Issue #24: June, 2022

Mystic Mog by Ann Richmond - An endearing artwork of a fortune-telling Black Cat. Painted in the artist's unique style... Framing available.

Dear Subscriber…


Last time, I said that it ‘wouldn’t be long’ before Ann’s next work made it to a newsletter… Ah, yet another broken promise!

You see, the day we got back from holiday (thanks, Mull: you were as beautiful as ever), I came down with a particularly vindictive cold / flu (which we think was actually Covid). Ever the gent, I passed this onto Ann. As a result, we were both knocked out for a few more weeks and since then, we don’t seem to have stopped as we race to catch up with orders & organising for the Open Studios (more of that, later).

But things seem to be settling down this week, so here we are with that long-promised work ‘Mystic Mog’…

Gary & Ann

Mystic Mog

Mystic Mog…

For a long time now, one of our most popular works has been ‘One Cool Cat…’ Every time we show it at Cirencester’s Craft Market, it never fails to spark a comment. So, it seemed a logical step to come up with a sequel…

But, try as we might, none of the ideas we had were strong enough: until inspiration struck, one slow Saturday. After an hour or so giggling at what might be happening, Ann drew a sketch incorporating our strongest ideas and it all just ‘worked’. A new picture was born…

As you can see, the picture came to us fully-formed right from the start, with all the elements in-place.

I wouldn’t usually show you an initial sketch, as they’re messy things as a rule, but you’re looking at the exception here! If only they ALL came fully-formed like this one…

Let’s start with our star: Mystic Mog!

A beautifully-painted black cat, with liquid amber-eyes (that carry reflections of other mountains), Mog wears a jewelled purple fez, complete with a golden tassel. To this point, in the world we’ve been building, whenever characters wear fezzes, they’ve only been the traditional red colour.

But Ann wanted Mog to stand-out from the crowd, on account of being mystical…

So purple, it was!

Meg’s ornate armour is worth a look, as it blends rich jewelled highlights with luxurious gold braiding.

There’s also a rising column of fireflies, attracted by the moon: can you spot them?

Even now, we’re not quite sure of the significance of the entwined fish in Mog’s armour. They were in Ann’s original sketch though: it’s just that we’ve forgotten what they represented: answers on a postcard to the usual address!

Ah, now we’re getting somewhere: Meg’s crystal ball. Or, should I say ‘Crystal Balloon’! Can you spot the knotted opening down at the bottom-right?

Originally, this was going to be a real crystal ball, with some of the Harlequin mice trapped inside…!

But, on reflection, we felt that that sounded too macabre 😉

Instead, by turning it into a balloon, we link the work to other instances when we’ve used them to symbolise ‘Magic’.

With that said, while Mog appears to be magical (if not Mystical), appearances can be deceptive as we shall see!

Ann was particularly pleased with the end-result here; the balloons she’s painted before, were at a much smaller scale, with simpler backgrounds showing-through. This one was the biggest yet and had a difficult background to obscure. As a result – she assures me – it took ‘flipping’ ages!’

As seen before, in ‘One Cool Cat…’ the Harlequin mice are up to their old tricks.

This time, they want to prove to the rest of the castle, that Mog isn’t all she claims to be: she’s no fortune teller!!!

Armed only with a brass pin, one brave mouse has sneaked onto the castle rampart and crept under the rug where Mog is apparently ‘doing magic’. His mission?

POP the balloon!

If you needed more proof that Mog isn’t all she claims to be?

How about her quirky, fake crescent moon sitting on a brass pole? Well, it certainly helps set the mood…

As with ‘One Cool Cat…’ Mog lives in a castle up in the mountains. There’s always lots to see & do in our magical wonderland & some of these features DO look familiar…

PLEASE NOTE: After a showing at the market on June 25th, we’ll not return until August. This is because we’re participating in our local Open Studios Programme. Rest assured, we’ll continue to process online orders as-usual.

Talking of which… 

This year, we are pleased to announce that we will be open EVERY WEEKEND in July!

  • Be amazed at how much stuff Ann can squeeze into her studio!
  • Gasp at our disorganised, ramshackle display!
  • Feast upon home-made cake (DISCLAIMER: while stocks last), with free tea & coffee thrown-in at no extra cost (DISCLAIMER: we’ve got a s-l-o-w kettle)!
  • Browse an extensive range of cards, prints & original work. We’ll also have frames available for prints, should you need them: WooHoo!
  • Stare at the fishpond, if that’s all you fancy doing: the Koi won’t mind!

WHEN?  Every weekend in July, 11am – 5pm. We’ll try to be flexible if you’re a little early, but can’t guarantee we’ll be here after 5pm…

WHERE?   Our home:

                   44 Whittonditch Road
                   Ramsbury. Wilts.
                   SN8 2PY

DIRECTIONS:From Marlborough, take the road to Mildenhall & Axford and carry on to Ramsbury. Once in the centre of the village, keep ‘The Bell’ pub on your right and drive up Whittonditch Road, passing all junctions. No. 44 is on your left, shortly before the surgery.

From Swindon, take the B4192 out to Aldbourne and drive on towards Hungerford. Take the SECOND turning on your right towards Ramsbury and drop down into the village. We’re just a little way down the hill on your right.

From the A4, take the B4192 out to Chilton Foliat and drive on towards Aldbourne. Take the SECOND turning on your left towards Ramsbury and drop down into the village. We’re just a little way down the hill on your right.

ACCESSIBILITY:     There are TWO footpaths up to the house; one at the front, via a scrubby parking area that we encourage everyone to use, and one to the side. That last option might be a little overgrown, but it IS a steady climb without steps and can take a wheelchair. All visitors will be directed to the back of the house, which will have a low step. We’re sorry, but we can’t take wheelchairs upstairs to the Studio itself.


Golden Delicious…

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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