Trompe L’oeil

Executed in the early spring before the plants grew foliage.

Materials – Shed Paint – Forest Green: paint-pots, red, green, yellow, sienna – Masonry Paint – cream, 3″ brushes.




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last year . . .

I was commissioned to design the covers of two ‘Create Space’ children’s books for an author ‘friend’. She did not want to buy copyright. I supplied a list of ‘permission of use’ with the copyright symbol on the design. 

Without permission and without copyright symbol, the cover design was e mailed to the organiser of a local writers’ festival to use as publicity posters.

Troubled by the authors repeated failure to do as requested, I spoke to a librarian who, by chance, knew ‘Create Space’ Copyright rules. I had never used them. Any author using Create Space had to own and sign to owning ‘all rights’. 

Everything fell into place, she’d tried to hide non-ownership from Create Space and any fellow author who knew the rules. When I questioned the author about this, she threatened me with ‘possible harassment’. She’d been found out and didn’t like it.

I took legal advice. The following information may be helpful to anyone who experiences copyright infringement – 

We can confirm that the author infringed your copyright / moral rights to be credited as the author.

You can certainly ask her to delete all the artwork you sent her and ask her to destroy all the remaining books featuring your artwork. As you are in control of your copyright and she is in breach of the contract you agreed you have a right to ask her. She may not comply with your requests – in this case, you may consider next steps.
You can of course share the results of your investigations with the librarian.
We will keep this enquiry open for now just in case you have further questions or the other party doesn’t react.


An unhappy experience which taught me a lot, not only about Copyright Law.

Painting Pets

I have painted pets’ portraits, mostly dogs, cats; prize flowers, gardens and houses, children and parents.

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Preparatory pencil drawing for an oil painting.


Poppy in the Garden

catmousesilverfinger children logogeese

art 001        art 002

Peter                                                         Danny

hallorchard1                                        joansebee

Apple Orchard in Spring

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Wedding Bouquet









Animation Third Week

Using what I have learned so far and having bought plasticine, I decided to do a ‘proper job’.

1. made three plasticine figures thinking of character and plot

2. made a ‘set’ – cardboard box, backdrop drawn in charcoal, photographed, edited on photoshop, printed, stuck in cardboard box. Background

3, Practise run – camera lens had too ‘wide’ a view so, bigger set needed next time, plasticine collapsing

4, put figures in fridge to ‘chill’ PLAN – use digitization, stop-go all in real 3D

5. applied LIGHTING, removed figures from fridge, still falling and bending, used wire as armature, made fat feet. This worked . . . just

6. MOVED CAMERA while filming set in DIGITIZATION, switched to STOP-GO for action changing camera POSITION twice.

7. Edited out several frames in Vimeo






Cel animation was introduced, ie, background, foreground/s painted on acetate through which the animated characters move.

Task 2: Two stick figures walk towards each other and pass. This was VERY time consuming and I used more than the Future Learn proposed ‘3hrs. week’. My Digi/animation equipment is limited from choice. The course also caters for this. Good!

I first drew 20 frames on A6 paper with a graphite pencil, scanned, opened in Photoshop, edited and opened Vimeo just to see what it looked like. blog

Then drew using digi-pad in Photoshop. Preferred the tension of pencil on paper than plastic pen on plastic.Untitled-1.jpg

Cut LOTS of A6 sheets, made light box with sheet of Perspex propped on books and long-necked desk lamp to improvise a light-box. And drew . . . 42 frames. An internal dialogue and characterisation occurred as I drew. I considered how the shoulders moved, hips, knees. The best way of moving the stick figures was to move the thigh first.light boxI scanned to the laptop, edited in Photoshop and copied into Vimeo. Not happy, I changed the tile and credits. The middle of the animation was awkward and I discovered an odd frame which I removed . . .








Introduction to ANIMATION

At the end of the first week of the Future Learn, 4 week course I learned how to stop-go animate.

Equipment: digital camera, cardboard box as ‘film-set’ on top of plan chest, two little wooden dolls, Cruden’s ‘Concordence’ (under camera).

Lots of advice on how to make a Morph. I chose wooden dolls not having any plasticine. Lots of advice on animation software, I chose VIMEO for my laptop. Thrilled when it ‘worked’, thrilled when I discovered ‘edit’, ‘add music’; Bob Dylan first before I realised ‘copyright’, (I had had to burn a self-publisher for knowingly and illegally using my artwork for the cover of her book) so changed from Dylan to my own ‘Chopsticks’.

Here is the link: https: I managed to inadvertently find the ‘speed’ command but it has since eluded me!

The little animation is very brief . . . Enjoy!


POEMS on the WEB

To begin . . . ‘a killer’ poem, to quote my publisher, which isn’t on the web but printed in ‘Obsessed with Pipework’.


I nick the neck of a Fair Trade banana

strip the skin

peel the shrivel-my-tongue veins

slice it over my morning porridge

drown it in milk

IMG_0796and think of you.

AND ON THE WEB . . . South Bank Poetry Library

reflectCheck out: for your Book Cover Design and Illustration for writers with visual ideas

Hummingbird Hawk Moth

This fascinating creature fed on the Phlox in the garden on a sunny afternoon, hovering at each blossom, moving on around the bed of flowers, not at all bothered by my close observation or my photography.

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In the photograph below its tongue can be seen curled up in front of its face.

New Computer, New Post

I was forced to buy a new computer when my 12 year old laptop with XP expired. At last I have a slightly less uneasy relationship with the new hp and windows 8 (I am informed that following so many dissatisfied users, the flashy sharp-as-a-pin w8 may be updated to w10 for free, this autumn). So . . . my first post in ages.

Work Ethic Art It’s an emotional impossibility for me to do a job I don’t like, as in ‘job for money’. The cake factory for example, I ended up throwing slabs of walnut cake onto the conveyor belt knowing they would end up on the floor because the factory worker further down the production line and in charge of the go/stop switch was incapable of understanding what she was doing. She was switched on ‘full’ all the time. Then postal delivery; small, overburdened and blistered from here to there, I didn’t like the man who shouted at me for being late or the snappy dog who wouldn’t let me in the gate. I lasted 3 days. And the department store between school and college, I survived 4 weeks, time enough to pay for my keep and buy an acoustic guitar with the rest. I couldn’t keep up with the family ‘work ethic’, I had proper work to do in preparation for my first year at art school . . . drawing. Brush and sepia ink, Had a prize for it too; ‘Cart in a Barn’.

My soul on demand . . . can’t do it.

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