Friday, 30 October 2009

Coughs and Sneezes

"Coughs and Sneezes spread diseases
Trap yours in your handkerchief "

Sadly someone I may never know didn't do that, and I have gone down with such a nasty bug, that I could have picked up from anywhere!
Its why I have been absent from my blog - why my week's holiday has been spent cuddled up to the warmest of all nurses :)

Every cloud has a silver lining...

Another few days and I will hopefully be back to normal - and painting again!

Saturday, 24 October 2009


This will be we three in the next week, as we have the half term off.
Hopefully we won't have any snow...

we'll be taking the camera wherever we go and fingers crossed we'll have some lovely pictures to make paintings from later in the year.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Modern Art

Sometimes I do paint some pieces which might be called Modern Art..

Left alone to my own devices I might never had painted any such thing - but that's the joy of going to college and being given an assignment.. you have to do it. That stretches you and sometimes you find things you really enjoy..

here's my favourite two modern art pieces...

Visions of Blue


Thursday, 22 October 2009

Stained Glass

In our previous house, we had a wooden door as an entrance door.
Many moons back we had a stained glass window made for the door.
The amount of work in stained glass is phenomenal.
Take a look here at The Stained Glass Guild.

We couldn't take our door or panel with us, so I did the next best thing, and painted a picture of the panel .

The Peacock

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

The Legend of Stingy Jack

There is an old Irish legend, about a drunk called Stingy Jack.
This man tricked the Devil into not claiming his soul when he died, but being such a rogue was denied Heaven also. He was doomed to travel the darkness between Heaven and Hell for all eternity; with only an everlasting coal from the fires of Hell to provide him light on the road. This coal was placed into a hollowed out turnip and thus the first Jack O'Lantern was born. Full story here

When the Irish emigrated to the US at the time of the potato famine, they took the tradition of carving jack o'lanterns with them; but turnips were not as plentiful in the new land, so they started to carve pumpkins instead.
Read about the potato famine here.

Being half Irish, I knew the myth that was Stingy Jack, so when I decided to paint a picture of a carved pumpkin - what else could it be called, but "Theatrical Halloween"

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

All things Ancient Egyptian

Like many others, I have a fascination for all things Ancient Egyptian.
Last night I was watching a programme about a mummy that resides in Belfast, called Takabuti
It was a fascinating programme, though I had mixed feelings watching it.
Part of me wishes the mummies could have been left to rest in peace, but another part understands how they would have been lost for all time, given the trade by grave robbers at the "mummy markets" of the 1800s.

I once painted a picture of that most famous Ancient Egyptian, Tutankhamun which expresses my feelings.
The Mask is painted in black, white and shades of grey - with only the tear that runs down his face in the gold and blue colours of the real mask.
The title of the painting is "Rest in Peace", a privilege that can never be accorded the boy King - hence his sorrow.

Rest In Peace

Monday, 19 October 2009

Missy helps with painting.

Missy helps with painting. By posing as a model, you might think?
Not this time.
Missy was helping by making sure the dust sheet didn't move as we painted the walls in our lounge!

She's such a little precious..

Holding down the dust sheet

Waiting for a reward

this weekend's painting

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Remy the Younger

Having gone through the stages, again I found myself with enough time to breeze through the rest of the painting - so there is only the final portrait to see.

May I present....... Remy the Younger

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Young Remy

Not only did I paint the Duchess Remy, but I also made a portrait of the younger Remy.

Here are the first three stages
Enjoy the process.....


Background washes

Eyes and nose

Friday, 16 October 2009

The Duchess Remy

After painting the first two stages separately, the following day I had a fair bit of time on my hands so I finished the painting of Remy - all in one go.
I should have stopped to photograph the stages, but she was flowing so well from my brush I didn't want to stop.
So, I didn't!

Here she is, The Duchess Remy.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Stages of Remy

The dog in yesterday's drawing is Remy.. and here are the following two stages after making the drawing..

making a wash on the background, using ochre and crimson

and painting the eyes and nose, using ultramarine and burnt sienna in differing quantities to achieve the browns and blacks.

To read more about Remy and her English Setter family, click here

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Doggy drawing

This is the pencil drawing of the dog I am going to paint next.
I've had to adjust the photo so the pencil shows up, hence the dark edges.

I usually lightly draw an outline sketch so I have the proportions right before I begin to paint. That way I feel more confident that the painted dog will resemble the real life one from the bottom up - if you see what I mean :)

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Bella turns model, gets new name

I was so thrilled to receive these pictures of Bella from Marie, that I wanted to share them, and Marie said it was ok!
Sweet Bella has only been with Marie for a few weeks and look at the difference in her already. She look such a happy soul - and who wouldn't be - she has landed on her paws, that's for sure!
The new name came about as Marie realised Bella was too close to her mom's name of Isabel.. so now Bella is Rozabella - or Roz for short.

Roz, you sure are looking good - as good as any model :)

Monday, 12 October 2009

Lazy Sunday

After finishing a painting, I don't always immediately launch into the next thing. Especially when I have a commission to do - I like a little distance between one painting and the next.

So I will enjoy a "lazy" day, just walking with hubby and Missy, reading a book and all three of us will curl up on the sofa and watch a film.

This morning when the chores are done, I will start on the drawing of my next commission.. a beautiful dog. Sometime this week, I hope to have her finished.

Sunday, 11 October 2009


My lion has a name - and it is Trojan..

here he is, painted in the new loose style... Trojan.

Saturday, 10 October 2009


Here's the next stage of my lion..

the colours around his mane have been deepened and shaped .. he's coming on well.
I think his name will come to me when I paint his eyes..

Friday, 9 October 2009

Work in Progress

This is my latest work in progress.
Background washes have been done, the first and second wash on the body of the lion done.
I'm quite pleased with him so far, I think he's looking good.
I'm hoping to do some more to him tomorrow - and maybe finish him at the weekend.
I haven't thought of a name for him yet.. I'm only hoping he won't end up a Clarence!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

village life

One of the nice things about being in a village is the way people try to keep it pretty by the use of flowers.
This post box is in a neighbouring village to mine. Its such a draw for people who like to paint. You can see why.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

for Missy and Bella, two rescue dogs


You look at me so quizzically
I wonder what you think?
Staring so intently
Into your eyes I sink

Within I find a world
Where hearts are good and pure
But wait! A little dark place
Where secrets are, I'm sure.

In the heart of my rescue dog
There once lived pain and fear
How could they treat so cruelly
This one I love so dear?

So now I have a mission
And this I swear to you
The heart that loves you now, dear heart
Will only love you true.

* * * * * * * * * * * *
Missy, adopted 18.03.06
Bella, adopted 01.10.09
"Oceans and years may separate us, but our hearts - they beat as one"

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Water Changes

Here is Mr Rhino, Sir! after water was added to the Inktense pencil drawing.

Sometimes, when you draw with a medium that can be changed by the addition of water, you get a bit wary of making the change, in case you don't like the result! After all, there's no going back.

Luckily for me, I like the changes to the rhino after water was added :)

Monday, 5 October 2009

Mr Rhino, sir!

I'm practicing wild animals at the moment.
This rhino was done in Inktense pencils without water. I may well add water to it and see what develops.

I have a few wildlife photos (thanks to Becks) that I can use to make paintings, so I want to improve my drawing before I lay brush to paper.

Mr Rhino, sir! ( what else would you call him?) is the first of my practice pieces. Eventually I want to paint him in the loose style I have recently been using .

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Dog Days

Sometimes you have to burn energy. We walk our dog Missy in lots of lovely places, I always take the camera in case I find that special shot that leads me to a painting.
Some days are all about Missy and what she enjoys.

She loves agility.
We went to classes when we first adopted her. Once she got into agility classes she shone! She picked up what to do first time, every time.
Agility built her confidence and taught her to focus.

We even made her own equipment for home use.
She loves it.
... and as you can see, on dog days, its ALL about the girl...

Coming through....

I'm too quick for you, mummy!

ok, I'll do it slowly...

I'll even wait right here...

Saturday, 3 October 2009


Here's a set up you might recognise from an earlier blog post - on a day I did no painting or drawing, but read my book.
When I put the book and the coffee cup down, I liked the arrangement of shapes they made, so I photographed them.
Now I have made a painting of the photograph - and here it is. I call it:


Thursday, 1 October 2009

Missy in the new style

Here we go with the new loose techniques again - using my Missy as the artist's model.
This is the painting close up so you can see brush strokes:

This is the painting at a usual distance that you would view it:

and this is the painting from the same angle that I was looking at Missy when I took the photograph:

I hope you enjoyed them :)
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