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.
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.
This was a recent commission for a client in Germany who contacted me via a friend. They had recently had to say goodbye to their beautiful golden retriever and I was honoured to be asked to create a portrait of her with one of her favourite toys. Hopefully the painting will give a little comfort to the family at a very sad time. RIP Tessa.
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.
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.
‘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.
This Unison pastel painting on Pastelmat is of my studio assistant, looking pensive. I like slightly unusual poses of animals to work on – candid shots can produce interesting portraits.
Pastelmat paper by Clarefontaine is a slightly unusual surface to use, almost like a very, very fine sandpaper so that the ‘tooth’ of the paper texture holds the chalkiness of pastels. I found it a tricky paper to use to start with but the more I use it the easier it gets and the end result makes for a smooth pastel painting, great for details.
These two beauts, Kiku and Kura, are owned by friends who live in Australia. They both have faces full of character and expression and I couldn’t resist trying to capture them. They are done with soft pastels (Unison) on Pastelmat paper which has a good ‘tooth’ for holding pastel. Fortunately, the drawings/paintings survived their global journey from the UK to the other side of the planet and arrived unscathed within a fortnight. Amazing! Well done postal service.
The saddest time of owning a pet is when the inevitable happens and we have to say goodbye. This latest commission is of a beautiful black Labrador who sadly passed away just days before his portrait was completed. Hopefully, the painting will provide a bit of comfort to the owner. R.I.P. Toby ❤️
This year’s Twitter Art Exhibition in aid of Pegasus Riding For The Disabled is taking place in Canberra, Australia from 7-29 April 2018 (extra details can be found on the TAE18 website).
So with that thought in mind, I set out to paint a little French Bulldog on a postcard size piece of mountboard. He’s called ‘Ozzie’ and he’ll be up for sale along with several hundred other postcards that artists around the globe are donating
Hope he sells and helps raise funds for this great cause.