Tag Archives: Painting

I am an Artist

Facing my reflection

Today I had what I think they call a Damascus moment. I’m no spring chicken, next year I turn 50, half a blimmin century and I think I’m going to have a Croning ceremony as I embrace my status as an older  Feminist woman in our society. But this post isn’t about that. Although it does have something to do with my Feminist stance.

Let me explain…

I grew up believing my  ultimate goal as a woman was to grow up and get married. Some day my prince will come… I used to go to sleep as a young girl of 6 or 7 with my hair spread out beautifully on my pillow just in case my prince came in the door at night.

I did grow up and get married, not before having a stint in art school and discovering that I had a talent for drawing and painting. My tutors and colleagues really believed in me. It was a pity that I somehow never shared their belief.

Why didn’t I believe?

I think it was because my mum repeatedly told me that I was not an artist and never would be because I could only copy.

Those words would burn deep into my psyche and end up echoing round my head as an adolescent, then right throughout my adulthood. Until now.

But I’m running before I’ve learned to walk. So I got married and had two beautiful daughters who have now grown up to be wonderful young women, one of whom has a daughter of her own. I’m now a proud grandma.

I’m no longer married. Nobody told me that the Disney princess prophesy ended like this.

But I moved on and I grew. I now don’t believe in marriage. My goals in life have changed. When I grow up I want to be an artist instead.

Well, today I think I grew up.

After spending a day with my eldest artistic daughter at the BP Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery it suddenly struck me. I should have my work on the walls. There was no reason why I couldn’t be amongst this fabulous display of diverse portraiture. What was I waiting for? I had already painted a portrait of a street drinker friend I had made about 10 years ago that I think would be worthy of submission. Jimmy1 Jimmy2 Jimmy3 Jimmy4For over ten years this painting had been rolled up in a corner, hiding. Today I took it out and looked at it with new eyes.  The word started to bubble up.


I was waiting to embrace the word. The word that for almost 40 years had felt far too big for me to handle. ARTIST.

It was hard to say. ARTIST. ( You’re not an artist, you can only copy) Shut up mum.

ARTIST. ( You’re not an artist … )


I went around my flat with my little camera, taking photos of myself , not smiling. Not posing. Just being me. Being serious. Taking myself seriously.  Just being me, the artist. Not the woman, not the mother, not the children’s entertainer, just me. THE ARTIST.


Then I started to feel like including myself and my work. My flat is full of my work. From painting and drawing to soft sculpture. It is a veritable private temple of my creativity. It’s time to go public and stop being afraid of showing the real me.

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So  Mum. Now what do you think?

I’m a mother fucking artist.

Yes I am. Oh yes I am.

And today is the beginning of my artist journey as an artist. Not an apologist.

Unlike the adolescent me who had the ability but nothing to say with it, I’ve got so much to say now , it is hard to know where to start.

I’m starting tomorrow. Tomorrow I paint.

I am a woman and I am an artist.









Art squared: Portraits of sculpture

After making my crochet dollies, I’ve been left with a feeling of ” somethings not quite finished”.

So I embarked on painting portraits of my crochet curiosities.

After making these mini paintings, I knew I needed to create frames to suit. A regular wooden frame just wouldn’t fit. So I raided my studio for materials and created original frames from mixed materials to compliment the painting and match the quirkiness .

So, here’s what I made earlier:

paint3 paint7] paint13 paint17 paint24 paint31 paint37I’m really enjoying the process.

There will be more.

Some of the paintings will be exhibited soon at the Little Summer Benefits exhibition at the wonderful Vyner Street Gallery.

So, what do you think?



Dog portrait

I’ve been commissioned to paint a portrait of a friend’s dog for a gift. I think it’s turned out pretty nicely.

It is 20 x 30 cm and is acrylic on stretched canvas.

His name is Diego and he is the cutest little Staffordshire Bull Terrier ever.

I love my blue bone

I take commissions for portraits of pets or people.

If you are interested in having your own done, email me on thebabyfairyfifi@hotmail.com and put PORTRAIT as the subject. There is a week turnaround on all paintings and a 20x30cm acrylic on canvas costs just £50 plus p+p.

(I will need a selection of jpeg photos to work from.)




Celebrating the human form

There is nothing I love better than being in an artists studio with an easel in front of me, charcoal or paintbrush in my hand and a model in the centre of the room, ready to pose. For me, life doesn’t get better than this.

Here are some of the results of some of these moments featuring my friend and model Sean, a very competent artist in his own right.

Sean standing

Seated Sean

Arms folded strong contrast

Green meditation

In the artists studio

Study in charcoal

Life study in charcoal



Life in Colour

More painting, this time stuff I did at Morley College a while back. Some of it experimental, all of it bright.

Reclining nude collage

Patterns and body

The three graces

Reclining male

Abstract legs

Green leg

Being in field

Body and pattern

In a red haze

Red mist

Who says men don't look good in pink?

Meditation in Green

To be continued.



Making pretty things

Cupcakes and Flowers

Today I spent painting pretty things. Cupcakes, flowers , butterflies and dragonflies and cute cars too. I’m preparing my motifs for greetings cards. I shall assemble the cards at a later date once I have all the motifs that I require.

The car cards are done though.

Beep Beep!

I’m pretty pleased at how they came out. I like the simplicity. It is unusual for me to keep it simple. I’m sure my little boy clients will be thrilled to receive one of these with an accompanying crochet car badge.

So cute!

I’m just loving making things that cost very little in basic materials but have such value once made. I find that enormously satisfying. That’s as close as I’ll come to alchemy.

When I was midway painting my motifs, I looked up and spotted how pretty my butterflies looked drying on my paint box. It was like a whole swarm of butterflies had settled in my studio.  I took a photo.

How pretty!

Close up

Later I’ll let you see them in finished form in a greetings card.

That’s all for now.