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