The Big Draw #thebigdraw

I’m just practicing my drawing whilst I get my pencils, lovely Fabriano drawing cards and drawing clipboards ready for tomorrows Big Draw day at Croft Castle.

I do hope some of you can join me as we create portrait cards from looking at the wonderful paintings that are hung on the walls in Croft Castle house.

Everyone is invited to join me to do a quick sketch or two. That includes mum dad granny grandad brother and sister. I will be there drawing too and when you’ve done you drawing of a croft ancestor I will do a drawing of you on your card bringing the past into the present.

And on your way around the house don’t forget to look out for my painted portraits of the present Custodians who work and volunteer at the house and parkland. You might even recognise them.

Here are some portrait cards I made of the Custodians and one I made of the Croft Castle custodians.





The custodians revealed


Victor poses infront of his portrait


James strikes a pose infront of pose portrait


George aside of his portrait


Ian poses infront of his portrait.


Portraits of Victor and Una in the Oak Room are well received by the audience of local and national visitors at Croftcastle.

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Hanging and Curating

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Louisa Assistant Curator Meadow Arts works with me to choose positions for the oval paintings in the Gallery, a long corridor of ancestor’s and associates from CroftCastle’s history, depicted as oval and miniature paintings.

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Victor guides us where to hang his portrait in the Oak Room. A fitting and grand position for a worthy Custodian. I think Victor was some what moved by his portrait and his first response was ‘oh yes a masterpiece………Very Good’. Followed by observing himself admirably in the painting without appearing to be vein. It’s an interesting think to see how one responds to having had their portrait painting. How should you respond vs how you want to respond.

I eagerly await the others responses that I’ll capture at the Private view tomorrow.

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Ian’s portrait awaits hanging into position.

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Anne de Charmant, Director Meadow Arts moves the oval portraits around into different positions curating the exhibition to show its maximum potential.

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George is my blogs, silent witness as he’s been following the progress of the paintings but hasn’t yet left me any comments! George if your watching I hope you like what you see, and I’ll look forward to hearing what you think?

There were two positions for Georges portrait, on the side wall which left it cramped in the space or the end wall under a single miniature which echoed the green colours in George’s portrait perfectly. so here it stays.

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Anne de Charmant, Director Meadow Arts said the portraits were ‘amazing’

Louisa Assistant Curator Meadow Arts said ‘I loved the plate you’ve used’.

Ovals united


Really coming together now. Painted the edges to frame them and how they all sit together creating a sense of inter generational family. The Custodians of 2013 who look after croftcastle, past present and future. Left to right-George Cebo, originally from poland, buggiy driver and listerner of people. Ian Grafton, property operational manager, carer of the teams welfare takes on a guise of a Saxon from the Hill Fort in Croft. Anna works in the office and so is the organiser of people and watcher of the hidden spirits of the house who appear from time to time. James Pearson originally trained in civil engineering but a calling from Croftcastle led him to become a gardener and is now doing RHS in Practical Horticulture. The oval portraits will hang in the Gallery of the house.


Left is Una Heap now in her 90’s was in the ATS during WW II and has been a volunteer at Croftcastle for 12yrs. She loves the family history of Croftcastle and often spends hrs on the internet researching Croftcastle’s family history that she shares with the public when she is on duty voluntering at the house. Finaly on the right we have Victor Chelula, house steward of 12yrs, looking after the conservation of the house- previous to this Victor was an accountant for the National Trust and in total has worked for the National Trust for 25yrs. A fine and outstanding Custodian. Deservedly Victor retires this year and will be sorely missed by all at Croftcastle. These two portraits will hang in the Oak Room, Croftcastle. Opening soon from 9th March 2013-September 2013.

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