Tuesday, 16 February 2016

New Work

Oil on canvas. 90cm square.

This particular work is very different from the carefully observed and executed botanical work I have been doing recently but is equally exciting and satisfying to me. 

I am fascinated by how paint behaves when you add in some extra elements such as white spirit, a piece of screwed up rag or time....

SKY ON FIRE: £75. 
Oil on Canvas. 30cm square.

The clean edges create a frame for the turbulence of the paint which  seems  to contain it.

 DARK: £75. 
Oil on canvas. 30 cm square.

GREEN: £75. 
Oil on canvas. 30 cm square.

 Oil on canvas. 30 cm square.

I think that this is one of my favourite pieces. I rather like the depth that has been created between the red of the 'sky' and the green of the 'land'.

Oil on canvas. 30 cm square.

Oil on canvas. 20 cm square.

Oil on canvas. 12.5 cm square.

DESERT: £30. 
Oil on canvas. 12.5 cm square.

Oil on canvas. 12.5 cm square.

Oil on canvas. 12.5 cm square.

I just love colour..........

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Reflections on a completed commission...

A couple of weeks ago I had a phone call from the gallery in Marsden, Enjoy Art, asking if I would be interested in a commission. The lady had seen my work and rather liked my style and she was wanting a red iris. There's no such flower I said but yes please ask her to ring.

Wendy who is now based in Atlanta rang and we arranged a time to meet.

After discussing the possibilities we decided that it was worth a try.

It took me about a week to paint the flower - a bright red iris - and I wrapped it up and off I went to deliver it metaphorically keeping my fingers crossed in the hope that she would be pleased.

Wendy was thrilled to bits and so was I. So off it goes to foreign parts.

Wendy has been searching for the elusive red iris for a long time. This is the e-mail she sent to me which I think is just lovely so romantic ......


That’s perfect.

I will love it – I love your style and you are lovely and I love red iris - and can't believe I found an artist to paint one. 

I think it's so wonderful that I followed my fictional story all over the world from the Chinar Island of Dal Lake, Kashmir, to the ancient caves of the Gobi Desert, to the banks of the dried river in Isfahan, to the donkeys of Bukhara and the wilds of the Panj River in the Pamirs – to end up in Marsden with the elusive red iris – so it is a great end to the hunt. Thanks so much for being a part of the story :)


This is the second commission I have been given through the gallery in Marsden and whilst it is always a worry when I am trying something new it is such a satisfying exercise because under normal circumstances I wouldn't be painting these particular pieces. I feel as though I have really accomplished something.

Sadly - no photograph because it's on my phone and I haven't yet worked out how to move photos on to my pc dammit - really must make an effort. But here is one I did earlier as they say and it was in fact what Wendy first saw in Enjoy Art and is still on sale in the gallery should anyone be interested....

Friday, 11 September 2015

A Clearance Sale....

 I am sitting in my studio today looking at some of the work on my walls that has been here a while and I have decided that I need to make some space for the work that is emerging now. 

It's really not possible to keep everything for ever - so - I intend to have a 


On the afternoons of 17 and 18 October I shall be here from 1 - 4.30 pm in the hope that there are people on the lookout for bargains.

And of course Christmas is on the way.....

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….