Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Sharing my Sunset

The rather apocalyptic sunset from my studio window last night.
Not a bad place to work.

Monday, 23 April 2012

ja event management

Argh... the lovely Jeremy of JA Event Management has tweeted and posted about my invitation and place cards he saw last week. He does properly fun and super swanky parties. I'm pretty enamoured by the graffiti house party on his blog, it looks so much fun. I wish I'd been at that one, I'd have felt like an extra in Skins. The Venetian rooftop dinner is definitely better than a kick in the teeth too. Sigh... What a dude.

Thursday, 19 April 2012


I went on the holiday of a life time a couple of years ago to stay with a friend on Mustique. It was seriously spoiling and beyond amazing. It really is as wonderful, and bonkers as you hear.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The Tannery

This is one of my earliest, and probably favourite diary drawings.
It is at the Tannery, synonymous for me with adventures when I was little.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Pretty Place Cards

I did some place cards for a 'Singles Dinner' over the weekend.
They were fun to do, although my neck hurts something rotten from bending over all day (yikes that sounds wrong - obviously in a completely unkinky way!)

I also did a little sketch for the email reminder on the day.
I think she's appropriately sexy for the party...

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Studio Oil Paints

I'm going through my paints at a rate of knots at the moment.
I had a little break from painting this afternoon and sketched some of the tubes of oil paints on my desk. I am in love with my Zecchi and Old Holland ones.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Fellow Travellers

I went up to London for Easter and as I got on the train in the remotest of Welsh stations, I realised I'd forgotten my laptop, iPod and book. Urgh. In fact, over five hours of urgh. So I surreptitiously sketched some of my fellow travellers when I thought they were't looking. Please take into account that they all seemed to have ants in their pants and didn't sit still, and the jiggliness of the train (especially the Welsh Arriva line).

This man lady (left) scurried on and smelt of curry 
& this lady (right) manically chewed gum (but sweetly pointed out I'd dropped my headphones)

I peeked between the seats to sketch this voluptuous Indian girl
clutching her Louis Vuitton handbag at Birmingham.

The man (left) was terrified of missing his stop
& this lady (right) on the way back to Wales had an enchanting bull terrier at her feet.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Sera Monastery, Tibet

I've been wasting hours of my life on Pinterest of late. It's shameful. I can't seem to tear myself away from images of South East Asia. So while I am away from  internet access and joining the land of the living over Easter, I'm scheduling this post of another little oil painting. This time it's of the debating monks at the Sera Monastery outside Lhasa in Tibet. It is a rare moment of calm for them, they're quite lively! Anyone who has been there will know what I mean.

Sera Monestry, Tibet
December 2010

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Pa-Oh Girls, Inle Lake

Full of hope for Burma's future, I'm posting a little oil sketch of a couple of Pa-Oh girls selling fish at the market on Inle Lake. They couldn't seem to stop laughing or chatting.

Pa-Oh Girls, Inle Lake
November 2011

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Jamie Routley In The BP Portrait Awards

My very talented friend Jamie Routley has submitted a beautiful triptych of Tony Lewis to the BP Portrait Awards and has rather a flattering write-up in The Guardian. Clever Jamie.

Tony Lewis - Jamie Routley
Triptychs in portraiture are not uncommon. Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641) painted Charles I's face and profiles so the sculptor Bernini needn't travel to England to sculpt the monarch. The triptych provided all of the information he needed, such was Van Dyck's brilliance. Don't be fooled by his dates either. The elegance with which he approached painting had a monumental impact on portraiture in England for hundreds of years.

Charles I - Anthony Van Dyck 1635 - 1636
The Royal Collection
Van Dyck's work still resonates. Time and time again, Il Maestro in Italy would hit my canvas with a mile stick asking where I'd put my 'Van Dyck Zee', an expression he coined for the shadow that runs across one eyebrow, down the nose and under it. We spent hours scouring books and visiting galleries to see how Van Dyck had positioned hands in his paintings. They're a tricky business and I loved that his were a little camp, very au fait. At the Van Dyck exhibition at Tate Britain in 2009, the show could have been a very fancy dress night at G.A.Y. Yet they are also incredibly elegant and you never really notice them until you specifically look. Perfect. Il Maestro could be a little antiquated in his tastes but it ran true none the less.

My mega crush Sargent (1856 - 1925) uses some of Van Dyck's approaches to portraiture. In each of the Miss Vickers faces' there are strong 'Van Dyck Zees' and just look at the relaxed elegance of the hand positions.

The Misses Vickers - John Singer Sargent 1884

Do go see the BP Portrait Awards. It starts at the National Portrait Gallery in London and tours the country. And it's free. Please do look out for lovely Jamie's paintings, all elegant fingers crossed he wins.

BP Portrait Awards