These were all commissioned as presents for family members for Christmas. In the first one, I 'added' the husband as it was a surprise present for him. The couple are planning to return to Australia so this will be a memento for them. The middle two were commissioned by the mother of two sisters and I took the reference with the families there. The last one was a surprise from a husband to his wife and he asked for one son to be in his Batman suit and the other to be in the Welsh rugby kit.
Sunday, 13 December 2009
On 9th and 10th Dec I had 'Open Studio' with mulled wine and mince pies and the lovely Georgina Worthington of High Tea of Highgate provided mouth-watering cupcakes. In return I made a batch of cards for her. A similar 'barter' system works with Carol of Louis Farouk. Like High Tea, she stocks my cards, and if I need a necklace we can do swops to the same value. Carol and I took a couple of tables on Friday afternoon (11th) at Thornhill Primary School Xmas Fair and had fun selling our wares and chatting to the kids and parents at a very happy-seeming school.
I spent Saturday sitting on the balcony of The Tab Centre (designed by wonderful Matthew Lloyd architects...) selling my cards and showing examples of house paintings. Couldn't resist peeping over the balcony at the crowds just below me, though, waiting to buy Rob Ryan's iconic tiles and wrapping paper, all being sold for a fiver each. People did come upstairs, but none of the rest of us could quite say we had queues waiting to pay, just about all day... I'd been told about the sale by Kim Jenkins of Little Bird, who I was put next to at Top Drawer in September. She makes beautiful hot foil press cards and prints and can be found at Broadway Market every Saturday. As well as my own work, I was selling my 18yr old son Leo's prints and comics that day. Above is an example of Leo's current favourite print...
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
This was commissioned by a group of Highbury friends for Phil (far right) as a surprise present for his 40th birthday. I usually take the reference for pictures myself, but time and distance meant this was done from pics and information supplied by Phil's wife (such as where the hollyhocks grow in the warmer weather!)
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
My friend Lulu runs these fun classes for kids at Christ Church, Highbury. If you live in the area and have an 8 to 11 year old interested in drama - give her a ring! (see poster for details)
This 'house painting' was commissioned by a young man as an anniversary present for his wife. I took the reference quickly while she wasn't in and while the sun was out. The next door neighbour spotted me so I told her it was a surprise present, so not to spoil the surprise...
When I was at Highgate Craft Fair with my cards, back in June 09, I had a bit of space on my table and put out folders showing my house paintings. Five people ended up commissioning me from that, one of whom was this family. The mum was running a stall opposite me and the children came up to chat and ended up persuading their Dad to have their house 'done'. It's ready for pick up now. I always jpeg the pencil stage over to the client for approval first, do any necessary tweaks, then take to either pen and colour, or crayon and colour. This painting is that second option.
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Saturday, 22 August 2009
Monday, 13 July 2009
We got back on Wednesday from the house in Brooklyn, New York, that I painted last October and that the kind owner then offered us to stay in while she came to stay in our house. Before we arrived, Carolyn commissioned me to do two more paintings for her - one of her 3 cats, and the other of her garden. The beautiful white cat was extremely elusive - I only caught flashes of her running up stairs for the first 8 days, then, on day 10 she suddenly seemed to think I was OK and I got to have a good look at her.
Thursday, 4 June 2009
I've just finished this commission. Nancy and Angus were completely delightful - showing me all their toys and choosing what to have in the painting (a 40th birthday present for their dad from their mum).
Sunday, 19 April 2009
I painted this a few years ago, when I was practising doing watercolour portraits. It's of my father, Patrick, who died on 9th April 2009 after complications following a stroke.
He designed sets for nearly 200 plays and operas, mostly in the '60s, 70s and 80s - his best-known being The Cunning Little Vixen at Glyndebourne, Jumpers at the National and Turn of the Screw and Rigoletto at the ENO.
He taught me loads about painting, as well as sewing, knitting and cooking (a man ahead of his time) and everyone remembers him for his warmth, hugs and home-made wine. It's an honour to have been his daughter!
Last year I painted an exterior of Charleston House for the Charleston Fund (to raise money to keep artworks there). This time I've done an interior of Vanessa Bell's bedroom.
Last year's painting led to a commission from one of the bidders for a painting of her brownstone in New York (see earlier blog) and a lovely email correspondence. I am now putting new cupboards in my kitchen and generally dragging house up from complete scruff to more habitable because we're going to do a house swap this summer between our house in London and the one I painted in New York.
For most of March I worked on pictures for the British Council for an online course. This will be live soon and is aimed at teachers wanting to set up global school partnerships between schools in the UK and the developing world.
Thursday, 29 January 2009
The most popular cards at Top Drawer were these 'age cards', but without the ages, so just saying happy birthday + the image. The piles on the table show what the trusty workers John and Leo will be assembling (I do the printing and cutting).
This was home for 3 days last week and I got a badly swollen ankle from standing in it and not getting any exercise.
I was mad enough to say 'yes' to minimum orders and worried if I'd cover my costs when people ordered in 2s and 3s. Thanks to sterling crashing though, a Japanese buyer bought in 40s - which made the whole show viable.
Thursday, 15 January 2009
Have just received my free copy of The Fairy in the Potting Shed - a chapter book written by Lorna Uglow. I was commissioned to do one or two full colour pics for each chapter (8 chapters).
The book sat on a desk at Harper Collins for quite a while before Lorna took it upon herself to get it self-published. It's available on Amazon for anyone looking for presents for 10yr old girls!
Sylvie Field was the lovely model I used for Olivia. Thanks Sylvie!