Sunday, May 26, 2013


"SequoiaSecoya14 board
Well I must admit she was giving me trouble, but, I persisted and decided she wouldn't beat me. John encouraged me to keep going. Sometimes painting is a mystery my brain plays tricks with me and I tend to listen to the voice who says " Oh so you think you can manage to work on Secoya we'll see about this one". Consequently a lot of stops and starts. Like a horse having a bad day with the rider!

Sequoia came all the way from Kentucky when she was 4 years old, and now she is 8 She & Holly, her owner, are best friends ,very comfortable together.

Willow, the dog in my last blog, often takes the trip to the Stables and is well behaved just minding her business enjoying her outings. It's a beautiful area lots of hills and dales including a place called Happy Valley great for good walks lots of trees and interesting places for Holly to spend time with her two best friends taking in good fresh air and time to think before her busy day starts working on her pottery classes.

Painting a black horse probably is a hard painting to achieve, reflections that seem to be the hardest to work on and make look natural along with bone structure. Horses come in all shapes and sizes from looking regal to Sequoia who is a sweet girl not highly strung a friend that will give a lot of pleasure through the years and other than being fed and watered and having a good home  she will have many happy years to come.

It has been a wonderful opportunity to learn more about painting animals. thanks Holly.


Friday, May 17, 2013

"Willow" Smile for Me!

"Willow" Oil on 8x10 board

I met Willow a lovely lab at our Local Potters Studio last year, I had decided to work on some pots for fun. Holly, the potter, would let Willow come into the studio and after some attention to us Students she would settle on her bed in a corner of the room, dozing as she listened to us girls chatting away quite content.

I loved her colour and her enthusiasm, bright button eyes just sparkling and full of fun.

It went through my mind I would like to try and paint her if I ever got the chance. That came when I asked Holly if I could have some pictures of her horse Sequoia, Wanting to get a close up of her for painting or
practice painting her.

We managed to pick a bright sunny morning and met Holly at the Stables, as it turned out Holly, Willow and Sequoia were already out in the sunshine. Willow gave us a great welcome,as Labs do, then off she went for her morning run around.

John took pictures of Sequoia and then had the opportunity to catch Willow just right. So I was happy with our trip going home with some good pictures.

I have a Favourite site a couple who live in Wales making a super job of their work painting animals very realistically. Pet Portraits by Melanie & Nick.

My paintings have a long way to go but, I would love to achieve a similar style. Willow's painting is far from looking "like" it seems. We all have our own style of a painting,

Willow's coat was interesting to work on the more I looked the more subtle colour came through. lavender grey, tones of sienna mixed with white and yellow ochre. generally I think there is a good likeness, I have to practice squinting and recognizing subtlety of lights and darks. It never ends!

The more you know the more you realize the process is never ending. It must be a passion !


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Christmas Gift Erected and 11 Apartments to Rent!

Bird House with 11 apartments and free suet balls every day!
 Christmas Gift Erected and 11 Apartments to Rent!

We were given a very interesting gift at Christmas a beautiful Bird House, a replica of our own house. However we  couldn't use it till Spring this week,  but on Thursday afternoon a deep hole was dug and a  large wooden 4x4 post erected. A hand made base was fitted to support the house and voila there it was in all it's splendour: a residence  for Purple Martins.

Hanging from the base are two wooden birds holding suet balls.

We are trying to encourage the Martins as it seems they are very keen on Mosquitoes, but birds of any sort really which certainly will be great for us, the flight path is pretty good for easy access, and water is available from the nearby pond which hopefully all goes towards having a comfortable residential apartments with all facilities!

Our son in law Darryl has made a super job and it makes the garden bright and cheerful.
Thanks Darryl, we will enjoy watching the birds in our Guz Over (canopy) while having a cool drink and taking it easy.

Babs & John

Monday, May 6, 2013

Charlie & Woody

"Woody & Charlie" 11x14 oil on board
Charlie chocolate lab and Woody English lab.

I had painted a picture some years ago of these two boys when Woody had just joined the family. We were amazed that Charlie was obviously quite happy to befriend little Woody and this was the result. Since of course little Woody has fully grown and his personality is vastly different from Charlie who is of the more nervous variety and not fond of water, while Woody is always carrying his ball as soon as he hits the grass he's ready for a play for hours if that was possible. Charlie however is quite content to sit by anyone and watch the goings on.

The reason I have worked on this second painting was to to see the difference of style and Hopefully increased ability of Painting. I know I am tooting my own horn but, the family have awarded me encouragement to keep my practice up.

That's a good sign I think!