Archive for the ‘art’ Category

I’ve been framed – by a customer.

Last week I delivered their commissioned picture*. Karen of Karen’s Quilts assured me that this one was going to a good home and would be well looked after. Looks pretty nifty in the black frame, don’t you think?

So, here it is, hanging in the kitchen where the picture and the ‘real shed’ can be viewed together. Visit her blog for the full story.

Karen’s speciality is handmade, bespoke memory quilts. If you have a special memory that you want to keep and share – may be a new baby, a wedding, or graduation perhaps – or a loved one who is no longer here, Karen will tailor the design to suit your requirements.


IMG_0114*Visit my portfolio at for details of Karen’s request, and how to commission one of your own.



IMG_0309My other blog, Twitter account, and Instagram all use ‘scratchypen’ in their name – read the Why? page on my blog for a full explanation.

As it is about time I added to this blog, using my scratchy pens seemed to be a good idea. So here is a quick doodle / sketch of my house and its immediate neighbours, just for fun.

For info, the initial layout was on cheap sketching paper, with HB pencil, the large writing nib, with black FW Acrylic Artists Ink, for the outline, and the small mapping pen for the detail. Final shadows and shading with 4B pencil.

I hope you approve. Let me know what you think.

December and the Christmas holiday is supposed to be a quiet time, well, except for the actual Christmas arrangements themselves, of course. But I have managed to sneak in some arty-crafty stuff along the way.

First there was the rush-job on the Advent Christmas tree – a re-paint after a faux-pas with the spray finish – then I got a bit carried away with the brush-stroke practice. Next I found a piece of stash that needed some attention (please note the nifty faux bois photo layout board), and today I got the ink done on my old Lambretta (my first – Ah! The summer of ’69 …)  . All I have to do now is decide – colour or mono?

What to you think?


RIGHT! OK you lot, LISTEN UP! Now all the hoo-ha of Julie retiring is over, it’s my turn.

I retired last week, as well.

It was a bit like my own mini-Brexit – getting free from the oppressive constraints of a huge organisation that has lost it’s way, and being free to negotiate, and make better deals for myself. No more trying to fit things in around work, or taking a day’s leave to be able to get to an event; my time is my own to manage as I wish.

So – I’m available and free! (well, reasonably cheap), open to offers, and raring’ to go!

It’s been a while since I picked up an airbrush – about 20 years – so I thought I’d better start at the beginning again. After doing all the usual internet research I decided the best place to go is The Airbrush Academy in Evesham, Worcestershire.

The owner and instructor is Mick Neill, who not only is a brilliant artist, but a great teacher, too. His studio is flooded with natural light, equipped with good quality airbrushes, and paints. His work is displayed around the walls and certainly is an inspiration.

The first piece

The second piece

Day 1 was for learning the basic strokes and putting them to work. Like all good teachers Mick has no secrets – well not for his art work – he is free with his advice and information. Ask any question and you will get an answer. Sometimes his reply is brutally honest.

The second day was for practising, and producing the main piece. Working from a reference photo we worked on synthetic paper to paint a close-up eye.

So, that was the beginner’s class. I’m back at the end of June for ‘The Next Step’, Module 2. I can’t wait to get stuck in – Visit The Airbrush Academy for full details of the classes, Mick, and what he does. I’m impressed.


W16_CB_2_150x300Just signed up for Wanderlust 2016. It’s a whole year’s worth of creative and inspiring classes – 24 teachers, 50 video lessons! Trouble is it’s been running since January and I’m 18 weeks behind! Luckily, it is all downloadable so I can work at my own pace.

I’ll keep you posted … Visit Everything Art for more.

Last year BADFA (British Association of Decorative and Folk Arts) ran a seminar with Linda Lock from British Columbia, Canada. I did one of the three days, a butterfly with silver foil wings.

The technique used blending for the background and clover flower, and tube lining with texture medium for the raised outline. Of course, the wings are silver (or in this case, aluminium) foil.

The random script is more tube lining with texture medium.

Read more about Linda Lock and her techniques at

Leave a comment, tell me what you think.