Issue #21: February, 2022

Everyday Miracles by Ann Richmond - A magical artwork of a group of armoured animals & Siamese Fighting Fish. Painted in the artist's unique style... Framing available.

Dear Subscriber…

Hello & Welcome!

It’s been flippin’ ages since our last Newsletter, so thanks for your patience…

In truth, much of the delay has been down to Ann’s latest work – ‘Everyday Miracles’ – which is exclusively revealed here, but we’ve also had some nasty viral infections to deal with (not Covid, thankfully) and the usual post-Xmas slump…

Still, we’re back in the groove now and busy with new projects. One of them, we can announce today: the long-awaited Tote Bags are now live! As with the mugs we launched in the Autumn, the quality of these bags is superb. They boast rich, vibrant printing and a ‘wipe-clean’ surface that makes them a cut above the usual printed-canvas bags on offer elsewhere. Now we’re on the hunt for the next item, so you’ve any suggestions as to what you’d like to see us do next, feel free to drop me a line…

Okay: let’s get on with it!

Gary & Ann


‘Everyday Miracles’

Everyday Miracles

Well, it’s finally here: ‘Everyday Miracles’ is a large (& ambitious!) artwork that celebrates the wonder of the world around us. It reminds us, that miracles are happening around us every day…

In the world we’re building, the animals put aside their differences and come together to witness ‘The Up-Rising’: a phenomenon in which Siamese Fighting Fish, gathered in the pool, rise from the water and dance upwards in a celebration of life & existence – before drifting into the night, bound for waters new.

There ARE miracles here. And magic. And new myths for the telling…

There’s a lot going on here, so we’ll start with the animals and, in particular, our Badger.

A close relative of the one seen in ‘Lost in a Good Book’ he wears a similar padded coat & harness. His bristly-coat was a particular challenge!

Alongside, hovers a Luna Moth. I’ve begun to use them as sources of light in some works and find them aethereally
beautiful.

Next, we have a Moose. I’ve wanted to paint one of these for a LONG time, but never had an excuse until this picture! I hope you agree that I chose the right style for his helmet & harness? I wanted something that had a robust, ‘Heavy-Duty’ feel about it and was very happy with the way it re-used elements from ‘Harvest For the King’. I’m also pleased with the tufted, bristling coat on this old trooper.

How about this slightly apprehensive Red Fox Vixen? Unlike the weary campaigner seen in ‘Special Delivery’, this one wears a set of engraved plate-armour and delicate, Indian-inspired head-jewellery.

There’s something about the Toucan, that appeals: I think it might be the way its beak ‘Pops’ against dark backgrounds…?
Further marks are awarded, if you recognise the helmet from ‘Keeper of the Keys’… This time, he delicately holds a pearl in his beak, rather than the key!

This Lioness is, I think, my favourite character from the entire picture.

I wanted an ensemble showing a variety of moods & feelings, predators & prey, so getting this lady right was vital. Her intent gaze speaks to what they – and we – are witnessing.

Her Owl head-dress was another detail that proved satisfying – though fiddly – to get right. In ‘Pearls of Wisdom’, I chose an Eagle Owl as a ‘Guardian of the Valley’ and in this work, our Lioness wears an Owl talisman as a symbol of her authority in this place: a responsibility she dispenses with fairness & compassion for all who attend.

As we reach the right-hand side, we see the Lynx and Red Squirrel.

Whereas the Squirrel looks mesmerised by the scene playing-out in front of him…

… the Lynx is actually looking at US with bemusement!

Like the Cheetah seen in ‘Leap of Faith’, this subtle twist adds new interpretations to the work, as it further invite us – the viewer – into their world.

There’s a shared
intimacy here; as if we’re being entrusted to keep the secret!

And so we come to the fishes!

If you wanted proof of the little miracles dotted throughout the work, then consider the ‘Siamese Fighting Fish’. To begin with, these ornamental fish are notoriously aggressive towards each other: if any of you have ever tried to keep a pair – or more – in the same tank, you’ll know what I mean!

Yet here we are: a quartet of Siamese Fighters: it must’ve taken something ‘miraculous’ to have them together in the pond in the first place!

I love the variety of these enchanting fish…

In all the research I did for the picture, I was stunned by the diversity of the species. No two fish are alike, it seems, and each one gloriously coloured & displaying delicate, frilled fins.

Last – but not least – we reach this beauty…

The largest of our quartet, it’s also the boldest in its colour, as it ‘pops’ against
the wisps of grey mist. Hard to believe, but I really didn’t have to change the colouring too much!

For my last trick, I thought I’d feature the balloon…

Or is it?

Look closely at the rest of the work, and you’ll spot numerous bubbles floating in and out of the mist. Therefore, it only seemed right to have a giant-sized bubble tied by a ribbon! I suppose that’s my final ‘miracle’: since when have you seen a bubble ever tied down with a ribbon?



Bags..!

We’ve Got BAGS!

But like the Mugs, getting here hasn’t been straightforward.

It would’ve been too easy to find a ‘print-on-demand’ partner supplying the same old canvas bags and have the artwork fill a little square on the side… 

But customers love the mugs BECAUSE they look great!

If we were to ever offer bags, it only seemed right that we should go the extra mile & source items that offered all-over printing: turned-out that was a LOT harder than we thought!

But we refused to give up!

So we’re thrilled to show you these first samples… 

As before, the print quality is excellent and where a picture has to be cropped in order to fill a given print-area, we’re doing our utmost to feature the ‘best’ of the image.

While the bags are of tough, wipe-clean woven polyester, the handles use durable cotton webbing.

Think of your supermarket ‘Bag For Life’ and you’re close.

Bags hold 20kgs (44 lbs).

The ‘gussets’ of both bags are approx. 3.5″ (9cm) wide

Shipping on the bags will take 7 – 8 days so please keep this
in-mind, if you’re buying as a last-minute gift..!

Unlike the limited range of Wildlife themes offered on the mugs, we’ve decided to go
all-in for the bags on Day One!

We think these are going to go well: Ann & I can think of at least a few of you, who might be tempted: PRICES START AT JUST £25!

In addition, we still offer FREE shipping to the UK, on all Print & Gift orders of £50 and over.


PLEASE NOTE that we’ll be taking SAMPLES ONLY of the Mugs & Bags to the Corn Hall: there’s no room in the car for anything else!

FEBRUARY:

We’re looking forward to seeing you all on the 12th & 26th February.

We’ll keep you posted with more frequent dates from March onwards…


‘Work-in-Progress’

Moon Dancer…


Well, that’s it for now: we hope you enjoyed this month’s Newsletter.

If you find yourself at a loose end and you’re able to visit us in Cirencester one Saturday, we’d love to see you!

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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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