I am so totally over the moon to have sold two Jolly Splashes Canvases today. I was approached by a property developer in France who is in the process of building two holiday homes to rent out and he needs some art to hang in them. 

I am so happy and a little sad to see them go as they are two of my favourite pieces, but better to see them hung and being appreciated than gathering dust in storage like they have been for the last 3 years. I can’t believe it was 3 years since I took all the art to the Turbine Gallery in Didcot. These two didn’t sell obviously, but I sold a otter, leaping hare and two pigs! So it was pretty amazing. I’d love to have my own exhibition again. One day I will get together enough work and get enough time to organise it! Taking of which I am planning something totally different for me, a couple of landscapes, so watch this space. I have two long thin canvases that are screaming out for a landscape to be painted on them. I am thinking glaciers with their beautiful blues, turquoises and teals would look stunning. Maybe I might even squeeze in a penguin or two, so it could still be a wildlife painting haha. Maybe I am not quite ready to leap into painting just landscapes yet!

This is one of the cows that will be winging his way to France tomorrow. I need to get a better photo of the other one for you. 



Who can’t resist a gorgeous cow face! I still love them despite being chased by a few a few months ago haha! I must add some more cows to my art collection as they are just gorgeous. So much fun to paint with those big soulful eyes. Another animal like cows, fun to paint are giraffes.

Don’t forget I have quite a bit of original art for sale here, large canvases or smaller ones in frames. Sized form 8×8 inches right up to 24×24 inches on deep edge canvas. If you would like to find out what is available please don’t hesitate to contact me and I am happy to arrange a visit to my teeny tiny studio by appointment too, where I would be delighted to show you what I have available.

I was also going through some more old images and I came across this piece I painted for my Mum and Dad’s Wedding Anniversary back in 2008. 11 years ago. That is crazy. It wasn’t long into my transition over to pastel pet portraits. I was still using acrylics, probably for about a year after Nicola was born and that was late 2006. I can’t remember exactly when I made the change, but to be honest I have never looked back. I just adore pastels and their versatility. I was working on the gorgeous Luna and my client requested a few changes and they are so straight forward working in pastels. It can be done with other mediums, but it takes longer. I just simply take a bristle brush to them and gently remove the pastel and then paint over it! Be careful though, if you do try this, if you get too heavy handed you can remove the tooth of the paper and the pastel won’t go back on. I have done that before and it is heart ache when you have to restart something that has taken hours!

Anyway back to this gorgeous lion cub, and yes it is a lion cub, they have this faint spots that make it look like a leopard when they are young is a very sentimental piece too. After my Mum asked me to paint it she sadly died 3 months later of lung cancer. It was a very sudden and short battle with it. I think this is why I have probably put this painting to one side as it can be painful to look at as it reminds me so much of my Mum.

Maybe one day I will release it as prints, but then maybe I won’t!

Lazin’ Around


My day has been filled with tidying the house ready for my client to visit this evening, I normally live in chaos and I like to try and reduce it a bit when we have unexpected visitors. It makes a nice change though. I wish I was better at being tidy, there are just things I prefer doing. In between that I have been working on the gorgeous Erin’s Dog Portrait

So the weekend flew by as usual. I made fantastic progress on Erin’s portrait and if you wander over to her blog you can see the finished portrait. Framing and posting tomorrow.

I am still suffering with this damn plantar fasciitis, I really want to try and walk at least once a week again with my group. I am going stir crazy stuck in the house not being able to get out properly. I am able to walk the dogs most days now which is amazing, but the break from pet portraits would be welcome at this hectic time of year. I find without a proper reason to step away from my easel I don’t. It’s silly really because I actually work better for the break, but when you are drowning under a mountain of commissions it is hard to force yourself away. Last year it really helped me not to get stale. It seems it heals so far and then gets bad again! I will decide about Thursday tomorrow. I really know deep down inside I probably shouldn’t but I am not sure I follow the rules…….what makes it all the more frustrating is it doesn’t tend to hurt when I walk!

Anyway, 11 to go now, but at least the Jolly Splashes ones aren’t as long as the pastel pet portraits!

There is one little mystery I have solved regarding this website and that is how to add a new page without it looking like a blog post. If you flick between the two you can see they are very different and the blogs also have a feed running down the side with the other most recent posts. Anyway it has been bugging my for about 2 years, and over the weekend I suddenly saw something which I hadn’t tried before and it worked. I even added a gallery to the page. Now the gallery definitely needs some tweaking as I don’t like how it looks on the page currently, but the big thing is it is there! I really can’t tell you how pleased I am to have finally mastered it. I use WIX for my other website and it is easier to use in many respect, more intuitive I guess. I want to build a wordpress website from scratch at some point so learning these bits is so helpful. It would be a really useful thing to learn one day, plus I quite enjoy it.

As you can see there is a lot more to painting pet portraits! Speaking of it I am still having my battle with Google over my rankings after what seems to be it’s 3rd big algorithym update in about 4 months. Maybe it isn’t quite as much as that but it seems that way. I have been lurching around from 2nd to 5th for the last 4 days. I really would like to be in the top 4 if possible so I when things settle down I can really work out what needs to be done. Currently I am just doing what I normally do and updating content and other bits and hope that it will work in my favour! I feel like I need a good lie down to be honest I am shattered with everything going on right now!

I have also been working on some other pet portraits behind the scenes. I can’t blog everyone I paint, particularly at this time of year. I would be impossible. One such portrait has been of a beautiful dog called Lady and she is nearly finished. I believe she has some corgi in her and her eyes are truly stunning, so piercing and it looks like she is wearing eyeliner! It was the first thing that stood out for me when my client asked me to paint her. I am just finishing her up now after confirming a few details from my client and I can pop the scan up tomorrow or Friday.

I have also been working on a lovely cat called Shadie, she is a tabby cat and I am having to build up lots of layers to get that tabby look. There are lots of flecks of colour all the way through her fur. I guess a tabby is very like a brindle dog. They can be tricky to paint, but I relish a challenge. I haven’t painted a brindle dog for ages. Hopefully I will get one soon. Maybe another greyhound or a boxer. Shadie will also be finished up and scanned in by the end of the week for my client.  

While I have been working I have been mulling things over and I am collecting quite a bit of general artwork and storing it can be tricky as I don’t have an awful lot of space here at Sarah’s pet portraits! I am thinking that here or over at Sarah Leigh Fine Art, basically wherever I can work out where to set up a shop I think I am going to have a sale of some of the pieces I have done over the last few years to make way for more. I do sell bits all year round, but I still seem to have quite a bit in the studio. What do you think? Even if I can’t set up a shop I can certainly list them with prices and you can contact me to purchase!

I managed to finish Lady, I think, unless I decide she needs anymore tweaking. I scanned her in and I am going to email my client her portrait tonight to see if he has any adjustments. I am very pleased with how this turned out considering the quality of the reference photograph. I can only paint what I see and the better images the greater potential the portrait has. Of course I know sometimes it isn’t always possible if a pet has crossed the rainbow bridge. I will always endeavor to work with you. Anyway here is Lady. 

Today I have been framing Lady, my client asked for a lightwood frame. I didn’t want to go for anything really pale so I chose this lovely frame for her portrait and it works really well.

Lady, dog portrait in pastels of a white and tan corgi cross in the tall summer grass with a few flowers

I strung and hung briefly on my wall Melody, Chico and Urchin’s pet portrait to show my client how big it really is. You still couldn’t really judge the scale of it so I popped my tv remote on the top of it, so you could hopefully judge a bit better.

Melody, Chico and Urchins Jolly Splashes pet portrait hanging on the wall

I have since taken it down and my client all being well be collecting the portrait on Tuesday. I can’t wait for her to see it in the flesh!

I got the approval to frame Lady’s portrait so I shall start that tomorow and finish it and get ready to post early next week. It’s going to be a busy week with lot’s of trips to the post office as I will be packing up and sanding Jasmine’s dog portrait too. Jasmine was a little Jolly Splashes painting I did a while back. She has mad crazy ears and it was so much fun to paint her portrait.