It was a pleasure to paint Paris for a second time. I never met Paris but sweetness shines from her face.
Back in September last year I posted the story behind my painting Blue Mood Mod. Once it was finished, varnished and photographed I was able to get in touch with the rider and arrange for the canvas to be collected. Graham had already told me he had a special birthday coming up and wanted to treat himself to the original artwork.
In November Graham drove 270 miles (round trip) to my home to collect the painting and once here we spent a good few hours chatting about his lifetime’s interest in all things scooter related. He also told me he had freshly decorated his living room in order to give the painting pride of place and he was over the moon when he saw it.
It was so nice to receive photos of the painting in it’s new home and to know that Graham and all his family love it.
When I was a young girl I loved the 1966 British film ‘Born Free’ about Elsa the lioness … and the song ….. well, I’ve only got to hear the opening line and I’m a sobbing mess, it’s so beautiful. The rescue home that named our Elsa couldn’t have chosen a more apt name; she had the colouring and big mane of hair that was so reminiscent of a lion. Whenever I’ve posted photos of Elsa on Instagram I’ve used the hashtag #elsatheliondog for that reason.
Since losing Elsa, when I’m asked how I am, the response is often ‘not great, to be honest’, to which the reply more often than not is ‘do some art …. paint, or do something creative’. My own words coming right back at me. When a kind friend, who I met through Elsa, came round with some beautiful flowers the other week she said, “I’ve bought you sunflowers too because they remind me of Elsa”. A seed was sown.
I’ve painted a series of four sunflower canvases and they are bright, colourful and full of texture. I’m putting them in my shop for £25.00 each (plus £4.00 p&p) and when they sell 100% of the money will be donated to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in Elsa’s memory. If you would like to buy a canvas (or even all four!) you would have a piece of original art and the money would help the Battersea rescue centre make life a little more comfy for it’s residents. Please follow the menu to the left and it will take you to my Shop with secure checkout via Paypal.
SUNFLOWER 4 Sunflower 4 close-up
I really enjoyed painting these sunny pictures and it would be so lovely if the money raised brings a little joy to the current ‘residents’ at the home.
They look great individually or grouped together and will bring some much needed sunshine indoors
On a sunny April morning in 2005 we met Elsa and our lives were never the same again. In June we celebrated Elsa’s 15th birthday. Some might say that’s a grand age for a dog, but it wasn’t enough. On 16th September we said goodbye. She brought so much joy and fun to our lives that it’s hard to imagine ever feeling complete again.
Over the last three weeks I’ve been going through hundreds of photos and she is pretty much in all of them, so many happy memories.
Sweet dreams my puppydog, until we meet again xx
Two years ago over the August Bank Holiday we were in Brighton and walking along the seafront. We’d already been shopping on North Laine and had seen a few Mods and their incredible scooters, but they were just a taster for the spectacle on Madeira Drive.
The long weekend sees live music events, a market selling vintage clothes, memorabilia and art and the highlight has to be the ride-out where 100′s of scooters drive 5 miles from Madeira Drive along the coastal road to Smugglers Rest, Peacehaven.
I was taking photos as we walked along and just happened to turn and see a scooter at the traffic lights. The rider turned and gave me the thumbs up as I took his photo.
When we got home and I went through the photos on my camera I knew then that one day it would be really cool to turn this into a painting. So, a short while ago I did just that.
I toyed with the idea of replacing the ugly background of the photograph with a seascape, or arches, railings, a roundel etc., but kept coming back to my original plan of a posterized effect with black background. I’m glad I went with the dark background because I think it makes all the colours and small details stand out. At 24 x 18″ it was quite a large canvas to work on.
The fine details of the rider’s coat badges, fog lights and pipework were major challenges!
As I was nearing completion I thought it would be a nice idea to try and find the Mod to show him how his ‘thumbs up’ inspired me and I’m so glad I did. I put a post on a few Facebook groups and eventually he got in touch. He’s chuffed to bits that I painted him and loves what I’ve done and even wants to treat himself to the original for his birthday in December.
Who doesn’t love a tree?
When I walk through the woods with Elsa in the winter it’s always slightly warmer among the trees, during the summer it’s always cooler and the leafy canopy above means we get rained on less. I take photos of birds in the trees, bees, butterflies and insects on the leaves and if I look closely, I usually find a face in the bark.
They remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, provide a habitat for animals, birds and insects, provide shade and shelter, timber for house building and furniture, fuel for heating, fruit and nuts to eat and sticks for dens. TREES ARE BRILLIANT
Inspired by my recent floral painting course I decided to try another class and signed up for ‘Trees in Four Seasons’. Trees are structurally beautiful and provide unlimited inspiration for painting, even during the winter months. This is what I produced from the first session: “WINTER”It’s not always easy to photograph artwork indoors given the poor light and often overcast British weather, so I took the canvases out to the woods and made my own little art installation.This is my favourite, probably because the canvas is an unusual size and the blue background worked better in my opinion; a proper winter scene.
(Acrylic on canvas 100 x 30 cm)
As always I have far too many projects on the go. I need to complete this course; there are three other seasons after all. Yesterday I bought a bunch of huge beautiful peonies and I’m itching to go back to the Abstract Florals class and have a go at painting them …. but I couldn’t help myself, I’m working on something new and very exciting. More to follow soon
It has come to my attention that I don’t have green fingers. I follow lots of people on Instagram who share photos of their lush green houseplants and I turn to look at mine and I have to admit I have Plant Envy. I water them, feed them, gently wipe their leaves and try to find the right light and temperature for them, but many (not all) still refuse to live. I’ve killed so many that I’ve resorted to tucking artificial plants in high places where you really can’t tell the difference! Consequently, I have lots of empty plant pots whose inhabitants have long since gone to the composter.
It was shortly after I returned from said trip to the bottom of the garden, carrying a now empty little blue pot, that I realised it could become a paint brush pot and not join the other pots piling up in a cupboard …. so out came my Sharpies.
“I paint flowers so they will not die” Frida Kahlo (Seems like an appropriate quote!)
At the beginning of the year I bought an online class to learn the art of abstract floral painting. Easy, you might say …. but allowing myself to free up every brush stroke has been a challenge. Putting down a chaos layer and ‘finding’ the flowers within has been fun but not always successful. Sometimes I’ve worked it too hard and lost the looseness of the painting.
I’ve made a lot of mess splashing paint about, our dining room table is out of use and there are traces of paint on the walls and floors but I’m loving the process.
Out of the dozen or so canvases I’ve painted so far, I’ve kept one for our spare room and two are now hanging on other people’s walls, so that’s not bad. It’s such a great compliment when someone wants to live with a piece of my art in their home.
The online class still offers so much more so no doubt there’ll be more to come. Watch this space
Back in October last year my son mentioned he didn’t have any egg cups at his flat so the next time I was in the supermarket I bought two, but they were plain white and very boring. What could I do to brighten them up? Yep, that’s right, personalise them, of course!
Using ceramic paint (I used Pebeo) here’s a brief outline of how I did it :-
Following the paint manufacturers instructions bake in oven and then enjoy boiled egg and soldiers for breakfast!
Click the link below to watch my YouTube tutorial for more details
I just checked and it’s six months since I’ve been here.
Last November we suddenly became aware that our little mitten had a health problem when she began breathing heavily. Cats are clever like that, they mask their pain. Unfortunately she was hiding several critical conditions and although we tried a month of veterinary treatment and medicating her, we couldn’t save her. The last six months have been so hard because we weren’t ready to say goodbye and she has left a huge gaping hole in our lives.
Our elderly dog, Elsa now requires around the clock care and we think the loss of Samba had an impact on her health too; they really didn’t know life without each other.
I’ve lost so many furry friends over the last few years so I know that many of you will understand the great feelings of loss, but we have to remember how lucky we were to have spent our lives with each other and cherish all the memories we made.