Saturday, 5 June 2010

'Spirit of the Desert'

'Spirit of the Desert' Another black Arabian stallion. I just love painting blacks with all their shine and deep colours in the coat. This was a pastel portrait of 'Ali Bey' a beautiful stallion owned at one time by a friend in Cornwall.

At the moment work is progressing on the large commission for a private client and it is killing me not being able to post new stuff... but hopefully in the future :)

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Desert Born - Oil on canvas

An Arabian, at last! Well not a really new one but I thought folks would think I never paint them as it has been a while since one of this beautiful breed has appeared on the blog. (I am still working on the large private project so work to post here has been thin on the ground for some time.) I have a soft spot for this painting as he was here on the wall for a while before he was sold to a client in Staffordshire in the UK.

With two poorly menfolk at home it is difficult to fit everything in, an elderly Father and my husband who appears to be having gallbladder colic - ouch! Yet another scan due soon and maybe then we will see what is going to be done to relieve his pain.

Meanwhile I am working on as much as possible and would like to send thanks to my very patient followers.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Magnolia Stellata

Spring has finally arrived, despite the cold easterly wind. The pink Magnolia Stellata is blooming at the front of the house to welcome all that arrive. Difficult to get a good photo with that wind blowing the delicate petals around. If the wind drops I will try again. This is one of my favourite shrubs, it holds on to its buds all through the snow and ice of winter and then unfolds them when milder weather arrives. Every spring I make a resolution to paint it, if only there were more hours in the day.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Clause 43 of the Digital Economy Bill Removed

Thankfully, during the committee stage and third reading of the Digital Economy Bill in the House of Commons yesterday Clause 43 was removed from the Bill. There had been a lot of opposition to this clause and on this occasion common sense prevailed.
For further details go to this site

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Digital Economy Bill- removing the rights of creators.

Alarm bell are ringing amongst Artists and Photographers regarding the above Bill.

Clause 43 of this Bill is undefined and unclear, and appears to be based on consultation (which the Government can ignore.)

Extended Collective Licensing is also introduced by Clause 43. This means that someone finding an image, even if they can trace it back to you, does not have to contact you for permission to use it! They can go to a Government appointed 'collecting society' who will charge them a fee so they can do whatever they like with YOUR image.

This exploitation of creative works must be stopped now. Use this link to identify your MP (if you do not know him/her) and register your disagreement. Many thanks to Tracy Hall a fellow artist and blogger for the 'heads up' on this.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

'Pretty Please' Miniature

Not sure if this graphite miniature is finished as it seems rather light on screen. This piece needs to sit and be looked at again after a couple of days :) Maybe by then I can also get a better scan of it... the mini measures 2" x 1.5" with the girl's face being around 1" high. I admit that this piece was a bit of a struggle as I am out of practise with teeny studies after working much larger lately. But they are very absorbing and great to relax with in between commission work.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

The Hidden Garden

One of lifes' surprises, an old hidden garden. Follow the path from a darker area in the trees, through the old doorway and out into the sun and light. I wish all my followers some sun and light this week. :) Folks here in the UK are fed up with the cold February snow and sleet, summer cannot come soon enough.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Faces in the Windowbox

This image was sold to a cat lover at a local Exhibition a couple of years back. Kittens are always popular although they are hard to paint without ending up too 'cute'. I was looking through some reference photographs yesterday and came across some pictures of a seven week ginger kitten belonging to a friend (He is a grown up boy now!) which brought this image to mind. The above image always makes me smile, they look as if they are hunting bugs in the pansies and have been surprised in the act.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Desert Horse

Another pastel from some time ago. The model for this study was a small bay Arabian stallion who lived locally. He used to do well in ridden classes at local shows as he was a typical Arabian, very showy and obliging for his young lady rider. I put a costume onto him (artistic license) as I thought it would suit him for this study.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Break for the Line

This sepia study was done many years ago in Vandyke Brown 8. At the time I was not aware of the full range of colours available and so did this racing picture with just one colour. This turned out to be a valuable experience and helped to teach me the different hand pressures needed to achieve this study in tones. It is always good to go back to early adventures with art to see how you have progressed - or not :) There are many things I would change in these early studies but that is what keeps you keen to get onto the next painting.

Even when you are not happy with what you have done learn to have patience and see where you went wrong last time and build on the good bits. Even failures that go into the bin are learning experiences as you can approach the subject a different way next time and above all try to keep working. Hope this helps the lady who emailed last week - you know who you are :)

Monday, 25 January 2010

Dressage Horse.

Here is a pastel portrait of a dressage horse from a local stable. I was fortunate enough to have horses at this very successful stable some years ago. It is owned and run by lovely people who studied with a well known Olympic Dressage Rider, so everyone who has liveries at this yard are able to take advantage of wonderful tuition. Whatever discipline they follow with their horses, showjumping, cross country, long distance riding or pure dressage - like the lovely chap above - it is obvious that good basic training in self carriage for the horses and a balanced seat for the rider does nothing but good. It is also very informative and fun to watch progress of friends and their horses through the years.

This dark brown gelding was very enjoyable to paint and I used Daler Rowney soft pastels. Colours were: vandyke brown 8, black (for the shadows) burnt sienna 4, blue grey 2 and 4 with a touch of madder brown and prussian blue on his muzzle and in his coat, white and a teeny amount of gold for the reflection in his eye. Leather work on the halter was also vandyke brown, touches of black and blue grey for the highlights and stitching. Using a limited palette is a good idea if at all possible.

I am still working on the large oils, but will get back to pastel and more miniatures (hopefully) when time permits. Pastel is such a lovely and immediate medium to work with that I feel it calling me :)

Monday, 4 January 2010

Eyes of the Wolf

'Eyes of the Wolf' was done some years ago but continues to get attention from my visitors so I thought it was worth another showing. This pastel was worked on suedeboard, which gives 'fur' a lovely texture. Pastel colours used were Vandyke Brown 8, Burnt Sienna 4, Yellow Ochre, some Black and touches of Cerulean Blue. Finishing pastel pencils were pale blue and the extremely useful Faber Castell 270. This is a light grey but picks up the colours you use it over and makes blending fur easier.

This study was done after visiting some European wolves near Bedford in the UK. One of the male wolves reared up and looked into my eyes - a most unexpected happening! He had his paws on my shoulders and this made me realize just how huge wolves are and what a lovely subject his eyes would be in a pastel. (The original of this study is now with collectors in New Mexico.)

There are many photos from the wolf encounter and I hope to do more studies in the future. They certainly are beautiful animals so it is understandable that they have inspired artists for so many years.