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Art Exhibition in Surrey

Sheep painting in progress, panda painting in progress. Caroline Skinner Art

This month I will be exhibiting some of my new animal art at Denbies Wine Estate, a great venue in Surrey, alongside other talented local artists. Some of my latest art in progress is shown above.

This colourful and diverse art exhibition is organised by First Steps Art, which was set up by Susan Sheen to give an outlet for her talented son Dale’s manga-style art. Dale has Aspergers and wanted to exhibit his art, but it doesn’t fit the traditional art group exhibition style, and now it doesn’t need to! Dale now proudly and successfully exhibits several times a year, alongside a mix of both new artists who have never exhibited before and experienced working artists. All styles and subjects are welcomed for the affordable art exhibitions, which are professionally organised by Susan who is very encouraging as she wants everyone to do well.

Here are some views of previous exhibitions:


Denbies art exhibition, affordable art show, Surrey artists   Denbies Wine Estate, art exhibition, Caroline Skinner Art, mezzanine art exhibition, First Steps Art





“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life” Pablo Picasso

An important difference to some art group exhibitions is one that helps prospective art buyers – there are no red dots on the wall with buyers collecting their artwork at the end of the exhibition. This means that if you like an original artwork enough to buy it, you can take it away with you straight away.  Prints and cards from some of the exhibiting artists will also be available.

Did you know that the chalk hills where Denbies have their vineyards give the same growing condition for their grapes as the Champagne area in France? While you’re there try their award-winning wines and Sparkling Wine (they can’t call it champagne), it’s really good! I’ve taken some to friends abroad and they are always amazed at the quality!

First Steps Art will be at the Mezzanine Gallery, Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking, Surrey RH6 5AA from 18th to 24th February 2019. For other dates see

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How Much Do Artists Earn?

British wildlife paintings, colourful animal art, deep box canvas wildife wall art


I’ve recently finished exhibiting during the 2018 Surrey Artists’ Open Studios (SAOS) at my art studio in Merstham, Surrey. In reality, many artists don’t have a grand studio, as you’ll know if you visited some of us.  I’m fortunate to have my own small art room at home. During Open Studios half of my dining room and the conservatory also get converted to gallery space. Weather permitting, I like to paint colourful animal paintings on my easel in the garden.

It’s always lovely to meet people who come to see what I’ve been painting – for some, they will have picked me out of the SAOS brochure and made a special trip, perhaps visiting other studios in Surrey during the day as well. There are always local people who notice my bright orange sign and pop in to see what it’s all about, and family and friends who come along to support my one-person art business.


Yes, I use the term art business – whilst I love what I do, it is becoming my main source of income. I love that my art is taking over from my day job, which is slowly fading into the background. People are often surprised by this, perhaps believing the starving artist myth!

I have been asked numerous times how long a painting takes (it depends on the size and complexity, but the short answer is 40 years of painting and drawing so far!), or whether I can make a living by painting. Painting is only a small part of the equation for an artist – we also need to develop skills in marketing, social media posts, planning displays for shows and exhibitions and setting them up, talking to customers, building online shops, updating websites, buying supplies and developing products, processing sales, negotiating commissions, keeping accounts etc . It’s not for the faint-hearted!

This year I tried some new things during SAOS – firstly donations to the International Fund for Animal Welfare from my sales. I also ran a contest to win a print of an animal you’ve suggested (once I’ve painted it!). I haven’t drawn the winner yet, but I will do so shortly when I get back to painting. Another aspect of being a self-employed artist is that there isn’t anyone else to run your business when there are problems (though on the plus side, I never have to ask anyone for time off either).


Some of you may be aware that I closed my Open Studio unexpectedly on Friday 15th June. My apologies if you tried to visit me and were unable to return the following day. Do get in touch if you are interested in a particular artwork or look at my website or online shop. I did put out social media messages and leave a note on the door. Unfortunately we had an urgent call to visit my Mother-in-Law who had been seriously ill in hospital for some time, and who sadly passed away on Tuesday this week. 

Normal business will be resumed shortly, and I will be in touch with commission customers to discuss slightly extending my target dates. Thank you for your understanding.

Oh and to answer the question, how much do artists earn? Mostly more than the paper boy and less than the top UK business earners, just like most of you. But feel free to buy my colourful animal art while it’s still affordable! 

Stay in touch and get all my art news, animal stories and special offers just for my followers by signing up below – get 15% off your first order.


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Where to See Art in Surrey

Surrey Artists' Open Studios, animal art, wildlife art, Merstham art studio

The short answer is : everywhere!

There are some very talented artists in Surrey and 273 of them are taking part in the Surrey Artists’ Open Studios (SAOS) between 2nd and 17th June 2018. I will be amongst them for the 2nd year running, opening my Merstham art studio on selected dates (listed on my website).

If you are not familiar with SAOS, the idea is that artists in Surrey open their doors to show their art processes and work areas, and discuss their work with anyone who is interested, making the art experience more personal and informal than your average art gallery. Some studios are running workshops, demonstrations or special offers during their opening hours. Entry is free, and there are some great art trails to follow, or you can collect a brochure from libraries across Surrey and pick out your favourite subjects, media or artists.  Whether you love 3D art such as ceramics, jewellery and sculpture, or you would rather see photography, drawings, or paintings  of landscapes, animals or abstract art in oils, acrylic or watercolour, you will find it all in Surrey.

During SAOS in 2017 really enjoyed meeting some great people and getting direct feedback about my wildlife and animal art, but some lessons have been learnt for this year – I’ll make sure I have enough stock of my most popular prints and cards in advance, and I won’t be opening my studio on the day that the London to Brighton cycle ride goes past my front door as no-one can get here!

Some photos from my Merstham studio during SAOS 2017:


 What can you expect if you visit my Merstham art studio on my open days?  I will be demonstrating my colourful acrylic painting style, hopefully in the garden (weather permitting). There will be new wildlife and animal paintings on display,  and you can see a display of how I develop my paintings and enjoy free refreshments.  Entry is free, and original artworks, giclee prints and cards will be on sale from £2.50 to £300. I like to support wildlife conservation projects, so on the launch day,  Saturday 2nd June 2018 I will be donating 20% of all wildlife art sales to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (10% on all other open dates).

Here are a few paintings from my new British Wildlife painting collection:

If you’re looking for something to do in Merstham this June, why not visit the All Saints Summer Fair on 10th June 2018 from 11.30am to 3pm, and pop into my art studio as well – look out for the large orange sign outside my house at 90 Nutfield Road, Merstham RH1 3HA. 

All of my opening dates and hours can be found on my website, with details of all of the Surrey Open Studios on the SAOS website, or you can pick up a brochure at Surrey libraries (my studio is number 40 on page 22).

If you visit 4 or more art studios and vote for your favourite artist you could win a £150 voucher to spend on SAOS artwork. Go and look at some art in Surrey this June!