Sadie, the filly, Rembrandts & charcoal on prepared watercolour background.

One day I realized that I wanted to do a large painting but I didn’t have any paper left and no money to buy more. But I remembered a friend of mine had given me these really large pieces of Canson watercolor paper.

I found them and because it was a nice day took them outside and stared at them for a while. It’s been a long time since I did watercolors I just wasn’t happy with that medium. But I put the paper on the ground, poured water on it and then just took out my Winsor Newton colours and took a brush and started adding colour. The more I added color the more I thought what the heck I’m going to add as many colors as I want and any way I want.

The more colors I added the angrier I got at the army. I took the brush and just pelted the paper, so much that I remove some of it and then I ended up with two canvases like this. I use them as backgrounds and left them to dry.

I went riding yesterday and I didn’t really feel like it but I force myself to do it because I was feeling pretty down. I rode this fillies mother her name is Kitty. When I came home I was supposed to be working on a different painting but looked at this background and thought I’m going to stick a horse on this.

I had my other painting on my art table and I didn’t want to remove it so I just stuck this paper on the floor and just sat there on the floor and did this horse. This one didn’t start out too good but towards the end I started to like it. And it looks just like her.


Quick sketch


Harcourt, New Brunswick, Canada, graphite pencil and Derwent watercolour pencils on Stillman and Birn heavy watercolour sketchbook

This is from a photo from a friend of mine back home, during a blizzard. I did this sketch up quickly just as a break from pastels. I think I have advanced in my sketching a lot more, I was awful when I started and it’s nice to know I’m improving, with miles to go.

I grew up in this tiny railroad stop of a village and call it my home. I love going back there and visiting with people, nothing seems to change. Which is good, when you live far away. When I paint, I always think that someday I’ll move back and have a real studio and just paint all the time 🙂 the area is known for its moose hunting and is thick with woods and streams. Lots of wildlife there to draw from. I know many wildlife artists are against hunting, but I’m not, people hunt to survive, either by eating or profiting from hunters. There’s nothing wrong with that. Life in the wild is not cozy, it’s full of danger, disease and injuries. Culling the herd is merciful.

I sign my paintings C. Petley for two reasons. My dad’s name was Carl, and my uncles name was Carman. Carman was the first person in our family to attempt painting. We joke that no one in our family has any talents but that’s not true… We excel at low self esteem 🙂 I’ll bet most of my family are very artistic, they were probably just too busy carving out a living and dealing with life to try it. But Carman did, while recovering from a heart attack, and although they were crude folk art style, I always admired that he even tried and his family displayed them proudly at the one and only family reunion. So that’s why I display my family name on my own crude drawings, because of the footsteps planted before me. I hope I do them proud.

Feeling very open…

Felling very open...

I had a medical appointment last week. For 4 days previous I hadn’t slept or really accomplished anything. What if they send me back to my abusive workplace?

The day arrived and I somehow got the timings wrong..I blamed it on the new IOS system calendar, but should have checked it more. I missed my appointment. I fell apart in front of the receptionist…and I went in a waiting room to catch my breath. When I came back she was able to get me an appt the next day…the last day of my medical leave. Another 24 hours! But I had to believe it was worth it…that it would work out. Easier said than done.

The next day I had slept a bit and as soon as I spoke to the Medical Officer, I knew it would be okay. She explained that she will classify me as having an Occupational Stress Injury, with PTSD symptoms. This shocked me. MOI? No way. But I trusted her to do the right thing, even though I have severe trust issues now. We talked about meds for PTSD and I think it is time to consider this. I just cannot go on feeling the anxiety, panic, terror, depression etc…daily no matter what I try to do.

I happened to have a therapist appt the same day and she was not surprised at the dx. Why does it seem everyone else is not surprised and I am ???

She explained to me that PTSD involves triggers….and these are different for each person. Two people can experience the same thing and react different…not because one is weaker, because of what that incident triggers in that person. I have been on many parades where you were screamed at in your face, all sorts of situations like this, but it never affected fact, we laughed at it at the time. The therapist explained that this was different…the abuse towards me was personal, never knowing when it was coming, always violent and outbursts and walking on eggshells and knowing the person “had it out for me”.. And supported by the lower chain of command.

Anyways, it will take me a while to absorb this, even talking about it gives me the shakes and will make me weepy…which right now just makes me mad at myself. This is not easy to accept because the person doesn’t see it as easily as everyone else.

So Sunday I stayed in bed all day…never got up. Finally, I forced myself to draw something….anything…and this is what I drew. I don’t know why, it just seemed easier yet busy enough. I began with light pencil, moved to ink, then charcoal for softness, rubbing it a bit. Finally, adding some watercolour pencil highlights, but not very much. I didn’t feel much like adding colour. Gee, I wonder why????!!!!

That’s my art therapy for that day 🙂



This is actually from an online demonstration, I ail try and find the reference and add.
Simply an ink and watercolour study of fur detail. I used Pitt markers and Albrect-Durer watercolour pencil in Raw Umber.

Wild horses


This is from a photo of some friend’s horses I took. Just wanted to experiment with colours, because I am actually afraid of colour 🙂 Watercolour on Strathmore watercolour pad.



I did this when I was first learning to draw, so, proportions are not great etc…but I still like it. I think that any picture I do that makes me smile is worth it, no matter the subject.
There’s so much stress in the world, I like a bit of peace and quiet in my art 🙂