Fifty Shades of…everything.
First and foremost I want to just say thanks for all the lovely comments on my blog- there have been some really encouraging messages which really are appreciated.
The last month or so has been a bit hectic so I didn’t get much time to paint. However this week I finally picked up my brushes and tackled a commission I’ve had on the go for a while. It’s a surprise for somebody so I’m not going to say too much but it’s a portrait of Jacko, a lovely Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Jacko: very soft really
I’m pleased with how it’s turned out; he is a really warm and gentle dog and I think the cream background works well to contradict the usually unfavourable reputation that precedes Staffies. Speaking of which, we were fortunate enough to visit Battersea Dogs and Cats Home last week, where we met loads of absolutely gorgeous animals looking for new homes- we could have left with all of them. Battersea runs a great campaign called “Staffies: they’re softer than you think” aimed at educating people about the breed and dispelling the myths that surround them. I can certainly say after rolling around on the floor with Jacko and meeting some of the Staffies at Battersea that I was surprised at how calm and affectionate they are as a breed. The old adage of books and covers springs to mind.
Be warned: shamelessly tenuous link. One book you can’t judge by its’ cover (as it is quite impossible to prepare yourself for what lies inside) is Fifty Shades of Grey. Proof of this is that my brother ‘stumbled’ across it when downloading books for his kindle, according to Mum. Worse still is now knowing that my mother has read it too. Luckily Dad doesn’t own a kindle, or possess the adequate know-how to download anything…Don’t worry, I’m not here to masquerade as a literary critic, but I do want to say that I was left cold by the book and you can do much better for summer reading. My all-time favourite author/general superhero is Jilly Cooper; although to label her as ‘summer reading’ does her a complete disservice. I would have honestly written my dissertation on her if I was permitted. This is what the top shelf of my bookshelf looks like:
You heard right, degree in English Literature
I own two copies of Polo because on the third time of reading I had to hold the book together with a clothes peg as all the pages were dropping out. I revisit all her Rutshire Chronicles at least once annually and I’m about to start reading The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous again. Rusty reminds me a touch of Lysander Hawkley.
As for my two tearaways, they’ve been spending their summer doing a fair amount of this:
Give. Us. Some.
A decent amount of this:
And apparently it's Staffies with the bad reputation..?
And lots of this:
I also managed to snap this photo of them when they were playing in the garden, which I think looks uncannily like a dead tarantula on its’ back…
The not-so-incy-wincy spider
…one pet I can safely say I will never be painting. Maggie and Rusty were also turned into cupcakes, courtesy of- yet again- the lovely Nicole at afternooncrumbs.com
I would like to be able to say that I was so disturbed by the idea of eating cakes that had my beautiful dogs’ faces on them that I couldn’t bring myself to eat them, but that would be a total lie. This also coincided with the same time that Maggie had a serious case of the upset tummies after stealing a piece of shortbread out of my handbag, so all in all I think my dogs have a curious relationship with baked goods.
And to conclude yet another incredibly random post, I am going to make a little shout out to my brother, who is studying at college in America. In between reading trashy women’s fiction and studying international relations, he apparently reads my blog. His loyal Ford Bronco, called Bessie III, gave up the ghost this week, and he’s very sad. So here’s a picture of her to send her across the Rainbow Bridge, or more likely… to the scrapheap:
My next project is a pair of Labradoodles with fabulous blonde afros, so I will be sure to show you how I’m getting on. In the meantime we are all looking forward to the olympics. Enjoy the summer!