Category Archives: Updates

All change!

Happy New Year to all of you!

I have decided to change my blogging software, therefore my blog has moved.

Click here to see the new and updated version:

See you on the other side


Missing in Action!

Hello all

Aplogies for the lack of updates and the fact that I have been missing in action.  I managed to trap the sciatic nerve in my hip at the beginning of March and have only just got back into the swing of things.  If you’ve ever done it you’ll know what I’m talking about.  If not – imagine a nest of wasps have set up home inside your hip joint!
Now you’re getting it!

Mmmm, so not much concentration going on for about 6 weeks.  then we had a weekend away on the Orient Express – more about that in a future blog.

Now I’m on full form and firing on all cylinders.  So much so I’ve had a little overhaul on the web site – a new front page and a brand new step by step area.  Go check it out, but come back tomorrow for my latest work and an exciting new project.

Shows and sore throats

Yesterday I attended my first cat show!

It was the Southern British Shorthair Show at Addlestone in Surrey and as I am owned by a British Shorthair myself I didn’t know where to look first.  They are such beautiful cats in an amazing palette of colours as you can see from Poppy here…but more of her later.

Setting up
My lovely husband packed the car for me at 6:30 am while I prepared some lunch to keep me going.  As ever I had decided to take the kitchen sink just in case.
I don’t know about you, but when I was a child I went everywhere with a suitcase full of felt tips and crayons and pencils and paints…it’s still a bit like that now.

So it’s not surprising that 8 trips to and from the car later I had managed to set up.  The organisers had placed me in the foyer just infront of the results frame, an ideal spot really.

I have 2 pieces of sturdy trellis that are hinged in the middle.  This provides an ideal frame work to show off a few framed originals.
The tall pull-up banner was great value for money as people can see you from afar.
I guess the most important thing is to make sure that you are drawing while you are there.  People love to watch artists at work and this was no exception.  Since competitors were there all day it gave them a chance to see a portrait evolve from the very start.
My demonstration piece
The obvious choice for a British Shorthair show is a British Shorthair! My British Shorthair, Amber, to be exact (although she would contest ownership – in her eyes I’m on the staff).  This is a great shot captured by John as she helped him to set-up in his photographic studio. (She was making sure he’d left nothing in the reflector bag).
I decided to create the piece in pastel on velour – just ideal for cats, especially shorthair like Amber.
I used a grid to transfer the drawing from the original to the velour, then started on the eyes.  I love to do the eyes first as I can immediately start to see the piece coming to life.
Next I blocked in some colour using soft Sennelier pastels.  Finally I start working my way around the image layering the detail in with sharp Derwent pastel pencils and graphite pencils.
This is as far as I got during the day.  I spoke to so many people that I lost my voice by the end of the day.  there was so much interest and it was so enjoyable.
I’ll add the whole WIP to my main website as it progresses to the finished piece.
Many of the compeitors came over to let me know how they were getting on and those who were competing for the first time were sooooo excited!
So what about Poppy?
Well Poppy was also attending her first cat show; in fact Popy was the first pet that her owner Kim had ever had.
…And she won her class! Clever Poppy!
Poppy’s mum has decided to celebrate with a beautiful comemorative portrait – quite right too.
Once we’ve agreed on the right image work will start, so watch this space.

Too much to do, so little time….

There is so much happening right now it’s crazy!

I’m deep into study at the moment and it’s very distracting as it’s linked directly to artistic stuff and so the more I write about art, the more I want o just draw… Arrrgh!
My Open University course is about Entrpreneurial Opportunities, so I have decided to use my portraiture business as the subject.
Well that’s all very well until you start coming up with more ideas!  I found a great website for templates called Mirkwood Designs
I had started thinking about producing greetings cards – which sent me off on a tour of UK printing houses to look for the best deals ;0)
Then I thought about presenting the cards as notelets or small packs of cards, blank inside, that could be used either to write a note or as a greetings card; that led me to Mirkwood because I want to be able to present them in some sort of wallet.  Mirkwood have templates for all kinds of things which distracted me even further…
Cats and Dogs on show
In the meantime I had made enquiries about booking cat and dog shows and the paperwork is now arriving for booking.  Hopefully, the first will be a cat show 6th March in Milton Keynes – so watch this space for more details.  I’m quite excited about that becuase I’ve never actually been to any cat or dog shows.
I will be demonstrating my skills and hopefully selling some of these new products – if I ever finish my assignment.
More study
In an earlier entry I mentioned that I started the Pet Portraiture course at the London Art college.  Well, I’m in the middle of assignment 2 now.  I’m producing three pieces –
1 acrylic of Henry sleeping (you can see the pastel version in the mian gallery of my web site). I wanted to compare the two mediums, so I will post up the results at the weekend. 
2 coloured pencil of this beautiful ginger kitten peeking from behind a curtain.  The image is royalty free and from a strangely named image library called Morguefile and it’s by a great photographer called Scott Liddell 3. Pastel of the two kittens washing which was posted in my last entry

Well I can’t spend all day chatting – I have an assignment to finish ;0)

New Year, new start!

Well Happy New Year to all of you!

It’s been and interesting start to the year for me – I lost my old Dad on boxing day, so Christmas seems like months ago.  He had a terrible condition known as Lewy Body Dementia with which he battled for the last 4 years. 
He wasn’t a morbid man so I look back with much fondness and prefer to celebrate his life, and what a full and rich life it was. 
I’m sure reminiscences will creep into this blog from time to time.  But it’s from my Dad that I get my drawing ability.  He was into all sorts of arts, crafts and practical things and he encouraged this in me too. 
So here’s to ya Dad.  Hope you like my latest offerings ;0)

Exciting news part 2!

I have just enrolled on the Pet Portraiture diploma course run by the London Art College.  It’s a 12 month course, although I think the pace of your work will ultimately dictate the length of the course, and is distance learning.
I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in as the content looks fab.  I’m used to distance learning with the Open University for business and computing courses, so doing something art related is a real welcome change!
Right I’m off to find some still life in the kitchen…
Click here to see courses from the London art college

Hello and welcome to my blog.

This is my first ever blog and I’m quite excited!

I have recently launched my new website and when I first thought about adding a blog I wondered what I could possibly say…but that soon passed ;0)

So I’m gonna jump right in with this week…It’s only Wednesday and it’s been so busy already.

I’m in my last year of an Open University course (BSc Hons open degree) and yesterday saw my penultimate exam, so up until yesterday my art has taken a back seat, but now I’m all set to increase my portfolio.