Archive for September, 2007


Scottie Dog

A few years went by and I began to draw more often. Depending on what we were studying at school I might draw a tomato, or Sir Francis Raleigh, or flowers, or animals. I remember trying very hard to draw Sir Francis, in all his Elizabethan finery, over and over again, trying to cram in the detail, and then finding when I finally managed to look objectively that he was totally out of proportion. His head would be too small or his legs too short. Ah me! Well it didn’t matter too much because I loved to draw and would become totally absorbed in my work. That is something that hasn’t changed. I am the same today.

Whilst rooting around looking for a drawing I did of a mouse, sometime in my teens I came across this little gem. (I haven’t found the mouse yet, but it is around somewhere). This, it would appear is a scottie dog, and was drawn in 1970 when I was ….sixteen. Quite sweet.

Little dog drawing. It all seems a very long time ago!


Needles and Pins.

By the time I went to school I could knit quite well. My mother taught me, and I loved it. In the infant class I made a blanket for my doll’s cot, and was very proud when the head-teacher admired my dropped stitches. I remember it was very brightly coloured squares, obviously using my mothers left over balls of wool. By the time I was eight, not only was I knitting dolls and teddies jumpers, but also trying my hand at sewing. The results were pretty diabolical, but at least I was trying. Somewhere I have a doll dressed in the first dolly’s dress I ever made. My wonderful Wendy Boston Bear wears his turquoise jumper proudly, made I think when I was about ten. My mother made his tartan trousers.


  Meanwhile during my years at junior school, I was also being craftily productive. I remember making an apron that took ages, and a cross stitch tray cloth, which suffered greatly from misaligned stitches…some things never change! I don’t have those items any more, but I do have these. They have been stored away and treasured, packed away, but not forgotton.DUCK              Front of purse 


Blossom 3           Fsh 2

 So, even at that tender age I was eager to create. Notice the duck? Maybe I just had a thing about ducks! I know that I had a jigsaw puzzle which depicted a coral reef and lots of beautiful coloured fish, so that might have influenced the fish picture. The blossoms were probably the result of admiring the cherry blossom on the tree in the garden.


In the beginning…

there were note books and exercise books which became dotted with tiny marks and scrawls. Coloured lines, squiggles and bands marched across pages, and were presumably symptomatic of how I, as a baby / toddler was feeling. I don’t remember much about my art at that age, other than one piece of work which must have been done when I was four or five years old. It was Christmas, and we were staying, as we always did, with my grandmother, in a tiny hamlet, about thirty miles from home. My parents always arrived a few days after my brothers and myself, so I presume that on this occassion, we were being looked after because my Gran had gone to pick up my parents. Our babysitter was a young girl called Violet. I have no idea how old she was, but she was probably in her teens. Violet thought it would be a good idea if we did some mobiles that we could hang on the big christmas tree which stood in the hallway of Gran’s house. I don’t think I got the message about it being christmassy though, and set to work with crayons and paper, scissors and string and created …a duck! Perhaps we had talked about ducks or something. Anyway, I can see the finished product to this day, and it is the first artwork I can remember creating by myself. It looked something like this…

 Christmas Duck

I was very proud of my duck, but I have no recollection as to whether it was hung on the tree, or anywhere else, or even if I took it home after Christmas. As a side note, I often wondered what happened to Violet. As a shy child, I thought she was wonderful. I hope she went on to have a good life.


Following on …

from my first attempts in April, I have been hard at work, practising drawing and painting and experimenting with different painting programmes. At the moment I am not interested in manipulating photos or pictures. I want to be able to draw my own work, and then perhaps manipulate it, as in designs for greeting cards or collage. The design part is fun too, but I think my priority is learning the basics of drawing, straight forward (if there is such a thing) representational work.  I have several programmes that I use frequently, and others not so often, and I suspect different programes suit different peoples needs. The programme I use the most is Artrage 2, which, although not perfect is brilliant for someone like me who is learning to draw. The fact that you can undo and erase numerous times means you learn more efficiently, and you don’t get through so many forests!

Here are the sites I use and their links.

Artrage 2      

Twisted Brush


Wizard Brush


Drawing Hand  

Deep Paint     


Project Dogwaffle

Which one an individual uses, or upgrades is very much a personal choice. They all have pros and cons.


First Steps.

Way back in April, I stumbled across a website that left me speechless with delight. It was from the makers of a digital painting program, the first I had seen, and to this day, the best so far…for my purposes anyway. The company was called Ambient Design and their Programe, Artrage 2.5, with a free version available too. Of course I downloaded the programme and was so impressed that I bought the full version, which isn’t very expensive anyway, and worth every penny. I don’t work for Ambient design, by the way, but like many other folk, I love this programme. They have a very active forum on their website, so don’t take my word for the quality, check it out. There are some awesome works in the gallery. I haven’t submitted anything yet.

I doodled around for a few days, feeling very frustrated at how bad I was, and then one day in the middle of April I produced something that I thought was halfway reasonable, and I have not looked back since. This was the first work I felt happy with, and I have since used it on birthday cards and as an avatar.

 daisy.png  This little daisy gave me the encouragement I needed to keep practising. I have since learnt that I have good days and bad, the same as everyone else, and that on some of the good days I can produce work that is progressing, and incorporates learning from previous attempts. Bad days we won’t talk about!


Creative rainbows?

Strange title perhaps, but to me it explains what art means to me. It is my rainbow, lifting me out of the doldrums when I need  a boost, or reflecting a multicoloured life, full of light and joy. I am not a professional artist. In fact I have only just started to draw and paint again after thirty-five years, the last time being in my teens. Life takes over and we aren’t always able to do the things we enjoy most, but now I have a window of opportunity, and I’m using it. This blog is intended as a window on my work, be it craft work or digital art. I haven’t really migrated to 3D art yet, other than a few pastel drawings. Hopefully, anyone reading this will see a transition, at what speed I can’t tell, from almost novice status, to something more accomplished. But…we’ll see!

I may regret this, but encouragement would be great and constructive criticism appreciated, so please leave comments if you wish.

okeeffe8.jpg Cat mad, but love dogs too! Purple fanatic but... More about me, here!
September 2007
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