A painting of butterflies – The Fritillaries of Barkbooth Lot

A painting of butterflies – The Fritillaries of Barkbooth Lot

This painting of butterflies will be on display at Castle Park Arts Centre in Frodsham between 11th April – 18th May, alongside my new painting of a Little Owl. For details, do have a look at the Association of Animal Artists website. This work was inspired by the butterflies at Barkbooth Lot, a beautiful mixed oak and alder woodland with attached grassland, managed by the Cumbria Wildlife Trust. We were especially lucky to see the High...

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The Flemish Technique

The Flemish Technique

The old masters, working in the fifteenth century, used a painting technique – the so called ‘Flemish Technique’ – which combined the advantages of both tempera and oil paint. Egg tempera dries fast but has a matt finish, making it suitable for underpaintings. Glazes of oil paint add smooth transitions of bright, glossy colours. Without more ado, and in the honourable tradition of copying from the masters, here is my...

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The Hobbit

The Hobbit

My eldest daughter has loved The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy since childhood, when my husband used to read both girls the stories before bed. This is a piece I did for her birthday illustrating Tolkien’s wonderful first line. The illuminated borders are done in shell gold and egg tempera with traditional pigments.  It’s a real shame you can’t see the shine on the gold! The border design is adapted from the Lovell...

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Carmine red pigment: the use of insects in art

Carmine red pigment: the use of insects in art

Carmine red pigment…   At Christmas, rather than buying commercial Christmas crackers, we make our own. Each member of the family is charged with buying a gift for one of the others – an enjoyable challenge to find something ‘just right’ that is small enough to fit inside! My eldest daughter bought my cracker present this year, and, I have to say, excelled herself – for what popped out, alongside my paper hat...

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An illuminated ‘T’ inspired by the Bury Bible

An illuminated ‘T’ inspired by the Bury Bible

The shape of this letter B is taken from the Bury Bible. This is a large twelfth century hand written Bible, illuminated with gold leaf. Each page measured 52.5 x 35 cm, which was just about the largest size page that could be made from a whole calfskin at the time. The whole Bible was originally bound in two volumes, and needed 350 skins to make it.           It was commissioned by Herveus, the sacrist of  Bury St...

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