Sunday, 30 August 2009

From the Scrapbook......

"The Harvest Field"
Lucy Kemp Welch 1869 - 1958
The other day I mentioned a scrapbook that I kept of paintings that I admired. Collecting them from magazines, newspapers e.t.c. This is another of them by the artist Lucy Kemp Welch. I can't be certain but I'm sure she illustrated the early editions of Black Beauty one of my favourite books as a child and indeed even now. This is a watercolour and I just love the sympathetic way she captures these two old plough horses, you imagine they have worked together for many a year. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do :)
"...we call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words." - Anna Sewell author of Black Beauty

Friday, 28 August 2009

The weekend starts here.......

Thought I'd give you a blaze of colour too sustain you over the weekend. This week has seen a big change in our weather pattern and although we will still have lovely sunny spells, it's time to crack on with some jobs that have been put to the side. The jobs that all too frequently get the " I'll do that at the weekend". So for the next few weeks there will be a buzz of industry. Not that I ever sit and twiddle my thumbs much BUT....anyone who spends time on a computer will tell you it's impossible too come on for just five minutes to update this or check out that, there is always a knock on effect which take a couple of hours from your life. So the moment after I post this the computer will be switched off (well at least till late evening) and I'll tackle those always gonna get done chores. Had hoped I was going to start with an outside job but the rain is again lashing against my window so for now will tackle in doors starting with my studio. At the moment it has also been serving as a dumping spot and I really want too move things around so the bin bags are at the ready.
All the above photographs were taken yesterday morning while I was up at the horses. Those of you who are frequent visitors will know that this is Andra's garden and that I've kept my horses here for something like 25 years and I'm classed as one of the family. Andra is getting on in years will be 91 come November but he still spends his days in his beloved garden and likes nothing better than giving folk walking past a guided tour and a blether. My garden has a few shrubs and plants that started their life in Andras garden, but as I'm always telling him my horses supply him with the best manure in Ayrshire.
Have a super weekend whatever you may be doing!

Thursday, 27 August 2009


"Flaxen Hair" Acrylic 6x6

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I can remember as a little girl praying that I'd get a golden pony with a flaxen mane and tail...well truth be told I'd have settled for any colour but I think every little girl wants a golden pony. Here he is all finished and large as life, doing what he loves most...eating. It's a lovely sunny day and the sun sets his coat alight and his flaxen mane sparkles like a million diamonds. Monkey or not he's a gorgeous wee


My Virtual Gallery

Wednesday, 26 August 2009


Starting to add more colour and define his shape...honestly he does have a shape. I'm quite pleased with how it's coming along but will have too leave it for an hour or so. It would seem the rain which has been pelting down since early this morning has gone off. Time too get out and stretch my legs take the boys a walk and visit Tara and Dougie at the yard. They have a large area in front of the stables where they can stay out....a Godsend in winter when they can't get out into their field or on days like this when they would just plough up the field. Will hopefully manage back this evening with the finished article...till then!!


Started work this morning on another 6x6 featuring the mini mammoth. Early stages at the moment really just blocking in before starting to build colour and then my favourite bit of highlighting. He's not going to be so hairy as he has his summer coat....well as summer a coat as he ever has lol. Off too make some lunch but will be back later so pop in too see how its turning out.

Golden Miller leading Delaneige n the 1934 Grand National by Charles Simpson
I am at the moment trying to clear some room in my studio. I have too admit to not being he tidiest of people but I do keep things in It's just that I never know which pile the object I'm looking for is in. I always, like every artist I know enjoy reading about or looking at art whether from books or magazines. The books are easy in that they are stored safely in my bookcase.....magazines I tend too keep for a little while then dismantle what I want from them and put into scrapbooks. These are treasures too me and on days when things are not happening at the easel I find comfort in looking through my scrapbook at the images of work that for one reason or another has caught my eye. Looking at them fires me up again to try harder too create something that maybe one day will give someone, somewhere the same spark to put their mark on a canvas. So instead of me keeping them too myself every now and then I'll share, starting with the above painting by Charles Simpson of the legendry steeple chaser Golden Miller winning the 1934 Grand National. I love the action in this, even the clouds seem too be moving. I can feel the effort the horses are putting in and the jockeys are right too he buckle. You can almost hear the birch being whipped from the last fence. Wonderful!!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

The Mini Mammoth.....

The mini mammoth

Dougal or the mini mammoth as he's sometimes fondly called.....I say sometimes cos mostly he get's called, well let's just say words that can't be used on here for fear off being banned lol. He can be a bit of a monkey at times although he is always very sorry afterwards...mostly cos he wants released from jail lol. But for once he is the stable star.....though I don't think Sea the Stars is quaking in his racing plates. Dougal is the model (forget the stick insect look) for my fat, hairy pony paintings. "The Hairy One" sold first back in June at Dunkeld and yesterday when I went to collect my paintings from Kilbarchan I discovered that "Big Hair, Little Pony" had found a new home at 23 years old he's finally found his calling in the horse world.....I'm planning more hairy pony paintings as I type, his never sleek summer coat is getting fluffy again as autumn approaches.

"Big Hair, Little Pony"
"The Hairy One"

Saturday, 22 August 2009


"Best Friends"
Oil on Board 12x10

While the bulk of my work is sold through galleries or privately from my home studio I also do commission work. In fact back in the beginning when I skipped in daily to my day job in evenings and weekends I was painting horses, dogs and ponies to commission, and when I started full time painting they were the bulk of my income while I tried to get work hung in galleries. Both forms have their rewards, with galleries you are creating your own pieces, what you want to do, and people who know art are buying YOUR work, its a tremendous buzz. Commissions are a little different but just as rewarding. I love when distance allows and I can visit my subject spend time with them and take my own reference photos. The visit is invalueable as you also get to see first hand the interaction there is with the horse, dog, pony e.t.c. with their owner. I can off course work from your own photos though they must be yours and not photographs you have had professionally taken. Commissions are priced by size, by the number of subjects and whether they are head studies or full body poses. They start at £250- for a 8x12 head study. If you are considering a commision why not get in touch with no obligations to discuss what your looking for.


"Morning Work" - a study

Acrylic 6x6

I joined this month's virtual pARTy kindly organised by Linda and Kim. Linda also supplied the beautiful image reference for all all too work from. Allowing for time zones everyone's work should be completed by midnight today Saturday 22nd. You can view all the interpretations at the Virtual pARTy.

I'm pretty much out off my comfort zone doing something like this as the words daily painting bring me out in a cold sweat lol I may add I do paint daily but completing one every day, too much pressure. My first mistake was doing it in a 6x6 format as I feel it has a squashed in feel about. But when all is said and done I enjoyed doing it and the time flew in....time fly's when your having fun and I can't wait to see what everyone else has done.


Available paintings

Photo Blog

Thursday, 20 August 2009


"Sleeping on her Feet"
Oil on Board 8x8
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I love the autumnal feel this painting has and the way the colours reflect on the white Charolais cow. Never fails to amaze me how something so big can sleep standing up...just like horses there is a locking mechanism behind the knee which allows them to do I just collapse lol

Tuesday, 18 August 2009


"Last Light"
Acrylic 6x6
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Really enjoyed painting this wee seascape this morning. It took me back to May when we were hanging our goup exhibition at Dowhill Farm near Turnberry. Each night after we had struggled, juggled and cursed why we were hanging an exhibition of artwork we were rewarded on the way home, by a feast of tranquility. Mother Nature set the sky alight with a blaze of colour finally petering out to soft hues which eased my frazzled mind.......hope the painting works the same

Photo Blog
Available Paintings

Monday, 17 August 2009


The Scraggy Tree
Acrylic 6x6
Ripening Crops
Acrylic 6x6
Big Hair, Little Pony
Acrylic 6x6
£150- SOLD
Just back from delivering these three paintings to Kilbarchan for the Art Off The Square exhibition. The exhibition is taking place at Kilbarchan East Church Hall from 20th - 22nd August and if anyone can make's well worth a visit if not for the fabulous selection of work by some talented Scottish artists, then the home made baking and tea being served is too die for :)

Sunday, 16 August 2009


"In The Roots"
Acrylic 6x6
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Been a bit blowy here today in Scotland, there is definately a change coming in the air and in my surroundings. The country walk I use every morning is changing it's colours, the rich lush greens of last month and the bright coloured flowerings are dulling. Brambles are peeking out through the hedgerows and the grasses are turning gold and yellow. Did this little painting this afternoon, it's an old fence post that has been almost lost in the overgrown hedge and undergrowth at the moment there's just a hint of the rust colours that will prevail come the end of the month. I kind of like this slowing down period.

Perks of being an Artist...

"Reflections and Ripples"
Acrylic 16x16
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"Lush Pastures"
Acrylic 24x24
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"Arran Has Snow"
Acrylic 20x20
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One of the perks of being an artist is there is never a shortage of painting's for the walls. The drawback in some case's is they become part of the furniture and blend in so well you tend to forget about them, as it the case of the three above. You can find them in my Art From Scotland Gallery blog at the moment but they'll be taking off to exhibitions soon. Another reason I hang my paintings as soon as they are framed is not only to give a show to clients who come in the look out for a painting but to protect the frames. Anyone who is an artist knows what it's like when a frame takes a knock, it's easy done if they're on the floor placed against a wall. Just takes a little tap but can mean having to re-frame. Mine are mostly hung in the hall with the only draw back being if they're are a few exhibitions on at once I tend too looked Well I'm off to start another wee one hope you all are having a great day.

Thursday, 13 August 2009


This sweet wee cow was having a siesta when I was taking her photograph and she has a look of "Go away and give me peace" lol. I didn't disturb them too much and she was carrying on with her wee snooze when I left. That's one of the good things about cows they rarely over do it and make for good models...though they can be prone too curiosity. An artist friend had a run in with a herd once when she was doing a spot of plein air painting. Not being very confident around big animals she took off when they appeared. When she returned she discovered they had licked all the paint off her that made for some interesting cow pats lol.

Photo Blog
Available paintings

Saturday, 8 August 2009


Acrylic 8x8
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Been a bit busy these last few days and this wee painting has been staring at me from the easel making me feel guilty it wasn't finished. Finally got sat down this afternoon and after a little while of getting reaquainted I got back into the flow off it. It's sometimes difficult to know when your finished but I feel it's done and have prised myself All I need now is a title I'm thinking "Sweetheart" but if you have a better one I'll be pleased too hear it :)
Thanks for dropping in!

Friday, 7 August 2009


"Petal" Acrylic 6x6 £150-

"Going To Get Wet" Acrylic 6x6 £150-

"Rain Gathering" Acrylic 6x6 £150-

"From Top of the Hill" Acrylic 6x6 £150-

Had a lovely trip up to Aberfeldy yesterday to deliver these four paintings to the Gallery . The Gallery is having a opening on this coming Saturday which will feature work by the artists Dronma and John Nelson and also new work by the gallery artists. It will be well worth visit and if you can manage on Saturday you can also visit the Highland games at Wade's Park.

I had hoped to have loads of sunny photos from the Sma' Glen but in typical Scottish weather it was a bit overcast going through course the minute I got to Aberfeldy the sun came out and you could have roast an Ox on the street lol. Anyway this is probably the best of the bunch, which sadly doesn't show it of at it's best or give you the impression of how small it can make you feel while driving'll just have to come visit for

Monday, 3 August 2009




Busy day at the office today...even if it doesn't look like it I've been working hard. At the moment I'm working on a commission which is a little overdue. Can't let you see it's progress as that wouldn't be fair to it's future owner, but it will appear on here in due course. I'm also going to be busy this week, today I had to send of my reply that I would be taking part in the Art Off The Square exhibition at Kilbarchan. Tuesday I've got to go pick up new frames from my framer R&I Framing Ltd, in Kilmarnock. Thursday I'm off to the Aberfeldy Gallery with some paintings, I'm praying that it will be a good day so I can get some photos taken. So it's going to be a dash this week.
Sketched this wee foal headstudy and gave it a light wash with Raw Sienna. I find when I'm doing a commission it's good to have something else to work on so that I can swop when the concentration and flow starts to wane...well I think I'll have a wee cup of tea and then get down too the business of painting it.
Thanks for dropping by :)

Sunday, 2 August 2009


"The Scraggy Tree"
Acrylic 6x6

Now I know this is a bit off a scraggy looking tree but honestly, that's it's appeal for me. I love that it's a little rough round the edges, and that you see through the holes in it's jacket. As trees go this one has a lived in feel and it will have seen a few comings and goings in it's life. Last year it looked even rougher than this infact there was quite a bit of bare branches and too be honest, I didn't think it would last much longer. Well I've been proved wrong and it now looks just fine. The road swings round and up the hill and there' I'm not going to tell you. Isn't that half the fun of a painting noticing little things each time you look and making your own story
Thanks for the visit and hope you drop by again soon.