Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Kittens.

First of all a big thank you for all the emails , private messages , phone calls and hugs sent to us since yesterday.It means such a lot to know that so many people understand.
As you can no doubt see from the photos above there are some new additions to the family.
It has turned out to be good timing-my daughter Becki knew she was having these two bundles of fun several weeks ago. They have certainly helped heal the pain of losing Smokey and Gizmo yesterday.
Becki had grown up with the old ladies -as they were known-since she was just 3 years old, and although she had moved out from her brothers house where they lived 3 years ago, she still saw them.
I got a text from her this afternoon asking what I thought about the new kittens being called Smokey and Gizmo---I think its a fitting tribute to two wonderful little cats,so the dark one is being called Smokey and the black and white one is Gizmo.
We went around to see them this afternoon-- they are just gorgeous-full of mischief.
Smokey hasnt got the hang of pulling her claws in when walking on the carpet , and Gizmo has decided the best place to sleep is on top of the sky box!
They will be spoiled rotten with Becki and Wayne, and if they turn half as good as their namesakes they will be lovely little cats.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sad Day

We have had a such a sad day today.

My two old ladies have been put to sleep at the vets this morning.

Smokey and Gizmo were 20 years old and have been the most faithful and loving of pets anyone could wish for.

We knew we couldn't keep them going for long last year.We took them to the vets to ask his opinion 12 months ago as they had both started to lose weight, he said they would have all sorts going wrong at their age (97 in human years) but if they were his cats he would leave them a bit longer-his words were "you will know when the time is right"

Well the time was right today. Gizmo's back end went a couple of days ago, looked like she had injured herself somehow-she had no muscle tone in her thighs so she could have just tryed to jump onto something -we just don't know.

Smokeys eyes were not good and they were both as deaf as posts, Smokey had been chased by a dog the day before, and only just escaped so a decision had to be made.I couldnt face going through it twice so we decided they would go together.

Its the hardest thing Ive ever done.

They had a tin of tuna before we took them down the vets, and snuggled up together in the basket. The vet was brilliant-so compassionate. She sedated them first and they didnt know a thing about the final injection.

We are having them cremated together and placed in the same box.

We are going to miss them so much-they were such gentle little cats-they had never scratched or bitten anyone.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wye Valley magazine

When we eventually got home tonight there was a message on the answerphone.

Sharon From the Wye Valley magazine had seen the article about me in the Ludlow Lifestyle Magazine and wanted to do an article about me in her magazine!

I rang her back and she gave me all the info about it-then I had to email her my biography and some paintings with all the for sale info about them to go in to the Sept issue!
The mag covers a big range of places,an even bigger one than the Ludlow one covers, but both are out at the same time time so Im getting lots of exposure as an artist.

So I have been busy all evening doing that,Im off down from my study to join my long suffering hubby Bill.

Tewsbury and Ledbury

We called at Tewsbury on the way home from Wallsworth Hall today-the weather was beautiful-hard to believe that it was all completely flooded this time last year. We couldn't resist calling at Ledbury afterwards, as always, there are some lovely shops there!
By the time we got home we couldn't be bothered to start cooking, so called by at The Squirrel for a steak and all the trimmings-and very nice it was too!

Lots Happening!

We have had a very busy day today-we went over to Wallsworth Hall, in Gloucester to meet Simon who runs it.They have exhibitions running all year round and also hold art workshops there too-which they are looking to increase, which is the main reason we were there.
I will be putting the dates of the workshops on my website as soon as we have agreed on the dates.
We had a lovely time-there are some beautiful paintings on display there including some by world famous David Shepard.His paintings of elephants are absolutely amazing.
We were amazed at the variety of work on display-a mixture of famous and not so famous artists there.
I will let everyone know when my work has been selected for exhibition--they run in themes of different subjects.
There were some amazing sculptures all around in the grounds, some made of car parts, some from horse shoes and scrap metal. At the centre was the beautiful golden eagle.
The wellentonion tree was amazing-you could punch it and not hurt yourself--the bark is sooo soft.It really was amazing, but Simon did say he thinks whoever planted it so close to the house didn't realise just how big they grow--its got another 30 feet to go yet!
They have an Artist In Residence, most weeks and we went along to meet the most recent one!--she does the most beautiful pencil drawings-they look completely real--Bills favorite was the beetroot-it was just perfect Her name is Ann Swan and her website is
We had quite long chat about Wallsworth Hall and how things work there.It was very interesting!
We had a lovely lunch in the coffee shop there--can recommend the hot chocolate--the best Ive had for ages!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Morning Mist

Morning Mist
Painted in oils onto a staple free box canvas, this painting is very atmospheric. Swirls of fog surround the tree and bushes in the early morning.
The canvas is staple free and all of the edges are painted to give a contemporary feel. It is strung and ready to hang .
It is one of my recent works,and so is still wet but will be ready to post in around two weeks time--15th Aug onwards.
It measures 20 cm x 50 cm.
The cost of postage and packing in UK is included in the price.
If you are outside Uk please get in touch. £65.00


The daisies and barleys stand out on this grey background, a simple but effective painting, all of the sides have been painted to give a contemporary feel to this painting.
It is one of my very latest ones , so I wont be able to post it until the 15th August when it will be dry enough.
The cost of P+P in UK is included in the price-if you are outside the UK please get in touch.
The sides are staple free and painted for a contemporary feel.
It measures 20 cm x 50 cm.
The price is just £65


A simple but very effective painting. Poppies and barley grasses, against a grey background.
This is one of my latest paintings and as it is painted in oil ,it will not be ready to post until around the 15th August.
All of the sides are painted and staple free, giving it a contemporary feel.
It measures 20 cm x 50 cm
the cost including P+P in UK is just
if you are outside UK please get in touch.

Craft Fair

We had a great day today on the craft fair-the weather was gorgeous and there were loads of people around. It was a very busy day!
I spent some of the time creating some new paintings-in between showing people how the encaustic art is done!
I have got to order some more encaustic irons because I only have a couple left and I know from previous experience that they will fly like hot cakes when we do the next few craft fairs.
We had to rearange the stall a couple of times as the sun moved round--the waxes were starting to melt-so everything had to move into the shade!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Annabels Class

It was a special day for one lucky little girl.
Annabel (on right) celebrated her 12th birthday today. Annabel came along with her friend Beth and her mum Jane for a birthday treat.
Her mum Jane has been to 6 of my classes before and today she received her brooch I award to advanced students.
The girls had looked at the websites and chosen a combination of several paintings that they fancied doing.
They chose a seascape but in warm colurs of yellow ,oranges and reds.
Everyone was surprised at how quickly the paintings developed, and how different they were to each other.The girls were very good at at using the knife for the waves,and needed very little help with it.
The day went well with loads of intervals to listen to what Jake was coming out with--everyone was creased with laughter at him!
We put the birds outside when the weather is good as the sunshine is good for their health--all the neighbours love him and come outside to chat to him!
Today we had the full works off him he didnt shut up all day--seagulls, hellos, good boys, I loves Becki, I loves Bill , Jakes a clever boy,wolf whistles and now he has got the Clint Eastwood-the good , the bad and the ugly theme off perfectly! He started laughing like Jane at one stage which amused everyone!
After we had finished the paintings I got out the encaustic art stuff for everyone to have a go.
They loved it--what Annabel didn't know at the time but will do by the time she reads this-is that her very kind mum had bought all of the equipment off me in order to carry on doing it at home as a surprise present!
She really is a very lucky girl to have a mum like Jane!
I know they will have hours of fun with it.
They went home with something else totaly unexpected--some baby stick inscects and the tank we used to keep ours in!
We gave ours to my sister and they have been busy breeding--so she had some spare ones.Annabel is going to share them with her friend Beth.
I also printed off some photos of them all to take with them as a memento of their day with me!
Hopefully we will be seeing Jane next week for the Birch Tree Class.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ludlow Lifestyle Magazine

I had my complimentary copy of the Ludlow Lifestyle magazine through the post this morning.The magazine will be out during August and September and is featuring art and food.They have done a short article about me and my classes and an advertisement too.
The magazine is distributed over a very wide area-not just Ludlow , but Church Stretton , Craven Arms and all of The Marches .
Copies are sent free to all of the hotels, b+b's in the areas to place in each bedroom.They are also in dentists and doctors surgeries.
They will also be given away free at Ludlows famous Food and drink festival this September.
With around 20,000 expected to attend that alone over the 3 days it mounts up to an awful lot of potential customers for both the classes and painting sales!

New Commission

Its funny how things come about--I have had a lady contact me for a commission after she saw my posting on a campsite forum!
She emailed me and we have now spoken on the phone about what she wants.
Its being left up to me in the main but she wants it to be an abstract based on natural things like plants.
Her dining room is in neutural colours so I can go to town with the colours I use.
I think I have plenty of inspiration here to go on!
We have just planted out some plants we bought at the boot sale last sunday---had some real bargains-- a tray of succulents for £3, and some other trailing ones chucked in for nothing
We had bought some more in pots the week before and I have been out with the camera on macro mode taking photos to inspire me for this commission.


Well we have been sat outside today enjoying the beautiful sunshine and if we closed our eyes we could have been on Brighton beach!
Jake the african grey has learned from somewhere to make a noise like a seagull--we haven't a clue where hes got it from-but then he does a good chicken impression as well and we don't know who's taught him that either!
There is never a dull moment with him. We bought a clicker that is used for training dogs -you click and give them a treat-we used it very successfully with out other bird Paddy the orange tipped amazon.
However Jake now makes the clicking noise and says Good Boy Jake-which is sooo funny!
As you can see they are both outside in the shade where they can watch the fish in the pond--Jake also takes off all the wild birds and has blackbirds, sparrows and lots of other birds song from being outside. When the phone rings he says hello before we have chance to.And you have no hope of talking on the phone near him-he thinks its time for him to show off all of his vocabulary and talks his head off, so you have to take the phone into the other room!
I dont think we have watched an tv program all the way through-we end up watching Jake instead--

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Big Brown Birch Trees

This painting is now finished--Ive never had one that was finished so many times!
It has been declared finished at least 4 times over the past week--then I looked at again and decided it needed tweaking a little.
I am really happy with it now Ive added some more birch trees in the left hand corner.
Its a big piece of work measuring 3ft square, all the sides are painted and its ready to hang. I am entering it into the Ludlow Art Society Exhibition next month so it is reserved for the time being.
The cost will be £300 .
I am still deciding which others are going in to the exhibition-and I keep changing my mind! I will have to decide soon because the entry forms have got to be in by the 1st August.
The painting has been logged with

Gizmo and Smokey- Bath Time!

My two old ladies Gizmo and Smokey are over 20 years old now- considering they live on quite a busy road they have done very well to make it so far!
They live with my son at my old house--I flew the nest instead of the kids when I married my Bill!
Well last week I realised they had got fleas-so after getting them a new flea collar each and spraying the whole house with flea killer I thought the problem was solved. They hadnt been scratching at all and their coats are so thick you couldnt see the fleas.
I thought I would bath them to get the flea dirt out of their coats as they don't seem able to keep themselves as well groomed as they did.
So off we went to bath them--loaded with baby bath and some towels.
When we got Gizmo into the water we realised the problem was not completely solved, there were still some live fleas on her. So much for flea collars!
I quickly sent Bill to vets to get some frontline drops to put on them both .
They seemed to quite enjoy the bath and also the dryer afterwards-I was worried it would stress them out, but they are very laid back cats!
We dried them both with the hairdryer to make sure they were completely dry and then used the drops.
I sprayed the house again for good measure and checked the cats tonight and the remaining fleas were all dead or dying thank goodness.
I dont want that palaver again in a hurry!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Very True

One of my good friends sent me this today and its really true---especially no 11----

Read Each One Carefully & Think About It a Second or Two

1. I love you not because of who you are, but because of who I am when I am with you..

2. No man or woman is worth your tears, & the one who is, won't make you cry.

3.Just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to, doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.

4. A true friend is someone who reaches for your hand & touches your heart.

5. The worst way to miss someone is to be sitting right beside them knowing you can' t have them

6. Never frown, even when you are sad, because you never know who is falling in love with your smile.

7. To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.

8. Don't waste your time on someone, who isn't willing to waste their time on you.

9. Maybe God wants us to meet a few wrong people before meeting the right one, so that when we finally meet the person, we will know how to be grateful.

10. Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened.

11. There's always going to be people that hurt you so what you have to do is keep on trusting & just be more careful about who you trust next time around..

12. Make yourself a better person & know who you are before you try & know someone else & expect them to know you.

13. Don't try so hard, the best things come when you least expect them to.

Tern Valley Vintage Show

We had all the paperwork , camping passes etc , through this morning for the Tern Valley Vintage Show.

We are looking forward to this event-its out first time at this venue but its a very popular event with lots going on for all the family.
I will be demonstrating Painting My Way and have around 60 paintings on display as well.I will also be letting members of the public have a go at encaustic art with the electric iron and melted wax.Its always popular with all ages.

Its held on Sat 16th and Sunday 17th Aug at Sugnall Lower Parks Eccleshall.
There will be helicopter rides on both days and an auction sale on Saturday at 10 am.

There will be military and commercial vehicles, motorcycles, tractors and steam vehicles.
Also displays of Bermese Mountain dogs.

We are taking the caravan along as its a long way from home , so got to get the petsitters back in to look after all the livestock!
Cant wait to meet up with some old friends we have made at various craft venues-they are a great bunch!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Busy Painting

Ive had quite a productive day today--got one of my exhibits finished off for the Ludlow Art Society exhibition--a massive 3 ft square canvas.

Ive been working on it for a couple of weeks now-Have almost decided which others I'm entering too--only allowed to enter 5 so its quite hard to make a decision. This isnt the finished result, Ive done more to it since this photo was taken.
I have logged each stage onto the copyright site

We wont be around for the private viewing of the Ludlow Arts Society exhibition as we will be away doing a big event at Tern Valley-things are getting busy now with lots going on at the moment!
Ive also managed to finish off a couple of other works that were hanging around--now just got to get them varnished when completely dry! A job for Bill---he makes a better job of it than me!

Our Hollie

We had Hollie our grandaughter down from Sunderland with her daddy yesterday to stay over. I cant belive she is now one year old-the time has flown by.
She is now walking a few steps and is into everything!
As you can see she had spag bog for her dinner--she got it everywhere-so into the kitchen sink she went after.
She loves having a bath in there-she splashes water everywhere and really enjoys herself.
She went to bed as good as gold and slept til morning-she is so happy in the morning bless her-just chatters away to herself--but boy were we glad that her daddy Darren was up to change the nappy!!!!

All Worth It

On Saturday night I had a call from Jack, one of the students who had come to paint "Stormy Skies" in class that day.
At the end of class I had said to him that the painting would look good in one of the black frames he had previously bought from me--well evidently he went home and put it in one of the frames and he was gobsmacked at the effect---thus the phone call to tell me!

I get calls from students very often, telling me that friends and relations don't believe that they have painted the pictures taken home by them-indeed we have had some paintings disfigured by people who don't belive that the person concerned could have painted such a brilliant painting in just 4 hours!
Several times now I have had calls from students upset because of finger marks where people have touched to see if the painting is wet-we have been able to rectify the problem each time thank goodness!

I only supply 2 different colour frames-a blond wood frame and a black one.
I find that these suit 99% of the paintings we do in class.
If any of the students want another colour I can get that for them for the following week.
The cost is just £12.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Todays Class--Stormy Skies

Jack and George had my full attention today as they were the only two students in class!!
We did have one new addition apart from George though---this little cat appeared and decided she like us so much she stayed for the duration.
She seemed to like being under Jacks feet the most, and ended up getting a white stripe down her back when she brushed up against his brushes!
It was soon sorted out with some baby wipes though!
She loved all the attention and also the saucer of milk we gave her.It turned out she belongs to one of the ladies who lives nearby.
George has never painted on canvas before-having been a water colourist ,but he soon got into the swing of things.
Both Jack and George were surprised at how little paint was required to produce this painting. Two tiny dollops of black and white were put on their palettes to begin.
I did have to put out a bit more white at the end to do the waves but overall it takes very little.
Both of their paintings had wonderful stormy skies, at first Jack thought he had made his too dark, but as soon as he started to add the clouds in the lighter parts it came to life.
George could see his was a little too pale and added some more black to his sky.
We quickly moved on to the sea , then the hills in the background.The paintings defiently took on a Welsh Coast look and we all decided to call them ''The Gower Coast''
We had some fun using the knives to create the waves--Jack had used it before but wasnt very confident about it and George had never used one.
Both were a bit nervous but as soon as I showed them how easy it was to rectify any mistakes they were happier about it.
We had a couple of practise runs before the angles of the waves were ok but overall they picked it up quickly.
Jack was going home to try it out again in some different colours and George said he will be back too.
Because there were only those two in class we finished early for once-although we had a couple of breaks for tea we were all done including the photos by 1pm.
So a nice early finish means I can go and finish off a couple of paintings that have been hanging around waiting--I might even get round to doing my newsletter that is over due!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lots of Inspriration For Paintings

I took all of these photographs while away on holiday, -the beautiful clouds sitting on the mountain tops to a simple clump of grasses --they all give me inspiration to paint new paintings.
On the way home we came the scenic route, over the narrow mountain road and the views were breath-taking, it was a rather nerve racking drive with massive drops on either side of the roads but the views were beautiful! We ended up at the famous Devils Bridge .
I managed to get just one photo from a great distance of one of the waterfalls.
It had started to drizzle with rain and its really treacherous under foot around Devils Bridge, so we decided not to go round the walks and see all the rest of the beautiful waterfalls that are there.
I will get cracking on some new paintings next week--cant wait to start--I love working on new subjects-some will be for class subjects and some for sale in my various galleries.I will post them on here as I do them for you all to see.