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!

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

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

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’!

Paisley Art Institute

When I decided to change my career and become a self-employed artist a few years ago, little did I think I would be selling my paintings and undertaking commissions, but even more surprisingly did I ever think I would be taking part in a prestigious art exhibition!

This painting, ‘Siamese’, from a photo reference by Charlotte White, has been accepted into the Paisley Art Institute’s 130th Annual Exhibition and I can’t tell you how chuffed I am 😁

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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Oz Dogs

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.

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