Glastonbury Festival Stained Glass No Border

Arty Farty Party

One of the things that has really helped me during this {insert own adjective that reflects your experience of 2020 so far} time is art, and I mean art in its broadest sense. No judgement here about quality or process. Just people using their humanity to create things. Seeing what other people create fills me with joy, I absolutely love it. Below are a few things that have really made me smile:

Embroidered red kite by Debbie Anderson (my mum)

Ink and watercolour by Jackie Ledger @quiltstogo

Pet portraits by pyrographer Sally Allen @sallyallen1636

Barley in oil pastel by artist Hilary Murfin @hilarymurfin9529

Painted gate by Graphic Designer Chantal Palmer @sayhello2chantalpalmer

Hama Beads by Cade Ellis

Pop art stickers by Florence Westley

“Perhaps creativity’s greatest mercy is this: By completely absorbing our attention for a short and magical spell, it can relieve us temporarily from the dreadful burden of being who we are. Best of all, at the end of your creative adventure, you have a souvenir—something that you made, something to remind you forever of your brief but transformative encounter with inspiration”

Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Portraits for NHS Heroes

During the initial lockdown period earlier this year artist Tom Croft set up a campaign to create portraits for those NHS staff on the front line. It was a small way to say thank you and show gratitude. You can check out Tom on Instagram to find out more about the project.

Hundreds of people took part and it was wonderful to see so many different faces created in so many different styles. In November 2019 I had attended a four day course 'Portraits in Oils' at Art and Soul in St Neots led by the super talented and all round lovely human being Oliver Winconeck. It was a treat to myself after a particularly long year and I loved every minute of it. If you are interested in portraiture and ever get a chance to attend one of his lessons, just do it. This experience gave me a huge confidence boost and I somewhat boldly decided to take part in the NHS campaign.

I was paired with the lovely Emily Russell an oncology nurse from UCL whose ward had been turned into a Covid ward. It was an honour to paint Emily and she said she was really pleased with the results. There is a book coming out in November dedicated to this campaign with all royalties going to NHS Charities Together. I don't know if my portrait made the final cut, I did sign a release form, but there were a lot of worthy entries so we'll wait and see. Either way I've got my copy preordered as it's a wonderful cause.

Arty farty programes

I hear Grayson's art club is coming back to Channel 4 - hip hip hooray, and this month saw the return of Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year which I am busy catching up on. Sky Arts is now free to view which is great as I can now watch it in bed. Some of you may also know about the Sunday morning paint along called Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Week and - always the joiner-in-er - I've been having a go with mixed results. Actually they weren't mixed at all, they were awful, but I enjoyed every minute of it. I work better with tight deadlines so the 'see what you can do in 4 hours' is right up my street and often means I can still squeeze a roast dinner in, albeit later than usual.

Latest work

I hope that if you like art you've managed to enjoy, consume or make art during these strange times. If you have I would love to hear about it. Until then, I will leave you with some of my latest work. Thanks for stopping by and keep smiling.


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