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

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

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.

When Life Gives You Lemons…

Sometimes, a rubbish day turns into a nice day.

Our village woke up to house alarms battling with the dawn chorus this morning, signalling a power cut which lasted until late afternoon.

This resulted in a mad dash with a friend to the nearest ‘powered up’ café for a caffeine hit and then leaving housework aside (no hoover, washing machine or steam iron in use, yay!) and settling down to paint (no electricity needed, double yay!!).

This little seascape study was the result. As the saying goes ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade’!