11 Nov 2016

News In Brief

Nearing the end of another busy week, with a heavy cold thrown in. But looks like I am at the end of the tunnel, and might be able to get the trainers outside again soon. I digress.

Just thought I`d share some news with you. Of course, I`ve been meaning to do it for ages, here. But better late than never. 

My 1st group show as an Associate  member of the USWA (Ulster Society of Women Artists, which if you Google it, you will probably find the United States Wrestling Association !!) is coming to an end on Saturday 12th (the day after tomorrow), so there`s still a bit of a window to see it in The Crescent Arts Centre in the University area of Belfast. I believe there are 120 works on, most for sale, all of different styles, so there should be something for everyone. I`m also chuffed to say that one of my 2 entries, High Tea, won The New Member`s award. Here`s some pics of yours truly receiving the award from President Kay Cullen and looking rather pleased on the opening night last week!

While I`m busy trying to organise (and in some cases, finish) work for Christmas shows in various galleries, scheduling a few things in for next year, trying to market smaller pieces in my online shops and deciding which competitions to enter, etc,  I`m also getting my own studio open to the public as of November 25th!! Am I mad? I`ll still be offering viewing by appointment, but as the kids are all at school for most of the day now, I`m out there most days anyway, so we decided to just do it: put a sign up, advertise a bit and hopefully get more people popping in. (As long as it`s not in the middle of a flat watercolour wash: should be interesting!) So, we`ve been busy little elves painting walls, and me, once again, upcycling yet more used furniture, even getting the Christmas decorations out! I hate doing anything like that in the house before December, but I suppose that`s business. The B word for artists.  I`ve even ordered a SumUp card reader to be able to offer card payments. Yep, dragged kicking and screaming into the modern, digital age.

To celebrate, we`re having a special event called Black Friday at The Black Sheep Gallery, which will run the Saturday after also, offering a whopping 20% off all original artwork and photographic prints. So if you`re looking for an original Christmas gift, please don`t buy another print from IKEA that everyone else has, or spend hours in a traffic queue at the newly opened Range in Ballymena, just because everyone else goes there. Be original and shop local. I try to. You`ve probably heard this before, but anyway: "Buy art from living artists. The dead ones don`t need the money." Enough said.

Event times:  Friday November 25th:     10.30am to 9pm
                     Saturday November 26th:  10.30 am to 3pm

Tea, coffee, a lit stove, and mince pies, if you can stomach them this early, will be on offer. 

Black Friday event on Facebook: 

You will also be able to find me at a stand at The Ballymena Academy Fair this year again, on Saturday the 10th of December. More on that in a later post.

Also, for those who don`t yet know, I  just started uploading some videos on YouTube a couple of months ago, mostly product reviews, some tips and techniques, etc. Please take a look at my channel, give any videos you like or find useful a thumbs up, and subscribe to be kept up to date with new videos as I post them. This is my latest one on Winsor and Newton`s pigment markers:

And before I forget, since I`m trying to free up some studio space for more recent work, I`ve been offering some older pieces at big discount prices every Thursday on my Facebook page for the last couple of weeks.  Look out for the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday and there are still 2 more weeks of these special offers left.

And since it is #FolksyFriday after all, pop over to my Facebook page where I`m doing a wee promo to get others to share my event, by offering this wee #folksy piece from a few years back to one lucky winner drawn from all those who like, share and tag a friend on my event. For obvious reasons, THIS PROMO ONLY APPLIES TO UK RESIDENTS.

The prize is this wee original pen and ink with a watercolour wash, which I did when Nathan Jess asked me to design the cover artwork for his album, Love Stands Forever. This was one of the preliminary designs I had in mind.  The leaves are a lovely copper colour which doesn`t show up very well in the photograph. It`s unmounted and unframed, but I will send it anywhere in the UK free of charge, in a sealed cellophane envelope, and with some hardboard for protection, and you can frame it as you wish.

 Dawn Chorus II,
pen and ink, with watercolour wash on paper
10 x 7 inches

I might even throw in something else, too, as a wee surprise. Hope you have a nice Friday and a restful weekend folks. Speak soon x


  1. Congrats on winning your award. It's well deserved. I have changed my profile name. You will know me as Fuzzie Fingers. I have started a new blog and a Facebook page called Pencil Pastel and Paint so that the name better reflects the work I am doing now. I have liked your page and shared your post. I would love to be in with a chance to win. I love it.

  2. Thank you Carol! I just checked your new FB page and liked it this afternoon. Glad to see you are using coloured pencil :) x

  3. Well done on the award! I'd love to live near enough to pop into your open studio.