A new portrait commission, and other portrait pieces…

I am always honoured to be able to paint someone’s portrait. To me, capturing the essence of a person within a painting is not only a wonderful creative expression, but also an intimate journey into their soul…

maggie portrait 1

This is the beginnings of a portrait of Maggie, a wonderful customer who was inspired by my Flora Fairy painting and loves flowers and her two cats, so asked if I could blend all of these together and create a portrait of her. As with the Flora painting, I am using dried pressed flowers I have gathered on my journeys around the world, and overlaying them with watercolours. The overall feel is ethereal, whimsical and delicate. You can click on it for a closer view.

Here are a few examples of portrait styles I have done over the years :

I love doing almost any kind of commissioned artwork, especially portraits. I prefer not to be too attached to defining the realism of the person ~ rather, I draw from my style which uses a quality of magical realism to enhance the uniqueness I see in my subject matter.

If you are interested in having your portrait painted, please contact me for further information on the process, prices etc. I would be very happy to hear from you!

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Leda and the Swan : a new watercolor painting

I have finally completed this painting, which I’ve been working on over the year. You can see its progress here. It is based upon Leda and the Swan , the ancient Greek myth of Zeus disguised as a swan who seduces the innocent mortal Leda.

Leda and the Swan

I wanted an African nuance, but ethereal too, with allusions to flight and feathers; the dreaminess of Leda’s imagination as she ponders Zeus’s love…This painting was done in watercolor on my favourite Stonehenge paper, with touches of gold paint, coloured pencil and ink.

Swan Maiden painting

I have gorgeous art prints for sale in my online shop, and the original is also for sale here.

Leda and the Swan watercolour painting progress

I am nearing the end of completing this little painting, which I have really enjoyed doing. As mentioned in a previous post, the concept is based on an ancient Greek myth of Zeus disguised as a swan who seduces the innocent Leda.

I wanted a kind of African nuance, but ethereal too, with allusions to flight and feathers; the dreaminess of Leda’s imagination as she ponders Zeus’s love…

leda and swan

Leda Swan

The Sacred Union of Female and Male : Art of Lovers

The Masculine and Feminine revolve

through nature and life as One.

The Sun and Moon symbolize a great

power of love and balance…

~John Robson of Nitesongs~

Throughout my artistic life I have been drawn to expressing the beauty and power of romance between Feminine and Masculine elements. The Lover Archetypes are inherent throughout all cultures, religions and mythologies, and is woven deep within our collective consciousness and the very laws of Nature herself. Here are some of the paintings that I have been inspired to create in honour of the love that man and woman have spun together in the timeless dance of sacred love, union and deep mutual fascination that is the basis of the creation of human life…

you can click on the images for more information

Secret Garden Painting progress

This is a close up of painting commission currently underway, the beginnings of which you can see below or here. I have been painting mostly with watercolours, adding touches with acrylic paint and pigment coloured pencil. There are two faeries, and a hedgehog so far….click on the image to enlarge and see if you can spot them! More little creatures to come later…

The Secret Life of a commissioned painting…initial stages

I have the pleasure of being able to do some wonderful commissions for fabulous customers over the years, and have been asked by Adlene of The Secret Garden of Beauty to do a custom painting to express the magical essence of her unique beauty salon in Wales.
I first liaise with the customer as to the vision of the original artwork they have asked me to create just for them, which may include photos, stories, memories or just imaginative feelings that they would like me to translate into a painting. In this case, Adlene wanted a secret garden theme with a magical, fairytale element to reflect the charm and tranquility of her wonderful beauty salon. Each commission process is different, and in Adlene’s I began with a black and white sketch, which I coloured in with a rough idea as to what she and I may be visualising about the nature of a secret garden….

The painting I have just begun is a watercolour and coloured pigment pencil artwork, which features mainly greens and pastel lavender with aqua blues, capturing the English garden flowers that one may find in the hidden garden of a mystical realm. More progress reports to follow ~ here is the beginning:

Cat Folk Art Painting Art Nouveau style with poppies, butterflies and ladybugs

This is my completed Art Nouveau style Cat painting. It is watercolor with gold and colored pigment ink and is inspired by folk art as well as the illustrations of the Art Nouveau period which had a wonderful flowing style and often incorporated natural elements within the diverse themes depicted.

It is for sale as a beautiful print in my online shop here and the original painting is for sale here – I have not come up with a name for it, so any suggestions are welcome!

Original Owl Artwork painted on Shakespeare’s verse

Recently I found a beaten up old edition – from the end of the Second World War – of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (or What You Will) and the same day I rediscovered a little owl painting I had painted some time ago. You can see it here.

I was intrigued by the idea of placing this lovely whimsical owl over the delightful words of the great Bard, creating a mixed media original yet very affordable piece of artwork. The result is what you see below. Each creation has been hand painted with acrylic upon a different page of the play, over the original print. The colours are fantastically vibrant, with highlights of gold and silver pigment to further enhance this little ACEO collectable work of art.

If you would like it purchase one of these delightful original pieces of mixed media artwork, each one created individually costs US$7.50, plus shipping – please contact me!

“Luna Moth” : New Fairy Painitng, Art Nouveau style…

It is time for another fairy painting! To me, fairies represent the feminine spirit in Nature: ethereal, transcendent, beautiful and inspiring.

I love the work of Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha  ; his illustrative style is highly decorative yet maintains a wonderful evocative realism that captures the feminine essence within the natural world exquisitely. I also have a fascination for the exotic luna moth and want to combine those two inspirations with the magical ambiance of a crescent moonlit night… ~ You can see more of my original fairy and fantasy paintings here. ~

Here is the quick sketch, and the beginnings of the painting. I am using Fredrix watercolor canvas which is so interesting to paint on. It has a smooth and very watercolour- paper like canvas surface, but one can achieve beautiful blending and painterly techniques.