Sunday, 28 February 2010

Getting ready for Society of Women Artists...

Today I am starting a drawing of a Tiffanie cat (very posh and very very pretty!). She is doing my favourite pose of looking back and when she's ready she will be entered for the Society of Womens Artists exhibition in London at the Mall Galleries. Here's a little picture of her ... this is what I will be drawing. If I remember, I will take "in progress" photos to post here as it's not a commission.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Another commission finished!

Well I worked yesterday and half the night and all day solidly on the retriever cross, she was such a pretty thing I just couldn't put her down!! I will post her once her owner has seen her. Just to explain why you haven't seen either the black pony or the quarter horse commission yet, I haven't had a chance to show them to their owners yet so they won't be here until approved. In the meantime, here's a little something I did a few years back. It's a plasticine maquette of a trotting Arab horse. It was only the second sculpture I had ever attempted and the first one of a whole horse. I know it is far from perfect and I never did anything with him (he sits amongst a few others I have attempted in the shed with his ears slightly bent over now where they have been knocked a few times!). I actually really enjoy sculpture but feel I must concentrate on getting the oil paintings somewhere near right before embarking once again on sculpture.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Captain the hunter.

Well here he is. This is the latest completed commission - Captain the Hunter. He was really lovely to draw as I just love this really alert look and pose. The owner has approved the picture now so I decided to put him up for today's blog. I am off to start a retriever cross commission now.... will keep you posted!

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Moss in the snow.

So far today it's been physiotherapy, shopping and walking Mr Moss.... it's started raining now too to top it all off! I am going to settle down with the drawing of Captain and see if I can get it finished by tomorrow evening. Here's a picture of Moss to be going on with, this is him enjoying himself in the snow in Yorkshire last year. He likes the soft "icing sugar snow" but hated the snow in Scotland at Christmas where it had an inch thick layer of ice over about 8 inches of soft snow. He went to walk on it and of course it cracked and his legs went through which scared him a bit and the first time he encountered it, he kangaroo hopped accross the garden to try to get away from it!

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

In Scotland

My friend Glynis is in Edinburgh today and gave me a call, she tells me it has been snowing there all day! It's my home town where I was born and is one of the most beautiful cities in the UK as far as I am concerned (of course - not that I am biased!). So today I am showing you another painting that I did in Scotland at Christmas. This is Helmsdale Harbour and is another of my 6" x 8" oil sketches on primed MDF. It took about an hour to do, I had my parents with me that day as we had thought that we might have lunch in La Mirage (fish and chips) where the food is lovely but they were closed! Myself and my mum sat in the car getting strange looks from the fishermen on the pier (I was painting and had so positioned the car in a bit of a peculiar angle!). It was a really cold day and although there's not much snow in this picture, there was plenty of it around and the roads were terrible. It was about as far as we mangaged to venture from Golspie (18 miles from Golspie to Helmsdale) where my parents live because of ice on the roads. I might do a larger version of this one one day as I love seascapes with boats in.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

A journey back in time. (Part 2)

So today I have been out at work (I do some cleaning/housekeeping for a regular income) so not been drawing or painting today. I have added some more pictures here from my school days. These are some shells that I would have gathered from the nearby beach. I used to collect lots of bits and pieces nature wise and I still find it hard to resist picking shells or pretty stones up on beaches! It was nearly always horses I drew but on occasion under pressure from the teachers, I sometimes drew things from nature. So today it is a colour pencil study of shells on coloured card. I think I would have been 13 ish at the time, there's no date so I can't remember. NOW I KNOW why teachers used to be so particular about dating work in school - it's so that 30 odd years on you will know when you did it! (If you are lucky like me and even kept some of them!).

Monday, 22 February 2010

A journey back in time. (Part 1)

I came across a folder with some of my old art work from school days this afternoon and I thought it might be fun to share a trip back in time here on my blog. Today's picture was a project my teacher set for me where we had to change an everyday item into something else. I always used to draw horses all the time so he picked a set of keys for me and warned me... "and don't try to turn them into a horse!". Of course I could see nothing but a horse in that set of keys that day but he was a very good teacher in that he didn't tell me off for doing it, he just laughed and said "well I suppose it was to be expected". I will try to post some other really old stuff over the next couple of weeks, I would like to think that although there is still a great deal of improvement for me to still make in my art work that I have improved a bit since 1983 when I did this drawing!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Somerset Art Weeks update!

Today is a day for paperwork. I have to do the forms for Somerset Art Weeks to ensure that I meet the deadline for participation this year. I will be opening at Dorseframe Pictures Ltd at South Petherton and the dates are from 18th September until 3rd October. Do contact me if you are interested in visiting me during SAW.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

No art done today so far...

Oh goodness, there's another day gone by without doing any art work (at least so far). I had a bit of a tidy up job at the house I was staying in and then the owner asked me out for lunch. I did manage however to photograph some long tailed tits that I have been wanting to photograph for ages and ages and I admit they aren't quite the pics I wanted I was pleased to get some of them at last. They were taken through secondary glazing which didn't really help either but here's one of them anyway. Hope to get a bit more of Captain done tonight but I know I have alot of other things to catch up on! There's also a cute little robin here I took whilst at my friends house.... enjoy.

Friday, 19 February 2010


Well I have managed to nip home for a short while today so decided to do the blog from home so that you can have a picture! On my way home I saw lots and lots of daffodils out by the side of the road (Yeovil is daffodil crazy with daffs on many of the roads entering Yeovil!). Last year when I first had my studio (a stable rather appropriatelly) I decided that I would paint a still life of some daffodils. The painting was claimed by my mother who has it hanging in her living room in Scotland so I don't have it anymore but here's a photo of it once I had finished it.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

More of the hunter.

Today the weather is miserable, dashing between 3 houses for bits and pieces. One very wet dog after his walkies. Am just about to go and get a bit more done of the Hunter - Captain. I really want to get some oil painting done soon again, I am working on and off on a Spanish picture on linen in the studio but time does not seem to be on my side! No pics today, am at the wrong computer! Maybe a picture tomorrow if I am in the right house!!!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Epping Forest

This was another quicky done in Epping Forest near my Uncles' house. I went to stay with him on the way to Newmarket and the trees were just lovely, the colours great..
I have to say there were no people about so I decided to just pop a couple in the pathway to add a little bit of interest! If I remember correctly, this took about 45 minutes and it's on a 6" x 8" board (primed MDF board). It was a really cold day and because my Uncle was out when I arrived (and still out after I had finished the painting), I nipped into the local pub for something to warm me through! A very enjoyable day!!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Last summer at Eype.

Here's a sequence of pictures of me painting a bench with flowers at Eype cafe last summer. We sat ourselves (my family and myself and of course Moss) down and ordered our lunch after a lovely walk along the Dorset coast. I decided whilst I was waiting to do a little 6" x 8" pochade painting. It took about 20 minutes roughly as that was how long it took for the mushroom stroganoff to arrrive! Wonderful lunch, not such a wonderful painting but it reminds me of the great day and lovely weather I had that day with my family.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Bull and Vase pictures.

So as promised, here are the pictures I did of the Bull and Vase. Before I started a larger painting, I did a couple of small very rough ones to decide which composition I wanted to do - landscape or portrait format. I have put both here but decided quite quickly that I wanted to do the landscape format to get more of the bull in the picture and for it to be more of the focal point. The little ones are 6" x 8" and the larger one is 21" x 16". I did have quite a bit of help from Malcolm on the bigger picture (the one at the bottom) to make the bull look more shiney so it wasn't really a solo effort! I took some photos of the still life set up and hope to have time to go back to it one day to do some more bits and pieces to it.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Weekend of still life painting.

Well this weekend I spent Saturday and Sunday with half a dozen friends at Malcolm Coward's studio still life painting. We had a most fantastic bronze bull with a very large tall patterned vase with an orangey red coloured table cloth and a white cloth backdrop. It was rather challenging but a really lovely still life to paint (in fact one of my favourites so far). It is too late to post any photos tonight as I can't photograph the pictures inside under false light very well especially whilst they are still wet! I will endevour to post them tomorrow. Malcolm is a very well respected and well known artist, especially known for painting horses but he paints all sorts of other subjects as well. I have always said that I will only have someone teaching me whose work I admire and aspire to be able to work like, well Malcolm is about the best oil painter I know and we (myself and my friends) are very lucky to have him teach us. I have someone else for sculpture (although I don't have any spare time at the moment for that medium as oils are taking priority over everything else other than my pencil drawings). I also have someone else who I admire to teach me watercolours. I believe it is very important to choose your tutors wisely because if you choose someone who you either don't like or don't like their work, I see little point in the exercise. And now it's late so it's definatelly bed time for me!

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Pictures from yesterdays jaunt.

Ah ha, I have managed to download onto Glynis's computer so today we have some of the very latest pictures on! One is from lifedrawing, again it's only a sketch not a proper painting. It's a 6" x 8" on mdf board. Another is the place we stopped to paint the landscape - I had to sit in a very difficult position to do this with the car door open which I had to keep closing every time a car came by incase they took the door off! Didn't do my neck any favours I have to say but I enjoyed sketching it none the less especially once the pheasants starting coming out! The other picture is of Robin Furness painting at lifedrawing. It was lovely to see Robin again, he was trained and helped by Tom Carr and Peter Biegel, his style is reminicent of Lionel Edwards. I have been lucky to know Robin for a number of years now and love listening to him telling us about different artists. He is one very knowledgable and interesting chap.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Life drawing.

A very busy day today. We (myself and Glynis) went up to do the ponies and walk the dogs. After which, we went off to Sleningford for our morning of life drawing. We had a super male model who posed really well. We did several really quick sketches first and then settled down for the rest of the morning to do a longer pose. I decided to do another of my small pochade paintings, I managed to chop his head and feet off though. I can't post the picture today as I can't download on this computer. We stopped on the way home and I did a pochade painting of the landscape whilst Glynis drew a tree. We came home, did the ponies again and came home to organise ourselves for painting again tomorrow. I will post new pictures probably on Monday or Tuesday.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Tadcaster today, Sleningford tomorrow.

There are no pictures today.... I am on a friends computer (Glynis's) so have no photos to upload. I drove up today to Yorkshire as we are spending a long weekend painting. Tomorrow, we are going life drawing at Sleningford. We've been up and done the ponies tonight and walked the dogs, Moss and Glynis's Gerty a Border Terrier. Will try to post tomorrow, no promises though!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

The Fire last night.

Well I did have a go at painting the sketch of the fire and the rather old hand beaten copper coal scuttle beside it. It's not a marvelous painting I have to say but here it is anyway for the world to see!!! It's a 6" x 8" oil on board and took about three quarters of an hour to do - it's amazing how quickly a fire changes over the course of that time when it's very dry wood!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

This evenings mission.

Tonight I have a mission! Last night I was reading a book by my friends fire. It was lovely to watch and listen to a real fire. I am going to attempt to paint a little picture of it tonight. Can't do the Hunter as the light isn't good enough at the house I'm going to.
This little image I am posting today was very much a spur of the moment job. I had been painting something else on the easel in the studio when I turned to see Moss lying peacefully sleeping on his bed under the table. I quietly turned around with a small board and started to paint. He stayed still for approximately 6 minutes and this was the end result!

Monday, 8 February 2010

A bit of a hurry!

Today I am dashing around like a mad thing with ants in my pants! I have no heating at the moment so it's a bit cold. Going up to the studio to do some drawing now (continuing with the hunter).
Today's image is a pre christmas commission of 3 little Boston Terriers, very unusual little dogs and I haven't really come accross the breed much before but they certainly were very friendly. It's a picture I have just grabbed out of my pictures so no particular theme today! Enjoy.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

The Hunter and the Sand dog.

Very busy with the hunter commission today, just having a stretch to get my circulation going again!
Now the picture I am uploading today is a SAND DOG. Myself and my daughter (several years ago now) made this chap on Charminster beach in Dorset. He was quite big - about 4 foot long and about 2 foot high. You would be amazed at how many people stopped to watch the work progressing! I love doing sand sculptures on beaches and whilst I know they aren't up to the standard of the top sand artists I really enjoy it. I did some dolphins once in Spain and they all clearly thought I was totally mad! (not far wrong I suppose!)

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Lamorna.... continued.

As I said yesterday, I am posting another painting that I did at Lamorna last year. It is of the stream by the Mill. I went up to do this one after I had made an attempt at the seagulls. It was still raining when I got there so I parked up the car again so that I could paint from inside the car. As I sat and painted the stream, it rose about a foot in height and became much faster flowing. I had to make some adaptations to the painting to accomodate the rising levels. Luckily as I was parked under the trees it was much easier to paint because the rain didn't come down so heavily on the car. This is the same spot that Garstin Cox painted in 1914, called Morning in Autumn,, Lamorna. He was a pupil of John Noble Barlow who also painted the same spot called Autumn Woodland Scene, Lamorna. It's amazing to see the tree positions etc as some of the trees are still there but a lot lot bigger! Needless to say, some have gone and now there are more houses around too.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Lamorna Cove - Cornwall.

As the sun is shining brilliantly I thought I would go for a complete contrast in the pictures today. I had gone down to Cornwall to paint for a few days in November and I had some of the most horrendous weather imaginable! I decided in my wisdom to sit in the car and paint at Lamorna Cove that day. I set the car up in the harbour carpark facing the sea and rocks that I wanted to paint and organised the pochade on my lap whilst the rain came down in bucketfulls and the wind was blowing a gale (literally). Having done the majority of what I wanted to paint on this picture, there was a sudden gust of wind (the car had been rocking rather violently before this gust anyway) and the next thing, I felt the two offside tyres lift off the ground momentarilly. I had been parked side on to the wind which I presumed is why it happened. Anyway, at that point I made a decision to stop with that painting and face the car into the wind instead with the engine at the front to make it more stable! Then I painted the seagulls playing in the stormy sea. This was even more of a challenge because I had to have the windscreen wipers on FULL blast and even then I couldn't really see what I was painting. I carried on regardless and at least the car didn't blow over. Tomorrow I will show you another painting that I did on the same day at the stream. These are both 6" x 8" oil sketches.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Somerset Art Weeks update!

I am so excited today. I have managed to replace the venue that I had previously thought I had for this year's Somerset Art Weeks with one which could well prove to be much better! I am going to be holding it in a well known framers in my area and it is for 2 weeks over September/ October. I will keep you all informed of the details much nearer the time. Have been drawing the Hunter again today, he's a lovely horse.
Todays picture is another one that I did during SAW last year (near the end of the weeks) so it is still actually for sale. She is a little collie pup that I fell in love with in Devon and the drawing is another very small one (again about 6" x 4" approx).

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Somerset Art Weeks.

I have started the commission of the hunter today. I need to be getting works ready for the Society of Women Artists exhibition in a couple of months but the commissions must come first. Today's picture is of an Andalucian foal - it was a tiny drawing and probably only about 4" x 6". It sold at last years Somerset Art Weeks event.
I am unsure as yet if I will be participating in this years SAW as I don't have a venue and it's getting near the deadline for applications. I will let you know if I find a venue and if so, I will keep you updated on the latest news.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Doma Vaquera

Today I had a phone call from a lady promoting the Hispano-Arabe horses (Andalucian cross Arab) telling me about the way in which they have been bred and about how they are now considered a rare breed. I thought I would post a drawing I did of a Doma Vaquera (Cowboy dressage in Spain)horse and rider. Incidentally, this drawing is actually only 2 inches square, a very little one! They are a very versatile breed and often used in the fields and in the bullring. I had planned to start the new commission of a beautiful hunter who sadly passed away last month but I got rather caught up in the phonecall with this lady that time passed on......
Merlin is now finished and is going off to the framers soon. Once he has been accepted, I will post him for general viewing. / Hoy tuve una llamada telefónica de una mujer la promoción del caballo Hispano-Arabe (Andalucía entre árabes) que me dice acerca de la forma en que han sido criados y sobre la forma en que ahora se consideran una especie rara. Yo pensaba que iba a publicar un dibujo que hice de una doma vaquera (doma del vaquero en España), caballo y jinete. Por cierto, este dibujo es en realidad sólo 2 pulgadas cuadradas, un muy pequeño! Son unaraza muy versátil y de uso frecuente en el campo y en la plaza de toros. Yo había planeado iniciar la nueva comisión de un cazador hermosa que lamentablemente falleció el mes pasado pero fue atrapado y no en la llamada de teléfono con esta señora que pasaba el tiempo en ......
Merlín se ha terminado y es irse a los autores pronto. Una vez queha sido aceptado, yo lo puesto para ver en general.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Panic over! / El pánico ha terminado!

Well I had a bit of a panic today as after finding my little watercolour sketch book in the car, I then couldn't find the watercolour box anywhere. I couldn't remember for the life of me where I might have put it! It's been a few weeks since I used it as I prefer to do oil sketches. Anyway, after a great deal of hunting I eventually found the box in my camera bag (don't ask!).
Today I am posting a much more summery picture, I am fed up with all this cold weather and I felt the need to share a warm picture with you all! These were some Geraniums that I found in Arcos de la Frontera in Andalucia in Southern Spain. I love the pueblos blancos of Andalucia and I knew that my mum would just love a painting of the geraniums. It was one of the first complete oil paintings that I ever did and felt that at least I had managed to get some depth into the deep wall cavity of the window ledge. Oh for the days of summer... let's hope they come early and stay a very long time! / Bueno, yo tenía un poco de pánico como hoy después de encontrar mi pequeño libro dibujo de acuarela en el coche, entonces yo no podía encontrar la caja de acuarelas en cualquier lugar. No me acordaba de la vida de  donde yo podría haber dicho! Han pasado unas semanas desde que lo utiliza como yo prefiero hacer bocetos al óleo. De todos modos, después de una gran cantidad de caza que finalmente encontró el cuadro en mi bolsa de la cámara (no preguntes).
Hoy me pongo una foto veraniega mucho más, estoy harto de todoeste tiempo frío y sentí la necesidad de compartir una imagen cálida con todos vosotros! Estos fueron algunos geranios que he encontrado en Arcos de la Frontera en Andalucía en el sur de España. Me encantan los pueblos blancos de Andalucía y yo sabía que mi madre le encantaría una pintura de los geranios. Fue unade las pinturas al óleo complete primero que he hecho y consideró que al menos había conseguido algo de profundidad en la cavidadde la pared profunda de la repisa de la ventana. ¡Oh, los días deverano ... esperemos que llegar temprano y quedarse un tiempo muy largo!