Thursday, 22 June 2017

All is revealed !

As promised,
I have turned the slate over,
the gift has been given,
you can now see who was hiding on the other side....

meet Cassie :)

And the recipient was delighted (if not a little emotional)
so I am happy too :)

on to the next one....

And if you like what you are seeing,
why don't you become a follow and keep up to date with paintings as they appear.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Latest commission - but shsh - can't tell you!

Been quietly working - on a hush hush project.

A birthday gift, can't show it just yet....
but will do :)

Soon. Until then, you just get to see the back!
In the mean time - the next two commissions call.

Been busy selecting slates, washing them and removing any loose flakes of stone.

Now, sitting in the sun, they are drying and feel warm and tactile under my hand.

Strangely the old reclaimed slate is far far warmer to the touch compared to the modern cut.

Can't wait to get stuck into the next paintings.

HaPpY MonDaY!!!

Bring it on :) 

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Procrastination (with coffee)

While the rain lashes down outside,
while I drink coffee and listen to the radio,
I watch a soggy starling trying to build its nest.

Best get on, must finish this lot before sending off to become cards :)
What are you doing on this rather damp day?

Monday, 5 June 2017

Progress so far ....

Nearly finished, a few more whiskers here, 
a few more hairs there.
Then a final protective coating of varnish, 
a twisted jute cord to hang from,
then these three can go home :)

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

One Two Three

On my desk today, 
two border collies and a cat.

Sitting staring at me,
the dogs ready for a walk,
all waiting for the next step.

On rescued slate - approximately 200 years old.

I love that thought.

200 year old slate and I get to paint on it. Now that can't be bad :)

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Thursday, 18 May 2017

what's on my desk today?

 A bit of a scamp appeared on my paper today.
A quick moving, bright eyed and certainly bushy tailed red squirrel.

Such a scallywag!
She better be careful -
Raf is behind her.
Still have to complete my little squirrel,
just have to stop her bustling about :)

Two more designs for my cards - Raf the fox and Emma the red squirrel.

A little while ago, I mentioned I was getting involved in an art event,
well, it has been kickstart and things are really happening -
how exciting!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Things are not always black and white ...

Playing around with another card design,
wondering if Brock is just sniffing the air,
sniffing bracken.

There is still time decide, 
Brock needs a bit more work,
then he'll let me know.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Watercolour designs for cards

Finally a gap in the commissions,
time to continue with the card designs.
Need to do more,
so best 'get to it'!
 But first....
Put the kettle on,
I need a mug of tea :)

Friday, 12 May 2017

What's on my desk today? Well I'm certainly feeling puffed!!

Sea parrot, Coulter neb,
Ploughshare beak,
Nath, Pope, Popey duck,
Nori, Tammie norrie
Gavot de bec de Tomaquet, 

Clown of the sea.

Makes me smile every time:)
Just need to finish him, let the paints harden and then he can be varnished -


where did I put my paintbrushes?
I have a painting mojo going on and it seems silly to waste it!!

Thursday, 11 May 2017


This cat is now finished and in the safe hands of the client,
ready to be wrapped and gifted on Friday.
This cat has had a mind of its own since the first brush stroke.
Quite a character! 
Got there in the end :)

Now, I shall have a lie down in a dark corner,
to recover,
then ...what then?

I already have something on my desk to share with you -
however, that will be for Friday,
until then :)

Monday, 8 May 2017

Following a process


Selecting the slate
Checking for fractures and flakes

 Drawing out guidelines
Initial sketches
Getting the client's approval
Base coat - white, following the muscle lines... 
Following the lines of the fur
Allowing to dry
The first of many coloured layers
Each one tracing the line of the muscle
the line of the fur ....
Layers and layers
Each forming more and more structure
The cat starts to 'appear' 
Then the eyes,
the eyes have to be correct.
If they are not - there is no point going on.

You may have noticed the cat's left paw has moved.
They do that, cats, they move until they are comfortable.
They do that on slate too.
In fact most of my painted animals move half way through,
they want to be more comfortable.
I have to go with that.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Feeling like the cat's pyjamas!

This handsome cat has keep me entertained recently.
 His rather glorious coat - a wonderful mix of agouti and tabby stripe 
(I think he is a Tabby point/Lynx point Siamese) 
had me dabbing on the tiniest slicks of paint to build up the colouring.
And his eyes! 
You could fall into them, they are like deep pools of water - 
I hope I have captured them correctly.

Edited to add : I have just received feedback from the customer and they are delighted!

Phew! I love it when there is a happy ending :)

Now to get back to painting hares.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Happy Friday!

The sun is positively beating down
 (in a gentle spring like way)
 and it has really boosted all our moods in the 'studio' today.

The cats are soaking up the rays, 
the dog is snoring and I have started some new sketches - see - everyone is happy :)

So what is on my desk today?

A couple of hares - designs for cards.
A mule ewe.
A sun worshipping cat.

Have a lovely weekend (a bank holiday weekend here in the UK),
hope the sun shines for you too.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Another good day!

Handed these two over last night.

A couple of characters,
both on slate
and in real life.
 Commissioned for a 50th birthday gift, 
I am delighted and humbled that my work is considered worthy enough to be given.
Happy happy!

time to 'get to it' and continue with the cat commission
 - via the kettle of course,
 I think it is time for  a tea :)

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Ready for his new home

This little fellow is finally finished - his new owners are more than happy (phew!), so all that remains is to add his twisted jute cord and he will be ready for his new home :)

I have also completed another birthday commission of two dogs. I shall reveal all soon!

Until then - a sneak preview of what's on my desk today - a rather handsome cat on reclaimed slate. he is destined to be a table decoration rather than a wall hanging. I shall share progress as I go along.

Speaking of progress, we are still working on our art exhibition and open studios for this autumn, there will be a Facebook page up soon, so keep your eyes peeled and I shall let you know when it is up and running.

As artist makers confirm they are attending, I shall add links and webpages - all good and exciting stuff!

Monday, 17 April 2017

That first step

Progress has been slow but rewarding,

The initial base layer in white always feels exciting,
feels like the first step,
the first note,
the first leap from which there is no turning back...

And feels like flying!

A painting this size can take me 30 - 40 hours,
or more.
 It is important to me that I capture the 'essence' of the animal,
so the owner 'knows' that this painting is of their treasured pets.

This need to get it right can unnerve me somewhat.
However, as the dogs start to to appear, 
start to take form 
it is rather exciting!
Especially when they look right back at me.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Dog days

In between organising an art event*, gardening, 
ferrying sons here there and what feels like everywhere! 
I have started a birthday commission - two dogs on their favourite fleecy blanket.

It makes a lovely change from all the bulls I have been painting recently:)
It helps that the weather is wet - good incentive to put my head down,
pick up a paintbrush and 
'get to it'!

Art Event* - I am super excited that I have been invited to be part of an artist-maker collective and we are actively arranging an artist event and open studio trail - I shall certainly be kept busy for the next few months!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Preliminary sketches

Sitting on my desk,
two dogs sunning themselves as they wait for the next step.
Isn't it delicious, all this wonderful spring sunshine
It makes for proper shadows!

Friday, 24 March 2017

what's on my desk today? I am not barking mad:)

Why this little 'chap' of course,
who slowly slowly
is appearing in front of my eyes :)

He is rather sweet (judging by the photographs I am working from)
and is destined to live in the States.

Have I mentioned I love what I am doing?

Have a Happy Friday and a lovely and sunny weekend :)

Thursday, 23 March 2017


love that little phrase.


noun: indulgence in aimless thought or dreamy imagining; absent-mindedness.
'a vacant daze that leads to formless wool-gathering'
synonyms: daydreaming, dreaming, building castles in the air, distraction, inattention, musing, Me!

Friday, 17 March 2017

What's on my desk today?

Working with wood, spirals, swirls, twirls and imagination. All that is missing is a mug of tea, so if you'll excuse me, I shall be putting the kettle on :)

Have a lovely Friday and good weekend!

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink!

'Yellow Buoy' 
Acrylic - applied as water colour
on A4 Acid Free 140g/m cartridge paper

'Approaching Storm'
Acrylic - applied as water colour
on A3, Acid Free 300g/m2 100% cotton paper