The Art of Sandra Busby...

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

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)


Thursday, 30 January 2014

A Story Untold... Told!!

Well that was rather a long bloggy break wasn't it? Oo-er!
It seems that in January each year I seem to lose my Mojo... So this year, I decided that I would allow myself a break to re-charge my creative battery ready for February :0)

And further to my last post all about the lost teddy, it's lovely to be back with some exciting news! 
In fact, my smile is so big today, that if anyone comes too close I am quite sure they might fall in!!

If  you read this article all the way to the bottom, you will see why...

So, not only has this gorgeous Bear finally found his owner, which is great news in its own right - but The Daily Mail Online also featured my painting in their story! 

I almost spat my tea across the table when I saw it! I feel so honoured to have been included as part of such a special story and I am so pleased that Bristol Bear will be home soon...

Anyway - as usual I will begin the year with a fair bit of sketching - let's call it warming up for some more paintings. And of course as always I will share them with you - so watch this space :0)

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

'A Story Untold...'

'Here before me, sits a well travelled old bear, with such a fascinating story to tell... and yet he is almost entirely lost for words...

"I really am lost, you see?" He mumbled... 

"Oh, you poor, dear fellow..." I pondered as I nibbled the handle of my paintbrush.... "How am I to tell your story if so much of it is left untold?"

The bear sank forward and gazed at the photograph he kept so closely to him... but as I sat with him for many quiet hours, his story unfolded before me...'

 22" x 24" Oil on Canvas Panel

This is an epic blog post, but please read to the bottom if you have the time, because there is a way you can all help...

...Meet Bristol - At least this is the name he has been given for now :0)

I am limited as to how much information I can share about Bristol....
But I can tell you that the poor furry fellow was left in the departure lounge of Bristol Airport back in 2012 and since then, there has been an ongoing, worldwide search for his family.

Left with him was just one vital clue in the form of a postcard, dated 1918, with a photograph of two children on the front, one of them clutching the bear.

On the back of the postcard is written... 

'With dearest love and kisses to our darling Daddie from your loving little daughter 
and Sonnie. Dora and Glyn.' 

 'All dressed up in his frame'

My part of the story...

My Mum is the Queen of newspaper cuttings! Oh yes - If there is something of any interest in the paper, she will make a point of cutting it out and then leaving it strategically placed where I am most likely to see it the next time she pops in for a cuppa!
I don't read the newspaper you see - too busy in my own little bubble pretending that everything and everyone is all lovely... Yes, ignorance is bliss, if not always the best way to be...

Anyway, it so happens that one of her famous newspaper clippings was all about an abandoned bear...
and of course you all know that I would be always be interested in anything involving a bear... 
The poor thing has only one eye and part of one ear is hanging off - but he is 100 years old, so all in all I think he is in pretty good shape :0)

I kept the cutting for several weeks and couldn't help but wish I could meet him - I mean, he would make the PERFECT model for the final bear in my first series of eight... 
But it never occurred to me to actually ask until some weeks later.
He had been on my mind for so long and eventually I thought I would dare ask the question...
So I emailed Jacqui Mills at the airport, who has been on the case from day one and asked her if I might be able to borrow him for a while. Several emails later, Jacqui very kindly trusted me with Bristol and he embarked on yet another epic journey via courier, all the way from Bristol to me!

I was so sad to see him go when I had completed his painting. I couldn't help but bond with the little chap :0)

About the painting:

Again, I am limited as to what I can tell you about the reason I painted certain things (not actually found with the bear) such as the coins etc...
But - the petticoat hanging over the battered old suitcase is similar to that of the one the child in the photo was wearing... maybe this was Dora's luggage...?

And the sticky label on the suitcase has the first part of her name scrawled on it, in the same handwriting as is written on the back of the post card, inky finger prints, scribbles and all! But part of the name has been torn away. This is to depict without words, just how close they are to finding the real owners and yet also how far...

Of course it is very important that certain information remains undisclosed. This will help determine that anyone claiming the bear is Bristol's real owner :0)

How YOU can help:

So, the search goes on for Bristol's real family and I would love it if you would all help in his search by SHARING this story with as many people as you can, on your blogs, Google Plus, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook pages and asking your friends and followers to do the same... because you never know who might be the one to be able to lead poor, lost Bristol Bear, home to his family :0)

If anyone has any information that might help lead Bristol to his owners, please email Jacqui Mills at:

I am taking a festive bloggy break now, until the new year and I wanted to leave you with a link to a slide-show of my entire first series of bears which you can see here:

But before I go, I would like to thank each and everyone of my loyal followers for your continuing support and encouragement and for all of the wonderful comments I receive from around the world! You are truly precious!

I wish you all a magical Christmas and I hope 2014 bring good things to you all!

See you again soon :0)

Monday, 9 December 2013

Sketching... and baking!

I am quite sure that we are all finding it a little difficult to fit a great deal of painting in at the moment and it's not just me, right?
Once again, Christmas is hurtling towards us at such an alarming rate!

I still haven't finished Christmas shopping - or put our tree up for that matter... I've been procrastinating whilst envisaging a ten month old Labrador and a Christmas tree, covered in lots of twigs, branches and big shiny baubles, in the same room!
Hmm... this could be interesting...
I can't put it off for much longer so it will definitely go up some time this week. Wish me luck!

Meanwhile, following the arrival in the post of my new grey toned sketchbook, I sat and sketched a glass...

Pastel, chacoal and pen

I do love working on toned paper!
The ellipses are a bit off, but it is only a sketch, so it doesn't matter :0)

Anyway -  I have something else, FAR more exciting to show you!
Meet our first grandchild - AKA 'The Sponge-Cake'...

Isn't he cute? (It's a baby boy)
He is baking away in our daughters oven as we speak and is due to pop out some time in April :0)

Anyway - I wonder if you can help...
They are trying to think of a boys name that is a little unusual, but not TOO odd ;0)
So, I thought that this would be the perfect place to get some ideas from around the globe!

Do any of you have some suggestions? If you do, we would love to hear them :0)

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Completed Portrait... 'The Star'

And the reason for the title? Well, there's no question he has a 'rock star' look about him, right? 
He reminds me a little of a Rolling Stone! 
But he is also the landlord of our local pub, which is called 'The Star Inn'. So - an apt title all round I think!

He had no idea I even took the photo, let alone painted him - so, I thought it only right that he should have it :0)

Here it is framed...

As you can see, once again there are only subtle changes from the last stage. (Scroll down for stages one and two) I have simply added the wisps of smoke, twirling from his cigarette, I've warmed up some areas and added some cooler shadows in others.
I also adjusted his jawline as it wasn't quite right before.
Anyway - I think it has remained 'edgy' as I had planned, so I'm quite happy to leave it right here before I do too much and spoil it!

He is on holiday until Friday so I can't give it to him until then. Humph! 
I really hope he likes it :0)

In other news:

It seems that our son Charlie was feeling creative himself the other day.
He shut himself in the kitchen for quite sometime before walking back in to the lounge, proudly holding a swan which he had carved from an apple!

Of course I had to take a photo of his masterpiece...

Isn't it great? 

                                                                    ...Um.... Uh-oh!!

 Oh dear... It seems that the vacuum cleaner was also very impressed!

  Oh SHERLOCK!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

WIP, Stage 2...

Okay, so following on from my previous post, which shows the first stage of this portrait - 
As promised, here is stage two...

The difference is subtle, but he has begun to look more three dimensional, don't you think?

I was actually tempted to leave it here. I like the sepia look - like an old photo almost.... 
It needs very little really, at least if I'm to maintain it's 'edgy' feel. 
So far so good!

In other news:

Don't you just LOVE receiving a parcel in the post?
Even when I have a pretty good idea of what is inside, there is something about opening a box that makes me feel like a kid again :0)

Last week I was excited to receive TWO things in the post that weren't bills!

Ooh... I wonder what these could be...

...Yay! It's my new sketch pad that I have been dying to try out...

And a hand made post card from my lovely Swedish friend Kay...

Isn't it gorgeous?

Kay makes all sorts of beautiful art work, usually in her journal. 
You can find her blog here, if you'd like to see more of it :0)
Thank you Kay!!

Anyway, the next post will be the completed portrait, so don't go away! ;0)

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

WIP... Stage one...

Oh, how nice it is to be back in the Art Studio!
And now the first series of eight bears is complete, it's quite the novelty being able to just paint whatever I fancy for a change!

On Saturday, I found myself drumming my fingers on my art desk, wondering what to paint. 
I had bought with me some rather lovely Christmas Baubles that were a possibility - but I just don't feel quite festive enough yet!

So, I browsed the 'possible paintings' folder on my iPad and came across a photo I had taken a few months ago. 
You know when you see a moment that just begs to be painted? Well it was one of those moments! This man is such a character and he looks quite the rock star in the photo! 

Anyway, I thought I would share the portrait with you in stages over the next week or so... (Oo-er... let's hope it turns out okay then!)
This is layer one, where I have established the basic structure of his face along with a pattern of lights and darks...

...Though he is a really colourful character, I am going to keep this as a relatively monochrome painting because I think it will compliment the style quite nicely. But regardless of colour, there are still a couple more layers to go yet. 

In the next layer, most of the sharp edges will disappear and the whole thing will become richer in depth... 
So, watch this space! 

It's going to be so nice to be blogging regularly again! 
I have missed it :0)

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Calm before the Storm...

Hello my friends! It has been way too long! 
But I have been busy using every bit of my spare time over the last few weeks with the printers, getting all eight of my first series of bears to their final approved versions, just in time for Christmas!
Meanwhile, I hope you will 'bear' with me as I post rather ordinary drawings while my time is so limited...

Lately I have had no time to paint at all, but there is no excuse not to draw and on Sunday came the perfect opportunity :0)

It was an extremely blustery morning and we knew there was a storm due to hit us that night. But regardless of this, the Hub and I braved the weather and took the vacuum out for a walk, each with a steaming cup of tea in a thermal mug. 

We found ourselves caught in tropical rain fall at one point; wind taking our breath away... leaves and acorns smacking us in the face... hair whipping at our eyeballs... aah, it was all quite romantic really :0)

Once we were home, as the wind howled outside I sat at the kitchen table drawing as Sherlock lay on my feet. Meanwhile, the Hub was cooking a lovely Sunday roast which was wafting wonderful cooking smells in to the room...  
Mmmm...! What could be better?

Anyway, this is what I drew...


...Nothing special, more of an exercise in observation really...

Basic shapes first.


Adding darks.

Adding final touches...

...Drawing like this means no pressure, just plain therapeutic fun :0)
And sometimes it's nice not to have to wear overalls to do something arty! No messy paints... just a simple object, a few drawing tools and some paper. How refreshing!

Later as the wind grew more intense, we sat by the log fire with a glass of wine... I love Sundays like that! Needless to say we had a very noisy night. So noisy in fact, that we got up for a cup of tea at 2am!

We were quite lucky really. We lost a fair bit of our back fence and the electric gates had snapped. Nothing major -  though 100 trees in our area had come down... thankfully not on our heads - or on my Art studio!!!!


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