Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Getting Ready....

The time is flying by so quickly... only just over 2 weeks until we erect the marquee outside the house ready for the sale of paintings. I have been busy getting the paintings ready, have been adding bits to them and tidying up edges etc..

As well as being on display here I am trying to get them all onto my website 

Bills been busy varnishing some of them too...

There will be a mix of acrylic, oils and melted wax paintings..

All of the paintings will  be a little cheaper if you come to the house and buy them as I do not have any postage to add...

There are many bargains to be had... and 25% will be going to the O'Connor Haematology /Cancer Unit at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital where my son is being treated.

A Break Away From It All !!

 A friend of mine has this beautiful shepherds hut to rent out for holidays... Wonderful views looking over South Shropshire.

''Shepherds Rest''  is situated on a working farm just outside Ludlow.

It is fully fitted out with kitchen, bathroom and shower. 1 double bedroom, wood burning stove etc.

Ass you can see its wonderfully cosy in there..

Its an ideal base to visit Ludlow and surrounding areas and I think it may be available for the Ludlow Food And Drink Festival weekend of May 13th,,,

If you are interested in renting this beautiful holiday home with a difference you can contact my friend Vanessa on the details below..

Friday, April 21, 2017

Fundraising Art Sale

Well its been ages since my last post on the blog..hopefully I will get some more done on here in the near future!

I have been busy getting paintings ready for my sale next month,,,
So much to do and the time is flying by so quick...

I will have lots of paintings on canvas ready to hang,, some done on canvas paper that can be framed behind glass,,and miniature paintings on their own easels.

Paintings will start from just £6 for the miniatures ,,,lots of bargains to be had in all sizes and subjects,

I will also have my shabby chic quote slates on sale as well as my greetings cards.

We will be putting up our Gala Marquee outside the front of our house to house everything...

It starts the weekend of the Spring Ludlow Food and Drink Festival ,so hopefully there will be a lot of people around!!

 The slates are £4.50 each or 2 for £8.00 
A good sense of humour is required!!!

I have already raised enough money --£880 in the past year to buy 4 Dyson fans for the O'Connor Haematology /Cancer unit at the RSH where my son Jim is being treated.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


While we were away on holiday last week I sold 2 paintings off the affordable british art website. The one above " Acacia Sunset" is 5ft wide x 1ft deep... not very good for sending by courier as its very likely to get smashed in half en-route.. The last one this size I sold was going to my ever patient hubby bought wood to make a box for it..It worked well but was expensive to do..£50 just for the wood!  So Bill suggested we deliver the paintings rather than risk sending them. After checking it out on line I was able to find 2 nights B+B in Weston Super Mare, which is nearby the destination of the paintings for about the same as it would cost me to send them so we are having a mini-break in Weston ! I always include a little pressie to say thanks to the purchasers, and you can see the difference in size of those  in the above photo.. The miniatures really do look tiny up against the Acacia Sunset!

Tranquil Evening is also going along to Shepton Mallet.. We are looking forward to meeting Ange on Thursday morning when we drop the paintings off... then we are off to Glastonbury for a meeting with Steven,, so killing 2 birds with one stone..
Then in June we will also be hand delivering 3 paintings--this time to Looe in Cornwall.  Also by coincidence to another Ange !!!  This Ange is a collector of my work, having bought and commissioned quite a few paintings off me in previous years,, We are on holiday in nearby Bude , and it made sense to take the paintings with us as again one of them if a big 3ft x 3ft and its always a bit nerve racking sending them via courier -no matter how well you pack them! It will also be lovely to meet with the lovely lady who has bought so much of my art work!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Holiday In Blackpool

We are back from a 5 night  holiday in Blackpool with our friends... huge big comfy bed ! Celebrating my 56th birthday and me and Bills 16th wedding anniversary... where has the time gone? The hotel was just a few yards from everywhere we wanted to be.. good job as my mobility was bloody crap to be honest..add to that side effects  from the new tablets,that were prescribed for the side effects of the steroids LOL....but never mind we still had a good time!

We had a visit to Madam Tussuad's.... Bill took a real shine to Hilda!!!

And a great night in Ma Kelly's...... THE place to go when in Blackpool.....always a good night in there!

Had a mix of weather-- some sunny spells and some showers...
and you don't need champagne flutes to enjoy champagne either LOL....

The Funny Girls were great--but it isn't the usual full show on a Tuesday so be warned if you intend going ...any other night but Tuesday..

Then on Wed night we had a taxi up to The Curry Queen at nearby Bishpham, we had been there once before--last year, and couldn't wait to go again... £10.95 for a 4 course meal...amazing value ,amazing food and amazing host in Kam.... we were laughing all night at his quips.. The lentil soup was lovely and another diner suggested we put a teaspoon of the hot sauce from the pickle tray into it... just beautiful..

Tandoori chicken was to die for...

The nan bread actually looks small on the photo, but nearly filled the table when it came out--never seen one so big before!!  The main courses were all very good complaints from any of us..  We will def be back there again next time we are in Blackpool

As it was St Patricks day the day before we went to Blackpool , Ma Kelly's was covered in decorations everywhere.... and this little chap caught my eye hanging over the stage.. one of the bouncers who I had nicknamed Big Steve kindly fetched him for me! The Guinness hat was given  to me by one of the group of firemen who were in the bar.. it reminded me of my dear Dad who had a hat like it  on at my wedding reception 16 years before..happy times...

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...