Since May 15th, we have been running a Painting Positive Postcards competition to help Vandy Massey get closer to her 1000 paintings for charity initiative – Running with Brushes. She received 103 postcards from members and friends in the 6 weeks of the competition with several of them selling almost as soon as they were uploaded.
Vandy is over the moon:
It has been a joy receiving envelopes containing your paintings and opening them felt as if my postie was bringing me a gift every couple of days. This has been a really long project – 5 years so far and your contributions have given the whole initiative new life. Having this boost just as I get towards the end has been absolutely amazing.
I updated the website at the end of June, and we have reached an amazing 946 paintings. I can see the end now. It feel attainable by the end of the summer.   The project has raised £6900 for Care For Casualties so far (if we include the gift aid). My original goal was to raise at least £10,000 for them. I hope, that we will eventually top that figure. It’s no Captain Tom result, but it is still a worthwhile contribution to a very worthwhile cause.
Now we have got the stock, we need to sell it to raise the money. If you are able to share the link to the page with anyone you think may want to buy one of the paintings, that would be fantastic.


Vandy asked three artists not associated with the SEAW, to pick their top three and rank them from first to third. The three “firsts” will each win a voucher for art supplies. We would love to give each and every artist who responded a voucher, but we can only thank everyone and urge them to send their friends and family over to the website for some incredibly affordable art for a good cause. Rumour has it that the prices are going to go up as soon as the 1000 painting goal is reached, so timing is important.
In the meantime, here are the results from each judge and what they had to say about the pieces.

Judge: Soraya French

View Soraya’s work here

  1. Oystercatchers by Jan Couling
    I think in this image the granulation of watercolour has created the right kind of texture and well balanced composition and quiet colour scheme make for a very tranquil and pleasing image.
  2. Dartmoor Moors II by Penny Newman
    The watercolour is handled beautifully in this simple but very effective and well balanced watercolour with some gorgeous lost and found edges.
  3. The Waking Birds by Sue Downie
    I love the quiet simplicity of this image, great placement of the two main shapes of the birds against a backdrop of linear marks with the flower (hogweed ?) placed in exactly the right place.

Judge: Nicki Heenen

View Nicki’s work here

  1. The Waking Birds by Sue Downie
    The title carries the element of including us in the painting and waking up to birdsong. Excellent composition and use of shape, paying attention to positive and negative space.
  2. Honeysuckle and Fence by Helen Otter
    This is a beautifully done in a very small space. There is an interweaving of linear and curvilinear forms which makes for a very sophisticated composition.
  3. Ox-eye Daisies by Gillie Whittle
    Tremendous skill in the simplicity of colour to convey the brightness of the flowers against the background. I also noted all the subtle shadow values in the white petals. Great job!

Judge: Val Pettifer

View Val’s work here

  1. Blue Shed Portrait by Helen Otter
    The reason I selected this as my first was because lockdown has encouraged thousands of people to explore the joys of gardening and growing their own food. Like painting, it’s one of those hobbies you can become completely absorbed in, whilst staying fit both physically and mentally!
  2. In the Shadow of the Pines by Susanne Taylor
    In second place I felt this painting truly reflected the pleasure that many people have experienced during lockdown from walking in isolated locations, listening to bird song, and appreciating the trees.
  3. Clarice Cliff Plate by Pat Stoten
    My third choice is for all the people like myself who are shielding. Painting has been a life line for so many, but what do you paint; the answer is whatever comes to hand, and I think this little painting is a gem!

Our heartfelt thanks to all three judges for taking the time to help us choose and for their kind words! Congratulations to the top pick from each judge – your Tindall’s vouchers are on their way.

Here are all the other fantastic entries to the competition – we will not continue to update the captions to include those that have sold after the end of the competition. The only way to find that out is to see if they are still available on the Running with Brushes website.