The 12 Days of Christmas paintings I was asked to do (see previous blog) have not been easy, but I have certainly enjoyed the challenge.
For 8 Maids-a-Milking I was asked to do Milk Maid Milk Stout bottles – a beer that was popular in the 1950s and 60s. The gallery owner said she likes the way I do bottles, so she asked me to do this one. Since the beer is no longer made, it was a problem to find a model. I could find the label on the internet as people collect labels, but the only milk stout I could find was in 500ml bottles, which are the wrong size and shape. Finally my husband came up with an idea – the bottles used for Becks beer are the same size and shape as old milk stout bottles. I bought a six-pack and set up a still life that I photographed twice in order to have eight bottles. I then painted them brown rather than the Becks green and put the correct label on them. Here is the result:
I wasn’t happy with my first attempt at 9 Ladies Dancing as I had put 5 ladies in the back row and 4 in front, making a poor composition. I redid the painting with three rows to make a triangular effect that, I think, is much better.
10 Lords a Leaping was a hard composition to get right, and I am still not sure about the very colourful leaping frog in the middle right.
Other paintings were inspired by a day our at the Pembrokeshire coast, and a day at the Monmouth Show in August.
We’ve been very lucky with the weather here this year, and a beautiful September has followed a good summer and spring, with only August having some cool rainy days. This last weekend we looked after Izzy and Charley quite a bit, and I had them both painting in my studio.