10 Essential Tips & Items to take to a Summer Festival

Are you going to a Summer Festival this year? I am no Glastonbury-girl but I am now super-comfortable at one that we return to year on year with our children. This is my list of 10 essentials that make for a brilliant weekend away.

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30 Years Ago, They were both 80. Dog & Owner Ageing Together.

Dogs & Their Owners ageing together by ipaintdogs.com

Local student helps out elderly lady and very old dog, queue some important life lessons.

When I was studying at 6th Form, we were asked in form to a volunteer to walk an elderly lady’s dog for her.  She lived locally and was struggling with mobility.

Thinking I might get out of Maths (I was re-taking, again) I raised my hand.

So it began, my twice weekly walks with Bonny, a small-once-white terrier that in dog years, was older than Rose.  

The first time I went to collect Bonny, I entered into a large, ramshackle terrace house which was no longer in its prime.  The hallway was testament to the rest of the house, full of stuff that Rose could no longer move by herself, stuff building up as Rose aged, it was lived in and loved.

Bonny & Rose rattled around the house, eating, napping, shuffling & listening to the radio.  Occasionally they ventured into the garden. Bonny lived up to her name, old, dishevelled but happy in nature, and on each walk (slow walk) we got to know each other a bit more.

Tea & biscuits were offered and consumed - awkward teenager meets physically uncomfortable Octogenarian conversation pursued.

A friendship began with both owner and dog.  I began moving stuff for Rose and over time spent with Rose and Bonny, I saw how much adored her companion was.  Rose lived for Bonny, there wasn’t anything else, just Bonny. No family, daycare or visitors, just Bonny.

I was struck how swiftly Rose moved when she needed to for her dog, water refreshments, feeding time.  If her dog wasn’t with her, I’m not sure Rose would have moved much at all.

I don’t know what happened to them both, I honestly don’t remember.  My year at college came to an end and I went away to art school which must have finished our connection.  

This was nearly 30 years ago now so I can’t imagine they are both alive, which left of them left this planet first I don’t know - Bonny or Rose, but I hope that that the one left without the other, didn’t have too long.

I never did get that maths either.

What’s new from ipaintdogs?

Draw your dog workshop with Samantha Barnes, ipaintdogs.com

Would you like to learn how to Draw Your Dog?

I’m going to be delivering a FREE ONLINE 30 min session which you are invited to join me on. Absolutely NO art skills are necessary, just a willingness to have a go. Scheduled for a Saturday in early August, I will teach you how to produce a drawing that you never thought possible.

Is Loneliness a Growing Shadow at Your Door? Bring on the dogs.

Do we use our children & family commitments as a shield?  A handy cover-up when called to places we aren’t in the mood for - or perhaps to hide behind when socialising?  What happens as they grow up and we aren’t needed so much? Step in the dogs...

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8 Things I learned during 'The Dog Garden Dog Sitting' Trial Week

This week I completed what’s called a ‘soft launch’ that is I began my dog-sitting service in my studio, The Dog Garden.  I borrowed two dogs along with Barney my own, and herewith the key things I learned along the way.

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What Does a Dog WANT To Play On?

Let’s Think Dog!   

If I were a dog, I’d want to lie, sniff, possibly dig, jump, rest and play on the ground in the sunshine and likely in the rain too.  My four paws wouldn’t want too much in the way of small gravel and I’d need some purchase from the ground I play on!

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How do I ACTUALLY Paint my Dog Portraits? Part Two of Tools & Techniques I employ to make your painting.

I begin to paint.  In my last post, we talked about the tools and techniques I employ to get the drawing of your dog onto my painting surface. (you can find it here).  In this second post, I’ll be writing about the actual painting of the canvas.

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