Becoming an orphan.

Well, life changed for me on the 4th February.  Sadly my father passed away and I am now coping with the aftermath of this awful event.  I am so glad that I got to spend the last five years with him. 
Many of you know about all the form filling and horribleness that you have to deal with, but it’s a first for me and yes, I do feel sorry for myself at times.  I am an only child and therefore it is all falling on my shoulders.  
Here is a sweet photo of me and my Dad chatting as I painted in my makeshift studio in his house.  
He was my rock and I miss him so much.
To restore my sanity, after three weeks I finally made it back to University and got back to printmaking.  The deadline for my final project is mid May and I am now panicking a little!  All this on top of all that form filling!  The last words Dad really said to me was you must finish your MA and that’s what I am trying to do.  
Sorry to those who have already heard this, but many of you just get my blog and not the Facebook page.  
So this is what I have been up to.    Two etchings, all part of my big final project.
Stream – Soft ground, sugar lift aquatint – 22 x 15 cm – in progress I think.
Titanus giganteus – Hard ground etching – 22 x 15 cm
Thank goodness the daffodils are finally coming out.  

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Next stage.

Here is the next stage of my latest commission. Just waiting for it to dry now so that I can work on it again. I am a little distracted at the moment with ‘stuff’ .. so not really up to blogging.. but working very hard nevertheless. Sometimes life is really hard… although I shouldn’t complain as most people have it harder.

Anyway, here is a photo of the fens where I took Missy (I was dog sitting) for a walk. My Dad lives near here.. you can see for miles! It’s The Wash, if anyone is interested, the coastline above Norfolk. Quite different from living in the valley between the Sangre de Cristos and the Jemez Mountains!

And here is another photo of some poppies on the edge of a barley field and Missy on my way back to my Dad’s house after my weekend in Norfolk.

My husband, Barry McCuan arrives in about three weeks. We have been apart since the end of January and I have just about had enough of being on my own!

Laying out a painting

As mentioned before I seem to have a lot of commissions on at the moment and this is one of them. Commissions can be quite scary I think. Just painting on a large canvas and the investment involved can be bad enough when you have been painting quite small for a while! Anyway, I have pretty much finished the first one, which I would post but I haven’t managed to get a good photo of it. So, I thought I would post the stages that I go through when laying out a painting. Already I can see I need to lift the right hand side of the painting, so it’s definitely worth taking photos .. you can see a lot more this way. I am quite pleased with the start though. I will post more as I go along.

For those of you that were interested in my give away… all I can say is huge apologies..but the little painting I had earmarked got sold (I can’t pass up the money at the moment!)… so I am afraid we will have to wait a while until I have time to do another one… but I haven’t forgotten, honest!

My destiny?

I am busy working on a large commission at the moment, so I thought I would post this photo that Dad found yesterday. It has been suggested that my destiny was sealed the moment I was dressed up as a pot of paint to enter the fancy dress competition at the village garden fete in 1958! I think I came second!


Above Quenington

The beginnings

River Coln, Glos.

Texture of linen

Since dropping Barry off at Heathrow airport meant that I was well on my way to the West Country, I arranged to continue on and visit an old friend whom I haven’t seen for many years in Gloucestershire. This area of England is exceptionally beautiful so the bonus is that I get to go out and paint

I found this lovely spot on the River Coln looking towards Coln St. Adwyns. It was hard to choose, as there are so many gorgeous little places to paint. I could hardly move after a couple of hours it was so cold, all I could manage after an earlier sketch, was a simple layout with very thin colours, just staining the linen. When I work this way, I realise that this is why I chose to paint on linen (as opposed to cotton) because when painting thinly you can enjoy the lovely texture of linen, which I think adds something special to the painting.

I haven’t forgotten about the ‘Painting Giveaway’.. just didn’t manage to get the painting finished to give to Barry to take back to the States.. not that winner will necessarily come from the US! Sign up and start leaving comments for your name to be entered into the hat.