The fictitious but believable painted personality that is Pearl remains a constant companion in the studio. Some readers will remember how she was popping up everywhere during our ten years in Sheffield. Nowadays she rarely occupies the easel where a more figurative style of painting gets priority. When asked to paint her in a bespoke scenario this summer, it was hard to refuse. I forgot how fun it was to mix the auburn hair colour, find ways to include Irene the Cat, float 2D pearls around pencil-thin necks, and liberally blend goofy with glamorous. Already the owner of Paddling Pearl, the outdoor sports enthusiast wanted a keepsake from her vacations in Jávea and this is an iconic view of the Playa de la Grava with Cap de Sant Antoni in the background. Thank you dear Chrissie and Ian. Come back soon!
Music: "Three Day Weekend" by Driftmob Orchestra
Xiquet al Far Verd, which is Valenciano for Boy at the Green Lighthouse, won a contest hosted by La Federación de Organizaciones de Xàbia (Jávea) to celebrate 125 years since Sorolla first visited this beautiful coastal town. As Sorolla fans know, the colours and light in Jávea were a source of inspiration for several of his paintings. In 1896, he painted Xiquet de Jávea (read more here). My version is based on a photo I took of a lighthouse in the Port when we lived there. FORXA's aim was to print the winning design on shopping trolleys. The 1st prize was shared with another local artist, Mary-Louise Boardman.
Music: "Cello Suite" by John Lenehan
Lucky me! I got to paint a beautiful podenco called Maisie, probably short for 'amazing' because she is a tireless jumper and hill climber. For this reason she appears on a mountaintop in the portrait. In person she is affectionate and just a real pleasure to be around. Huge thank you to Ruth for this fun project.
Music: "Very First Smile" by Bellflower
You don't have to have a backbone to be beautiful. Invertebrates comprise the majority of the animal kingdom, up to 97 percent! Whether they have eight legs or no legs, tentacles, or live in shells and under rocks, painting these creatures is a pleasure.
Music: "Answers" by Morgan Kibby
To draw and paint feathers always seemed a daunting and tedious endeavour but if I don't think about it too much, and just focus on the shapes and tones, it magically comes together. Furthermore, birds have such dramatically different eyes, which are fascinating and fun to paint! Check out the video and see if you agree.
Music: "La La Love" by Animal Island
Cast: chickens, ostrich, medieval bird, sea gulls, puffin, gannet, duck, hoopoe, owl, cockatiel, penguins, humming bird, Socarrat tile birds, and real swans on Lake Geneva.
As a fisherman's daughter from Nova Scotia I have a lot of appreciation for the work required to bring the ocean's bounty to our tables. Fishing family, friends and fables have inspired my artwork. Here is a selection of sketches, studies, clay tile designs, and finished paintings.
Music: "Sierras" by Orchard Heights
Some lovely people entered my life through an exhibition in Edinburgh a few years ago, including Rona, who later sent a gorgeous photo of flowers in a jug from her mother. I am very grateful for her inspiring image, which was used as a reference for this painting.
Music: "Peach Blossom" by Nathan Wang
After seeing this video you cannot doubt the ability to manifest dreams... or paintings! Todd the Dog is a fictitious character featured in many paintings as Edmund's loyal companion between 2009 and 2014. Otto, a real dog, was born in Valencia in 2016. He suddenly materialised as a temporary lodger at age six months. He is still with us, thankfully. Paintings of Todd the Dog were premonitions of Otto's colouring, short legs, long body, big snout, wild flapping ears and irresistable brown eyes, not to mention the unexpected way each dog found its new home. (Todd was lurking in Edmund's recycle bin.) Be very careful about what you paint!
Music: "Big Ben" by Judson Crane
Over the last decade a few hundred paintings of female characters have come out of my studio. Some are fictional and others are portraits of real people. To celebrate March 8th, the International Day of Women, here is a random selection.
Music: "The Wonder of Them" by Lisle Moore
One of my favourite superheroes is Todd the Poet, who happens to be my brother. While he has appeared in some small watercolours, this is the first life-size painting of him. It is based on a magical moment in 2014, the happiest day of his life, the day that he and Stella got married. Stella often says, "Todd is my knight in shining armour." Indeed, he is.
Music: "Meadows" by Hans Zimmer
Canadian painter Wilda Goyetche uses the artistic name Wildago to sign her work whilst balancing the needs of an attention seeking, sausage shaped muse named Otto.
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