Category: Art

Anything and everything to do with Art

Holiday and New Plans

As I sit here writing in the shade next to the wellness centre at our lovely hotel in Gran Canaria I’m finding time to gather my thoughts without the distractions of boat life. I would normally be out walking Dexter, cleaning, editing videos for our YouTube channel and the many distractions that come from working from home. 

Don’t get me wrong I love working from the boat, but there’s something about coming away in January that makes me reflect on the past year and plan for the rest of this year. 

Set goals and dream big. Every January I convince myself that I need to give up magic shows to concentrate on my art, but then the magic shows bring in a guaranteed income. What goals have you set for this year?

I aim to get back on track with my health and fitness, drink less, exercise more and eat food that’s good for me. 

I’m also setting myself the task of being more organised and to plan better, including big plans for future trips, our bucket list includes a trip to Paris, I would love to visit the art galleries, take in some culture and even visit the Monet Gardens. We have always wanted to go to New Zealand and India and I think we need to start planning and saving now if we can.

While we have been away on holiday our boat has been out of the water, having a new larger propellor installed, a bigger inverter, new diesel generator and new motor and we are praying the new system cut’s down our fuel consumption and operates better. 

As well as creating my own art and working on commissions I want to perfect my watercolour painting and try other media such as digital painting and pen and ink techniques.

Something I didn’t do a lot of last year was trade from the boat and I hope can have more days setting up and meeting customers along the canal.

Well I’m off to relax in the sun. Enjoy your day.


Huddersfield Canal Adventure

Since we last spoke we were making preparations to leave the Peak Forest Canal and head onto the Huddersfield Canal. I spent an afternoon moving the boat by myself and mooring up near the lift bridge at Hyde, just a few hundred yards short of Portland Basin, north of Manchester.

One of the great things about this new lifestyle is the wonderful people we have met on our travels and also because of our YouTube Channel. On the Sunday we had a lovely visit with Lisa & Glenn from a “Life full of Meaning” we love their channel and they are such a lovely couple. We were so happy they came to visit us, they were even nicer in person.

We were approached by a regional BBC News Department to be interviewed for an upcoming piece and they asked if any of our Patrons would be happy to send in a clip explaining why they like to support us. We were really touched by the kind messages and video’s we received.

I have had more commissions to finish and have been working on some of my own art. I have been that overwhelmed with commissions that I have had to close my diary for this year, but will be taking some some commissions for March next year.

You can now get FREE postage Worldwide for a limited time when you spend £80 or more on any prints.

I have had to order new pencils, paper and prints as well as mounts and envelopes to keep up with demand.

Once we travelled onto the Huddersfield Canal we were blown away by the scenery. We did have one bit of trouble, when some drunken youths untied our boat in the middle of the night, but luckily no damage was caused.

The rolling hills and Countryside around this area are stunning. Just a mile or so from where we are moored is Holmfirth, home of many TV dramas including Last of the Summer Wine.

At Uppermill Anthony went to fill the boat with water and slipped  Into the canal but also hurt his ribs as he grabbed the boat on the way down, it was painful for a few days. We found a lovely cafe called Grande Abaco. We had a few drinks to celebrate Anthony passing his exams and popped back for a meal.

I have fallen in love with this area and especially Uppermill, but we have been told it gets even nicer further on. We have booked our passage through Standedge Tunnel, build in 1811 and 5,189 m long (5,675 yards) it’s the longest, deepest and highest in the UK. Wish us luck, we travel through on the 9th August.

We have also booked to go to Crick Boat Festival at the end of August. We are hoping to meet a few viewers of the channel and fellow vloggers too.

Well thanks for reading and have great week.


What a Journey!

Wow what an amazing few months we have had! We set off from our Winter mooring at the end of March and so far our journey has taken us through Wigan, Leigh, Boothstown Worsley and into Castelfield in the centre of Manchester. Mooring overnight in the Centre of Manchester was such a great experience. Looking out of the window from out boat and seeing these huge buildings all around us, when we are so used to countryside views, was surreal.

I got used to working from the boat, creating art and posting it off to various countries. I also had plenty of opportunities to improve my filming and editing techniques.

For us the journey from Gee Cross to Marple, through two tunnels and 16 locks was an amazing experience, we bumped into an old friend who helped us through the locks and then onto the High Peak Forest Canal. We had some beautiful weather and even better cruising conditions, met viewers of the channel, made new friends explored new areas and really grew to love this area.

Some of the highlights have included our day out to The Millennium Walkway at New Mills, spotting a Peregrine Falcon from our moored boat, meeting viewers of the Vlog, seeing the blossom on the trees, ducklings, goslings and just the other day I managed to film a woodpecker chick being fed by its parent at its nest site (from a safe distance).

One evening last week we decided to move a mile or so down the canal, because the internet was so terrible and we had the most amazing cruise, the sun was setting, the birdsong was unbelievable and I captured some amazing shots. All this has reminded us why we have chosen this new lifestyle and given up our use for a Narrowboat in the first place.

We have never been happier. Our YouTube channel continues to grow and we love receiving comments from our new family of narrowboat fans.

I have had  a lot of commissions to finish and still have more to finish over the year, but I finally feel like I may have some free time to create my own art and get this up on the website very soon.

Thanks for reading and watch this space.

Very best wishes



Getting Ready to Leave

Here we are, it’s March and we are planning to move out of our Winter Marina very soon. It’s glorious outside today, but we know that’s about to change and strong winds of up to 40mph are due to hit the Uk this week, making it very difficult to manoeuvre a Narrowboat.

We have made some amazing friends while moored here at Fettlers Wharf for the last five months…has it really been that long? We have other friends who are spending their first Winter on a Narrowboat and none of us can deny that this winter has been tough, mentally and physically. It’s been a very wet and cold winter with snow and ice and being in lockdown this has taken a lot of the fun out of it. We were hoping to sit with our neighbours on our boat or visit them on theirs.

Not to be deterred we have sat out at the end of our boat joined by our wonderful neighbours all socially distanced of course, through cold temperatures and even snow, drinking hot chocolate or coffee with a drop of baileys and we have laughed and loved every minute of it. We have named ourselves the weekend warriors. So thank you Colin, Sheila or Sherrie to her friends Fiona and Jude for asking our stay so much more enjoyable. We are really going to miss then when we leave but hope to be back this Winter. Colin and Debbie, Martin & Mandella what can we say but THANK YOU, you really are such wonderful people.

Yesterday I went for my Covid vaccine at Salford Royal Hospital, I had the Pfizer vaccine and no side effects only a slightly sore arm and for me its been no worse than having a flu jab. The hospital staff were amazing and really have the vaccines and entry into the hospital down to a fine art and most of all were very friendly. Thank you NHS staff at Salford Royal, you are all amazing.

I have had so many enquires and orders for pet commissions, I will have to close my diary for 2021 soon or I won’t have tome to practice my own art or work on my gallery and YouTube.

As I sit and write this the sun is shining, I have a black coffee at my side, Dexter is snoring, the fire is lit, I have my prints all packaged and ready to post out, I have three more commissions to finish this month, plus a boat to clean, inside and out ready for our departure.

Wish us well as we are about to set sail on our next adventure.

Thanks for reading.

Paul, Anthony & Dexter

Tools of my Trade

I recently took some picture for my website and for our channel pages on Instagram and Facebook. Although I studied art and design for two years, I never dreamt that pastel pencils would become the tools of my trade. While at Art College we used Gouche, Oil Paint, we screen printed on fabric, we studied photography, ceramics, graphics and life drawing. We never used coloured pencils although I do remember using sticks of pastel and charcoal.

I always wanted to use watercolour and have started to experiment in this medium. but a year ago I started to use coloured pencils and loved the detail you could achieve, then came along pastel pencils and I just loved the results.

In a recent YouTube video I mentioned a pet portrait I was working on and the enquires have stared to pour in. I’m now booked up months in advance and this is wonderful. I will need to take some time off from commissions so I can work on my own art and have images ready for my Calendar and Christmas cards.

Thanks for reading and have a great week.


Customer Reviews

It’s so lovely when a customer receives a commission or a print and leaves a review, its even nice when they send a pic and this is both from a recent commission. I loved working on this commission for Matthew and the subject is the adorable Doris. I was almost sad to finish this one, but happy to receive this lovely picture of Matthew, Doris and the finished artwork.

Narrowboat Living in Lockdown

Well here we are living on our Narrowboat in a Marina during lockdown. How’s it been? Actually not too bad, okay we can’t visit our friends on the Marina for a brew and a chat like we were hoping and we can’t invite family and friends over to join us on the boat for a day our or simply a catch up. Our parents haven’t even seen the boat yet. But we have made some amazing friends here at the Marina.

Every Sunday we sat out no matter how cld it is and chat to our neighbours, all socially distanced of course. It’s really nice to have that human interaction with our neighbours and it’s one of the great things about the boating community. We have had so many offers of help from people, we have had cake, scones, bread even lea left for us.

While in the Marina and not actually sailing it gives me time to edit our YouTube video’s and produce new pieces of art as well as catch up with my commission work.

We also have water and electricity hook up and maybe its good that we have had to spend this winter in a Marina. As David from Cruising the Cut says, going out on your boat cruising in winter can take the fun out of it.

I have also dabbled with watercolours and really loving this medium at last.

We are hoping to go cruising out on the cut as soon as its okay to do so and we have actually checked with the Canal and River Trust who have said we are okay to travel and get closer to Anthony’s work. Watch this space.

Thanks for reading


Featured on Cruising The Cut

“Holy moly this man knows how to draw!”

David from Cruising the Cut asked if I would like my artwork featured on a video to be released in November and the resulting order numbers were amazing. So nice of David from YouTube Channel Cruising The Cut to feature the work of artists and small businesses that operate from narrowboats. Some lovely comments on my artwork.



Watch David’s lovely review of my artwork on his YouTube channel…Cruising the Cut


After appearing on Kath and Annamarie’s channel Narrowboat Experience out subscriber count jumped a lot from 500 to nearly 1,000. If you haven’t seen our YouTube channel yet take a look here. A big thank you to Kath and Annamarie for being so nice and for giving us a shout out. We have had some lovely comments from viewers and lots of entries into our competition to win a signed limited edition print.

I have decided to sell my prints overseas and hope to have the shipping costs worked out and on the website very soon.

We popped down to our boatbuilder on Saturday and it was lovely to see Kev, Sue, Rob and Ryan. They have been so busy this past year or so, but alway make us feel so welcome. Anthony baked them a cake after a long shift at work. Its been months since we saw the team, due to lockdown restrictions. But so nice to catch up and of course see our amazing boat taking shape.

If you would like to check out Kath & Annamaries channel click on this link. The Narrowboat Experience