I was recently asked to paint a commission for someone who had sadly recently lost her Dalmatian dog, Dizzy.
The owners of the pups from Dizzy have clearly formed a great friendship. They have all joined together to buy a portrait commission to present to their friend to try and help with the enormous sadness felt by the loss of such a special pet. When I'm painting in these circumstances, I always remember the bonds - there are none quite like the one between us and our canine companions.
So with a selection of photos to paint from, I chose the one with the most spots! The pink collar gave me the idea to bring greys and pinks into background and shadow areas. The painting has a dreamy, ethereal effect and I had to paint carefully so as not to spoil the fresh delicacy of the initial wash.
My thoughts go to Dizzy's owners and although I know the painting can't take the pain away, I hope that it brings a little comfort.
A few weeks ago, The Queens Club contacted me and asked whether I would be able to paint a very large tennis mural on the walls within the members enclosure for the Aegon Championship.
Time was an issue for me. The only time that I had available to go to London and paint on the wall was the weekend directly before the event – perhaps even too risky for me! So we agreed on an alternative that I create as many very large works on board as I could in the time within my studio and deliver them for installation.
I delivered these to Queens Club yesterday. The atmosphere there is amazing. Buzzing with activity in the build up to the start on Monday. The paintings are going to be attached to the wall fairly high up for good visibility and then framed with navy blue architrave to match the colour theme of the event. I am really excited to be returning to Queens on Thursday to see them on the wall and to watch the tennis. I will be able to post more photos then.
There are some amazing players participating in the tournament, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinkle, Marin Cilic, Milos Raonic, Gregor Dimitrov to name a few.
Following a wonderful and inspiring day at Cheltenham Races and a subsequent afternoon at Wincanton Race Course, I am thrilled to have completed a horse racing painting as a commission for a gift.
I have painted the amazing Dodging Bullets who has been described as a legend by trainer Paul Nichols.
Just to give a little background information, Dodging Bullets was bred by Jockey, Frankie Dettori and trained from 2011 by Paul Nichols. He hit the peak of his career by winning the Queen Mother Champion Chase, Chelthenham in 2015 with jockey Sam Twiston Davies.
My painting was inspired by this race with the remit being that the piece be painted in sepia tones with a splash of red and green for the jockey’s colours. In my usual way, I looked to bring movement and action to the piece and Ioved every moment! It is quite a sizeable painting, at 100cm x 60cm. My wonderful framers, House of Talbot, then took one look at the finished piece and offered an amazing frame – a metallic “horse hoof” effect type moulding. Perfect!
I’m happy to say that Dodging Bullets is now enjoying retirement with Lucy Sharp who works for Paul Nichols and I think that the very touching blog post by Harry Derham explains all:
I would like to say a huge thank you to Dianne and Derek Coles, Ryan Direct Group who made the inspiring visits to Cheltenham and Wincanton possible. I have some really lovely memories and a huge number for photos for future paintings.