Within these five walls

…as I sit in my gallery for the Somerset Arts Weeks 2015 exhibition. The shape of the room and the different areas of paintings gives me at least five areas of work. As they’re in different media and styles they sometimes need to be kept well apart from each other.

Then there is the work of my colleague and friend Sheila Jones though on the whole her silk paintings harmonize pretty well  with my work.

So here I am surrounded by my ‘stuff’:

In the cider barn gallery, Spring Farm, Moorlinch

In the cider barn gallery, Spring Farm, Moorlinch

The ‘Field and Moor’ series has more then usually vibrant colours that sit happily with Sheila’s butterfly wing designs:

colourscape: scarves and pictures

colourscape: scarves and pictures

Even bolder, and definitely corralled on another wall are two collages and mixed media flower pictures: Holly hocks and Poppies, plus a painting of Sweet peas:

Hollyhocks, Poppies and Sweetpeas

Hollyhocks, Poppies and Sweetpeas

Sandwiched between  the two bright painting walls comes a restrained black and white collection, drawings made in Troutbeck, near Ambleside, in the Lake District:

By the postbox i, 2, and 3, and other buildings

By the postbox i, 2, and 3, and other buildings

Just a couple of walls to go: new work from ‘just around the corner’: barns at Spring Farm, and Swans and Pollarded Willows down on the Somerset levels:

Ferguson Tractor - 'Hidden Trasure' in the barn, assorted barns

Ferguson Tractor – ‘Hidden Trasure’ in the barn, assorted barns

Dancing Trees, Fishing nets ion la Rance, Quantock Ponies and Glastonbury Abbey

Dancing Trees, Fishing nets ion la Rance, Quantock Ponies and Glastonbury Abbey

And that’s it: walled in. Quite enjoyably, actually!





The Edge of the Meadow

I’ve been out on our Somerset Hill doing a bit of painting this summer, and I confess I haven’t posted about that (yet) but the theme was reinforced last week by a stay at Cropton Forest Lodge near Pickering in Yorkshire. I didnt have to leave tthe house, much less climb a hill, as the meadow was there under my nose in the appropriately named Meadow’s  Edge Cottage. I’ve just poetically tweaked the name. It was fascinating to try to record the interface between the gorgeous tumbling wilderness and the more uniform mounds of cut hay. The hay was fluffed up a couple of times (yes, I know it was a Tedder – or a Haybob, I do live in the country!) during the week as it got somewhat damp, so I won’t say every wisp of hay is accurately recorded:



During one of these dampish periods I also sat indoors and looked out at the little courtyard garden:



What’s more, I’ve taken some photos to help towards what is becoming (I suppose) a series:’ the House in the Woods’. This was an apparently deserted tumbledown farm with about twenty pairs of eyes gazing impassively at me from the cats that occupied every nook. More on that later…

Flood tourism

OK -guilty (of flood tourism). I’ve just taken a turn a few miles down the A361 to Burrowbridge and I wasn’t the only photographer there! You have to gather your material when and where you find it I suppose. Earlier posts show quite a lot of flooding in my work – you could say it’s part of where I live. My excuse also is that friends form all over (even from New Zealand) ring to ask if we’re all right and ‘What’s it like?’

The Bridge is barely ‘over troubled waters’:


Bridge nearly under troubled water

I’ve never seen a more obvious siteDSCF4534 resized for a protest message!

This is the A361 just the other side of the bridge:


And on the bridge I met Ravi and his colleague from Slough:

DSCF4521 resizedRavi (Ravinder Singh) has come to help out, and has rung mates from Birmingham too. He’s been helping evacuate residents and is the founder and CEO of Halsa Aid, an organisation that seems to have the aim or tackling disasters anywhere. ‘We’re not used to needing it here’, he says ‘But people everywhere need the welcome, and the warmth of someone helping out.’  Cheerfully he gave me his card with the motto ‘Recognise the whole human race as one’.  ( http://www.khalsaAid.org )

Sticks and stones

Not a post about insults, but about my Beach which I first talked about on the Spring Farm Arts site. It’s outside my front door and it all started when we had all the weeds and undergrowth cleared and had stones put down. As soon as I walked on them they reminded me of scrunching along on Sidmouth beach as a child

fossils and stones from the IOW

fossils and stones from the IOW

DSCF2920 resizedDSCF1323 resized

...with added artists for an artcle about a summer open weekend at Spring Farm

…with added artists for an artcle about a summer open weekend at Spring Farm


I gradually went about increasing the Sea-side Effect, particularly with a Somerset Willow Lobster pot, and a wonderful anchor and chain – an amazing birthday present last year from daughter Nancy.

Obviously I’ve planted sea-holly and thrift, The seaweed from last year’s Scottish holiday is looking a bit crunchy though.

I tend to go to yacht chandlers rather than garden centres for my accessories now, and I have two marvellous pieces of rope from Yarmouth, on the Isle of Wight (also some fossils from a fascinating fossil walk with Felicity. Wow – what alliteration!). I’m not yet sure how to present them…

I’ve collected up most of the pieces of driftwood, stones and shell that have been lurking in bowls and baskets all over the house, the product of years of not being able to not pick things up on beaches.

And the great thing is, when I’m even more into my dotage I shall be able to go beachcombing from my own front door, delighting in finding again all the interesting stones and pretty shell I’d forgotten I put there!