Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Barbados sketches.

Had a busy month with my
trip out to Barbados for my son's wedding. This really was the trip of a lifetime!
I was so nervous having never flown that far, and not sure how I would cope with my fybromyalgia but so glad I did it.
I swam with turtles off a catamaran, visited a monkey sanctuary and explored the island with friends and family.
Of course the wedding was perfect.
I even got to do some pen and watercolour sketches of where we stayed.
St. James, Barbados.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Shaftesbury group september art fair.

artists getting ready for the september art fair. 

What a great day with the shaftesbury group, first monthly art fair.

Preparations at the start of the day. 

My stall for the day. 

I met so many interesting people, a lot of good comments about my work, and very busy day.
The group were all very supportive to one another which made it a really enjoyable time.
I was so tired the next day I had to rest and be kind to myself, but it was so well worth it.
Scroll down to see the rest of the dates.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Shaftesbury's monthly art fair.

Newly formed, -  the Shaftesbury Group have recently invited me to join them along with at least 16 other artists on a new joint venture. Local artists Andrea Jenkins and Karen Burkett will be opening the doors of the local town hall once a month. 
See the dates below on the poster. 

Shaftesbury Town Hall, High street, Shaftesbury. SP7 8JE

Hedgerow Heaven

Finally finished my Bindweed subject,  that measures 1 metre square.
This one was a real joy to paint as I wanted to do something large scale again, and it meant
that I could ad-lib the subject much more building it up with pieces of plant subjects from
my garden.
Here is one image with a butterfly added to it, but I am seriously considering if it will 
stay, all part of the ease and beauty of acrylics. If you don't like it paint over it!

Thursday, 19 July 2018


Started on this painting about a week ago, and I must say it is a bit of a challenge but starting to take shape now. 
It took me almost a whole day just plotting out roughly where I wanted everything, and I still keep rubbing bits out and changing them!  
It measures a metre square so I am aiming at making it a statement piece. 

I popped out in the garden earlier for some reference material as these trumpet shaped flowers are very difficult to get right. It does help to scrutinize them up close but I don't think I will be touching the stinging nettles at all! 

Watch out for the finished work. 

close up of the bind weed flowers.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018


Very excited that my work was shown on channel 5 this week. While filming the Hotel Inspector, at the Grove arms, Ludwell, my work was on display.
 It still is on display there, but lots of lovely messages from friends and family saying they recognised it. 
Fame at last I say!

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Plein Air festival

 just a quick reminder of the Plein air festival on 22nd july 2018  - 10.a.m. start.
at Sculpture by the Lakes, Pallington nr Dorchester,
where the Dorset artists will again be painting out in the open air around this beautiful sculpture park and lakes. There is a cafe and gallery, and plenty of parking.
Please scroll down to find out more, from when I took part this time last year, and of course the
link below takes you to their website for directions. You can come and watch us, chat about art,
or even buy some work if you like.
I am sorry but for some reason this link will not take you directly to the site.


Bindweed canvas

So after the art trail I had a little break from painting, spending some well earned time with my young grandaughter and enjoying the sun.
But after a while I tend to get itchy fingers and really need to paint and I have had this image
in my mind for some time now.
I ordered some canvases already in black, they are a meter square and they have sat in the corner of my studio in a very large box for a couple of months now,  so I decided that while the weather was settled and warm, I could gesso them ready to use. It was a little tricky in my small studio, but good to be able to dry them in the garden.  They were already primed but I need a good ground (as we artists call it, - another word for a basecoat)  to key the paint to the canvas.  It then has a slight suede feel to it.
I was really lucky as I got them in, just in time before we had a small rainstorm! we could really do with a large rainstorm now I think.
As you probably know by now, from the subjects I create you can see I enjoy a challenge, and so the picture below of the bindweed is going to be my subject.
I will add some progress soon, but so far so good.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Images from Dorset art weeks

A few images from dorset art weeks which I participated in at the Grove Arms, Ludwell.
This was not such a good turnout, but I think the time of year, (where the school holidays coincide)
and the gorgeous hot sunny weather, I think everyone went to the beach.
I sold one painting, and lots of greetings cards, so not too bad!

I really must thank Nina Bartlett, the landlady of the Grove Arms for helping me to do this event, and to all the staff who manned it during the days when I was just too unwell to continue. I had to leave early several times, as my fybromyalgia was really too much to cope with, so I am sorry if anyone came to chat with me and I was not there, and I hope it was not a problem, as the paintings were still on the wall for the visitors to view.
It was good fun chatting with the locals, and meeting so many
new people and friends who like to share the interest in art and such a challenge 
resisting the temptation of all that lovely food!

The Grove arms, Ludwell, 

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

A bridge over troubled waters!

This painting of a bridge on Dartmoor, in Devon is now finished, unfortunately I still havent managed to find out exactly what it is called, but I know it was on the way back from a visit to
Buckfast Abbey.  (I have tried to google it but am getting lots of different names.)
As I have been dealing with a few personal things in my life just recently,  - and stuck for a title, 
I finally decided to call it WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE.    
 I was stuck on the water part for a few days, not really knowing how to tackle it. It really was a bridge over troubled water!! There was a lot of staring, - and swearing too I think!
Then one day I was sitting in the studio having blacked out yet another attempt, and thought "what would you see looking into that water? There would be a reflection of certain colours"
Then I turned it upside down and it suddenly all made sense!
I took a piece of chalk and roughly plotted out the bridge arches, and found that It was so 
much easier to work it that way.
I am so glad it has finally fallen into place, varnished and finished ready for Dorset art weeks.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Weymouth Morning limited edition print.

 This is a limited edition print run of 50 - signed by myself, and this is number 5.  - Weymouth Morning.
I have had this print for a while now, printed by a friend of mine who had a largescale printer.
I realise now that I can print these myself on my A3 canon which is so much easier, so will be framing up some more of these in this format. 
I bought the frame at Friths in Salisbury, and framed it up myself.
so impressed with the result, and its for sale.

Sunday, 1 April 2018


I am not sure if the best part of the artwork is the varnishing, but I do love to see the colours come up so much brighter and fresher. 
It is not my favourite part as it's a bit tricky at times making sure there are no dust particles or hairs on the surface, and no drips or runs, but its the final process of a painting and I breath a sigh of relief once they are dry.
 Of course it's even better when the sun shines through the windows and lights them up like this. 

Friday, 30 March 2018

Alum Illustris

Completed at last!
This is ALUM ILLUSTRIS which is painted on box canvas, measuring 20" x 18"
This painting has taken me quite some time to complete, as you can see by the detail, but I really enjoy painting this subject. I will be doing another one later on, which has them on a hillside,
but have to finish the bridge painting first.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Sparkford art group.

 Had a lovely morning with Sparkford art group on Saturday.

 Even though I had lost my voice, they were all very patient with me, and we managed to achieve some good looking paintings in acrylics, of this cute little cottage. 

We learned how to deal with brickwork, using transparent mixing white. Also how to paint tiles, windows and thatch. 

A very enjoyable morning and luckily it didn't snow for too long so we could all get home! 

Sunday, 25 March 2018

A bridge too far!

 Here is my latest work in progress which is a bridge on Dartmoor, Devon.
I will check to find out its name as i am not really sure.

I have been looking at this subject for ages now, thinking that I might like to have a go at a really  large canvas again. The one in my studio measures 1 metre square, but I have chickened out a little bit at the moment.
 I am going to see how this one comes out first.  It measures 20"x 18"
Look out for updates on it's progress, - I have been calling it "A bridge too far" because of all the brickwork! Not sure if I will want to paint all that brickwork again on a grand scale, but its something to look at later.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018


Sorting through my watercolour folder ready to share this fun way of painting a woodland watercolour next week.
 I didnt realise I had so many "here's one I made earlier" subjects!
They do look rather good grouped together though.


Don't forget to check out the new addition "WATERCOLOURS"  at the top of the blog on the pages bar. 
I know most people know me for my bold acrylic style, but I also paint and demonstrate in this difficult medium when asked, and undertake commissions.
Forgotten Dreams

Throdmill cottage

Friday, 9 February 2018

Shaftesbury snowdrop festival

Off to the Shaftesbury Snowdrop Festival annual exhibition tonight, for the preview night.
Really looking forward to it, as there seemed to be quite a lot of artists at the handing in afternoon, and it
is so nice to catch up with other likeminded souls, some have become good freinds and great support.

So here is my effort for this year, called  "Spirits of Spring"
 It has some irridescent medium in there to make it shine.

 As you will probably remember, (and you can read all about it in Blog archives)
 I won the people's choice prize, the very first year this event was born so I feel it is a really good cause, 
so much fun to be involved with it all, and also to encourage tourism to Shaftesbury.

9th to 18th February
Shaftesbury art centre, Bell street, Shaftesbury, Dorset. SP7 8AR


Saturday, 3 February 2018

Working in the studio, Finally finished!

Finally finished this one!
 Had a bit of a struggle with the reflections, but I think it is worth it now that it is done and 
I can stand back and admire! 
It has no formal title yet, but it depicts the treeline on the headland at Budleigh Salterton.  I think it may be something with the word "Reflections" in there somewhere.

 you get a bit of a flavour of where all the magic happens, in my small, - but very cozy studio, 
which I love to call "COAL HOUSE STUDIOS" where the ideas are born.


This acrylic artwork is titled " Waiting for the tides" and depicts weymouth harbour.
These two boats are always moored in the same place, and I know they have been on many magazine covers for Dorset.  I had been meaning to paint them for some time, making several sketches in the past, but of course, the day I went down to see them again and make sketch studies they had all moved around! 
I always love to watch all the boats in the harbour congregate into a procession, waiting for the time when the alarm bells go off, and the road bridge parts and rises up so that the larger vessels can come in or out.

I started this painting back in the summertime, as a demo piece for a "meet the artist event"
If you scroll down this page you will find the info on the time I spent at the Cove Gallery in Weymouth, where I sat in the window painting, and meeting all the lovely people who came in to say hello. I had such a great time, as I love meeting  new people, and the children were so interested in my sketchbooks, that I actually gave them a quick lesson, then their parents were off to buy rollerball pens from Lidles!

Friday, 19 January 2018

prints available now at Edie-mae's

These images are now available to buy from EDIE-MAE'S gallery and Tea rooms.
This is such a lovely place to visit, you can spend plenty of time there just looking around.
With it's gallery upstairs, and tearooms, and lots of lovely upcycled furniture to admire or purchase, you can even take a course on how it's done!
There is such a lovely welcome from the owner Claire, and a diverse collection of artists and makers exhibiting here.  
Really easy to find right on the main road through Stourpaine village, next door to the local pub, just outside of Blandford Forum in Dorset. DT11 8TA


These are framed in white, and there are a couple of smaller ones wrapped and mounted,
but please do contact me if you would like them framed in a different colour.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

christmas doodle presents

 After taking that pen and wash class, (which I really enjoyed,) I am now working on some charming little sketches for 3 of my friends who I know love to receive my artwork. 
They had one each last year and loved them, luckily I still had the same frames to match.
 I get a bit of a buzz giving presents to close friends and family, made by my own  fair hands! 
But I could'nt decide what to paint for each one, so they have the same, 
slightly different, daisies.

I can now update this post, as I couldnt say much before and spoil the surprise, they have been given as christmas presents now, and were really pleased with them. 
They were such fun to create, and I will be doing another class in this medium again, and I will
post details of future dates. 

Monday, 6 November 2017


Well its been a bit of a busy couple of weeks for me. I haven't had much time to update the blog as I had courses to prepare. 

The first one was with Bratton art group, Nr Westbury, Wilts
They are all very skilled artists in various mediums, so I must admit I was very nervous. 
They said that they would like to go back to drawing, and re-discovering the discipline that goes with it. I like to make my lessons fun, so I prepared a pen and wash morning.

Starting with this lovely loose sketch, that I just doodled out of my head one evening, I wanted to make the water and ink do all the work. No stress on the detail. just enjoy. 

Next we tried out these sweet little daisies. 
Again it was good to get everyone used to the flow of the pens and splashing the water around. 

I use really cheap roller ball pens found in such places as Lidles! 
I just find the cheaper they are, the more they flow. Children's pens are also a good idea as they are washable from clothing. 
Also, I cannot stress enough, about the texture of the paper if you are thinking of giving this a go. I have used Bristol Board for these, which I found is a little expensive for practicing, but I usually use my sketch books which are equally as successful, and they are just thick cartridge paper. 
Watercolour paper, sugar paper, or anything with a good absorbency is not good for this technique as the paper sucks the water down into its core, and you are trying to float the ink around on the surface of the paper.

The second part of the class consisted of 10 minute sketches.

10 minute sketches from photographs 

here you can see the ones I did which actually took me 8 minutes on average. - (I know, Bighead!) - but then I've had a lot of practise.

I printed out a variety of photos for the group to choose, and then they had 10 minutes to complete one. 
Every 10 minutes we passed the photo on to the next person. 
I like to call it pass the picture!
I was not looking for accuracy, perspective, or any other perfection. I was bringing out the urgency, and need to get something down on paper quickly, which you would experience if you were looking at a subject outside, with your sketchbook. Also just the enjoyment of doing it.
It also brings out a sort of charm all its own, when using this medium.
 It takes a while to get used to drawing with a pen, and not reaching for pencil and rubber! 

I used to work all the time in different grades of graphite pencil, doing all the shading, and depth, only to find later on when I went back and looked at some of the work, it was smudged, and faded.
I started to work in pen, even using Biro sometimes, as it gives a lovely crisp line, which as you can see, is softened by the use of the water. 
The group enjoyed this and so did I actually. good effort by all.