Melanie’s Monthly News in October

Welcome to Melanie’s Monthly News in October and you could say it’s been quite the eventful month! As well as everything that has been happening (more about this below) we have been working hard behind the scenes still creating our portraits. A few things have slightly got in the way and put us a little behind, but we are doing okay. We are now taking bookings for mid January 2024 for the pencil drawings and March / April time for our oil paintings, which is all positive news, especially in these uncertain times.

The Oil Painting of Rob

We have created some paintings and drawings that we are unable to show quite yet, we will post about them soon though! However one that we can show is the lovely painting of Rob that Nicholas painted recently in oils.

The portrait was a 12 x 10 on fine grain linen canvas and we worked with our client Gary closely to create the perfect mockup prior to starting. Gary wanted a neutral greyish background to work with his home decor and also to remove the large collar and lead which covered Rob’s neck.

You can see the photo that Nicholas painted from on our website – Photo Comparisons. We feel that Nicholas has really improved on the photo and we hope you all like it too! Gary said the following when he saw the painting….

That is perfect, thank you so much. Sadly, we lost Rob a couple of months ago, so this will be really precious to us. Really looking forward to receiving it!
Thank you.

Melanie's Monthly News in October

Here is a photo taken just prior to packing with all of the presentation materials to go alongside.

Painting of Rob with the packaging
Pet Portrait in Oils of Rob

Our client Gary very kindly sent us a photo of the painting displayed in their home. We are sending an official thank you to Gary and his family for allowing us to share this with everyone.

Melanie's Monthly News in October

Poorly Lily and Day Out

Lily has been at the vets quite a lot this month! Since she had her teeth out, she has had to go back to have her bloods done again, along with two visits for vaccinations. A couple of days later after her vaccinations, Lily began to feel unwell. Nothing to do with the vaccines, but we think she had caught some kind of bug. One evening about 11pm we had just gone to bed and she started with issues at both ends!

Poorly Lily
A card my friend’s daughter made for Lily when she heard she wasn’t well, wearing the clip she gave her too!

It just so happened that this was coinciding on the same night that it was torrential rain all night. So every time she went out, she was drenched .. as were we! We went with her to make sure she was ok.

I called the vet around half 12 to sound them out about what was happening. They told us to sit tight and call if it got any worse. I had sent Nicholas to bed but by 2.30 I had woken him as Lily had been going out every 20 to 30 minutes and was becoming very fatigued. We had gone through so many wet towels from being constantly in and outside.

By 5am she was getting so listless, so I called the vets again and they made an appointment for us at 9.15 that morning. Time dragged! But we were soon able to bundle her into the car and off we went.

Melanie's Monthly News in October
Lily holding with the card Emily made for her….!! I think she thought.. hmm I might like to rip this! But she didn’t!

At the Vets….

Luckily we had the head vet at the practice! She was so good with her, she gave us plenty of options. The one we chose was for Lily to stay with them, to be given anti sickness meds and if needed hydration. They could do full bloods to make sure that nothing sinister was happening. We opted for this as a couple of weeks prior they had re-checked her bloods from when she had her teeth out. Her Liver, Kidney and Urea results came back as abnormal. The second bloods showed all was fine apart from liver, but it was heading in the right direction. So they wanted to do a full blood test this time to make sure it was all going ok.

We went home, had some breakfast and then flopped. It was literally only half an hour later and the phone rang… I jumped up and answered it thinking it was the vets…. nope! Car salesman! I ask you! I was fully awake by that time and so generally busied myself until we heard from the vets at 2pm to say come and collect her!

The bloods were fine, she had perked up enormously from the anti sickness drugs and the bloods were all ok. So the vets sent us home with an arm full of tablets including antibiotics, anti sickness meds, electrolytes etc. She was quiet for a few days after but she perked up a lot since and is back to her old self. Thank goodness! I managed to get half an hours sleep in 36.. so it took us a few days to get over.

Vets medication for Lily

Melanie’s Monthly News in October Aberaeron & New Quay

A couple of days later, the weather had miraculously changed from winter back to sunny autumn and we took the opportunity to take a day out to help heal ourselves. We headed to Aberaeron for a walk and then New Quay for lunch.

Aberaeron Harbour

Aberaeron in the morning was stunning. We took a stroll and then sat on one of the benches and watched the world go by. The boats were still in the harbour at this point but I should imagine they have all been taken out for the winter now. Along the coastal path and promenade the tide was out and you could see for miles. On a clear day you can see right up to North Wales.

Looking to North Wales from Aberaeron

Heading to New Quay for lunch was just as beautiful. Once we had eaten we lazed there for a while soaking up the sunshine. Lily…. however much she looked at our lunch, was definitely not allowed any. Plain food and tablets for her. She didn’t mind though, I think she enjoyed being out and about and feeling better.

Melanie's Monthly News in October

From our vantage point that afternoon it was lovely to watch family with kids crabbing and dogs racing around the beach. A really lovely day and much needed.

New Quay Harbour

7 Dog Pencil Drawing

This drawing is a bit of a blast from the past as I completed it in December last year and the client has just emailed me a photo of the portrait all framed. The portrait of the seven dogs was created as a special gift for my clients friend. You can see the portrait in more detail on my January blog post – 7 dog portrait.

When it arrived to my client, she decided that she wanted to have the names drawn under each dog, which I was happy to do. However there was an issue with customs in that we were unable to get it back across the pond to our studio. There was some red tape that we were unable to get around. So my client found someone in the USA to add the names on and of course have the portrait framed. I am delighted to see it all come together and what a happy ending!

7 dog pencil portrait by Melanie Phillips

Toadstools and Fungi

This time of year generates lots of toadstools and fungi in our garden as it’s quite damp and woodlandy. These were growing on an old tree stump just outside our studio and seemed to appear so fast! I’m not sure what kind of toadstools they are but they are fascinating.

Melanie's Monthly News in October

They are even spilling down the side of the stump cascading to the floor. Pretty incredible!

Toadstools and Fungi

And finally …..Thank you!

Some of you may have read our previous blog post – Why we are not on social media anymore. Our Instagram account was recently hacked and it was a pretty horrible few days to work out how we could secure ourselves for the future.

I just wanted to say thank you to all of the messages and emails of support we received from clients and fellow artists. It meant so much to us. Just hearing stories of how this and similar things have happened to them and people they know is beyond belief.

We still don’t have access to our account. I can’t do the facial recognition option anymore as Instagram won’t email me back with any kind of reset options, plus the hackers have changed all my internal login details. At least it is still set to private! Again if you do follow us, please report our account and unfollow immediately.

The photo below is from our little cottage where the fire is lit and it’s all cosy. There is a storm outside currently so let’s hope it passes without incident. Winter has definitely arrived! I will see you all again at the end of November, wishing you all a good month and keep safe everyone!

Melanie Phillips - Thank you!

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