Wednesday 29 November 2023

The Birds...

 I was a bit naughty last week and took a break from commissions to paint this little watercolour.  It's a scene I saw on the bear cams in the early autumn when a little bear was just standing on the log minding his own business and being pestered by about 10 or 12 ravens.  I don't know what they were after, but they gave him a hard time!  I didn't add all the ravens, just enough to get the idea across.

This one sold within hours - never even made it to my Etsy shop!

On the drawing board - I'm behaving myself and working on a commissioned dog portrait!

I'm also sewing a number of stuffed bears - 2 Otises and 1 Popeye will be available shortly.

Thursday 23 November 2023


I've made so many Otis bears over the years, as well as other favourites from the bear cams, so it was an interesting challenge when I was asked if I could make a different bear.  This is bear 634 Popeye, in real life a huge boar with a large shoulder hump and piercing eyes.  Not so easy to achieve in fabric and plastic!
However, considering this was an experiment and the first time I have made him, I am very pleased with how he has turned out.  Now to find out of the recipient is as happy as I am!

On the easel - a quick bear watercolour before embarkingon yet more dog portraits.

Sunday 12 November 2023

Sunrise over Brooks Falls...

 Here is the piece I have been working on over the past week.  I attempted it a few weeks ago using ink and it was a disaster, so I wanted to try again using watercolours.  I just cannot photograph it well, whatever camera I use seems to bleach the colours out from the water - perhaps it is due to the poor daylight we have at the moment.

So you will have to imagine that the colours are more intense than what shows here!  It is taken from a scene I snapped from the bear cams a couple of months ago.  The light shines from behind the mountains and far trees leaving a shimmering path up the river with the bear silhouetted against the water as he stands on what is left of the island.  I was very happy with how this turned out - the trees have been worked wet in wet and thankfully did exactly what I wanted!

This one sold within hours of being put on Facebook - you snooze, you lose!

Thursday 9 November 2023

Baby Bear...

I was asked to make a baby version of the Katmai National Park hat - I did this by missing out one of the 3 bears in the pattern completely.  I don't think there was another way to do this without wrecking the overall pattern. 

I think it turned out OK - although I feel the baby in question will only be wearing it for one winter!

On the easel...something I am very excited about as it is going fantastically well.  I've been in a bit of a slump over the past 3 weeks after finishing the last commission - no commissions, no enthusiasm, no time, and the one painting I did attempt went horribly wrong.  Hopefully this situation has now rectified itself!  The good news is that I have a further 4 commissioned dog portraits coming up very shortly.

Monday 6 November 2023


Whilst tidying (and I use the term very loosely) my corner of the sitting room where I keep various craft materials, I found an unfinished bear.  I don't remember not finishing him - I must have got sidetracked by something else.  So I sewed his feet on, gave him his eyes and nose, stuffed him, and then had to make a slight adjustment.  This is bear 32 Chunk from the bear cams and two years ago he suffered a horrendous wound to his nose from a fight with another bear, slashing it open almost to the bone.  It has healed into an impressive scar, so of course I had to include that in my toy!
That also shows that the unfinished bear must have sat in that corner for two years or more - sorry Chunk!  He will be available in my Etsy shop shortly, unless you'd like to snap him up beforehand and save a bob or two - just get in touch.

Friday 3 November 2023

More Sunflowers...

 I had a couple of weeks with no projects and no enthusiasm, so I decided to use up some of the yarn cakes that are languishing in a box in the spare room to make a crochet lap blanket for a friend of mine who has been suffering from long Covid for the past 3 years.  I thought the blanket could use a little brightening up, so sewed some crochet sunflowers on the corners.  I had initially thought to sew more sunflowers all over it, but when I discovered just how thick they made the blanket, I decided against it! I'm hoping this will keep my friend warm and cozy through the winter.

Nothing on the easel - I'm really struggling with the winter blues brought on by horrendous weather and the clock change last weekend.  I find it hard to paint when the light is bad, plus I have no inspiration at the moment.    Hopefully that will change soon before I go nuts!

Sunday 22 October 2023


 This is what I have been working on for the past few weeks.  The client wanted the lemon trees from the background of the reference photo added, but they were a bit sparse so I ended up making up the background which possibly took longer than painting the actual dog!  The dog was quite a challenge, all that curly fur and only part of one eye visible, but I am very happy with how it turned out.  Watercoluor on paper.

I now have no painting commissions at all, which is unusual for this time of year. I do, however, have a few knitting and sewing projects to be getting on with and just hope that no-pne shows up at the end of November wanting a painting done in time for Christmas!