Simon can drawSimon can drawLogo perhaps ..


Little Fee - PhenellaLittle Fee - PhenellaSketchbook page.. but it so sums her up.

Words Pictures and Cats 

Hanging Baskets Inspiration

August 15, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

My inspiration has been from my own hand this time....

I made up some hanging baskets to match the new paint scheme on the house - purple not everyone's taste! 

I really felt the baskets made sense of the paint scheme, if a little seasonal. 

So I started drawing my own baskets.  I love them and I love the whole street, its covered in floral tributes to life on the headland.

It was easy to start drawing them, and even thou I had been unwell this really cheered me up.

So next came the art work....

Hanging basket with BEESHanging basket with BEESSave the BEES .... an improved edit ... Orange Flowers with BeesOrange Flowers with Bees

I couldnt resist bringing these images into our home, bringing the outside inside... and look what happened...

Hanging Basket with Bees RugHanging Basket with Bees Rug Hanging Basket Rug and Cushion #forsaleHanging Basket Rug and Cushion #forsaleMandas cats testing the rug for smooth softness to the paw...

This one is for my newly decorated dressing room... finally after about 6 years of waiting action has started to happen in the house and decorating mania has taken over... 

They can be purchased on my online shop -  or you can find it from my shopping link on this website.

It has been a big hit with the furry people especially the little black one Fee.  Now to keep the cats of them!


On the Doorstep

March 18, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Look where I have been today!

the visitThe Visit Subsea 7 Kestrel

Parked up - two streets down from my home was this amazing vessel - the Kestrel.  She looked to me, magnificent, but I had no idea, how magnificent!!

I started drawing her, she was nested across from some fantastic historical home's on the Headland's town wall, -  an amazing juxtaposition of old and new, and incredible shapes.  I was just caught up in making sure the 'colour's worked', and how superficial would I realise that was, once I heard all about her and her special crew.  

kestrel Subsea 7 Kestrel Hartlepool Port

I was very pleased with her, but I had nobody to share her with, who would appreciate her, - perhaps the owners I thought, and started googling.

Subsea 7, are a huge international company involved in the Gas and Oil industries - through the wifi I sent my image to them, not expecting a reply. One  amazing and responsive company - Julie replied in minutes, and the next thing I was invited on the kestrel.  That's when my life started to feel small - as John the Off Shore Manger, and Rob (local to Hartlepool) the Vessel Superintendent started to explain to me her job!

Its all about the divers!! The Divers The Divers live here! This is where they may live for up to 28 days, on board the ship, and leaving to go to work under the water to do a six hour shift. Its a tiny space with all the gases piped in.  I think John explained it took up to 12 days depending on the depth they were working at to come back up to breath ordinary air and  leave the capsule.  Everything on board was about them and their job and their safety.  I felt like I was on board a space ship going to the moon.  The space theme continued throughout.

John Explaining How much pressure? Lots of valves, dials and stuff from the Starship Enterprise - EVERYWHERE!

John is trying to explain the very basics to me - I am constantly astounded!!

This is the Captains Log!! He is the outright boss on board, and again its all about safety.  He was happily talking about the days before technological advances and posting letters home!  

Then Rob insisted we went up onto the helipad!! 

Where I liveWoah! The view was amazing.  This is a rare sight, I will probably never see this view again, in my lifetime.

Kestrel Helipad view


Thank you everyone - Subsea 7 - Julie, John, Rob and THE CAPTAIN!!  


Local Industry

March 11, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Local Industry

Everyday driving to work, I am surrounded by the most amazing structures... Coupled with amazing skies and lightening effects, I have a had a big desire to draw them.  So finally, I have gotten around to making some studies and taking some photographs.  All the time I am thinking  film set, never mind blade runner - this is the place for a sci-fi!! 

It was a beautiful day and walk was reminding me not to sit too long in my house drawing but get out here and sketch. Especially as the structures I was looking at are alien to me, I dont really understand what any of them are or do! 

This is a Blind Continuous Line Drawing - with only a bit of cheating - i.e you are not supposed to take the pen off the paper or look at the paper... Those experts out there will know - I cheated a bit and looked and took my pen off the paper!! But only a bit!!


Star Wars Big Crane things

I should really colour this one - its such fun.

However I went on to make drawings from the photos rather scratchy in places, especially when I am just not sure what is going on!! Can you see which bit this is on the final image... - no prizes as yet!

Bit at Bottom of Crane Side of river with stuff ...

I then went on to do this ...  TeesmouthTeesmouthOrange Sky's

Which I love to bits!!  The sea grass was a later edition after my husband insisted it should have some nature in the foreground.  I had to agree - this is what is so fascinating - we are in the middle of a nature reserve..... It's these juxtapositions that are so exciting .. so perhaps I will be keeping my eyes open for our local foxes, pheasants, herons, and mad march hares.... Or even the odd Colin the Robot!!

Teesmouth with colinTeesmouth with colinHe looks worried x

This so makes me laugh - perhaps I am on to something.... xx 

Thanks for reading !!


Mandascat's Illustration's - 'Its gone all quiet!'

August 29, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

cheetah studycheetah studyStunning creatures... cheetah study 2cheetah study 2She's looking for something...

The cat's and I have completed our Children's Illustration Diploma (with Distinction!!) and we have started a follow on course.

The blue folder dropped through the post, and I and cats read the course information with anticipation.  

'We are writing and drawing a Children's Picture book'

After all the stories that have raced through my head, over lots of years... I was a blank! The first task was the words and a 500 word summary.

Well I am not going to tell you the story - just yet, we will let it emerge from the scribbling cat paws..... 

It seems most others on the course have taken about 2 years to complete... and I am starting to see why.

First task after words was reference drawings for all the characters..... ARH!

Planning cheetah's, chicken's, rooster, foxes, cat's, giraffe's etc.... that's a lot of reference drawings...!!


Next job is to draw Cheryl Cheetah with various facial expressions.......

But that could be after the album cover I haven't even discussed yet... content for another post....   

So if its all quiet on Mandascat - its because I am busy with the cats drawing draft characters.... which I will reveal as they are created.... lets hope its quicker than two years... arh!!

Once a Community Artist, now an Lecturer at CCAD, this blog is about my personal creative journey.  Recently married to a guy who loves photography,  who gave me an impetus to create alongside him.  So out came the pens, paper and the computer.  My illustrations, are created via the support of 3 very industrious cats, so any criticism I past that straight to them....  I hope you like and would love any feedback... 
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