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I’m delighted to announce that my latest painting,’HMV’, is finally finished!  In all, the completed watercolour took nearly 150 hours of painting time, but well over a year to finish as I had so many other distractions at the time.  It seemed like I’d never finish it, but at the end it came together very quickly. I go through various emotions when painting: sometimes I love it and it is very calming, whereas some sections can be quite boring and you’ve just got to get them done!  I’m really pleased with how it’s worked out though.

HMV is part of my ‘Antique Cats’ series whereby I paint a cat with an antique object and appropriate paraphernalia.  My favourite part to paint is obviously the cat, in this case Benja Blue himself.  He’s one of the cats I grew up with and sadly he died in 2016, just before his 16th birthday.  He’s a snow bengal with the most gorgeous blue eyes.

I love music and singing so I wanted to paint an old-fashioned gramophone with the ‘His Master’s Voice’ label on the front.  There’s an old metronome in a plaster niche in the wall and a tin of record needles at Benja’s feet.  The word ‘Ongaku’ on the top of the tin means ‘music’ in Japanese.

The original painting is available for £800, but A4 prints are available through my Etsy Shop, which is incidentally named after Benja Blue, at www.benjablue.com.



There are various contenders for my next painting.  We had an old black cat at work called Zacariah who used to get me through my working day at the garden centre.  I fancy painting him surrounded by incurved purple crysanthemums and garden tools.

Then there is my beautiful old bengal-cross rescue Kizzy and my mam’s new Maine coon kitten, Oscar Fox, all waiting to sit for their portraits!  My mam requests an old-fashioned telephone or a typewriter for the background, whilst I am rather taken with the idea of a world globe.  Decisions, decisions…

One things for certain, though: I’ll be painting the next one in my all-singing all-dancing shed-cum-studio in the garden that Steve is kindly building for me.  Progress photos to follow soon!


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