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Studio Life

Updated: Dec 9, 2019

The Christmas commissions continue which means that most of the stuff that I've been painting I can't show until the New Year. This is coming to an end now where I can continue with things that don't have a deadline. The three pieces I can show this week are a simple sketch done from the car whilst on a visit to Croxteth in Liverpool for work I do in my other guise, an iPad sketch of a local butcher in the middle of Accrington who moved from the market to a town centre shop and finally a quick watercolour of a view of Venice. This turned out very well and only took around an hour including the sketch. It's amazing how the quicker sketches seem to work out the best!

Finally for me it was nice to get a photo of myself in the local pub where my painting is on the wall.


has been busy teaching her lessons in Bolton which will continue up until Christmas. She has a large party planned for the end of term for herself and her tutees. her work on her portraits continue and she has given me permission to share the latest one which us currently on it;s way to the USA. It is not too late to grab one of Catherine's gift vouchers as a last minute Christmas gift for an aspiring artist. Pop along to her website or social networking site for more details. Whilst you are there you could also collect her latest poster of art workshops starting in the New Year.

One of the initiatives Catherine introduced this year was her 'Alter Ego' portraits. These came from her exhibition where she painted the other artists and Gallery Staff as a character of their choice. These were very popular and some have been snapped up by the subject. Catherine can take your image and create a bespoke portrait for you as any character style you want. The image here shows a couple of examples but please excuse the reflections as they are behind glass.


Chateauvegan are finding themselves juggling their staff between the many events they are attending at the moment.

This Saturday they had another week at their own popup at Warrington IKEA as well as attending the Rishton lights switch on. Suzi has done a number of miles in shipping of products and staff!

Pop into their studio at any time...except Mondays, to have a look at their ever expanding range and to chat to Steve or Suzi who will tell you all about their vegan, sustainable and ethical products as well as their motivations for establishing Chateauvegan. One innovative thing they are doing is their recycling scheme, where if you purchase one of their candles and take back the container, they will refill it for you at a discounted price. This gives you the chance to sample a number of fragrances at a discounted price.


Leo Crabtree has been expanding his range of Christmas based products as well as working on a special commission for a friend where he has to mash together three different images into a coherent painting. Good luck with that one Leo! He added to his owl collection by painting and framing a few with Christmas hats. These were taken to a local church craft fair and literally flew off the shelf. He has two of these left for £5 each. Pop into the studios to grab one of the remaining two....or twit twoooo. An original Leo Crabtree for £5 can't be beaten.

Leo has also had his Christmas cards printed and they look absolutely brilliant. As ever, if you want a pack of these please drop in and pick one or two up before they are all gone. the image below shows the proof sheet with the full choice of cards.


Becky Livesey....It's been great to see her in and about this week. We don't see much of her at the moment due to her MA studies keeping her in Manchester. She has a few Christmas commissions still to do and apparently these are going to be done later in the week after a deadline for her latest assignment passes. I took this image of her beavering away in her studio surrounded by her amazing illustrative work and her Mother's willow weaving creations. If you look closely enough you will also be able to see the parking fine she managed to pick up earlier in the day in the University car park. Merry Christmas Mr. Parking Guy.


Just Imagine UK... continue their manic Christmas season. They had another lights turn on this week, this time in Haslingden where the Grinch and Cindy Lou did the honours. The North Pole Experience took place at the Town Hall this Saturday, and tickets for this event were highly sought after as were those for the Dining with Santa event held in Whalley, where Mrs Clause made a special appearance.

Personally I have no idea how the team manage to keep going with the energy needed to pull off these events. Actually I's youth and ambition. They bring a lot to the studios with their exuberance and laughter. well done! even if you have lost my phone charger and keep moving stuff around in my studio...Sam Newsham!


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