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


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)


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