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

Friday, 5 February 2016

Work in Progress...

...Sometimes you have to be willing to take a huge step backwards, in order to take a baby step forward. 
This has certainly been the case with my latest work in progress, which I have now wiped off and started again, not once... but TWICE!!

As I was once told, paintings can't always fall off the brush! But it is frustrating when things don't go as planned and I have splurged more than a few four letter words over the last couple of days!!

 Never mind... when things go wrong, I just wipe it off and start again... as long as I am still liking the subject of course. Once I've fallen out of love then there is usually no going back!

In this case, I do still love my subject and I really just want to get it right. It's all about patience.

Right now I am working on what I call, the 'muscle' layer, though even this mid-layer is not yet finished! As you can see, some of the warm under painting is still showing!

This is what I find to be the 'scary' layer; when it is SO bad, that I can almost no longer visualise the end result.

Anyway, I am going to share this scary stage regardless. It is pretty 'dead' looking right now... but when I add the 'skin' layer, hopefully it will begin to come to life!

The Scary Stage!

...Oh, and by the way, I finally got a reasonable photo of the Rum & Lime painting!
Here it is...


9 x 12 inch Oil on Gesso Panel

See you next week!!

Friday, 29 January 2016


So here it is. After many layers and glazes, my latest glass painting is finally complete...


9" x 12" Oil on Gesso Panel

I haven't yet manged to take a proper photo, simply because trying to eliminate the glare is proving to be a nightmare! But I have just ordered a new gizmo for my camera, which should reduce the problem significantly. As soon as I've got it and have taken the right photo, I'll post it here.

Meanwhile I have a new glass painting in progress, but this one will be on a lighter, brighter background. Just look at these quirky glasses...

Aren't these cool?

...And it's one of these guys that features in my next painting!

So, watch this space!!

Friday, 22 January 2016


Following on from my last post, today I'm sharing the progress of my latest Glass Painting. 

Oils can be a slowwww process when painting in layers like this, but I think it is worth spending the time, not least to say that this painting, when it's done, will last longer than any of us... Oh, and it will age better too!

So, this was the next layer...

The 'Skanky Teenage Stage'

...And this is where it is right now...

Looking Better

...And there is still a way to go yet!

It's true that you need patience to work in this way, slowly building, layer by layer  *yyyaaaawn*. And there are times when I am so tempted by Acrylics as they dry so quickly!

Speaking of drying, here is a nifty little find I bought for less that £5.00! 
It's a dish rack and I am using it as a place to stand my paintings at their various stages as they dry...

A Nifty Gadget

...Better still, it usually sits under a net, which also prevents the dust from settling on the wet paint!

As you can see, there is another painting at it's very first stage sitting at the back. I'll be sharing more on that one soon, so watch this space!

Friday, 15 January 2016

Work In Progress...

Following on from my last post, I have finally got that brush to canvas! The under painting is done and I'm about ready to begin my colour layers...

Under painting

It's always nice to get rid of that scary white canvas...

Scary White Canvas

...Ahh... The blank canvas... So many possibilities it holds!
But it doesn't stay blank for long...

Under drawing

By the time you read this I will be about mid way through the painting.
I also have another one drawn out and ready to roll and a third Still Life set up in my Shadow Box. So it's all happening here!

I just love having a few things on the go at once. It's a great way of keeping a regular flow of new work trickling in. Right now it's a case of waiting for the first drip to come down the pipe! Well, those pipes did become a little rusty during the studio relocation!

...But, not long now!

Friday, 8 January 2016

Lights, Camera... Action!

I just love the feeling I get when I have an inspiration for a new painting! I can finally start setting something up! And that 'oh so clean' white canvas comes with so many possibilities... 

Yes, I love it when my brushes call me... and I am right there as we speak.

Right now I am at the very beginning stage, trying to manipulate the perfect light to create something warm and atmospheric. This is when my Light Box comes in to it's own...

Light Box in Action!

This will be the first painting I begin in the new studio and I already have a plan for the second, which I want to get going at the same time. So watch this space for more progress shots!

Back soon...

Friday, 1 January 2016

New Studio, New Website, New Goals... New Year!

2016!! Can you believe it came so quickly?

And with this New Year comes my brand new website, my revamped blog, an Instagram account and a brand new art studio! What more could I have possibly wanted to start the New year??

So, I thought I'd share some photo's of the new space!

One VERY happy Artist!!!

The Easel and Light Box

The Drawing Station

The Painting Station

My Nifty Paint Organiseer!

The Runway to my Easel

Hurrah! Running Water!

The Light Box

The Drying Area with Removable Brackets

...I just LOVE the new space and I feel very lucky to have such a wonderful Husband and Dad who made it happen! I did make them a LOT of tea :0)

I have set myself some HIGH goals this year, since the relocation of the Studio has made it possible. The fact that I can now spend some time in there every day is key. 

I will certainly produce new work more regularly but I'm also seriously upping my game when it comes to my paintings. This year I intend to explore 'realism' painting a lot more deeply, now that time allows. 

This means that some of my paintings will take much longer to paint, but if I make sure I always have other small pieces on the go at the same time as working on larger pieces, this will help keep a regular flow of new work. 

I have other goals too. Entering competitions more regularly and posting more frequently on my blog and social media sites among others... But the focus will fall mainly on producing paintings I love, at a steadier rate. 

I want I'm going to 'smack my own gob!'

I'm really quite excited!

So, I'd love to hear your goals for this year if you care to share?
Meanwhile, I wish everyone a happy, productive and creative New-Year!

Back soon!

Friday, 18 December 2015

Merry Christmas!!

Well, it's finally here! At least, it is in our house!
We have a tradition in our household that once the bottle of Baileys has been opened, it's officially Christmas!

And I could not wish for a more amazing Christmas present from my husband and my Dad, than a brand new bespoke Art Studio, which they have almost finished building for me! It will be ready for me to start using before this year is up and I just can not wait to get back behind my easel!

Meanwhile, since I have not been able to paint while the relocation is in progress, I decided to share a real oldie with you this Christmas. It's the first glass painting I ever did...

...My first post of the year will be at the very start of 2016.
And I'll be sharing photo's of the new Studio and listing my goals for the year.

Until then, I want to thank you all so much for your continued support and I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a happy, healthy and creative New-Year! 

See you next year!!

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)


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