Monday, 30 November 2009

Good bye November, Hello December

November all filled in. If you click on a day you can see all the details. The blank calendar is here

So here comes December...

One - gesso over two pages and then  squirt on acrylic paint and spread it around.

Two - get lots of green and add layers and patches of different tones, rub them in and rub them off again.

Three - Add a bit of printing with bubble wrap and sequin waste stencil in black and red and mix it all up.

(close up) - and a bit of paper doily stencilling in blue

Four- more stamping and adding lots more textures

Five - stick on the squares and label the days of the week - cut the letters for December out of 'optic' sticky back plastic - twiddle  about with gold and silver gel pens and I'm ready to go!

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Flying through

Been a bit busy this week.  I haven't had time to do a lot of journalling or anything else art wise until today when I prepared my December calender pages which I will share with you when the month changes.
I have been out twice this week at our favourite venue,  The Stables at Wavendon near Milton Keynes. Last Tuesday Mr T and I saw Ralph McTell and on Friday we saw Thea Gilmore. I had intended to include some YouTube footage but the system wasn't playing today. I also had an evening with girl friends and went to an old friend's birthday party last night. No wonder I felt a bit pooped today, our evenings out are usually only once every couple of weeks or so these days.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009


I have to believe I am living my dream.
I can spend as much of my time as I like here...

 ... my work station with my four journals - the A4 'Pink Pig' spiral bound, large and small moleskines and my little handmade book. (More of that another time)

The sun shone this morning and Marvin called me into the garden to play, but like most cats was quickly distracted by the birds on the feeder for which I am grateful, for I really do feel the fool turning in circles on the lawn with a garden cane for the cat to chase!!

and here is Marvin wishing he could fly

Monday, 23 November 2009

and the winners are ...

After a ceremonious draw by Mr T I declare the winners to be:
Printed Material

So as soon as I get your address I will be sending off your envelope. I am really excited as I will be posting to Thailand, Australia, Scotland, Wales and to my own county of Bedfordshire. Your three cards will be randomly selected as I am putting them in envelopes so I won't know who is getting what, except it will be one of each design.
You should be able to e mail me through my blog profile.
I am sure I shall do this again sometime as it such fun contacting people from all round the world - have a great week.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Hi there

I'll be making my draw tomorrow and will be contacting the winners soon (I have a bit of a busy week coming up) - whether they think they are lucky will remain to be seen!
Meanwhile here is a water colour exercise done by my sister Janet she has posted on flickr. She is really pleased but is not very confident in her ability, so if you have moment and are registered with flickr please drop her a line by clicking here, she would be so chuffed to get some comments.

Janet's ivy leaves

Friday, 20 November 2009


(Please click on the photographs for a larger view)
Although I love painting and drawing sometimes it is photography that just touches the spot.
Earlier this week the sun was shining after a rainy night and everything was glistening  from the light of the low sun. This is an ornamental crab apple tree in my garden and each apple had a drop of water hanging on it. The shadow of the fence was deep but the sun caught the fruit giving it a wonderful glow and the blue sky was captured in the drop. I am so pleased I took the two Open Collage of the Arts photography courses, they have given me tools to capture what I see. I was delighted with this shot - especially with the way the stem is also glowing red. It has only had the minimal adjustment to the contrast.

Initially it was these back-lit leaves that attracted my attention making them glow against the dark holly tree. A large aperture ensured a shallow depth of field throwing the holly out of focus, the sparkling water on the leaves giving the 'bokeh' effect much loved by many photographers (In case you are wondering 'bokeh' comes from a Japanese term used to describe the out of focus area of a photograph especially when lights form little discs of light)

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Indulge me ...

I wrote this in August and just found it in my journal, so I thought I'd try layering it on a painting I had done of 'snow in summer'
I am not normally taken with writing, but on reading this I remembered the afternoon well. It  started as just a list, and I am not claiming any literary merit, but what a blessing keeping a journal is, otherwise this magic moment would have been lost.

There is still time to enter my draw, I am delighted so many of you have responded, but sorry that it will mean some will be disappointed.
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Monday, 16 November 2009

Give Away


"Headdresses" (there are six of these)

Here goes, I've never done this before, but I have 18 little 6x9cm cards to give away in three different designs (They may vary from the ones shown) so I thought that I would give them to six of my 'followers' who care to comment - three each, one of each design but lucky-dip as to which ones. After a week I'll randomly choose the six  and ask you to e mail me your address. I hope this is fair. If less than six enter I'll share them out accordingly.
I enjoyed making these and thought it would be nice to share, hope you think so too.
The little collage meadow cards were inspired by Angie Lewin, the headdresses by the Omo people and 'Marvin' by my cat who I love to draw.

Friday, 13 November 2009

For Friday

It is Friday, it is dull, it is raining and I have a headache. Wanted to get something lively and interesting for the weekend but instead thought I'd share this page from June. I have been doing a lot of journal writing since then and my lettering skills have improved a lot but I was pleased with the drawing of the perennial sweet pea. These are growing in my garden, but they always remind me of my grandmother. When we stayed with my grandparents in Norfolk for out summer holidays these sweet peas would be blooming and my sister and I would always be allowed to pick as many as we liked. My grandmother would put them in old glass tumblers she had decorated with transfer prints and put them round the living room of her two-up two-down cottage. What wonderful holidays we had there - the cottage was tiny but full of 'treasures' or old 'lumber' as my grandfather would call it. Nearly all of it gone, just memories now.
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Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The Walled Garden Project

It is time to share some of my first group of photographs I took at the Luton Hoo walled garden. I have managed one photo session so far. There are some general shots of the garden here in a previous post. However I am interested in compiling a more intimate portrait of the garden and glasshouses in all their glorious decay. So here are a few to begin with.

Fan light



Fork, scythe, rake
Glasshouse interior

I hope to convey the magic of the place.
More information about the project on the website

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Etching Again

I spent another day at an etching workshop yesterday. Here is my print.

The trouble is I was only able to pull one decent print and I have done some extra work on the plate and was unable to take a print. The workshop was very busy and great fun, but I rushed a couple of processes and had to start again - don't say it... ' more haste ...I know, I know'
This is a scan of the first print off the plate so the definition is not that good. The better one is on too large a piece of paper to get in the scanner. However I am pleased with the intial outcome.  I wanted the contrast between the thistledown and the prickles, I think it has come across,  but I value your opinion. I shall definitely be going back in the spring to do some more.
Here is my sketch and photograph again which were my initial inspirations,

Thanks again to Karen and the Milton Keynes Printmakers

Wednesday, 4 November 2009


There's calm in your eye

This picture started so differently, I wish I'd scanned it before I started reworking it this morning.  Last week I was listening to Neil Young's 'Like a Hurricane', one of my all time favourites, and I had an urge to make a picture to show how it made me feel. 

I started with a magazine photograph of Alexandra Burke and I was struck by her eyes,  so a drew a more or less straight copy, and placed in on a painted and collaged background, but it wasn't doing it for me. So I let it sit.

THEN... Lesley from PRINTED MATERIAL  posted me a comment AND on her inspirational site I found this: 
  Here are a couple of Hans Silvester's amazing photographs.

I find these images so beguiling, at the moment I am having to have a daily fix.
So my piece of work was reborn, also taking inspiration from my photographs of thistles for the spiky headdress.

So this morning 'Alexandra' got a coat of white gesso and a whole new hairstyle!
I hope you enjoy sharing my though processes!!
I have come quite a way from my original visualisation - thanks Neil (and Lesley)

Monday, 2 November 2009

Roll over

My cat, Marvin is a rather large ginger and white cat who arrived at our home in 2005 from the local cat rescue charity.  I have always enjoyed  sketching my cats over the years so I thought I'd keep a Marvin sketchbook. He always prefers lying stretched out - I think his belly is too fat for curling up - he is on a strict diet, but it's not making any difference. You may have noticed him cropping up before. I thought I'd share these with you, I'm sure he'll crop up again.

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