Well I am sure we are all agreed that this Christmas is going to be just that little bit different. Taking that into account, and the fact that I am shielding , I have taken the opportunity to try and get a bit more organised.
This has included designing this years Christmas card bundle.......in October!
I have designed six cards which are now available. These are unique and brilliant for popping into an A6 frame and making a little focal point somewhere on a wall, or giving away as a present. You will see from the images that some have been made a little less christmassy and generic so you can enjoy them even after the festive season......thats if you decide to keep them and not send to friends and family!!
A pack of 6 costs £20 and postage is free for the UK and Ireland.
Mr Pheasant .
This colourful little chap was inspired by a bold bird who decided to come every day for a week and help himself to my free range hens breakfast . He has since disappeared, which is a shame. I love to see the local wildlife coming to the farm. It really brightens up my morning catching little glimpses of wild visitors.
Unfortunately I haven't had any sightings of this type of creature on the farm lately ! I simply admire their beauty and it has been on my list to have a go at painting them for a long time. While a lot of artists tend to paint these beautiful animals from head on, I thought it would be interesting to do a side view of the herd and include some foliage. This was painted in my sketch book using watercolour and pen. The watercolour paints used were Daniel Smith, which I have recently started using and do love.
It wouldn't be Christmas without an angel. I have to say I have a bit of a fascination with the whole guardian angel theory. The inspiration for this , as cookie as it may sound.....I have had a little robin red breast following me around the farm each morning as I feed the horses and animals. As many of you probably know, it' s said when a little robin appears often, that a departed loved one is watching over you. This little bird has now been following me around for 6 weeks and appears each morning, however, if I go for a walk later in the day, around the little woodland on the farm, he is also there watching. I also get a little rendition of his favourite song each morning . He sits on the same hawthorn bush, at the same time and belts out a beautiful tune. This stops me in my tracks and makes me be mindful for a bit. I am now an expert in identifying a robins little song.
Anyway......back to the image in question.....this was painted in my sketch book using pen and watercolour . I also had great fun using some gold watercolour paint . If you like to paint yourself , I would highly recommend it for some fun. Its very good at adding texture and richness to a piece.
I have an ongoing fascination with the Irish Hare. I must paint about 10 variations per year. This chap is a lot more detailed than my normal version and I absolutely loved working on this. Doodling is a wonderful pastime and perfect for stress relief and forgetting about the crazy times we are living in. I would highly recommend keeping a little moleskin sketch book and some pens by your bed and doodle away when you are feeling anxious and want to just relax. Watercolours are then applied. I've used Daniel Smith again here using reds, turquoise, yellows and some more of that wonderful gold paint. The original of this piece has since sold, thought I was sorry to see him go . I hope to paint a fox in a similar style soon.
Fetching the Christmas tree
When my children were small, there was always great excitement about getting the real tree. Theres been years when we have had the artificial number on display but when I'm organised enough there is nothing more exciting than the smell of a real tree in the house. We try to get one which has a root system but 9 times out of 10 they don't survive due to the rough nature in which they are shoved into pots for Christmas. I do hope to plant some Christmas trees in the little woodland on the farm this winter .
Cold night at The Maidens Lighthouse
As I live on a peninsula, just 400 metres from a 250 foot cliff top, I have one amazing view of the Maidens lighthouses, along with some of the Scottish Islands. The visibility is always much better in Autumn and Winter in comparison to Summer time .
I have major lighthouse love and just adore painting lighthouses, but the Maidens have to be my favourite. They have been automated since 1977. For anyone interested , there is a fabulous piece of youtube video showing the fortnightly supplies being delivered in the early 1970's by the local little ferry boat, which was crammed full of families and children with picnics and fishing rods, taking advantage of a trip to sea with the sun shining. I was treated to a visit ,by boat, for my 40th birthday a decade ago with a group of friends. It is now a haven for huge common and gray seals . A magical and very special place that I will continue to paint every chance I get.
So if you fancy a pack of hand made cards, to either frame and display, or send to special friends and family, you can order them online. Remember postage is free in Uk and Ireland. If you would like these A6 pieces professionally framed , please email me and I can arrange that also. The cost is £40 per image and that includes postage to Uk and Ireland. Thanks for reading my very first blog post!! I hope you enjoyed it .
* packs of cards are also available from the following retail outlets:-
#shamblesworkshop located in the gate lodge at #glenarmestate in the village of Glenarm in Co Antrim. This village has it all, a beautiful castle, river flowing into the sea , woodland walk and beach. The #glenarmtearooms are also wonderful for a take away snack to enjoy alfresco.
#javaart also located in the Courtyard in Carrickfergus. This little gift shop has lots of unusual items along with a selection of chalk paints if you like some up cycling of furniture.
Thank you for reading and have a lovely day.!