Thursday, February 7, 2013


Yes! Finished! It’s been quite a learning curve trying out different techniques and using various mediums.  I’m pleased with the end product. I've learnt what not to do again as artists among you will appreciate what I’m saying. It just shows what you can do when you try. I hear people say I couldn't do that if I tried, having tried I can look them in the eye and say “you never know what you can do until you try

Will I paint roses again? Yes; I've painted them before but not using these techniques. Some are better than others, that’s how it goes for me, which is part of the fun and learning process. If I found them easier to paint would I enjoy it so much, would I take pleasure in seeing what I had produced with as much pride with the thought “ I've done that” if it was effortless? I don’t think so, as with many things in life, if it was so easy and everyone could do it what would be the point in trying. 

See you soon.

Roses from previous attempts.

Friday, February 1, 2013


What do you think of Bikers? Think again.

People who see many of them with long hair in their leathers or covered in tattoos either on the road or in a public place automatically think that they are trash or some such thing. Seeing them on mass is even worse and they are given a wide berth because one assumes there is going to be trouble. Where does this impression come from I wonder? It seems that many people shy away from anyone who looks or acts differently other from what we ourselves call the norm. When you see them out riding on mass it is assumed they are on their way to start a war somewhere. They are feared because it is probably easier than getting to know them. Do you know a doctor or nurse or someone else who is a professional who owns a motorbike? Would you think the same of them?

Many establishments will not allow them on their premises or even serve them. Disgusting! Why are they so different from anyone else?

Bikers are not gangs of thugs, many of them do not have tattoos or long hair, they are people like you and me who work for a living and have families too. They belong to clubs and such like many other types of clubs that are available to us. They are just people who love to ride like many others who covert their car. Many of them spend hours like you with your car, making improvements or even building from scratch and help each other in doing so.

People do not realise the good that the majority bike riders do. All over the world they work hard to raise a lot of money for charity and other organisations, probably much more than you or I have ever donated in our lifetime. In America, even at cost to themselves, they line routes of funerals for soldiers and others not only to show respect but to block campaigners and such, which enables the family to mourn in peace.  When you see that gang out riding in mass they are probably on a rally to raise even more money, on their way to do good or meet up to discuss how they can raise the cash to help even one of you.

Seeing bikers having a good time somewhere, they are just causing a lot of noise and trouble, are they? Mostly they are there for another reason to do with raising that hard-earned cash.

Hairy Bikers, well known to many, go all over the world, finding a creating recipes, they are well thought of because they are celebrities.

When you see them having a good time somewhere, join in find out how you can help, even dip your hand in your pocket. When you see a local bike show, go along pay your entrance fee, which I might add is raising money, have a chat get to know them, after all they are just someone’s Son, Husband or father and Wife, Daughter or Mum trying to do good and have fun in the process of doing so. 

You may ask what on earth has sparked this off today? Yep Face book again. I am not a biker, my son is. Some poor guy has had his bike stolen. Immediately I thought of the hours he has spent to bring his prized motorbike up to spec, what it has cost and it’s worth being one of a kind. Hopefully this may help. 


Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Another day painting along with Pete where we've continued with our Roses, adding background and leaves. So far we are pleased with our results. I couldn't add my leaves as the under paint kept lifting off. I have marked where my stems are going to be ready to start leaves when it has dried again, where as we managed to paint the leaves on Pete’s. The roses are starting to show their full glory now although we still have some work to do in that area.  They are growing. Hopefully we shall finish them next week.

Meantime my pet portrait is also coming along and at the second stage of drying.

This evening I’m off to a line dance session at our little club. This will be my forth week. Line dancing as well as sequence dancing! You may be thinking I've taken this exercise lark a bit over board but there is a reason for my madness. I was told that with most types of dancing, the steps are the same but in a different order and that if I tried line dancing I would only have myself to think about as apposed to having a partner, which would give me more confidence.  I did think it would be too fast for me but like everything that goes on at our club you do as much as you want to do. My first week I was amazed to find by watching others line dance that you put as much effort into it that you feel you can cope with. Yes, it’s becoming easier for me each week and I find I’m looking forward to going. I also found I am becoming more confident when we go on Tuesday to our sequence dance club. Now which shoes shall I wear? 

See you next time,

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Do you want to dance?
Why don’t you?

Exercise is good for you so they say; I for one have always shied away from it as much as possible, more so as I've grown older. Why you may ask? Like many others I have used various excuses, work, too busy, I get out of puff too much, excuses pile up when you think of them all.

The decision came for me to start dance sessions where we live, sequence dancing, after being ill for 2 yrs and not being able to do much at all. I missed a lot of things, even going to the supermarket was a task in itself as I couldn't make it all around the store. I then realised I was having more good days than bad and in order for me to move on I decided it was time I became more active and dancing sounded more fun than just walking which we do when the weather is fine. During winter months it is more difficult because of the weather. Our club sounded a good idea, not far to go, and easy to get home in all weathers.

Tuesday afternoon is dance day for us.. We don’t have far to go about 10 yds to our little clubhouse on site where we live. It’s really known by all who live here as 'The Pavilion'. It’s an opportunity to meet a few others in the same frame of mind, to exercise, have a cup of tea and biscuit, also have a good natter to catch up with news; what’s happening, where and to whom within our little area.  Apparently there are quite a few dances around our area, therefore some of the dancers use our session as an opportunity to practice, some used to live here but still come along and others are friends of someone who lives here. There are some who don’t dance at all but come along anyway rather than be home on they’re own, it gets them out of the house and of course the exercise walking to get there.

We've lived here for over 30 yrs now, when we worked we had other things to do and didn't have time to go along to join the fun. We've been going a few weeks now since before Christmas last year and are now starting to remember some of the sequences. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t to things by halves, if I’m going to do it I want to do it right. I find  u tube video’s that show some of the dances and sit here moving my feet to try and follow the moves. More exercise.

The first few weeks the sequences all merged into one in my brain but as weeks pass I am remembering more of them. I still get muddled up and do it wrong but it’s fun of trying to get to the end and have done at least one sequence right. No one watches you or cares if you do it wrong, are very helpful showing you the steps. We do have a couple of ladies who run the dance club, as we call it, who also teach you and are very patient.

Hubby used to do ballroom dancing in his younger days but this is different, it helps me knowing he’s not done this before and learning also. I wore my shoes I normally wear if I go out anywhere nice but found I couldn't glide as they call it  because my shoes being rubber kept squeaking on the floor and I lost my shoe a couple of times. Those who do dance said I needed leather soles to dance. As I enjoy dancing I have invested in some practice shoes for now. When we feel able to go to an actual dance I will buy appropriate dance shoes.  I can’t wait!

I hear many people say it’s not my thing, I can’t do this or that, and I've never been any good at this or that. Are you saying those things too? I believe anyone can do anything they want to do. You have to try and get out of it what you find pleasure in. After all you never know until you try.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Why do we want a pet?

I’m not the right person to ask as being allergic to most animals that cause hospitalization when I do come into contact with them. It’s not a situation I would like to create purposely.

Pets to most British people are part of the family, some are doted on more that others.  Earlier on in my life we have had dogs that I loved to bits.There are many dogs now that are said to be perfect for asthmatics but that still puts me off, having been really poorly several times it’s frightening to think what can happen to me, then having to take it back doesn't bear thinking about.

I love animals and if I’d not been allergic to them I would probably have at least one or two.  These days I think it would probably be nice to have one which would get me out in the fresh air more often and I’d get more exercise too. But is that a reason for having a dog? Not to my way of thinking, which brings thoughts of having to get up earlier to take the poor thing out to relieve itself, for me in all weathers does not bear thinking about. Do I love them enough to turn our life around at this stage in our lives?

Going anywhere these days can cause problems as to whether we can take them with us. I've seen them left in cars, taken to car boot sales in all weathers getting under other people’s feet, being left tied up outside supermarkets and shops thinking could do that to mine, but then what do you do with your pet when you also have to live your life. Leave it at home? I’d worry if it were crying for me as I've heard a neighbour’s dog do when she pops out for a little while. I’m a softie at heart.

These days there are holiday places that specifically cater for people who have dogs, but then I’d run into problems with others that I would be allergic to. When there is no other choice do you put them in kennels that I know are expensive and can cost as much as the owners holiday. Many people have someone to pet sit for families in their own home whilst they are away, whilst others have friends or family look after them in their own home. Good idea!

With all this in mind I think I’ll stick to painting them. I have in the past, done portraits of my friends pets, which I’m told, have looked exactly like their beloved pet which for me is something. When I decide I’m going to start a pet portrait I like to have a lot of photographs, that I hang up around my space for a while, it’s my way of getting to know the animal. When I feel I’m ready to start I draw the cat or dog straight onto a board or canvas and live with it for a day or two before applying paint. I start with a background that I think will show the pet’s personality or finished portrait best. The eyes show me it’s soul and brings the portrait alive, they are next. After that it depends on the animal’s fur where I continue. I work in layers allowing each one to dry before starting the next layer. I continually look at it to feel the essence of pet in front of me. They are well worth the effort and time I put into them.

I am at this time starting another portrait to paint in between the roses, which is drying in readiness of the next stage of its development. As this also needs time to dry I decided it would provide stimulation whilst I wait without going away of what I’m doing which has happened then the painting is never completed. I will take photographs for later publication.

I hope you like my pets, which is where I’m going to stay, painting rather than owning. 

Alphie belongs to a young lady i worked with at the time.

Ginger belongs to friends of ours and painted as a Christmas gift and was my first pet portrait..

Sasha belongs to one of the bosses I worked with at that time..

Belle belongs to a dear friend of mine and was a Christmas gift

This cat  was painted after it passed away to help a dear friend deal with it's loss. 

Painted for the same dear friends as a gift to a relative who was sick at the time

Friday, January 25, 2013

It's Friday!

What does Friday mean to you?

Many think of Friday being last day of a five-day working week, and viewed as a cause for celebration or relief.

For some it’s the end of a working week and look forward to a couple of days doing what they want without having to get up and answer to bosses.

Catching up with housework when work commitments take up precious time where these tasks could have been fulfilled during the week is the main aim of for some.

For those who have been able to have accomplished these tasks during the week, Friday indicates the end of the week and look forward to a relaxing weekend having fun with their loved ones or in general just chilling out as some say.

For others looking forward to weekend means they can fulfill their never-ending need or have to shop. Not just supermarkets, there are all those other types of shops where you can purchase anything you may need or don’t need in some cases.

For us, not a lot! By this time we have normally been anywhere we've needed to go, appointments and such. Our shopping is all done and looking forward to a couple of days when we don’t have to go out if we don’t want to.

In general we tend to leave the shops for others to invade who have no alternative than having to go shopping to stock up on provisions that have been used up from the previous nightmare. People who work mostly 9 to 5 are probably too tired to go after work although I believe many do. The supermarkets are usually very busy and clapping their hands watching all those eager folks willing or having to fill their shopping trolleys many to over flowing. The world over it seems to mean the same for many who have to prepare for the week after all work gets in the way of these every day necessities. 

In our area car parks are full to over flowing with endless rows of cars queuing to park. It seems that wherever you go, Shopping Centres, main towns or Retail Park there is chaos at the weekend. Getting there is part of the nightmare for us, and for many areas too where holiday periods only add to the rage of getting anywhere. Children of many ages being dragged along to help some say, but probably the reason being that they can’t be left home alone or that there is no one to look after them. Many parents have already spent quite of bit of their hard earned cash paying for childcare on weekdays and weekends are their time to be with the kiddies. Where I go you go seems to be the thing for some whether they like it or not. You can hear the wailing of younger ones who’d rather not be there for they have more important things to do other than accompany parents to the shops. Among what seems chaos there are “can I have” and “I want” type, where parents become frustrated with the never-ending demands of their youngsters.  Not for me, I’m happy to say. For us being retired, there really isn't any difference to week days. We can and do what we want when we want. Lovely!

Some call this fun.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I've been asked how my roses are coming along so today I thought I’d fill you in on progress so far.

It’s Wednesday again and as I've said previously it’s my painting day. We did paint last week (these roses) but only got as far as the base colour in the flowers and some fiddling around.

Pete arrived with all his gear eager to continue with his, which are yellow. I’m beginning to wish I’d chosen yellow too as I've had success with them before. Red for me at the moment was not a good idea. Perhaps when I have finished I may change my mind. When we decided we’d had enough, I took photos of both paintings as we can see more easily how we are progressing and what needs altering. We discuss together what we like, where we are going to make changes next time and the reverse. My hubby says, “they’re coming”. As you can see there are changes that need to be made before I do the background. I’m sure some of you can see areas that are good, others not so good and what you would do. No, not put it in the bin. We will get there in the end. I hope. Perhaps we will try pansies or some other flower next time. It is surprising when you achieve a completed painting that you or others give positive feed back how you change your mind.

I've scrubbed the brush around with a tiny bit of green (which will cover) to get an idea of how I’m going to do the background, also because I’m getting a little impatient.

There are some people who have no trouble at all painting flowers and some make a good living from them. My purpose is to enjoy what I’m doing; I think the fun is striving for perfection otherwise what’s the point. I’m sure some would say you do it like this or that, but I've found it’s not easy to paint the same way someone else has found successful. You can learn yes, but at the end of the day you have to find your way of doing things like everything else we do, cleaning or washing up, we are all different in what ever we do.