tillie and toby

Tillie and Toby – that smudge in the top right corner isn’t on the painting. I did it while cropping the image…


I’ve finally finished the dog portrait I started weeks ago.

Why did it take so long you ask? Well, sometimes things just click.

Then other times they don’t.

This was one of the “don’t” times. When I started I got Toby right straight off – he clicked. (that’s the little black dog.) I felt I captured his expression straight away.

Tillie was much harder. She looks like an ewok or cousin It. She’s the sweetest dog in real life, but I just couldn’t find HER under the hair.

In the end I think I scrubbed her out and redrew her three times.

I’m using pastels on Art Spectrum pastel paper – this paper is like very fine sandpaper so it holds pastel really well, but it also allows you to wipe it off and even wash it off with a damp sponge and redraw over it.

I’m finally happy with it now and I can say I’m so relieved. I thought I’d never finish it and I’d never get my new adirondack chairs. They’re the trade you see. If I never finished the painting, I’d never get my chairs.

The deck isn’t finished yet of course. I’m still painting the house. Like a greek: siga siga.

That means “slowly slowly”. Wouldn’t want to over-exert ourselves now, would we?

I did a bit of painting this weekend. I worked on the front part of the house, undercoating 2 sections of the rails and posts before I ran out of my 3 in 1 Prepcoat/Sealer/Undercoat.

(I was really glad to run out ’cause I hate painting with oil based paints. The reprieve is temporary… I have to buy more.)

Then I moved to the back of the house where I started painting the topmost bits of wall and under the eaves. This is slow going, greek or not. Its climb up, paint above your head, get down, move the ladder, find a relatively stable spot to put it, climb up, paint above your head. Repeat endlessly.

I think I did about 2/3 of that side before I decided to call it a day. The horses, chickens, ducks and dogs all needed feeding. Not to mention the human.

Today I spent all my energy brushcutting the weeds in our yard. Its ridiculous really. We have “journey to the centre of the earth” cracks in what used to be our lawn and is now a crispy desert, and yet along the fenceline we have weeds and thistles almost waist high.

On the plus side, the garden is producing well. I’m being over-run by tomatoes, zucchinis and apple cucumbers. Don’t get me wrong, I love fresh home grown produce. Especially the tomatoes and cucumbers… but they’re staging a revolution in there, I swear. Every time I look around they’ve multiplied!

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