Monday, 17 December 2012

Christmas Competition

SO to win an acrylic painting on canvas of your favourite place, all you have to do is: 

1.Like my facebook page

2.Share it on your own page
3.Post your favourite place on the planet on the page!
(ideally somewhere you'd like a painting of... tho it can be the inside of a pub if you really like...)

(update - if you don't do facebook, or twitter or anything - just post a fave place here to enter )

The you're in with a chance to win a 30cm square painting on canvas of it! Closing date is Dec 24th :) will pick names out of a hat.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Artists & Illustrators Exhibition

So, I'll be exhibiting at the Osborne Gallery in West London as part of the Artists & Illustrators annual exhibition in February!

 Here are the pieces I've submitted. And a great illustration they are of my ongoing quandary with style ! I know I've said it before - but it seems the only way I can feel a painting is a success is if I have responded 100 % to the reason behind each individual piece. Maybe that sounds a bit precious! But how else could I work? I always paint the story in my head. Sometimes this is laced with mood and make-up. Sometimes its all about the beauty of a moment. Sometimes its just the blind *feel* of a place is what drives me.  I can't do all this with the same painterly methods...

I hope, though,  that my work has a recognisable identity, as it means I'm successfully communicating... I've put some descriptions and comments associated with the paintings below.

 'I Am Going In' :
A precious memory. The fragility of a moment and its immediate loss. But peace in knowing that fleeting life is set against a backdrop of constancy. All will be right.

 'On the castle Walls, Tintagel'
Such richness of myth and story set beside these resilient walls. Its seen so much. I didn't want a magical Tintagel, hazy light and fantasy... the story is in the weight of the stones and the constant sea.

'Sky is Changing, Tintagel'
Stories come and go, people flow through, the sun rises and sets and the sea breathes. 

 'Still it Sets, Newquay'
Busy corner of a beautiful county! I painted colour and light and tidal swell, heavy headland. 
Sun setting on each day, regardless.

'Sun and Showers, Derbyshire'
A painting about always looking - catching brief yet utter beauty whenever I can. Takes me so long to get anywhere when I go outside, I spend so much time staring. Saw two shooting stars last night, wow!!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

New Workshop Date

On Friday January 18th (10am-3pm) * and Jan 25th!*  I am running a 'Painting with Acrylics' workshop for beginners/anyone at my home studio in Belper. There will be cake.

It is £40, with all paint, brushes, paper and canvases provided, (and cake) The workshop's fun and friendly, and you need have no artistic skills. I'll do a couple of live painting demo's and plenty of one-to-one tuition. Come and see what you can do. And eat cake! :)

To book, email me at

Here's a bit about one I did last year, which was great fun despite lacking cake:

Paintings produced at Painting with Acrylics workshop, Devon, in June

Insomnia diversion

Well... its only been ten days, and I've had a tiny bit of sleep nearly every night. Nothing like the weeks and months of the past...

But I can feel it coming... the cracks are opening in my fragile walls of sanity!

At this stage of sleeplessness I can still function fairly well. Somehow I give myself permission to achieve less, so the days can feel quite successful. Paintings can be richer, as losing my grip on reality allows the stories in my head more freedom. I do what I need to feel comfortable, eating and drinking without any sense of guilt or care. I am more protective of my emotional state, and apologise less for having needs.

Measurement of time loses relevance, and time is linear rather than cyclical. I *like* this.

Though not one I'd choose, its a way of learning to be less harsh on and more forgiving towards myself, almost a holiday for expectations. I am the opposite of physically refreshed, but this constant state of awareness does allow a kind of self-renewal.

None of the above, however, cushions a 6.45am start to organise a cooking kit for eldest daughter...

I *love* my creative, erratic, full life, and the people who share it with me. I could give in to the desperation that sneaks alongside sleeplessness, and it may come to that; but I've found that the best route is to just go with it. It is a part of me, for better or worse; and there's a lot you can dream in 24 hours that can't be discovered in just 16.

Here's my latest painting, of a weather-beaten hawthorn. Saw so many of these on my trip to last week to Devon. Lone and unlikely, beautifully shaped by their own resilience to their environment, but growing with the wind; never against it.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Devon & Cornwall week

Urgh I've been ill all week! BUT it was still fantastic to spend the time by the sea, making lovely new friends and seeing some of my best ones on the planet.

Didn't end up doing much teaching  but I managed to visit the Brownston Gallery in Modbury to deliver seven new paintings. I love Catherine's gallery, and some of the work in there is stunning. Lovely to see mine up along side.

Then went on to visit lovely artist/gallery owner John Tregembo, who has recently opened the Camel Valley Gallery in Wadebridge. He's immediately put my work on the website, which is great, and written some lovely things! So now 'Remembrance' is sat in the window, looking vibrant. Its in the right county now :)

I also managed to visit Tintagel, somewhere I haven't returned to for fifteen years or so. Its an ancient castle, cut in two by coastal erosion and linked by a wooden walkway. It feels as wild as it sounds and is full of story, historical and fantastical.  It was deserted and cold and perfect. 

Plenty of paintings sat in my head now, and new stories.