It’s The Big One!

Not long to go before the re-match between Scotland and England at Wembley. The first time since 1996! I remember it vividly, England won, with one of the most celebrated goals in recent memory.

The audacious goal by Paul Gascoigne, lit up the tournament and broke the hearts of Scotland fans.. the celebration was just as notable as the goal, Gascoigne throwing himself to the ground to remind everyone that only a few weeks before he (and the team) had been caught out celebrating in an establishment which delivered drinks from a great height, in huge quantities, to the open mouth of the person lying on a Dentist’s Chair… It was a moment England fans relished in spite of themselves! I confess that I was one!

I made this sketch recently and think I might have had a lemonade or two, as I had completely forgotten about drawing it! Not my best drawing but I love the Dentist’s Chair… many happy memories of a magic time for England and my own life too. It’s a long time ago but feels very close.

Good luck tonight, wishing everyone a wonderful time, safe and sound… and don’t be too silly with the pop!

The Dentist’s Chair
The Dentist’s Chair


Wonderful Wales!

Turkey v Wales last night was an extraordinary match – from the volatile and sometimes hostile atmosphere, a bizarre penalty miss for Gareth Bale, to some phenomenal defending and two goals, which included one of the most breathtaking passes a fan could see – Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey seem to be joined by some magical cord so that that the ball arcs across from the foot of one to the chest of the other – it was a joy to watch! The win was secured by a second super goal from Connor Roberts and left 30,000 Turkey fans stunned into silence. Wales have booked their place!

I am working on more drawings from the highlights which I will add later but here is the start of the lovely pass from Bale to Ramsey to begin with… what a match!

Euros 2020 - Turkey v Wales - Gareth Bale - It's a fantastic ball!
Euros 2020 – Turkey v Wales – Gareth Bale – It’s a fantastic ball!

Flying start for England!

What a great start for England? Wonderful performance against a strong Croatia – with a super flying goal from Raheem Sterling, MBE – so delighted for him, as he justified his selection in style. Other highlights were a super shot on goal from Phil Foden, only five minutes in, which ricocheted off the post – and a super-determined, creative performance by Kalvin Phillips who set up the goal for Sterling beautifully – The final, arguably the most precious highlight though, was that there was a crowd to watch and cheer on – Joy unbridled! Here are my first impressions from the match – looking forward to Scotland this afternoon…

It’s coming home, it’s coming…

Well, as an England fan, I certainly hope it is! The tournament certainly is – along with 10 other host cities, matches will be played at Wembley – and there will be fans in the seats! Wonderful news after all this time. I can’t wait to follow the action with my pens and paints – it will be so exciting. Three home nations is fantastic – I also love to watch France, Spain, Netherlands and Belgium – it’s going to be a busy few weeks and my drawings and paintings will, no doubt, be frantic and emotional, like these from 2016… Magic!

These are not from the Euro 2016, but some great players who will be there… so many new ones to try as well, I can’t wait…So excited!!!

Fantastic Foxes!

What a match, what a goal, what a save, (or two!) what an offside, what a day… Incredible! These are the first images – more to follow certainly. First, a letter to my dear uncle, in Australia, now approaching his 93rd birthday in June and a lifelong fan of the Foxes – This is special indeed! Thanks Lads you are terrific!

Maxine Dodd painting - Youri - team mobbing Youri after his goal
Youri
Maxine Dodd painting - Kasper at full stretch!
Kasper at full stretch!
Maxine Dodd painting - What an absolute strike! Youri Tielemens
What an absolute strike! Youri Tielemens – SOLD
Maxine Dodd painting - That's heroic from the Leicester City Captain! SOLD
That’s heroic from the Leicester City Captain! SOLD
Maxine Dodd painting - Winners!
Winners! – SOLD

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Leicester City: Semper Eadem?

Here we go, the day before the FA Cup final and it’s been a roller coaster run in to The Big Day, at least for my team…as always! It’s why I love them! So unpredictable… whoever the players are, whoever the manager is… like the city’s motto, ‘Semper Eadem’, always the same!

Kelechi
So many flags and banners!

They played an absolute howler of a match against Newcastle, who in fairness, played superbly, followed by a super performance against Manchester Utd, only a few days later, with a beautiful goal from Luke Thomas.

Ndidi wonder strike!

Their opponents are Chelsea, who have a great record in this tournament, winning it eight times, in third place behind Arsenal and Manchester United with 14 and 12 wins over the cup’s long history. They also boast two former Foxes in Ngolo Konte and Ben Chilwell…

Chilwell superstrike

Leicester City, of course, have never won it, in their long history. The question is, will there be a change, or will it be Semper Eadem?

Champions!
Preliminary sketch – Kelechi Iheanacho, winning goal scorer

Good luck and best wishes, to both teams of course, but I really hope for a change this time! I have my scarf ready! This about the same age as their most recent FA Cup final in 1969! A treasured gift from my Uncle and which set me off on the course of ups and downs I have been on since!

Leicester City scarf 1960s vintage, a treasured gift from my uncle and
embroidered by my Mum (his sister), love this!

I am now in the process of making some more images based on the TV recordings and will post them individually with details for purchase. You can email for details or sign up to my newsletter for information 💙

Leicester City: Daring to dream?

When it comes to being a fan of football, I am a bit of a romantic fool; either getting my hopes up for England to win a major tournament or for my own team, Leicester City to do well in the FA Cup.

Two silver Foxes!

Reaching a final, let alone winning, for both teams, seem like a lifetime ago. England reached the final (and won) the World Cup in 1966, while three years later in 1969, the Foxes reached the final of the FA Cup, which they lost by one goal to Manchester City. Heartbreak!

Goodness knows that both England and Leicester have broken mine and many more hearts a hundred times over in the years that followed…Ecstasy followed by Agony for one or other of them, and like all the other broken-hearted fans, I keep coming back for more, because there’s nothing quite as thrilling as your football team, local or national, doing well in a big tournament.

It’s the unique experience that all sport gives. It brings us together, excites us and enriches us. The lows are low but the highs are the best and both live long in our collective memories.

When the event and performance are very special, it engages everyone, including people who don’t regard themselves as sports fans, the excitement draws people together in a lovely way.

Southampton fan, so proud of the badge

I watched the FA Cup semi final between Leicester and Southampton on Sunday afternoon with the customary trepidation. I was amazed and delighted by the result. But also, I was even more delighted to see an audience at Wembley, albeit small, the fans were back.

Real people, real voices and a real presence to witness this game. I made as many sketches of them as the action, it was so great to see.

Study sheet of fans in the crowd

So here we go again, Foxes fans daring to dream once more. It’s not the repeat of 1969 as we thought it might be, because Chelsea beat Manchester City in their semi final.

Chelsea are the polar opposite of Leicester City, having enjoyed great success in the FA Cup over the years, but maybe it’s the Foxes time? We know this team is full of surprises, its recent history is legendary. 2016 all over again?

I hope you enjoy my somewhat frazzled drawings and paintings! I wanted to post fairly quickly while the excitement is still fresh in mind.

Meanwhile, I can’t wait until 15th May.. will it be Agony or Ecstasy? I hope Gary Lineker has got his best pair of underpants ready if they win!

Preliminary sketch – Kelechi Iheanacho, winning goal scorer

I am now in the process of making some more images based on the TV recordings and will post them individually with details for purchase. You can email for details or sign up to my newsletter for information 💙

The Bougainvillea Villa – SOLD

Mallorca, art, vacation
The Bougainvillea Villa – SOLD

This house is so pretty, just a joy to paint – It will be lovely to see it again one day soon…

Mallorca, art, vacation
The Bougainvillea Villa – SOLD

The Bougainvillea Villa – SOLD

This picture is now unavailable

Original watercolour with pen and ink

13.5cm x 14cm / 5.25in x 5.5in


Operation I –

Operation I

I made this image during the first lockdown. It was part of a series I called ‘Hospital’, inspired by news reports and documentaries shown through the early stages of the pandemic, when the crisis was acute.

I was struck by the depth of concentration that was still visible through the smallest glimpse of the surgeons’ faces; the lighting reminiscent of paintings from centuries before. It was a profound and evocative scene.

Earlier this year, I decided to enter the painting to the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour 209th exhibition.

I was over the moon to receive the email with the first word, ‘ CONGRATULATIONS’ at the top! My painting was accepted and will travel to London for the show in May.

Throughout the crisis, one promise I made to myself, was to visit London to see my favourite galleries as soon as they were able to reopen.

This impossibly long list, includes the National Gallery, both Tates, the Courtauld, the National Portrait Gallery, the Wallace Collection and the Mall Galleries.

Never in a million years did I think that my first visit will include a show featuring one of my own pictures!

Operation I

Now the picture is framed and ready to go, it feels very real! You can see and buy directly from the Mall Galleries’ website.

What a joy it is? I am so excited and overwhelmed. I can’t wait to visit!

Six Nations 2021 – Jonny May’s flying try

HERE’S JONNY! Apologies! I couldn’t resist, it’s a great line from a great film! Here I have pinched it to describe these three images of Jonny May, made after his astonishing try at England’s last match against Italy. He flew high into the air – before scoring an astonishing try. It was amazing.

I have made several images but these three are my favourites – all larger than my usual size, from A3 up to A2-ish! so the lines and materials have expanded from the usual watercolour, pen and ink to include brush and twig as well as pen for the ink lines and acrylic paint here and there in addition to the watercolour. I also used a palette knife to give texture to drag the paint across the page and give extra marks and texture.

I worked on the three of them over the course of a day or so – switching from one to another as the paint or ink needed to dry.

Fingers crossed for another flying performance from him today!

Speaking of which… better publish now before kickoff!

Mallorca -Blue Skies – Sold

Mallorca Blue Skies – Sold

I thought that a little ray of sunshine might be nice to share today. At this time of year, the first cycle race I draw is the weekend Challenge Mallorca event, which takes place over four days, the last weekend in January. This year, it has been postponed until May – fingers crossed, I shall capture it then instead. Here is a picture I made from Stage 1 from 2017, lovely and sunny, the back of the peloton with a team car and the skies so blue…

Have a good Wednesday 🙂

Mallorca, Blue Skies - SOLD
MalloMallorca, Blue Skies – SOLD

Mallorca Blue Skies – SOLD

This picture is now unvailable to buy

Original watercolour with pen and ink

13.5cm x 14cm / 5.25in x 5.5in

Unframed

Ndidi with a wonder-strike

Ndidi wonder strike!
Ndidi wonder strike!

Leicester City are playing some great football just now – which is lovely to see as a lifelong fan – Wilfred Ndidi is a phenomenal asset to this team – just a joy to watch him play. He scored an absolute wonder goal against Chelsea – this view just before he took it but I love the juxtaposition of his blue shirt against the orange of the goalkeeper’s kit – I feel that there will be more pictures to come – this was great to make and a little bit larger than usual, which was nice. Welcome to 2021!

Have a good Saturday 🙂

Ndidi wonder strike!

Ndidi Wonder-strike

£300

Original watercolour, pen and ink with pastel

Unframed

26.7cm x 36.5cm / 10.5in x 14.5in