Thursday, 27 December 2012

Missy's Christmas, Two Friends and a Happy New Year

We had a lovely time over Christmas and Missy had quite a few presents, which she loved.

I painted this for a friend in Scotland, who loved the unusual view of her two dogs

The Two Friends

I am very fortunate this year to have hubby at home, even into January!
So blogging for the moment is taking a back seat, as we enjoy each other's company.

Wishing you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

The first Tower block.

Good morning Friends,

here is the painting I was working on. I built the axes up, glaze after glaze, to try to get them to look realistic.
Hubby saw the finished painting first and he was so entranced by the axes he's getting the painting as a Christmas present :)

I hope you enjoy looking at it.

The first Tower block

This will also be in my permanent gallery site HERE

and because this will probably be my last post before Christmas, I thought I'd share some fast sketches I made with the new art materials received for my birthday.
These were the drawing blocks:

and this was made with a charcoal pencil:

Hope you all have a blessed Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year !

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

From the Forest Floor

In my front garden I have a very sweet yellow flower, but for the purpose of this painting, I made it white - and the background came from my head! I know, it must be a tangle in there.  :)

From the Forest Floor

Saunders Waterford 140 rough
15" x 11"

I'm hoping to have one more painting done before Christmas. Hope all your preps for the holiday are going well.

You can see this and all of my other paintings on my gallery site, HERE

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

A glimpse inside....

my little studio...

This is where I paint and write - and I've been trying to make it more arty and pretty - so that its a cosy place to work.

and in other news:

I've received a professional critique on the beginnings of my novel!
Delighted to say that it was mostly good news with just a few "tweaks" to be made. The lady thought that it was "beautifully written, with a lyrical, light feel" and she even compared my writing to the late, great Maeve Binchy!
I am thrilled and spurred on also!

Have a wonderful day, all xx

Sunday, 2 December 2012

On its Way...

Over at Painting Friends, we have a Christmas Card Exchange.

Here is the one I sent to a Friend in Florida

Waiting for Santa

This next card to a friend in the UK was inspired by the programme "Strictly Come Dancing" and is entitled:

Strictly Christmas

and last, but by no means least, is a very special card, with a lot of meaning to my friend in the US .. and to me too! 

Wishing for Texas

Christmas is on its way... hope you're enjoying getting ready for it. 
I am, I love Christmas - its my favourite !

Friday, 30 November 2012

With a little Help.. .

Good morning friends.
Had a wonderful day yesterday, on my birthday :)

There were art goodies, a trip out with a friend and when I came home, there was a bouquet on the doorstep! That made my day and I didn't think it could get better, but when Paul came home from work, it did! He'd ordered an extra present for me and had kept it at work, so I wouldn't see it! (Does he think I'd peek? :lol:)

I had a little help from Missy in opening that present, she puts her paws on the box and gently takes a corner and starts to tear. Its great fun watching her - sorry the pics aren't the best - but you get the idea. :)

Can I help, please?

This is a good corner to start!
Inside the box was a singer sewing essentials storage box! Crammed with threads, pics, tape measure and all a sewing girl could need :)

Now all I have to do is play with the art goodies, sew something simple and show you some pictures next week! Have a great weekend, all.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Champagne and Strawberries.

A little while ago one of our Painting Friends, Deb, provided the group with some photos, which we could use if we so desired.

I have created a new painting using one of her photos.
This one:

Champagne and Strawberries.

In other news, Missy has recovered from her limp, the vet thinks she has arthritis. She has to have painkillers and omegas to help the condition - though she still jumps around like a puppy! She'll be 15 years old soon, so she's doing well for her age. 

and I am still working on the novel. It needs to be 100k words and I am up to 40k. I'm hoping to have the first draft finished by the end of Feb next year. 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Drawing Portraits

A few days ago a book I'd ordered arrived in the post.
The book was a 10 day course on how to draw portraits.

Now, you've seen me draw portraits before, so why would I want this book?
Because when I draw, I meticulously measure each feature to make sure they are correct. Its time consuming and painstaking.

I wanted to draw freely and for it to be fun.

So I started the exercises in this book - and against the author's instructions I did all the 10 days in one day, doing each exercise only a couple of times and using pen not pencil.

I did that because I wanted to fly through the exercises to see if the whole method was one that would work for me - and if I used pen, then I would not be so meticulous. I'm used to sketching in a scribbly fashion, so that's what I did here.

 "Cutting Away" to get the outline of the Face

Placement of features by judgement - connecting lines show how I made the judgement.

Finished portrait

Now, having done all the exercises, I've found that I can get a reasonable likeness when in total all I've spent on these scribbles is a couple of hours.
So, the instruction works for me! 

I did another quick portrait, which for artistic effect, I have only detailed the darker side of the face. Once, on my City and Guilds Watercolour course, we were shown some paintings in which only one side was detailed. They looked more powerful than the fully worked up versions.  So does this portrait, to my eye.

So there you are - no measuring, no artificial aids, just me, a pen, a piece of paper.

I'm so impressed with this book, I am going to go back to the beginning and do all the exercises and repetitions in pencil - just as the artist intended.

At the end of the ten days I have every confidence that I'll be producing freehand portraits that are full of character  - and fun for me to do!

The book "Why Measure" can be found on Amazon HERE .

Friday, 16 November 2012

The Tulip Field

On this painting, I wanted to be impressionistic, so I used a technique similar to pointillism, but more "dab -illism"

Viewing is best done at a little distance, so sit back from your screens and take in...

The Tulip Field

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Where the Heart is.

I think the title of this, my latest portrait, speaks for itself..

Where the Heart is

Hope you've enjoyed watching me try out this new technique.
I will definitely be adopting it and combining it into my usual style.

and I just had to show you this darling picture of my two sitting next to me on the sofa..

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


I may be writing lots more than ever before, but I haven't forgotten how much I love to paint, also.

This weekend just gone I had a day with an artist, who was teaching me loose techniques.
I watched, copied and absorbed.
Then I painted alone, using a pot of parsley and some apples to create a still life, trying to put into action the earlier instruction.
This is the first - and I've called it  " Companionship ".

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Portrait of a Gentleman

Good morning friends,

this is the portrait I've been working on.
I'm very pleased with how he looks - and more importantly so is the man who asked me to draw his relative !

This has been keeping me out of mischief recently - as has writing my novel. I have much respect for anyone who writes a book - the sheer volume of writing takes such time - and I'm only a third of the way through the expected word count of a book of my genre.
I hope life's been treating you well - I've been visiting your blogs as and when I can. x

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Beauty, of Farplace Animal Rescue

Over on Twitter, I follow a rescue called Farplace Animal Rescue. (here)

Recently they found a dog abandoned on the moor, the poor girl was starving and trying to eat roadkill.
Farplace took her in and gave her food, medical treatment and love.

They named her Beauty.
She only stayed with them for three weeks, because she was found to be suffering from advanced cancer.
When the time was right, they let her go.

The rescue are fundraising to complete a barn they will name in her memory and this drawing will go in there.


Sunday, 14 October 2012


October is the month of The Big Draw, see HERE

so at art club this week, I started a drawing and finished it yesterday.

Here it is, hope you like it :)


You'll find it, and all my other works, on my gallery site HERE

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Missy, Piggy ~ and some news

Today I've been visiting your blogs and such talent all across the world. It makes me feel quite humble in this community of artists.
I had quite a lot of visiting to do, because I've been a little busy here.
I've been writing a lot since I took part on the creative writing course for short stories. The tutor's end of course critique told me I should be writing novels - so that's what I've been doing. I've even entered a competition and am awaiting the results. (Due in Nov) .

I haven't totally abandoned painting. Here is one I did in art club just last week.


Now I had this on my dining table on Thurs (day after art club) because I'd just signed and photographed it.  Then I had to start work - and the first person in saw it and wanted it, to give as a Christmas present to her auntie, who collects pigs. (let's hope she doesn't read this blog!) Because the lady involved was a friend, I didn't want to charge her, but she wasn't comfortable just taking it to give away, so we came to an agreement - and she is sponsoring a kennel for a year, at the shelter from whence Missy came HERE

Missy of course is never far from my heart ~ or feet ~ though when she sees me get the netbook out to start writing, this is where she heads for :) 

Hope you've enjoyed this post, as I've enjoyed all your blogs and friendship.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Summer Squall

Inbetween the drawings, I am still trying out some new papers.
This painting was made on Saunders Waterford NOT 140lb and I'm pretty impressed how its standing up to wet washes.

I did the background washes and let them dry overnight ( I was busy!)  The next day I added the figures, foliage and statue - and there it was - a Summer Squall !

Hope you enjoy it, as I did painting it!

This painting - and all my others - are permanently on display on my gallery website HERE

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Lucky Bamboo and some exciting news!

There I was, with a stack of bamboo practice pieces and I thought, what shall I do with all these?
Over on Painting Friends, someone had previously painted a new painting over an old one, so parts of the old showed through.
It looked fun, so I decided to use one of the bamboo practices in the same way.

I sat and thought what might be a good fit with bamboo, then I thought, paper! That's how  I came to paint a diary over the top. Here you have it:

Lucky Bamboo

In other news - and exciting news for me- I've been asked to draw some pencil portraits as commissions! Eight in total, so I shall be rather busy. I may not have much time for other painting, though I intend to take something different  to art club each week. If I don't post so much in the run up to Christmas, you'll know why!

Thursday, 20 September 2012


To celebrate yesterday's "international talk like a Pirate" day, I took up my pencils last night and drew this!


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Chinese ink and a watercolour

After my trip to the British Museum to see the Chinese ink exhibition, you all know I was inspired to try some inks.
I've continued practising - and part of the practice was "to be at one" with the subject and to try to capture its essence.
That has taken a bit of working on. You can see from these photos how I progressed.

Then I tried capturing the essence of one of my flowers from a previous post.
This is the lisianthus.
Painted on fabriano hot press.
I'm also trying out some new papers.

Did you know I like to experiment? :)

Do you think I've captured the essence of this flower? 

Saturday, 15 September 2012


Today's painting is an abstract that was inspired by the shadows on the ceiling as we watched the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games !
I quickly sketched the pattern and returned to the sketch later to make this painting. 

I didn't want to paint the picture in shadow colours, so instead I took the bright, cheerful and uplifting reds, oranges and yellows.

I hope you enjoy it.


You'll find this and all my painting in my gallery site HERE

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The Floral Dance, Solo

Here we have a painting with one white poppy - which I proudly grew in my garden!

So this flower gets to be called:

 The Floral Dance, Solo

Hope you enjoy it.

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