Mum’s birthday painting

The biggest day of the year!

Yes, that’s right, today is my mum’s birthday. Happy birthday mum! To celebrate this most auspicious of days – without ma there wouldn’t be the little bouncing ball of joy that is me – I commissioned myself to draw her a snazzy new painting. And what mum wouldn’t want yet another scrap of doodled on paper to stuff behind the bookcase with the rest of the scribbles and doodles she’s been presented with over the years?

Naturally¬† I instantly chose to do a painting of me, gazing wistfully out into the middle distance, sunshine glancing off my delicate complexion, a gentle summer-breeze stroking itself through my luxurious flaxen hair. A poetic piece filled with birdsong and the rousing pipe music of my entourage of dancing dryads and fauns as they waltzed around a tree-lined dewpool on the edge of the woods. An image of joy, beauty, enduring hope and promise, and one that my dear mum could look at endlessly and dream about having a son just like the one in the image rather than one who’s eternally knackered and covered in baby sick.

My second choice was to draw all her grandchildren running amok in her garden. I figured this would be more suitable. Luckily with a cast of characters who’ve already written their own proverbial stories, it was just a simple case of dropping them in place, guess-working what her garden looks like, then spending the weekend inbetween nappy changes adding in a mash-up of colour.

Stage one – the drawing

A quick scribble with my pencils to lay everything out (on some arches – or similar – watercolour paper), then a manic feast of scribbling and twiddling with my brush pens and Voila!

Here it is in all its B&W glory sat on top of my computer. I think I need to stage my photography a little better.

Mum's birthday drawing - limited edition pen and ink version - no longer available in this format.

Mum’s birthday drawing – limited edition pen and ink version – no longer available in this format.

Stage two – Painting

To be honest, I’m going to struggle to think of anything past stage one and stage two here, maybe stage three could be erasing a couple of lines? Anyway, here’s a mid-action shot – beautifully posed – of my hand pretending to paint. It’s quite tricky doing a weird-angle-left-handed-phone-photo of a drawing whilst you’re actually painting, hence the staged shot. You’ll notice the background has my trusty paintbox on display; filled with a wealth of colours. Considered colours you may ask? No. Just the one’s I had handy, hence all my drawings appear purple and orange. One day when this lot runs out my artwork will be entirely dictated colour-wise by the replacement paints I fill the box with. I’m sure there’s an expression for this, but I dunno what it would be.

Painting the picture

Painting the picture


mums painting close up

mums painting close up


(Musical interlude)

To properly enjoy the experience, I like to ensure I have a delightful soundtrack to me daubings. I recently discovered the delightful sounds of Hatis Noit ( There’s only one track on this ep available at the moment, but golly-goshkins is it a stormer. I’ve searched around for more of her stuff, but this is definitely the stand-out track for me.

Hatis Noit - Illogical Dance EP cover

Hatis Noit – Illogical Dance EP cover


Stage three – for want of something better to title this title

And here you have it! The finished piece.

Packaged up and sent off to my mum, and I just received a text saying that it had arrived safely in the post jut now. Result.

Grandchildren in the garden

Mum’s 70th birthday usurped by a gaggle of marauding grandchildren.

Key Characters

Naturally, everyone wants to know who the main characters are in the image. That is the price of fame / notoriety.

They are (in no particular order) –

  • Baby omlette
  • The Cardigan King
  • ZolaDactyl
  • The Highway Raf
The grandchildren's ages

From newest addition to the family at a shade over one week old, through to mature stalwarts at nearly three.


Presented in Art Gallery format

Ta-da! Here’s the finished painting up and ‘framed’ (i.e. in a knackered old Ikea frame that was lurking in the loft) and plonked on the wall for an obligatory “in situ” photo. Looks like a proper art gallery painting doesn’t it?

Mums Birthday painting framed and on display

Mums Birthday painting framed and on display

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