Lizards in action!

The last post on this blog had snow in it, I don’t appear to be keeping up very will here, most of my artwork has been going on my swimming art blog: However, just when you thought I only paint swimmers… A couple of spelling animal pics I did a couple of months ago for Kylee, who then sent me these fab pictures of the drawings framed and, er, being checked out by one of the household… I design and paint these pictures to order, available in my etsy shop: and look for ‘spelling animals’ in the menu.

'Ben' in cricketers

Spelling in Cricketers

Having spent several years going through the various names of my nieces and nephews spelt in different animals, I was stuck for a new animal sufficiently different, and also bendy, so my sister suggested this. Here is ‘Ben’… in cricketers! And also a recent commission – ‘Freddie’ in zoo animals. You can see more spelling animals here. They are all one-off artworks, and if you’d like something spelt for you, I am taking commissions, just email me or have a look at the examples in my Etsy shop.

Wendy & Ella

Wendy and Ella at Coniston

My first commission of the year! This is Wendy Figures and her daughter Ella, having been swimming in Coniston. I had good photos of both their faces to work from, but the photo of them at Coniston was a very flat grey day, so I used that aspect too, and created a soft sepia background with very little colour. Often Cumbria is like that and it’s still lovely. Digital drawing.

Chloe McCardel, mermaid

Sirène: Chloe McCardel

A digital drawing I did of a lady who must be at least part-mermaid. This is a fanciful portrait of Australian long distance swimmer extraordinaire, Chloë McCardel. This week, she swam the English Channel for the 21st time, Her 20th swim broke the Australian record, and she now holds the record for the number of solo crossings in one year with 8 done in 2016! She also coached 5 successful Australian solo swimmers and three successful relay teams in 2016. One of those relay swimmers was Dory Johns, who I had the pleasure of meeting a few weeks ago, and…

Ebook cover for 'The Longest Road in the Universe' by C.S. MacCath

The Longest Road in the Universe

By C. S. MacCath, a collection of Fantastical Tales Some years back I was asked to illustrate C. S. MacCath’s beautiful short story, ‘The Longest Road in the Universe’, when it appeared in Murky Depths magazine (2008). I loved this story, and perhaps this came through in the illustrations, because I am delighted to be able to say that one of these illustrations now adorns the forthcoming ebook collection of stories. So if your curiosity is piqued, I’d love to point you in the direction of links to purchase this collection… For Kindle: For iBook: For Kobo:…

'Love 2 Swim @ Vobster - swimming hat

Vobster Quay’s new swimming hats

Hot (or at least quite warm) off the press, another swimming hat that I was asked to design. Actually a collaborative effort: the concept was Richard Smith’s who runs the swimming at the awesome Vobster Quay Diving Centre, which is fabulous for swimming, I’m afraid I don’t know who did the text. I took the concept and made it into an actual picture. **Update** now available from the shop at – doing a search for ‘love 2 swim’ brings up all the items, but the hoodies at the moment are only available in the blue colours.

Wimbeldon Greyhound Welfare

Another t-shirt design that I was asked to do a couple of months ago. I quite like greyhounds as a subject: they are not cats, but they are bendy and skinny, which makes them still quite good for Spelling Animals. These ones did not have to spell of course, I was just asked to re-create the logo in characterful and colourful greyhounds in the manner of the Spelling Animals. My version was faithful to the original logo, also having only 15 legs …that said, having worked out whose leg is missing I can see why, for the sake of artistic…

Commissioned artwork for: 100% Swimming – 24 hour swim

Here’s another swimming picture commission I finished recently… also one I enjoyed immensely so had to post this one in turn even though it’s beginning to look like I only do swimming pictures nowadays, which isn’t strictly true, it just looks that way… Paul Fowler of 100% Swimming runs a marathon event called the 24 hour swim, where brave individuals or relay teams undertake to swim one mile on the hour every hour for 24 hours. I have to say that the idea starts to seem appealing, having drawn the picture to celebrate this year’s event… though a solo swim…

Design for Chillswim coniston end-to-end swim t-shirt

Coniston End-to-end 2016: the t-shirt

I’ve been sitting on this one for a while, quietly pleased with myself: I was asked to do the back of the t-shirt design for Chillswim’s Coniston end-to-end swim – a lovely swim of about 5.25 miles, the full length of lake Coniston in Cumbria. I swam it last year and I’m swimming it again this year, only the difference is this time I don’t intend to wear a wetsuit. And so you can imagine I was a just a bit excited to be asked to create the design for the back of the t-shirt. The blue-background / orange tow-floats…

Clare & Friends, swimming in Portugal

Commissioned swimming portrait: Clara & friends

My swimming drawings – over on my Cat-of-the-day website – have led to a number of ‘swimming portraits that I’ve been asked to do – here is another one, Clara & Friends, in Portugal – a reminder of many happy swims together. This is a digital drawing, like (so far) all the swimming drawings. This was an entertaining drawing to do, but tricky: involving a certain amount of cheating with perspective. Fortunately, unlike the camera, the pencil, or stylus, can lie quite effectively. I have a little collection of swimming commissions here: And meanwhile, my solo exhibition continues –…