Sunday, 30 November 2014

Bramley and Blackberries

Bramleys and Blackberries is one of those marriages made in heaven. For me, they just shout 'crumble' all that we need is the jug to be filled with some hot, thick home-made custard to finish it off.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Pastel sketch of Tom

This is my second week painting Tom and as I wasn't able to choose a position whereby I could do a profile or three-quarters view, I decided to change medium, so this is my pastel version. The one thing Tom does move is his eyes, so to help ring the changes from the last sitting, I tried to catch him looking to the side. Tom does have a very florid complexion so it is always a challenge to keep the effect of the light working within the correct values whilst still showing his high colour.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Oil sketch of Tom

After many months away, it was great to join the old crowd that meet weekly at the Scout hut. This was my efforts at the end of the session.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Rioja Richard

​Richard is a good friend and we enjoyed an evening in his company drinking Rioja. need I say more..... ;-)

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Builders Break

I am still busy working on commissions and plans for the re-build of our house (destroyed by fire in February) have resulted in my somewhat sporadic posts here. Our builders are due to start in November, which we really look forward to, although I imagine the noise in my little studio may encourage me to venture out to try my hand at more plein-air work. On the other hand, if this pastel is anything to go by, I may find there is plenty of rich pickings to be found right here! ​This is Viktor, a polish builder, who has been kept busy this summer working at my daughter's property. I liked the way he covered his balding head to protect it from the hot sun, and his overall shape and gesture was just asking to be captured......

Friday, 26 September 2014

Demo at Hethersett

I am being kept busy with portrait commissions, not to mention the house re-build so I am not very active with my blog at the moment. This pastel was a demoI did recently for the Hethersett Art group here in Norfolk. It features the usual criminals : glass , citrus (for its saturated colour note) and the essential light and shade :-) The demo was part of a celebration so it had to be completed within a two hour session which included a coffee break. A great group and a lovely lunch afterwards! Thank you Grace for the painting of me hard at work!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Lemons with dutch bowl

​I have been looking forward to paint this bowl for some time but my earlier efforts were thwarted. It was a Christmas present with some crocus bulbs, which I duly planted. They were just coming into their own when we had the house fire, and were left sitting swimming in water (for a long time) before being rescued; the bulbs were past hope but the bowl was intact . Today is the day the bowl finally got painted :-)

Tuesday, 19 August 2014


This is my latest painting of my friend Arthur. Some of you will remember him in my painting' Veteran'. I got to know him well during that time which resulted in us making a lunch date once a week in his sheltered accommodation. I bring the sandwiches and he has the teapot warming ready for my arrival. At nearly 95 Arthur still manages to live independently and I was keen to paint him in his own surroundings un-posed. This oil measures 16 x 30 inches.

Saturday, 9 August 2014


I've had a short break with my new born grandson and returned home to find that these​ sunflowers were just asking to be included in a still-life, I've never actually painted a sunflower before, (a terrible admission to make) and I now know why they are such a popular subject; they have characters of their own! It feels good to be back in the studio :-)

Saturday, 19 July 2014

New born

​My new born grandson, three days old ..... paint what you love and love what you paint :-) one of the many reasons I have been a bit absent from this space!

Saturday, 21 June 2014


I have not posted for a while as I am still busy working on commissioned portraits so it was good to take a day out to paint these Irises.​Since our fire nearly four months ago, I make sure I always have some flowers in our small annex, which has become our temporary home. They brighten the space and help lift spirits. I don't find flowers particularly easy to paint so as soon as the portraits are finished I intend to get a lot more practice :-)

Friday, 6 June 2014

Rice Pattern

It has been a while since I last posted, but I have not been idle. Since the fire I have been inundated with requests for portraits. It is as though people are suddenly aware that I am the artist who had the fire. As a friend put it, 'most people just advertise....' I am trying to keep the still-life going and have ventured into some plein-air as I need to escape the scaffolding, so watch this space! ​This is my latest pastel, consider me a masochist with all those elipses but I really loved the way that these rice pattern Chinese bowls are translucent when the light transmits through them.... inspiring!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Green jug and citrus

This is the second still-life I have posted since our fairly catastrophic house fire. It has taken me a while to settle down and begin to get back into my stride. We have finally had the news we have been waiting for, as the Insurance company has agreed to settle after two months leaving us in limbo. We can begin to move on at last , and hopefully I can get my work back on track :-)

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Pastel Society annual show

I am very happy to say that these two pastels have made it through selection and will on show at the annual Pastel Society exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Chinese mug with Citrus

This is my first pastel having got my studio up and running again following the house fire we experienced late February. It felt good to do something relatively normal once again :-)

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

From the Ashes

Many of you will already be aware that on 28th February we suffered a catastrophic house fire that has left our 15th century cottage a complete wreck. I have been fortunate that my studio only suffered water damage and the fire service were able to drag out artwork and equipment. The past two weeks have been taken up with sorting out somewhere to live temporarily and to salvage what we could from the ground floor which has remained reasonably intact although very water damaged. We have been overwhelmed by the help and support we have received from friends and the kindness of strangers (who have given us temporary accommodation in a holiday let near to the house). I am busy sorting out new flooring for the studio having ripped up what was there to dry the room out. We are making good progress and although I have been unable to do any painting since the fire I am hoping that the studio will be back in action very soon, and I can take up my paintbrush once again:-)

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Pastel sketch of Sandra

Today we had our second and final sitting with Sandra, the young german woman. I chose to work in pastel and feel that I managed to capture something of her. I prefer to do a fresh piece of work at each sitting as I feel it makes me work harder and keeps me on my toes; the time constraint of two and a half hours has an energising affect, or perhaps I like to kid myself that if my work lacks accuracy in these studies at least they have not been laboured over :-)

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Green coffee pot

This still-life was set up for a workshop; the coffee pot was found at a flea market and a gift from the friend I was with at the time.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Oil sketch of Sandra

Sandra, a young german woman, sat for us at the scout hut yesterday morning. I have painted her once before as she has modelled for our life group, and I enjoyed the opportunity to paint her face which has such a natural beauty about it. These are the stages of this two and a half hour sketch:

Friday, 14 February 2014

Broken Heart

These chocolate hearts were a gift from my 'old veteran', 94 year old Arthur whose portrait you might remember from earlier last year. I thought it would be fun to set them out in readiness to paint them, today being 14th February and all that.... I broke the unwrapped heart into two lovely shapes, but having turned away for a few minutes, my bengal cat had other ideas; she will vouch that they taste good, it is just a pity the shape I was left with was not :-)

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Life sketch of Tom

This oil sketch of Tom was painted from life at our regular fortnightly drop in session. Although the model gets regular breaks we aim to work on one sustained pose for the duration of the session, giving us plenty of time to mess up :-) This was my initial grisaille:

Wednesday, 12 February 2014


Citrus fruit is one of my favourite things to paint. The jewel like colours and the transmitted light makes it a theme I keep coming back to!

Friday, 7 February 2014


This is a portrait of Patrick, 94 years old and one of life's special people! I named this portrait 'Timepiece' because of the story Pat told me whilst I was painting him. His watch is an antique Rolex oyster which he recieved on his 18th birhday before he joined up with the Royal Irish hussars for the 2nd World War. He was shot and lay wounded not knowing if he would survive and looked at his watch feeling their time had run out. He is still going strong; I felt the watch had to be a component of the painting and that is also why it had to be called 'timepiece', it incapsulated them both!

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Oil sketch of Freddie

This is the third time freddie has sat for us at the scout hut and I have to admit he is something of a favourite for us all. Freddie not only sits beautifully (rock steady) we also admire the broody eyes, full lips and the good colour he has in his skin tones. As most of us are a little more advanced in years, we came to the conclusion it is an appreciation of all the things that we begin to lose with age :-(

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Tea with fortune cookies

I found this teapot on ebay; I have been looking for a chinese teapot with wicker handle and being extremely fussy it has taken some time to find one that fits the bill. Now I am aware that as an an artist I should not be focusing on the object but rather on artistic concepts.... but a lovely subject is a great way to start! Stages of work in progress:

Friday, 31 January 2014

Pastel sketch of Jennie

This is my effort for the second sitting with Jennie at the scout hut. Rather than taking a painting over two sessions I decided to change medium and 'go for it' again. When you know from the outset you are going to have several sessions on a portrait the approach is different. It has to be one thing or the other or we lose it ..... that is my excuse anyway:-)

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Life study of Sandra

This small life study was painted on Tuesday morning at our fortnightly life painting session. The model was Sandra a lovely young german girl (I have not done her justice). The paint is still fairly wet so I had a bit of trouble with glare when taking the photograph.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Pastel demo of David

David stepped up to the plate, when I asked if he would be prepared to sit for me during this demo for the Thorpe art group this morning. He thought he was coming along to watch until I pounced:-) I think you will agree he has a great face, not only that, he is a lovely man, which helped to make the whole experience, a very pleasurable one! These are the photographs of the demo taken at each model break:

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Preserved Fruit

This is my second still-life using some of the goodies we were given at Christmas . This time I have worked in oils; I often paint a pastel and oil version of a similar set up. Now this is completed we can consume the fruits of my labour!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Oil sketch of Jennie

Jennie modelled for us at our regular morning session at the scout hut. I thought that her cap and the neckline of her top gave off a bit of a 'sixties babe' vibe. It was her first ever modelling session (she can usually be found at her potter's wheel) and I think/hope she enjoyed the experience as she has agreed to sit again next week. This is how the sketch progressed, once again I chose to used the limited palette of Ivory Black, Titanium white, yellow ochre and cadmium red, although I did have some transparent red oxide on the palette for the grisaille.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Framed and ready to go

This pastel 'Unfurled' is framed and ready to go to the 'Works on paper' art fair to held in London 5th - 9th February. If you are in London at that time and you are passing....

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Citrus jarred

This pastel caused quite a bit of 'dust up' at home. My husband thought that citrus inside the jar was a little bizarre but that the pastel redeemed itself a bit as the peeled clementine was ok...... oh well, you can't win 'em all :-)

Friday, 17 January 2014

Pastel sketch of Paul

We had a second sitting with our model Paul at the scout hut this week. I decided to do a pastel sketch and changed position to keep myself on my toes:-)