Fun Fridays…..

A couple of interesting art related meetings have happened over the last week…leading to some things being updated, planned….slightly more confident that my aspirations for this year will come to fruition… more of which in a later post….

As part of my new found insight into the creative process I have decided to assign Fridays as fun days….days that inspire, whether that be a walk, visit to a gallery or exhibition…or just a day where I give myself permission to ‘play’ without being hard on myself….

Today has been a ‘studio’ play day… I know I want my next body of work to be based around the marker buoys and patterns on the mudflats of the Menai Straits… but I have been getting a bit ‘hung up’…cursing because I couldn’t reproduce the freedom and expression of my sketchbook work onto paper…so, today, no pressure, just playing in said sketchbook or on random scraps of paper…

….using whatever medium comes to hand…ink, watercolour pencil…

…playing with Photoshop…

…interesting seeing the different effects of the various paper…

It’s been fun..and interesting, providing an even more abstract idea for work….roll on the next Fun Friday…


Maintaining The Momentum…..

Although I don’t create art in the expectation of making lots of money…(I love making marks and splashing colour around!!!)…for a number of reasons it is important to me that this artistic journey at least pays its way…

I am in the lucky position of knowing the owners of Blue Owl Art who have kindly invited me to take part in several exhibitions in their gallery space, the most recent one being ‘Exploring Place’. This has been the most successful exhibition for me – out of the twenty pieces I submitted, nine have sold….still a little shocked… and there is still a couple of weeks to go…so still time for another cheeky sale or two..!!

Alongside this exhibition I have also set up my website  – this is still a work in progress, with new pieces/sections being added…

The problem I am faced with now is maintaining this momentum…as I said, I know the owners of Blue Owl Art so have no difficulty in approaching them…the same cannot be said of other galleries/outlets…I have read that galleries don’t like ‘cold callers’…so I would be interested to know how other artists have overcome this problem…

Patchings Art Festival….

Yesterday, Friday, saw myself and my other half take a trip to the Patchings Art Festival held at the Patchings Art Centre near Calverton, Nottinghamshire. Despite it being a cloudy, blustery day the marquees were full….

…there was music playing..

…and the sun did eventually make an appearance..

It was interesting wandering around the marquee where the artists had their stands and where some were doing demonstrations…..

Subjective as art is, there was obviously some work I preferred to others…. I particularly liked the approach and mixed media work of Ken Hurd…friendly guy and very generous with his tips and advice…. Claire Botterill was another artist whose work and techniques interested me.  I also watched Laura Boswell demonstrate her Japanese wood block printing… I particularly liked her linocut prints. Couldn’t figure out where I knew her name from until I read that she writes a regular column for the Artists and Illustrators magazine…I did purchase a couple of cards from her…as they say ‘every little helps…’

We also watched the Ann Blockley demonstration in the St. Cuthbert’s Mill ( I can’t seem to get the link to work here… their web address is Marquee…and very enjoyable and interesting it was too!!

There were also other exhibits/demonstrations going on around the ground for the long-suffering, not-so-art orientated partners including some beautiful bonsai trees..

..and glass-blowing..

..and an interesting Landscape Photography talk by RK Photographic

All in all….a good day….and, yes, I spent far too much….


Paper, Paper Everywhere….

Whenever I go to an art shop or browse an on-line art catalogue I am always overwhelmed by the selection of paper on offer…paper for all mediums and preferences..

For those of you kind enough to stop by and read my blog, you will know that I have a rather parsimonious attitude to the paper I practice on…using only old sketchbook sheets…and even these vary in weight…

…but today I decided to go mad, call it Friday Frivolity if you will…

….the above are initial watercolour washes… the bottom right is on sketchbook paper whilst the other two are on 300lb Fabriano Artistico HP paper – I know, whatever was I thinking….

It’s fairly obvious how the sketchbook paper buckles under the amount of water I use – and I am lazy and can’t be bothered to stretch it – but the Fabriano paper is lovely. It withstands lots of water and a lot of rough treatment; I used a brush along with a roller, old credit card and stick to move the pigment around… without damaging the surface.

I continued to add washes….and with the help of Adobe Photoshop Express for virtual cropping and framing…these are the results…

Sticking with my favourite colours of Daniel Smith Rich Gold, Indigo, Paynes Grey and Quinacridone Gold…..I based these on Norfolk reed beds… ??

It was actually lovely to have experimental pieces that might be worth framing and not be worried that the paper has buckled…there’s a lesson in there somewhere…

Only problem now is that I would like more of the Fabriano paper…doesn’t bode well for my piggy bank when I head off to the Patchings Art Festival next week….



Last night saw the Private View of the Exploring Place exhibition at Blue Owl Art, Grantham, Lincolnshire…..Three artists, John Pooler, Kate Robotham and yours truly are exhibiting works ranging from John’s architectural watercolour scenes of local churches as well as views of Venice, Kate’s more illustrative ink and wash images of France and Norfolk, and my own ink, charcoal and watercolour works inspired by the Welsh coast, Norfolk and The Peak District.

A steady flow of people enjoyed the music, wine and of course the art…

Each of our styles as artists is different which adds an interesting variation to the exhibition; it certainly provided lots of discussion…

….I received lots of positive feedback and compliments…but the thing that truly had me flabbergasted was that I sold not one, not two, not even three…but four paintings….and that was on the first night!!!!

If you follow my blog you will know that confidence in my ability and my art is something I do not possess in any great quantity, so the positive feedback and the sales have been a wonderful boost…do you know, maybe I can do this!

A big thank you to Jette and Belinda for having faith in me and to those people who fell in love with my work …it has made this artist feel slightly taller than her normal 5′ 2″!!!

Taking Stock…..

All the work for the Exploring Place exhibition at Blue Owl Art is wrapped and ready to go so now feels the right time for a little reflection, taking stock of my work and deciding what to do, where to go next…I am sure the desire to keep going forwards, to keep learning, is something common to all artists and I would be interested to hear what steps other artists take to move on…..

I decided to experiment still using ink, in both neat and diluted form, but applying and making the marks with a roller or card rather than brushes….

….as these are just experiments I used any old scraps of paper and I rapidly came to the conclusion that a smooth surface was better for this type of application – on the rough paper I just ended up scraping/spoiling the surface ….

Some of these efforts were obviously better than others but it’s all trial and error….


I came to the conclusion that I achieved much better results if I didn’t overthink things, just went with my intuition….

As well as experimenting, I have booked myself on some workshops, the first one takes place this coming Saturday – Helen Hallows Summer Sketchbook – I will let you know how I get on. I also booked myself a two day Abstracted Landscape workshop with Caroline Chappell and a life drawing session with Jo Sheppard – hopefully these will both motivate and inspire me, as well as give me the chance to meet other artists.

I also thought I might treat myself to one or two new materials so I am off to find the art catalogues for a browse…..

Don’t forget the PV for Exploring Place is 29th June 7 – 9 pm……you are all very welcome!!

Playing & Procrastinating….

I am not one of those people who normally make New Year’s resolutions but 2017 has seen me choose a word for the year that I can apply to various aspects of my life…..the word being ‘Commitment’.

So January has found me very committed to exercising, twice weekly Pilates classes and swims, doing more home cooking….which in turn has led me to being committed to not wasting any food …can only be a good thing!

The only area where I am having trouble committing is in my art…. Oh I can playing and experiment to my heart’s content….


….but the problem lies in how to move forward with these sketches and that’s where the procrastination comes in…..I have no idea….