Sunday, 21 June 2015

Completed Commissions

There is a gallery in Marsden called Enjoy Art in which I have work on sale. A few months ago a regular customer was looking at some of my work and rather liked my treatment of the subject so he got in touch and commissioned two pieces .....

I was really quite thrilled and as a great believer in agreeing to anything and worrying about it later I was very happy to accept even though the subjects were not my choice.

After a couple of false starts I settled down and was really quite happy with the end result. I find it so interesting being forced to do something away from my comfort zone.

Today they were collected and have gone straight off to the framer. The client seemed genuinely pleased with them and I was actually able to explain what was in my mind as I worked on them - properly grown up and professional - there's a first!!!

Fading Abbey... Whitby

Shadow Steps... Whitby

So - after a few weeks of being a bit fed up -especially after not selling anything at RHS Harlow Carr I feel much happier.

Onward and upward.......

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Which ones?

Today I am hoping to tap into the wisdom of crowds...

I can only manage to have three of these pieces framed for the exhibition at RHS Harlow Carr in May.

Can't decide which.

What does anyone think?

All help gratefully received.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Thirty years of Moonraking in Slaithwaite.

The whole of the village will be en fete this Saturday 21 February as the crowds gather together with their lanterns ready to process through the village.

All this week there have been workshops and 
get-togethers ready for this milestone birthday.

Many artists and craftspeople will be exhibiting on the Handmade Trail on Saturday afternoon including myself, at Slawit Studio.  My new work will be on show for the first time.

Please feel free to call in and have a browse.............

Sunday, 14 December 2014

RHS Harlow Carr spring exhibtion.

The very nice lady in charge of organising this exhibition has asked for some information to go with the work on display. She suggested a few questions to consider and after umming and ahhing I chose the most appealing.

Thought it might be an idea to share the completed musings so here they are....


Drawing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. In fact my first aesthetic experience involved a line. The infants’ teacher drew a letter ‘a’ in my book and I remember walking home gazing at this letter and thinking that it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

A recent Summer School at the Slade and a botanical painting workshop in Cambridge with Evelyn Binns have had a profound effect on my work. The former gave me tremendous self-confidence and the latter technical skill.

The most enjoyable aspect of painting is the ‘Wow!’ moment when elements suddenly come together and something wonderful appears. It doesn't happen every time but when it does – Wow!!!

Having retired from a career in teaching I am now able to paint whenever I want in my studio at the bottom of my tiny garden. And although it might be tiny my garden and greenhouse are very important in my life. As is Slawit Bob our little white miniature schnauzer who affords us great pleasure.

Whilst my children were growing up I was involved with patchwork and quilting producing wall–hangings in colourful silks and cottons which satisfied my creative needs at the time.

Having goals and plans has never been part of my makeup –merely lurching from one crisis to another or bumbling through life is much more my style although I do hope to continue painting for as long as I am able.

Occasionally the question arises ‘How do you know when a picture is finished?’ and I always give the same answer which seems to work for everything really whether it’s flower arranging or cake icing. If I need to wonder whether or not I should put something else in then the answer is always no – it’s finished. Occasionally I ignore my own advice and will completely ruin a piece!!!

Lying awake or idly gazing into space contemplating my perfect dinner party is always an idea that appeals and there has been a shifting cast of characters attending ranging from Alexander the Great to Simone de Beauvoir. Currently my invitation list includes Robert Graves, Laurence Durrell, Richard the Third, Rudyard Kipling, William Morris, Germaine Greer, Richard Burton, Marin Alsop and John Denver.

Finally the piece of advice I offer the world is to love. When all is past and gone that is what  remains….


Saturday, 15 November 2014

Back to normal - whatever that is...

After a very busy and exhausting week I am finally back in the studio to try and put it back together after last week's exhibition. I have to decide which paintings should go on the wall and which should be propped up in a corner - if I can find one that isn't already full of stuff!

I am rather hoping to work on some painting shortly after buying yet more brushes from the epic Cornelissen's art shop which is wonderfully Dickensian and can be found at the end of Great Russell Street five minutes away from the British Museum.

If you have not visited  - it is worth making the effort if you are in the area. It is completely magical and I want to buy everything of course....

Friday, 22 August 2014

Finding Space

After my course in Cambridge the other week I find that my work is now moving in a new direction which I find really quite exciting. It's fascinating how I am not aware of learning anything to start with but I realise that I must have  done so because subsequently it comes out in my work.

So - I think I would like a bit of a clear out in my studio to go with the clear out in my head.

Should anyone think that they might like an original piece of my artwork - please come and discuss the options. I am prepared to do deals - not quite BOGOFF's - but then again - who knows???

Remember, if the light is on - I am open but you can always ring or knock on the door to have a look if you are passing...

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Painting of the month: July. Poppy Tangle

It was a hundred years ago this summer, the 28 June to be exact that the Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo. It was only just over a month later that Britain sustained her first casualties when a cruiser was sunk at sea and the British Expeditionary Force landed in France.

The war which was to take the lives of so many young men as well as the old, the young and the desperate from all over Europe, had begun.

 And so I offer this piece as my painting this month. It's a watercolour, framed and is about 16" x 20".

We are all aware of the significance of the poppy I'm sure and I like to think that the tangle of leaves and stems echoes the barbed wire of 'No Man's Land' with the beauty of the bright poppies emerging from the ghastliness.  


In Flanders Fields: John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.


I have omitted the final verse - it's reconciliation not further bloodshed that should concern us now.....