Enjoying the Challenge

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:

8 Maids-a-Milking  Resized

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.

9 Ladies Dancing Resized

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.

10 Lords-a-Leaping Resized

Other paintings were inspired by a day our at the Pembrokeshire coast, and a day at the Monmouth Show in August.

Aberaeron Harbour, Pembrokeshire Resized
Aberaeron Harbour, Pembrokeshire
Monmouth Show Double Harness Scurry Driving Resized
Monmouth Show Double Harness Scurry Driving






Dreadlocks Sheep Resized
Dreadlocks Sheep



Prize Winning Bull Resized
Prize Winning Bull












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.

Hogwarts girl in our driveway
Hogwarts girl in our driveway
2014-09-21 13.06.17
Artist Charley at work
2014-09-21 13.06.28
Watching the girls paint in my studio
2014-09-21 13.06.23
Using Grandma’s paintbox


2014-09-20th Izzy & Charley Resized
Queen and Princess on their thrones

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