Sunday, 28 October 2018

Christmas Sale

* * * * * * * * * *

It's become a tradition that every Christmas I have a sale in my cottage, inviting everyone to come along, grab a bargain painting, jewellery or other gift item and at the same time enjoy a glass of delicious mulled wine.

Because my cottage is ridiculously small, and more than 6 visitors at a time can cause a jam, I've decided to hire the exhibition room at St Ives Arts Club to hold it there.  This is the poster for the event and I'd like to add that on the opening Saturday and Sunday there will indeed still be mulled wine on offer for anyone who'd like to come along and say hello.

There is also be quite a few 'not seen before' paintings and textile pieces that I have been storing at home and have decided to let go as I truly am running out of space!

It'd be lovely it you could come along and join me
... see you there!

* * * * * * * * * *

Monday, 27 August 2018


My goodness, it's been an incredibly long time since I last blogged.  I'm not sure there's still anyone out there willing to read my latest ramblings, but just in case, I just wanted to share this project I've been working on the last couple of days and to explain the back story....

On Friday night I went to a gig at the Acorn in Penzance of an artist I'd never heard of before to be honest - PHIL KING. My husband came across him and bought us tickets.  It turned out to be a small and intimate evening of wonderful music and lyrics - just one very charismatic young man and his guitar.

(Sorry, about the rubbish photo I took of the poster up on the wall)

During one his chats between songs, Phil told this story of having been to the concert of one of his heroes, Ray Lamontagne when he noticed that he was offering his used guitar strings for sale - and that someone was actually prepared to buy them for 50 quid.

So, almost as a joke, Phil decided to offer his strings at the end of his gigs, and to his surprise, when he announced this, a bidding war started amongst the audience.  The bidding started at the back of the hall with the offer of a pack of peanuts! That first set of strings was exchanged for 2 packets of peanuts, a scone, pint of beer and cup of tea!

Then only the previous night in Totnes, a large burly bloke offered to buy Phil's guitar strings for £20 as a love token for his partner.

As Phil was telling this amusing story my mind went into overdrive.  I just knew I HAD to have tonights strings as an idea for an artwork was forming in my mind and kept growing and growing.  I almost had trouble concentrating on his beautiful songs as I was convinced someone else would beat me to it and I so wanted to create the painting in my mind.

But I was lucky.  The strings were mine for the princely sum of £15 and I couldn't wait for the next day to start work in my studio.

The beautifully crafted cover for Phil's CD sparked off many of the ideas I wanted to incorporate.

The choice of colour way.

The album's title 'The Wreckage'.

The gorgeous letterpress typography used on the cover.

The silhouettes of birds too....

This was my first step - painting the canvas.

The top of the canvas has a small printing tray attached to it that I bought recently.  I knew this was the perfect painting to use it with!  It's been painted with acrylics and has metal type attached together with a feather that I'd weirdly found on the floor of my studio the afternoon before going to the concert.

The most important element of course is the guitar strings which Phil wound together for me after detaching them from his guitar.

These are pretty much as they were when I unfurled them.

They're attached with hand stitches and wrapped with painted muslin.

And here's the final piece:

I have to say, I'm really pleased with how it's turned out and just knew I had to take the time to share the process and record it for me too.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Video of my Sketchbook

I recently sent for a new gadget that allows me to do a 'hands free' video whilst I'm painting, demonstrating etc.  Today I decided to finally set it up at my studio table to film the contents of my most recent sketchbook that I've just finished:

I decided against talking the whole way through the video, but think I might possibly do that next time.  What I hadn't expected was for it to take the next 3 hours to work out how to load the video properly onto social media!  The original film was flipped sidewards and it took ages and lots of googling and swearing and app installing to finally get it sorted.

But I really enjoyed it and so I think this could be the start of a whole lot of video posting!

You'll see on the video that there is a number 37 on the spine of my sketchbook.  Well, as you can see from this photo, I have rather a lot of them.  It has always been my way of working to always have a 'sketchbook' on the go - although they are part ideas books; part sketchbook; part diary of things I'm doing and places I've been; and partly somewhere to scrape off leftover paint from my palette when I finish a painting session.  They are worked chronologically and go back over 20 years.  

Whenever I have a solo exhibition of my work I like to have a few on display for visitors to look at - partly to show how my paintings and mixed media work evolves, but also to encourage people to have a go at creating an exciting, bulging sketchbook for themselves.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Where Has The Time Gone?!...

My goodness me, I hadn't realised it'd been so long since I posted something!

It's been a busy couple of months teaching lots of lovely workshops in my garden studio, but I've also been working hard producing new work for Back Road Artworks and also the St Ives Society of Artists where paintings have been selling..

I'll have a look in my photos and post a picture of a new work that has sold... it's been a busy time and I've loved every minute of it

And this is a painting, 'Dark Blue Grid', that I've had for a little while that I really loved, but has now gone to a new home.

I promise it won't be so long until I post again....

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Work In Progress

I've finally had some quality time down in my lovely new studio, finishing off work that has been sitting on the side 'waiting for that final touch' and starting new pieces.  Quite often when I'm teaching a Mixed Media Abstract day school at home, the sample that I work on with my students turns out to be a piece that can go on to be a final painting, good enough for framing.

This is one I produced on a workshop with the lovely Nicola Fisher this week.  I was demonstrating using textured papers to form an interesting ground and then working into it with various mixed media.  I quite liked it, but felt I wanted to lighten the whole painting.

And this is how it is at the moment. 
I shall sit with it a little while and decide whether to alter it further.  I quite like the calmness of it and the very muted palette... we shall see!

Saturday, 3 June 2017


It's been a busy month with lots of folk coming to spend the day doing various workshops - from Making Artists Books, to Concertina Books and Mixed Media Painting.  It's such a joy teaching in my new workshop which is warm and sunny and stuffed to the brim with all my artwork and collections of 'things'!  

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

And Tomorrow's June!!

My goodness me how time flies!  At the beginning of the year I promised myself I'd write my blog more regularly - particularly as not everyone is on Facebook and able to follow my new work and ideas on that forum.  Well here we are and in a couple of hours time it's going to be June for goodness sake!  Where does the time go?  Is it because it's been so busy with things going on on many levels the last few months?... or is it because I'm getting older and time just seems to evaporate?

Anyway, a photograph... 
I've decided to post a photo of a painting that is currently on show in the Members' Exhibition at the St Ives Society of Artists.  It's only just come back to my studio again, having been painted a few years ago.  

I started this large and highly textured canvas painting some years ago on a workshop led by the inimitable Anthony Frost.  It was originally painted with brightly coloured reds, florescent pinks and yellows.  It looked gorgeous, but just wasn't 'me'.  So I later over painted it with white and very pale blue grey acrylics, but the underlying colours still peaked through in places and I just loved the new version.  

It's been hanging in my kitchen in our large house on The Terrace since then - but we sold the house this month and so I'm delighted to be able to take it back again and show it in public.

It's title? 
(very aptly) "Red Frost Now White"

Monday, 20 March 2017

Wymers & Co

My sister Lyn Wymer has recently opened a new shop in Witney which is just a wonderful place to visit.  It's hard to describe really, but Lyn is passionate about all things wool and fleece and she is an expert spinner.  So this is a dream come true for her - to have a wonderful space (designed by talented son James) that is devoted to fleece and wool, where she can work; teach workshops; sell specialist yarns; and pass on her wonderful knowledge.  It really is a feast for the eye and has attracted enormous interest already for passersby.

I will post more photos when I'm visiting again myself next month.  But in the meantime, Lyn is displaying a few of my paintings in the shop and this is a new one I did specially.... can you spot the bit of fleece that's in there?

Wymers & Co
14A West End, Witney, Oxfordshire
01993 402468

Sunday, 26 February 2017

My 2017 Workshops

Fresh from the printers... my new leaflet giving details of the workshops I will be offering this year.   Some of them are new and I'm also offering a couple of half days too.
I'm really looking forward to some creative and sharing teaching sessions in my beautiful new studio at the bottom of the garden.  Photos of this will follow shortly!

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

St Ives Society of Artists

It's great news that I've been accepted as a member of the St Ives Society of Artists and currently have three paintings in their member's exhibition which opened on Saturday.  

The painting below has one of my favourite quotes in it:
"Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places 
where other people see nothing".

It's a very exciting time to join SISA.  In recent years they have been raising funds for major repair work that has been needed for the roof and fabric of the building and this was finally achieved last year.  There is a very positive energy about the whole place at the moment with lots of plans and projects for the future and I'm delighted to be able to be a part of it.

I was also asked if I'd like to show some of my jewellery... so there are some lovely new pieces on display.

Friday, 20 January 2017

This week I have been mostly....

This week has been a bit of a strange one.  I'd promised myself to keep the diary clear for the first three days at least so that I could have some uninterrupted time in my new garden studio and start to some new work.  I have so many ideas buzzing around in my head, and so many projects on the go.

Well, that worked brilliantly on Monday.  I put Coldplay on the CD player, did a bit of tidying and sorting and finally got to get the paints out.  I decided to alter a painting that I had on the wall next to me that was finished last year, and had been framed, and been in an exhibition - and yet every time I looked at it, it didn't feel right.  So I set about changing in and I'm finally delighted with the result.

It's called "All That Glistens" 
and I think if you scroll down the postings below you'll find the original version before I altered it.

Sadly, it all went downhill from there.  Tuesday and Wednesday unexpected things cropped up that I had to attend to and sort out and somehow my studio time just eroded.  I also realised that I had a lot of admin work that I'd been ignoring and needed sorting out and that until that was finally tackled I couldn't really relax and be creative.
I'm nearly there... one more day of bashing the computer and sorting the accounts and I should be ready for a fabulous creative time in the studio next week!

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

The End of the Exhibition...

My solo exhibition 'Homecoming' at Chipping Norton Theatre has been a success in so many ways.  Since it was the first time I'd had a show in Oxfordshire since moving to St Ives in 2000 it was a wonderful opportunity to contact all my old customers, friends and contacts and invite them to come along - or simply remind them that I'm still out there... working away... and now have a stylish website where they can see all my new work.

The pantomime at Chipping Norton is one of the best in the country and over the Christmas period it has a huge footfall of people coming through.  But would they take time to come and look at the work in the gallery?  They did!  I've sold a lot of paintings; had a great feedback from people;  and had good coverage in the local papers and on social media.
 So I'm glad I made the decision to commit to doing an exhibition over 18 months ago.


Today I drove up to Witney to stay with my sister, and tomorrow I go over the theatre to take the remaining work down and away with me to Cornwall.

This is one of the large canvases coming home with me.  It was only finished just in time to be included in the exhibition and I think I might live with it in my cottage for a while before putting down at Back Road Artworks for sale.  It makes me smile.