A Christmas Gift Idea – the ‘Portraits For NHS Heroes’ Book

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.

https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/portraits-for-nhs-heroes-9781448218004/

Ramalamadingdong Merrily on High..!

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

Swaledale Starry Night 2
Swaledale Starry Night 1

Coast to Coast

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!

Setting Sun On Arran

Moonlit Waves

 

Pug Dug Making An Exhibition Of Himself

We visited the Paisley Art Institute Annual Exhibition last week and wow what a fantastic selection of artwork there is.  It was very well attended at the preview and there was a great buzz at the venue.  The ex-supermarket location was spacious and well lit with plenty of room to manoeuvre around the viewers.

I was delighted to spot my little pug, sharing wall space with other small paintings by artists I greatly admire.  I hope he enjoys his time at this exhibition and maybe, just maybe, he might be lucky enough to find a new home.

Paisley Art Institute 131st Open Art Exhibition – 2019

Following on from my delight at having a painting selected for last year’s Paisley Art Institute’s annual exhibition which consequently sold, I am absolutely chuffed to bits to let you know that I have been selected for this year’s PAI exhibition too.

‘Pug Dug’, acrylic on canvas panel, will be taking part and I couldn’t be prouder!

Exhibition runs from 7 September – 20 October 2019 at the Piazza, Central Way, Paisley, PA1 1EL, Scotland.

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‘Pug Dug’

 

 

King of the Jungle

‘King’ is my latest acrylic painting and I think I must be going through a zoo phase.  Following on from chimps at Edinburgh Zoo, I recently took a lot of reference photos of animals at the Loro Parque Zoo in Tenerife, during a holiday on the island.

The result is this portrait of a slightly sad looking but still strong animal who seems to be telling us that wherever he is placed, he will always be a King of the jungle.

‘King’ acrylic on canvas

Chimpanzee Part 2

This oil painting is a more ‘formal’ version of an earlier study of one of Edinburgh Zoo’s chimps called Louis who lives amongst the group in the Budongo Trail at the zoo.  I added the wooden platform Louis was perusing the world from and a sky blue background to give a bit of interest, but hopefully the viewer is taken in by the gaze of this wonderful primate.  What’s he thinking?

‘Louis’ – Oil on canvas, 30x24cm.

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Chimpanzee

Been a wee while since my last blog so thought I’d share the latest little oil study of a Chimpanzee at Edinburgh Zoo, who I couldn’t walk past without taking a few photos.

I posted this pic on social media and was delighted to be messaged by the Chimp’s keeper – his name is King Louis….the chimp, not the keeper!

I’m now working on a larger canvas version of Louis – hope you like him.