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New Years Resolutions

January 2017

New year promise 

I have a horrible feeling this may be similar to last years resolution, but I am full of hope that this year I will stop neglecting my blog and write a weekly post. I will spend less time watching ridiculous videos on Facebook and construct witty prose packed with my weekly news…

Jump for Joy

Talking of Facebook..

I have finally got to grips with FB advertising, and we were caught completely on the hop by the success of our pre christmas promotions, scrambling to process and ship all the orders in time. Thankfully we succeeded, and now have a fantastic system in place so everything should proceed smoothly from here on out. The biggest sellers by far were ‘Razzle Dazzle’ and Jump for Joy’
Two of my favourite paintings, I think they capture a sense of fun, and humour, and I hope give you as much pleasure looking at them, as they gave me enjoyment in their creation.

Razzle Dazzle

January sale “ARTSALE17”

The 25% off promotion will run until the end of January, please use the code above for 25% off all works on my website, prints and originals.

In the studio.. or not

The studio has become such an uphill battle to heat I have now moved inside, setting up in our garden room. I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to think I’ll be able to work during the day without being cold. In fact I overstoked the woodturner so much I had to wear only a T-shirt yesterday. The dogs are also thrilled as they become markedly reluctant to ‘come to work’ over the past few weeks. 

On the easel

I am working on various commissions this month, as a bit of backlog has built up. On the easel are two portraits of same yellow labrador, a client has commissioned one for each of her sons which rather lovely, but presenting its own challenges. 
I’m also working on a series of local landscapes, my first landscapes in a decade. We had a period of spectacular light in November and every school run was, at best,  meandering as I stopped to take photos. 
I’ll leave you with some recent images
My cockerel 

The Bell Inn, Waltham St Lawrence

In progress

Tess, Labradoodle
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Dog Days

Dogs, dogs, dogs….

I’ve had a back log of private commissions to do this summer, and somehow, once I got on a theme it carried on into the gallery work.
Up to Yorkshire to paint six of Jim Howard’s working collies, he was the English sheepdog trialling team last year, and I was so impressed watching his dogs work. A real treat to be in the spectacular Yorkshire countryside, have proper roast dinner with Jim’s mum (who runs Lane Farm cottages) And of course, drive a quad bike, with a sheep as side passenger – not something I’ve done for a while.

These labs were a little closer to home, but such distinct characters.

Then, to be honest I got a bit carried away, and started on some more unusual breeds, so not sure where I’m going to place the paintings, I don’t think they’ll appeal to my regular clientele!

Luckily I’ve been in talks with the lovely Victoria at the Stockbridge Gallery, who predominantly represents dog artists, and happily I am to be included in the ‘stable’, so all the recent dog paintings are going there at the end of month.

 
The House of Bruar is another recipient of this summers efforts, with around a dozen paintings framed, wrapped and ready to be shipped. A varied lot of stalking, grouse, some dogs, and the Hereford cattle, but it makes for a coherent body of work. I’m still looking for rare breed cattle to paint, if anyone has any sitting around chewing the cud…
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A week to go

A week to go before my painting is presented, it’s all framed and the plaque is finished. I’m beginning to feel quite nervous about it…

I’ve been working a lot recently (more child care) and have finished a couple of works. I found these wonderful natural canvas panels in the Jacksons Art catalogue, and am loving the finish, they lend a contemporary edge in the square format. In fact, liked them so much I’ve ordered a couple of metres of raw canvas so plan to make up some bigger sizes myself (the panels are quite limited  in sizes)

Still life

The first image is of a still life I set up in Scotland, in that glorious late evening light you only get north of the border. I stopped doing still life about 4 years ago, I’m not sure why, I think I had just got bored with them, but doing this one reminded me how much I enjoyed it and I have a second, more complicated composition already sketched out on canvas, which should hopefully get finished this month.

Ivy

I’ve been meaning to paint my own dogs for ages, though persuading Ivy to model took hours, and a lot of cheese. The result is great though, again on the square format natural canvas. I’m going to have a go at doing Whirly the poodle at some stage, although she doesn’t lend herself to painting with all that curly brown hair…..

Open studio

People often say they would love to come to the studio, but either don’t want to bother me, or don’t know when I’m working there (admittedly rather erratic hours!). So as of Wednesday 1st August I’m going to have an open studio morning every first Wednesday of the month, from 9am – 2 pm. Coffee and cake on offer!

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Paintings And Pincushions

Finally it has warmed up enough to be able to work in the studio without risk of hypothermia and added optional extra of gas poisoning (MUST get that heater fixed!)
I’ve been working on a couple of commissioned paintings, firstly Digby and Mr. Chips.

 I dropped my camera, so have had to resort to my tiny digital one – bit of step down in quality, so if anyone has a lens to fit a Canon Eos – I’m looking!

Secondly the big painting that will be revealed in June – here’s a snip of the oil sketch!

Guessed what it’s going to be of yet?? I’m starting on the main painting next week, having just put in a painfully expensive order for brushes and new paints with Jacksons Art Supplies.

THE HENLEY ARTS TRAIL is hotting up, with the publicity machine getting going and a giant box of leaflets sitting on my passenger seat, waiting to be handed out….I’ve made a small dent in it so far. I have however managed to source and produce some really fun small gift type items, that hopefully will appeal to the crowds. Like these pincushion jars.

And I found a spare hour this afternoon to make this image of my fabulous chocolate poodle, Whirly.