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

‘Portraits For NHS Heroes‘ – UK Book Launch

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! 🌈💙

‘Meg’

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

 

‘Brooke, Action For Working Horses and Donkeys’ Art Auction & Exhibition 2019

I was approached a few weeks’ ago by an old school friend, Ann on Facebook to see if I would like to donate a piece of art for an upcoming Art Exhibition & Auction being held in Chester, U.K. by the Brooke organisation which helps working horses, donkeys & mules around the world.

It educates the owners to work their animals without causing distress or suffering. Of course, I wanted to do my bit and contribute to such a great cause, so after a chat with Ann about what would be suitable and her help with the text to accompany the artwork, I found a reference photo by Leslie Charlesworth which was available to use with his permission and modified it to produce a pastel painting called ‘Resignation’.

The title explains the feeling that this mare has, as you can see what she is dealing with in the reflection of her eye if you look closely.

I hope that the auction raises a good amount for the Brooke organisation to further their work.

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’

 

 

The Frame Game

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.

 

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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