Thursday, August 30, 2012


This was a lot of fun to do but I admire my friends that do miniatures almost exclusively because it's extremely hard work on the eyes.

 It's tough when you are only given a small size to paint in but it's even tougher, when you are a rather chubby Ted and you're asked to squeeze into such a tiny space!

The actual painting is 2.7 inches by 5 inches. Its photographed here with a double mat.

I think I might frame this one up ready for the studio Tour in October

EDIT: Well, it won't be going to the studio tour because it sold today and will be journeying to its new home in France next week :)


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fitting a whole load of emotion into a teeny tiny space

Now.... I just LOVE a challenge :) 

A few of my friends (Mary Jansen, Deb Keirce, and Ellie Sethman) who all do exquisite miniatures have been trying to persuade me to do a miniature too.... 

I know... this is a major difference to my usual full sheet paintings which are about 22 by 30 inches on average... 

So my challenge is.... can I fit a whole load of emotion into a teeny tiny space???.... I'm thinking about 5 by 2.8 inches  because you should all know me by now... I love to depict the emotions of life through my paintings....

I've been working on my idea today.... I hope I don't end up feeling Restric-Ted like my bear did when I squeezed him into a box this morning so I could sketch out my outline (grin)  :)

well... my Ted's just had to help me celebrate attempting my first ever miniature didnt they... I think  Ted thinks Miniatures are a little on the small size  to fit his chubby self in though :)


Friday, August 24, 2012

Craf-Ted with Love

This scene takes you back to the days when toys were meant to last, when they endured generations of love and play. They were made out of love and with such skill. 

The child's grandfather is patiently making a Teddy for his grandson. The child looks on with awe and wonder. He can almost imagine his Ted is alive. The small wooden toy watches Grandfather finish his arm.... He is a toy crafted with love

 'I was made to love you
 I was made to find you
I was made just for you
Made to adore you
I was made to love
And be loved by you.
You were here before me
You were waiting on me
And you said you'd keep me
Never would you leave me I was made to love
and be loved by you.'  
Lyrics from 'Made to Love' by Toby Mac

Its painted on a full sheet of Arches 140lb cold press paper.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Pennsylvania Watercolor Society’s 33rd International Juried Exhibition acceptance

I am very happy to let you all know that 'Spinning a Tale' has been selected for the 2012 Pennsylvania Watercolor Society’s 33rd International Juried Exhibition. This makes three years in a row that I have been accepted into this prestigous exhibition. WOW! Thank you to Paul Jackson who was the juror for selection.

 The exhibition will be held at the State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA and will run from November 4, 2012 - February 3, 2013. I hope that those of you that are in the area will be able to go and see this exhibition.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Woodcarver WIP 3

Painting people is such a pleasure. I am really enjoying bringing this woodcarver to life and capturing his thoughtful creativity and focus.

I still have a little work left to do on his sleeve darkening some of the pattern a touch but other than this the top section is complete.  Then I can focus on his arms and hands.

A couple of people have asked if they could see a close up of his face so here is one.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Woodcarver WIP 2

I've finished the background and am now ready to begin working on the woodcarver and the child.

 I kept to a pretty limited palette for the background because although I felt it was important to include it as it helped create atmosphere, I didnt want all the detail in it to detract from my subjects and what they were doing.

My board has a tiny bit of a curve in it which doesn't bother me at all while painting and isn't usually noticable when I take a photo, but because this background is full of straight lines its a little noticable on the window sill. I promise you its straight really, although I suppose with an old building it could be slightly warped :)

I've removed the masking now so its a little easier to see my outline drawing. A couple of people have asked me about whether I find the masking fluid removes pencil outlines. It does a little, but I do two things to try to reduce the chance that my outline will disappear when using MF.

1. Draw in the areas that you know you are going to mask just a touch darker than the rest.
2. Apply the MF thickly (I often apply 2 layers to get an even covering, and  a thick enough covering to allow me to peel off the masking fluid in one piece once I have finished. This both preserves the fibres of the paper a little more and avoids you having to rub on the pencil marks causing them to get fainter or disappear altogether.

Hope this tip is useful :)


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Carrie's Friday Feature Artist!

It is an honor to be the featured artist on Carrie Waller's blog this week. Thank you Carrie :)

 I had a series of questions to answer including  How did my artistic journey start? Where was I born? What’s my favorite thing to paint and why? Do I have go-to paints/colors, what are my favorites? and many more great questions including a fun speed round the beginning of which is below :) 

 Please visit Carrie's blog  'Carrie's Creations' to read my interview  in full. Do take the opportunity to see some of her beautiful artwork too.  

Thank you again Carrie for featuring me.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Woodcarver WIP 1

It's a dull damp day today but when you paint you can transport yourself to any world so it doesn't really matter. I am using another photo that I took at the pioneer village as my main reference for this next painting. I've made a couple of alterations and additions though to help me convey 'my story'.

I have masked my two main subjects while a paint the background. Yes, I do get through a lot of masking fluid doing this but it applying it allows me to focus on the background without having to worry about preserving any key whites on my subjects because sure as anything if i don't a splatter of paint will fall on just the wrong spot :)

As you can see I have finished about half of the background. I decided to keep it fairly true to the reference in content as the old style workshop will help create the atmosphere I am aiming for but I have altered the colour palette and am using the quin golds, burnt orange and transparent brown oxide glazed with layers of indanthrene blue to create the darks.

Can you guess what the woodcarver is making?