My Favourite Brushes

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Like many artists, I am always searching for the perfect paint brush. Having bought many inexpensive brushes in the past which have lasted no time at all it really has been a false economy. (I am pretty hard on my paintbrushes as tend to use a ‘scrubbing’ motion a lot when I am working with acrylics for the under layers of the painting.)

Recently I have been using Windsor and Newton’s Artists Acrylic brushes and so far they are lasting well. They are exactly the right softness for me (not too hard with a lot of spring), the handles are weighted beautifully (something I did not really consider important until I bought these) and I do like buying British whenever I can. I do tend to buy synthetic brushes (although I have some hog brushes for oils) as I would not like to think any animals are harmed in the making of the tools I use (I actually have no idea how the hair for paintbrushes is collected) so to be on the safe side I stick with what I know.

I have also been wanting to try the brushes from Rosemary & Co having seen them at various art fairs and noticing many artists recommending them. I am hoping to be able to have a bit of a splurge on brushes in the New Year and I think this company will be my first port of call.

Do you have any favourite brushes that you use for painting?

x x x


New easel (thanks to some birthday money) …tis now in my studio!

 New brushes, and a couple of tubes of paint too…

New painting – just finished today and as yet untitled. I seem to have alot going on at the moment with 2 upcoming exhibitions, an upcoming craft fair, 2 painting commissions and work to complete for a gallery and a new shop and sometimes it is hard to know what to tackle first. All of this is happening in the next month and I am just trying to relax and work on what feels good on any given day.

Thank-you so much for your opinions on the studio photo’s! I have decided on the colour one, although it was close. As it is for an online venture though, I felt it had more impact. I was hoping to reveal what it is all for today but as I still have some tweeking to do it will later on Monday once everything is in place.

Hoping you are having a good week



One of the main reason’s for our trip to London last weekend was to go and see Warhorse at the New London Theatre and really it was the highlight of our trip, for both of us. I have had the book by Michael Morpurgo for a wee while, but as the only occassions I seem to have time to read at the moment is in the doctors surgery waiting room, I still have not finished it as I keep having to pause to stop myself from crying… it is an incredibly heart-wrenching story. However I had seen the documentary on the Making of Warhorse and just knew it was something I would love to see…

I had fully intended on really trying to describe this wonderful stage play and my response to it but in truth I don’t think it is possible to put into words how incredible it was. Set in the First World War and focussing on the story of a farm-lad and his horse, it really is an  unforgettable story.

The horses are life size puppets, each requiring 2 or three people to work the mechanics of the animal. The most incredible thing is that after a short time, even although you know the actors are there, you forget that they are working the puppets and instead begin to believe that it is a living, breathing horse with a distinct character. I think I must have looked like a child with that expression of wonder and awe on my face throughout the performance, so breathtaking and heartwrenching.

I don’t know if the show is touring atall but if you are not able to see it you can get a wee taste of the show here on the website – I know there is an up-and-coming film directed by Stephen Speilberg, but really it is the puppets that are the stars of the stage show. Although for some reason calling them ‘puppets’ really doesn’t come close to describing the wonder of them. The music too has stayed with me I have been constantly humming singing the bits that I remember of the folk tunes from the play.  I have ordered the soundtrack with some birthday money so I know that it is going to be played frequently on my studio days – as I get older, my love of folk music grows and it suits the mood and atmosphere of my studio when I am working.

 It is an occassion that I will always remember and there is a very special reason that I was able to go which I would like to tell you about, but for now I have an appointment and then my studio is calling, so I shall leave that for tomorrow….

Thank you for reading and sharing this with me..I truly hope it is something you have the opportunity to see!


The Big City………


So highlights of London were …..

… walking along the embankment with the sight of the incredible architecture of the houses of parliament – a stunning view even after seeing it many times …

…. we missed the Trooping the Colour but saw some of the spectacular fly-past of the Royal Air Force overhead and in a clear blue sky…

………a bit of window shopping on Regent Street, popping into Anthropologie (nil purchases) and the amazing and huge National Geographic shop (a wee treat in the form of a years subscription to the publication which I have coveted for years!)…..

…delighted to find wildlife even in the heart of London via a walk through St James Park where we saw black swan’s, a beautiful, majestic heron and the most precocious squirrels you are ever likely to meet…..

….discovering my dream house and garden, again right in the heart of London – ‘A cottage for a birdkeeper’ – like something from a fairy tale (images of this are sure to appear in my artwork in the near future)…

…. looking around, looking up, gasping at the wonderful and historical architecture that fills Londons can only wonder at how many hands and years it took to build such delicate details that reach for the sky…..

… and so to the theatre in the evening to see Warhorse (more about this tomorrow)…

…. a more tired version of ourselves from all the walking the previous day, on Sunday we tucked into a hearty breakfast before taking the bus through London’s rainy street’s to visit one of my favourite places in London with all it’s memories of childhood days out with my dad… The Natural History Museum with wonders of the feather, scaley and furry kind, its’s tales of earth and ocean’s and planets, far too much to see in a day although we did try….

…. and so home again. Tired and happy to have spent a lovely weekend together as fleeting as it was….there is just too much to see!..

So till tomorrow


This wonderful web….

Today has been a little strange – time running away from me and  plans going awry. I was due to be meeting a friend for coffee and delivering work to the design circus shop across town later this afternoon but that all had to change when I found that I could not get out of our carpark to the rear of our house as the electric gate was stuck!  It was too late to get the tram and bus it would have taken me to get across town so I went for a walk instead – much better for me I am sure.

I am currently following a beginners walking programme as unfortunately one of the side effects of the medication I am on is weight gain and already a very curvy girl it is now time for me to tackle this head on and do something about it! I used to do alot of walking and it really is my favourite form of exercise so I am hoping for good progress.

Recently I have mentioned a few times the various elements I love about my job and it has been good for me to take the extra time to take note and appreciate all that makes me content. Working from home, being my own boss, creating every day that I can, all combine  to make me happy and settled. Another element in this mix is meeting people who understand my work whether I meet them face to face or online.

 I do not see myself as having a talent with words and often find it difficult to put my inspiration into one or two sentences so it is always fascinating to read another persons interpretation. I have very recently met Claire through etsy and blogging and she recently bought the piece above and has very generously blogged about it here.

Tomorrow, weather and car-park-gate permitting I shall be meeting a friend at this local historical place for a few hours of chatting and sketching. It has been far too long since I have sketched outside so I am looking forward to it!

Happiness is……..

There are many small joys along the way in creating artwork…various points where it is impossible not to smile at being able to do this for a living. The pinnacle of course is seeing a happy customer walking away delighted with a piece of artwork that they have purchased and the knowledge that they ‘get’ what you are doing – that they see something in your work that resonates with them. One little step before that though is seeing your work beautifully framed and on a wall – your own – even if it is only for a short while.

I am gradually getting work framed in preparation for an Art Market that I am attending in June, although each piece is available in my shop till then. I am lucky enough  be able to take my work to a wonderful frame company and it is always fun to get all the samples and try them out next to my work to see what works best. I think we hit the nail on the head with these original pencil drawings – the warm silver of the frame and the ivory mount just brings out the tones of the pencil and the buttery paper just beautifully.

These pencil drawings are still available unframed but now all come with an ivory mount and I have also decided to add the option of this frame to each listing in my etsy shop (UK customers only I am afraid). I will be adding the option to the listings in my shop today. This decision was also made based on an online conversation I had with a customer about how sad it was that many high street frame shops were closing and that it was often difficult to get quality frames anywhere else. I also want to check out the possibility of adding an optional frame to my print listings but need to check out how much that would cost to mail so hope to do that soon.

This will be the first time that I have really prepared professionally framed artwork for an event such as this (finances and transportability have made me think twice in the past) but as I move forward in developing my work, I am also keen to develop the presentation of it too. When I see these framed up, I know it is the right way to go.

Happiness is also new tools to play with! My husband bought these for me – how considerate of him! Let’s just gloss over the ulterior motive that was born from the fustration of his wife constantly nicking his screwdriver set for various ‘work related tasks’ and then misplacing it in her studio. Now I have my very own set to bury under a pile of ‘work’!

Anyway it is glorious weather out there today and I am hoping it lasts the weekend as I plan to do a bit of gardening and a bit of car-booting!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend. x

Mosaic Monday March 7th 2011

Mosaic Monday March 7th 2011, originally uploaded by gilfling.

Another new week and as ever – lots to do. I seem to be trying to work on too many things at once at the moment so the aim for this week is to settle down and work on one thing at a time in order to get something finished!

Another mosaic collection from my flickr favourites – please click through to individual pages to discover more!