Animal Artist ~ Diane Young

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


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Painting Stories: Freddie and Digger

So, what is going on in the picture?

Digger the dog and Freddie the Goldfish a painting by artist Diane YoungIf an image captures your imagination you may find your own internal dialogue emerging as to what is taking place in the picture. I make ACEOs with my own narrative  in  mind and often show them to my family and find that they in turn arrive at their own (sometimes surprising ) conclusion as to what they think is going on with the characters in my ACEOs.  

I love to start the story and hope there may be a variety of possibilities for a story to be told.  

Decide yourself what is happening here between Digger and Freddie, and then see below for what I had in mind. My description for this aceo goes something like this : “Digger could not be sure but he thought that Freddie was trying to tell him something…..”

My narrative could have been…. “Looking at Freddie Digger was not sure if Freddie  actually liked him.” but I decided that it would be “Freddie kept glancing at the Fish Food and looking at Digger hoping Digger might take the hint and gives him a little snack!”

Go on surprise me with your story line…..

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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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Mouse in the Corner, Cat in the Basket.

Meditating Cats

You know that if a cat appears to be meditating by staring into the corner of a room that something must be in that corner.  Tucked behind a bookshelf back to the wall was Mousie, looking quite wholesome and undamaged.  I think Simba Fangcat brought it in for a game or perhaps we have mice in the walls (as opposed to Wolves in the Walls -a favourite children’s picture book of mine, especially the illustrations).

Organising Chaos

It took me an hour to sort out the situation with everyone surviving intact. I mean catching the mouse took a relatively short period of time.  Guide Mousie towards container and pop container over.  The rest of the time was spent finding a suitable container, moving items off the top of the bookshelf, clearing the area, putting the cat out and blocking the catflap with a bin, finding something to encourage the mouse out of the corner and a light to tracMousie makes his escape with a cherry ACEO by Diane Youngk progress behind the bookshelf, and finding a glove in case I needed to grab it on the way.  I also had to find a piece of card that would fit over the container which was two floors up in the attic studio.  At one point in trying to encourage Mousie out he was straddling wall and bookshelf in the gap like a furry mountain climber in a ravine.

Mousie Makes his Getaway

After dispatching Mousie to the far end of the garden I had to get the cat who had now come outside back in again or else I might to repeat the procedure over againSimba Fangcat Brings in a Mouse.  I still had all the stuff to put back and away….whilst Simba got back into his basket  to continue his nap as if nothing has happened.

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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….