We went on an adventure with Mr Aubergine this weekend, but we were only 10 miles from our destination when those hot rays of sunshine gave Mr Aub a touch of heat exhaustion and dehydration. To aid his recovery we emptied our water bottles (and our bladders) and continued on our journey! Poor Mr Aubergine was hot under the collar and less that fragrant when we arrived, but we made it. He's not had too many ailments and enjoyed many adventures in his life time. Now 56, the he is still very handsome, if not a little rusty in places, and much admired (by men of a similar vintage) wherever he goes! He is of course an aubergine coloured Citroen Traction Avant, as featured in Maigret, Tintin and my first blog post !
22 Jul 2012
Yippee! Summer's arrived - at last. The garden is looking lovely, and the air is scented with roses. It has been so nice to walk to the paper shop this weekend in a T shirt instead of a fleece and waterproof. I did however, get a bit melancholic - the river looked so inviting and it was on days like these that Ned took a splash. The sun brought everyone out and people in the village kept stopping to ask where my dog was, which made it worse. And then I was given Blemie's Will by Eugene O'Neil to read (tissues required !). We had Dylan over for tea yesterday - once a small bundle of black fluff, now a bouncy standard poodle with boundless energy, who provided plenty of "dogginess" to fill the gap for an evening.
15 Jul 2012
The three little beasties are nearly done and I have the longest list of commissions that I’ve ever had – so over the next few weeks I shall be a very busy bee. I celebrated my first sale on Etsy this weekend and having made it onto the front page treasury with Dennis my viewings have soared. Most of my commissions to date have been through word of mouth, but I have decided to place an advert in a magazine which covers North Wales, Cheshire & Shropshire. They wanted a photo of me painting – I look a bit mad in most of the photos I already have, so my husband took a few new ones whilst I was painting one of the “little beasties”. When I left the greenhouse (my studio) to fetch said photographer and camera, a bird (no doubt the blackbird who has been pinching our raspberries) sat on the top of my easel and emptied his bowels! Luckily, I had put a sheet of paper over the almost-finished portrait in case it started to rain. Little did I know it was going to rain raspberry-laden bird poo! Needless to say, the portrait would have been ruined without the protective sheet and I would have lost any hope of smiling on camera for a few days!
8 Jul 2012
The battle has been a long one, but the end is nigh! “It would be better for your back if you used a hoe” my osteopath said – “you haven’t seen my weeds” I replied! There were miles of goosegrass threads and barrow loads of creeping buttercup to name the most determined warriors. But I am delighted to report that I am about to exchange my heavy duty weapons for just such a lightweight implement. If the weather hadn’t been so dreadful this summer, I might have reached for the hoe a little sooner, but weeds love a drop of rain! So with the battle won, I can do a bit more painting. This week I’ve been working on commissions, the three beasties. En route to my studio (the greenhouse) I saw a rare ray of sunshine light up the water lilies on the pond – so, having been presented with some waders, I went in to capture the moment before the sun went in again. I drew a picture from the pond-side too, and you could subscribe to my picture postcards to see that one…
1 Jul 2012
Three little doggies have posed for their portrait this week. It often amazes me that even when I take loads of pictures, there are only ever one or two which will really make a good portrait. Energetic dogs are quite hard to capture in an alert pose – most shots look a bit manic or blurred as they rush out of the frame in search of something more stimulating. Their owner has to bribe them with treats or, in the case of these little beasties, scoop them up. There’s a horse called Humphrey to visit next week, so he might be a little easier to photograph, and a new challenge to paint. Theses three on my easel are very cheeky, and when framed will be hung together in a line – so I need to make sure they are all the same size and work well together. I’ve prepared the sketches (below) which will transfer them to the pastel supports tomorrow.