After a bit of thought and deciding to just go for it, I applied to join the Association of Animal Artists and was delighted to be accepted. There are amazing artists with an incredibly diverse approach to creating animal art in this group. I’m looking forward to admiring the work and linking up to other artists as well as taking part in various exhibitions and social events. Yay!
I’ve been doing a few paintings on small 5” x 7” canvasses recently and enjoying scaling down – the longest side is about the length of a standard pencil. A good excuse to dust off my tiny ‘000’ brushes. The new smaller sizes mean I can offer a lower price for commissions and sales, yay! That is, as long as the subject will fit on a postcard size format! Here’s a couple of recent examples…
I took some photos of my friend’s Jack Russell Terrier recently and decided that I’d do a pastel portrait of this little pooch gazing up at her owner. A different style of composition to my usual and fun to do. The portrait was a surprise gift and Pimm’s owners instantly recognised their little cutie… phew!
It’s interesting that you don’t always need to capture a pet’s face to strike a chord of familiarity to the owner, they’ll know them from any angle.
Unison pastels on Clairefontaine Pastelmat 12″ x 9″.
I can’t believe it’s been almost 12 months since I last posted on my blog, but it has been a busy period! Since last December, we have sold our home in Scotland and moved 200 miles south to our new home in Herefordshire. Moving during a pandemic has been… well, challenging shall we say, but we are now settled in a lovely village with a friendly community.
Although I miss my pals up north, it has meant that we are now closer to family and will see more of them.
Fresh fields mean new opportunities and I’ve now got my studio set up and cracking on with commissions and other work, meeting new people and getting involved in art societies as well as village life.
I’ll be posting much more regularly than in the past year, so watch this space!
In the meantime, here are a few recent works which have been produced in my new space.
Well what a year this has been – most of us will be glad to see the back of it and are hoping for a much improved 2021, but one of the more uplifting events in 2020 was a scheme created by artist Tom Croft to thank our NHS Heroes dealing with the Coronavirus Pandemic by gifting a portrait to them. Tom invited artists to offer free portraits of NHS workers which took off in an amazing way and by November a book of some of the portraits was published by Bloomsbury Publishing (link is below). The royalties from the sale of each book go directly to the NHS.
I was very lucky to be included in this important and poignant record of what has been an extraordinary year and my portrait of Megan Cavanagh, a young nurse from Liverpool, sits proudly on page 159.
Meg and all the other NHS key workers fully deserve their Heroes status – we are indebted to them.
With Christmas just around the corner, there is still time to order the Portraits For NHS Heroes book. The portraits and accompanying stories are such an interesting and emotional read. A perfect gift this year.
The Tolbooth in Lanark, Scotland is an amazing venue used for various events by the local community including a Christmas Shop by the Tolbooth Artists group.
This year we had a bit of a hiccup with a lockdown brought into force a few days after the start of the Christmas Shop but we are now about to re open on Friday 11 December at 10am – yay!
Here are a couple of my paintings for sale at the Christmas Shop – these were 2 Swaledale rams at the Highland Show in Edinburgh last year who knew how to strike a pose! I really missed visiting the Highland Show this year, but hopefully it will be on again in 2021.
Anyway – I’ll finish by wishing you all a Happy Christmas and much improved New Year – stay safe xx
Back in April and during the first lockdown of the Coronavirus Pandemic, an artist called Tom Croft organised a scheme to link up artists and NHS workers in order to have their portrait painted and then gifted to them as a little thank you. I thought this was a brilliant idea and couldn’t wait to participate.
My cousin, Rhonwen, in Liverpool linked me up with a young trainee Nurse, Megan Cavanagh and following a few emails back and forth, we agreed on a powerful photo reference that Megan had had taken at the end of a particularly difficult shift. I was taken aback at Megan’s stories of what she was experiencing on the Covid wards and determined to try and produce a painting to show the physical and emotional toll this horrendous virus was taking on our NHS Heroes.
My portrait titled ‘Meg’ has now been included in a book by Bloomsbury Publishing due to be released on 12 November showing a selection of the participating artists’ work and telling the emotional stories behind the paintings.
Today’s Guardian newspaper has also featured an article highlighting some of the NHS heroes’ portraits and both Meg and I are chuffed to bits that her portrait has been included amongst the selection.
The book’s proceeds will go to the NHS and I hope it raises a fortune for them! 🌈💙
I think this young Border Collie has become something of a muse – I have painted this lovely face several times, because of the expression and those wonderful orange eyes. The reference photo came out nice and sharp and the colours were bright – always a bonus.
‘Good Lass’ was painted with a neutral pale brown/dark sand colour to complement her eyes and it was also a good background for a black and white coat.
Hot off the easel and straight into my Artfinder store!
Well it’s been a wee while since my last blog and it’s not as if I haven’t had spare time to write one… thank you Covid 19! So here is something a bit different to my usual animal portraits.
Lanark is a market town close to where I live in Scotland and in the town there is a beautiful old building called the Tolbooth, which is used for various events including art exhibitions.
I am proud to be part of the Tolbooth Artists group and our summer exhibition which closes on 12 September has a theme of Coasts and Rivers. The pieces of work displayed by local artists have been wonderful, giving visitors plenty to enjoy in a Covid-safe environment.
I was delighted to find out that both of my paintings submitted, have been sold. A large acrylic on canvas of the setting sun on Arran (just off the west coast of Scotland) and a small pastel painting of moonlit waves – two coastal scenes but different in size, subject and medium used. Both fun to do and both now in new homes.
Coast to coast!
This year’s Twitter Art Exhibition is taking place 3-15 April in Myrtle Beach, California in aid of Horry County Disabilities and Special Needs. I’ve taken part in TAE for the last few years as I think it’s a great way of raising money for the chosen charities. Artists connect with others via Twitter, the charity raises funds and the buyers at the art exhibition buy very affordable mini artworks – it’s a win win situation!
If you live near Myrtle Beach, why not check it out?
Here’s my donation to this year’s exhibition – ‘Leo’ acrylic on card.