Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Pen and Pencil Sketches

Enjoying the good weather sitting outside in the garden, the little black book of sketches comes out again, and two more blank sheets are drawn upon .
The first, a pen sketch copying from a book - there are no firemen in my garden !

The second a pencil drawing of one of my garden ornaments. She is currently lying on her side and already, the weeds are trying to claim her.
It reminds me of the poem by Rudyard Kipling "Letting in the Jungle"

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

In the Garden

In the garden, when the sun is shining, but not too hot, I sit outside on the patio at my little bistro table and I sketch.
These little pen sketches are not the local wildlife, but little practice pieces from a book called "I can Draw"
Can I draw? I'm always learning!

Monday, 28 September 2009

From Life or Photo?

Painting from life is full of unexpected things happening, as this sketch of Missy's ear, eyebrow and eye show........

So, if you're not brilliantly quick on the draw, wait until your pet is asleep....

otherwise, use a judiciously taken photo to create your masterpiece

As you can see, I am not an artist who sticks to "life" only. I do use photos where it will give me a better painting than scrabbling around after a favourite dog! But I also draw daily - but usually items that don't move :)

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Wilbur "at Home"

One of the nicest things about making paintings for other people is when I hear how delighted they are once they receive them.
Even more delightful is when they send me pictures of the painting, all framed up and hanging on the wall.
Then you know the painting is truly loved - and that warms the cockles of my heart.

So, it gives me great pleasure to show off Wilbur in his new home, happily hanging on the wall, looking down on his owner, with love .


Saturday, 26 September 2009

So happy together

On this journey with watercolour and my dog, have I shown you a picture of us both?
Well here we are, out on a walk, happy to be together and enjoying the super sunny day!

The other constant companion is my slimline camera, a Fujifilm A850.
I love it because its as slim as a pack of cards and is very lightweight, making it ideal for the roving artist. After all, you never know when you will capture an inspirational scene - or a happy moment!

Friday, 25 September 2009

You Are Not Alone

The title of this painting is "You Are Not Alone"
Painted for a very dear friend who lost her jack russell, Jazzie, to liver cancer. The rose is one bought in remembrance of Jazzie and it has flowered each year.
I wanted this painting to show Jazzie "sniffing" her rose, to convey the message to the lady who loved her so much, that Jazzie was never far away, and she was not alone.
It is a very sentimental painting - and the sentiment is love.
No finer feeling in this world - or the next!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Christmas is coming!

I know, its only September.
I have started a painting just yesterday that will be someone's Christmas present - and I have had two people ask me to do pencil portraits so they can be given as presents.
Its wise to get in early, I suppose, but it does make you realise that time is flying by.

I can't really show you what I've been painting, so instead you'll have to make do with a doodle I drew a few days ago. Meet Oscar. Why Oscar? Why, because he's wild!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

The Day Job

I am not a full time artist. I paint for pleasure - -sometimes I sell pieces that have a special resonance to the viewer, sometimes I take on a commission.

But the day job, that's the one I feel is my calling.
I'm a reflexologist, trained at the British School of Reflexology, a member of the Association of Reflexologists, and a Registered Advanced Reflexologist.

What is reflexology? Have a look here at my own website, it explains it all.
Pat Elliott Reflexology.

When I first started reflexology, I decided I had best find myself a hobby as I did not anticipate having a full appointments diary the moment I qualified.
That began my love affair with watercolour paints - some fourteen years ago.
Even though my practice is much busier now, I still make time to paint.
Here's one of my early paintings

Monday, 21 September 2009

Rave on a Sunday

Rainham Association for Village Events (RAVE) held an Arts Fair in the grounds of Rainham Hall, a lovely old Georgian House, and part of the National Trust. (all blue text is a clickable link)

Beryl and I perused the stalls, talked to stall holders - saw some lovely artwork, which I would happily have linked to, but the lady had no website! How modern am I that I was shocked she didn't?

I love these little art and craft events and I always try to support them somehow. I managed to buy one hand knitted hat for my winter walks with Missy - who has been written about in a National Trust book " Give a Dog a Home, True Tales of Courage and Survival"

I also found some inspiration in the churchyard next to the house, as you can see with these two photos. They'll make it into paintings one day!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Inspiration in the Woods

Missy, hubby and I went for a walk in the Thames Chase woods.
Looking with an artistic eye, you can find inspiration all around...

Keep an eagle eye out, these will appear in my paintings at some point in the future !

Saturday, 19 September 2009

What does Missy do?

What does Missy do when I am painting?

Sometimes she keeps an eagle eye on me to make sure I get it right!

and sometimes, its such hard work being creative supervisor, she needs to take a nap!
Roughly translated as, "heavens, this is boring, I'm having a sleep" :)

Friday, 18 September 2009

Black Beauty

There's Black Beauty - my first full size painting using the new techniques.
I'm at a loss what to write about this one - because I keep looking at it in wonderment that this came out of my brush!
So, I'll say no more - except for, I hope you enjoy it as much as I.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Its all new...still

Today's blog is another of the animals being painted in the new technique.
I'm still practising with it and still enjoying it immensely.

I found out yesterday that the chap who wrote the book had previously taught art in Fairkytes Art Centre where I go on Wednesdays - before he moved to Devon. Who knows, maybe one day we'll be in the same place at the same time - and I can learn from him first hand!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

You wanna hug?

Because if you do, you'd be braver than I!
I had fun making this little ink sketch of a beautiful wild animal - the Gorilla.
I hope you enjoy it too.

If you want to learn more about gorillas, check out

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Sleeping beauty

After Glynis left yesterday - and after the tradesmen left the house too, my darling Missy just needed to have a sleep! It had been an exciting day.

I thought I would take the time to make a couple of little sketches, which I did. Nothing really to show,(which means they were faint pencil and the camera wouldn't pick them up!) - just aide memoires for when and if I come to paint the idea. Both inspired by songs - Neil Diamond's Beautiful Noise and another one from Spandau Ballet's Through the Barricades.

Tomorrow everything should return to normal art wise - as we start back on Wednesday Art Nights again. I am looking forward to it :)

Monday, 14 September 2009

We have a visitor today!

This visitor we have today is none other than our good friend Glynis.
She comes all the way from Australia!
She's staying in the west of London, but making a special visit to the wilds of Essex to see us in our new house!

Last visit we wanted to take a pic of Missy on Glynis' lap, but no sooner than Missy got up, had a fuss then she jumped off again - and my camera skills weren't quick enough to snap the best picture. I am used to things not moving!

Glynis is the very talented lady who makes the FeltPets.

She also adores dogs and has even taken courses so she can help train and rehabilitate some of the dogs in shelters. She also fosters dogs who might otherwise be stuck in kennels - and cares for them until a new forever home is found.
She's an all round star!

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Stephen Cook, Artist

Art starts up again this week - and I am so looking forward to it.
As a special treat, I thought I would show you the website of the tutor who runs my art evenings.

His name is Stephen Cook.
His oils are magnificent, his watercolours stunning.

His is a level of achievement that I aspire to.
Click on Stephen's name in this post, or on the link to the right under "favourite sites" and enjoy the Galleries.

Stephen paints, teaches and runs monthly workshops in Essex.
Here is a painting I made at one of his workshops - Upminster Windmill.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Meet the ginger one

Here we are - the second attempt at the loose impressionistic style.
The first photo shows the cat after all the base washes were done, you can just make out his shape.

The second shows the finished cat.
I quite like him - he has a certain spark about him - and you can certainly see he's a cat !

Friday, 11 September 2009

first effort, new style

This morning I had five drawings lined up to practice the new style on .
Here's the first one, a chunky running puppy .

Here's the painting after I had laid all the base washes for background and pup.

I was surprised how wet the first washes were - its a long time since I used a squirrel mop brush. I had time to drive down to the local farm shop a couple of miles away and get some more food for Missy. When I came home it still wasn't completely dry!

Then came the building up of the other washes. For the pup, there were no step by step instructions, so I winged it a bit. I'm quite pleased with the result though. Here it is:

Next time I paint, I think instead of doing a small 3x4 square as this pup was, I shall paint it large - 15x11 probably. Then I can really let the paint flow!
I hope you're enjoying the journey with me :)

Thursday, 10 September 2009

new book, new technique

I've bought a new book!
I have always liked the look of animals painted in a "loose" style in watercolour - this is the book to help me achieve that style.

All work and chores done, Missy taken for a long walk around the field, I settled down to read the book cover to cover - which has now been done!

Its very exciting, the photos of the paintings are lovely, the technique seems well explained. Delicious book.

Tomorrow I start practising the exercises within.
It'll be an exhilarating journey, learning something new.

You'll probably get to see my efforts, along the way!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Missy - the artist's model

My darling Missy is such a pretty little girl that sometimes she just takes your breath away. At least seventeen times a day she strikes a pose I could easily paint.

So today I thought I would show you a sleeping pose, the photo first and then my 5 minute sketch, which tries to capture, not a photographic likeness, but a sense of the scene.

The sense of stillness and happiness that Missy enjoys, I think is captured - though I know what to look for! I wonder if you see it too?

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Jazz and Peace

Jazzabella Jasmine Jacqueline Russell ( Jazz for short ) was a very lucky dog.
After a bad start in life she was adopted by a wonderful lady who lived on a farm. Jazz had many adventures around the farm, running up and down the rows of crops and riding in the farmer's truck. Greatly loved by all.
No dog could wish for a better life.

When Jazz passed away, her wonderful owner was understandably distraught. I came up with the idea of buying a rose to commemorate Jazz that could be planted on the farm.
Together with another friend, we bought two roses, Peace and Memorial Day.

Here is a sketch of a flower from the Peace rose, with darling Jazzie looking over it, telling her mum she will never be alone.

It is a sentimental piece - and when I make it into a painting, it will be a sentimental painting. The sentiment is love. No finer feeling.

This above all.

Monday, 7 September 2009

kicking up a storm

Colder days are here again.
The tail end of the day saw us snuggled up on the sofa; me, my dog and the sketch book.

And what came out of the pencil on this cold day?
An elephant - kicking up a sand storm!
I'm willing the warmer weather back :)

Sunday, 6 September 2009

......and some days...

Some days, even with the best will in the world, I do not draw or paint.
Yesterday was one of those.
I was working until gone 1pm and then I settled down in one of the recliners to have a cup of coffee and read a book.

David Benioff's City of Thieves.
One of those novels that grips you so you have to keep reading.
I always think of books as a form of art.. the author is painting a living picture with words.

Whilst I was sitting there, feet up, Missy took the other recliner and put her paws up! Not being one for reading, she fell asleep in the warmth of the room. Lovely girl .

Saturday, 5 September 2009

A walk in the Field

Yesterday afternoon I wasn't working, so MissyChief and I went for a walk in the farmer's field that backs onto our garden.

We had a lovely time, the sun was shining, there was a breeze and the field walk was empty save us.
Missy thoroughly enjoyed trotting about, sniffing all the smells.

When we came home she had a good long sleep - and I made a small painting of the field, about 6x4 inches in size.

It was a lovely afternoon - one I feel blessed to have had.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Windy sketch

My word! What a windy day we had yesterday. It didn't let up at all.
It was of course, far too windy for anyone with an ounce of sense to put their sheets on the line, so I made up a quick painted sketch instead .
That's the wonderful thing about painting - you can make it up.

here's the sketch - I quite like it and may well include elements of it in a worked up painting. Keep your eyes peeled!

Now whilst I was painting this sketch, and the wind was howling - where was my brave little doggy?

Was she outside barking in the face of the elements? Was she hurling defiance in the face of the wind?
Was she heck!

She was being the world's most sensible dog and having a sleep til it all blew over.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Nice weather for ducks!

We have a saying "Nice weather ....for ducks!"
Cold wet and windy.
Whatever happened to autumn? Those lovely cooler days when you only need a light jumper or a heavy shirt - when you can still sit outside?
We had the fire on last night it was so cold. Today is already wet and very windy.

No sitting outside sketching in this weather for me. I'm staying indoors to play with my paints.
Though I do wonder if anyone has any sheets blowing dry in this wind? That would make a nice painting !

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

First day back

Yesterday was my first day back working after a six week break.

Which meant there wasn't a great deal of time for painting - but I did manage to do a very quick abstract before the first patient of the day arrived!

Here it is - Whiskers.
So named because I can see lots of cats and big cat paws in there .
That's my view - yours may yet be different...

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

The Journey Home

My friend Beryl came around for a visit yesterday.
Her husband Dennis was helping my Paul to put a new roof on the garage.

So, in between making cups of tea, Beryl and I set to, making an abstract painting each.

This is mine - and I call it "The Journey Home"
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