The Arty Otter has been in partial hibernation the last few weeks whilst my other business takes precedence at this busy time of year but it hasn't stopped the Arty otter making exciting plans for the year ahead.

Looking after the slimmers of Luton (Biscot & Hightown) and Houghton Regis during the new year up most of my time but it is so rewarding to help people lose weight and become healthier that I truly don't mind not being able to paint as much. 

However I am still keeping active thanks to a lovely art group I attend at the Luton Irish Forum which  guarantees  me 2 hours of relaxing painting every week no matter how hectic things get. Below is the result of one such session... I don't usually do florals but it was the subject of the session and I had a new blue paint (System 3's Process Blue Acrylic ) that I was eager to try out - hence the not very lilac lilacs - but a very pleasing blue it is!

Doggy Business

With regards to future work I have rather enjoyed painting dogs of late - not an area I thought I would get into but it's fun and I now have a couple of commissions lined up.  Whilst I love dogs I do not want to become known as a pet portrait painter- there are so many other subjects I wish to explore. Also my canine portraits have been rather formal and I'd love to bring more character and movement to my pooch pictures.... certainly a lot of development and practice to be done there!

Heritage Requests and Flaming History

As for my Luton Heritage paintings there are exciting plans afoot. Due to public demand I will be returning to the ABC/Savoy to produce a non-festive view of that wonderfully evocative building in it's heyday. Other requests from the public include a general view of George Street, various other cinemas and theatres and Wardown House. 

However next July marks the 100th anniversary of the Luton Peace Day riots and so I plan to commemorate  possibly the most famous/infamous event in Luton's chequered history with a series of paintings. The rather splendid art deco Town Hall that we have now was preceded by a much nore modest edifice which succumbed to the flames when a protest against the council by WWI veterans turned violent. Painting-wise my plans are to produce a triptych depicting the scene before, during and after the riot... it should be an interesting challenge indeed.

Branching Out

Having attended a few craft fairs recently it's become clear that the public's appetite for art isn't restricted to prints, cards and original paintings. With this in mind I am making plans to invest in some technology to allow me to transfer my images onto mugs with a specialised mug printer. Indeed if I also get a heat press at the same time I'd be able to print onto almost anything. So if anyone out there has any experience of SUBLIMATION PRINTING and can give me some tips I'd be delighted to chat with you.

And lastly otters...

I am please to say that the collection tin for the UK Wild Otter Trust, which was caught up in the Christmas post has arrived meaning that the change that my customers kindly tell me to 'keep' will now go to a worthy cause. I'll also be doing special promotions to aid the charity from time to time. 

Well a belated Happy New Year to you all and I'll look forward to hearing from you online or seeing you in person at the next show!