Back to Normal

Well, the new normal anyway, Getting stressed about Somerset Arts Week 2021 and since it’s 2 years since I did anything such as email myart contacts, getting pictures framed, printing posters and labels – oh lordy! it’s taken me an hour and a half just to log in!

And now I remember that it’s all changed…

Half an hour later – found out again how you get the pictures uploaded! So that’s words and pictures.

So over the last couple of years, there have been 3 phases in what I could grandly call ‘my work’.

The first was when I ran away to Devon to stay with my sister when the first lockdown began: my Devon phase; then, earlier this year I got to grips with an idea I’d been playing with for 3 years – a dogblog based on looking after City dog Carson in the depths of the countryside. Finally, there’s a hotchpotch of new local pictures some done for a couple of exhibitions held under lockdown conditions that I didn’t even visit.

So here’s a selection of Devon pictures:

Next we feature Carson:

And Gem who looks on at his antics :

Finally back to the real(ish) world:

The Last Post…

…I produced was a year-and-a-half ago and in so many ways came from a different world. Personally I’ve been trying to adapt to living alone : my dearest husband died very early in 2020. He was spared the madness and angst of what followed soon afterwards, having had to put up with plenty of less widespread difficulties.

I now have the exhilarating company of Anne’s Best Friend: Petra, now 10 months who, among other blessings, provided me with a subject for my 2020 Christmas card.

card 1 (3)

Petra has been the focus of most of my recent artistic efforts, as I chronicle our challenge on Facebook. She submits Petra’s post  and I practice my ipad drawing skills to illustrate  her adventures! This painting was however done in the old-fashioned way with watercolour on paper.

A year gone – again!



Yes, Somerset Artweeks again, with most of the necessary info  shown on the poster I created to put in the pub. And indeed it’s probably even wonkier than the image here: hard to get a drawing pin into the oak pillars of a traditional English pub. So thanks to Clive and Trish at the Ring O’Bell, Moorlinch for their ongoing support

The four pictures represent an ambitious attempt to feature the sections of a panorama from the top of Knoll Hill where you can, I hope, see that the images read from side to side and also up and down.  I have had to use a bit of artistic licence for the bottom two, moving a few posts and plants but it feels right to me, anyway.

Last day reflections

Here  I am with a couple of hours of Somerset Art Weeks to go. I’m fairly pleased with visitor numbers and sales. I have not been idle in the slack times either. It’s been a brilliant opportunity – shut up with an ipad for company – to try out some e-drawing.

I went on a course a few weeks ago given by Alison Jacobs, a local artist who is Somerset’s answer to David Hockney, with an awesome mastery of drawing on an ipad.

We downloaded several apps and tried out techniques but I didn’t feel I’d really put what we learned into practice. And if you don’t keep using computer stuff you forget. Well, I do!

I took a photo of Carson my holiday dog, one of many taken over his Somerset holidays. He writes a dogblog on facebook when he’s staying in Moorlincgh, so I was spoilt for choice.



Then I messed around with 5 different apps, my finger and I stylus I bought, and dozens of different techniques. Here we go:

FullSizeRender ipad 5IMG_0964 ipad 2IMG_0965 ipad 1IMG_0966 ipad 3IMG_0967 ipad 4



So – a work in progress! Might consider trying a graphic novel (comic ?) one of these years!

Only one hour to go now…

Fun with crayons

I’ve really been enjoying using the neocolor II watersoluble crayons – previously they were part of my ‘touching up’ battery of stuff to deploy at the end of a painting when (OK, it happens) things haven’t gone according to plan.But I have some new work for Somerset ArtWeeks ( an alarmingly short time hence) where I chose them from the beginning for their vibrant, lively look, and they seem to work well with more ‘man-made’ shapes.

The sailing boats were at a local regatta at Durleigh, while the other two were based on architecture at the stunning Wells Cathedral. The large picture I fancifully call ‘Forest of Stone’ because the tall column and slimmer pillars reminded me of a spreading tree.

British Wildlife

I suppose that sort of covers my greetings cards subjects these days – I have done the odd Polar Bear and some Highland cattle (not really usually wild, are they). And sheep and ponies – do they count? I have tried to add a new specimen annually as a Christmas card. So this year, having dallied a while with otters I finally settled on badgers and I will have the cards at my Somerset Art Weeks Open Studios 2019 exhibition (number 22).badgers - 18 14 001 resized

Last Christmas I branched out into coasters, although getting the subjects to form a nice square was challenging!

2019 (1)creative christmas 2

And here’s an otter anyway! Cute – but not Christmassy?P1070228 otter square

Holiday sketching…

…always gives me a problem. I always want to do more than I’ve got the time to do stuff and I’ve always got more stuff than I’ll ever use. So Last month when we were lucky enough to be staying in a Cotswold Cottage with loads of potential drawings on the spot. I tried to develop a simpler and, dare I say it, more disciplined approach.

I was armed only with a tiny paintbox , a mediumish kind of  brush and a pot of water (not a collection of two dozen tubes of paint and a massive palette), a stick of g.raphite and a stick of Derwent graphitone which is water soluble.

Right! I said: 10 minutes’ drawing, ten minutes’ sloshing some washes around, and ten minutes’ stengthening the lines and tones.  Here are some results:P1070682P1070683


And I resisted the temptation to carry on fiddling. My next effort, further afield, didn’t stand up too well to the ‘your time is up’ approach – more ambitious I suppose:P1070685

Anyway, when I got home I went out on the nature reserve (Shapwick Heath) and had another go. I painted the cattle first, as they were on the move, and by the time the half-hour was up, they were nowhere to be seen!


Anyway, an approach worth persisting with, I think. A race against the clock is a great aid to simplification!



The Artist’s year

The artist’s year  is a bit of a muddle. Hard to get outside in the cold beginnings of the year but the two monthly magazines I draw for still need something seasonal to put on their pages. I scour old sketchbooks for inspiration. For February found a drawing of a hellebore and some ‘parked up’ wheelbarrows (which came in very useful later…)

Then for March there was the gift of the red super blue moon – not sure those adjectives are in the right order – from a quick early morning snapshot. And a few moments snatched outside the hall during one Wednesday morning Art Sessions gave me the rooftops.



The next task was more far-reaching: fill in the entry from for Somerset Art Weeks in September, and select an image. So I swiftly worked on a couple of animal pictures that might also serve as my Christmas card (even further away), some gorgeous tractor ruts and, yes, had another go at the wheelbarrows. Then I cropped them all to more or less the right size (tiny) for the brochure and conducted a poll in the pub and the Art Group for the most effective:


Yes – the wheelbarrows won! And meanwhile, that’s a start made on the 2019 Calendar. Where did that year go?