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I write this whilst the world is under threat from the coronavirus, it feels like I am watching a movie which can’t possibly be reality but unfortunately there seems no way to wake up from this nightmare.
Currently I am in Dorset with my daughter, my husband (and cats) are in Qatar and we aren’t allowed to return back there as the boarders are closed; my husband could fly out but then wouldn’t be allowed back, which wouldn’t be good for his work. Qatar hasn’t even reached its peak yet, so I can’t see them opening their boarders anytime soon (a sensible decision really) but makes me wonder when we will all be together as a family again, September….
It is hard to find a positive considering all the deaths and uncertainty, however, I am spending spring in the UK which I haven’t done for quite a considerable time, and what a wonderful time of year it is! On my once a day allowed walk I have discovered so many different footpaths, love watching the lambs galloping around the fields and the calves curiously approach me as I stand by the gate taking photos. When do we generally have time to just stand and observe? In our garden there is a blue tit making her nest in one of the bird boxes, I literally spend ages watching her and am almost at the stage of naming the blackbirds who come in the garden – my daughter thinks I am slowly losing the plot, actually though, I am just so appreciating being amongst greenery and wildlife after years of life in the desert, makes me realise how much I miss England.
During this lockdown I have been very productive art wise – there is only so many times you can clean the house! Serenity the deer and Dillion the donkey both got finished.
Plus a new drawing calling “Motherhood”, of course inspired by all the lambs and how they interact with their protective mums.
I am now starting a calf drawing, fortunately I have so many great refence photos to choose from.
Hopefully by the time I write my next blog post we will have come out of this situation and even more importantly, have a vaccine. Very worrying times at the moment, stay safe everyone.
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Baxter and Barley’s portraits will be a surprise Christmas present. Look at this amazing photo of Baxter! The client persevered with her photography (and my fussiness) and managed to get this great shot! Such a wonderful expression and great lighting. A good clear reference photo makes all the difference and this one is a pleasure to work from. Whilst I get started on Baxter’s portrait, the client is trying for more shots of Barley, as they aren’t her dogs she is doing a great job of undercover photography!
Below is the initial sketch of Baxter, more to come once I have completed all the basics. At the moment just getting the main details and fur direction in.
Starting to add more depth of shadow.
Working on the final detail, just realised I need to do his disk!
The finished scanned image.
Client kindly sent me a photograph of Baxter framed, love her choice of frame.
Well another wonderful photo, this time of Barley, the client really has got the photography side down now! Love the enquiring look. Below is the initial sketch.
Pretty intense few days working on Barley, the reality is that Christmas is looming…….. Am working on getting all the basics in place, adding light, shade and structure.
Continuing to add the basics.
Slowly but surely. From an artists point of view, Barley is easier than Baxter because he has some ‘white bits’, black animals are notoriously difficult and you have to rely on good lighting. Barley’s white sections instantly give interest to a drawing and make him unique.
Now at the final detail stage, my favourite part!
A day of analysing and putting the final touches to Barley. Below is a scanned image of the final portrait – is his expression dreaming of running through the fields, or his dinner?
As you have probably gathered from my website, I love animals. In Dubai I used to work for a pet-sitting company and have to say it was the most enjoyable and stress-free work I have ever done; I couldn’t believe I was actually being paid to do it! I had a regular dog-walk (a chocolate lab called Marlin) and together we used to run intervals around the Springs compound. He lost weight and looked great, plus I never had to do a boring treadmill workout. I also had lots of regular cat-sitting clients who I enjoyed seeing when their owners went away. I ended up a Business leader with the company but I really looked forward to my hands on pet-sitting clients.
Now that I am back in Dorset, I came across a company called Pawshake and thought why not do something I really love and doesn’t actually feel like work! It also fits in perfectly with my artwork. So I signed up with Pawshake and offer cat-sitting in the Poole area. If you are looking for someone to look after your furry companion whilst you are away, you can book me through Pawshake.
At the moment I am living in Kuwait but my hometown is Poole in Dorset. It is so nice to visit there and get a good dose of greenery before returning to the “dust bowl”.
Whilst in Dorset, Poole park is a favourite place to visit, not least because of all the feathered residents. As I will be returning to live in Poole in the summer of 2016, I thought it was about time I drew some creatures from my roots – there have been a lot of camel portraits lately! Having taken loads of photographs I decided on this Canadian Goose, little did I realise how long all those feathers would take, they were painstaking to do. It was worth it though, I am quite happy with the result. He will come with me to the UK to be framed and I hope to take place in the “Art in the Park” exhibition this year in Bournemouth. Will be so nice to be living back in England, even though the umbrella I am sure will be used a lot!