Saturday, 30 April 2011


at least it seems to me that I never know if or why or how a picture will work, or not.  This one - of the vineyards in France, is taken from a combination of drawings and watercolours I did on the spot, and photographs but eventually without reference to anything  - just painting instinctively ...   

Charente Vineyard   80 x 80 cm    oil/canvas unfinished state

I surprised myself by 'getting in the groove' and although it isnt quite finished and today I am less pleased with it than I was last night - I had a wonderful time!   Listening to Paul Simon,  Bryan Ferry,  Van Morrison and Joanie Mitchell.    Painting actually makes me sane I think!    It is a place where I can meet myself.  I am very fortunate. 

Thursday, 21 April 2011

POND AND BLOSSOM .... but I have to tell you about

These are two stages of the painting I have been doing over the past two days - interrupted by domestic ( feline) issues.  More about that on facebook!  maybe...

Pond and Blossom - this is the apple tree pond of other paintings and the blossom is of my lovely fragrant crab apple tree.  This spring is happening too quickly and it is too hot ....   but I heard the cuckoo .... and  the blackbird is 

       Pond and Blossom   oil/canvas 76 x 56 cm 
the painting is not quite finished yet ..  I thought the water had maybe become too dark but it is a dark purpley browny blue ...   fabulous colours to explore.   Colours only work in relationship to one another ....   not in isolation - one has to keep working over the whole canvas all the time....

heavenly ... listening to all the sounds  - the bees make such full on sound - which seems precious and  reassuring.   This painting is from one of my favourite spots in our  tranquil natural  and unsophisticated spot .....  we love to watch the garden and especially the pond evolve ... .

Sunday, 17 April 2011


   Just a photo I came across ...  It shows the beginnings of one of my many pond paintings...  I  really like the energy and ...  focus of it.  It went on to be a painting that sold in a solo show I had in Bath a couple of years ago!  

Thursday, 14 April 2011


I have been working in my studio today - and when I was doing the ritual dance of sorting out my outdoor palette, indoor palette and generally rearrange things, music on the bose ( Joan Baez, David Bowie Van Morrisson and Leonard Cohen are the ones I remember ) and thought 'How happy I am'  ... I love being in my studio and ....  I am so lucky.  Here are some pictures  that I took in the 
winter - you can see the bubble wrap insulation on the windows...

Here is my palette ..... I use old kitchen worktops - white melamine is something I found out about from an artist boyfriend!  it makes sense to use white if you are painting on a white surface after all ....

Here is my 'desk' with images of William Mills - a painter I very much admire, my paint store, CD's and bose, glasses ( several pairs) a painting I like of mine - Crab apples and Cosmos - of our garden 18 months ago ... a sculpture of mine awaiting repair .....   canvas pliers ( which I also use to squeeze out the last bit of paint )  etc etc....

Here is a painting of Melbury I did from Mayo Farm ....maybe 30 years ago... I wish I could paint like that now!   I am still trying to find out how to express what I feel about the hill.....  

Tomorrow I will put up photos of the painting I have nearly finished - if all goes well that is!   I feel very fortunate to have a place to go that I look forward to ... even at those times when painting is difficult I feel happy here, it is a good place to be!   Like this magic corner of Dorset - I count my blessings...  

Monday, 11 April 2011


   One of my step-daughters, Rebecca, sunbathing in the cottage in Sutherland about  15 years ago.....   

   Gideon and Raphael, ready for bed reading a story .... they are now 33 and 31 (two of my three sons).

                Self portrait with roll-up, from the days when I was still fagging it!

             Robert in India - about 10 years ago!

    Melissa - a little girl I think I drew by the hotel pool in Turkey.....

  Sujata, a woman I was great friends with whilst we did an 'Art of Loving' ( Eric Fromm)  course at Monkton Wyld  - sadly we lost touch, but I will try and contact her now I found this drawing from ...  20 years ago.   

I so love drawing and finding these - and there are many others ready to be scanned and posted - just reminds me.  How much is captured in a drawing that a photograph just cannot do .....  it is the action of the hand across the paper, the eye and hand.   I always think that is where humans are at our best.  Eye hand and brain, together, whether it is drawing or making pastry, gardening or sewing.... it is what makes us healthy.  Well that is what I think!


.....  or painting with impish kittens .....  this is Muriel and she was determined to sit on my lap - or my palette.   She was rather put out when I stood up to work!

I think I said before that I always work best standing up - something to do with the energy!     

 SPRING IN THE ORCHARD   60 x 60 cm  oil/canvas  

This is the first time this year I have got my things outside - except for France of course!   It seems to take a while to remember how to organise myself - longer each spring!   I remember going out painting in the winter - painting the River Mole near Leatherhead and my boy friend of  the time anchoring my easel with rope to a brick to stop the wind blowing it away....  the canvas like a sail and turps spilling all over the palette!   My days of outward bound painting are over!   

But there is nothing like painting in the landscape and yesterday was a real gift -there were Chiffchaffs in the tree I was painting .....  and the swallows and woodpeckers .....  wonderful.   And then a good friend called round and we went for an evening walk.  What bliss!

Monday, 4 April 2011


I had a telephone call from someone who had seen my paintings on my  website and wanted to buy a present for her boyfriend. She liked these pictures from a holiday we had in Goa and India some years ago.....  It is long enough ago for me to feel I really like the pictures and the way I painted them.   I think I may put them in the  Solo Show I am planning for the summer

Women from Karnataka 34 x 36"  oil/canvas

                Tirquoise Doorway  60 x 48cm   oil/canvas

    Flag Day Ooty  22 x 28"  oil/canvas

   Street Scene Ooty 14 x 24" oil/canvas

   Family fishing  24 x 36"  oil/canvas

    Street Musicians  II  12 x 15" oil/canvas


Martell Vineyard   25 x 35 cm  oil/canvas

This is the Martel Vineyard from the last post ....    remember it was unfinished ?  well here it is ... not sure if it is finished or not.  I plan to do more about this ... bigger and more energetic and lively .....

 Blossom and vines near Ruffec....  30 x 60 cm.    Another picture from the last week in the Charente..

I have hope for a crop of really exciting new paintings ....   the ideas are still there and I have my sketches and photos to work from!

Flowers under vines  25 x 35cm  
Ah at last - this is moving towards what I want ....  not there yet!  But there is hope!