Colour and Horses

Of course animals are a central theme in my art,  I only had cats, and a mouse in a cage at some point as a child and actually really hankered after a pony.  These were the days when you could win a pony in a WH Smith competition.  It was so exciting entering a competition and envisaging the fantastic result of winning.  Unfortunately I  did not win, but with only a standard garden  mostly cultivated with vegetables it probably would not have survived very well.

Horses have an array of colour names bay, chestnut, piebald (black and white),  skewbald (brown and white), no such thing as white – that is called grey, dappled, with other attributes such as stars, socks and blazes, but one of the most beautiful is the palomino.  At first you might think it is a breed, it is so distinctive, but it is a name for an arrangement of colour.

I collect brooches, do you collect anything?

I collect brooches, do you collect anything? If so what do you think makes you a collector?  It seems that collectors fit into some general categories.  I am an incidental collector, I really did not mean to collect brooches, the collection just evolved organically as they say.


I have just counted 30 although there are probably some pinned to jackets somewhere,  they range from Noddy and a St Johns Ambulance badge from when I was a child, to some very stylish and also some expensive ones that I have been bought over the years including many given to me for different birthdays (well, there have been a few).

Some people actively search for the things that they collect and enjoy it as a nice hobby.  On the other hand it could be a habit difficult to break and a compulsion, and then at the extreme end of the scale there is hoarding…..Freud has a few weird things to say about collecting too.

ACEO in black Mount On a lighter note ACEO stands for Artists Cards Editions and Originals and these simply have to be 3.5 x 2.5″.  Their existence has enabled all sorts of people access to original art.  Thanks to Lisa Luree she got them started when she wanted to get around a rule for another type of card called Artists Trading Cards which could ONLY be traded. ACEO’s  look great put into a mount with a large border and framed or more commonly people collect them into folders  rather like the pokemon collection albums our children had ….well actually I have their pokemon collection now since they wanted rid of it years ago.  I wonder if that counts, well no I did not actually collect them did I?

Remember Charizard 120HP?

pokemon cards262

ACEO Giraffe painting progress

Mon 27 wip giraffe 8x6 Almost done, shadows and some finishing off to do.  Giraffes can actually reach speeds of 37 mph /60kmh which I have only seen on TV but is a sight to behold for such an ungainly animal.   Not often do you see them blending in with a stone wall.

wip penguin sketches aceo  These are ready to get on with tomorrow.

Manic in the Attic – A tiny bit of chaos with ACEOs etc.

May 13 attic2It has been a bit slow for me this week on account of time off for a birthday with a zero in it :$

 A day out meandering the streets of Cirencester, coffee, lunch and tomorrow a meal out with my family.

  In the meantime my studio ( a nice name for a room full of stuff) is just starting to get out of control.  As you can see I work in a toblerone shaped room,  it is in the attic space, and gets very hot in the summer.    The sunlight chases my paint palette across the table trying to dry the paints up.   Plenty of bits going onto ebay today whilst waiting for layers of paint to dry….  greeting cards, prints and of course ACEOs.  Harvey has got the mouse to help him park his trolley with a cheese wedge on Ebay for 7  days.

May 13 attic1

ACEO designs – Referencing Real Things

Even if a design does not depict reality real things have to be referenced to make them have all the nuances and feel of the real thing or else the design will not be convincing.

Readers Digest 1968…..

One of the things we were taught on our university course was to reference everything and to research objects.  A thorough example of referencing was the 1960’s illustrator Bill Johnson who would have had to set up a real scene like the one he was trying to depict to use as reference  and illustrate in situ from life.    Not so easy to running off digital pics  as we can now to use at our leisure in the  studio.    If you take  a look at Digger and Harvey with the Strawberry in my design “It wasn’t Me” I have done as I was told with my referencing.   Digger is in fact a fox terrier,  the strawberry was photographed by me for reference before I ate it up.  I know that blackbirds are round as I have drawn them from life,  and Harvey well I have drawn him so many times over the years I know him well enough to reference him to himself!

Fun Painting of character Harvey and friends by Diane Young

ACEO Sold to Colorado USA

Where is That Giraffe? Commission WIP

Where is that giraffeWhen you look at my paintings  you might think that I have envisaged a colour and placed it where I think it is  supposed to be.  The reality is that in my paintings each bit of it is made up of many layers of paint.  If Harvey is a nice reddish brown, then I may start with a shade of yellow, add a shade of red,  further layers of the same colour, or a different brown,  and  tweek the shadows with a shade of blue or purple.  Sometimes I let the colours mingle while wet.  Sometimes I let layers dry and put another on top.  These thin layers of paint will shine through from underneath giving a lively finish quite different from one layer of colour.  Needless to say it leads to a much longer amount of time to complete a painting and I can understand why it is difficult for someone looking at an image to imagine the time involved in the whole process.


Harvey and his Antics

Harvey plays hide and seek with his friend the Giraffe.  He knows Digger the dog.   Digger has a skateboard.  Digger is a foxhound his name is such because he likes watching diggers that the building sites use.  Harvey gets around in his shopping trolley although we can only imagine how he got the shopping trolley in the first place.  We do know though that he has been to the arctic and visited the Rockhopper penguins, who knows he might go back to visit soon.  Harvey has his own Facebook Page….