependant on “whether the weather be good” and I can find a suitable spot).

19th-20th March               High Lane

26th-27th  March              Bollington

2nd-3rd April                       Congleton

9th-10th April                     Westport Lake

15th-18th April                  Great Haywood. RCTA market.

After Easter I will be heading towards Braunston for the boat rally in June, where I’ll be exhibiting with the Guild of Waterway Artists.  Before that you will be able to see some of my paintings at Audlem Mill in May, where I will be exhibiting as part of The Guild of Waterway Artist’s ongoing exhibition.


Mini Monday’s

This year I am revisiting Mini Monday’s.  A slightly longer format than the last time, but I am loving painting these 2.5″ X 5″ mini landscapes. Four so far, and many more to come throughout the year.  Look out on my Facebook and Instagram every Monday where I will post these little treasures.  I am ordering frames and mounts today so they will be available on my website soon.  If you want one putting aside let me know!

Right, back to painting.  Only 6 weeks until my first pop up….no time to stop!

See you on the towpath soon

Jan x

…And Moving Forward

A review of sorts.

It has been a strange two years. But I feel it is important to celebrate those things have been achieved.  I ended 2021 thinking that I had let it run away from me and not managed to do very much.
I have started things and not finished them.  I lost my painting mojo.  I had to let my studio go and financially I have hit rock bottom.
But, when I started to look at the things that I have done and where I am going next, I realised there have been a lot of positives, and potential for moving on.

That’s that bit done!  Now for the good bits.

So what did happen for me in the last 2 years?

  1. I started an online painting class/membership. I didn’t manage to keep it going as family circumstances intervened, but I gave it a go. I learned lots of new stuff and made some teaching videos, which I was really happy with. I will be making the lessons I recorded available on YouTube.  Please let me know if are interested as I will make a note to send you a link as soon as it is sorted.

  2. I have painted more then I realised, and produced some of my favourite paintings.

  3. I have, with my sisters help, fitted a calorifier, built a new bathroom, made roofboxes for my solar panels, had solar power added, sanded and repainted the roof and rebuilt the sofa in my sitting room. Not strictly art related, but important as my boat where I live and work has to be functional and liveable.  I have also started to rejig the saloon to make more studio space, so that I can fit more paintings and materials in.

  4. And best of all…I got a Lilydog!

Lots more positives I am sure but these are the ones that stand out

So what’s coming up?

  The Art Boat will be touring again this year, from late March to early October.  Where exactly, still isn’t decided, but it’s likely to be centred around the North West.  My travelling motto this year is “less miles more painting”

  Lots more small format paintings of 8 inches and under, including “minis”

  Improving my website and making it a pleasurable place to go to see my work if you can’t make it in person.

  Making time for friends and family, because there is nothing more important.

I hope to that I get to meet many of you over the next year,  as I’ve missed you all.  Look out for The Art Boat on a canal near you!

Bye for now…I promise not to leave it so long next time

Jan x

PS. don’t forget there is 10% off everything in my website shop throughout January.

Use code “january2022” at checkout

Staying at Home and Painting in Pyjamas

Staying home.

How are you coping with these testing times?  Are you stressed by the fact that you can’t see family, or go out?  Are you still  working and trying to keep loved ones safe while you do? Or like me do you feel like you are living in a bubble.  I know what is happening and keep aware of latest developments, but in our household life seems to be going on in isolation without too big an impact on our well being.  I’ve become a temporary landlubber.  I’m staying with my mum and sister, and keeping in touch with my grown up children, so not totally isolated. We all seem to be busier than ever.  I would love to say that I am painting lots, but apart from videoing demonstration pieces I’m mostly sat on a computer building an art membership  hub.  Actually, although I can’t wait to get back to painting, I’m incredibly excited and nervous about this new project,  and love telling people about it.  It’s something that I’ve had on the back burner for ages, but kept putting off as I was scared of the technology!

My current painting attire!

This is not a moan (I know now is not the time with so many of us in the same boat),  but I mention it because it is a fact.  Not being able to teach the workshops has been a real pain, both because I love teaching my students and the loss of income.  Add to that all my events being cancelled and I have had to think of another way to try and pay the bills.   I’ve been thinking about making some of the classes available online for a while, but didn’t want to just put them out there to gather dust.  An important part of teaching for me is the interaction. I wanted to know that students would be able contact me about their painting problems, or just to share work they were proud of.  I looked at lots of different ways of doing this and have decided that running the course as a subscription membership with a community element attached is the way to go.

I’m using the time that I can’t travel to floating markets or teach in-person workshops to build Painting in Pyjamas.  I still have a few things to do to…but it will be ready on time!

Missing the Studio.

I’m looking forward to the time when I can get back into to my studio and start working on all the canvases that are waiting for me.  Although I am managing to get some smaller work started and have added a little bit more on a larger piece, I’ve not been able to finish any work in the last couple of months.  I’m not too worried about the lack of painting mojo as I know it’s only temporary and I will get going again soon.  Before I had to  pack up my studio for the time being, I set up a display wall.  Nobody got to see it apart from me…so here it is!

This is the tidy bit of the studio.  I am eagerly awaiting the time when I can start to invite people in again.  But meanwhile you can see my available paintings here

…and back to the focus for this blog post.

Why “Painting in Pyjamas”

This was actually the hardest bit!  After a week of looking for a name…thinking of titles that included “Acrylic” or “Community”, and trying lots of things out,  my sister took one look at me and my painting attire and said “Painting in Pyjamas”,  I am still not sure whether it was a question or a suggestion, but it fits!

Painting in Pyjamas is looking for Founder members and will be open for enrolment from Friday 24th April at 10 am (BST) for 5 days only.  The lessons within the membership hub will be mainly focused on Acrylic painting, but I also intend to occasionally add mixed media and sketchbook ideas.  A main painting lesson or demonstration will be added monthly.   As a founder member you will  join at a very low monthly subscription and that price will remain for as long as you stay a member.

Can’t wait?  Click the button below to get on the waiting list and receive a free 20 sketchbook ideas PDF

Put me on the waiting list!




Audlem Mill and The Guild of Waterway Artists

New paintings will have to wait!

I felt that a catch up was needed, as lots of things are going on here both on The Art Boat and in The Art Boat Studio.  This is the time of year when I put my head down and work on commissions and new work.  Travelling has slowed right down, and studio time is my priority.  The one thing I had planned to do was have a Christmas open studio in my new space in  Marple. But I’ve decided that an open studio without many paintings probably wouldn’t work!  Most of my work is either in Audlem Mill in a joint exhibition with Christine Rigden, or still down in London on Barge Fiodra, waiting for me to pick it up! The large canvasses and big new brushes are clamouring for attention, but commissions need to be finished first.  The exciting new paintings will have to wait.

Visit Audlem Mill

You can see my most recent work at Audlem Mill in an exhibition alongside Christine Rigden.  The Guild of Waterway Artists, of which I am a member has a history, of showing at Audlem Mill.   In the last year, the mill has hosted changing exhibitions showcasing two members of the guild each month.  I have work there for the rest of this month through to December, and again in May next year.

The canalside mill, situated as the name suggests in Audlem on the Shropshire canal, originally produced animal feed. It was restored in the 1970’s and  is now run as a gift shop by Peter and Chris Silvester.  More than just a gift shop it has a wealth of craft supplies and a gallery area displaying canal and waterways art.  It’s definitely worth a day out.  I can thoroughly recommend a leisurely wander beside the canal, a visit to the mill and finish off with lunch in the canalside pub!

Who are The Guild of Waterway Artists?

“The Guild is a group of like-minded artists, who have joined together to promote art about the waterways by exhibiting together and to offer each other mutual support and encouragement in their pursuit of excellence”.  I love being part of this lovely supportive group of fellow Artists .  I’ve been a member  (and am now membership secretary) of  the guild for quite a few years now and have exhibited with them in various galleries and canalside events during that time.  A new exciting exhibition will be taking place in Stoke Bruerne Museum next April.  Watch out for more details soon!  

Looking forwards…

I’ll still be travelling and trading as TheArtBoat next year, but plan to do a lot less miles in order to  create more painting time.  I’m looking out for new exhibition ideas for 2020 and beyond so if you have any exciting and unusual suggestions for spaces in which my canal paintings would work,  or that would even be suitable for Guild of Waterway Artists exhibitions,  please do contact me. All suggestions welcome, the more unusual the better!

Early Bird Price!

Booking for my 10 week “Amazing Acrylics” course is now open.  If you book before 15th December there’s a special Early Bird Price of 20% off the regular cost of the course.  A maximum of 5 students in each session.  Choose from a Wednesday morning or evening session. Ideal for those wanting to work in a small friendly group. The group size makes sure there will be plenty of support for all participants.

More information about booking a course here.

Want to know more about the guild of Waterway Artists?  Click here

Details on where to find Audlem mill here


I hope I haven’t overwhelmed you with too much information.  I’ll keep the next one short…promise!

Until next time… Jan x

I Love Teaching…who’d have guessed?

After quite a gap (not going to say how many years!) I’ve rediscovered my passion for teaching.  I must admit I originally decided to start running workshops for quite practical reasons.  I needed to find a way of making my studio space financially viable.  I have a studio space ideal for small workshops, and it seem a shame not to use it.  What I didn’t foresee was how much I would really enjoy the teaching process.  Sharing with students the knowledge I have built up over the years is incredibly rewarding, and I think I will gain as much as my students from the workshops.  Seeing the excitement in student’s faces as they discover the magic of Acrylic paints is priceless.

The Joy of Teaching remembered

Many years ago when I lived in Chester I used to teach Leisure Art  classes through West Cheshire College.  When I moved, somehow the teaching got lost and over the years it’s been remembered as something that someone did in another life.  Doing my first workshop brought it all back.  I really had forgotten the joy of teaching. The difference between now and then though is the size of the classes.  Keeping my workshops to a maximum of five students means I can give everyone the attention they need.

Like Coming Home.

I have painted in Acrylics for more than 20 years, and I’m still just as in love with the medium as I was in those early days when I first found it.  For me it was like coming home…  I knew from the very first tentative paintings that this was my way forward.  It seems only natural, now I have actually started teaching again, that passing on this knowledge and enthusiasm for such a versatile paint is part of my future.   I would love to help make Acrylic painting part of your future too…

If you  or someone you know would love to learn to paint in Acrylics,  my workshops are ideal.  You can ask for or give them as a Christmas gift…

You can book the Saturday full day Introduction to Creative Acrylics workshops here  (Nov 16th has only 2 places left)

I have more workshops coming up in 2020, including a 10 week course on Acrylic painting, starting on Wednesday 8th January.  I am incredibly excited about this new workshop, it’s packed with exciting painting excercises, and moves between exploration and step by step painting. The main focus for “Amazing Acrylics”,  as in my other workshops,  will be on discovery through doing.  Groups are small and limited to a maximum of five.  The Workshop consists of a weekly 3 hour workshop.  You can choose between a morning or evening session.    There will be an earlybird rate for those that book early.  Contact me for more details


Settling in to Studio Life.

I have been back at my studio for nearly a month now and it has been absolutely hectic…in a good way!

The beginning of the month started with Roys’s Art Fair at The Truman Brewery.  A wonderful experience.   My first London Art Fair was a steep learning curve, but the great organisation and fellow exhibitiors made it very worthwhile.

Following on from Roy’s, I dropped paintings off at Barge Fiodra for the Artists Afloat exhibition.  Featuring work from established artists who find inspiration on the waterways of the UK, many who are members of the Guild of Waterway Artists.   On until the 27th October.

Introduction to Creative Acrylics Workshop

The first “Introduction to Creative Acrylics” workshop in my new space was a great success.  I loved the small group and being able to talk to everyone…I think this is the way to go  for the future.  Small, friendly groups, fit perfectly in the new “Teaching Room”

Looking forward to a tidy, bright and organised Art Boat

I’m still in the process of getting all my art making stuff from the boat the studio.  Over the past few years The Art Boat has got beyond managable with all my paints canvases and trading equipment.  The plan is to empty the boat completely of all art paraphernalia, reorganise and decorate, then start taking some of the art stuff back ready for festivals and markets next year.  I am quite excited…I have been planning to paint the inside of my boat for the last 9 years.  Other things need doing first, but I can now actually see that it will happen over the winter.  Watch this space…but not too closely!

The Prize Draw,

The prize draw that I ran to celebrate taking part in Roy’s has a winner.  The first print in a ltd. edition of 25 will be on it’s way to a new home in Norwich early next week.

I have not yet managed to get this print on my website, but if you are interested in purchasing one of these very special hand embellished ltd edition prints, Contact me for details

Coming up in November

New dates for Creative Acrylics Workshops… Book Here

During November and December you can find me at Audlem Mill with fellow Guild of Waterway Artists member Christine Rigden.

Bye for now…

Jan x




Keeping the Studio!

So much has been happening with The Art Boat this summer, that I’ve neglected to keep up with my blog. Isn’t that  always the way?  Just when I have oodles to write about, I don’t have time to write it.

One of the best bits of the this summer is the fact that after months of indecision about whether to keep the studio at Goyt Mill in Marple,  I have come to the conclusion that I would be silly not to.  As soon as the decision was made, it was like the fog was lifted from my brain and I have such plans!  Isn’t it funny how big decisions can effect absolutely everything you do and as soon as your road is clear everything becomes so much easier.

A knock on effect of keeping the studio is that I now have a place to run the workshops I have been thinking about.  I’ll be keeping these to small groups of 3-5 people.  The first one will be an introduction to creative acrylics  and will take place on Saturday 19th October.  All materials and free lunch provided.  Just get in touch through my contact form for more details and how to sign up (link at bottom)

Another exciting event is that I am taking part in a London Art Fair.  Roy’s Art Fair will be held at the Truman Bewery on Brick Lane.  A first for me and a big step.  I’ve met the organisers and some of the other artists  and I’m so looking forward to it.  I’ll add a link at the bottom for free ticket details.

I’ve been working on some new pieces to take to Roy’s Art Fair.  Canal Bridge Holes are an absolute fascination of mine and provide an endless source of inspiration.  The framing  provided by the structure of the bridge makes the scene viewed seem like another world. These are photos of the works in progress but  I’ll share the finished paintings soon!

Meanwhile, I’m still travelling, and have my last couple of canal festivals to do from the boat this year before heading back to the studio for more land-based things.  Just follow the “Events” link to find out where I will be next.

I promise not to leave it so long next time!

Jan x

Roy’s Art Fair-Tickets

The Art Boat – events

Contact The Art Boat

Pinting, painting, painting before TheArt Boat Tour

2019 – The Art Boat Tour – A Busy Year!

Interwoven exhibition.

This year has got off to a great start and I have already booked most dates for The Art Boat tour.  Time is flying and I can’t believe there is already less than a week left to visit The Old Parsonage in Didsbury to see the Vernon Mill Group Exhibition “Interwoven”.  A wonderful exhibition in a beautiful setting, by a diverse group of talented artists.  Well worth squeezing in a visit before it closes.

Jan Vallance "Winter" at Interwoven exhibition
Mum and I at The Old Parsonage Didsbury.

The Art Boat Tour 2019.

The winter is when I plan the rest of the year, and it’s looking good so far.  These are the events that are already scheduled for TheArtBoat.  A mixture of Floating Markets, Festivals and exhibitions.  I will also be dipping my toe in the unfamiliar world of Art Fairs.  But most exciting (for me!) is the open studio that I am planning for the three weekends before I set off on the Art Boat.  This will be the first time that I have opened my new studio to the public, and I’m quite nervous as it will be very different to my past experience, taking part in group open studios.

I have added links to some of the events and will insert more as they become available.  Please bookmark this post as I will come back and add events as I book them.  There are already a couple of Guild of Waterway Artists exhibitions in the pipeline.

The Itinerary

   Sun. 3rd Feb-Sun. 24th Feb.      “Interwoven” a VMA exhibition, The Old Parsonage Didsbury

   Fri. 22nd Mar-Sun. 24th Mar.     Macclesfield Open Art Exhibition,  Town Hall

  Sat. 30th Mar-Sun. 31st Mar.     Open Studio, TheArtBoat, Unit 40  Goyt Mill

  Fri. 5th Apr-Sat.  27th Apr             Echoes,  Group exhibition in Champaign, Illinois. (selected dates)

  Sat. 6th Apr-Sun. 7th Apr.             Open Studio, TheArtBoat, Unit 40  Goyt Mill

  Sat. 13th Apr-Sun. 14th Apr.       Open Studio, TheArtBoat, Unit 40  Goyt Mill

   Fri. 19th Apr-Mon. 22nd Apr.     Great Haywood, RCTA Easter Floating Market.

   Fri. 3rd May-Sun. 5th May.           Berkhamsted,    RCTA  May BH Floating Market

   Sat.18th May-Sun. 19thMay       Rickmansworth Canal Festival

  Sat. 25th May-Mon. 27th May.    Boxmoor,    RCTA  Spring  BH Floating Market

   Sat. 29th Jun-Sun. 30th Jun.         Braunston Canal Festival.  GoWA exhibition.

  Sat. 20th Jul-Sun. 21st Jul.              Cosgrove Canal Festival

  Saturday July 27th.                             Linslade Canal Festival,  One day only

  Sat. 3rd Aug-Sun. 4th Aug.              Fenny Stratford Canal Festival

  Sat. 10th Aug-Sun 11th Aug.         Blisworth Canal Festival.

  Sat. 24th Aug-Mon 26th  Aug.      Merry Hill,  RCTA  August BH Floating Market.

  Sat. 7th Sep-Sun. 8th Sep.               Birmingham,  RCTA Floating Market

  Sat. 14th Sep-Sun. 15th Sep.         Black Country Boating Festival

  Sat. 21st Sept-Sun 22nd Sep.       Huddlesford Heritage Gathering

  November/December                      Audlem Mill/Jan Vallance.  GoWA exhibition (Artists changing every 1-2 months).

The Art Boat Tour 2019, Winter Painting
“Winter” by Jan Vallance of The Art Boat

Hope to see you at one of these events during the year…there are plenty to choose from.   Don’t forget to bookmark and check back as I’ll be updating the information as I travel.

Bye for now…and hope to see  somewhere soon!





A moment of contemplation

Round up of 2018 and the Next Exhibition

There it is gone! 2018 raced by and we are already nearing the end of January 2019.  It’s a tough  job to choose from the many wonderful experiences but, the highlights of last year were, taking TheArtBoat into London, two new group exhibitions with the Guild of Waterways Artists and moving to a canalside studio in Marple.  Many more notable events, but those are just three of the ones that stood out for me.

I love London canals

Graffitti, London near Camden Town
Acrylic on Canvas Graffiti painting by Jan Vallance

The variety of canalscapes in and around London were unexpected.  Bridges dripping in graffiti,  bustling towpaths, colourful boats and the lovely calm and wide River Lea.  Needless to say I was inspired to produce several paintings based on London scenes, and am putting aside some studio time soon to do more.  Even the madness of searching for scarce mooring spots, and the racing cyclists, didn’t detract from the buzz of being in  this linear village.

The Guild of Waterway Artists

Two exhibitions with the Guild of Waterway Artists this year, were new ventures.  The first of these was at the Ellesmere Port Boat Museum, which ran from July until the beginning of November and was made possible by the tireless work of the Guild’s Penny Taylor Beardow.  This was followed shortly after by an exhibition in the Barge Fiodra Gallery curated by Bob Chase and daughter Anna.  The location for the duration of the exhibition was Little Venice  which couldn’t have been more perfect!   I was delighted to be able to exhibit my London paintings on Fiodra especially as the majority of them found new homes   

Posing outside Barge Fiodra with fellow GoWA artists Pete Tuffrey and Paul O’Leary

My new studio is Amazing!

…but you will have to wait to hear more as I have decided this exciting news deserves its own blog post!

2018 has been a hectic but successful year.   I’m now painting like one possessed in order to have enough paintings to set off on my 2019 Art Boat tour in April. I’ll be putting the schedule on my blog very soon. First on the agenda though is a group exhibition with the Vernon Mill Artists. Twenty plus artists will be showing work in the historic and picturesque Old Parsonage in Didsbury. Running from the 3rd to 24th February with the preview from 1pm-3pm on Sunday 3rd. I’m excited  to be part of this exhibition and am hoping that those who haven’t got too far to travel will be able to visit.

Vernon Mill Artists mixed group exhibition
“Interwoven” a group exhibition by Vernon Mill Artists at The Old Parsonage in Didsbury

Right!  Back to getting ready for the exhibition…
Bye for now, and see you in the next post

Jan x

Updates to TheArtBoat’s schedule!

Gosh!  What a busy first half of the season.   About half way through the TheArtboat’s travelling and trading period and I am already almost out of original paintings…which is why I have made the decision to stay down in London and The Lee and Stort for the rest of July, and then travel slowly up the Grand Union northward, popping up as I go. I desperately need to make painting time and I have therefore had to cancel Cosgrove Linslade and Blisworth. It was a hard decision to make as I shall miss doing these festivals and catching up with old friends. Hopefully I will make up for it by having lots of new paintings to show.   Two new dates I can definitely add to my calendar are;

6th-8th July….. Ware Festival

12th-22nd July….. Mile End festival

Both are new events for me so I am really looking forward to them.

One of the paintings that has been re-homed this year.  “Tranquil” a portrait of one of the distinctive locks on the Grand Union Canal near Watford.

What I have been up to so far this summer.

I loved being down on the Grand Union.  Setting up gallery on The Art Boat at Berkhamsted floating Market,  Rickmansworth festival and Boxmoor.  Berkhamsted in particular was a fantastic event for me with the people of the town embracing the market wholeheartedly and making us feel really welcome.  My stock of paintings was already low before I was (easily) persuaded by friends on The Hippie Boat to carry on my journey and pop into London.  It has been an experience.  A very different way of boating, but one that I am glad to have experienced.  I am now up on the Lee in Hertford enjoying this beautiful town and getting ready for The Ware Festival next weekend.  After that it is back to London and the Mile end festival.

New paintings…

Still waterside based but not on the canal this time.  Titled Quietude 1,2,3,4.  Each one is 8″ x 8″   Number 1 is already sold but hoping to get the other three on my website soon.

And lastly …I hope you enjoy the main photo taken in Berkhamsted.  A very rare occurrence  (the only time to date!),  of TheArtBoat moving with awning and shelves already set up.  It was a scary moment, and only made possible by the stillness of the day. Thank you Alan Price for the photo and Barry Sharland for the expert steering.

Until next time,

Jan x