Monday, 21 August 2017

garden in August

bamboo has thrived with so much rain this summer

I enjoy greens in the garden. I like to create small lush spaces. I've grown many flowers from seed this year, but not all successfully. The sunflowers have been a success, valentine is a sweet pale variety. Zinnias are not so much for me. The poor, battered foliage is not attractive, the brash pink flowers not for me, though I do like the limes and whites.

fern - so good all year round

a lettuce called Forellenschluss - meaning speckled trout - a heritage variety - no idea how it tastes but am growing many of them and they are all doing well (thanks to fleece to protect from butterflies etc..)

calendula - sown several weeks ago - just about ready to flower - to give early autumn colour

a zinnia I like!

Hello, it's a damp, autumnal feeling start to the week here - woke up to fog and many spider webs all about the garden. I've no doubt we will see more sunshine in days to come but the days are getting just a little shorter and summer will fade away.... I look forward to autumn, perhaps my favourite season.

This week - I have been painting today and hope to share new work with you here soon. There is no shop update this week as I am getting new work made plus have some family commitments. It is exam results week and my son is enrolling at his new college.

So my next shop update will be Wednesday 30th at the later time of 8pm (UK).

Have a good start to your week and more soon

Monday, 14 August 2017

mosaic Monday

tiny book -  monoprint and gouache

tiny book - gouache and monoprint
I've almost completed this tiny book - just a few more pages to go and then I will make a cover. This is a book I have made for myself, rather like a visual journal, something to remind me of this summer.

Hello, it's a cloudy yet warm start to the week here. We had a rather lovely, summery weekend - so I spent many hours in the garden, tidying, sorting and replanting containers. I'll share a garden post next weekend. I still have an abundance of green tomatoes with one - just one - almost ripe. I live in hope, as always, there will be a way....

Thank you to everyone who visited my shop last week, special thanks if you were able to purchase an artwork, or zine (I have just a few copies of my poetry zine left). It was a pleasure to put together packages and send my work to near and far, something I never take for granted - so I do thank you.

Today I have been painting - and after taking a few days off from making work I felt quite anxious to get back to my brushes. I feel a sense of trepidation, butterflies in my tummy, then when I get stuck in I am too absorbed to be anywhere but right there in the moment of the picture - and what a great feeling that is, when it is working, or I can find a way through from one problem solving area to another. Sometimes making 'mistakes' leads me to better results, building up more interesting layers, or finding a more dynamic look.

This week I am going to be dividing my time between working and catching up with personal projects. I hope to share new work with you some time soon. My next shop update will be at the end of the month (30th).

Have a good week ahead

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

new work

seated woman in red

seated woman in red

oil pastel on card (16.5cm x 14cm)

You may know that just recently I've been working on both monochrome gouache works and more colour-filled oil pastel works. It's interesting for me to work in different media with quite a separate approach - yet at the same time feel this is very much my work. How that happens cannot be easily explained, I suppose it comes through experience and just knowing when something feels right or not. It has taken me years of work, but I do feel I am more able to know when something feels right - and it's that 'got it' moment that I am always striving toward. If something does not feel right to me, regardless of what anyone else might think, it does not get a public 'showing'. That might seem tough on the 'almosts' but that's how it is - I only wish to offer my very best work.

paper roses

paper roses

gouache on Fabriano paper - this is the largest of the recent series: 30.3cm x 24.5cm

I hope you may enjoy seeing the full selection of new work tomorrow at 2pm (uk time).

Monday, 7 August 2017


interior with figures and striped jug

interior with figures and striped jug - oil pastels on card

Hello, it's a cool, cloudy start to the week here - summer has sort of fizzled out, but of course all could change any day. The tomatoes in my garden are plentiful and green. It's good weather for lettuce and other leaves....

Today I have been working with oil pastels and will get back to work in a moment. It's engrossing work, getting into the layers and textures that can be built up using this distinctive medium. I hope to add a few new oil pastel works to my shop this week - including the painting above.

Shop update -  this week, Wednesday at 2pm.  look forward to sharing a selection of new work - and another 15 copies of my poetry zine, just in case you missed out with the first run.

Thanks always - more tomorrow

Friday, 4 August 2017

new work - monochrome portraits

in leafy shade and light - portrait of a young woman

in leafy shade and light - portrait of a young woman

I've recently been working on a new series of monochrome portraits - I return to monochrome (and faces) quite often - making imaginative portraits within the world of 'black and white' and so many shades of grey. My influences are varied and I hope this comes through in the painting. I am interested in the wide world of historical portraiture - from early medieval right through to contemporary, but with a particular interest in Elizabethan and Victorian/early twentieth century faces. Along side this I have a particular interest in early photography, the atmosphere and subtle blur of movement due to long exposure, the way people presented themselves for the camera and so much more. And of course I am interested in hinting at stories, lives, without saying too much, allowing you the viewer to contribute with your own responses.

So these portraits are not of particular people in exact times - they are very much about how people are of no fixed time. I believe we live in various strands of time at once, influenced by our own pasts and present as well as collective pasts. It's this flux and tentativeness that intrigues me.

Without wishing to say too much - I simply hope these portraits delight you, in all their monochrome tones.

within a garden - monochrome portrait

within a garden - monochrome portrat

feathers and a cameo necklace

feathers and a cameo necklace - portrait of a woman

Working with just black gouache certainly makes me look again and again at how to convey shape and tone without relying on colour - it's more than a good exercise to attempt a still life with just black - all kinds of interesting things might happen - so I'm also working on still lifes and will share one or two next week.

Have a good weekend

Monday, 31 July 2017


summer figures

summer figures - oil pastel on card

Hello, it's an almost sunny and slightly warmer last Monday in July. I hope you have enjoyed a decent July - I understand people reading this are scattered all around the world (I am humbled to think about that) experiencing summer or winter, or something between, perhaps it's a British thing to be obsessed with the weather, or not? ..... I would love to hear from you to know what your favourite season is - so perhaps leave a comment or send me an email.

I've been working with oil pastels today - also gouache paint. I have moved from colour to monochrome in a single day (much like the British weather is capable of doing). This week I am getting busy with various ideas and hope to share new work with you later in the week.

Have a good start to your week.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

garden in late July

lime zinnia and black cornflower

Here we are in late July - the last few days - and it has been a wet, windy and chilly period, nothing much like summer. When not busy painting, photographing artwork, packaging orders etc.. I have been checking the weather forecast hoping to see a bright spell starting soon, hoping for warmth and plenty of sunshine. Despite the lack of sun many of the flowers I have grown from seed are blooming, making a decent show of it. I do like the lime zinnia just opening and will definitely grow black cornflowers again next year.

a vivid pink zinnia - most of the zinnias I grew this year (zinnia elegans) have made bright pink flowers - they really are this bright. Whilst I am not a huge fan they are certainly cheering the garden. 

first sunflower - valentine - I do like the softer primrose yellow and dark eye of this variety

a small raised bed (about 40cm long) - made using a recycled picture frame I had about the house not using - with a thick card base. I have another raised bed of a similar design that has lasted well - (despite terrible rain storms my first attempt at a cardboard raised bed has been a success, holding together still after three months and I've just re-seeded with new lettuce). The first main crops of summer for lettuce, chard and herbs seems to be coming to an end so I am starting again with new sowings - above you can see basil (some nibbled ah!) turnips, with lettuce and kale seedings just appearing - they will be picked small.

carrots, mixed salad leaves and kale in pots. I had no problem with butterfly damage earlier on in the summer but now can see it - so am covering (with fleece) things like kale from now on. I am covering the carrots also to protect from carrot fly.

green tomatoes - so many of them needing sun - with greek oregano and pink diascia growing in the background

Where ever you are - if you can spare some sunshine please send it over. I am not interested in a full-on heatwave, but a few days of warm sun would be very welcome. If we don't get the sun then never mind, I have been learning a great deal this year, growing my first carrots and turnips, and hoping to make soup for my birthday in November - that's something worthwhile. And if the tomatoes stay green I'll be looking for green tomato recipes.

Friday, 28 July 2017

thank you

zinnia - queen red lime

thank you to everyone who purchased from my shop this week - very much appreciated. Just wanted to let you know everything has been posted. My newest poetry mini zine Small Windows sold out within a few hours - I will be making a few more copies of this. So there will be another 15 copies in my shop when I next update, on Wednesday 9th August.

I'm going to be spending the next few days or so working in sketchbooks and catching up with gardening projects. My hope is we see some sunshine - today is another autumnal feeling day. Hoping for a little more warmth and sunshine.

Have a good weekend.

Monday, 24 July 2017


figure within a garden

figure within a garden - monoprint drawing

Hello, it's a chilly, damp start to the week here - hardly feels like July, oh dear. I look out of the window into my garden to see hot  pink zinnias just coming into bloom and I apologise to each one for not providing the dazzling sunshine such a flower might expect. Meanwhile, I have been painting and cutting paper today. The paper cutting is due to putting poetry zines together. I've now printed and sewn together all the first edition - and have the tiny botanical drawings (one to be included with each zine) to make tomorrow.

So this week I will be updating my shop on Wednesday at 2pm. I'm keeping 2pm as my regular update time slot for now - but I may try another time next month. I appreciate 2pm is very late/early depending on where you are, but this seems the time that works for most. If you are looking to buy a zine please note that if, by some chance, I do sell out I will be considering another print run in the near future.

Tomorrow I'll share with you a few more new works. Have a good start to your week.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

new work

a look at just a few of the new artworks I have made recently

oak leaves and pears

oak leaves and pears - a still life - acrylics on Fabriano paper

one late summer evening

one late summer evening - acrylics on Fabriano paper

these will be included in my shop update this coming Wednesday 26th at 2pm UK time

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

a new zine - small windows

small windows

Small Windows is a mini-zine of poetry with colour artwork. This little booklet offers a small selection of nine recent poems. If you have read any of my writing previously I hope you may like - if you are new to my poetry then it might just be something you find at least intriguing....

Poems are contemporary, experimental little creatures with contrary minds. I write about trying to fathom things out or just not: paintings, the process of making pictures, gardens and nature, history. Each zine will come with a tiny original botanical drawing - gouache on Fabriano paper. This will be a first edition of just 50 - but I may consider making a further run if there is demand. The zines/booklets are designed, printed and hand bound by myself. I'm keeping the price as modest as I can - £5 including UK postage (extra postage cost for overseas).

Small Windows will be available to purchase from my shop from Wednesday 26th July. I am not reserving copies - but as stated above, if there is demand I will make additional copies so everyone who wants one should be able to purchase.

It's taken me a few attempts to get to this latest zine - I had a couple of false starts in the past, getting so far but then feeling the poems did not want to work together. But with this handful of nine I feel they are doing what I want, in their own ways. I'm glad to be at this stage - with a new zine ready, and I am pleased with it. I've had poems published in a variety of journals and pamphlets previously, but I decide to self-publish every so often, to allow me to present my writing in the way that I want - with my own colour artwork - offering anyone interested in my work generally an opportunity to have a small collectable piece.

Monday, 17 July 2017


still life with earth teapot

still life with earth pot - acrylics on Fabriano paper

tiny painted book

tiny book - sketchbook - acrylics

hello, It's a very warm and sunny-with-a-bit-of-cloud day here. I feel I've made a good start to the week - I've been working on new larger paintings and have just this afternoon started to print and bind copies of my newest zine! Yes a poetry (+artwork) zine is due out next week. More details to follow soon (probably tomorrow)....

So this week I will be busy continuing to print/bind zines as well as making new paintings and drawings. I expect the days will go by quickly but I do hope to make time to share things here.

My next shop update will be a week on Wednesday - Wednesday 26th July at 2pm.

More soon....

Monday, 10 July 2017


oil pastels

working outside yesterday - sat in the shade, making marks with oil pastels - I have not worked with oil pastels for a few months so it was good to get them out again. I prefer to work outside when I can.

Hello, it's another warm and sunny July day. Thanks to everyone who visited my shop last week and purchased artwork, very much appreciated. It was a pleasure to put together packages and send to near and far. One of my most favourite things to do is put packages together and I hope you enjoy all the artworks received.

One of my least favourite things is paperwork - but that's what I am doing for some of my time this week. I have to do it and of course it is all part of being a self-employed person etc... but paperwork involving lists of numbers is ugh, anxiety and headache but eventually it all makes sense. I check and re-check all my sums but when it is done - yay! To balance the paperwork out I make time each day to work in my sketchbooks and make a start on new artworks.

My garden is starting to bloom and there are tomatoes just forming on plants. I'm hoping to share another gardening post some time soon and hope this might interest you.

I will share a post of sketchbook posts later this week - until then, take care and more soon.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

new work

mother and child

a small yet atmospheric monoprint drawing with additional ink wash

leaves and scissors

one of an ongoing series of book-form works - hybrid artworks, perhaps - or simply concertinas. This one is mixed media, with acrylics, gouache, linen, collage and monoprint drawing

bottle collection

bottle collection - a larger painting in acrylics

I am updating my shop tomorrow at 2pm UK - hope you will pop by to see the full selection of new work, thanks always

Monday, 3 July 2017


three paintings/books

concertinas - paintings/little books - acrylics and gouache

Hello, happy July - here we are moving toward the heart of summer (I think of mid-July as just about 'the heart', perhaps because that is the time schools finish here in England). I hope you are enjoying fine weather. Of course I know you may be in the southern hemisphere - I send quite a few packages to Australia and a one or two to New Zealand - many thanks! So I am mindful of the fact you are experiencing a different pattern of sun and days. We each live in our own microcosms, and what inspires me here in my modest house on the hill may be different to someone who lives just a hundred miles away, so to make international connections with people in many different countries is a great thing, something I value very much - thank you.

So, enough of the musings - I am posting this a little earlier than usual today as I am working all this afternoon and perhaps later this evening to complete work in progress. My shop will be updated this Wednesday at 2pm UK time. Expect to see a mix of paintings and drawings, including a lively selection of artist books works.

I hope you have a good start to your week - more tomorrow.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

new work

ginger tea

ginger tea - a larger painting - acrylics on Fabriano paper (size: 35.5cm x 30.5cm)

still life with green dish

still life with green dish - a larger painting - acrylics on Fabriano paper (size 36.5cm x 26.5cm)

I am currently working on a variety - my 'usual' eclectic mix of still lifes, portraits, drawings and more.... As well as the larger paintings above I am also making a few new artists books featuring still life objects and I hope to show you those soon.

figure standing in a stream

figure standing in a stream - gouache on Fabriano paper (size: 17.5cm x 13.5cm)

I hope you enjoy your weekend

Monday, 26 June 2017



tiny artist book - sketchbook - gouache paint and monoprint drawing

Hello, it's a sunny Monday here - almost perfect weather - not too hot, bright, a little breezy. I have spent today painting, drawing and checking on zinnia buds in anticipation of flowers (see yesterday's garden post).

This week I am splitting my time between working on new artworks for my shop and personal projects/spending time with family. My son has finished his exams and we would like to spend some time going places etc...

My next shop update will be July 5th - but before then I hope to share here new work and some of my personal projects. Above you can see recent sketchbook pages - I am aiming to work on this little book over the coming week and fill it quite quickly with a mix of paint and drawing. Just let the ideas loose.

Have a good start to your week and more soon.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

garden in June

Lots of expectation at the moment - annuals are coming into shape and bud. There are some healthy plants looking promising. This year I have grown zinnias from seed for the first time. I don't know why they are not grown so much in the UK - perhaps that is changing - I think a reason might be the need for a lot of sun. I am hopeful we might get just enough. It seems I am having a second childhood when it comes to gardening, with a need for bright annuals and picture book flowers. So along with the zinnias I am growing sunflowers, centaurea, snapdragons, calendula and easy veg such as lettuce and chard, as well as tomatoes and herbs. My hope is that by August my garden should be producing plenty of bright jewel blooms and veg. That is if the slugs don't attack, the aphids are repelled by friendly wasps etc...

centaurea and sunflower

tall red snapdragon

you can't be too protective when it comes to basil - here I'm using a child's chair so they are not sitting around on the patio waiting to be eaten by slugs

clematis 'voluceau'
(a bit redder than this photo suggests) - is quietly blooming at the moment - not bad for a £1.76 supermarket plant bought only this spring)

chard 'bright lights' - will be great in salads and later in the autumn will be left to grow larger - might possibly over-winter in this sheltered garden

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

new work

still life with yellow striped jug

still life with striped yellow jug - gouache on Fabriano paper

small landscapes

small landscapes - monoprint drawings
this group of drawings came about recently - I've been making many different monoprint drawings, with attention to mark-making, that certain smudge and quality of line. A few years ago now I made quite a large series of monoprint landscapes - and just recently looked back on these, so the drawings above stemmed from the past series. I used additional brush work in a few of the drawings to add an extra dimension to the space of the drawing.

It can take me several attempts to get a drawing that feels right. Quite often this means making three or four drawings of one idea, then comparing and considering. I might like certain things about one drawing but a bit of another - and I learn from these, continue on with making further drawings. So I do end up with quite a few drawings and have to be ruthless - yes I do 'cull' drawings. And I do hold on to some, but I can't hoard everything. It is all about making a drawing that works for my eye and this is of course why I have to carry on drawing until I get to what I want.

My working methods are not something I want to reveal in a step-by-step way - but I will say I am very hands on, preferring to spread ink with fingertips, and I use a range of sharp tools for drawing. It has been suggested to me that I write a book on monoprint drawing from the perspective of an artist who does not use a printing press - and this certainly interests me. An idea to consider, a possibility.

There will be quite a number of monoprint drawings in tomorrow's shop update. I always offer these at special prices (bear in mind the above, it takes time and sometimes multiple drawings to get to the one that works).

So tomorrow there will be new paintings and drawings in my shop - and I do hope you will enjoy taking a look.

Monday, 19 June 2017


still life with blue patterned bowls

still life with blue patterned bowls

Hello, it's a very warm day here -much of England is experiencing a heat wave. It's a sunny, sad start to the week. I hope you understand the sense of sadness many of us are feeling - and perhaps you share it too, no matter where you are in the world. But I will not give up on hope - and look to see the best in everyone.

I have spent today working on a new still life painting - another in the ongoing series - and I am looking forward to sharing with you all the new artworks I have made over the past few weeks or so. My shop will be updated this Wednesday at 2pm. It's always a pleasure to send my work to people near and far, and I do hope you enjoy seeing the latest selection.

After this week's update I'll be taking a few days off. My son has just finished his GCSE exams and is now home for a long and well-deserved holiday. I will be back to work soon enough and aim to update my shop most weeks during July and August - small updates throughout the summer.

Have a good start to your week - more new work to see here tomorrow

Sunday, 18 June 2017

new work

monoprint drawings

monoprint drawings - ink on paper

still life with grey-lilac jug

still life with grey-lilac jug - a painting in my ongoing series of still life 'shelf works' in gouache

These and more will be added to my shop this coming Wednesday - at 2pm UK time.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017


still life with blue bowl and stacked cups

still life with blue bowl and stacked cups - gouache on Fabriano paper

Hello - apologies for no post yesterday - I usually try to post each Monday but the time went by and I had a busy start to my week. It's a warm, sometimes sunny day here. It's that time when I check the salad patch and can see the leaves growing, hour by hour.....

I've been painting today and listening to a feisty blackbird chatter on and on.... I think it may be more than one bird I've been listening to. At one point the bird become so insistent I turned off the radio and just listened to the bird instead.

Looking forward to sharing more new work with you as the week goes on. My next shop update will be a week on Wednesday - Wednesday 21st June at 2pm UK time.

More soon...

Sunday, 11 June 2017

new work

still life with earth bowl

over this past week I have completed four still life paintings

and spent some time working on new monoprint drawings - I expect to continue on with these, experimenting as always - and making collages

monoprint drawings