SHELF-PORTRAITS (grown-up shelfies!)

My bookshelf paintings formally known as ‘Shelfies’

have had a re-branding ready for and will henceforth wish be known as…


this has a more professional air, and relates directly to the idea of traditional oil painting,

whereas ‘Shelfie’ automatically brings snapshot photography to mind….

And here’s the latest….


‘Unwritten Book 3’ rsw2015 oil on canvas 10″x20″ £325

''I think having a personalised, commissioned Shelfie is like having a portrait done of yourself (the original Selfie), portraying your personality through the books you read.'' – Some thoughts on shelf portraits from Emily Stubbs @ Holmfirth Art Martket…

”Bookshelves are a pretty universal thing. Almost everyone will have a bookshelf or surface to stack or store their books on. I find other peoples book shelves fascinating. As an avid reader myself, along with having worked as a librarian in a past life, I find bookshelves – or the books on them – are a secret window into that persons life.
Your bookshelves can say a lot about the person you are – they are a selection of stories, information and words that you have allowed into your life – they fill your head and your heart.


A bookshelf is a physical representation of many aspects of a persons life. Cookery books, travel guides, self help books, DIY guides, trashy novels and Shakespeare can all give an insight into your passions, personality, aspirations and dreams. Books hold memories of the places you have visited and the people you have met. They tell the story of holidays taken, family meals cooked, languages learned and problems overcome. They can be funny, romantic, thrilling, scary, autobiographical, technical, historical, geographical……
Roo Waterhouse’s commissioned paintings are a colourful glimpse into the lives of others. I get the same feeling in the winter when I walk down the street with everyone’s Christmas tree’s on show in their windows!

Then there is the whole other topic of order and display! How are your books organised on your shelf? Are they in alphabetical order? Grouped into categories? Size order? Colour spectrum? Soft back and hard back?
Or are you like Rob and his records in High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, compulsively re-ordering your books into lists of ‘Top 5 Romances’ or ‘Top 5 Breakup Novels’
The possibilities are endless….

I think having a personalised, commissioned Shelfie is like having a portrait done of yourself (the original Selfie), portraying your personality through the books you read.”

“Which books would you choose?”

Emily Stubbs @ Holmfirth Art Market

a busy day at the studio….

Trecked through the snow for a great and productive day at the studio working on some new paintings to take to London in February….


‘The Unwritten Book – part 1’ in progress….


an experiment in abstraction…..



…and the beginnings of ‘The Unwritten Book – Part 2’

…and so with Christmas over I can finally unveil my three latest commissions….


‘Bob’ rsw2014 – an LP commission for Karolina



‘Harry’ rsw2014 – a shelfie commission for Caroline



‘Not a Man to Match Her’ rsw2014 – a shelfie commission for Wendy

They were all commissioned for Christmas, so had to be kept under wraps until now!

Happy New Year to you all!

Auction tonight, raffle tomorrow…


‘7am Penzance’ RSW 2014 soft pastel on paper

SEALED BIDS AUCTION on Saturday evening 22nd November at The Art Market.
8pm – 10pm at Holmfirth Indoor Market.

This November The Art Market are holding a sealed bids art auction on the Saturday shopping evening. It is a fantastic opportunity to bid on a unique piece of work created by artists especially for the auction with a percentage going to charity.
The ‘Inspired by Light’ theme of this auction inspired me to do something very different for me…

Above is my soft pastel drawing of reflected sunrise on the sea at 7am in Penzance this autumn…

Come and bid for it tonight!!

and tomorrow Sunday 23rd November there will be a raffle and a chance to win a free A4 print of one of my paintings, as well as a whole host of other artist prizes….