Illustrated Ghost Stories: The Severed Arm of Overwater

A curious and grisly ghostly tale in which to this day I still can’t decide whether Overwater Hall and it’s neighbouring tarn are haunted by one ghost or two. This one’s not for the squeamish that’s for sure!

The Seeds of a Scandal

In the Lake District in 1814 Joseph Gillbanks procured the Whitfield estate and the estates that surrounded it. Where once stood Whitfield House Gillbanks decided to build what is now known as Overwater Hall, presumably named for the tarn that it neighboured. Gillbanks had made his fortune by sailing to Jamaica at the age of 20 in the pursuit of riches. Whilst there he found love and married Mary Jackson, the niece of the Chief Justice of Jamaica at the time. Armed with vast sums of cash and a new bride, Gillbanks returned to the UK to build his new home and become the firs tof the halls many characterful occupants.

The tale goes that when Joseph and Mary set course for Cumbria they were unknowingly being pursued. It is said that Joseph had taken a mistress whilst in Jamaica and that this mistress had given birth to an illegitimate child. Not content to see Joseph flee his responsibilities the mistress too set course for England. Upon tracking Gillbanks down she revealed to him that they had conceived a child. This was deemed to be a huge scandal that Gilbanks would do anything to avoid, and so he began to scheme. Joseph took his mistress out onto the lake by boat where he preceded to attempt to drown the poor woman who had mothered his child. When she tried to clamber back aboard it is said that Joseph severed her arms so that she no longer had the agency to save herself from the terrible fate of drowning. The coward Gillbanks left his armless victim in the lake to die a grisly and cruel death. 

Now Joseph was never charged for the murder but it is said that the story was well known around the locality and it was no secret of the terrible deed that Gillbanks had done. That Gillbanks never faced justice for his crime which is perhaps how the stories of the ghost of Overwater Hall began.

A Restless Spirit

It is said that within the walls of a hall the ghost of a woman can be seen. She is described as being a black woman with no arms. One famous account of the ghost is that by one of the Hall’s subsequent owners Charles Norman De Courcy Parry, an eccentric ex-chief constable who was famous in his own right for aprehending and killing the infamous war time criminal Percy Toplis, and who claimed to have purchased the hall when drunk. De Courcy Parry wrote about his time in the hall for the magazine ‘Horse and Hound’ in 1934*

“I (Parry) was assured that the old house was haunted by the ghost of a black woman, who had met her sad ending by being drowned in the lake at the bottom of the garden (Over Water).

It was her husband who did the horrid deed, and when she came to the surface and clutched the side of the boat, then the brute up with a chopper and cut off her hands and down went she to the pike and weeds, bubble, bubble, bubble, goodbye!

A nasty tale without a doubt, and no wonder the black lady walks the house and has terrified a great many people. Apparently, it is the lack of her hands that gives them the willies. No maids would sleep here and so cottages were bulit at the end of the back drive for them to sleep in peace.

Naturally, I was a little curious to see this unhappy phenomenon, and I was very surprised indeed on a Friday in August at twenty-past twelve of the clock… to see her pass noiselessly up the stairs and go into our best bedroom without opening the door. Right through the panels she went, whoosh!

She could not have opened the door, it sticks with age, and apart from that she had no hands to turn the knob!” 

From this account we can see that alongside the haunting’s origin being that of a grisly one, our ghost herself is quite frightening to behold. Silently traversing the hall with missing arms, ready to surprise anyone who should live within, visit or work in the home.

However our tale doesnt end here and and our haunting becomes evermore peculiar. Whilst our poor spirit wanders the hall incomplete legend goes that her arms haunt another part of the grounds, the lake where they were severed. The belief that is held in folklore is that the tarn never freezes because when ice begins to form on it’s surface the severed arm appears, balls it’s fist and punches it’s way through the freezing formation.

Today Overwater Hall is open to the public operating as a hotel. Would you dare to spend the night and risk to see the apparition? Or would you settle to walk by the tarn on a frosty winter day, wondering perhaps why the ice does not form upon it’s top…

*Cited from www.overlookhall.co.uk

A Guide to Arts Trails I have Painted for in 2021

Last Friday I put my paintbrushes down after a solid two months of sculpture painting for public art trails. After the year we’ve had it was an absolute dream! I’ve been working sculpture painting commissions back to back. I am knackered but as a mural artist I wouldn’t have it any other way! So today I’m going to share with you a little bit about the trails where you can find my work on display this year.

Moor Otters

The first trail to launch this Summer is the Moor Otters trail this Friday. My Sir David Ottenborough design has already been revealed. Inspired by the great man himself and the lifelong love of learning about the animal kingdom that he inspires. This sculpture was painted back in March 2020 so the trail has been a long time coming. He’ll be on display in Dartmoor at the pannier market in Tavistock from May 28th 2021.

Cows About Cambridge

Now this sculpture has been under wraps the longest. I finished painting my cambridge Cow in November 2019. Although I do know where this one will be displayed I suspect it’s top secret currently but you can find out this Summer. The Cambridge Cows will be raising money for the charity Break and their work with young people. They will be displayed around the beautiful green belt city, inspired by the cows that roam free there. I’ve also teamed up with Thameslink and Mind to paint a second mini sculpture for the trail too.

Bears of Sheffield

As a Sheffield Based artist I am absolutely buzzing to have a sculpture in this trail! Last time there was a trail in Sheffield was before I knew anything about Wild in Art and the amazing trails they run. To work along other talented local illustrators from Sheffield, South Yorkshire and beyond has been a dream. The sculpture itself is a familiar design based on the bronze one that lives in the bear pit in the Botanical Gardens. The trail is raising money for Sheffield Childrens’ Hospital. I am very excited that I’ll be able to see my bright bold design stand out on my local streets soon. 

Worcester’s Big Parade

This design is still under wraps but I will say that this design is going to look right at home in the monochromatic tudor architecture that the city is famous for. The elephant I have painted is sponsored by Worcester News and certainly bound to make an impact. Seeing this particular design hit the streets of such a beautiful historic city is going to make my spooky little heart very happy this summer.

Big Trunk Trail Luton

The first of my double trouble parades is the Big Trunk Trail. I’ll have 2 colourful elephants hitting the streets there this year. That’s 3 elephant sculptures total that I’ve painted these last 2 months. They couldn’t all look more different though!

Stockport’s Giant Leap

These frog sculptures were bursting with character before they ever had a lick of paint! The designs are secret but I will say that they are bursting with charm. I’ve painted two sculptures for this trail and it always amazes me how different the same sculpture can look with a different paint job. 

So that’s a whopping 9 sculptures I’ve painted to be on display this summer around the UK. I can’t wait to share with you what I’ll be working on next. Keep an eye on my social media for the full sculpture design reveals and auction details later on in the year.

Navigating the Pandemic as a Creator of Public Art

During lockdown 2020 I was writing twice weekly blogs on my mural art, sculpture painting & illustration work. I was happy to be busy as an illustrator and mural artist. Although I did have a backlog of news to share about exciting sculpture trails, collaborations and street art commissions. I had been hired to create a number of painted artworks in Sheffield, Yorkshire and across the UK and I wanted to tell you all about it. A weekly blog meant that there was too much to share so I doubled my post output.

However this meant twice the work writing and in August 2020 I became an artist full time. I had to step up my game as a business woman and as opportunities began to arise again after a truly tumultuous year, the blog writing took a backseat.

Mural Art Opportunities During the Pandemic

It’s been such a relief to be so busy. In these last few months I have been working flat out, mainly on painting sculptures for a number of public art sculpture trails across the UK. This is a huge difference from 2020. Although I found some notable local painting projects to work on including the Bears of Sheffield sculpture trail and the Whirlow Hall Farm chicken shed mural this was a drastic decrease in painting projects for me. My online shop took precedence as did my digital illustration commission work. I am proud that I was able to pivot my business to refocus on these areas to survive the pandemic, but oh boy did I miss painting!

Unfortunately, with public spaces quieter than ever, events cancelled and a surge in people working from home, who had any incentive to commission a mural painting?

2021 So far

In the first 4 months of 2021 I’ve already been commissioned to paint more than twice what I was commissioned in 2020. A huge part of this has been sculpture trails. This follows Wild in Art and many other trails having postponed projects scheduled for 2020 until Summer 2021. This means that I will have 9 sculptures on display this Summer and I have already run my own recycled monsters sculpture trail in collaboration with Art Waves Bridlington and had a painted bird sculpture displayed in the town too.

I am optimistic that the Summer will bring some more mural painting opportunities. However this time I’ll make sure not to neglect my blog quite so much too.

If you are interested in following my progress and seeing where all my artworks will be on display in 2021 remember to check out my blog next week when I cover them all or visit my instagram account @sianellisartist

The Januariest January; Finding Motivation in Lockdown


Sorry that it’s been so long! I don’t think I have posted a single blog piece so far in 2021. But I’m back now baby! Today I’m going to chat about climbing the big ole mountain of 2021. 

The Arduous start to a Perilous Ascent

OK so I am being dramatic but you know what? I FEEL dramatic. 2020 had such a negative cultural identity and so much was pinned on 2021. But the truth is I have been more scared of 2021 myself. January is always a bit miserable. This is the first January since the pandemic. The first in lockdown. The first since brexshit. For me it is the first where my art income was my only income in a notoriously quiet month. January 2021 has been one scary dot on my horizon and now it’s here. 

I KNOW things will get better. I KNOW that there are barriers we had in 2020 that we will overcome. But it’s been a hard start to the year because things are still hard. Except they are harder now and it’s freezing bloody cold! Between navigating the implications of brexit, working out where my income will come from this month, hospital trips and a general feeling of malaise; blogs were the last thing on my mind. Feeling creative was a struggle. I couldn’t help but feel that hibernating would have been a good choice this winter (and at very least would have saved me from the horrorshows on the news).

A Solo Expedition

The reason I am writing this slightly whiney blog (it’ll turn positive I promise) is that motivating yourself when you are self employed is a big issue for all freelancers at some point. On one hand it is great to be able to give yourself that breathing space when you need it. Especially when you have a creative job that demands new and original ideas from you constantly. I have my best ideas when I am not working. When I give myself a break. When my brain isn’t trying to focus on something right in front of me.

Giving myself space and working on my own schedule is generally positive. But everyone needs a kick up the backside every now and again, right? Especially after a gloomy start to a new year. When you are self employed, who wears that boot? It can be too easy to slip into a bit of a rut.

So how do you cope? Are you hard on yourself? Do you promise yourself a treat at the end? Carrot or stick? I took a slightly risky decision this January, I indulged myself. I let myself have a break. My days began with too many lie ins, I ate Mcdonalds, I bought some fun new notebooks as a cheer up treat. I treated myself kindly and I didnt blame myself for just not feeling up to much. I did this because I know that I can only stomach so much wallowing. If I give myself a little bit of it I quickly become sick of it. When I am sick of it I jump up and I want to work. I have drive and energy. Plus in that little gap between wallowing and jumping back on the saddle… I get loads of new ideas!

Importantly though I am really passionate about my business succeeding. Of course I don’t want to burnout, but I also really want to work! I knew January was always going to be stressful so I made the important decision to budget carefully in 2020 so that my business can withstand a quiet winter. I built the infrastructure to have the time off if I needed it. I’ve had a break but I’ve never missed a deadline. In this game, foresight is everything.

The View from the Summit

You may have noticed that I am back writing my blog. This was the last piece in the puzzle of restarting my business again. I am on top of my emails, I am on top of my workload, I am working on new projects and I have been creating Illustrated Ghost Story videos for the new year. Despite having more relaxed attitude to work  I have kept my shop running all winter and posted out all of my orders quickly.

I’ve now got a new lease for life again. I’ve taken on a quiet month by scheduling a shop update of a number of brand new products. I have taken the initiative to make my own opportunities. I’ve scouted out potential opportunities for the rest of the year. I’ve looked at different modes and opportunities for funding. Best of all I can see the end in sight and the points of the year to look forward too. There are exciting dates in my diary again. I have work scheduled to be released into the world, finally! 

What else will 2021 have in store? I don’t know. I am going to focus on my plans for the year. Next up I am going to set some new goals.  Goals that I would love to share with you guys when I am done. I’m sorry I was away from here for so long, but it’s really nice to be back 😀

Illustrated Christmas Ghost Story: The Mistletoe Bride

For this year’s first festive tale we visited Bramshill House in Hampshire for the tale of the Mistletoe Bride. The house is rumoured to be the most haunted in Britain, with a whopping 14 resident ghosts! These include a Green Man, a Knight in Armour, a Tennis Player and a Ghostly child. If you check out the video I cover all fourteen of them!

The focus of our story today, however, is on The White Woman. This ghost is said to haunt the Fleur de Lys room and harbours a particularly tragic tale. One set at, and often recited during, Christmas time. Read on for a festive fright to get you in the Christmas spirit for, well, Christmas spirits!

Ghost Stories at Christmas 

The tradition of telling ghost stories on Christmas Eve was a hugely popular one during the 18th century. A newly formed middle class with extra time on their hands would need a way to pass dark, cold nights. Nights where anything could be imagined to lurk in the corners of fire lit rooms. Nights where all the family are gathered around the fireplace for warmth. Dicken’s ‘The Christmas Carol’ is clearly the most popular of these festive tales. Another author of note is M. R. James whose tradition of Christmas Eve storytelling at Kings College is a famous one. As are his tales, such as “Whistle and I’ll Come to you My Lad”. 

The Misteltoe Bough

This tale begins in Christmas 1727. Anne Cope has just married Hugh Bethell of Yorkshire. Anne is the eldest daughter of John Cope of the aforementioned Bramshill House. After celebrations drew to a close, and before retiring, Anne proposes a game of Hide and Seek. Her guests permit her a five minute head start after which they will hunt for the new bride in her hiding place. Minutes pass and the bride is deemed to be quite the champion. Hours passed and the guests grow concerned. There is neither head nor hair of the bride to be found. Hours turn to days, days to years. Rumours spread that the bride regretted her marriage to Hugh immediately. That she ran away rather than face a life with him. Hugh, however, never gave up on the search for his bride.

We now fast forward to fifty years since the mystery of the vanishing bride on Christmas Day. Hugh is searching the house, as he often did, for clues to her disappearance. He finds himself in the attic. Hugh taps an oak panel that revels a previously unseen door. Through the secret entrance lies a chest. Within the chest, the answer to the mystery. A grisly sight! A skeleton, wearing a wedding dress and clutching a bouquet of mistletoe. Inside the lid, the scratch marks of a poor soul attempting to escape her claustrophobic tomb.

It is said today that Anne’s ghost walks the Fleur de Lys room of Bramshill House at night. Hugh is believed to be responsible for another spirit. That of a man, glimpsed staring at the chest where his bride had remained so close to him all those years.

Points of Contest

There are a few debated points within the story’s claim to authenticity. Beyond the obvious as to whether or not ghosts exist, that is! The story is associated with a number of stately homes in the UK although Bramshill House is the one deemed to be most credible. Although it is said that the chest that stands in the hall today is not the one from the story, the original best having been removed by an earlier owner of the house. 

It is also said that the tragic tale did not actually happen to Anne Cope or within the house at all. In fact, it is said that the ghost arrived to the house with the chest itself. The story of an entombed bride true but having already happened. The theory is that the tale pertains to Genevre Orsini, an Italian woman from a well to do family. Genevre too married her beloved in 1727, as Anne and Hugh did.  It is said that after Genevre died encased within the chest the chest was sold to an English man and brought to Bramshill. The ghost of The White Woman in this case is thought to be that of Genevre herself.

Remember to like the video if you enjoyed it, and subscribe to my YouTube channel to be updated about future Illustrated Ghost Story releases.

Looking After Yourself and the #25spookystories Challenge


I recently posted on my instagram about both my joining in with the #25spookystories challenge and the importance of looking after yourself. Particularly at this stressful time of year. With that in mind, here is a reading challenge post. I’m taking the chance to take a break from writing about work. I am enjoying a moment to write about something else I enjoy besides my art.

The challenge does link in with my Illustrated Ghost Stories project though. This is as in far as they both celebrate the Christmas tradition of telling ghosts stories. Popular in the 18th century, I wish it would return! I always seek out a good scary Christmas tale in the TV guide each year. It is as Christmassy to me as watching ‘Elf’ or ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’. In the Victorian times on Christmas Eve, families would gather round the warm fire on dark nights. Then each would tell a tale. What a dream evening, right?

The #25spookystories challenge is ticking these boxes for me this year. There is no chance to go to listen to any storytelling event, nor have new Christmas Ghost Stories been filmed this year. Bah Humbug 2020! I am using the challenge to revisit traditional authors like Dickens and find new ones too. 

The 12 Strange Days of Christmas, Syd Moore

I started with this read and I loved it so much I read 8 stories in one go. When I really did intend to spread them out! I stopped myself at a tale set on Christmas Eve. I can wait to enjoy that closer to the big day. This anthology of tales is an absolute delight though. It has the Christmas Ghost Story spirit (pun intended) in a modern setting. The stories are all different but complimentary. Moore tells them with such great humour. If there was one wish I had it would be that I would like them to be scarier. However, I have enjoyed all the ones I have read so far. There are definitely some spooky ones in there too. I enjoy Moore’s ‘Essex Witch Museum’ series anyway, but to me these were even better.

Ghost Stories for Christmas, Charles Dickens

Dickens is a traditional author for this sort of exercise which is why I have included him. I find his ghostly tales quite hit and miss personally. Of course, the most famous Christmas ghosts of all came from the man. I have recently treated myself to a rewatching of the 2019 Christmas Carol remake starring Guy Pierce. It is a brilliant retelling. I still hope to catch The Muppet’s Christmas Carol before Christmas too. Dicken’s short ghost stories are, of course, not exactly in the mood of the muppets. Of the handful I have read this year so far I enjoyed ‘A Madman’s manuscript’ the most. That one reads a bit like Poe. With less humour than some of the others, this one tries to scare and unnerve you which I enjoyed.

Illustrated Classic Ghost Stories for Christmas by Seth

This range of books by Bibliosis are a new discovery to me this year. They are wonderful. I am obsessed! They are a collection of short stories illustrated and release annual by Seth. They take classic ghost stories and illustrate them in small collectors editions in an exceedingly modern style. A handful are released each year. They are just so enjoyable though and the stories that have been picked are excellent. I have 3 more on my list for the rest of the challlenge but this weekend past I read ‘How Fear departed the Long Gallery’ by E F Benson. A wonderful tale and Seth’s illustrations added atmosphere and great design to the book. I will definitely treasure each edition I have picked up. I will no doubt pick some more up before next Christmas too.

Ooooh I do love a good Christmas Ghost story. The challenge has been created by @notebookofghosts and I am so pleased to take part. She has even compiled some free Creative Commons stories which you can access on her website if you want to join in without spending money. 

If you have recommendations, give me a shout. I would love to hear them. The spookier, the better! 

My Steps to be an Ethical and Environmentally Friendly Business


I realised recently that although I have always been trying to build a business that is good for everyone I am actually pretty terrible at telling anyone about it. Today I thought I’d share a bit about the measures I take. I want a business that can create art without creating waste. I want a business that makes a profit for me to live on without profiting off the mistreatment of anyone else. My goal is for my art to be affordable but not on the basis that it is exploitative of anyone along the production chain. The good news is that I think I’ve been off to a good start. Here’s a few ways how.

Recyclable Materials

I commit to using responsible suppliers as much as I can. My wooden earrings are made from responsibly sourced wood. My acrylic earrings are made from recycled materials. The sleeves I used to protect my prints are biodegradable. They are derived from potato/corn starch and can be composted. It’s often more expensive to source environmentally friendly packaging but it is worth it. 

Reused Packaging

It can be tough to find environmental options that do a suitable job. Especially to protect items in shipping. As much as I can I reuse materials to package items. In 2020 all bubble wrap I have used to wrap pins, earrings and ceramics has been reused.  

Using UK Suppliers

This is a plus both environmentally and ethically. It reduces the air miles used for my business. It also ensures that suppliers are bound by UK production laws. Importantly it avoids the exploitation of workers in factories overseas. 

Charity Is Important 

This is obviously a no-brainier for me as I spent 13 years working in the charity sector before becoming an artist. Supporting charities when you can is important. There are so many out there doing so many valuable jobs. I also know though that people can’t always afford to give what they would like to.

I will always recommend though to consider your local charities if you are thinking about fundraising. They often do important work on your back doorstep, but rarely have the marketing budget to spread the word as far as national charities too. Your money can make a bigger difference there. But I’ll get off my high horse and get to the point. I have used my business to donate in a variety of ways. I have donated money from print and tshirt sales previously. It’s important to always be up front with how much from each sale will go to which exact charity. You can take the girl out of fundraising but you really cant take the fundraiser out of the girl. I have also gotten involved in charity projects pro bono and at reduced rates. We give what we can. 

The beauty of being my own boss is that I can do whatever I want with my business. I can shape it with my goals and morals. I can try and use it for a force for good. There’s always more steps I can take though. I hope that my business continues to grow to be sustainable in every way it can be. 

If you have suggestions for how I can improve, or any questions on how to make your business more sustainable. Get in touch and we can help eachother 🙂 

Illustrated Ghost Stories 2. The Screaming Skull of Burton Agnes Hall


For my second video I covered the bizarre phenomenon of Screaming Skulls. A distinctly English folklore, there are tales of human skulls the owners of which have requested them to remain in the places they inhabited in life. It’s believed to be linked to Celtic beliefs about the importance of the head. Some believed the skulls to be a good luck heirloom to be passed down for generations to ensure the fortune of the family. In this video we looked at three tales of screaming skulls.

Anne Griffith, The Screaming Skull of Burton Agnes Hall 

Katherine ‘Anne’ Griffith was the youngest of three sisters living at Burton Agnes Hall, East Riding of Yorkshire. Daughters of Sir Henry Griffith, Anne was besotted with the building her father had erected. She believed it to be the most beautiful house ever built. One day, not long after the completion of the work, Anne fell victim of a violent mugging, less than a mile from their home. Anne was brought home to the hall suffering from a blow to the head sustained during the attack. She asked her sisters to promise her that once she died they would remove her head from her body and keep it within the walls of the home she loved so much. Days after the attack, poor Anne died of her injuries. However, the sisters broke their promise and Anne’s body was buried whole in the churchyard. 

A week after Anne’s funeral the first strange occurrence was reported. A loud crash was heard in the hall, like that of a large piece of furniture falling over. On investigation no source of the noise could be found. A week later doors were heard banging violently throughout the home but immediately ceased upon investigation. After this many strange sounds were heard at the hall. Footsteps hurrying up and down the corridors. An unseen figure ascending and descending the stairs quickly. The inhabitants of the hall had become greatly unnerved by the occurrences.

A Grisly Sight

The sisters remembered their sister’s dying promise that they had broken and hastened to make good their word. Anne’s casket was exhumed and within lay a grisly sight. Her head had inexplicably removed itself completely from her body. Her body remained preserved and yet her head was withered and almost completely skull like. This strange sight convinced the sisters that Anne was the source of the strange goings on at the hall. They returned her body to the home and fulfilled their sisters dying wish.

From this day on whenever the skull was removed from the hall, more bizarre experiences were recorded. One tale accounts a maid throwing the skull from a window where it landed on a manure load below. To the shock of the maid and the waggoner, the horses pulling the load refused to move (despite all efforts) until the skull was removed. On one occasion some time later the skull was removed and buried in the garden by the hall’s current occupiers. A terrible wailing and screaming was heard throughout the property until the skull was brought back indoors. It is said that Anne’s skull remains at Burton Agnes Hall, hidden within a wall so as not to scare visitors. 

As always you can find the Illustrated Ghost Story Videos on my Youtube channel and can support the project through my Patreon page.

Illustrated Ghost Story 1: The Gray Man


I thought it might be nice to start adding the stories that I’ve been covering on the blog so you guys can revisit them in the written format if it takes your fancy.

The first video tells the tale of The Gray Man of Bellister Castle. It is said that the ghost of the Gray Man wanders the grounds of Bellister Castle in Northumberland at twilight. An elderly man in tattered robes with a gruesome gash from forehead to chin and a bloody beard. A vision feared by all that has been suggested to sometimes be an omen of death.

The Tale of the Gray Man

The tale of the Gray Man begins on a stormy night at the castle. The Blenkinsops occupied the castle for some centuries. On this night an old minstrel arrived seeking refuge from the storm outside. He was granted refuge, but as the night wore on Lord Blenkinsop grew paranoid. He suspected that his unannounced visitor was a spy for his enemies. After entertaining his hosts the minstrel noted the change in the Lord’s demeanour towards him. He sensed that his welcome had taken an icy turn. The monsters decided that the cold of the storm outside was preferable to the frozen welcome of his host and fled the castle during the night.

A Grisly Demise 

Unfortunately for our poor minstrel, the Lord took his flight as an admission of guilt. Where the minstrel sensed danger and fled the Lord only saw a guilty conscience returning to the ones who had sent him. Enraged, the Lord set the dogs and his men on the poor elderly man. Accounts differ as to whether the minstrel was savagely torn to pieces by the Lord’s dogs, or that the dogs merely halted the man’s escape following which the Lord’s men captured him and hanged him from a nearby tree.

It has been some decades since a sighting of the Gray Man has been reported, and perhaps the Minstrel has found peace at last.As always you can find the Illustrated Ghost Story Videos on my Youtube channel and can support the project through my Patreon page.

Winter is Coming


So I thought this post could just be a little update into my life as an illustrator during Lockdown 2: Electric Bugaloo. I’ve reduced my time at the studio all the way down to only going there to pack online orders. This is because it is too impractical to bring home all of my stock and packing materials. It means that I don’t have to bring all of my materials home in one go either. I am the only artist in my studio space and it is in walking distance so it’s pretty safe to go but working from home still feels like the right choice given the official advice.

I do miss the studio though. It’s my happy place! I also need to get better at focusing on work at home instead of doing chores. I know I can’t be the only person guilty of doing this…

Current Projects

Happily despite lockdown I have some projects on the go that are easily done from home. 

I even have a sculpture to paint which was my dream for lockdown last time round. It’s just a mini one and will form part of the Artwaves Festival in Bridlington in Spring. I am creating some bigger sculptures for the festival too, but that’ll be a bit closer to the time. 

Excitingly one project I am working on currently is an illustrated children’s book. I’ve previously illustrated a book cover but not a story book itself. It’s a big undertaking but it’ll be great to see it come to life. I’ve got a couple of other client projects not he go too, so if I seem a bit more absent from social media than usual than this is why. I’m just really thankful to be busy given everything going on. 

I am really missing large painting projects. I can’t wait for them to start again. So I am also looking at trying to secure more commissions like these for 2021. It was such a huge part of my year last year. So I am extra thankful for these other project whilst arts trails and mural commissions have all but taken a hiatus.

Is this bad?

I don’t know if this is a great idea or not but living in a second lockdown means that I am able to get more work done on the weekends. Ordinarily I would not recommend this. It’s important to have a break and remember that there are other important things in life besides working. During lockdown and ahead of the busy Christmas period it feels like a good use of time though. The hope being I can take a little time extra to relax by the time Christmas rolls around. 

With the good news of Trump missing out on re-election and a promising vaccine for Covid on the horizon, I am hopeful that by the time winter is over we can find a bit more normality once again. With it, a chance to grow my little business out in the sunshine once again.

If you are interested in supporting my business and accessing additional behind the scenes content and digital downloads, visit my Patreon page for more info https://www.patreon.com/ThisIsSianEllis