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 or Socrates as I called him.  I have since discovered that his name is Coco and he’s a she and I’ve finished her portrait now and popped it into the gallery. She’s the first in line. Coco was the perfect candidate for pastels and was a joy to draw.- I think the checkerboard chair sets her off to good effect. 

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. Presley’s story is a tragic one. She was knocked down by a car, prior to being rescued by GDS and has very recently undergone surgery. As if this wasn’t sufficient trauma for her, she has since contracted distemper which means her body is constantly in spasm, like having permanent hiccups, but she is bearing up with ultimate grace and dignity as the videos of her on the GDS website testify. She’s an adorable girl who will be looking for a forever home once she recovers from her ordeal. Tempted? I certainly am.

In doing her portrait, I realised that oil is the most joyous medium and actually now, my favourite but that’s half thanks to Presley for being such a mesmerising subject. 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 and to pray for this noble hound in the meantime. Why not check out the Needle Nose Auction on the above link in the meantime and help her and her friends to live a sweeter life.

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