Two lovely ladies

I have been enjoying hanging out on Tumblr, but this week we got the unwelcome news that Tumblr has decided to ban all ‘adult’ images from the seventeenth of December – and they seem to be really very overzealous about it too, since their automatic detection software is flagging up all sorts of things as forbidden, including archaeology, art, pictures showing elbows, ankles etc.  I am rather uncomfortable with this kind of censorship, and I think human bodies are natural and rather beautiful.  So I decided to paint some topless ladies.  

The Sleep of Yavanna

“Excuse me, Madam,” Bilbo said very politely, trying not to stare, for the clothing of the Vanyar of Valimar was not quite what he was used to. “I seem to have lost my way.  Could you direct me to the house of Lord Ingwion?” 

“Of course,” the Vanyar lady said, turning to address him with swift attention. “You are heading the wrong way, I fear.  If you make your way back towards the Bell of the Unicorn, and turn just where that very tall person with dark hair down to her ankles is going, you will find the House of Ingwion straight ahead of you.” 

“Ah!” Bilbo exclaimed. “So that’s where I went wrong.  I was admiring the gilding on the unicorn, you see, and I must have walked straight past.  Thank you!” 

He hesitated for a moment. 

“Was there something else?” the Vanya enquired in her voice that was like the sound of bronze bells, as the scent of strange spices wafted down the long shining street under roofs of gold. 

Bilbo coughed, “I was just wondering why you were carrying a spear,” he said.  “Hasn’t it been thousands of years since the Vanyar went to war?” 

“It has!” she told him, and shook the spear fiercely, her golden hair tossing. “Yet the Enemy is only banished. One day he will return, and we will be ready!” 

“Oh,” Bilbo said. “Jolly good.  And thank you kindly for the directions.”  

As he wandered back towards the turning he had missed, he could not help but wonder if the Vanyar could not have employed their spears usefully against the spiders of Mirkwood, or the goblins of the Misty Mountains.  But as he admired the lilac flowers that hung in elegant sheets from the archway in front of him, he thought that you could see why people who had ended up in a place as delightful as this would want to stay here.  

He trotted into the house to see if Elrond had got back from visiting whichever relative it was this time, to ask if he might fancy a spot of lunch. 

Mists in Avalon

This picture is based on modern Glastonbury Tor and Burrow Mump (the foreground hill with the attached church) but I’ve changed things around a little. I thought I had added the water in the foreground for a more ancient and Arthurian feeling, but later I discovered that there actually is a water on the land under Burrow Mump after all, though I’m not sure you can see it all together like this from any one viewpoint now. Perhaps before the land was drained and the more recent church (now ruined) built on Burrow Mump?

This is an A3 sized painting in acrylics on artboard.


Rather more than fifty paint-strokes

This painting was originally created as a ‘fifty brushstrokes’ exercise, to help me think about how to use a single stroke to create an effect.  I rather liked it, so I developed it further.

This is Brythen, a  brindle saluki mix lurcher I adopted from Forever Hounds Trust. Sadly, Brythen died relatively young last year at the age of only seven, but I have many photos and wonderful happy memories of him.  This was painted from a photo of him playing with his favorite blue saggy football in the garden.  I think I’ve caught the naughty glint in his eye! 

Painting Transparent Things.

I’ve been trying out painting things that are transparent or watery.  Here’s a leaf with water droplets that was a lot of fun to paint. 

I decided I’d extend the technique and make some bubbles over a landscape (I painted the landscape a few years ago, it’s a view looking out across the Tamar towards Dartmoor.  I felt it needed something to add interest!).

And finally, a still life, with a giant dice (a 20-sided one for roleplaying games). I was really pleased at how this came out!