Studio Life

This week has seen the studios buzzing. It has been nice to get more people in their studio spaces as it makes for a great atmosphere and gives the visiting public more to look at and more people to chat to. Personally I have been working on animal portraits, a painting of Blackpool North Pier, or underneath it and a number of iPad paintings and commissions some of which I can't reveal as yet as their owners haven't seen them as yet. The Blackpool painting was something I just had to do. I took the reference photo a number of weeks ago and it just cried out to be painted. A great exercise in perspective. I did this for myself and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I have another pier view to do once the commissions have slowed down a little.

The iPad has been out again and I have completed a couple of commissions. These are slightly larger format at 12" square and framed in grey. The turned out very well and I managed to deliver both to their new owners on Thursday. I can show the one of the Perfect Plaice Chippy in Oswaldtwistle, but the second one is going to be a gift for someone. I should be able to show it next week.. The second one is of the amazing Accrington Town Hall illuminated at night. We went to a party in the centre of town last weekend and I was struck by the lighting on the market and Town Hall. I captured the lights on their red phase.

On the three mile walk home at 1.00am we passed a local pub that was still illuminated and again asked to be painted. The crown was produced on the iPad a few days later.

iPad painting in a digital frame for display

Finally for me, Friday saw the second in my series of iPad workshops this week on the theme of still life. Seven eager artists arrived at 12.30 for an afternoon of digital art using the Procreate app. We had a wonderful time and the results were amazing too. Next week we look at portraits.


Catherine Lansdale continues to juggle her time between her many courses and her commission work. She completed a large commission this week with 8 people mashed together from a number of different photos. She also worked on a couple of memorial portraits which did look to be coming on very well. These can'r be shown as yet. Her first course at the Haworth this Thursday was based around seascapes in both watercolour and pastels, followed by autumnal scenes in pastels and watercolours. Some brilliant results as ever.

Here are a few images of her portrait and some from her courses.


Chateauvegan have been in residence this week and stocking their shelves with goodies for Christmas. Their 12 days of Christmas gift boxes are now available as are their latest range of candles. Apparently Steve has been beavering away over the hot wax to make sure they have the stock to supply their potential customers. Pop into their studio to see these products as well as their bath bomb range, soaps, bags, chess sets and their gentlemen range as well as lots of other goodies to tempt the casual and Christmas shopper.


Becky of Blu Luna Art has spent lots of time in her studio. We enjoy her company and love the gentle sounds of her house music drifting gently across the studios late into the evening where she does a lot of her work. Her pencil work needs to be seen to be believed and she has no shortage of commissions to complete. She is starting to add some colour to her work too and this is adding something different to her usual practice. Becky is also an expert face painter and is available for parties and events, her details can be found on the leaflet. Pop into the studios and see her work and the inventive and creative way she presents her work.


Leo Crabtree is busy beavering away creating his Christmas cards for 2019. The ones he designed last year were very popular and the original paintings sought after, I see no reason this won't be the case again this year. He had been creating some lovely artworks of late and his path through the park from the studios is a particularly fine piece. This multimedia painting saw Leo add pencils, Brusho, watercolour and acrylics to create the final painting. this is shown here along with a very fine piece of a boat on dry land. I have also given you a preview of his Christmas cards, these will be on sale in his studio very soon, pop in and have a chat with him as he is always delighted to show visitors his working practices.


Just Imagine UK are always a great addition to the studios. They bring a youth exhuberance and energy which seems to rub off on all the old codgers who occupy the other studios! They have been rehearsing for a murder mystery evening at Tastebuds in Whalley and last weekend they held another of their professional photo shoots in their preparations for Christmas. The Grinch is one of their major characters and was the subject of the shoot. Another brilliant and professional offering from Danielle, Sam and their team of performers.

One thing that I did find annoying about Just Imagine UK this week, well actually it was Sam I was upset with was that I let them use my Brush paints for an event and part of the kit was my favourite straw to blow through and move the wet paint around. When the kit came back it turns out that Sam threw away the straw as he though it was disposable. Choking back tears, I informed him that that was my special straw that had been with me for 10 years and had been used by hundreds of people during its time and it was special and dear to me. Sam didn't seem to think this was something good for some strange reason! Just Imagine that.


Snooty Fox Vintage.... It has been lovely seeing Gill back in her studio making candles again after an enforced break due to her work. She is still madly busy and still spends her weekdays in that there London where she works as a consultant at Canary Wharf. She hasn't lost her touch and has been working on a large order for a new client she has managed to get in the Capital. Her work at Botany Florist continues and her candles, diffusers and melts can be purchased from the shop a mile up the road in the centre of Baxenden. Not to sit on he laurels, Gill has also re branded Snooty Fox Vintage with a distinctive logo and colour scheme shown in this section. Orders for her 12 days of Christmas melt calendars are coming in fast so visit either Botany Florist or Snooty Fox Vintage to grab your Christmas gifts or place orders for later collection.

Latest order nearly ready to go to that there London


And Finally... It still continues to be a bit spooky around here. I was painting my under the North Pier at Blackpool painting, which was done in acrylics, and I use a StayWet palette to stop the paints from drying out. This was the best thing I've bought as it saves loads of paint from being wasted. What I do is squirt out blobs of paint and then apply it straight onto the canvas or mix it directly in the palette. One of the major colours I used was Buff Titanium, and after painting with this colour I noticed something strange. It may be me, but a skull seemed to emerge from the paint blob! It's always interesting in here! What is going to happen next? this space!

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