Laying down my brushes…

…because its time to start clearing the studio, ready for opening to the public this weekend!

I’ll be showing new and old work, sketchbooks and greetings cards featuring some of my favourite pieces.

Much of my recent work has focused on the word ‘erosion’. It can have a negative connotation but the natural erosion of the landscape can also produce some beautiful outcomes. Waterfalls result in interesting textures and profiles where they wear away rock over time.

I’ve also been looking at the landscape around me, especially the ‘Wiltshire clumps’, small knots of trees that stand sentinel over the down lands. Climate change and natural wastage has sadly eroded many woods but the distinctive profiles are still to be seen throughout the county if you look to the horizon.

Getting ready!

Just a month to go before I open my studio to visitors during this year’s West Berks and North Hampshire Open Studios. I haven’t done this for several years so I feel like I am at the bottom of a steep learning curve again, full of nerves and anticipation but excited all the same. I am venue 53 in the OS brochure and will be showing a selection of my work plus sketchbooks and drawings. My opening times are 11am-5pm every Saturday and Sunday from 7th to 22nd May, plus 2-7pm on Friday 13th and 20th May. I look forward to welcoming you to my studio.

So good to be out!

Yesterday I spent a happy few hours at Hungerford’s Heritage Market selling some of my work, meeting new people and catching up with familiar faces. It’s always a nice feeling when someone likes your work but even more special when they want to take it home with them. Thank you to everyone who bought from me – it really made my day!  

Monet’s Window No 2

Monet’s Window No 2, mix media, 29x40cm SOLD

I’m so pleased to have sold a picture at Hungerford Summer Festival’s art exhibition. If you haven’t visited yet, there’s still time as the exhibition is open daily, 10am to 5.30pm, closing this Sunday. It comprises an eclectic collection of work by artists local to Hungerford, ranging from things to hang on your wall to something to wear to a ball!

This painting was inspired by a visit to Monet’s house at Giverny. The house was typically (for an old French house) quite dark inside, but through every window you could see the amazing garden that came right up to the house – a riot of colour that seeped through into the rooms.

This is the second painting on this theme; the first, Monet’s Window No 1, can be seen in my still life Gallery.

Something different

left to right: Mrs Miniver, Mrs Dors, Mrs Polka-Dot, Mrs Windsor and Mrs Kandinsky

I spent most of the first lockdown messing with fabric and a sewing machine rather than producing any art. I know a lot of artists put the enforced downtime to good use but unfortunately I didn’t feel like picking up a paintbrush at all.

It’s all too easy to beat yourself up when you don’t produce any work for whatever reason but now I am going to cut myself some slack because during the second lockdown I brought my two passions together, producing this puddle of beauties using fabric that I had painted with acrylics.

There are six designs in all (five of them above) and each one is individual and unique as you would expect from anything that is hand-painted.

They will be making their debut on Saturday 12th December in Hungerford Hub & Library during their Christmas gifts pop-up shop but will always be available to buy direct from me via the contact form.

Goose for Christmas!

We three geese, small card with envelope: £3 (2 for £5)

I’ve been busy recently with fabric and wadding making things for the craft fair coming up in Hungerford Hub & Library (12-14th December) and it sparked an idea for a series of Christmas cards. There are four designs and all of them will be on sale in the Hub but in the meanwhile you can buy them direct from me via my contact page here.

20% of the proceeds of any sales up to Christmas will be donated to Hungerford Library & Community Trust, working hard to keep a roof over our library.

Electric hue!

Vibrant and warm, tulips from another season when you didn’t need a light on by lunchtime!

This is a new card in the rack, and would usually be on sale at Hungerford Hub & Library. Unfortunately, the current COVID lockdown means there is restricted access to the library right now (click and collect only) but you can always buy my cards here.

£4 each (or 3 for £10); free postage in the UK

A patch of sunshine

So long ago, I was standing in a forest of sunflowers, listening to their leaves rattle in the breeze as they basked in the sun. Tournesol. Follow the sun. As the season stretches they dry and turn brown, until they droop their heads like wizened old men, forlorn in autumn’s damp. But in high summer, they are still vibrant and flashy, green and gold against a blue Poitou-Charentes sky. Their golden heads stretch as far as the eye can see in this part of France. Along the verges are smaller strays that struggle to thrive in the parched ground, but they are joyful nonetheless. I can’t wait to be there again, one day.

Spread the sunshine. This image is available as a greetings card – handmade in limited quantities, left blank inside for your own message. £4 each, three for £10. Free delivery.

Go to Contact me to place an order.

Marking the Page

Sketchbook messing – Winter Light from The Road Ahead series. 2019

Such a lovely day chatting to people about drawing and making art!

I’m exhibiting alongside six other artists at TheCurve at Hungerford Hub & Library* and although it’s a small space, the curators have put together a beautiful and eclectic collection of drawings and sketchbooks. Each artist has something different to show and the range of media and ideas is inspiring.

This piece is an ink and wash exercise from one of my landscape sketch books. I work with themes in my books so I have one where I focus on still life, one for landscapes and more than a few with drawings of people when I’m urban sketching or just stuck for something to draw. So don’t sit still for too long – you may be next!

Marking the Page is open 10am-4pm, Friday 20, Saturday 21, Sunday 22, Wednesday 25, Friday 27, Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 September.

*Hungerford Hub & Library, Church Street, Hungerford RG17 0NL.

Hungerford Summer Festival Exhibition

Monet’s Window No 1 (bottom centre)

Lovely to be showing with other artists in TheCurve@Hungerford Hub & Library. Sponsored by Hungerford Summer Festival, the exhibition is open 10am to 4pm every weekend throughout the festival, closing on 14th July.

I’m also selling cards and a few of my drawings, mounted and ready to frame. Hope to see you there!

Stepping back

pastel and ink wash

After the frenetic activity of Open Studios and art-working for Hungerford Summer Festival, it’s good to be just drawing again. It’s so easy to lose the basic skills because of other projects – for me this is where it all starts so I am now visiting life drawing workshops whenever possible, as well as trying to keep my sketchbooks active.

Working it like Seurat

Light out of dark; charcoal lifted

Went to a new life class last night at RAW in Wiltshire. The evening started by looking at some sketches made by Seurat. No lines, tone only. Then we had a go.

We worked positive then negative; graphite on to white paper, followed by charcoal lifted using finger, sponge and putty rubber, gradually revealing the form of our model as we put back the light. Hard! But good to shake up a few predetermined concepts.

Nearly there!

Lost Horizon, mixed media

Five days to go and the show is getting on the road — paintings are delivered to their various exhibitions and cannot be tweaked or tinkered with any more !

You will be able see some of my work in the Open Studios flagship exhibition at The Base, Greenham Common Business Park, Newbury – open daily from this Saturday and throughout May, 11-5pm.

My studio space is a shared one with Rock Paper Scissors at 26 The Croft, Hungerford. This year the collective features the sculptor Janet Ford, and painter and printer, Shirley Cartey. The studio will be open every weekend, including bank holidays, 11-5pm. Entry is free and there is no obligation to buy, but we would love you to come along and have a browse.

Getting ready for OpenStudios 2019

The countdown has started – only a handful of working days before the start of this year’s Open Studios on 3rd May and there is still lots to do.

I am very pleased to be exhibiting again as part of the Rock, Paper, Scissors collective. You can find us at Studio 67 in Hungerford (details in the Open Studios programme).

You will also be able to see my work at the Open Studios flagship exhibition at Greenham Business Park throughout May, open daily 11am-5pm (8pm on Thursdays) and in TheCurve at Hungerford Hub & Library which is showcasing some of the Hungerford artists involved in OpenStudios (open Friday 3rd May, 12-4pm, Saturday 4th May 10-4pm and Sunday 5th May, 10-2pm).

Monet’s Window

Several summers ago I visited Monet’s house in Giverny – it was jammed with other pilgrims and as we snaked our way through the garden in a sluggish fashion because it was too hot and too crowded, any notions of seeing what Monet might have seen were dashed. It was the same inside the house, except for one little quiet spot I found, cool and shady, with an open window looking out onto the riotous garden.

I am still working out the painting I want to make of that scene but this is something in between. It was initially painted in acrylics, quickly and intuitively, and without the usual painstaking planning (which often leads me nowhere anyway), then finished more leisurely in oils. I might tweak it more but at the moment it feels ready.

Who knew it would take so long to get an initial thought on to canvas?