Wednesday, 10 November 2021

The Needles

 So as promised I did get on and do my long overdue commission. Not on the day I said I would but at the weekend instead. Turns out a roast dinner and a glass of wine were the perfect fuel as I ended up painting two at the same time. One I had to do, and one to depict how I was feeling. Or how the recent creative block has felt. 

This was good to do as I a) feel more relaxed having completed the commission and b) doing one for me was therapeutic and may have woken my art half back up again, almost fully. I have been thinking about painting ever since and will hopefully manage one possibly this evening or tomorrow, or even on Saturday if I fail all other options! I feel like I am becoming old, as the late and early hours seem to be made for sleeping rather than painting like they used to be. 


But anyway, my commission was a relatively simple one of the Needles on the Isle of Wight, a place I know well as the island is my birthplace. It was intended to match another painting of the island (one of mine) that the client already had of Freshwater. I banked on the fact that it would match simply because I was doing it, but the combo actually turned out much better than I expected. Enough so, that the client is almost tempted to order another and turn it into a triptych. 

You can't do any better than that! 

And with it's new friend! Almost perfect, I would just like to tweak it so that the sea lines up!

Thursday, 28 October 2021

Lost and Found

 It really has been ages this time, but I can reassure you that I am still alive and thinking about art things. I have just had too much architecture work to do, too much on my mind and maybe the worlds largest creative block. There is nothing quite like becoming out of the habit of painting, to make starting a new painting feel impossible. 

This has not been good as I have two commissions that have been outstanding for a long time, but fortunately there hasn't been a rush on with either, and the clients are friends. This is both good and bad, as if they hadn't been friends I would have forced myself to complete the commissions earlier. But also good as waiting means I will hopefully do a better job with the work when I am eventually ready. 

But, I did force myself to do a painting a couple of weeks ago, and finally today I have put it up online everywhere. It has felt good to have an art day, to get back in the zone again and think about what I need to do. I am even tempted to start one of the commissions this evening as I have time for once and I can have a leisurely start tomorrow if I end up working late. So this seems promising. 

So the painting I decided to do to break my block was risky as I literally just sat down with a blank canvas, some paints and just went 'GO'! It is risky as then I don't know what will come out, where it will end up or what it will look like. There is always a chance I will just become frustrated and end up painting a black square. I did pull something out of the bag? Out of my brain? From my hands? And it is titled Lost and Found, as it seems appropriate for many reasons. I wont say too much about it, as it is a process piece that I will leave entirely up to your own interpretation. But either way, better out than in, and it was nice to finally get the paint flowing again! 

I hope it will be the start of many.....

Monday, 7 June 2021

Junk of the Heart

 I had another special website and computer updating day the other day. Nothing seemed to work properly and when it would have been a perfect moment to write a blog I couldn't log in. I don't even know what I was going to say anymore!

Sod's law!

Never mind. A good place to start is always with a painting! I managed to squeeze out another picture just for me the other day. It was one of my classic, I am in a crazy emotionally frustrated mood and I need a purge. I am slowly learning that when I feel like this, I often paint quite dramatic things and I usually feel better for doing so, so it is a win, win. I don't know why I always seem to forget this each time. It was also good to have a bit of a break in between my commissions. I did paint two more commissions in the last week so that I only had one left to do, except I got another request in yesterday! It is good that the painting keeps ticking over, especially as I don't feel as though I have done a good job of promoting it recently. I will have to neglect it for a little while longer as I have a new architectural job in, but I am slowly starting to feel a bit more focused towards what I am doing, so I am hoping I will become a bit more disciplined. Life seems a bit easier after lockdown now. Still frustrating and a bit like the concept of joie de vivre no longer exists, but it does at least feel a bit like we may be over the worst. Or that maybe we can rest for a while without the risk of another lockdown looming over us. It is difficult not to feel slightly trapped though, being unable to go on holiday, speak to who you want or do spontaneous things. 

I'll be glad when everything feels more relaxed, but I fear that may be a long while coming. 

In the meantime, please enjoy the 'Junk of the Heart' as named via one of the songs from Gran Turismo by The Cardigans!   

Tuesday, 18 May 2021


I am currently in the process of trying to get back into a better routine again, reminiscing about the olden days during the first lockdown, when the sun was shining and every day I got up, did some yoga and wrote a blog post. 

My current state, in lockdown 3, is it is raining, positivity in the morning is elsewhere and then procrastination usually hits in for the rest of the day, interspersed with a walk, coffee or Zumba depending on which day it is. 

This is not good, well it is and it isn't!  

I have three commissions I need to do and I need to keep up the marketing. I have done well recently, selling things on Etsy, bespoke print sales and painting sales. The momentum seems to be slowing though, either because life is opening up again or because I have been being a bit slack.

It's probably both those things. 

I have behaved this week so far though, kind of. Two new paintings are for sale online, two blog posts have been written and I am prepping a facebook/Insta/Twitter post shortly (hopefully). Fingers crossed one of the commissions will be completed tomorrow as well. Painting is tough at the moment, as I am torn between needing to do the commissions and wanting to just paint how I feel to get some of life's current intensity off my chest. 

I guess painting is another thing I need to make time for. Which is pretty obvious really, but everything has seemed too difficult and grey for quite a long time.  

Buuuuut, I have managed a couple of paintings just for me. Both made up on the spur of the moment, in the style of painting a background and seeing where it takes me. Here is the first, entitled 'Moonlight'

You can find more out about it here on my website.  

29th of April

 I wrote a blog post the other day that I couldn't get to post. I wrote it on the 29th of April in fact! Oops, time flies when you are having fun! Lets pretend that is what I have been having. 

Lets see if I can post it now:

29th of April

"Considering two months have now gone by, it is fair to say I am completely off the boil with blogging! I can't even vaguely pretend to remember what has happened over the last two months.

I have at least been busy. I had a big architecture project come in and some commissions and quite a few painting sales and bespoke print sales. I also still have three or possibly four commissions left to do and finally managed to paint something for me on Monday. My current problem is remembering what I am doing and when I need to do it by. Time seems to have a mind of its own. I don't know how we managed to survive what we had to do on a daily basis, pre lockdown. It feels like one thing a day is good enough for me at the moment!

When too much has happened it makes it difficult to work out what to share first, or whether you should just bypass the last few months and start again afresh.

As my last post was a cat portrait, and I have done another one since, I figure I may as well start by sharing that. I have met these two cats too, so it seemed funny to be studying them so closely. It makes it much more difficult to judge them dispassionately when I know them, so I was glad when the client was pleased with the result.

So here, they are: The lovely Lady and Bella


I am also pleased with the abstract background on this one. I had to paste the two cats together from separate photographs so coming up with the setting was a bit more difficult than usual!" 

That would be a yes then! I am not sure why I couldn't get it to work last time, but never mind....

Wednesday, 24 February 2021


So, one month later and a lot has happened. So much in fact that I am not sure if I am coming or going today. I have been productive though, my website released a temporary edit fix so I have actually managed to update it today and took the chance to update all my other online galleries sales places, Instagram, twitter etc. So I am feeling rather organised for once (kind of, not really).

I also painted three commissions I have needed to do so I only have one left to sort out. I even managed to tackle the one that needed to be painted on unstretched canvas, which was certainly a bit more awkward than usual! I just need to work out which frame and mount to recommend for that next and then I am good to go. 

It was surprising how much more difficult it was to paint on unstretched canvas. In the end, I temporarily stretched the canvas over one of my other frames so I could keep it taught and upright. The surface also appeared to be rougher than I am used to which was a bit frustrating as the paint flowed less easily and it was harder to get a smooth line, but no matter, the end product is fine! 

Before I share that painting with you, here is the first commission to be rehomed as it was a birthday gift last week! This is a painting of the lovely Mr Bramble and my second cat painting. This one was interesting as it was the first pet for me to paint that I had actually met, so I had some insider knowledge on this one, it was also much easier to paint than the last two cats, either because of the practise, or because the photo I was working from was better. Who knows. I have three more cats to paint after this so I may have more of an idea as to what made the difference then.

Busy busy.   

Until then, here is the lovely Mr Bramble! 

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Growing Pains

Hmm, blogging still doesn't seem to be one of my strengths right now. The problem with art is that I need brain space to do it. As soon as something else comes along my art brain seems to hibernate, waiting until it is next allowed out. Normally, by the time I have woken it back up again something else has arrived. But I am hoping I can manage an art week this week. 

I have also discovered, that most of the places that stock or make my canvasses are currently out of stock due to supply chain issues because of the virus. This seems like bad news. I am not sure when any of them will get stock back in and I have run out of one of my favourite canvas sizes. Fortunately I have a commission just in, for use on that size and I have one canvas left. I guess I had best not make any mistakes!! I do have another commission in as well that I need to paint on unstretched canvas and then get framed, so I think there is going to be a learning curve to combat there! Just as well I did actually stockpile a few canvasses back in March! But don't be surprised if I have a succession of square paintings shortly, as that is mostly what I have left. 

I am also currently tackling website issues as well, as although my website stayed up and running whilst Flash was discontinued, my ability to amend or update it has not. Luckily, I managed to quickly get everything on track before it was blocked on the 12th, but it is starting to get frustrating that I can't change anything. I have a new painting I need to put up, which will happen after I have written this, but I guess it will have to wait awhile until I can put it on my website. Who knew trying to become an artist would involve so little painting time sometimes!

Speaking of new paintings! Here it is! Or here it will be.... This one was an interesting challenge. I had my support bubble and her kids over for a painting lesson just after Christmas. At the end of the session, we got all the leftover paint and splatted it on the canvas I had been half working on. A therapy art burst if you will. My challenge was then to turn it into something! Cue a week or so of background ruminating. and for some reason seeing tree rings, and here is the result! I was actually pretty pleased with how it turned out. It has so many colours on it it can't help but appeal to me!  

The starting point:

The update:

I hope you like it! 

Friday, 8 January 2021


 I don't even know where to start with blogging today, so much has happened it would take forever to cover it all. 

On the plus side the things that happened were mostly positive - lots of art sales leading up to Christmas and unusually lots of architecture work as well. I definitely got my steps in walking to the post office, what felt like every day! 

I miss the first lock-down, when the sun was shining, I did yoga and blogged every morning. This version seems more like everyday I wake up unsure what day it is, not sure what I am meant to be doing, I could sleep forever and I cant stop eating. I need to shake away those Christmas bad habits! So yes, I am doing a recorded Zumba session when I have finished writing this. At least I hope I am. 

But first, let's go for the blogging in reverse option and write the last thing I was meant to write first and then go from there. So:

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2021 is here! It still feels like 2020 at the moment but it should get better. I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone that purchased something from me in the run up to Christmas, I think I sold the most things I have ever done so at this time of year before, including a few paintings which is always heartwarming! I also managed to sell out of calendars for the first time ever!


It has taken me the entirety of this week to resort my stock levels and catch up with making paper copies of all my invoices, so that I very nearly, feel back on top of everything and ready to work out what I need to do next. 

So hooray, 2021 lets be positive, lets overcome all that we lost last year, and put some things in the diary to look forward to (one day). Lets do this!