26 Feb 2012

What's in a commission

I normally have a commission for a pet portrait on the go, and so my diary has quite a few images of me at the easel. There can be a lot more that goes into a commission before handing over the final painting. It’s essential to have a range of good photos for reference and sometimes I am asked to take the photos myself. A recent experience proved to me that I needed a faster camera to catch an equally fast and bouncy dog (plus a change of clothes!). Before I get down to the pastel drawing itself, I make a series of sketches to get a feel for the subject and the best pose or composition for the picture, especially if I’m doing the whole body. The reward for me is seeing the client’s face when the portrait is unveiled – I’m always a bit anxious beforehand but elated afterwards, and proud to add another image and positive comment to my testimonials (see page under commissions tab).

24 Feb 2012


Earlier in the month I was feeling cold but admiring the snowdrops and the promise of spring. Now it is so warm that it feels like it is already here. The pond is alive with romantic frogs and the  jonquils are nodding alongside the snowdrops. To complete the springtime scene, there are now lots of wobbly-legged lambs in the field next door – so definitely a sketchbook day tomorrow. I am considering making some giclee prints from the graphite picture below which will be available from the Gallery later in the year.

19 Feb 2012

Curtain Call

I've had further distraction from studio activity recently , albeit a creative one. If you have ever made curtains from velvet, you’ll appreciate why I have 8 images in my diary and the relief when they are finished. At 20hours toil per window, it’s a good job they look so lovely! Once hung the aching back muscles, punctured fingers and bitty-bits all over the carpet are all forgotten. Well, last week's blog generated a heap of spam and not much comment - so it's a curtain call for blog discussions  for now ! I'd still love to hear from you via my website contact page or facebook.


11 Feb 2012

Learning Curves

There's been a bit of delay with this week's blog -  my scanner had an identity crisis and forgot its purpose in life. My recent “change of direction” has been both enjoyable and challenging – embracing technology being the steepest learning curve for me. My concentration, frustration and delight as I learnt new skills and saw my website go live are depicted in my diary - as are the reactions of those around me!  And as for social networking – that’s another world  - one of which I am only just beginning to understand. I am thinking of providing you with the opportunity to join my mailing list and receive automatic updates of my blog, or periodic snippets of my latest news and creations. If you already follow my blog, or have something to say about this idea please leave a comment. I'd like to say thank you to Liz (and those around me) for being so patient and helpful along this learning curve!  


2 Feb 2012

A Breath of Fresh Air

I’m back in the greenhouse and it’s even colder – sporting the furry Russian hat and extra thermals today! I’m working on another commission whilst the sun is up, a dog plus mistress portrait, and a snowdrop scene indoors in front of the fire when the sun goes down. When it is so cold outside it’s hard to imagine the heat of the summer sun and days (or in my case weeks) spent busy in the garden. Last year’s diary is a pleasant reminder of warmer days.