26 Jan 2012


Where has January gone? The snowdrops are nodding in the garden and spring is already on its way. One of those new year resolutions to myself was to produce at least one lino-cut every month. My excuse is that I have run out of lino and I am eagerly awaiting the delivery following an evening of on-line shopping. Looking back at my diary from last year there are a couple images with a touch of realism that might inspire my first lino-print of 2012. If I stick to my resolution (of course I will) I may produce a calender featuring a print for each month.


19 Jan 2012

A Pet Portrait

I've been doing a dog portrait today – the second commission from a couple whose new companion has earned his place on the wall. My first commissions go back to the 80’s and my father would proudly take a photo of me next to the finished painting. These photos eventually filled an album -  my hairstyles now invite more comment than the portraits. I’ve posted one from the album below, the others are safely archived! Nearly 3 decades later I'm at the same easel. I am working on Spectrum paper with Unison pastels at the moment – both a delight to use. It's now me instead of my mother who watches the clouds of pastel dust settle  - so I work in the greenhouse where the light is great, but at this time of year, the temperature is not. 


14 Jan 2012

Changing Course

Starting my diary coincided with a change of direction last August. After several years of managing others and helping them develop their skills, I had decided it was time to make a positive change in my own development. The new chapter started with a return visit to Shinafoot Studios for a course in oil painting plein air with Margaret Evans. Excellent tuition and a warm and friendly welcome as always. The Scottish weather wasn’t so reliable, giving us a few extra hours in the studio. For me, two days of total focus on painting intensified my visual perception of colour and form for several days afterwards - almost like looking through a new pair of prescription glasses. A change in direction has opened my eyes and, I wonder, if I could paint everyday how much more would I begin to see? www.shinafoot.co.uk

4 Jan 2012

New Year's Resolutions

My resolution for this year is simple – do more art. Someone on New Year’s Day said that resolutions shouldn't be enjoyable. In my case, making the time to do what I love takes more determination than getting through the list of other less pleasurable things to do! One of my resolutions for 2011 was to draw every day. It took until August to achieve it, but since then I have drawn a little picture in my diary every single day. Here are some drawings representing tasks on the “to do list” which imposed on valuable studio time!