A dear friend

I painted my cat sitting at the top of the stairs behind a flower pot several years ago. I just saw this on my Facebook memories as I no longer own the painting. She was a very loving cat and lived to at least twenty years old. (She was a stray when we took her in). She was very clever and used to ride on my shoulders when I walked round the house or the garden. I’ve painted and drawn many of my cats but she was the one I painted the most. X

Open time

What to do in your open studio? Meet lots of people who want to ask questions. I got nervous seeing so many people so I decided to paint my hubby reading. It’s a vert small studio and as one lot of people left another came in. I tried speaking but it’s hard to know what people think and after avoiding people for a couple of years because of Covid I have become more socially inept. It’s just hard to know what to say. But anyway overall it was a positive feeling. I sold one minature painting and made the princely sum of £4!

Odd story

I saw the twins again today, she said. They are getting older, but they still look the same. Craggy, serious, hard.

Yes, I know, he said, they were never cute, but they certainly have character.

I think I will ask them if I can draw their portraits she said. It would be interesting to chat with them and find out a bit about them.

So three weeks later she say down with a pen and paper and started to draw Kim and Jen. She started slowly, trying to find their differences and their similarities. Chatting with them she found they finished each others sentences. Kim was a Chemist, Jen was a Jeweler. Both had problems with their lives. The world couldn’t get its head around identical sisters. Well, not exactly that, she could see what they meant.

Wooden puppets! Who knew they could be alive and walking round the world. Pinnochio had a lot to answer for!

Back to Spode

Today, for the first time in two years I went back to Spode. I have a lot of paintings that I have done over the years. I’ve avoided going because of Covid and it felt so strange being there. Like the time hasn’t passed, and yet there are new people there. If I want to carry on being an artist I need to get my act together again. I called myself an explorative fine artist and I want to be one again.

Exhibition time

This Saturday, around eight artists will be exhibiting at the Whitfield Community Centre, Whitfield Avenue, Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire. Eleven till Four.

It should be good. Crafts and jewellery as well as paintings and drawings will be for sale. It will be interesting to see how many people come out. Hope the weather is fine. I will be wearing a mask, hope no one minds!

Finished drawing?

I think this is done. I hope they like it. I’ve tried to get the tones right but it’s hard to get it right. I think I’ve got the features close to how they look on the photo.. I decided not to draw the whole figure as the little boys head would have to be a lot smaller and I’ve tried to simplify the background. Anyway it’s going to it’s new home soon. X

Working on a drawing

Portrait of a friends nephew. I’ve just started it using a dark grey pencil crayon. It needs some more work and I will try and include some of the background to make it more cohesive. I need to work on the shading. If I squint my eyes I can work out the tonal range. Clearly the forehead needs darkening on the left hand side. I’ve only got today and tomorrow to finish it!

Friend

A friend reading at Etruria Industrial Museum. The orange area is the ink from the previous page showing through. I did this with a brush pen so it works slightly differently to a fine liner pen. Dark areas fill in better than with a thin pen. I might add texture in Photodirector later. It’s great to try and switch things round and explore different ideas. Practice in anything improves what you do. I’m also trying to teach myself a bit of lino cutting. More of that soon.

Past times

Sketches from 2004. The main drawing was a friend and I think the other two were practice faces. I draw faces less now. I try and draw them convincingly but I think you can get tied down into the same lines, the same shapes. It’s hard to break through muscle memory when you have drawn and painted for more than fifty years! I must say I owe a debt to my mom who let me go to college instead of insisting I got a job at the end of my time at school. That time was instrumental in making me the artist I am! X