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My husband has very kindly framed them for me, and now all the paintings for the show are ready for hanging. I did have a problem though, and one had to be re-done. Since Wallis paper is not available in the UK, I bought a large amount before leaving the US and shipped it over. Unfortunately, I seem to have bought a bad batch (as my pastel artist friends know, Wallis paper has been having some problems over the last few years). When I gave the paper a tap on the back to knock off loose pastel dust prior to framing, a great deal of pastel fell off! I don’t use fixative on my pastels as it dulls and alters the colours, but I decided I would try giving a light spray and then touch up the bad bits. It didn’t work well, as I didn’t like the surface after spraying it with fixative. As I hadn’t been particularly happy with that painting anyway, I decided to redo it on a different paper, and this is the result:

Monmouth Show Double Harness Scurry Driving

Monmouth Show Double Harness Scurry Driving

Free from the commitments of the show, I then painted a dog portrait – I am very fond of this dog, and wanted to capture his exuberance and alertness.




Paintings for Show Completed

There were only two left to do, but they took a surprising amount of work!

The Reclining Sheep with Piglets took a while because of all those little bodies. I finished it, photographed it, and then realised that I had not done their tails – one of the most important parts.

Reclining Pig with Piglets

Reclining Pig with Piglets

The Old Tractor required all of my drawing skills – it was very like doing a portrait. I thought I had finished several times, but then would look at it again a day or two later and seeing something so obviously wrong. I think I have it right now, and have dared to publish this photo.

Old Tractor

Old Tractor

Working hard again!

After months of not producing many paintings, but entertaining visitors and working on getting the house as we want it, I am now spending many hours in my studio. After contacting a local gallery I was invited to show my work alongside the artist/owner in a Christmas show.

I did these two paintings before contacting the gallery. One shows a gateway in a local sculpture garden, and the other is the pathway that leads to our house that my granddaughters call The Secret Pathway.

Wyndcliffe Court Gateway

Wyndcliffe Court Gateway Resized

Secret Pathway

Secret Pathway Resized

The main theme of the gallery Christmas show is the 12 Days of Christmas, but not the traditional images. I am to do half of them, which I have already started, and also produce 10 to 15 other paintings. This is quite a commitment to have ready for the end of November, so hence the “working hard”.

This is Four Calling Birds. I had fun with this painting, and picked parrots for their brightly coloured plumage.

4 Calling Birds Resized

Eleven Pipers Piping. I found it difficult to fit 11 pipes into the required 10″ x 14″ until I decided to do it in portrait aspect rather than landscape. Even so, there were a great many revisions before I was happy with the composition.

11 Pipers Resized

Twelve Drummers Drumming. For this I decided to try Pastelmat paper, rather than the Wallis that I had used for the others. I like the way Pastelmat grabs the colour, but I was concerned that I would not be able to do fine detail. However, it worked well, and I was pleased with the result. It’s a good thing as I am unable to buy Wallis paper in the UK, but can get Pastelmat.

12 Drummers Resized

I also did a painting of Nine Ladies Dancing, but I fussed with it at the end and spoilt it’s fresh quality – I think I shall try this one again. Watch this space!

June Sunshine

It’s been a long time since my last blog – I’ve been busy, but not managed much painting. Here are three local scenes and one floral:

Gateway to Monmouth

Gateway to Monmouth

Brockweir in the Sunshine

Brockweir in the Sunshine

Raglan Castle

Raglan Castle

Purple Tulips

Purple Tulips

However, I have taken a great many photos to use for reference material. In April we had a two week holiday in Majorca where we visited some pretty coves.

Majorca Beach

During May I had visitors from America that I took out and about around my new home. We went to Chepstow Castle:

Chepstow Castle

Walked through woods filled with bluebells:


Tintern Abbey:

Tintern Abbey

Wyndcliffe Court Sculpture Gardens:

Wyndcliffe Gardens

Wells Cathedral:

 Wells Cathedral

Also in May we had fun at the River Wye Festival:

Llandogo River Festival Brockweir Wye River Festival 5 Resized

Spring has come to Wales!

The storms finally ended a couple of weeks ago, and we have had some reasonable weather since. The woods are full of snowdrops, and daffodils are bursting into flower alongside crocus, polyanthus, forsythia and blossom on trees. I have been in the garden weeding and pruning this week.

Yesterday, 1st March St David’s day, was a beautiful sunny day. We took advantage of the Welsh government’s generosity of heritage sites being free to enter on St David’s Day, and went to Raglan Castle not far from here.2014-03-01 Raglan Castle 1 Resized 2014-03-01 Raglan Castle 10 Resized 2014-03-01 Raglan Castle 16 Resized

Feeling spring-like, I painted a vase of daffodils. I also worked on my deer, which I think is now done.Vase of Daffodils Resized King of the Forest Resized

Rainy January!

We have had a great deal of rain here in Britain for the last few weeks, but the temperatures have been mild. We have been for some very muddy walks, but the scenery is still of Forge Road2014-01-11 14.01.24

This post box is up the road from us – last summer birds nested in it. post box

The river Wye is very full!River Wye

Not much painting going on as we have been looking for a car (bought one yesterday) and we are looking to buy a new kitchen, both of which are very time-consuming.

I did manage to paint a floralConeflowers

and this deer is on the easel in progress.2014-01-22 Deer in Progress



Christmas in Tintern

I have produced very little artwork since my move to Wales in October this year, but plan to get going again in 2014.

A carol service at Tintern Abbey was a beautiful experience, and one that I felt moved to paint.

Carols in the Abbey

We had a wonderful Christmas in the beautiful Wye Valley, and our turkey fryer from America was put to use on Christmas day.


Mist in TinternTintern Abbey in the Mist

Turkey FryingTurkey frying on Christmas Day.

Boxing Day walk

Boxing Day WalkAdmiring the View Drops of Water Sun through the Trees