More Digital Dabblings


Chloe Seated



I am continuing to relearn how to digitally paint and thought you might like to see how I put a “painting” together

I spent last weekend in the studio with Karen (and her beautiful Grand Daughter Chloe) and I decided that I would have a go at turning a photograph into a “painting” using Chloe as my inspirational model


So here are the stages ……. starting with the studio shot



If you have any question please feel free to contact me and I would be happy to help :-)






















Chloe Seated


More Digital Dabblings

Continuing on with my digital dabblings I have now finished a picture of the lovely Susan Bodnar who came and danced for me and Marie Otero on my recent visit to North Carolina.

2nd day of my dedicated digital dabbling and I have to say   I’m lovin’ it  !!!  – now where have I heard that phrase before?????

Now what to do next hmmmmmmmm………



Ballet dancer painting finished 1a

Digital Dabblings (Revisited)

A few years ago I “had bit of a dabble” with digital painting and discovered that I really enjoyed it.  I even produced  a number of painterly pictures that I was quite pleased with. However, at that time I was also learning Photoshop so  something had to give – and it was the digital painting that lost out and its taken me a little while to get back to relearning  digital painting again.

Having come to a photographic cross roads (again !) I have decided that I want to get back to producing more painterly pictures (as I say in the About introduction to this website) I really enjoy blurring the boundaries of photography and art. So I am starting again from scratch and learning digital painting all over again.

Like most people, I like to learn new things…… as long as its art based and is linked to my beloved photography …   So……….Wacom pen in hand, computer fired up and ready to go, large cup of steaming hot coffee on my desk….. deep breath……. off we go…..


Bowl Of Pink Flowers


bluebell 1

Bowl Of yellow Flowers

My First Life Class Nude

So off I go to my first Life Drawing class and for those of you who are not aware, a Life Drawing Class is where the model poses in the nude.

The Artists model

I have to say at this point that I was really nervous (well I was only 16) and was shaking when I went and collected my drawing board, charcoal and paper from the stock room. Luckily I knew where everything was because I had been attending the Art School on a Saturday morning for 5 years (See In The Beginning The Was The Nude)

I thought that if I slipped into the room quietly I could hide at the back and just blend in with everyone else.I climbed the stairs and opened the door to the class room….. and immediately bumped into someone coming out – all of what I was carrying went clattering to the floor, so the quiet entrance I was hoping to make was well and truly shattered.

The lecturer came over and said that there was a spare easel and that he would show me where it was. And quess what? Yes you are correct, I was right in front of the model – Terrific just what I didn’t want. The model and I smiled at each other and then I hid behind the drawing board and started to clip up my drawing paper and arrange and rearrange my charcoal (there’s only so many times you can do this)

When I eventually looked round the room it was full of “gentlemen” of a certain age who (to be truthful) could not draw a straight line with a pencil. They, to be honest, just wanted to be in the same room as a naked woman who wasn’t their wife or girlfriend….. well it was the 60’s. Apart from the model I was the only woman … feeling uncomfortable now – the gentlemen were glaring at me ……because  I was blocking their view)

Kat 2

I started to draw and the lecturer stopped at my easel.

Lecturer: Ahhhh at last someone who can actually draw !

Me (embarrassed : well….er…I….er… was good at art at school

Lecturer: yes I can see that – very good

Me (embarrassed) : well….erm… thanks (smiling/blushing)

Lecturer: Can I give you a word of advice?

Me (embarrassed) : errrrr…. Yes …. Yes please

Lecturer: Well not advice more of an observation

Me (embarrassed): oh …… go on

Lecturer: Well my dear, I can see you have an eye for this sort of thing but I think that you have taken one quick look at the model and then drawn her from memory!

Me (No words just embarrassed) :

I had to agree though –  that is exactly what I did – I drew from memory.

Out of embarrassment I didn’t actually look at her so didn’t take in how she was stood, how the light fell on her body and the wonderful angles and shapes her body made.

I will always remember how embarrassed I felt when I had my first encounter with a nude model and I try as much as I can to ensure that the people who attend my Fine Art Nude Workshops feel relaxed when THEY have THEIR first photographic encounter with a Fine Art Nude Model.

The next blog will be when the female model was unable to attend and a male model was substituted eeekkkkkkk.


Holly 6m

Travels With My Camera – Part 2

I am slowly going through the pictures from my visit to North Carolina to visit with my friend and brilliant photographer Marie Otero.
I’ve already posted the pictures from the first couple of days so here is what happened next
One lovely barmy evening Marie, her husband Rick and I dodged the local police and trespassed in a disused school – it was FANTASTIC !!  
Toilet 1
There was so much to photograph I could have stayed there all day. 
Rick kept guard outside whilst Marie and I went inside, we even went upstairs ! it was a bit rickety…. but worth it, so much to photograph.
Empty Room 1
There were a number of buildings – some more dilapidated than others and crossing over the road  – dodging the traffic  (they drive on the wrong side of the road you know !) and watching for the police we found an abandoned chapel. It just looked like everyone had up and left a bit spooky.
I have to confess that this wasn’t the only time we went trespassing the next  time I we did it I was really scared……. more of that later.
Empty Room 2
windowand ivy

In The Beginning There Was The Nude…….


Portia 1

So, I have told you about my encounter with the check out lady who was stunned to learn that a middle aged woman wanted to photograph nudes and found it difficult to give me eye contact or send me off with a smile (see blog below Nudes Or Fluffy Kittens, Flowers And Puppies).

I can just imagine the conversation in the canteen at the local Supermarket

Checkout Lady: well, have I got a story to tell you ladies

Doris: do tell

Checkout Lady: this woman came through my checkout point and guess what !

Gladys: she tried to leave without paying?

Checkout Lady: No!

Sylvia: she had a turkey under her sweater?

Checkout Lady: No !

Mavis: she had a gun and tried to rob your till?

Checkout Lady: No, worse than that !

All three ladies: Gasp! Gasp!  Gasp!

Checkout Lady: she photographs people in the nude !!

Gladys: what… hang on…. She photographs people when she isn’t wearing any clothes?

Checkout Lady: No….. SHE is clothed but the people she photographs aren’t !

All three ladies: eewwww

Seeing that I have told you the end of the story I thought that I would tell you how it all began. This is my photographic journey in the genre of Fine Art Nudes.

So…. Sit down, get a nice cup of coffee/tea (or other beverage) and a biscuit and I will tell you.( you don’t need to make yourself quite as comfortable as the beautiful Ivory Flame pictured below)


Holly & Sofa

So I have established that the first question is “what do you like to photograph?” with the  answer “Fine Art Nudes”.

I can pretty much guarantee  the next 2 questions will be  “Why” and “How long have you been doing that?”

Well, hopefully, I will answer both of those questions….

It all started when I was at school (yes as long ago as that). I was very good at art and it was decided, by the teachers, that I would benefit from attending the Warrington School Of Art . So I went along on a Saturday morning for the next 5 years and I enjoyed every minute.

I wanted to be a dress designer when I left school, so was thrilled when I found out that I was being tutored by Ozzie Clark’s Art Teacher. Ozzie Clark went to school in Warrington and became a very famous dress designer in the 1960’s.


This Art Teacher  taught me so much about the rules of composition (and how to deliberately break them), colour harmony, visual impact etc and I am grateful to him for helping me to developing my artist’s eye. I designed and made lots of clothes for myself and my friends. Some of the resulting outfits were FAB others … well you can imagine were not so marvellous but it was the swinging sixties anything went fashion wise (thanks goodness)

For one reason or another I was unable to go full time to Art School when I left school and began working at a local company that manufactured wire. Working there was horrific (lots of tales to tell about THAT period of my working life) but I still had a passion for art and decided to go to evening classes. My Mum encouraged me (as she still does) to continue with my  drawing and painting and was therefore very  happy when she knew I had signed up to an Art Class – little did she know what I was about to draw !

Now this is where I first encountered my first nude model and this will be the subject of my next blog.



Nude 11





Holly and rope