The Art of Sandra Busby...
Painter of Playful Light in Glass and Still Life

Friday, 27 November 2015

Work in progress!

Wow, it really has been a while since I last posted! But I do have very  good reasons for my absence.

The first reason, is that I have been building a brand new Website. And as you've probably noticed, I gave my Blog a fresh new look to continue the theme. This was all very time consuming but well worth it!

The second reason is of course that Christmas is coming up. And with Christmas, comes commissions. The problem is, that often I can't share them here in case they are seen by the recipient!

But, the best reason of all is that my Art Studio is completely upside down and inside out... 
Frankly unusable!

...Erm... how is that a good thing? 

Well, it's because my Studio is relocating this December and the conversion is already underway. The best part is, that I have a large empty space that I was able to design from scratch, even down to where the windows will be!

So I thought you might like to see my design. Of course it isn't at all to scale and the descriptions are very basic, but it just shows roughly the position of everything...

...The relocation means that I will be able to spend significantly more time in the Studio than I have been able to before, meaning I will be producing paintings at a far steadier rate than in previous years. I can't tell you how excited I am about that!

But of course until it's complete I don't have anywhere suitable to paint, which is frankly painful... and I mean REALLY painful, but I have to focus on what's ahead, rather than whine about the now.

Anyway, I have also very recently joined Instagram and this is where I will be sharing photo's of the studio as it progresses, so that's where to look if you want to follow along!

Meanwhile, I can at least share this progress shot of one of my Christmas commissions...

 I don't have a shot of him all complete yet.
As you can imagine, I got completely lost in his beautiful eyes!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Oil Paintings of birds...

So last week I shared with you my three little singing birds in the form of pencil studies, titled 'The Dawn Chorus'. If you missed them, you can see them here.

Today I am sharing the paintings that followed from those drawings, titled...

'The Three Tenors'

It's not my usual subject, I know... but as they say, a change is as good as a rest. And sometimes it is good to get out of the comfort zone. And besides, I really enjoyed painting them!

Let me introduce them individually.

This is Placido the Warbler...

 'Luciano', the Robin...

 and 'Jose', the Sparrow...

...I think they're excited because they are about to go on their winter holidays!
The mornings will be quieter without them and I'll look forward to seeing them back in the Spring. But for now, the nights are drawing in, the clocks go back shortly and the temperature has dropped enough to get the log burner going again... Sigh...

Never mind! With Autumn comes new inspiration, new ideas and new paintings!
So watch this space!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

'The Dawn Chorus' Part 1...

After my last highly colourful post, I thought your eyes might need a bit of a rest, so I decided to share something a little more subtle with you today :0)

I wanted to paint a trio of singing birds, but before painting them I needed to sketch them out, to make sure their positions worked together as a three. 

It turns out, I got SO absorbed in the sketching process, that they turned in to a trio of little drawings in their own right...

3 x 8" x 8" Pencil Drawings
...So, I painted them the following week!
I'll share the paintings with you very soon :0)

Meanwhile, can you believe that November is just around the corner? And on the 1st, my next Quarterly Newsletter comes out. So if you haven't already signed up, you might like to...

Friday, 25 September 2015

Commission Accomplished!

 Hurrah!! At last I have finally completed my large marble commission!

Mind you, I think this one ought to come with a Government Health Warning! 
Um... I suggest you get your sunglasses out...

'Marble Island'

24" x 30" Oil on Stretched Canvas

...And here it is on the easel...

...I apologise if you have been temporarily blinded!

Anyway, now it's complete I can start on the many other projects I have in my ever growing queue... and I have lots! So, watch this space!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Much love...

We lost a very special person yesterday. Someone our family loved dearly.

It's not something I would wish to write about anywhere else, but I do feel a need to pay a tribute to him, since he is my most valued and respected mentor and he is a big part of why I have continued to paint through periods of self doubt.

This is not a new painting, but I think it relates well. The antique decanter and wine glass belong to him, and he particularly enjoys the red wine it holds... And when he saw this painting for the first time, he said to me "Now, you are a real Artist." And coming from one so talented as him, meant the absolute world.

So, to my Uncle Danny, I raise my glass... I love you and I want to thank you for guiding me to the place I am today. 

I will see you one day, in that great big art studio in the sky...

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Something a little different...

While I have been working on my large marble commission, I received some some rather lovely feedback from Patience Brewster, the Artist behind her company's whimsical Christmas ornaments.

In honour of 'Artist Appreciation Month', she has asked me to answer a few questions and whilst I'm a little uncomfortable with the possibility of appearing slightly arrogant by posting so much about 'me', those that know me well, will know that's not me at all :0)

So, here goes...

1. As a child, do you recall a significant moment when you felt truly affected or inspired by any particular artwork or artist?
As I child I was easily inspired by anything creative! My own doodles in the margins of my maths book would fill me with inspiration, if only to 'pretty up' my other school books! But I didn't think for one moment that I could actually draw properly and I never dreamed that I could one day paint a 'real' picture. I always thought everyone elses drawings were much better than my own, so if anything, other art just made me think I could never be as good! 

My 'significant moment' came much later, as an adult and was quite simply from seeing a sketch in someones sketchbook. That was my turning point. I immediately knew I HAD to do it myself, so I brought a sketchbook of my own. It took me six months to even open it because I was afraid to spoil the pages! It's only my own stubbornness and reluctance to give up that got me through the first few years. I learned a very important thing during that time... that in order to be a good Artist, I had to first allow myself to be a bad one!

2. As an artist, what do you hope to convey with your work?

Simply to see the beauty around us. We all spend so much time with our eyes open, but we often don't 'see' much at all! For example, when was the last time you walked in to a building and looked up? When did you last pass a snowy field and see not white, but pinks, yellows and blues? That is the difference between how an Artist sees and how a non Artist sees. And that difference; those simple details that are so often missed such as playful light and subtle colour changes, is what I hope to convey on a canvas.

3. What memorable responses have you had to your work?

The best moments ever, have been when I've made someone cry! And I've done it a few times before... Of course I mean that in the nicest possible way! To see someone overwhelmed, for example by a portrait of a loved one who is no longer here, is quite emotional. When the tears roll, I know I've done a good job!

4. What is your dream project?

Hmm.. that's a tough one! I have lots! I would love to make an instructional DVD. I would also like to publish an Art book. But those things are maybe for one day in the future. For now I have recently been asked to illustrate a book, so if that does actually happen then I will be really proud of that! Meanwhile I have an exhibition to prepare for in May next year and another in the Summer 2017. So, my project for now is to get a new body of work together for those exhibitions. 'Is that a dream?' you ask... Well looking back to when I very first began, exhibiting was absolutely a dream and one I never imagined would be realised! So I guess it really is a dream, only now I'm actually awake!

5. What artists, of any medium, do you admire? (Famous or not!)

George (Danny) Elliott B.E.M. 

I am lucky enough to have known this man throughout most of my life and he has been of tremendous encouragement and support to me where my art is concerned. I would say he is a big part of the reason I have stayed determined through both ebbs and flows. He is an incredibly talented man, a Master Mason, Sculptor and incredible Artist. He is probably the wisest man I have ever met.

Rosa Branson M.B.E
Rosa is the leading lady of 'The Worlington Movement', which is a group I have recently been invited to join. Her work is simply gob-smacking and to see it in the flesh is nothing short of astounding! I am lucky enough to be painting alongside her in November. This is probably the closest thing I'll ever get to learning from an Old Master, since she actually learned from one herself!

...I hope you learned something new about me! Meanwhile, don't go away because I will be posting a WIP of my commission in the next few days! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 2 September 2015


It seems like forever since I last posted! But I am knee deep in various arty projects and commissions right now, so bare with me because posting will be much slower for a bit, just while I try to get them done. 

The Marble Commission in my last post is, at least well underway and I'm looking forward to completing it so I can resume my usual pace!

Meanwhile, I thought I'd share a drawing I did for a friend of mine.
This is Marley, her very handsome and soppy Great Dane who has very sadly made his way to Rainbow Bridge...

A4, Bristol Board. Carbon Pencil.

Oddly, aside from his kind and soulful eyes, my favorite part was drawing the drool hanging from his chops! Bless him!

Hopefully I will be back soon with an update on progress :0)

Thursday, 13 August 2015

WIP... Commission.

 I've never been very good at being 'between' paintings. 
Over time, I have realised that anything more than a short absence from my studio, can actually leave me feeling quite frustrated and even anxious!

Now that we have finished decorating the hallway, I'm relieved to finally get back behind the easel! And first to take the stand is a commission and I'm really looking forward to getting stuck in!

It's quite complex piece but I do love a challenge! And this time I am painting large ...Well, large for me anyway at 24 x 30 inches.

Anyway, I thought I'd share the first stage with you...

The colours in this will be very 'tropical' when it's complete :0)
Meanwhile I am planning to get another one or two pieces on the go over the next couple of weeks.

So I have plenty going on in my studio!
 What's going on in yours?

Thursday, 6 August 2015

A Different Kind of Art...

I thought I ought to write a post to explain my recent absence! 
I haven't stopped painting, but I have been painting things aside from canvas, such as woodwork!

Yes, we have been knee deep in decorating and re-doing the entire hallway and landing has been an epic task! 
We pretty much gutted it and started again.

Of course my favourite part was the 'styling' and I really love how it turned out!

...It's now the perfect place to sit with my feet up over a cup of coffee, with an Art book to browse through :0)

All but a few final touches it's about done, which means I can get back to painting on canvas! And if you read my recent Newsletter, you'll know that I am extra specially inspired to paint, as I'll be exhibiting in May 16 with The Worlington Artists, who I have recently been invited to join!

...That, however is another story altogether and I will be posting all about it soon. For now I just wanted to pop my head in and let you know that I'm still here and I'm buzzing with new ideas to paint. So watch this space!

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Oil Painting of a Soft Boiled Egg and Soldier...

Well, as much I enjoyed painting the raw egg featured in my last post, I wouldn't particularly want to eat it! 
So, I decided to boil one...

'Taking a Dip'

8" x 8" Oil on Cradled Gesso Panel

Not that I particularly like boiled eggs either - particularly those with soft yolks! Yyyyuck!

I'm more of a Toast kind of girl... or Crumpets, dripping with butter and spread with a thick layer of Marmite... Mmmmmmm... 

My Husband on the other hand, HATES Marmite and won't come anywhere near me when I've eaten it! 
Nope, a soft boiled egg is right up his alley.
Well, they say opposites attract... I guess they're right!

So what do you like for breakfast?

Friday, 3 July 2015

Oil Painting of a Cracked Egg...

'Your Place, or Mine?'

8" x 8" Oil on Cradled Gesso Panel

I haven't eaten eggs since we had chickens.
My romantic vision of chickens grazing on corn and grass was rudely squashed when I found our three girls squabbling over a huge, mucous covered slug. From that moment on, I never ate another egg! 
That said, I am fine when they are hidden in cakes or biscuits... Just not in their whole form.

That didn't stop me from wanting to paint one though and I enjoyed every brushstroke of this!
Once cracked, there was no room for rearrangement, so I just had to crack and hope... Luckily it plopped in to the perfect position!

So, how do you like your eggs in the morning?

Friday, 26 June 2015

Oil Painting of Marbles

'Marble Mountain'...

20" x 24" Oil on Stretched Canvas

Having sold the first large painting in my 'Finding My Marbles' series (you can see it here), I decided to do another one, larger still, but this time with a warmer feel.

The first was mostly cool blues and cool greens, but this time I chose to focus more on the warm reds and oranges. They are similar but with a different feel I think.

So, have I found my marbles yet? 
I certainly think I have found most of them, though that's not to say I wont feature more marbles in future paintings... I'm just going where my head takes me :0)

Now... Where next?? Hmmm......

Friday, 12 June 2015

Oil Painting of a Pomegranate...

Sweetness & Light...

18" x 14" Oil on Stretched Canvas

...And I got to eat this beautiful thing... Nom nom nom... Mmmm...
I LOVED painting this. Those rich colours are a JOY to paint. And the tiny little details in the skin...

...Yes, every brush stroke was a pleasure!

It is bigger than it looks at 18 x 14 inches.
My fabulous studio assistant, Geoffrey, found himself having to look up at it with his brand new googly eyes!

It was one of those paintings I was actually disappointed to finish and I was very tempted to keep... 
I am still thinking about it!

So how about you... What's on your easel right now?

Monday, 1 June 2015

Belle of the Ball...

 'Belle of the Ball'...

8" x 8" Oil on Stretched Canvas

The question is... Am I finally all marbled out? Have I actually FOUND my marbles? Am I in danger of losing them again if I paint more?


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

More Marbles...

It seems that I can not get enough of painting Marbles! 
 Here is my latest...

'Roll With It!

8" x 8" Oil on Museum Quality Gesso Panel

This one took quite a while to paint. 
Capturing their 'glassiness' and transparency can be tricky! 
But actually, the real thing is even more effective than the photo, so I am happy :0)

 As always it was really difficult to capture how the painting really looks. Propping it on a display easel seems to do it more justice I feel!

So, the question is, am I all marbled out?
Well, no, I don't think I am quite there yet... Maybe one or two more :0)

Watch this space!!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Marble Mania!

Continuing with the Marble theme, here is Marble no. 3 of my 'Finding my Marbles' series...

'Alone Time'

8 x 8 inches, Oil on deep canvas

This one seemed to take an age to dry and my 'marbleous' (snort, snort) assistant Geoffrey was getting a little frustrated with all the waiting around...! 

...But now Marble no. 4 sits in it's place and I'll be posting that soon. It's another small one, but I'll be doing another biggie soon too! I wonder how long it'll be before I'm sick of marbles? I'm not even close yet!!

Happy painting all!


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