February

Hi again and thanks for joining me.  Here’s what I’ve been up to this February ….

Last month I had a stab at a couple of still-lives at my Brettenham art class on Friday morning with the very wonderful Ed Cooper.  You always learn so much from his lessons.  We did a session on tone and texture.  It hadn’t occurred to me that I should consider the light and shade on even the pimples of an apple or the dimples on a satsuma –  and observe how a highlight appears more dispersed and fragmented on a rough textured object than on something smooth. All things I must put into practice when it comes to my next still-life which I look forward to having another stab at in due course – but for the time being – surprise surprise, it’s all about dogs again.

I spend my evenings drooling over photographs of hounds on Facebook, thinking they are quite the most beautiful art form, so I am going to do a series of them in oil on board to exhibit at Suffolk Living, Felixstowe in September. The wall-space is now booked…!

In my last blog I talked about the extraordinary little dog I met at a shop in Ipswich; the Wild Man of Orford as I called him.  I’m pleased to say I’ve finished his portrait now and popped it into the gallery. He’s the first in line. He lent himself to pastels beautifully and I’m quite pleased with the result – I think the checkerboard chair sets him off to good effect.  I will pop back to the shop with it next week to gauge the owner’s opinion/approval.

So here below is a picture of a Galgo, (Spanish Greyhound) who was rescued by a charity in Spain called Galgos del Sol.  Such beautiful dogs.  I’d rehome them all if I had a large enough house! I will add her to my card collection for now – Presley is her name – and auction some cards for this very worthy charity. Please see Facebook link  ‘GDS Needle Nose Helping Dogs Like Me Auction’ for details.

In doing this portrait, I realised that oil is the most joyous medium and actually now, my favourite. There was no grid-work used for this portrait and no preliminary drawing, yet everything seemed to fall into place – the most liberating experience ever!

 

 

I urge you all to have a go!



January

Inspiration doesn’t come in bucket-loads at this time of year.  All this mizzle and all that cooking at Christmas has given my creative energy a battering but, hey-ho, I’ll be back to the easel again soon and firing on all cylinders.  Ed Cooper’s art class at Brettenham village hall on Friday mornings never fails to motivate and I’m looking forward to my second lesson of the term.  I am learning how to paint a Cyclamen – whilst secretly yearning to step back into my comfort zone of  ‘the dog’.

I spied my next portrait-to-be in a shop in Ipswich last week – a Shitzu-cross.  It took me a good half hour to clock him.  My daughter and I were busily trying on clothes and suddenly realised that there was life inside that crumpled green blanket by the desk.  More than life, in fact, real character to boot for there was a very striking little auburn-coloured face peeping out.

For some reason, that’s how I imagined Socrates to look, all curly-haired, pop-eyed and snub-nosed and there was a touch of ‘the wild-man of Orford’ in him too, (well, the sketches I’ve seen of him that is, I haven’t met him personally, of course!) but in the nicest possible way; this little dog was charming.

I shall endeavour to add him to my gallery in the next few weeks.  I can’t imagine a better candidate for pastels.

p.s.  I would like to raise my glass to Nicki Porter, Graphic Designer and Greyhound-lover extraordinaire, for creating this wonderful website for me.  She’s a genius!

 



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