Back in the days I worked in accounts at a firm at Blackfriars, London, I used to spend many a happy lunchtime walking down by the river- even on the greyest of days. My favourite walk was between The Doggetts Coat and Badge up to Westminster Bridge.
Saturday sees me working into the afternoon. Sometimes I paint afterwards to have a change of pace, but this weekend I had a lady arrive to pick up her painting. Milo's mum came to pick up the painting of Milo and Shady. Milo's mum is a lovely lady, who cares a great deal for her dogs. She fell in love with my jack russell, Missy - who was the complete Diva and performed many tricks for her.
The painting was studied, the mum amazed at the exactness of the likeness. And now the painting has gone home, to bring only happy memories of an enthusiastic, joyous terrier .
I had some free time between patients today, so decided to read some art posts on the internet. Some of the articles were specifically aimed at people who paint and blog. You know the type of thing.. 12 things you must do to increase traffic to your blog...
I got as far as number three when from underneath my glass computer table, I felt the Hypno Stare working.....
and you guessed it, I never got as far as Number 4 on the list. One delightful little dog got a long walk instead. The fresh air was probably better for me, too!
Everyone who I know that paints keeps a library of photos and I am no different. Sometimes when there is no one thing calling out to be painted, I go through the photo gallery and see what I would like to paint.
There was a picture of some people on a beach, rocks either side and a lighthouse to the left in the distance.
This is where being an artist is good, because unlike photos you can rearrange things to suit yourself. So this time, I got rid of the beach, the people and one set of rocks and moved the lighthouse to the right. Less can be more.
For even more effect, I changed it from day into night. Our recent storms are obviously still on my mind. So here is the work in progress:
Life gets busy, you know how it is. You work, you do chores, you paint (if you're lucky) .
But if you should - for some reason - not give your dog as many walks as she would like, she stages a sit-in protest - until you say the magic word Walkies. Where better to stage this sit-in but at the computer? Smart dog :)
Missy has a second name, MissyChief. That's because a little while after we adopted her, when she'd settled in, we saw the twinkle of mischief come back into her eye - which as terrier lovers delighted us.
We walk frequently and today we had a lovely experience. We met someone who Missy adores and this lady adores Missy. Today, as usual she made a fuss of MissyChief then she said to me "Do you know, I hate jack russells!" She went on to say "But I adore Missy. Jacks are usually so yappy and snappy, but not your girl. I love Missy. If she was the only jack I knew, I would have one.. She's a real credit to you"
She's come a long way from the girl we adopted from Battersea - but we always thought she had it in her. Thank God they kept her for 2 years, whilst she waited for us.
Walking with the Chief, heads held high. Now there's a painting I should make!
I know, that's a very tired phrase, but once I had painted this picture and saw the big brown eyes looking up at me.. that's all I could think of: Snow Joke. Thanks to Shelley for the use of her photo :)
As Robbie Burns once said The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley.....
meaning the painting I had drawn out and started to paint was abandoned thanks to the big storm we had in Essex today. The sky went so dark, I couldn't continue to paint, or even photograph what I had already done. Sadly in the move to the new house, my natural daylight lamp has been mislaid.
So instead, have a look at this window, an exercise from one of my many watercolour instruction books.
Christmas, that is. So I thought I'd show you a painting I made for a previous Christmas, which was auctioned off to help Russell Refuge - a dog charity who only deal with Jack Russells - my favourite breed.
Jack Doolittle was named after Eliza Doolittle, from the show My Fair Lady ( based on the play Pygmalion) and inspired by the lines from the song:
"All I want is a room somewhere... far away from the cold night air... with one enormous chair..... oh, wouldn't it be lovely?"
So many dogs wanting that same thing.. if you can provide that room, please give it to a rescue dog.
My little dog can be a bit sensitive around sudden noises. Why, we don't know. What I do know is she usually hides when the bin men come to visit. Yesterday we had the delivery of two new bins as our local council gets right into re-cycling; so I took this as an opportunity to teach Missy not to be scared.
As the bins came off the truck and got wheeled to their new homes, I had Missy in a sit and each time she wagged at the delivery men, I gave her a treat. When she acted scared I ignored it, if she broke the sit, I asked her to sit again.
By the time the men delivered to our house, she was wagging like fury - and just as I hoped the Bin Man made an enormous fuss of her.
Bins are nowhere near as scary now. Good girl Missy!