The Art of Sandra Busby...

Painter of Vintage Teddy Bears, Glass and Still-Life.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Summer Sketching...

For a change, this week I decided to share a summer sketchbook page with you instead of a painting. I just LOVE looking at other peoples sketches, but I rarely share my own...

There is something SO lovely about walking in Flip-Flops... feeling the air between your toes, the sunshine on your feet... ahh... bliss!

But I can't understand why they are called, Flip-FLOPS, when they should be called, Flip-FLAPS!
After all, the 'flip' sound, is most definitely followed by a 'flap' sound and not a 'flop'.
Ah well, I suppose it'll remain one of life's little mysteries...

Anyway... Poor photo's I'm afraid, but here are the stages it went through...

I always go straight in with pen because I have learned that I'm far too pedantic with a pencil!
So - basic outlines first...

Next, I darken some of the lines to make them appear more three dimensional...

A little base colour and shadow...

And now for some more colour...

And a little text to complete my page...

These sketches are fun to do and easy to squeeze in when time is limited :0)

nyway - if you missed my last post I would be SO grateful if you would take a moment to vote for my painting 'Art, Short for Arthur' to win the Ken Bromley Cover competition!
It's really easy and takes just a few moments... Thank you so much - I appreciate every single one of your votes :0) 

(Don't forget my latest Quarterly newsletter is due on the 1st August, so don't forget to sign up for news, studio tips, exclusive discounts, links to other Artists, plus three draws in to my Limited Edition Teddy Bear Print Giveaway, which closes on the 31st August!) 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Yay!! But I need your help :0)

Wow! I can't believe that my painting 'Art, Short for Arthur' made it to the shortlist of this years Ken Bromley Cover competition! I am so chuffed! 

I would be SO grateful if you would take a moment to vote for my painting to win. 
If by any teeny-weeny chance it did, it would mean my painting would make it on to the front of their next catalogue - Imagine that??

It's really easy and takes just a few moments... Thank you so much - I appreciate every single one of your votes :0) 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

How to Recognise what is an Art Scam... and what is NOT...

 We arty-folk are particularly vulnerable to scammers. 
So just how do we recognise when a person is trying to scam us? And just as importantly, when someone is not!

I was recently contacted by a Gentleman from overseas who was interested in purchasing my latest bear for his wife. He said that they lived on an Island and that the bear would need to be delivered to their local delivery office on the mainland. He also said that to save me the Paypal fees, he would like to pay by a bank transfer.

Admittedly, aside from being delighted that he liked the bear, I didn't give it much thought other than slight concerns about how to pack him safely for a trip all the way to the Far East!
But then I remembered something I had read or heard some weeks before and I suddenly became concerned...
I remembered that there are three clear signs that point to a scam...
  1. The person doesn't give a mailing address
  2. The person is from overseas, often Nigeria or the Far east
  3. The person asks to pay by bank transfer or credit card
Apparently, the way it works is that the buyer massively over pays you and then asks you to refund the difference to a third party. Some time after the refund has been made, the initial funds received are found to be fraudulent.

Anyway, since all three signs were staring me in the face, not knowing much about scams I turned to a professional to ask an opinion.  They said that they were almost certain that it was indeed a scam and that to be safe, I should discontinue contact.

Immediately panicked and upset, I emailed the buyer and said that I believed this was a scam and that for this reason I could not risk sending him any of my art. I then shared his initial email on my Facebook Page to warn others that there is a scammer on the prowl. AND - assuming that his name and details were fake, I also shared that information.

I felt quite smug that I had spotted the signs and avoided being a victim, but this feeling was soon over taken by a massive feeling of guilt and shame, when I received a couple of comments from a third party on the post, assuring me that this man was genuine! I also received an email from the buyer who pointed out, quite rightly, that I ought to have done my own research before telling the world that he was a scammer!

Once again in complete panic that I may have falsely accused a perfectly innocent and genuine person of such a thing, I instantly removed the post and did some of my own research. 
Sure enough, there on his Facebook page were photo's of his wife going back to 2009, carrying around a little teddy bear! And he had a Website too. It turns out that he runs a very highly rated dive resort! Not only that but he had been following my Facebook page for several months and I hadn't even realised!

Well, as you can imagine... I could not have felt more utterly horrible if I had tried!
I sent him a massive slice of humble pie via email and surprisingly he was very understanding... Even more surprisingly, despite my premature actions he still wanted to buy the bear! 
I quite expected him to be extremely disgruntled about it, but he was very understanding - Mind you, that made me feel even worse for a while!

Anyway, I received the perfectly genuine funds soon after and this weekend, hopefully the bear will be on his long haul trip to Indonesia.

I learned a HUGE lesson from this. As much as it is very important to recognise the signs of a scam, it is equally important that you don't accuse a genuine person. 

So, if you ever think you might be being scammed, don't react the way I did... Do your research! 
Not just on the signs, but on the actual person too.
I should also point out that the professionals I sought advice from are not at all to blame; they were right to alarm me - I just should have done my own research too and not simply relied entirely on their thoughts.

As a result of my experience, I contacted the AHA show and asked if they might do a show on that very subject. They did, and you can listen to it here.

And below are two very useful links where you can read more about common art scams and how to avoid them:

 Anyway, sorry about that EPIC post!

Meanwhile, I have started that new Cocktail painting (with a sparkler) that I was talking about, but I can't finish it at the moment since I can't get in to my art studio! 
We are decorating the bedroom and it is currently housing a mattress and a king size bed amongst other things, which means that I may not be able to get back to painting for a couple of weeks. Humph!

I'll leave you with the first layer of the new painting. This one takes a little more forward planning than my usual glass paintings...

...I'll be back as soon as I can :0)

(Sign up for my Quarterly newsletter for news, studio tips, exclusive discounts, links to other Artists, plus three draws in to my Limited Edition Teddy Bear Print Giveaway!) 

Thursday, 19 June 2014

'Alla Prima' Bear...

'Will you pick me...?' 

This little dude, along with several others, has been staring at me from my studio shelf for some time.
I think he was wondering if he was ever going to be painted!

As you know I've been wanting to paint some more bears for a while, but this time I decided to do a more impressionistic series at a much smaller size. This one is 8" x 10"

I really enjoyed the freedom that impressionism allows. Instead of blending my brushstrokes as I often do, I embraced them!
But regardless of this, whether it's to do with my palette or the familiar subject I chose, I think that my style still shines through the lively brushstrokes!

How refreshing it was to walk in to my studio to a blank canvas and walk out with a completed painting from just one sitting!!  
 So, I am definitely going to do a lot more paintings like this!
That's not to say I will abandon my more realist style anytime soon. In fact, I'll soon be starting another cocktail painting... But I like to think there will be room for both.

(Sign up for my Quarterly newsletter for news, studio tips, exclusive discounts, links to other Artists, plus three draws in to my Limited Edition Teddy Bear Print Giveaway!)

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Portrait in Oils...

This gorgeous, gorgeous boy is Chris...

And having met him before, I can tell you that along with his heart-melting good looks, came intelligence, charm, manners, promise...

I found this such an emotional challenge to paint.
 Chris passed away less than a year ago and since I have a Son around the same age, I had to make a conscious effort to detach, which I found to be extremely difficult.

As I painted him, I tried to play the kind of music that I thought that he might like, I painted him in a style that I thought he would like and even though he is not here in the physical sense, Chris is the one who I wanted to like it the most.

  With this in mind, once I had completed the painting, I asked my Son Charlie to approve it - and he said that he would be really happy if I painted him in the same style. I think it's because the monochrome has quite a modern feel, don't you?

Anyway - Chris's painting will shortly be on his way to his family who have no idea of his pending arrival or even that I have painted him at all. I won't be there when they see the painting...
...Probably just as well, I have cried so much already...

'Just because we can not see someone, it doesn't mean they are not there'

Friday, 30 May 2014

A Tribute to Robert Genn (May 15, 1936 - May 27, 2014)

(Image from Wikipedia)

I am so sad to learn today, that on the 27th May Robert Genn passed away.
I first learned of Robert through 'Artists Helping Artists' when he was interviewed by Leslie Saeta and it was the single most inspiring Artists interview I had ever heard. 

I would urge any Artist to listen to this interview if you haven't already. 
I'm certain that you will be inspired by his wise words and it's probably the most valuable thing I can ever share with you.
I listen to it every time I feel a confidence crisis coming on and it never fails to push me forwards.

He reminds me very much of my Uncle Danny; full of wisdom and fascinating tales. 
I would love to hear your thoughts on the interview once you have heard it yourself...

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Painting of a Cocktail Glass...


So, following my last post which shared my process,  here is the completed painting of my latest Cocktail Glass!
 I do love a Cocktail..... or two ;0)

But my favourite kind are the ones littered with tacky umbrella's and cheap plastic stirring devices, overflowing with lashings of cream and chocolate sauce, then finished off nicely with a noisy, crackling sparkler!

You know the ones I mean? The ones which are hard to drink without:

a) Stabbing myself in the eyeball with a paper umbrella
b) Singeing my eyebrows off
c) Thinking I am actually Celine Dion
d) Putting on ten pounds

Ooh... that gives me an idea for my next one! Painting a sparkler could be quite fun!!
Cheers everyone!

(Sign up for my Quarterly newsletter for news, studio tips, exclusive discounts, links to other Artists, plus three draws in to my Limited Edition Teddy Bear Print Giveaway!)

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

WIP - Cocktail Glass...

Okay, well it's not actually in progress anymore because the completed painting is now spending some time drying out in the studio! But meanwhile I thought I'd share the process with you :0)

Stage 1-4:

So here it is having toned my canvas, drawn out my glass and completed two tonal layers to establish my lights, darks and mid-tones...

Stage 5-6:
At this point I have painted two further monochrome layers in various shades of greys. I use a black which I mix myself because I find the pre-mixed ones to be too flat and dull.

You can see that some of the earthy warmth from the toned canvas still glows through these layers... 

Each layer has to be allowed to dry before the next, so it does take patience!
I'll be posting the completed painting next, so watch this space :0)

(Sign up for my Quarterly newsletter for news, studio tips, exclusive discounts, links to other Artists, plus three draws in to my Limited Edition Teddy Bear Print Giveaway!)


Monday, 28 April 2014

Choosing a title for your Painting...

I had fun titling my mini fruit series!

First, we had the lemon, which I named 'Not an Apple'... then we had the apple, which I named, 'Not a Banana'... and here we have...

'Not a Vauxhall Cavalier!'

Well, after all it isn't a Vauxhall Cavalier, is it??  
  1. Does it have a steering wheel? No! 
  2. Does it go from 0-60 mph in 6 seconds? ... Hmm...well that depends on how hungry I am I suppose...
Hehehe ;0)

Anyway, collectively I have named them...

'Traffic Lights'

And why the bonkers titles? 
Well, I'll be sharing my views on titles in the first of my Quarterly Newsletters, which comes out on the 1st of May. So don't forget to sign up if you haven't already! 
Over the year I'll also be sharing news, studio tips and offering subscribers exclusive discounts. I'll also be linking up to some of my favourite Artists!

Click here to sign up

And don't forget, subscribers will also get three draws in to my 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Limited Edition Giclee Print GIVEAWAY, worth £70!!

I am SO excited to 'officially' launch my new website!
 I've been as busy as a Bumble Bee, because not only that, but I am now on Etsy too!  
Please feel free to give me a GIANT pat on the back...  I would do it myself if only I could reach! ;0)

Anyway, to celebrate the launch, I'm giving you the chance to win the Limited Edition Giclee Teddy Bear Print of Your Choice, Silk Screen Varnished on Fine Art, Archival Paper,  
worth £70.00!

So, how do you enter?

 Well, everything on the list below is worth between 1-3 draws.
Of course you don't have to do all of them, but the more you do, the more chances you get to win! 
(I'll be using to select the winner)

 Then all you need to do is leave a comment below, confirming which of the things on the list you have done AND which of the bears is your own personal favourite.  
You can see all of them here :0)

So, here is the list....
  1.  Sign up for my quarterly Newsletter - 3 draws (See last post for Newsletter details)
  2.  Like my Facebook Page - 3 - draws
  3.  Like my Website (the Facebook icon is at the very top of the home page) - 2 draws
  4.  Share my blog on Facebook - 2 draws
  5.  Like my Etsy Store - 2 draws
  6.  Like this post on Facebook - 2 draws
  7.  Become a blog follower - 1 draw
  8.  Subscribe to my blog - 1 draw

I will be announcing the winner at the beginning of September :0) 
I hope you all join in... 

Good luck!!!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

What's the point of a Newsletter?

Sigh.... Recently I came across this photograph of a section of one of my bear paintings. 
It was the one I destroyed a couple of years ago. Somehow the composition just wasn't working and I got SO frustrated with it, that in the end I put my foot through it!   
Of course I regret it now - I'm sure there must have been something I could have done.
Ah well, perhaps I should do it again...?

Meanwhile, I now have the perfect excuse to use this photo, because today I am talking about Newsletters!  
Okay, so it's not 'Newspapers', but it's close enough!
From this coming May, I will be sending a Quarterly Newsletter to those of you 
 who would like to sign up
 Personally, I don't like my inbox being clogged up with weekly newsletters.
For this reason, I have opted to send mine quarterly, around the 1st day of February, May, August and November. 

So - Why sign up? What's the point? 

  • Well, over the year, I'll be sharing studio tips, reviewing tools and showing work in progress
  • I'll also be sharing tips on framing, gift ideas and newest available work
  • I 'll be featuring a piece of work by another Artist in each Newsletter - and if you are an Artist, then there is a chance that one of them might even be you!
  • You will be offered exclusive discounts on selected pieces of my work for as long as you remain subscribed.
  • You will also get three entries in to my Limited Edition Teddy Bear Print Giveaway, which I will be posting about soon. 
My aim is that my Newsletter will be something that you will want to read, because there will be something in it I hope, for both Artists and collectors alike.
 So, if you would like to sign up, CLICK HERE
 (Please be assured that if you choose to sign up, your details will never be shared!)

Meanwhile, if you want to see the other snippets from the bear that never saw the light of day, 
Makes me quite sad looking at it now...

Thursday, 27 March 2014

My Latest Bear Painting, Featured in the Teddy Bear Times Magazine...

 Remember the last time my teddy bear paintings were featured in the 'Teddy Bear Times' magazine...?  

Well, they've only gone and done it again! 
Oh yes they have! :0)

I was contacted a few weeks ago by the magazine saying that they had been told of the story of Bristol Bear and that they hoped I wouldn't mind sharing my part in the story with them.

...Well, of course I had to think about it... for a nano second!! ;0) 

Anyway, naturally I wanted to share the news on here!

I wish I could find a way of giving you a better image so you can actually read it!

I have to say, it's a real honor to be featured for a second time!
I am almost exploding with chuftiness!!

Before I go, I must remind you that in my next post I will be officially launching my new website with a...
'Limited Edition Teddy Bear Print Giveaway!!!'

So if you want a chance to win, watch this space!
See you then :0)

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Teddy Bear Sketch...

It seems that those bears are calling me again...
I know it hasn't been long since I completed the first series, but I have missed those cute, furry faces!

These little fellows sit on my studio shelf and were never used in my paintings. 
I found myself on a little guilt trip, so decided that at the very least, I should sketch them :0)

I might have evolved it into a painting, but the next series will feature miniature bears, so if I do paint these chaps, it won't be for some time.
For now, I have teeny bears in all sorts of scenarios in my head, just waiting to come out on canvas.
I'm excited already!

In other news:
 My website is almost complete aside from the Paypal buttons. These should be up and operational within the next week or so and of course I will add more artwork as I go. 

And to celebrate it's official launch, I'll be doing a 
'Limited Edition Teddy Bear Print Giveaway!!!'

So, if you would like to own any one of the eight bears in the first series of Limited Edition Bear Prints, then watch this space because I'll soon be telling you how :0) 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Apple Oil Study...

'Not A Banana'

And just what is wrong with that title? 
I mean, I know it is of course an apple, but it also most definitely not a Banana!
 And don't you agree that a title such as 'The Apple' sounds a trifle dull? 

Anyway, this small 8" x 8" oil study of what is 'not a banana', was quite fun to paint. 
I spent my time largely with the apple in one hand and my brush in the other, occasionally blobbing my paint on to the apple itself, to match the colours perfectly.
Of course I had to be careful to remember not to eat it afterwards - in which case I might actually DIE!!!
 This would be an awful shame because I still have the third in my fruity trio to do! 

This year I plan to embark on some large paintings. But while I am building my website I have been working small while time is short.
I am SO looking forward to getting my teeth in to something 

Monday, 10 March 2014

A Useful Tip for Checking your Tonal Values...

What a beeeeeeautiful weekend it has been!
After months of relentless downpours and strong winds, all of a sudden we are experiencing 
glorious sunshine! Hurrah!!

It was far too nice to sit a the computer working on my Website, so I only did a little of that.
The rest of the time was spent in my sun drenched art studio. 

Anyway, I completed my apple study. But before I was sure, I decided to take a photo in monochrome to check that the tonal values are working. This is a great way of spotting a problem!

Yes, I am happy with this.

But it looks rather... blah... like this don't you think? 
So, I will post the colour version later this week. 
And by the way, the title of this one is just as bonkers as the title of the lemon! 
So watch this space! ;0)

Friday, 7 March 2014

Sketching Glass...

All of this website building malarkey has sucked up so much of my usual painting time that
I had one of those 'I need to draw something' moments!

So I reached for the nearest thing to hand - laid it down on one page of my pad and sketched it on the other!

Anyhooo... It scratched an itch!

Saturday will be another day building my website. It's coming along, slowly... 
But on Sunday, I am going to paint! 
I'm going to unplug the phone, lock my art studio door and immerse myself in glorious buttery paint!

Oh yes I am!

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

New beginnings...

It's that time! I am FINALLY getting around to building my website!
It's long overdue and it means I'll be absent for a while, but I think it will be time well spent, since my blog is more of an interactive playground for a mixture of all sorts rather than an area for people to see or buy my more refined artwork.

I will also be giving my blog a huge revamp.  
At the moment it seems to reflect my personality more than it does my work and I'd like it to tie in nicely with my website. So, over the coming weeks you will notice some gradual changes here, until it looks quite different than it does now :0)

But the BEST news of all, is that this coming winter I will be in a position where I can increase my painting time significantly and indefinitely. This will make a huge difference to my productivity.
I am so exited about this because I have another bear series in mind along with so many other ideas! 

Anyway - for now I will leave you with one of what will be a series of three paintings, collectively titled 'Fruit Cocktail', which is a rather more obvious title than their individual ones.
 This particular one is titled... 'Not an Apple' ;0) 

And it's what I call a 'distance' painting, where the detail is quite minimal, 
but it appears realistic when viewed from a distance...

See what I mean?

Anyway, I am part way through 'Not a Banana' as we speak 
and I imagine that once all three completed paintings are framed and in a row, they will look rather appetising :0)

See you soon!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

A Little Ray of Sunshine...

With not a single ray of sunshine to be seen
 I decided to draw one...


Sometimes when we can't see beyond the clouds
 we just have to trust that the sun is still shining as it always has :0)

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Warming up...

I thought I would spare you any more bear talk today, whilst I warm up for a new year of paintings! 

As I often do early on in the year, when the days are short and I've had a break, I tend to do a lot of  sketching, it helps to scratch that creative itch!

Here is one subject I particularly enjoy drawing... 

The Nose!

Or Honk...                                                                   Or Conk..


The Hooter... 

      The Snout...                                                                     And the cute little button...


These rather odd projections which protrude from our faces make the perfect subjects to draw. They are all so different!

And I think it's a good idea to concentrate on one subject for a while. 
It's a really good way to get to know it well :0)

Did you know that noses never stop growing? Now there's a scary thought - Ooer!!

Anyway, enough nosey nonsense! I will be sharing a new glass sketch in my next post and then it's back to some painting - So watch this space :0)



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