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


Friday, 21 December 2012

The Wonderful World of William...

Do you remember how magical Christmas was when we were small? 
And do you remember back then, when we used to just draw because we knew we could? 
We never questioned the result - everything was our own little masterpiece!

It's such a shame that as we get older, we question ourselves isn't it? 
Why on earth can we not just draw and love what we create, regardless of whether 'the perspective is right' or 'the tonal values are true'.

Oh to draw from the mind of a child! 
Don't you just love that idea?

Anyway - On that note, I decided that instead of sharing my carefully rendered Gin bottle with you today, I would instead share my Nephew, Williams own little carefree Christmas masterpiece!

By William Fountain

He has drawn with no questions and purely for the pleasure of drawing - and so he has created a little bit of wonderfulness! 
A perfect, unquestionable masterpiece! 

Don't you agree?

This is my final post of 2012 and I won't be back until the new year.
But before I go, I wanted to wish all of you a wonderful Christmas and a happy, creative New-Year! 

I also want to thank all of you for your continuing encouragement and support - I am quite sure that I wouldn't have come nearly so far without you :0)

Merry Christmas!!!

PS. For my last couple of posts, I have been responding to comments direct through email rather than on the blog roll - but I'm not sure it's working! So, if you have left a comment but not got a response by email, could you let me know so I can go back to the old way of doing it?

Monday, 17 December 2012

Drawing with a smile...

I've been loving all of the festive posts in the world of blog lately.
I had hoped to paint some Christmas baubles myself, but I don't think I'll have enough time!

Anyway - let me introduce you to Rowland... (you can click on the image to see it larger :0)

Isn't he a dish? ;0)

How is it that just like a yawn, a smile is SO infectious! And none more so than this one :0)

Rowland is my Cousin-in-Law, who sadly passed away when he was still young. 
Last week, it was it the tenth anniversary of that day and soon after, it was his Mum's 70th birthday. So, though I've wanted to draw Rowland for a long time, now seemed like the right time to do it.

Though I didn't have the chance to get to know him very well, I do know that he had has a wicked sense of humour - but for fear of sounding like a complete loon, I'd best not elaborate!!
All I will say, is that is was fun getting to know him a little better during the last couple of weeks ;0)

In the photograph that Rowland's Brother gave me to refer to, Roland has the cheesiest grin on his face, which as you probably already know, is by no means easy to draw!

Coincidentally, soon after completing the portrait, I received one of Robert Genn's Twice Weekly Newsletters on that very subject - 'The Closed Mouth Convention'.
If you have the time, it's a really good read! It's all about the difficulty of painting teeth and why the great masters used to avoid doing just that!

But I believe that it's equally important to be able to capture the smile in someones eyes and not just their mouth. 
Without conveying that, then however perfect the drawing, it will never convince!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

And One for the Lady...

A couple of weeks ago, one of my friends and followers, Nicola from 'Nic's eARTh' commissioned me to paint some glasses, as a birthday present for her Husband.
She wanted a painting of a pint glass and a short glass, which represents their tipple of choice.
What a nice idea :0)

It seems that my glass paintings are quite popular as gifts for men, because so far all of the ones I have sold have been brought by women for their husbands!

I'll be starting a new one shortly. This time, a bottle of Hendrick's Gin and along side it, a glass full of Gin and Tonic, with layers of ice and cucumber. 

It should be quite an interesting one to paint - especially with all of those tiny bubbles! :0)

Anyway, with the New-Year fast approaching, I've been thinking about setting my self a new list of goals for 2013. 
As much as I should be realistic, I've always believed that if you reach for the moon, you may or may not get there - but if you reach for the stars, you will almost certainly reach the moon and possibly even further! So reach for the stars I will :0)

How about you? Have you set your self any goals for the New-year yet? I'd love to know what they are :0)

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Making Christmas Cards Matter :0)

I can't share with you what I've been working on this week, because it's a gift for someone very special and since they follow my blog, they might see!

So, instead I'll show you a Christmas card that I designed and printed, to send out to my family and friends...

And the story of the little bear is printed on the inside...

'Who, me?'

By Sandra Busby, 2012

...The little golden bear stared back at me with an innocent yet guilty look on his face.

..."Yes, you, little bear."
"Twas not me" he replied with a somewhat glazed expression.

"Why of course it was you!" I chuckled.
The little bear thought for a moment. "But how do you know it was me?"

"I know it was you, you dear little fellow, for only a bear would add ice to an apple brandy!"

I sniffed the apply aroma that filled the air."
Is it rather lovely?" I asked.

"Oh yes, he replied. It is rather lovely indeed!"

For so long, all of my arty friends have been sending me cards that they have had printed themselves and I have always thought that it is such a lovely and thoughtful thing to do. It just seems like that extra little bit of effort has been made and I always really appreciate that.

I, on the other hand am disorganised by nature and so have never actually got around to it myself - until finally, this year when I decided to get my act together and for once not send out my cards on December the 23rd, lol! 

This year I wanted to send a special card out to everyone and it felt so much nicer than scrawling inside cards left over from the year before! 
Not only that, but it's my way of showing my appreciation to those people who have offered me continuous encouragement throughout the year - How lovely you all are :0)

Anyway - I don't have the addresses of all of my bloggy friends (unless you would like to give it to me), so this one is for you :0)

Thursday, 29 November 2012

When tears are good...

I promised you a change from glass and bears today, so here it is - my latest pencil portrait commission...

(I recommend clicking on the image to see it larger)

I was asked to draw a friends dad, who'd passed away seventeen years ago.
Sadly, she had just a couple of photographs of him and they were quite small and out of focus. But this meant so much to her that I just had to give it a try.

I was so nervous when she came to collect him - but I had no need to be because she loved it so much that she cried :0)

I've since finished another pencil portrait and next up is a new glass commission, which I'm doing for a fellow Artist. And what better compliment is there, than being asked to paint something by another Artist? :0)

In other news........... 


Sherlock now has a new home!

I actually managed to hand him over, though I'm quite sure that Sherlock's new 'adoptive parents' as they call themselves, must have thought I was completely bonkers as I hugged the painting goodbye!

Go on - admit it - You think I'm as daft as a brush too ;0)

Since then I have had an email from Sherlock himself, telling me all about his adventures so far - along with this poem written by his new owner...


All you see is an old bear.
Look a little closer, if you dare.
My persona you will see is in full view.
There, the pennies dropped, you have a clue.

A magnifying glass gives me away.
Oh it’s ‘Sherlock’ I hear someone say.
It wasn’t hard once you paid attention.
But where is ‘Watson?’ I hear you mention.

Sometimes I need to sit alone,
To ponder, pace and even roam,
It helps to get my grey matter working.
In my line of work there is no shirking.

Crimes to solve, work to do.
Searching closely for each clue.
Ponder this, and then ponder that.
Thinking about it, ‘Where’s my hat?’

My pipe is missing, I double blink.
Instead I’m wearing a ribbon of pink!
I bet you’re thinking, ‘He looks a ‘Dandy’.
Disguise I find can be quite handy.

To help me solve a crime sometimes.
It helps to read between the lines.
I eliminate both the ‘impossible’ and the ‘improbable’.
This leads us to the truth inevitable

So now I come to the end of my tale
This old bear will never be stale
Paintings like me you’ll find are few.
Because while you sleep, I have things to do.

© of Kathy

Isn't that wonderful?  
Now you can see why I was able to hand him over :0)

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

'After Hours ll'

There was a time when I apologised to you in case I was boring you with bears.
Now I am probably boring you with glasses!

Still, I have something completely different to post soon - a pencil portrait.
And after that, I plan to work on a new painting of a bottle of 'Hendricks Gin' with a full glass next to it, complete with ice and cucumber, as I'm told it should be served.
So plenty of variety coming soon, I promise!

Until then, here is the second of my glass paintings that I did last week...

And they look rather nice as a pair, don't you think...?

...So, I've called them 'After Hours l' and 'After Hours ll.' :0)

My personal preference is the plain glass. 
Cut glass is nice, but I prefer painting it when it has a drink inside, because it does such wonderful things with colour :0)

And I am still giving the bears my attention of course - just not much right now! I'm making the most of the Christmas period and selling some smaller works while I can! :0) 

Oh yes - there it is - the 'C' word! I can't believe it is almost here already! 
Charlie has been telling me how many days, hours and seconds it is at every opportunity - Gaaagh!

Am I the only one who isn't remotely organised?

Thursday, 15 November 2012

How do we let go of a painting we love?

Well, it's been a productive week for me.
Since my last post I have sold another glass painting and I've also completed two more to replace them. 

Here's the first of the two replacements...


...I'll post the other one in a few days.
Let's hope they sell as quickly as the last two did! 

Meanwhile, I received an email last week from a lady enquiring about how she can get hold of one of my original bear paintings - namely 'Sherlock'...

...This is good news, right?

Well, although I have limited edition prints available - I hadn't actually put the originals up for sale yet!
The plan was to get the series complete and then hold an exhibition, where the bears would be available to buy. But that was to be some way ahead, so I hadn't considered how selling one of the bears might actually feel.

I'm always so chuffed to sell my other work, but somehow the prospect of selling an original bear makes me feel quite emotional - even though that was always the intention! 

Sherlock and I go back a long way and if the lady does decide to buy the bear, then handing him over will be really hard! *sniff, sniff*...

Still, she does sound as though she would love Sherlock just as I do, which helps a lot :0)
I'm not sure I could hand him over to just anyone! 

Is this the same for all Artist's? Or am I alone here?
Have any of you had a painting, which you have been so connected with, that you have found it really hard to let go of ? 

I'd love to hear your own stories - if only to make me feel less ridiculous!

Thursday, 8 November 2012


I'm back. Humph :0(
But we had a lovely holiday!

It is very hard to get back in to the swing of things straight away. I've been buried in washing since Tuesday, not to mention trying to catch up with all of my office work. The cupboards are bare so I need to go shopping tonight and I have countless emails and other things to catch up on! All this whilst trying to adjust to the 5hr time difference... yaaaaaaawn....

So forgive me if I have nothing new to show you just yet. 
And doubly forgive me that I haven't had a chance to answer your lovely comments on my last post as I normally would, or catch up with your own blogs while I have been away. But your comments were a joy to read when I got home :0)

Anyway, just so I have something to offer - here is a sneaky progress picture of the latest bear painting, which I took just before we went away... (Click on the photo for a larger image)


Some good news...

And the good news is that this painting of the glasses in my previous post...

...SOLD while I was away - Yay!

I was doubly chuffed because it's the first time I have actually displayed one of my original paintings other than on my blog and it sold within a week! 

Other news... 


In other news, I also received something very exiting in the post the day after our return.
It was this painting by Tracey Fletcher-King...

...which I was lucky enough to win! I was SO chuffed when I opened it up!

Tracey is completely bonkers - just like me - and if you haven't yet had the fortune to find her blog and read all about her crazy antics down-under, then you really must, because you are missing out on some proper giggling sessions!

Anyway - I find that photographs rarely do art the justice it deserves and this is no exception because when I opened the pears they were even more GORGEOUS than they are here! 
So, my thanks to Tracey. I LOVE them :0)

Anyway - this post is short and sweet so I can catch up on all of that other stuff I spoke about. I just wanted to say hello to you all and let you know that I'm back :0)

My next painting day is on Saturday and I can't wait to get that paint brush in my hand again!
Meanwhile, I'll leave you with a random fact...

Random fact... 


Films I watched on the plane:

  • Ted  (Hilarious! Well of course I had to watch a film about a Teddy!)
  • Happy feet (I admit, I enjoyed!)
  • Ice Age, the continental drift (Hmm... It's becoming apparent that I have the mind of a twelve year old???)
  • Pride and Prejudice (Ooh, how cultural! I had never seen it and thought was totally fab. Slightly in love with Mr. Darcy myself, in fact!)    

One more important thing...

We were shocked to see the images from New York whilst we were away. So my thoughts go out to those New Yorkers who have been affected. I really hope everyone is safe now. xxx

Thursday, 18 October 2012

I'll drink to that!

Well I am just about as excited as I ever get right now, because on the morning of the 21st of October, I'll be on my way to Gatwick Airport!
We'll be making our way back to the Maldivian Island, which we have been fortunate enough to visit several times before.

So, until some time around the 8th November, I will be spending much of my time doing what I love doing the most, which is Scuba-Diving 30 metres beneath the Indian Ocean, swimming with the sharks - so there will be no painting or blogging for me!

Until then, I'll leave you with another of my simple glass paintings, which I did on my day off last week...

10" x 10" Acrylic on Box Canvas

What I love about these paintings is that is that I can walk in to my studio to an entirely blank canvas and walk out just a few hours later with a completed painting! 

This is very different than my bear paintings, which I build up slowly in layers :0)


 I just LOVE painting glass...


 ...and there's plenty more to come :0)

So don't forget, I can't answer you're comments once I leave, which I always do, but I will really enjoy reading them when I get home :0)
Nor can I visit your blogs, but I promise to catch up with you all when I get back :0)

Ta-Ta for now my friends!

PS. My talented Ozzy pal is doing an unmissable giveaway on her blog!
Click on the link below to find out more :0)

Thursday, 11 October 2012


Hmm... Quite possibly from the frequent appearance of alcoholic beverages in my paintings, you might well be wondering if I have some kind of a drink problem!

Well, the answer to that is that I don't have a problem with drink at all - In fact I rather like it! ;0)

That said, though my art studio is totting up quite a collection of unusual bottles and pretty glasses - some of which are full - by the time I have finished painting them the beverage itself is more likely to poison me than make me tipsy!

Take 'Archibalding' for instance...
When I had finished that particular painting, the volume of wine in the glass had reduced by at least two thirds and had not only turned in to a thick syrup, but had also grown some rather scary looking fur balls on the top!

This glass of rather lovely smelling Brandy however, was a different story altogether, since it didn't take much time to paint at all.... 

8" x 8" Oil on canvas panel

It's similar to my whiskey glass which you may remember.  
You can see it here  if not :0) 

Anyway - there is something about drinking during the day that just doesn't seem right, so when I had finished painting, this glass was poured promptly down the sink - complete with the intoxicated fly, which was floating on the surface!

Where I come from, drinking at 11.59am is a no-no!  
However - just one minute later, 12 o'clock is known as 'beer o'clock!' 
But even then, 'beer o'clock' only exists at weekends. It  sounds silly, but there are just certain rules of alcohol related etiquette, aren't there?

There are two exceptions to this rule - The first one is Christmas, when it seems perfectly acceptable to indulge in a glass or two of Baileys Irish Whisky Cream, well before lunch time - which we always do ;0)
The second is when is when on holiday. I thank blame the difference in time zones for this, which throws us completely out of sync!

Most weekends at 'beer o'clock', I am painting anyway and though painting under the influence might be a rather fun way of loosening up, I doubt it would have worked for today's painting!

Monday, 8 October 2012

The Big Art Secret...

Before I put up my next post this week, I thought I would share this worthy cause.
There will be an ebay link on their Facebook page should anyone across the pond be interested :0)

'In a special fund raising collaboration Towner, the contemporary art museum for South East England, and St Wilfrid's Hospice are staging ‘The Big Art Secret’ - an exciting exhibition and secret auction of original postcard sized art by celebrities, regional and nationally known artists and by local people and hospice patients. 

The auction aims to raise much needed funds for the Hospice’s new campaign - Campaign Hospice Reach – a campaign to transform end of life care for every person in our community.

The Big Art Secret features post card sized art which is signed on the back so that the identity of the artist remains secret until the end of the auction, when all is revealed. 
 The exhibition and auction has attracted national attention, and now features works by David Hockney, Tracey Emin, David Cameron and even David Dimbleby. There are over 500 pieces being exhibited and auctioned as part of the initiative. You could bag yourself a bargain if you can spot a masterpiece!

The exhibition at Towner in Eastbourne runs from 13 – 20 October with the eBay auction of all works running from 11 – 21 October.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Work in progress...

Last week I was asked to do a series of glass paintings for our local pub restaurant.
It's a beautiful old pub with lots of history and a lovely old and cosy feel - Perfect for my style of painting!

The last time we popped in that particular pub for a quick drink was at the weekend. 
Hmm... Well, it was meant to be a quick drink, but it turned in to almost an entire evening, since a couple with a very distinct American accent approached the bar and being the inquisitive gal I am, I couldn't help but to ask them where they were from. 

It turns out that they were from Colorado. 
So many of my bloggy friends are from America and I was racking my brain cell as to whether any of you are from that part! 

Anyway - it triggered a really long conversation with the couple, who were on their first visit to England. 
And as intrigued as I was by their accent, it seemed that they were equally intrigued by mine. Apparently I sound very English, lol!
Poor things - I hope I didn't scare them off with all of my garbled nonsense!

They said that their favourite thing so far was that some of the buildings were so old. They then told me the entire history of our other local pub, which was built in 1348. 
What struck me was that they knew far more about it than we did, even though we have been going there for years!

It's always lovely to meet new people from such a different place. And they were such nice people too :0)
But anyway - getting back on to the subject - there is lots of glass painting to come and I can hardly wait to get started because it's one of my favourite things to paint :0)

Meanwhile, I will of course still be painting the bears.
Here are a few progress photo's for those of you who, like me, love to see a W.I.P.

This is after I had washed a few basic shadows over the bears...

Next, I washed in some background shadows...

...Hmm... This photo and the ones below show it as rather orange - but in fact the above image is much closer to the actual colour.

This is how I work. 
The set up is clear to see and I refer to that for textures and the general feel. But also, to the right, just below my easel is my charcoal sketch. This is what I work from when I am painting the shadows because this way they remain consistent and don't move as the day progresses!

It's already moved on a fair bit from here. The background overlay of depth and colour is complete and I now get to start on those bears and all of the little treasures that they appear so interested in!

So, what's on your easel right now?

Thursday, 20 September 2012

The Teddy Bear Times...

Anyone who might bump in to me over the next few days should be careful not to fall in to the huge gaping void in my face, that was once my mouth.

Seriously - I have a beam on my face the size of Manhattan at the moment! 

So, this is how my day started yesterday...

9am:                Start work

10am:              Whilst on phone, Mum pops in with six copies of the Teddy Bear Times magazine and plonks them on desk

10.01am:         Look alarmingly at Mum who is now fiercely prodding said magazines

10.02am:         Hurry customer off phone before Mum's finger pokes hole in desk

10.05am:         Convince self that it is indeed a double page spread and it is indeed about me

10.30am:         Read article for third time.

10.35am:         Imagine article framed on wall

10.36am:         Imagine sending signed copies of magazine to all of my adoring fans

10.37am:         Envisage self having casual and intelligent debate with the likes of Damian Hurst over a Martini cocktail

10.38am:        Wonder how to actually spell Damian Hurst Damien Hirst?

10.39am:         Imagine own series of 'sawn in half' teddy bears being unveiled at posh London Gallery

10.40am:         Read article for fourth time

10.43am:         Abruptly forced to return to real world as phone rings at work. How inconvenient - a customer!

...Teehee, I'm only kidding... I would NEVER saw a teddy bear in half ;0)

Anyway, joking aside, here it is - the 'Teddy Bear Times' magazine article, featuring four of my Teddy Bear oil paintings and an interview with yours truly :0)

It means so much to me that other bear lovers like my paintings and it is such a beautiful magazine to be featured in.

You'd think I'd be bored of bears by now - but actually I am quite the opposite. I have a further series of bears in mind once these eight are complete.

Bear six is well under way now. The under-painting is finished and I've started on the background.
Of course I'll be giving my bloggy friends a  a sneaky peak soon, I promise :0)

Anyway, I took this picture soon after I had started the under-painting...

Are any of you as messy as I am...?
I swear there is as much paint on my clothes as there is on the canvas!
Duh! Is that an apron hanging up behind me??

Meanwhile, my dad sent me this photo of yet another old bear who has been half eaten by a Boxer Dog...


Or maybe Damien Hirst has beaten me to it ;0)

Thursday, 13 September 2012

'Not' so Still-Life... (WIP)

Since the holidays are now over, it has been quite a relief to get back to a normal routine at last!

On the first day Charlie returned to school, not only did I manage to set up bear 6 - or should I say bears 6, since there are two of them in this composition - but I also managed to sketch them out to full size and transfer the basic lines to my canvas, all in one day!

I shouldn't really take any credit for my composition in this case, because it happened almost by accident! And I am quite sure that when I wasn't looking, the bears came to life, leaned in toward each other - clearly fascinated by the vintage props strewn around them - and then froze again when I turned around ;0) 

Anyway, the sun was streaming through the window and though once again, these bears will be before a dark, gloomy back ground, the bright streaks of light hitting the wall behind will form an important part of the composition.

So, here is my initial charcoal sketch...

As usual, there are a few adjustments to be made. I want to shift the light up a little so it isn't in line with the bears ear for one thing... But that's what these sketches are for - to spot problems before they are set in stone.

I am most looking forward to painting the buttons and pearls in this one. I just love painting that kind of thing :0)

This, I feel is along a slightly more feminine route than the other bears in my series so far. What I want to avoid is a cliche and though the theme could be leaning that way, I doubt that many people would choose to paint bears quite so dilapidated as these! The one on the left has a hole in his nose, which you can literally see right through and out the other side - poor thing!

So, now I have frozen the light in my sketch, I can refer back and forth between it and the actual Still-Life whilst I paint.

I'm not sure I can really call my bears Still-Life's at all. I swear that every time I walk in my art studio, something has moved!

I wonder what those bears get up to when I'm not there...??

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

'Who, Me?'

Would you like to see the new bear?

Okay, here he is..............

'Who, me?' 


© Sandra Busby
18” x 22”  Oil on Panel


I adored painting this little fellow!

Before I go, I so often hear of people asking how you know when a painting is complete. 
Well, it took me a long while to work it out, but I've finally come to the conclusion that when I begin laying brushstrokes that don't make a difference, either for better or for worse, that is when it's complete - at least that's how it works for me :0)

Anyway - a new bear is now in progress as we speak! Yay!! So watch this space :0)

Thursday, 16 August 2012

More sketching in oils...

Since working full time again, whilst covering for holiday, I have been forced to find other ways to scratch my creative itch, aside from throwing myself in to detail.

The bear has taken a back seat for a while and I have been sketching again with oils.

This time, a rose...

© Sandra Busby
8" x 8" Oil on panel

...It took around an hour and a half to paint and then I left in out in the sun to help it dry off...

It's funny, looking through my blog recently, you'd think that there were several different Artists posting on it - the images are all so different! Still, it's fun to explore different styles sometimes, don't you think?

At the weekend, I will be doing what I do best in my 'usual' style and spending a few hours on the bear :0)

Roll on Saturday! Yay!!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Whilst you were sleeping...

A couple of nights ago and for the second night in a row, I found myself tossing and turning for hours. 
Not even the gentle rumble of Paul's breath would help me drift off to sleep.
My mind was pondering over what seemed like a million jumbled thoughts - quiet thoughts, which seem so loud when they are all clattering around in my head at once.

The previous night, I had given up on sleep and got out of bed at 1.40am and didn't actually go back to bed at all.
This time, I quietly climbed out of bed at 12.20am and tip-toed down the creaking stairs. I felt like I was the only person in the world who was awake.

Alone with my thoughts I wished my art studio was in the house - I might have been able to paint myself to sleep. Instead I found myself watching endless vintage episodes of 'Home and Away' and browsing the Land of Blog.

It was then that I came across this quote that Crystal Cook had shared by Julia Cameron...

"Remember by being willing to be a bad artist, you have a chance over time to be an artist, and perhaps, over time, a very good one." 

Finally, I felt restful and validated and at 3.40am I climbed back in to bed.

Last night I felt so tired. And this time I drifted in to a wonderful deep sleep within minutes of climbing in to bed. And I slept solidly.....

.....that was until 3.28am, when my mobile phone rang! 
It was our daughter, Adele.
It turned out that it was her turn for a restless night and she needed to talk about her own worries.

Wearily, we chatted until around 4.30am and I think she felt better for it. 
I, on the other felt like I had been woken from the dead, lol! But we do anything for our children don't we?

This is how I hope both Adele and I will be sleeping tonight...

I just love drawing babies - especially when their faces are all squashed up :0)

Just before I go, following my last post, I came across this really old watercolour sketch I did from memory when I returned from climbing Ben Nevis a few years ago...

It felt so odd to be looking over the clouds!

At the bottom of the mountain it was a misty, dull day - but at the top it was bright sunshine and so warm, even though it was covered in snow!

Anyway - it's a very old and simple sketch, but I thought I would share it anyway.

I hope you are all having a good week :0)

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Sketching in Oils...

© Sandra Busby

Since I usually work fairly tightly in oils, I suddenly felt the urge to let go and do a loose warm up sketch before yesterdays session on the bear :0)

This little 8" x 8" Oil sketch took me under an hour and a half to complete from start to finish, using just one flat brush. 
It made a refreshing change to just pick a few things I had to hand - in this case, my mid morning snack -  and not fuss too much about composition, which usually takes so much more thought!

I sketched the basic shapes directly on to the canvas with the brush and simply built it up from there. Once it was complete, I ate it!  - I mean the props, not the painting ;0)

Ideally I would like to do more sketches like this, but spend more time on them - perhaps up to three hours. It would be nice to end up with something that is still loose, but refined enough to call it a painting rather than a sketch.

Anyway - completely changing the subject; To my surprise I found myself nominated by Nicola from Pointy-Pix for a Liebster Blog Award!  Thank you Nicola :0)

Nicola specialises in pointillism and her favourite subject is animal portraits, though more recently she has embarked on a series of 'rainy windows' which are just amazing!

The Liebster award is for those blogs with under 200 followers and until a couple of weeks ago I just qualified! So we'll just pretend for now that I got the award before then ;0)
Anyway, on receiving the award I have to tell you five things about myself that you probably don't already know and then pass the award on to five other bloggers with less than 200 followers.

So, five things about me? Hmmm, okay...

1. When I was a child I was a dancer. I did Ballet, Tap, Modern, Greek, National and Character dancing. I had my first (illegally paid) dancing job at the age of nine! 

2. I climbed to the summit of Ben Nevis and back in six hours. I didn't find it that difficult - it was just a long hard slog. Surprisingly, coming down was much harder than going up!

3. In order to raise money for The Rocking Horse Appeal, my Brother-in-Law and I, cycled from John o Groats  to Lands End in seven days - that's 120 miles a day - ouch! 
Nine months later, I gave birth to a baby bicycle, therefore should you ever fancy having a go, I don't recommend that you attempt it in anything under ten days!

4. I have a fear of dead things. I can cope with most things when they are alive (aside from wasps), but I run screaming from anything dead! This stems back from the day I unexpectedly found my first (and hopefully last) actual dead person.

5. I got married in 1999 on a Catamaran named 'Sweet Liberty' in Naples, Florida. There were dolphins at our wedding :0)

So, any surprises? Lol!

And now for the five fellow bloggers I would like to nominate:-

Katja from Nordljus.
Katja's blog is a recent find for me but I just LOVE it. Amongst other things, she creates the most beautiful Art Journal entries and I always leave her blog feeling totally inspired :0)

Lynn from One I Made Earlier.
Lynn's blog is a feast full of crafty ideas with the addition of her 'Doodly-Birds' which have a life all of their own! :0)

Liana's blog is full of sunshine and light! From beach scenes to the hustle and bustle of a bistro! Her watercolours are lively, colourful and uplifting :0)

Hilda is such a warm hearted lady and she paints the most gorgeous pastel portraits. And just recently she emailed me the most beautiful pastel sketch - of ME! :0)

Kathryn from Studio at the Farm.
Between her day job as a Dental Nurse and the demands of farm life, Kathryn finds the time to post endless step by step paintings of all sorts of subjects, from dead birds, to portraits! I don't know how she does it! :0)

Okay - just before I go, I want to say the most GINORMOUS THANK YOU, to every single one of you who have either wished me luck, shared, or voted for 'Sherlock' to win the cover competition I entered. The paintings it is up against are exquisite, so my chances are tiny, but your support has been so far beyond my expectations and I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate you all for being so kind and taking the time to get behind me :0)


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