Association of Animal Artists

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!

A Different Angle

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″.

‘Pimms’

Fresh Fields … New Opportunities

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.

Quadruple Portrait – Acrylic on Canvas
Head Study – Pencil on Paper
Sheepdog Pup – Pastel on Pastelmat

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/

Twitter Art Exhibition 2020

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.

Leo – acrylic

Tessa

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.

Tessa

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

Lily

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.

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