Monday, February 20, 2017

Sale-- Grab Yourself A Bargain !!!!

Please take a look at the links for my paintings that have been reduced in price-- oils, acrylics and mixed media.

There are a lot of bargains to be had !!!!

Lots at half price or even better!

I will be donating 25% of all sales to a cause close to my heart--  Dr O'Connor's Haematology Cancer Unit at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital where my son is being treated..

I have raised enough money to buy 4 Dyson Fans for the ward (£880) in the past year.. These really help the patients comfort when having their chemotherapy.

I have a lot more paintings to add to the website over the next few weeks-- and I will be happy to discount a little more for multiple purchases, but for now take a look at this page   

and also this page

There are also more paintings on the Affordable  British Art website

I will also be holding a Mega Flash Sale at my home 52 Greenacres , Ludlow, Shropshire, SY8 1LY from Friday 12th May until Sunday 28th May in a small marquee ..and paintings will start from just £5 ...I will look forward to seeing you!

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

The Devils Tic Tac' journey

Over 5 years ago I became ill with Polymyagia Rhumatica... something that as a rule affects much older people, though after some research it appears to be getting more and more common in younger people-even in their 30's and 40's..             It all started  after having Swine flu at Christmas 2010 , I gradually,over the coming months got stiffer,and stiffer in my arms,legs,back and neck..   The pain was horrendous--I couldn't get off the sofa, off the loo, turn over in bed or get out of the bed,washing my hair was impossible to do on my own. Bill had to pull me up off the sofa and out of bed and dress me..I couldn't even hold my glass of wine!!   At the age of 50 that wasn't good.. I couldn't walk or drive..It was a very scary experience. I was having the max dose of Paracetomol,  Ibrufen etc plus extras at times--but nothing touched the awful pain. How I got through the painting workshops on a Saturday I really don't know---  I was then prescribed a drug called Naproxen to try and help. I took one tablet and within an hour had a high pitched whistling in my right ear,, when I took a second tablet the next morning the noise increased to an unbearable level --I couldn't hear the TV or hear anyone speaking to if the pain hadn't been enough to cope with!   Turns out that tinnitus is a rare side effect of that drug--and it didn't even kill the pain for me.        I have been left with the awful noise in my head ever since, and it drives me mad at times.               Anyway, eventually in Sept 2011 a lovely young doctor decided that I might have Polymyalgia-although I was ''much too young'' and gave me some tablets called Prednisolone--her words to me were " if it is Polymyalgia, these tablets will seem like a miracle--take 4 tomorrow and 4 on Sunday and ring me on Monday and let me know how how you are"  Well she wasn't joking, by Saturday lunchtime I could get off the sofa without help, I enjoyed a glass or 3 of wine in the evening with no pain in my hands and arms and on Sunday morning I leapt out of bed and proceeded to shampoo all the carpets in the house, that I had watched getting grubbier and grubbier while I had been unable to do anything much..    A miracle indeed!!!                                                                                                               And so began my journey with the Devils Tic Tacs as I call them..    I started on 20mg a day,  and it was wonderful to be pain free after what seemed like forever..  however when I tried to reduce to 17.5 after a week as the GP had said I was back to square one within a few the end of the day I couldn't move again... I cried..                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     It seems like it wasn't going to be an easy job to reduce the steroids quickly. Very quickly I got the huge 'Moon Face''.one of the most horrible things about the steroids--      I used to look in the mirror to do my makeup and as fast as I was applying it I was crying it off as I just didn't recognise the person looking back at me..           My weight  went up by over 3 st very quickly, and my hair started to fall out, yet my face sprouted more hair than my Bill it seemed at times..      I saw a lovely specialist who explained that I needed to cut down the steroids very,very slowly-- 1/2 mg a month..             Sounds easy doesn't it?      My body didn't take kindly to even that tiny drop in steroids and I had to go back to the previous dose where I was comfortable many times and wait to drop again.        Then to add to it I started getting very bad bursitis in my heel, causing me to have to use crutches at seems the drop in steroids causes it to flare up..       Eventually last May I managed to get down to 5mg steroids--how happy was I? My moon face had gone, I had lost over 2 st in hair had grown back--curly -after me taking some amazing supplements called Biotin.... and when I went to see my specialist last May he asked me to keep dropping by 1/2mg a I dropped to 4.5 mg the next day--and wham--I was back to square one again--       I couldn't move in bed that night, couldn't get out of bed in the morning.     My body had said enough is  enough!   My GP told me to go back onto 20 mg of steroids as I was so poorly,, As if that wasn't enough to be going on with ,I had started to get very bad pain in my neck and throat for which I saw a few different specialists at several hospitals..          Then I started to get numbness, electric shocks and pins and needles in both arms and down my legs..I had tests of all descriptions including an MRI scan.        This showed that my spine has got osteoporosis and has crumbled so bad the spinal cord is being  touched by the discs--it is a lovely S shape from the neck down...and what I thought was a fatty lump on the top of my back is in fact where my spine which has curved badly.  The steroids have eaten away at my bones over the years and now am left with this problem as well.                  All very depressing I can tell you..      I had  really bad episode late last year and I realised with a heavy heart  that I was no longer able to run my popular workshops any more and announced my early retirement due to my health.                 We were quite over whelmed at the response, so many messages, phone calls, letters, cards and presents  and everyone wants me to carry on..     That would be impossible to do in the previous format in the hall,     as I just can't walk.    Hopefully after resting, resting and more resting I am hoping to continue to teach small groups of up to 4 people from middle of May,  just once or twice a month if I am lucky..  I am taking my time to do as little as possible and fingers crossed, be able to cut down the steroids a little easier than I could when working..
I am hoping to be able to cut back on the strong painkillers --Tramadol,paracetamol and at times Oramorph a little too..but the main thing is getting down the Devils Tic Tacs as they are doing me the most damage .I am having a bad time of it at the moment with bursitis in my right foot,, thought I had cracked it when I bought some special compression socks,, it helped for a while but is back with a vengance today grrrr... anyway you now have the background  behind whats caused such a big change in our lives....  blimey that turned into a bloody epic didnt it? 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

New ''Painting My Way''

Wishing all my very lovely ,loyal students a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy
 2017.... and thank you so much for all your support over the past 13 years...

There has been a little U-turn in the plans to retire from teaching due to my ill-health ...

I am taking time off until May to rest and try and get my medications down to a more reasonable level-which I can only do by resting..and after the huge response from everyone, which was really humbling, I have decided to try and do some private, personal one to one workshops and small groups of up to 4 people..
The small numbers mean no walking for me, so I will be able to sit and teach!

These workshops will take place once or twice a month..from middle of May onwards.. contact me for more details please...

Of course any workshops will be dependant on the state of my health on the date and could be cancelled-- but hopfully that wont happen...

But I have realised I couldn't walk away from what I love doing most in the world--teaching you lovely people how to paint! 

groups of up to 4 people will be £40 each and a one to one will be £50 for the usual 16" x 20" canvas.. bigger canvas will obviously be more..

So if you want to do a particular painting with any friends or family--up to 4 people please have a look at the website  for the subjects available or if you have any ideas on what you would like to paint please get in touch with me..

A Catch Up!!!

I must apologise for the delay in getting the workshop photos onto the blog...Its been over 2 months since I posted on here due to my health. Above is the only workshop I have run of the ''Shropshire Poppies''. We used acrylic to create this lovely scene..

We had great fun painting ''Winters Walk'' in acrylic and oils.Its quite a challenging one to do, but we had great results from everyone..

I ran 2 encaustic workshops in a couple of weeks, it was very popular..and an easy one for me to teach as there is little moving around for me to do while teaching it! We had some amazing results--

I'm quite jealous of Eric's Waterfall.. I will be having a go at something similar in the future!!

Love the Koi Carp..

and these colours are just beautiful.

young George framed his small encaustic cards and also wrapped them up for Christmas presents for his family with the help of his Aunt Sarah... I'm sure they will love them!

Here is George with his big work of art..

Wonderful results!

Well here we are in the last big workshop of Painting My Way.... what an emotional day that was.I managed to hold it together until the end... and it was lovely to have people popping in to say goodbye during the day..   I was so overwhelmed by all the lovely presents, cards,phone calls and emails we had after announcing my retirement.. we were very touched ..

WOW--look at the beautiful results-- we finished on a real high...6 first time students were among these...

June and Jenny

Beautiful work Ladies..

Lovely work...

Well Done!!!

Great paintings !!

1st time for these two! This to me is what ''Painting My Way'' has been about all these years--taking people who have never painted before and helping them to create masterpieces like this...

Friday, October 21, 2016

Birches Workshop

 This has always been one of my favourite workshops,,always great fun to teach, and really wonderful results,,,and this one was no exception!  Here are some of the ladies creating the birch trees..
Its great when everyone watches each other and compare notes..everyone tackles their painting a little different to each other,,

Joe painted the picture above, but didn't want her photo taken with it!

and the final line up--well done everyone..

Sunshine After The Rain ll

I am well behind with my blog these days,,my health has been pretty awful of late..  But it was lovely to meet up with all these lovely people in the 2nd Sunshine After The Rain workshop.. and they insisted I join them in the final lineup!  It was a very emotional day for me and Bill.. and we were quite overcome when we were presented with cards and gifts after the workshop..

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Sunshine After The Rain

Sorry about the delay doing the blog... We had a full house to paint the Sunshine After The Rain painting...7 who had been before and 8 first timers.. I think this is the hardest subject to do--lots of different techniques to learn !

Jane was bought along by 6 of her friends--she had no idea at all where she was going to or what she would be doing! Slightly scared was a bit of an under statement ! But as usual as soon as the paint was going onto the canvas the nerves pretty much disappeared for everyone..

The puddles of water seem to be the hardest part of the painting, have to be very careful not to use too much white paint.. Everyone enjoyed using the knife to apply thick paint to create texture on the trees..

Beautiful results from everyone..

Wonderful masterpieces everyone...

Well done everyone... I will be teaching this subject again on Oct 1st,,,

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The End Of An Era......

It is with great regret that I have to announce that I will no longer be running my workshops after Dec 10th 2016 due to health reasons.
It has been a very,very hard decision to make ....

We have met many lovely people and made many friends over the 12 years the workshops have been running..
Its been a wonderful journey for all concerned--so many laughs along the way, as well as the beautiful masterpieces that were created in my workshops.

I know, because you have told me , that I have changed lives, made you feel confident and opened up a whole new world to you--not many people can say that and I feel privileged to have been part of that..

I have just 6 workshops left to run as I have had to cancel some . My last workshop will be on Sat Dec 10th--''Summer Day''... fitting as it is my signature painting.. so a huge ''Thank You'' to everyone who has made ''Painting My Way'' what it is today. 

I still intend to paint --I will not be hanging up my brushes entirely, but I will be painting pictures to sell, maybe trying some different techniques..but I will be able to paint when I feel able to and rest when I need to.

The website will take on a new look in the new year, and all the pictures of my students can be found here on my blog too..

  The copyright of all my painting subjects will remain mine ....

Bill and I will miss the Saturday workshops so much...Saturdays just won't be the same without the 'bashing and tickling' and all the banter that goes on...

I have been quite overwhelmed by all the messages that we have received since I announced the news..thank you everyone 

Diane and Bill xxxx



Sunday, August 14, 2016

Antrim Annie.....

We have had much fun over the years with various caravans.. all quite old ones, but they have all served their purpose.. Mainly used for staying in at the various shows we do, and useful as storage for paintings in the winter!       However I have always yearned for a decent size bathroom... the usual little tiny bathrooms that most caravans have are quite claustrophobic!     So I have always been on the lookout for one with an end bathroom.. well last Sunday I found just what I have been looking for.. An Avondale Antrim....we went to have a look and I fell in love,,, The bathroom is bigger than our en-suite at home,, loads of space , a proper shower cubicle and also a full size cooker and fridge too...found a few random things left in her --such as a full size Christmas tree and lights LOL..Also got a full size awning and porch awning with her too,,,

We didn't have an oven in our last caravan, just 3 rings and a grill... which to be honest was enough,,but we have the option now with a big oven too..!    The full size fridge with big freezer compartment will be most welcome....plenty of room for ice cubes and wine, as well as the food!

Loads of storage in the bathroom as well as the rest of the caravan...all the fly screens and sun screens work too..which is a bonus..

cant wait to try out the shower...

Was sorry to see our old one go,she sold the very next day, before we fetched  Annie home. I hope her new owners will have as much fun in her as we did..        I have done a deep clean throughout in Annie, and she is sparkling now.. We have decided to have a couple of nights away next weekend to try everything out-she is quite a bit newer than the old will be interesting to see how everything works,,we are not going far from home but looking forward to it just the same.. the parrots are already looking forward to being spoiled by Jeannie who parrot/fish sits for us... She loves it here too-so everyone is happy!

"Yesterday" Workshop

Marguerite was a long way from home--Miami-Florida to be exact... first time painting..Had some interesting conversations via emails with her-and she sent me some sketches she had done about her time in England which had us creased! Her painting was just brilliant but she said she couldn't take it back to the USA with her..she has de-cluttered her life in the USA and managed to come to England for a month with a 22in suitcase! Blimey---I would need one that size just for my makeup LOL...Anyway  we decided to that I would use her painting to raise money for the O'Connor Cancer Unit at Shrewsbury Hospital where my son Jim has been treated,,  so I will be asking for bids on it shortly and all money will be donated to the unit...
Hahahaha--this is what happens when you squeeze a litre bottle of white acrylic paint--that has an air lock!!! Blimey-what an explosion! Luckily for me I already had my painting clothes on--and the students quickly helped clear up the paint off the floor etc!!!
We had 9 students.. 6 of which were first timers...

We had a wide range of colours used,

you would never believe that these 3 ladies had never painted before...

Beautiful results from the 9 ladies... will look forward to seeing them all again...

Tenbury Show 2016

After a hectic Burwarton Show there was hardly time to draw our breath before heading to Tenbury the next day to get our stall set up for the show on Saturday! Its another brilliant show, very well organised..There was a steady stream of customers all day long..

the tiny paintings looked a little lost as there were so few left! I really must get painting again this week--have a big 2 day show coming up at the Shewsbury Steam Rally at Onslow Park on bank holiday weekend..have a few big ones to get finished and loads of small ones to do...

The paintings on the top left and right of this picture sold-- Stormy Poppies and Squirrels Eye View..and also a big Birches painting that is hidden from view by the chair and my slates stand!

It was fun to demonstrate to the public just how easy it can be to learn to paint ''My Way''

And when I saw Frankie setting up her stall opposite ours on the Friday evening, I promised myself that if I sold 2 paintings at the show I would buy one of her beautiful mirrors that she makes...I fell in love with this one as the cat reminded me of our dear Sparky Cat,,,, I sold the first painting very early on in the day... and went over to tell her I would buy the mirror when I sold another painting....... then I remembered that I had in fact sold a painting the week before from Visions gallery in I was back there in a shot to buy it.. The workmanship is just wonderful..and worth every penny... It hasnt been hung yet at home---its 3 ft tall and I want it to be exactly right,,, to see more of Frankies beautiful mirrors have a look at her website. Frankies Mirrors