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Sunflowers

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.

Elsa_Fotor_Collage

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 1Sunflower 1 crop

Sunflower 1 close up2Sunflower 1 close-up

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SUNFLOWER 2Sunflower 2 crop Sunflower 2 close-upSunflower 2 close-up

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SUNFLOWER 3Sunflower 3 crop

sunflower 3 close-upSunflower 3 close-up ….. would you just look at that beautiful texture!

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SUNFLOWER 4Sunflower 4 crop Sunflower 4 close-upSunflower 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.

Sunflower square

They look great individually or grouped together and will bring some much needed sunshine indoors :)

Elsa

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.

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Elsa's Ears! resize

Nick & Elsa

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Sweet dreams my puppydog, until we meet again xx

Trees

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 BRILLIANTTreesTrees 2

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”Tree collageIt’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.Tree art installationThis is my favourite, probably because the canvas is an unusual size and the blue background worked better in my opinion; a proper winter scene.

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(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 :)

Abstract Floral Paintings

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.

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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.

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The online class still offers so much more so no doubt there’ll be more to come.  Watch this space :)

Eggcellent!

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!

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Using ceramic paint (I used Pebeo) here’s a brief outline of how I did it :-

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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 :)

PERSONALISED EGG CUPS

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Our little mitten noir

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.

Samba collageSamba 10.05.2005 – 14.12.2018

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.

Christmas Stick Tree

Earlier this year I collected fallen branches from the woods so I could make a Christmas stick tree again.  My last effort was made from big branches and it was VERY heavy,  so this time I was more selective!  (Yes, I am that woman with leaves and twigs in her hair, seen dragging things back to the van!)  This year I was determined to be more successful!

Stick Tree

I was so lucky to find the little hearts and stars in a charity shop and they were perfect for the tree.  I also bought some new lights (such a great price, from B&Q).

Stick Tree and samba

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It looks so pretty all lit up at night :) and I’m definitely going to keep this one for next year too.  It’s amazing what you can do with a pile of sticks!

Stick Tree bokeh

Sheer fluke that I took this bokeh image!

 

JACK

You may know the Fab Four as John, Paul, George and Ringo.  Well, not where I live, we had Harry, Jack, Blue and Elsa.  They were well known in these parts.  Three Lurchers and a Collie cross.  On any given day we could be seen crossing the meadow, woods and park with the Fab Four or, should I say, the Fast Four. They would run and run and run, in big loops before coming back for treats.  My friends and I had to stop meeting for morning walks because the dogs were all over-exercising and beginning to suffer muscle related problems.  I miss those days.

Jack & Elsa

This is Jack and he is fast and funny and if you stand still chatting for too long he can jump as high as your shoulder from a standing position just to remind you he’s there … and bored … and wants to go home to crawl under the covers.

Jack

Jack bed 3.1

 

 

Mosaic Pot

I really made the most of the warm start to Autumn by spending more time in my workshop during the evenings.  I started this mosaic pot earlier in the year but a busy summer stopped me from finishing it.

Pot wip

Once the teal-coloured tiles were stuck down I chose lilac-purple tiles to compliment and achieve the Moroccan feel I was looking for.

Pot done

Once again I chose black grout to really bring out the colours.

After planting up the pot with Purple Flame cyclamen I’m really happy with the result. This is going to give much needed colour to my patio over the coming months.

Autumn 2018

What a glorious start to Autumn.  The temperature has been perfect, the colours have been amazing and the sunsets have been incredible.

Tree

Tree surgeon

Pigeon

Not a cloud in sight.

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Tree light

Cone

Ivy

All of a sudden it’s turned a bit nippy, the clocks have turned back and the light has changed.  I’m fighting the need to hibernate, the only way to keep me awake is to make more art :)