Monday, 29 January 2018


Mica, drawn using Derwent Drawing Pencils & Coloursoft pencils on pastel paper.  This one was a lot of fun to do - aren't they all!

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Sometimes They Just Paint Themselves...

Here is the current work in progress - lovely looking cockapoo named Mica.  I don't have very good photos for this - too small, she's too furry, eyes don't show, but for some reason the drawing is going perfectly so far.  Despite numerous interruptions yesterday (doorbell, doorbell, doorbell, phone - argh!!) I managed to make good progress with it.  Derwent Drawing Pencils on pastel paper.

Monday, 22 January 2018


 These two peony paintings were a commission last year.  The lady that commissioned them was a previous customer and had been good at communicating and paid on time.  However, when I had completed the first painting and notified her, I was told there had been a death in the family and that she'd get back to me.
Well, she never did, and I was left with two paintings and no money.  Foolishly, as she had been fine the first time, I did not bother getting a deposit.  I waited a respectful while then contacted her again saying that both paintings were complete and that she could purchase them when she was ready.  No reply...and no reply to all further emails, culminating two months later in a final one saying that I was going to try and sell the paintings separately if possible.

I can understand that a bereavement would throw everything else onto the back burner, and I can understand that circumstances change.  What I don't understand is why someone doesn't have the courtesy to write a couple of lines apologising and explaining that they don't want the paintings any more - I'm a reasonable person, things happen that are beyond our control and we have to deal with them as best we can, I would not have been angry about the hours of time and effort I put into painting these.

I am now.

Friday, 19 January 2018


For Christmas I was given a box of Japanese watercolours that I had asked for - I'd seen them on the internet and was taken by the selection of bright colours and also the fact that there were metallic colours as well.  This is the first painting done using these paints - I chose a macaw in order to get to use pretty much all the colours available!  These paints were like a cross between gouache and watercolour, a bit chalky and not quite as bright as I had anticipated.  Great fun to use though as the colours stayed quite true and there didn't seem to be any muddiness when painting one colour over with another.
I didn't use the metallics on this painting, but have tried them out and was quite impressed with the effects obtainable although I;m not sure when I will use them!

Next up - paid work!

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Pair Of Pretty Pooches...

Here is my latest commission, all finished.  Derwent Drawing Pencils on pastel paper.  It's so much easier drawing a white dog, the background paper does half the work when it comes to shading!

Next up, another dog portrait - a brown dog this time.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Barney No.2

This is Barney, knitted replica of a real lurcher.  I made one of these last year and the owner was so happy with it, she asked me to make another.

 Trouble was, I only had half a ball of the fuzzy yarn left and it is no longer in production (Stylecraft Gypsy - if anyone has any to spare, I'll pay for it!) so I had to hope and pray that it would go the distance.
 It lasted until the middle of the last leg - I then had to use a similar yarn which only notices if you look very closely.  Most of it is covered by the coat!
That's the last of the pre-Christmas knitting commissions - now on the the January ones!

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Hitting The Ground Running...

 Usually January is a dead month for commissions, which isn't a bad thing as it gives me time to get on with my own work for sale and exhibition.  Not this year however - I have two dog portraits to get done by the end of the month with more to come.  The above is one dog of a double portrait, done in Derwent Drawing Pencils on pastel paper.  I'm hoping to make good progress on the other dog this week - the past couple of weeks have been a bit of a nightmare with very little working time to spare.
 The reason being this!  Last year we had a new kitchen fitted...then a couple of weeks later, the housing association thought it a good idea to put in a new boiler (although why it couldn't have been done while the kitchen was gutted is beyond me) which had a flue like this.  Quite an eyesore, looking like a periscope...I was tempted to paint the face of an elephant around it... 
Looks aside, it was a pretty rubbish design too - every time we had heavy rain, which seems to happen a lot over the past few years, the rain water ran straight through the flue which acted like a funnel, through the boiler itself, on to our microwave and eventually on to the floor.  I'd reported it in the summer and it was looked at by three different gentlemen, one of whole walloped some sealant around the join which did nothing.

This Christmas we had rain...a great deal of rain...which resulted in situations like this.  About a litre or more of water running through a working boiler.  More frantic phone calls and we were given the jolly wire waste-paper basket thing around the base of the flue "to deflect the water".  Can you see why this might not work?  The same day the basket was fitted we had another torrential downpour and another bowl of water collected.
Finally we have had a normal flue fitted - it has rained since, but the kitchen remained dry.  So that is one of the things I have been dealing with rather than painting - very frustrating!