I am getting A Lifetime of Laughter ready to head off to her new home. A few years ago I met a lovely lady who brought her daughter to my studio here in Cornwall for a drawing lesson. She fell in love with this pencil portrait the moment she saw it and has longed to own it ever since. So as much as I am sad to be taking this picture off of my wall here by my drawing table, I know that she will be so loved in her London home where she is going tomorrow, and that is a very happy thing indeed.
A number of my original artworks are available to own, and a selection have limited edition prints and greetings card. Visit the gallery page and click on your favourite portraits to discover more about them, and get in touch to own your own piece of beautiful art.
As you may know, my pencil portrait A Lifetime of Laughter has been proudly hanging in the Victoria Art Gallery for the last couple of months, as a part of the Bath Society of Artists’ annual show. As this picture didn’t sell I am very happy to have welcomed her back home, so she now hangs on my studio wall once more.
I did receive good news about her stay though, it turns out that A Lifetime of Laughter was the runner up for the People’s Choice award. Although being runner up is not a recognised position, I was delighted to learn that she was so popular with visitors and that she had won the votes of many when she was amongst hundreds of other pieces of art. So thank you to anyone reading this who may have contributed to her success in this way, it really did make my day.
I will look forward to exhibiting this artwork again at some point, and till then I will be glad to have her cheerful company whilst I work. And if you would like a bit of extra laughter in your life, she is available as a framed original artwork, limited edition prints and on a greetings card.
I am very pleased to say that my pencil portraits A Thirst for Life and A Lifetime of Laughter were both shortlisted for the Bath Society of Artists 2021 open exhibition. This is an annual open show where half of the art exhibited is by Bath Art Society members and half by non-members like myself. Places are limited and highly sought after, so I was delighted to be in the running.
For the second stage of the selection process us artists had to deliver our work to the Victoria Gallery in Bath for judging. That meant a day trip and chance to explore this beautiful city, and it just so happened that whilst I was there the Holburne Museum had an exhibition of works by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. What a treat it was to see these Pre-Raphaelite paintiing, drawings and photographs in person. My favourite of the show was ‘Jane Morris (The Blue Silk Dress)’ as shown below, which Rossetti painted in 1868. It really is a stunning portrait which I could have stared at for hours.
From the judging process A Lifetime of Laughter has been selected and will be exhibited as a part of the Bath Society of Artists 116th annual art exhibition. As you can imagine I am thrilled to be one of the lucky participants in this prestigious show.
The Bath Society of Artists 2021 exhibition will run from Saturday 2nd October until Saturday 20th November at the Victoria Art Gallery.
I am delighted to say that my coloured pencil drawing An Apprentice of Indigo is a finalist in the SAA Artists of the Year 2021 competition. From thousands of entries it is one of 43 pictures in the Portrait or Figure category.
This little girl stole my heart the moment I first saw her, the combination of her innate confidence in her mischief, that smile and her wonky fringe meant I knew I had to draw her portrait. An Apprentice of Indigo is part of a pairing with my other portrait An Age of Indigo, such joy at both ends of the age spectrum from these women in their Vietnamese community.
Alongside various prizes which will be awarded by the Artists of the Year judges, there is also a People’s Choice vote, so if you want to check out the entries and place your vote for your favourite, you have till the 9th September 2021 to do so here (no registration is required).
I have been fortunate enough to have two of my pencil portrait submissions – Amur Leopard and A Lifetime of Laughter – highly commended in previous SAA Artists of the Year competitions, so to be recognised again and amongst so much talent is a huge compliment.
I recently spent a really enjoyable afternoon with a photographer friend of mine, Paul B Nash. Paul kindly agreed to take some photographs for me so that I can share a little of my artist’s life in my Cornish studio. The trend for taking selfies has completely passed me by, and I would far rather be drawing than staging arty shots to present myself on social media, so any images of me at work were practically non-existent. Paul is one of those people who excells at whatever he turns his hand to and is a fellow artist also. He has a wealth of photographic experience across a broad range of genres, and I have huge respect for his skill and his vision when documenting the world around him.
So in the middle of a heatwave (I could have timed that better!) Paul and I spent a few hours sharing our love of art and imagery. I now have a wonderful range of photographs that remind me of good conversation, lots of laughter, and capture this stage of my artistic journey beautifully.
Some of Paul’s photographs from this shoot are featured on my website, and a further selection are below.
I am very grateful to Paul for sharing his knowledge and skills with me in this way, and I highly recommend you take a look at his website and enjoy his remarkable photography. It ranges from landscapes to portraiture, wildlife to architecture, street photography to still life, and explores a wide range of styles and inspirations.
I was taking a well earned break and enjoying a cup of tea with the latest issue of The SAA’s Paint Magazine. When I turned the page I was thrilled to discover my pencil portrait A Lifetime of Laughter smiling back at me.
My drawing was Highly Commended in their Artists of the Year 2020 competition, which is a great honour as there are entries from so many artists whose work I admire.
Back in 2018 I also had the good fortune to receive the award of Highly Commended for my pencil portrait Amur Leopard which was also a finalist that year.
Entries for AOY 2021 are now open, so join me and enter too.
My most recent coloured pencil portrait, An Age of Indigo, has been doing me proud in the current Pastel Society exhibition. She has captured peoples imagination with her most expressive face, and has led to a number of enquiries. One woman in particular has fallen in love with her and has given her a new home in London as a gift to herself on her retirement. I am delighted that she speaks to others as much as she does me, and that she has started her new life in the city.
If you too would like some Indigo joy in your life, beautiful limited edition giclée prints and greetings cards are available, just drop me a line for more information.
And if you would like to learn more about the creation of this portrait, you can do with my blog post An Age of Indigo in the Making.
The February edition of the US publication COLOR Magazine features my most recent coloured pencil artwork, An Age of Indigo. I was asked if I would like to be included, which was of course a yes from me, and so I wrote a short piece about this portrait which you can read on the COLOR blog.
COLOR Magazine is a creation of the American artist Ann Kullberg, the first artist I became aware of who worked in coloured pencil, back when I was a teenager. Her realistic portraits were a huge inspiration to me, and I would pore over the book of hers that I borrowed from my local library, in awe of her skill and these seemingly impossible artworks.
This is the second time I have been featured in COLOR, you can read more about the first time I was the cover artist and published in its pages with my post about my step by step guide to drawing A Violet Veil.
Looking back at 2020 in pictures, this is my year in art. Amongst all the other things that life has required, and the particular and unexpected challenges of 2020, making art has remained a constant source of joy for me. There is a certain peace that comes with putting your attention on one task, and the distraction it offers from the regular thoughts when that task is challenging. Being creative, in whichever way it manifests for you, can be a form of meditation. For me it is an opportunity to disappear into something else for a while, to challenge my abilities as well as my preconceptions, and to really focus my attention on what is.
I will never tire of the magic of watching a drawing unfold in front of me. Despite knowing the techniques that I employ the visual illusions of shadows and highlights creating a sense of form work every time, and this never ceases to delight. I love the tangible nature of art, that I have something to show for my efforts, and appreciate the time I get to spend really getting to know the individuality of my subjects in this way.
Top row, left to right: Bonny Miss Bonnie (pastel), Billy the Kid (pastel), Jay (pastel), Pepsi (pastel), Melissa (pastel)
Bottom row, left to right: An Apprentice of Indigo (coloured pencil), An Age of Indigo (coloured pencil), Lisa and Danny (graphite pencil), Barn Owl (pastel), What a Hoot! (pastel)
I am delighted to announce that my coloured pencil drawing An Age of Indigo has been selected to be a part of the upcoming Pastel Society exhibition. This show will be held at London’s Mall Galleries in April 2021. It was due to open in January but due to national restrictions the decision was made to postpone the physical exhibition till the Spring.
All selected works in this exhibition are able to be viewed and purchased at the Mall Galleries website.
This news is a wonderful way to round off the year for me. After being selected to exhibit in both the Society of Women Artists and the ING Discerning Eye virtual shows this year, news that my artwork will be seen in a physical exhibition in a matter of weeks is very exciting. I make art primarily for my own pleasure, and to know that others enjoy it too is always a delight. Though to have this recognition of my skill, and in turn all the years of hard work that have allowed me to draw like this, is really encouraging and appreciated.
Many thanks go to Réhahn Photography for his most inspiring reference image.