Issue #28: January, 2023

Enlightenment by Ann Richmond - An artwork of a Dryad & friends finding enlightenment! Painted in the artist's unique style... Framing available.

Dear Subscriber…

Well, here we are…

I’ll start by apologising for the delay in getting this one out to you. Had the Fates been kinder, you would’ve been seeing this before Xmas, but… If truth be told, this new painting – ‘Enlightenment’ – has been a NIGHTMARE to dry…

As you will see, there’s a lot of deep black across a sizeable chunk of the work, and to get that looking so saturated in the original work, Ann used a black oil paint called ‘Lamp Black’. She’s used it before, in many paintings, but never before in such concentration.

To cut a long story short, it just refused to dry-out! We tried everything, including hairdryers & evenings in the airing cupboard. I think at one point we were even considering going for a drive and hanging it from the open window..! In the end, it just took TIME…

Which is of course fitting, given that the painting’s theme is all about revelation… Enlightenment, if you will. We hope that you’ll agree with us in thinking it’s been worth the wait!

On top of all that, we had our recent show here in Ramsbury! Thanks to the brave souls who ventured out during that unexpected cold-snap back in December. Looking back, it was always going to be something of a risk running a show at that time of year, but the opportunity came to us on a plate at the last minute & we couldn’t resist. Besides, we had no Craft Shows booked for the month, so we thought ‘Why not?’. We both learnt so much from the experience, and will be forever grateful of the chance to grow at our own pace. Thanks to you all.

Okay: let’s get on with it!



One of our most popular works – ‘Leap of Faith’ – explored the idea of animals placing their trust in a messenger. With ‘Enlightenment’, Ann’s taken things a step further.

A bee arrives amidst the darkness, protected in one of those bubbles we’ve grown so fond of… It brings a message of hope to all who see it. Today, it appears to a Dryad of the woods, along with her companions. All are entranced by the sight, but only the Dryad is brave enough to touch the visitor’s shell and receive its message. She knows it won’t burst; that it’s stronger than she knows.

There are loads of details, here. Let’s start with the Dryad herself.

Look close and you’ll find that her earrings, arm-band and bracelet all carry a bee theme…

Perhaps this encounter is a regular occurrence and she wears these tokens to honour them. Or perhaps she’s the intended recipient of the messages… Then again, perhaps you’ve got your own theories!

I love her flaming red hair & freckles; reminds me so much of Ann’s grand-daughter Izzie and of the girl in ‘The Whisperer’; the first painting in ‘The Carnival’.

On her shoulder, sits a cheeky little Hedgehog (unrelated to the Midnight Messenger seen last time: or is she?). Already armoured to a degree, Ann just gave her a little golden tiara and a Moon Daisy. Originally, the daisy was meant to attract the bee, but now that it’s here, Hedgie feels hungry!

There’s something deeply compelling about this view. The way that the bubble is deforming under the Dryad’s touch. It speaks of trust on both sides, doesn’t it? That her touch can be so gentle so as not to burst the bubble, yet vital, if she’s to receive the Bee’s wisdom.

Also, have you noticed that, just as we saw in ‘Leap of Faith’, the Bee’s also armoured? And have you noticed those little grains of pollen inside the bubble? Or are they, as someone’s already commented, ‘magic dust’??

Atop the Dryad’s head, sits a Red Squirrel, wearing a Golden Fez. Keen watchers of the work, will recognise the Fez as having some importance, so perhaps this Squirrel might return one day…

Behind the scene, looms a gentle Red Stag; Ann was particularly pleased with how the engravings on his collar turned-out. That dynamic shadowing really adds to the punchiness.

Behind the scene, looms a gentle Red Stag; Ann was particularly pleased with how the engravings on his collar turned-out. That dynamic shadowing really adds to the punchiness.

An attentive Hare & Badger sit by the Dryad’s arm.

Once again, their armour needed particular attention if it wasn’t to overpower the scene, so we deliberately kept it more decorative & subtle than practical. It’s a tranquil scene, after all.

But of all the animals here, it’s the Fox that most pleased us. The subtle blending & fluffy textures to his chest came out just as envisaged. Even his armour, with its golden markings & flashes of colour, came together with few changes from Ann’s initial sketch.

It’ll be interesting to see what you all make of this one. It’s an idea that came together very quickly, but which took its time when it came to the actual painting. Yes, Ann wanted to ‘get it right’, but we both feel now, as if something else was going on…

Perhaps we just needed to be ‘Enlightened’!

We’ll still be attending the Cirencester Craft Fair in 2023, but we’re going to try something a little different…

We’re going to see if we can attend on the THIRD and FOURTH Saturdays each and every month. For those who don’t know, the Fair’s charter prevents it from running if there’s a Fifth Saturday in a month, so don’t be caught out if you’re planning on coming at the last-minute…

We’re there on January 21st & 28th, February 18th & 25th and, hopefully, more to come… We’ll be seeing you!

Rest-assured that if you can’t see us in-person, our website remains open for Mail-Order. Oh, and with any luck, we’ll soon be offering FRAMES for sale on there, too…!

It’s taken us long enough, so you’ll forgive me if it takes a few more weeks to iron out the software! Maybe I’ll be able to announce it in the NEXT Newsletter (which will be along quicker than you might think!)…


A Bigger Fish…

Well, that’s it for now: we hope you enjoyed this month’s Newsletter. I’ll be sending out something ELSE quite soon: Stay Tuned!

If you find yourself at a loose end and you’re able to visit us in Cirencester’s Corn Hall 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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