Thursday, 4 November 2010

college work

I have actually managed to get down to some drawing at last, I am having some fun with these, thinking about incorporating something in this line into some mixed media paintings for our group/college exhibition in January. Needs a lot more work and thought, but here are some of the ideas (a couple more to follow when I manage to remember to photograph them!)

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

A slight deviation

It seems ages since I last blogged and I think it may be a good time to update, I have been working hard at college and have managed to do a little textile work, I am not a lover of sewing but do like the effect of stitch in art work and am becoming much more interested in collage and mixed media, which is quite ironic as on my previous Diploma course I loathed collage! Just shows been forced out of a comfort zone can be a real good thing ;-)
To be honest my painting attempts on the last project did not get a great reception, so I have side stepped slightly, not wanting to abandon the collage and mixed media, and my own way of working just to tick boxes,  I have added more in the way of tissue paper, oil pastel and stitch to a couple of new pieces, still working within my nature, and crow/bird, themes, the first is still quite representative, but the second is much more instinctive.........hopefully a step in the right direction, but certainly  something I wish to explore further. I have also included a picture of the second acrylic/collage version of the book/crow painting

Wednesday, 13 October 2010


I have just completed my three week project for college, it was  to kick start us into our major projects for the remainder of our year,  unfortunately this turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. I think as an artist my concepts tend to be reasonable enough but this piece of work falls short of contemporary.  It has however given me some ideas for progression this (school ) year,
anyway this is acrylic and collage, the collage in the form of the 'Book of Ashes" I made earlier this year for another project (which was well received)

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Back to school!

The summer break has ended, and as I have been working on commissions and college tasks all summer I can't say I feel refreshed,  but I have enjoyed a weekend in Wales,  and a visit to the UK Wolf Watch centre in Shropshire.
This week was the start of the new year at Uni and I have spent the last three days registering/enrolling etc and generally getting back into the swing of things. Once again I have mixed feelings about whether I am suited to the (mature) 'student' thing, and I am already having sleepless nights, my time management skills are far from perfect and I always struggle with the amount of work. A new project has been set which I will update on in a day or so, but in the meantime..........

 I took Oskar out for a long walk this morning which we both enjoyed (he even went for a swim ) he tore a cruciate ligament about 18 months ago and his exercise has been limited to the garden since then, he is still limping intermittently but seems a lot more comfortable recently so we will see how it goes........

I also took a couple of pics of a kestrel (unfortunately my camera lens is not quite strong enough to get much detail at this distance, but still worth a look, and also a couple of nice shots of a Great Crested Grebe.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that he continues to improve as I have really missed my walks and although I stopped partially for his benefit and also because I no longer have Kess, I now feel ready to get back to a routine.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Fennel /latest commission

A bit behind on the blog again, but I have been busy working on commissions, I have finished two Christmas portraits, but unfortunately they cannot be shown yet.
and another commission just finished, this one is a beautiful Bengal cat (a real treat for me as I just love drawing/painting orientals) called Fennel, she is worked in pastels with pastel pencil details on Pastemat paper size 30 x 40cms. I have one more cat to do and then I will be concentrating on my college projects ready to go back in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Oskar, finished painting

Just a quick post, Oskar is now finished. Stretched canvas 12 x12'.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010


Thought I would just add this little piece, I had quite a bit of paint left on my palette when clearing up after finishing Oskar this afternoon, so not wanting to waste it I had the idea of mixing  it altogether very roughly, painting it onto a page of my water colour   journal ( used for experiment/colour testing) and seeing if I could see anything in the resulting paint! Using a few colour pencils this is what I came up with. A very quick (about 30 mins) drawing.......... but it has given me more ideas for my this space!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

more acrylic and another artist.

I am staying with the acrylics for the time being, I am also working on a commission in pastel, but cannot show that until completion, so in the meantime here is a portrait of my JRT 'Oskar' that I am currently working on. So far I am pleased with his progress, and I am beginning to feel a little more confident with the paint. The biggest problem I have found with this one is getting the colours right, he has several different shades of brown in his coat varying from light yellow tan to a dark red brown! As I normally work in pastels I have not really had to mix colour as such, so this is a new experience, luckily I have lots of photos of 'Oskie' as well as the real thing, so reference material for practice will not be a problem. This also has a less traditional feel than my pastel work, and will be a slightly more contemporary option for my pet portraits.  Here is where I am at the moment

Still thinking about my college project I am adding this picture painted by another of my favorite artists Victoria Crowe,  she is the second of four artists that I have chosen for my brief. I love the atmosphere of her art, and again symbolism is a major factor in my attraction to her  work as well as the
multi layering/elements. My ideas are still very loosely formed at this stage, but will be  a continuation of my previous work. I am still thinking about the circle of life, the inevitability of decay and death, but also rebirth in particular as viewed by varied indigenous peoples and religions. The superstitions and myth surrounding certain animals and birds will play a major role and I am  interested in  the part played by
animals and animal spirits,  Shamanism in particular.

This is 'Winter Icon' water colour and mixed media (2009)

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Acrylic swan finished?

Well the swan is complete, but I am not sure the water is, so will leave it on the easel for a couple of days and see. Tomorrow I am going to start a new painting, not sure if it will be acrylic yet. I also have a pastel commission on the go, so that should keep me out of trouble for a few days at least.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Thinking ahead to my college project for September

 I have been thinking about my inspirations and why it is I am drawn to animals and nature, I am not religious in the conventual sense, but perhaps a little spiritual. I look for magic, I love the beauty in nature, and am in awe of reproduction and the whole circle of life and death. I see beauty in decay and fragility and I think these are areas I will explore further, I have touched on this in my studies so far, in my textiles and ceramic work, but I want to bring these ideas in to my mainstream 2d work. I am required to find 4 major artists that I can identify with and research with the aim of creating a brief for my project, the problem for me is not finding 4 but eliminating the others.

Susan Seddon Boulet

Sunday, 1 August 2010

new blog and swan update.

I have now added a blog to the website, so although I will continue to update here  for a while more in depth content will now be on the new blog
at  you can subscribe to the blog via the RSS feed (button on the linked page)
The swan is coming along slowly, after a bit of a hiccup, (on the new blog) and I am hoping to finish it in the next day or so.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

swan in acrylics/work in progress

Hope I am not tempting fate by blogging this one, but if so it won't be the first one consigned to the bin., and it's all good experience. As my attempts with painting 'kess' In acrylics did not go as well as I had hoped (she is now on her second coat of oils and in the process of drying) I have started another acrylic painting. Thinking that feathers might possibly be easier (?) than fur in paint, I decided on another swan, mainly because I have endless references and also as I have just done a couple in pastels, thought it may prove a little easier!

Anyway this is 3 days in  spending a couple of hours a day on it, I am finding that is long enough at one sitting (read standing!) as I am losing concentration after this.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010


As promised another finished commission, this is Tess, once again in Pastel on Fisher paper
I have spent some time on the 'Kess' painting today (oils) and whilst that has now been left to dry, am attempting another acrylic, hoping that if I persevere I will eventually be able to paint!

Monday, 26 July 2010

Commission finished

This is one of two of my current commissions that I have finished, a very pretty little spaniel with odd eyes (as in one blue and one brown).
approx A3 sanded pastel paper

I will be uploading the other one tomorrow once it has been delivered to it's new home.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Art in the Park

A couple of  pics of my stand, I kept it small as I was sharing with other artists, but have to admit I did find it quite restrictive. Over all I enjoyed the shows, meeting other artists and the people that came to see our work. I was surprised at quite how much work is involved in preparation and organization. I have learnt quite a bit and this will be very useful for my professional practice studies when I go back to college in September.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


The last two weekends I have spent exhibiting some of my work with HABA, the Highbridge and Burnham artists. Both went well and I had quite a lot of interest in my pet portraits and also my pastel swans. I sold a few cards, got two definite commissions and My textile tree has found a new home with a lovely lady who has had her eye on it for quite some time.  The tree is covered in all its glory on my website, I am posting a couple of pics here for now, until I sort out pics of the exhibition and combined sculpture trail to upload.

Thursday, 15 July 2010


I am slipping on the blog again, I just don't seem to find the time !
Well last weekend's little exhibition was a good introduction for me, sharing a gazebo with other artists, as a part of the local 'Picnic in the Park' was not too formal and I had quite a bit of interest in my Pet Portrait Paintings, particularly the one of Maisie that illustrates this blog.  I didn't sell anything but all my promotional material went and  I had several enquiries, and I am hopeful I may get a couple of commissions. I currently have a bit of a backlog, due to getting ready for the shows, there is another bigger one this weekend, 'Art in the Park' which is totally art orientated so I am looking forward to this one. I have spent the last couple of days printing greeting cards of my work and mounting my acrylic/collage paintings as I am going to add them to my other work to see if they get any interest.  am hoping to finish my pencil drawing of the gull and goose, before saturday but am running out of time, so may just put on my website shop.
Here are the four paintings I am in the process of mounting, for the show

Friday, 9 July 2010

Black Swan

This is the second swan, I was going to call this "Evening Glow" to go with the "Morning Light" but it  has turned out differently than I originally planned and I feel has a different character to the first, so here is "Shake a tail feather"

Saturday, 3 July 2010

swan /pastel on pastelmat

Two blogs in one day (thats gotta be a first for me). I was going to leave this one till completion, but as its nearly there, I thought I would post now, in case there are any useful crits etc ;-)

I am hoping to put this one in two small local exhibitions next two weekends, appropriately enough as the ref pic was taken at the local leisure park, where the second of these will be held.
16 x 12 (approx) when mounted


Experimentation on the back burner (again) and down to some 'proper' work, one of my latest pieces
 a graphite memorial commission, apologies once again for poor picture quality, for some reason, graphite is a pain to photograph accurately


and with mount

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

more experimenting

After my foray into collage and acrylics, I am continuing with the same media, but a little more conventionally with a variation of my more usual (commission) work. I normally work with pencils or pastels and have always been a little afraid of acrylics and oils, although I have done a small amount of water colour in the past.  The previous experiments have been put on the back burner for the moment as I wanted to try a portrait in paint. I have previously attempted to create a memorial  portrait of my G.S.D. Kess (she had to be p.t.s. nearly two years ago, due to illness) using pastels/pencils etc. but for various reasons I have not completed a picture.
So I am attempting a painting, with a small amount of collage in the form of a quote from John Galsworthy

"Not the least hard thing to bear when they go from us, these quiet friends, is that they carry away with them so many years of our own lives."

I am struggling a bit as I am not really sure if I am using the paint correctly, but it is the only way I will learn.......... this is where I am so far, apologies for the poor photography.

I am actually wondering if oils may be better for me, as I am continually adding medium to try and blend and stop the acrylic drying out, but this is the nearest I have ever got to painting a portrait in acrylics (I did do a skull once at college, but that was easier because it didnt have fur and was smooth!) so I am going to see it through to the (hopefully not bitter) end!

Any advice welcome.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

I have just started the summer break from college/uni and although I have some work still to do (commission and small local exhibition entries) as well as sorting out and organising my artists research etc for september, I have taken the opportunity to play with some paint.
I have become increasingly frustrated and dare I say slightly bored with drawing and so wanted to have some freedom (of expression) using a media I have virtually no knowledge of (or control over). Inspired also by our recent visit to Cornwall I thought some landscape work may be a good way to go! As it turned out the results are much more expressionistic than I originally planned and the work evolved into something else............ enough of my waffling, this is one of the pieces I have been working on, I would love to know what peeps think, good or bad..
Click on pics to enlarge

                      acrylic and collage

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Glastonbury Exhibition

I thought I would take some time out today, and have a break from my latest commission (cant say too much about this one at present, but will post soon) and having finished all my Uni assessments except one that is not due in until after the reading week (half term). We (being me and husband Kev) decided to visit Glastonbury as I wanted to see the art exhibition by three local artists, "Diversity" was a wonderful collection of Pastel, Paint and coloured pencil pieces, I met Pauline and Diana two of the artists and had an enjoyable chat and watched them at work. Well worth a visit at the Glastonbury Galleries if anyone is in the area.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

2 down 2 to go!

This week has been quite hectic and we are only half - way through , but two modules for our summative assessments have now been handed in and we have two more next week, which include a report and Power point presentation and our Life drawing/drawing and research module, roll on this time next week!
As promised a few pics of the 10 week project, there is also an A2 folder of mono prints and my favorite piece, the back -up sketch book, will post pics of these soon.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010


After a several  weeks thinking and planning about Symbolism, Romanticism, Pre-raph's etc (just about what you would expect from me, me-thinks) for my summative report at college, I work up early this morning with the realisation of something that had been nagging at me unconciously for a while.
I am not going to do the report on the aforementioned subject matter, but on  Dada, Surrealism and Salvador Dali! after doing a powerpoint and writing copious notes, that never saw the light of day earlier in the term, I would be rather stupid to waste them, (even if I did nearly forget about them!)

Our 10 week projects have gone in to be marked and thanks to a very generous fellow student, (thanks Joe)
who took lots of photo's I will put the pictures of mine on blogger very soon ;-)

Monday, 26 April 2010

More Moth book stuff.

I have spent all weekend pondering my moth ideas, in between working on another spaniel portrait which is not going well due to poor refs.

Last week at college I had the idea of making the main element of the book/moth piece about the shadows (Jung) and of stringing real dried moths on wire (escaping) the book of ashes, and lighting it so as to make a real impact with the shadows of the moths falling across the book.......... over the weekend thinking about the practicalities of this, the limited space, no accessible electricity point (extensions used for any length of time in college is a health and safety no, no,  I would need help constructing some sort of black out area, and although friends have offered help I am aware that we are all working to a very short deadline and I don't want to impose.
So...... all this has  led me to adapting the idea. There is a beautiful piece of work by Virginia Wolfe called "The Death of the Moth" which has to be read to be appreciated, but it led me to thinking about the inevitability of death and although the moth seems to struggle against it there is no escape.........I think the moths trying to escape from the black book of ashes (death) is still a good idea, but I am going to try and represent their shadows with strands of silk fibre (silk moths?) pulling them back into the pages...... At this moment in time I have no fixed Idea of how or if this will work and also whether I can obtain (cheaply) enough may have to make some, whilst thinking about this, another element suggested itself..Imposter moths, but I am not sure that this is worth pursuing at the moment, but who knows another conceptual piece at a later date perhaps?

Friday, 23 April 2010

Back to school and Artist books

The first week back after the Easter break has gone well. As I had finished my college linked commissions in the time I was home, it means I can now concentrate on the 10 week project (of which I have done very little and have only 3 weeks left) more of that in a bit.
My presentation about my own work, went well and I am becoming aware that my art does actually go a lot deeper  than I had thought. Perhaps not as much with the commissioned pet portraits, but even these have my "style" and my own animal portraits in particular "Maisie" reflect a lot more about me than I realised, this is fascinating stuff and I can't wait to see what my colleagues presentations reveal about them and if it confirms what we already know about each other.

The 10 week project is our final piece for the year and part of our summative marking.
I have been thinking about it constantly whilst doing my other work and I have lots of ideas.
I love books, particularly myths, folklore, fairy tales and the like and am also fascinated by the circle of life and death, changes (metamorphosis) etc.
I made a Saggar fired book in my work shops that was not fired in time for the marking, and am now thinking this was a good thing because I can use it in this project, it looks like a pile of ashes, but I think it is very beautiful and has deeper connotations because the original book belonged to my late Father.............. I also have some small bird bones and dried moths, which I may use as they also are very delicate/fragile and beautiful.
I am planning to make a second artist book using silk fibres and materials that I have left over from my previous textile explorations and I want to include my more recent moth etchings, but not the screen printed versions as I feel they lose something when made so much bigger............. I have in mind  a concoction of small, fragile and delicate elements of previous living creatures, enclosed and /or escaping in/from the books, and throwing shadows and shapes on the pages (of the Saggar book) so I may need to include some sort of lighting.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Artie finished and other stuff

Well thats Artie done and gone to his owner who was I am very happy to say delighted.
I am pleased that all went comparatively smoothly, but I am becoming more and more frustrated with soft pastels, in the main it is the difficulty keeping them where they are supposed to be and not making smudges and mess elsewhere, I use a mahl (sp?) stick, and gloves but invariably end up in a mess. The supports that are courser grained seem a little better at holding the pastel and I would use fixative but for some reason it always seems to mark the paper as well as the drawing/painting even when I spray  very lightly from a great height!

I think the black animals cause the greatest problem as it is so hard to remove the dark smudges from the paper :-(
I have been trying out colour pencils but they dont somehow give me the same sense of satisfaction as the pastel, (for the same reasons that I dislike it, I also enjoy the ability to move it around the support, layer it and change it) I am thinking maybe I will experiment with oil pastels, but as It is back to college this week I am going to have very little time for anything other than course work and I still have 2 commissions to do.