It is always satisfying to make a birthday card that relates specifically to the recipient. Recently I have made some soccer orientated cards for boys whose life revolves around ‘the beautiful game’*. But this time we have a card for a young lady with a more grown up, and cerebral nature.

*I’m not sure who first called football ‘the beautiful game’, whether it was Stuart Hall back in 1958, or H E Bates in 1952, or British sporting journalist, James (Jimmy) Catton, (1850-1939), but it’s not the game I see with its violence, racism, lust for wealth and fame, and general lack of morals and sportsmanship. But then I have never liked the game, not even as a child.

Before, there was Little Dragon and Big Dragon, then came Biggest Dragon. This impressive fella stands 16″ tall. He is again supplied as bisque fired ceramic by Just Purdy – Paint your own pottery and crafting centre now at the Crimchard Business Centre (@dianedening ) Chard, Somerset.

He is painted with DecoArt Americana acrylics, using the same dry-brushing technique as the other two.

He has been named after the dragon Nidhogg of Niflheim, world beyond Viking Hel. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

A different technique, and different subject. Cala Lily on textured art board in acrylics.

A great technique, could well be more flowers in the offing!

Design by Andy Jones – ‘Let’s paint with Plaid’

As an artist, when you get a commission you are chuffed (that’s a strange English word for ‘very pleased’). But you don’t always know how well the results have been received.

When you get a repeat commission, you are even more chuffed.

I’m really chuffed to say that one client, Karen Barclay of @karensquilts , has the triple whammy!

From top to bottom; Arthur, The Shed, and The Old Granary. Thank you Karen!

Following on from my previous post, Little Dragon, I’ve moved it up a gear to this 11″ bisque ceramic dragon. He is again supplied by Just Purdy – Paint your own pottery and crafting centre, now at The Crimchard Business Centre, (Instagram @dianedening) Chard, Somerset. The paint is DecoArt Americana. The technique used is known as ‘dry-brushing’, which is as described, a brush with hardly any paint on it.

There is one more dragon to do, and he is even larger – so look out for the ‘biggest dragon’, coming – not too soon. It is a slow process. Let me know what you think.

When we had our ceramic teaching studio one of our favourite techniques was ‘dry brushing’. It’s not a difficult thing to do, but requires some practice. Since we closed the studio I haven’t had the opportunity to work with ceramics, or do any dry brushing.

We recently visited a friends studio, Just Purdy – Paint your own pottery and crafting centre, now at The Crimchard Business Centre, (Instagram @dianedening) Chard, Somerset, and bought some bisque fired ceramic dragons. This little fellow is the smallest and was ideal to get my hand in with the technique – after a break of more than 20 years.

I used DecoArt Americana acrylic paint.

I’m partial to dragons, as they represent my Chinese Astrology sign, so I’ve placed him on a shelf with the bone china dragon tea set.

I have two more to do now. Come back soon to see how they look.

I’m please with the result. What do you think?

There are some older farm houses in Devon and Cornwall that are faced with slate, usually only the top half, the bottom is cob. There is one such farm not far from here which I have been eager to draw since we moved here, two years ago.

These strange times have delayed the receipt of Christmas and birthday commissions, so while I am waiting to reveal those here is the farm house.

North Devon Farmhouse
Eddie’s boots

I can’t reveal the Christmas commissions till after the big day, but I can show you a special birthday card.
This is for Eddie who is Millwall’s biggest fan, and pretty darned good at the game himself. His mum sent a picture of his favourite boots, for me to put on his birthday card, which he got last week.

So here we have a pair of Copa Mundial boots, which I am pleased to say I didn’t have to pay for. Have you seen the price of these? And now he takes an adult size to make it worse. Anyway, play up Millwall! Happy birthday Eddie.

Have you got any special requests? Christmas cards next!

The Little Owl is, unsurprisingly, the smallest owl resident in the UK.
This painting is from a photo taken at the Woodland Owls flying display at the Hawk Conservancy Trust, Andover, England.
Is Owl your totem animal?
The painting is acrylic on box canvas 18″x14″.
It is available, so contact me for more details .

Little owl was introduced to Britain in the late 1800s. It feeds on insects, earthworms, and small vertebrates. It nests in cavities and can be seen perched on posts and tree during the day. It hunts mainly at dawn and dusk.

The original photo taken at The Hawk Conservancy Trust during the Woodland Owl flying display – copyright © Julie Moody 2020

A group of crows is a murder, so with just one it must be ‘attempted murder’ I suppose.

This canvas was started a long time ago – I didn’t know what was going on it except that background had to be textured. Then it sat and rested for a while.

Later I was driven to put a variegated sky type colour scheme, with a contrasting flash. Then it sat and rested for a while.

I had been watching and reading about crows, and having seen some wonderful photographs of crows in flight, I decided that would be the subject. So here it is, sort of a slow motion flash of inspiration.

Could it be your totem animal?

DM or email for details.