Animal Artist ~ Diane Young

Every Picture tells a story – realistic and stylised animals in art from Manic Illustrations


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Stamp Lady Rachel Markwick of Stroud

Studying Art Process At Stroud College

One of my artist friends who trained on the Access Course at Stroud College was Rachel Markwick.  For some time she had been painting and explored her craft further on the course.  We had so much fun it was a truly bonding experience for us mature students.

Landscape Rachel Markwick

But simply wanting (and trying) to progress in the art world is often not enough.  For each of us it is a different process and often time has to pass, where creativity takes us to both good and bad places, and may be quite a balancing act where there are commitments other than just a desire to be creative.

From Painting To Collage with Stamps

Then a few years ago Rachel’s creativity took on a completely different look involving her inherited collection of stamps.

Stamp Collage Rachel MarkwickFrom Van Gogh’s sunflowers and hilly scenes of Stroud emerged the Stamp Lady of Stroud.  

There is a story behind the use of stamps in Rachel’s work, but to fast forward somewhat she makes clever, endearing and detailed images from stamps from all over the world. From ships to owls, and from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to International flags there is so much detail right down to the fish in the sea and the people in the arches of the Colosseum. 

Stamps Flag USA by Rachel Markwick

More of Rachel Marwick to be found on her Website,  or The Stamp Lady of Stroud featured in Tim Clegg’s Stamp Collecting Unhinged Videos.


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Spare a thought for the Artist….

Christmas Fayres and Art for Sale

When you see artists exhibiting their wares at Christmas Fayres or in the high street hoping to catch customers in the festive season spare a thought not just for the hard work and creativity that goes into their craft.  Some time will have been spent agonising over pricing before an attempt at selling either original work or prints.  Framing is a conundrum, customers like to buy items ready to hang but how do you choose a frame that works with the image and works for the customers taste.

Prints of animals for sale by Diane Young horses dogs cats mice harvey the aardvark

Prints and Cards

With prints and cards there is plenty to frustrate the eager artist.  Enduring a fickle printer is a test of patience when it starts spitting out blank paper or prints which are off centre, the wrong size or the wrong colours and then  horrors of horrors sometimes it will not work at all.

Prints for sale of original paintings of animals  by artist  Diane Young of Stroud UK

Mounts for Prints

Mounting the image is an issue of its own, lining up the print and taping the print, mount and backing board together in a professional looking way before putting into a celophane bag.  By the end of it all the place is littered with off cuts, cut fingers, bits of tape everywhere, torn up prints and hopefully the printer has not been despatched out of the window.  

You may have guessed that I have just completed a printing session ready for a Christmas Fayre at Horseworld Rescue Centre, Bristol, UK next weekend.  Leaflets, notices and business cards are ready printed too.  Just need to pack a blanket, hot water bottle and a flask.

Oh and in case you were wondering the printer is still where it should be, in the studio… 🙂


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“Encounters” Art Preview at the Amberley Inn Stroud with Artist Jilly Cobbe

Some years ago I made good friends with the students on my Access to Art course at Stroud College. Many have them have blossomed into proactive artists in different fields of the art world.

Painting by artist Jilly Cobbe at the Amberley Inn Stroud

My friend Jilly Cobbe had the preview of her show of work at the Amberley Inn Stroud yesterday evening.  

Like myself her art is inspired by animals, and this show “Encounters” depicts animals she has met or encountered in a variety of locations.  

Along with meeting other artists there I also witnessed the sale of her largest painting (see above). It is great to see artists reaping the rewards of their hard work and knowing that whoever buys it will hold their purchase dear to their heart.

I did my best but the photos here do not do Jilly’s work justice due to the lighting. Artist Jilly Cobbe on the right here below…..

Local lady tells the story of Stumpy the horse featured in artist Jilly Cobbe's drawing.

Art show by Jilly Cobbe at the Amberley Inn StroudPainting by artist Jilly Cobbe at the Amberley Inn Stroud

Horse Drawing by artist Jilly Cobbe at the Amberley Inn StroudJilly Cobbe Artshow at Amberley Inn Stroud

Click here: Jilly Cobbe for more of her talent for drawing and painting animals and landscapes on her website, also art for sale here and currently at the Amberley Inn Stroud.


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Christmas Reindeer ACEO Painting

Interesting Facts about Reindeer

Reindeer are thought to be the only mammals that can see ultraviolet light. This helps them see things in bright snowy conditions as the ultraviolet light creates sharp contrast with objects other than snow. Their noses are also specialised and designed for increased internal surface area which allows cold dry air to moisten as they breath in.  

There are very few reindeer which are truly wild,  some roaming animals are escaped domestic stock, and even the reindeer on the Tundra (just below the North Pole) are owned by Saami herdsmen.

Christmas Reindeer Painting ACEO by Diane Young Manic Illustrations.