Sunday, December 26, 2010


Well there it was, been and gone...Christmas over for another year and time to breathe a sigh of relief I am all cooked and entertained out and in desperate need of some peace and tranquility.

Since the big day has now passed and all surprises should be out of the bag I can reveal some of the work I have been doing in recent weeks, above are "Barney" (pastel) and "Benson" (graphite).

And below are "Lulu" (pastel) and "Arthur" (also Pastel)

Tomorrow is back to the drawing board for a marathon session to complete a couple of overdue commissions and start a new project that will hopefully bring me some work in the new year.
If I don't manage to get an update on this blog in the next week I would like to wish all my followers and fellow artists a very happy and prosperous 2011 xxx

Sunday, December 05, 2010

New beginnings

Hi all , I am still working through my Christmas commission list and it feels like time is rushing by at full speed ahead, my Graphite boxer client requires the dogs name added to the picture so that has to be my priority this week as he's hoping to deliver it to the framers midweek, I hope I don't mess anything up. I am looking forward to being able to post pictures of these latest works as soon as the Christmas surprises are revealed ;-)

As you know the loss of my beloved Fred has left a dog shaped void in our home, so I am proud to introduce the new girl in our lives "Kimba" she is settling in nicely and once again our house feels more like a home

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

So much to do so little time!

Hi all, sorry to have been erratic with the blogging (as usual) am busy making sure that these Christmas orders will all be done on time, first one was to go to the states so was prioritised and happily sent off at the start of the week...phew! luckily I have a couple of local commissions this year so they will be deliverable and not dependent on the postal service which will help!
I am getting a slight sweat on as we hit December but I think I will get there if I work hard and keep away from distractions (like Facebook).
Have finished the large graphite Boxer dog portrait which I really enjoyed doing but the client would like dogs name on the drawing so I hope I don't mess it up as lettering is not really my forte.
Since losing our Freddie the house has been seriously empty Milo and I have been ratting around deafened by the silence so we are about to embark on a dog hunt to find him a new pal.
Over the last few days I have been watching (in horror) Maggie's girth expanding, and although I am firmly "in denial" I suspect that sometime around Christmas she is planning on presenting us with a present ..............or maybe she just has wind?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Christmas rush!

What a difference a week makes!

I have been commission free for the last four months and have been spending my time leisurely working on some originals for exhibition next year in a fairly relaxed fashion.

If you follow my blog you will know that my dog Fred fell ill and had to be PTS last weekend which hit me for six,and left me spinning.

I now have to get a grip.... as in the space of the four days of Fred's illness I received six Christmas commission enquiries!

So it looks as if I am going to be extremely busy in the lead up to Christmas this year....I do wish people wouldn't leave it to the last minute but it seems they always do, I just hope I can come up with the goods..........some daylight wouldn't go amiss right now!

Of course surprise commissions can't be shown on 'tinternet until they are no longer "a surprise" so in the meantime all I can offer in the way of piccy's to illustrate the blog is the next mini offering on e-bay. .....this is a little 7" x 5" graphite drawing of a black faced sheep which will be listed this weekend, other mini's destined for e-bay can be previewed on my website

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fred June 1997~ Nov 2010

I have been dreading this for quite a while, my beloved Fred had to be PTS on monday this week he had a short and sudden illness and I couldn't bear to see him suffer any longer, he was the sweetest, kindest, most loyal friend and my constant companion for the last 13 years.
Words cannot convey how much I miss him and I am the luckiest person alive to have been his adopted Mum.....I'm sure he will be happy chasing those pesky Squidgels in some heavenly wood

"The Power of the Dog""
There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie --
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.
When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find -- it's your own affair --
But . . . you've given your heart to a dog to tear.
When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!)
When the spirit hat answered your every mood
Is gone -- wherever it goes -- for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.
We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we've kept'em, the more do we grieve;
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long --
So why in -- Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thought it was about time I updated the blog, The little originals on e-bay are still selling for peanuts but at least they are selling :-) (could be worse) currently on offer is the little Mute Swan and bids are just starting to come in with just one day to go, the funny thing is I never thought I would get so excited by such silly little amounts of money but every little bid seems to make me smile, clearly e-bay is in itself addictive!
The painting that should have been listed next this weekend has been snapped up already from the preview on my website so the Labradors have jumped a place and will be next.
Behind the scenes I have embarked on an art swap with New Zealand artist Karen Neal we have not yet decided on specific pieces or if we will each "commission" a new work from each other but however it turns out I am excited about the prospect of owning one of Karens beautiful paintings!
It seems she has done several art swaps with other artists and has enjoyed the experience totally so I am relying on her to make sure it all goes without a hitch.
To me it feels like buying myself an expensive present without parting with any to be a bonus in this economic mess!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Proper poorly

Have been "off blog" for a couple of weeks now (well off everything actually) had the migraine from hell for four days followed instantly by a nasty dose of flu so not much has been done artwise apart from mulling over some plans and idea for new paintings that I'd like to tackle.
I did have a brief spell of feeling slightly better last week so I sat up in bed and started a little sheep drawing to add to my mini series, the effort involved exhausted me and I soon gave up and crashed again.
Am off to the quack later today, as although I'm feeling a lot better now, the virus attacked my ears and left me with very reduced hearing

My first e-bay experience was an eye opener for me in that my sheep painting sold for just £11.o1 ...I guess e-bay is where people head to get bargains, so I shouldn't really be too surprised.

Anyway I now have about six of these little works completed and another two almost done so will continue to e-bay them up untill Christmas and will then have a rethink and sell at a set price from my website instead.

Anyway these are both almost done so thought I'd show them in the absence of anything more interesting.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mini No5 destined for e-bay

This is the latest little painting destined for auction on e-bay, this method of working is providing a good way to test run ideas for larger paintings in the future so I thought I would run through the hundreds of ref photos that I had stored on my old PC .....ony to find that they have all somehow been wiped!......oh well I'm sure theres a lesson there somewhere (have been slipping on the "back ups" this year) note to Santa ..."external hard drive please" :-)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

e-bay bargains

Have been busy getting aquainted with acrylic paint as a new medium for my work and its been a challenge to say the least! Acrylic works would just be so much easier to store/transport etc so I am determined to get to grips with them.
I have started to make a bit of progress and am working on a series of small canvases to help me understand the way acrylics behave.

The resulting paintings are going to be auctioned one at a time on e-bay in the order that they are painted, the subject matter will be rather random.....just whatever inspires me on the day but I hope that people will seize the opportunity to bag themselves a bargain if they see something they like
These are the paintings so far ....they are all just 5" x 7" and painted on canvas board,

No 3 No 4

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Christmas card no 2

Well I have recovered from my recent artists block and completed the second of my new Christmas card designs, this one was inspired by the little lad with his Hungarian Vizsla that I saw at a gundog training display last week, as soon as I have printing underway I will be offering these cards for sale via my website in good time for Christmas :-)

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Ardingly autumn show & game fair

I'm afraid I have nothing new to post this week in the way of artwork as I am having an art holiday for a while in the hope that a large dollop of motivation will soon land in my lap!

Meanwhile I have been out and about with my camera (my main lens is in for repair and I miss it terribly) gathering plenty of inspirational material to utilise when that motivation finally arrives.

Today I had a lovely outing to Ardingly to witness the Autumn show and game fair, this was a new event for me and I found it very entertaining with a wide variety of things to see and do, if only the rain could have stayed away :-(

Here are a couple of images from the day....its a two day event so if you are looking for something to do tomorrow I fully recommend it ;-)

Monday, September 27, 2010

East Sussex ploughing match

I have had a bit of artists block lately and have struggled for motivation and inspiration to paint, I'm not too concerned as I know it will soon pass so having lost momentum with the "On White Horses" painting (for the time being) I decided it was time to seek out some new inspiration.

At the weekend I set out with my hubby to the East Sussex ploughing match and dog show which is held at a different location every year, this year the host farm was in a stunning location with a backdrop of the beautiful South Downs, the sun was shining and there was plenty to see and do so we both had a great time and I got lots of inspiring photographs to base new paintings on so hopefully it won't be long before I'm back at the easel.
As a bonus I bumped into an old friend who tours the country with her ploughing horses showing them at work, we got chatting and I mentioned that I have always wanted to ride but never had the chance well she said "get up on Charlie and see how it feels".......never one to pass up an opportunity I clambered elegantly (in the style of an arthritic 51 yr old woman) onto the bare back of "Charlie" her 18 hands high Shire horse! for me it was a magical moment and I felt like a kid who's dreams had all come true....... Thank you Mandy and of course Charlie.......what a brilliant day!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

On white horses

Anyone old enough to remember a childrens TV series about a stable yard with a lightning tree and white horses? for some reason as I've been "painting?" this picture the title tune has been plagueing my subconcious but I cant for the life of me remember the name of the series? anyway have started calling this one "On white horses" as that is the first line of the title song going round in my head :-).......having said that I only ever decide on a title for paintings that I feel are going to reach fruition so some part of me must be feeling more positive about this now (probably due to some kindly positive feedback from you lovely folks)

Acrylic paint is starting to yield to my demands and I have found some rather unconventional methods of getting it to blend and behave itself (still don't "like " it yet though)

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Not sure if I'm making progress with this painting or not, but I am finding some ways of controlling this dreaded medium at last, although I still hate the way the paint dries in an instant and find that the water spray method of keeping the painting workable (as described by the supplier) is no good for realism as it splats water globules onto areas that you were happy with and spoils the work already done!
Today was seriously lacking in light so this pic is not the best!.......hope to get a better one tomorrow

Friday, September 10, 2010

Please dont laugh!.... update

Please don't laugh!

I have never been able to use acrylic paint for some reason, and me being me can't just leave it at that so every now and again I have a go to see if the curse has lifted, I can't explain why but its something that has niggled me for ever.

Well this time, inspired by reading an article extolling the wonderful "oil like" qualities of interactive acrylics I bought a few and set about yet another "having a go" session.......well I am too stubborn for "learning" in the conventional sense so just set about slapping the paint on a canvas :-( one whole day later came the realisation that as usual I had simply created a mess!

I had chosen a busy composition including people and horses (neither on my list of can do's) and I had decided to go straight in preparation whatsoever (DOH)

It had come down to two choices, throw it away and forget about it or start over and do things properly (ish)

I am proud to say that I re-prepared the canvas and gridded the composition up to start afresh and today I am floundering around trying to get the paint to do what I intended with varying degrees of success..can't say I'm exactly enjoying this one but I am determined to see it through and hopefully continue to learn by my stupid mistakes as I go along....promise no laughing if I post my progress?

Here goes (no the riders werent really this ugly!..... I am working on it LOL)

Friday, September 03, 2010

commission "Pippa"

At last I have a completed commission that I can show, this is Pippa the Jack Russell demonstrating what her owner describes as "Wabbit ears" :-)

I'm not realy sure if its permissable to assign a title to a commissioned painting but if it is i would like to call this one "Wabbit ears"..............such an endearing expression!

For once I had an excellent reference photograph to work from which was a joy, my thanks to Heidi Page for allowing the use of her photograph.

The portrait is 30 x 30 cm in pastel on pastelmat back to the drawing board

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Back to normality?

After a week when the chook died (RIP Myrtle)..... the dog nearly died (get well soon Milo) and I felt like death, due to a nasty virus, I am glad to say that things seem to (at long last) be getting back to normal.
I have no plans to submit to any further exhibitions this yearafter having all six of my works rejected from the upcoming Battle contemporary fine art fair :-(
I am instead concentrating on attracting some commissioned work in the lead up to Christmas, I have finished one JRT commission and am working on a second........... both in pastels and both to be revealed at a later date.
In an attempt to make my art pay in 2011 I am trying one last time to get to grips with acrylics.
I am experimenting with some new interactive paints that I hope will cure my phobia of this lovely clean and practical would be very handy (and economical) to offer paintings that need no framing and can be sent off with greatly reduced packaging costs.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Today I had the opportunity to add the finishing touches to my Tiger painting at last, this one has been "almost" finished for what seems like ages so it was a pleasure to get it done.
It is quite large for one of my pastels at about 45 x 65 cm and is painted on Claire Fontaine Pastelmat


I may have mentioned a watercolour commission that was giving me sleepless nights? well this is the one, I have now recieved confirmation from the client that she is happy with the result, but as usual I am a little unsure now that those doubts have crept in:-(
I love working with watercolour but do find it a challenge and for some reason most of my w/c commissions end up needing "adjustments" like this one did and once you start adjusting it seems to lose its magic for me.
Now that this one is done, I have an empty order book once again, so am grateful of the handful of originals sold at exhibition this year.
The upside of that is that I can spend more time on originals and at the moment designs for Christmas cards which is something that is permanently on the "to do " list!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Christmas card designs

This week was a busy on again on many fronts, I have complete my watercolour commission but have had to make a couple of adjustments to it at the request of the dogs owner I will update the client tomorrow and hope that all is now ok......I am seriously thinking that I should forget offering watercolour as a medium for commissions as I always seem to encounter problems with it.

The art exhibition at Battle ended today and I spent a busy morning helping to reunite artists and buyers with their paintings, I was lucky enough to sell two of mine this year and enjoyed some lovely positive feedback. Only one more show submitted to this year now and that one is juried so I won't know if any of my six submissions will get in until the end of the month.

I would normally be starting to get enquiries for Christmas commissions about now but things seem really slow this year so I am putting my time to good use working on some designs for Christmas cards, first up is a snowy dog painting of my brothers Wirehaired Dachshund Ellie

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Day off

Had a wonderful day off yesterday and took a cultural trip to London with my brother and his good lady to see the summer exhibitions.
We had intended to catch the BP portrait awards but ran out of time due to spending ages enjoying the SEA's "The Horse in Art", I love the Mall galleries as a venue and the works on display were on the whole stunning! It was good to see Sally Lancaster's "One Small Step" and Laura Barber-Riley's "Wandering" up close and personal.........they were certainly not a let down!
The only thing that was dissapointing for me was the quality of some of the smaller fact there were one or two so badly painted with glaring proportional errors that I'm amazed they got through the selection process.........of course my lovely brother felt obliged to note that these were all paintings by full members and let rip when asked by the stewards if he'd enjoyed the exhibition...........I just skulked out the door LOL
We then went to the Royal acadamy to see the tail end of the Summer exhibition... I really don't like the gallery here (or the charge to get in ) but nothing prepared me for the "work" on display ..........I have never seen so many blatent examples of the "emporers clothes" on display in one place and was further dismayed by the thousands of red dots it had generated! there were just a handful of skillful artworks amongst it but they took a lot of searching for to locate! the one highlight for me was the giant Gorrilla sculpture which was crafted from wire coathangers...amazing (and talented) stuff!
I think that will be my last ever visit to the RA and really wished we had spent the time in the National gallery at the BP awards instead (not only free entry but always high quality artwork by talented artists)
I think the RA has lost the plot, but then judjing by the red dots the public are more than happy to be conned:-(

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Am struggling to update the blog at regular intervals but here I am at last!
I have been occupied painting a couple of early Christmas commissions which obviously I can't post on here until much nearer to 2011, suffice to say the commissions have taken priority and I have not had a lot of spare time to work on the tiger, but at least he now has the basis of two eyes ;-)

Local summer exhibitions are in full swing and I have been very lucky with sales of originals............"Morning Glory" a pastel painting of some local sheep in a sunny meadow, sold in the first few minutes of the preview at the BDAG exhibition in Battle on Friday so fingers crossed that my luck continues this way for the rest of the summer.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

New Tiger painting

Last week kicked off well with the sales of two paintings "Ploughing" and "Indepenence" at a local exhibition, I then managed to complete the portrait of "Gertrude" which left me with some space and a free day on Friday.

I decided to unleash a new pastel painting of a tiger, having taken lots of very useful big cat photographs during the exhibition at Port Lympne at Easter I have been itching to utilise some of them ever since.

Initially I intended to do a medium sized painting, but got stuck in on a large sheet of pastelmat and now have a much larger (almost lifesize) painting to get to grips with :-)

My eyes refuse to focus after a painting session of about 2 hours so will need several sittings to complete this one!

This is the progress made over the first two sessions

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Phew finally finished "Gertrude"

This one has been occupying my easel and developing very slowly over the last few weeks!

Life has been so hectic for me lately that I have struggled to find enough time to settle and work on it.

Although I enjoy graphite I find it very labourious and time consuming, taking many, many layers to build up the various depths of tone and I am not good at leaving and coming back to work on a drawing without losing motivation, I like rapid results and guess thats why I enjoy working with pastels so much.

All's well that ends well though and today I managed to shut myself away with a handful of motivation and finally completed this one..........phew!
Now I have an empty easel just waiting for a new occupant, looking forward to tomorrow :-)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Summer exhibitions

I apologise for the recent lack of input (life has thrown me a few curved balls of late)

At the time of writing I am battling against an untimely attack of shingles and suffering from the effects of the medication more than the illness!

I have kept myself busy getting paintings ready for several local summer exhibitions and am hoping for some luck in one or two juried shows.

I was disappointed to learn that my painting "security" didn't make the grade for the Society of Equestrian Artists exhibition but "you can't win 'em all" as they say, so onward and upward with fingers crossed for next year ;-)

This weekend brings the annual exhibition in aid of the local hospice and as usual I will have a few works on sale there so hopefully I will be feeling better and able to pay a visit.

Meanwhile the painting above is one I completed this week during my enforced confinement, it is a local scene currently festooned with beautiful wild poppies, great for a first outing for some of my lesser used pastels.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Christmas is coming (I kid ye not)

Today saw the arrival of my first Christmas enquiry, which, although very welcome came a something of a shock since the lovely weather of the last few days has had me looking forward to a long hot summer...........oh well I'm impressed at the forward thinking of this potential client and really hope his timely enquiry gets the ball rolling!

As usual lots has been happening for me on the domestic front and my artwork has suffered some neglect, I have been trying to complete a graphite that I posted some time ago of a lovely Charolias cow that I called "Gertrude" ......I am frustratingly close to having finished it but am still just not quite there, so she remains on my drawing board waiting for a couple of free hours to present themselves, hopefully I will be able to post the final image here tomorrow ;-)

Meanwhile I just wanted to show off my wonderful new studio window which has been a godsend this week as it opens fully and allows a little cooling breeze through while giving an unninterupted view of the garden I spoilt or what!

Friday, June 11, 2010


I am on a mission to complete some work for a couple of exhibitions coming up later in the summer todays effort is a 30x 30 cm pastel of a cottage at Dungeness, it looks great in a driftwood frame that has been languishing in my studio for some time...............sorted!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Am I going soft?

Having completed my first landscape in quite a while I felt motivated to start work on another, this one again is based on local scenery at Pett Level and went through so many "ugly" stages that it was almost consigned to the bin, however I persevered and worked it to completion only to sit back and wonder if my work has gone too far down the chocolate box route lately?

Determined to beat this run of "flowery" pastels I tried a new approach today painting a beach scene from last years travels in Australia, however it seems I am firmly stuck in the grips of this mood
so this is how my sandy footpath leading to Cottesloe Beach Nr Perth turned out and confirmation that I have gone soft and need to work through this "romantic" phase in my painting........................I'm looking for a cure...........maybe I'll have to dispose of the pinks and blues lurking in my palette at the moment?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Change of tack

Been very busy with "other stuff" just lately and have not done any painting for a couple of weeks, the lovely weather has been beckoning me into the garden too and I have enjoyed the downtime tending to my plants, so now that the garden is looking lovely and the weather has taken a turn for the worse I decided to spend the afternoon back at the easel working on a piece for exhibition later in the summer this is "Evening light" and it's a 12"x 16" pastel which I really enjoyed painting, hope you like it ;-)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Something new at long last!

It's been a while since I've had any new work to show but I hope the wait will prove to be worth it ;-)
I have been busy with home responsibilities (poorly relative) and not had much time to paint however I had an opportunity to photograph a beautiful foal for a commissioned portrait, this is "Gloria" painted in pastel on pastelmat approx A3

My extra photographs inspired me to paint a personal piece called "Security" which I have since submitted to the Society of Equestrian Artists open exhibition, this is a first for me and the start of a more pro active attempt to get my work "out there" and seen, so I need a good dollop of luck to get through the selection process!

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Well its been a while since I had anything "arty" to post here but I haven't been idle :-), still not finished "Gertrude" but have been busy painting and getting work ready for the summer rush of local exhibitions.
For the first time ever I have actually submitted a work for consideration to The society of Equestrian Artists annual exhibition in London and am keeping everything crossed for an acceptance, although I am not very confident as the standard is always so high!
Main thing is I have crossed the first hurdle by actually acting instead of the usual good intentions................wish me luck!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I so enjoyed using graphite on my baby Giraffe that I had planned to do another on a similar scale (of a young lion) ~ however when searching through my files for the ref photo I stumbled upon "Gertrude" patiently waiting for her turn and looked no further.................I adore bovine subjects, they have such wonderful inquisitive faces............ so I started Gertrude on Tuesday and have again enjoyed the graphite process thus far and am looking froward to working on it whenever time allows.
I have at long last got a couple of commissions in the pipeline so maybe the lion will be kept waiting a while yet ;-)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Graphite Giraffe finished at last

Had a few hours set aside to work on the Giraffe today and am pleased to say it's now finished, I've enjoyed using pencils for a change and am tempted to carry on with them to have a go at a lion from the many ref photos I took at Port Lympne last week.
First I have to pick up on my oil paintings of Lily the cat who has been sidelined while I took care of the artwork for last weeks exhibition.
I must admit that my studio is looking reasonably clean for a change do to the lack of pastel dust and painting of the long forgotten benefits of working with graphite, however I must invest in some proper masking tape as the giraffe very nearly came a cropper when I removed the tape fixing it to my board!
Now I can't decide which of these two handsome beasts should be my next graphite victim.........any suggestions?

Friday, April 09, 2010

Giraffe 5

Nearly finished on the giraffe, but such a large graphite piece is pretty slow going and hard on the eyes so today I took a break from the drawing to rest my eyes.

Trundled off to Port Lympne with my camera today to get some animal ref photos and to check out the situation at the art exhibition.

I had heard more bad press about the show (mainly venue related) and been told that a large number of paintings had been collected, I took my packaging intending to pull my work if it was as bad as reported, but I am happy to say that the place was packed and the exhibition was still getting the thumbs up from the visiting public so my picture will stay in place till the end.

I now have some excellent photographs to work from (mainly the big cats) and can't wait to get back to the drawing board!