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.
I’ve been having a sort out in the studio. This is always dangerous to my bank account, as I clear out brushes that need replacing, dried up tubes of paint that need replacing and creased paper or damaged canvases…that need replacing!
It didn’t stop there, I started looking at paintings that I haven’t got round to framing and decided that one or two, or three would look more presentable if they were. This is always a tricky decision for artists. Should you leave them frameless so that the buyer can choose a suitable frame according to their tastes or interiors. Or do you bite the bullet and invest in a frame to give the artwork a finished feel and ‘ready to hang’ option?
Well, after biting the bullet, here are some before and afters to let you see the difference.
I think we all need a bit of cheering up now and again in this mad, mixed up world of ours and how better to thank our four (and two) legged friends who always bring a smile and provide unconditional love, than with a day to celebrate them.
On Saturday 26 August, it is National Dog Day – celebrating our canine friends all over the world. With that in mind, here is a collection of a few of my paintings of pooches who are awaiting their forever homes… or walls! A mixture of breeds and all lovely characters who make, or have made, our lives just that bit more fun.
Life is all about trying something new, different or out of your comfort zone, so with that in mind, I set about painting my first skull. I was given a Herdwick ram skull as a gift (hmmm?!) from a friend who had found it whilst out on a walk in the Lake District (U.K.).
Herdwick are a tough breed of sheep well known in the Cumbrian fells and their beautiful wool is used in carpets as well as clothing.
The painting was given to the skull presenter for her birthday…..thankfully, she loved it!
These are a new venture for me which I’m quite giddy about! I’m so pleased with the quality of the prints on Hahnemule acid-free textured paper and I now have a strictly limited edition of 50 of each of the four images available. The square prints ‘George’ and ‘Basset Hound’ fit a 50cm square Ikea Ribba frame perfectly. All are signed and numbered by yours truly and come with an authenticity certificate. If you would like more details, please get in touch. Thanks for looking 🤓
I recently sent four of my paintings to have a limited edition of giclée prints produced by a local printing company called Deadly Digital in Glasgow. I was really pleased with the results and now have them ready for selling.
The sheep prints (‘Yorkshire Ewe’) are taken from my painting of a gorgeous photograph by Jan Lever with her kind permission.
Here’s a couple of photos showing the prints; my art unit at Garrion Bridges Garden & Antiques Centre, and how one of them looks in a frame.
No, not that one…! It’s now 21 weeks to – dare I mention it – Christmas, so if you would like a portrait of your furry (or feathered) friend painted from your photos, why not contact me to get yours ordered? The sooner the better.
Animal portraits make a wonderful gift, either for yourself or for someone special. Prices from £50 for a small pastel on paper.
Here’s an example, this is Rocco, acrylic on canvas:-
I found these pre-packed mounts in Cass Art and thought I would try doing some smaller pastels to fit them. I’ve made a start with a little Westie and a German Shepherd just to see how they do on my wall at the Garrion Bridges Antiques and Art centre.
As well as improving the presentation of the paintings, it allows the buyer to use or select their own frame which they can buy ‘off the peg’ as the mounts are standard sizes. The clear sleeves protect the pastels and allows a price to be attached to the painting without any damage to the paper or the mount.