New Project Announcement: Moor Otters

The Moor Otters project is a seasoned sculpture trail that I will be taking part in for the first time in 2020. My second sculpture painted in 2020 so far after my mini moo. The third that will be revealed though after the Cows About Cambridge trail goes live in March.

The Moor Otters project is based in Dartmoor National Park and raising money for Donate for Dartmoor. The funds will go towards protecting the local wildlife. This includes the homes of many otters on the nature reserve (hence the sculptures). There will be 80 otters displayed publicly in and around Dartmoor for the duration of the trail in Summer 2020. The sculptures will then be auctioned off to raise additional funds. 

Doctor Doolittle Strikes Again

This otter is my sixth charity sculpture commission since my first in March 2019. So whilst singing them might be nothing new, bring in one home is! At just 1 metre tall and taking up very little floor space for a sculpture of its size (not to mention just how far away Dartmoor actually is!) the otter is the first sculpture to be panted in my home studio. It’s interesting to bring one home. Nice to paint amongst my home comforts but a job to navigate around day to day life. Different to when you have booked specific time away for it. Namely, i am talking about trying to paint with a puppy around! It’s one thing I hope will be much easier as Dot grows up. Perhaps the fear of her being covered in paint and smudging everything might subside a little.

The Design

I don’t want to give too much away but I will say that this design is going to feature a very familiar face. It is rare for me to paint people but for this design I have made an exception. I think when you see it you will understand why! The design is bright, colourful, happy and featuring a national treasure that I am sure folk will love. I just have to hope that I can do them justice! 

Keep your eyes peeled when the otter designs all go live on the trail later on this year. 

Blue Monday 2020 was a really great day I had as an artist

I am going to share with you guys a day I had recently as an artist that was a really great day. There are lots of stressful days as an artist, lots of days where it feels like you are getting nowhere or having got enough done. Being an artist is HARD. So I am sharing an account of a really good day I had, because they aren’t all that easy to find sometimes.

Monday January 20th 2020

Allegedly the saddest day of the year (I don’t know who decides and I hope its not a legal requirement!). Blue Monday. For me though, it was great!

Cows About Cambridge

I started the day by hugging my pooch, kissing my fella goodbye and hopping on a train to Cambridge. With a suitcase full of paints and a flask full of tea kindly made for me by my other half as I set off. It was my third trip to Cambridge since November, where I had painted a large Cow sculpture for the 2020 Cows About Cambridge trail. This time I was returning to work on a mini moo sculpture in partnership with my large sculpture sponsored Thames link and the charity Mind. Thames link had launched a competition for a service user from Mind to design a cow which I would realise and would form part of the mini moo family on the trail.

I even found time on the train to work on a design submission for an upcoming Wild in Art trail, so fingers crossed for that one!

Good News from Far Away

It’s always a win when you get an etsy sale, so that was the first good news of the day, along with sales reports from my stockists. I was delighted to find in my inbox a message from the fabulous Elizabeth of The Fox Fairy store in Affecks Palace asking if I’d like to join their stocked artists. A while ago I had mentioned this to Elizabeth a while ago and teenage Sian would be elated to have her work sold in her numbe one too cool for school shopping location. I accepted at once to move in in Feb.

While checking my social media I found that I had had a smal flurry of new followers and that my new stockist October 31st had posted abut me joining the store, which I was really excited about too! I even saw that an artist I followed was talking about arranging artist meet ups in my town. I have wanted to do this for ages without any real plan of how to go about it, and I hadn’t even realised that this wonderful artist was from my town! Immediately I announced my excitement and intention to get involved however I can.

In the Grafton Centre

Back in the real world I got cracking on my mini moo and got to meet the lovely Annie from Wild in Art. It was great to meet her finally and she had lots of helpful advice and offered so much support for me on my Wild in Art journey, thanks Annie!

Painting the sculpture was a new experience for me to translate someone else design onto a sculpture. It was an experience practice a different way of working. I usually work much more intuitively and make lots of decisions throughout the process. This took a much more planned and strategic approach to translate someone else vision onto the canvas (or cow!). 

While the primer layer dried I headed for a mooch around some local charity shops in the hunt for books, and scored an amazing full set of Rocky Horror figures for the princely some of £4! (This figures would then proceed to go viral believe it or not!)

At the end of the day

After a long and tiring but productive day of painting I crawled into my comfy B&B bed with some KFC and Magic Mike on the telly. What made this day perfect wasn’t living a life of luxury with all of these opportunities throwing themselves at my feet, but a delightful day where the hard work I had put in and seeds I had sown were paying off. It’s the best kind of day any artists can hope for if you ask me! Mostly it reminds me that the hard work pays off, not everything is a rejection and all you need to do is just keep swimming.

Cows About Cambridge Announcement

I am excited to be announcing that I am an artist for cows about Cambridge! 

Another one?

YES! This will be my fifth sculpture for wild in art this year across 4 U.K. cities. That’s not counting the cheeky little York ghost hunt ghost Nellie. The trail won’t be live until 2020 though so there’s a little bit of time to wait for my sculpture to hit the streets.

Even More excitingly I am partnered with the projects headline sponsor Govia Thames link. It means that I already know where my sculpture will be based. Tying in with the theme of the design, it will be based in the train station. A building that will feature in the cow itself. 

I love the idea of my cow welcoming people into the city! A mini map to be their first friendly intro to the city. The design features lots of local land marks, painted fun, bold and bright. It also features Gomes, escalated to the status of landmarks. This is to give a shout out to the local folk who make the city what it is.

Working with the headline sponsor means I’ll expect to be more involved in the trail that’s perhaps some of the others. I’m excited to see how it goes though.

How about the design?

Find my Instagram profile to see how I get on, and get a first peek at the sculpture. With such a great success of auctions of my other sculptures as of late, it will be amazing to break the £60,000 raised for charity mark with my sculptures. 

Plus, stay turned for another Charity sculpture announcement…

Kitty Barn Portrait Commission

It’s been a while ago now since I undertook this commission. This blog has been popping with all sorts of announcements instead. I mean, there’s still announcements but let’s take a break from those and look at some commissioned work. 

Kitty barn Sheffield

The Kitty Barn is a new cat cafe that has recently opened on Chapel Walk in Sheffield. Just a couple of doors down from one of my stockists, Birds Yard. The owner of the cafe is a keen supporter of local art. She set about to showcase some Sheffield talent on the cafe walls. The cafe is home to 10 cats all rescued from Millhouses Animal Sanctuary.

I was commissioned to produce a painting of one of the cats, Kit. His distinctive markings and beautiful eyes made painting him in a surreal style irresistible. It was brilliant to be given the artistic freedom. This really shows with the breadth of art produced for the cafe. It’s great to have a local business feel passionate about supporting local artists and offer a platform to them.

Recently I reached out to the Kitty Barn Owner Sophie Petford to ask her why she has such a focus on supporting local art.

“I wanted to work with local artists because I always think handmade products have a lot more heart put in to their production.

I also believe that our consumable products are the same – they have been lovingly made and what sells them isn’t a big, corporate name, it’s the quality and fantastic taste, so we know we will be providing a good service stocking them in the café.

A lot of our artists are quite young as well or are just at the start of their journey, so purchasing and displaying their pieces helps support them both mentally and financially”

You can find more info on the cafe, including deals and how to book on their website https://www.kittybarn.co.uk

 

Wallabies Gone Wild 2019

Following my announcement that I am taking part in the Go Wild Gorillas Project with Wild in Art I am mega excited to announce my participation in another of their projects. I will be painting a 5ft tall fibreglass wallaby for Wallabies Gone Wild 2019.

Another One?

Yep! The public arts trail will consist of twenty sculptures displayed at points around the Isle of Man over summer 2019. I am really looking forward to revisiting the island again to begin painting. I visited the island on family holidays on a number of occasions as a child. The last time I went to the island I was 8 years old but I still have memories of places that I want to revisit. The trail is in aid of the Isle of Man Hospice. Having worked as a Fundraiser in a local Hospice I understand what a valuable cause this is. 

 

My sculpture will be in partnership with Villa Gaeity, a theatre and cinema complex in Douglas. I can’t say much about the sculpture but I can hint that it will reflect Villa Gaiety with a twist. As always the sculptures are top secret until they are officially launched but I can share them when they are.

 

Most of my commissions tend to come from small businesses, individuals, the arts sector, charities and community groups so this corporate experience is pretty new. I haven’t always been hot on identifying my appeal to corporate businesses. My audience tends to be quite young and my work is far from traditional or serious. It’s strength in this realm s that it gets good engagement. My work is bright and detailed and it makes people smile. It will be interesting to see if this becomes a direction for my work in future.

 

I had high hopes for getting to be part of a Wild in Art trail in 2019 so to be commissioned to produce 3 sculptures feels pretty incredible. The painting process will no doubt be intense and I will learn a lot through it too. I am just amazed and exhilarate to be selected by three sponsors.