Issue #14: March, 2021

Lost in a Good Book by Ann Richmond - A beautiful, ethereal artwork featuring a Dryad riding a badger. Painted in the artist's unique style... Framing available.

Dear Subscriber…

Hello and welcome to Newsletter #14!

This is Ann’s partner, Gary: How’s it going?

I’ve got TWO new pictures for you this month and a couple of newsy things, but before we get into them, I just wanted to thank you for your continued support over the past months!

Not being able to speak with any of you has been SO frustrating! But, hopefully, the Cirencester Craft Fair looks set to re-open towards the end of April, so our fingers are well and truly crossed… We can’t wait to see you again!

Okay: on with the show!

‘Lost in a Good Book’

In the dead of night, a Dryad (Wood Nymph) rides through a dark, forbidding forest. Her trusty steed? A Badger, long-accustomed to his rider’s lack of attention. Which is just as well, as she leaves all the worrying to him…

For as usual, her attention is lost within the pages of a good book. Its story enraptures her so completely, that she literally can’t see the wood for the trees. Indeed, she is ‘Lost in a Good Book’!

Happily, The Watcher has sent out Luna moths, to light their path, as he does for all wanderers who’ve lost their way, whether they find themselves in a book, a forest or… Just lost.

The picture’s corner has also curled-over, revealing the next page: but is it from the Dryad’s book or OURS? For is not everything we see, but a dream-within-a-dream?

Are we not writing the chapters of our own lives and turning the pages as we go? Carrying as much into each new chapter as we can? And losing as much as we dare?

Ah, yes.
‘The Watcher’.
You might remember him from Ann’s previous work, ‘Pearls of Wisdom’…
This close-up also gives a good view of the moonlit forest; Ann fretted over this, fearing the trees ‘didn’t work’, but I think they came out fine in the end, don’t you?

This close-up shows the Dryad’s book and a Luna Moth, helpfully perched at its top edge, giving light to read by. We also get to see a little of the detailing in her gown and the soft tendrils of her silvery hair, that catch the moonlight. Oh, and the book’s title? ‘Into the Woods’, of course!

A little more of the Dryad’s gown here, together with details from the Badger’s saddle. Isn’t it beautiful? I think Ann was particularly pleased with the balance of colour and texture in this section. Did you noticed her ankle bracelet? Or the deliberate echoes of her wavy, silvery hair in the hem?

Then there’s the Badger himself. A difficult animal to capture in-paint, their short, stocky forms and plain B&W markings, leave little room for expression: and when painting them by moonlight, it’s even trickier! Ann chose a simple cap of jewelled brass-work to add interest.

Ann also wants me to point-out, that Badgers are nocturnal creatures and have no need for illumination!

Which brings us to the picture’s other big idea…

We view a Dryad, not just reading, but LOST in a book. She is oblivious, both to the forest around her and to the notion that she, too, might be a character in a tale. That perhaps we – the viewer – are watching her adventure play-out in another book; the page of which is about to turn…

Back in mid-February, we announced on Instagram & Facebook, the first of what we hope will be a regular promotion: a giveaway draw, free to all current subscribers of this Newsletter.

The prize? A unique Artist’s Proof of ‘Pearls of Wisdom’. Made when assessing colour grades at the printer, such proofs are never intended for sale: but we thought someone might like version #2… The image is 30cm x 30cm and will come rolled in a tube; no mounts for this one, but there’s a generous white border for a framer to work with.

So, to the draw, then… I used a random number generator to pick the winning entry from our mailing list and came up with:

Ian & Denise Smith

Unfortunately, as of the time of this writing, we’ve not heard back from them! We’re giving winners 10 (Ten) days to respond, after which time the prize goes back into the pot and a new draw is made.

So, Ian & Denise? If you see this, you have until March 9th to respond!

And to all those who didn’t win? The best of luck, for next time!

Oh, and if YOU know someone, who might like the sort of stuff we’re doing these days, tell them about the draw and have them enter the list here!

‘Shadow Dancer’

Well, here’s a thing…

If everything had worked out as-planned, then ‘Shadow Dancer’ might never have been painted!

You’ll have just seen the ‘turning page’ in ‘Lost in a Good Book’? Well, that scrap of creamy-parchment had actually been overlaid atop a patch of green; the same dark, rich greens used for the surrounding track. For those of you who know anything about painting, even in oils, you’ll appreciate the difficulties that created! For no matter what Ann tried, she couldn’t get the ‘paper’ looking like paper: there was always a faint greenish-tone seeping through!

In the end, she had to bite the bullet and completely re-paint the whole corner, with several new layers to overcome the problem. This, in-turn, meant several days watching the paint dry (we’re still in lockdown: what else are we going to do?).

But, rather than have Ann eat cake and stare into space for a few days as-per-usual, I suggested that she paint something new, instead. A small piece, that could be finished before returning to the larger work. This became ‘Shadow Dancer’ !

If you’ve been following the Newsletters, I’m sure you will recognise this dapper-looking ginger Cat?

And seen how the Castle’s mice, were trying to trick him, into giving-up the key to The Cheesery?

It’s clear, that we’re in the same Castle: can you make out the distant mountains through the Oriel window?

Well, I’m here to report that the Harlequin Mice were unsuccessful in their mission…

So, it’s now down to this brave, knightly Mouse to steal the key and save the day!

As he approaches, with stealth and guile, he trembles with fear. Yet his blade is sharp and his purpose, clear: to ring the bell, distract the cat and get the key!

The Cat’s portrait hangs on the wall, as much to hide the cracked plasterwork, as to remind the Mouse – should he need reminding – that danger is ever-present!

I like the Spider here: unbothered by all the drama, he’s content to just hang-around and see what happens!

Luckily for our Hero, there are LOTS of places in which to hide: how about this antique urn and its collection of its elegant walking sticks?

…And lots of handy shadows..!



More SOON!

Well, that’s it for now: thanks for having made it this far!

Until next time, Ann & I wish you well and we look forward to seeing & hearing more from you in the weeks to come!

Stay Safe and Here’s to Saturdays-to-Come in the Corn Hall!

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Ann paints animals wearing ornate armour & Gary unearths wonders with AI. We ship both Original Artworks and our superb Fine-Art Prints worldwide, from the Otherwurlde Studio, here in Wiltshire, Southern England.
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