Blog Archive

Tuesday 7 May 2024

Pictures at the Exhibition and Gelli Printing workshops.

 Here are some of the pictures I had on the wall at 10 Albert Terrace for The Saltaire Art's Trail 2024.

It was a lovely positive experience and I had some great conversations with people who were enthusiastic about my work.   It's easy to lose your self confidence when you're working alone, in the studio. But..... I think I feel more comfortable with myself after this weekend!  I sold some, which is great, and covered the ever increasing cost of framing.  A friend sent a picture of an artwork, already up on their kitchen wall.  Great to know people are enjoying my work!

 I had a few conversations with people who are interested in gelli printing workshops, and stupidly, didn't collect email addresses.  So is the place to tell me if you are interested.  

Thursday 2 May 2024

Marsh Flowers

 I've been on a few great walks round Malham Tarn.  It's an unusual mossy raised bog next to the, also unusual glacial lake, which is one of only eight alkaline lakes in the UK.  The water doesn't sink into the ground because during the ice-age, the glacier scraped away the rock right down to the slate, which is impermeable.  This has created a great habitat for lots of plants you wouldn't really see.  I went early March and could see the lovely moss growing, lots of really interesting lichen around and the beginnings of new growth.  I need to go again, next week probably, so I can check out the progress of these lovely flowers.  

Anyhoo.... I am showing some of the drawings that I have made in response to this place at the Saltaire Arts Trail this weekend.  I shall be in 10 Albert Terrace, Saltaire on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. 4/5/6 May.  10-5.   They'll be LONG days so do drop in and chat and maybe have a bit of lemon drizzle cake and a cup of tea.

Last summer the Marsh cinquefoil, Bog asphodel and the Bogbean was in abundance.  There are so many other plants, but you can't draw everything!  This summer I might concentrate on some of the other plants that are there.  

Here is a page or two from my sketchbook. 

And here again is the advert on Instagram for my location:

Monday 15 April 2024

Couple of things coming up.

 27th April I will be at The People Powered Press in Saltaire for Heritage Print Experience Day.  You can pop in and have a go at Letterpress (on the largest letterpress in the country), lino printing (with Koot) and gelli printing with me.

On May 4th/5th/6th I will be at 10 Albert Terrace in Saltaire, as part of the Saltaire Art's Trail.  I shall be showing some monoprints and would love people to come and say hello.  I've been working on some new prints, mainly inspired by my walks around the Yorkshire Dales, which I am very lucky to have on my doorstep.  Well, at least not far away!!  Hopefully Spring will be in full throttle and we will have lovely sunshine on the days that we are open.  I will be showing with another artist, so lots to see. 

Sunday 11 February 2024


Just seen this article on the wonderful Marginalian.  

Comparison is bad!  I'm looking forward to the dandelions... it's a sure sign Spring is here and the days are getting lighter.  I'm happy the sun is shining today!  

Tuesday 21 November 2023

Waters of March


I did this a while ago.  I haven't quite known what to do with it as it was very long and thin, but I have bitten the bullet and decided to cut it and frame it up.  I'm quite pleased with it for now.  I needed something I hadn't shown before to put into The Apothecary Gallery's Christmas show.  

This work is referencing the end of the Thames Esturary, around where it meets the North sea.  Years ago I was looking at another estuary on the West coast.   Now I live as far away from the sea as it's possible to get in the UK!!  Still, I have friends near the coast and can travel.  

I loved the song Waters of March by Antonio Carlos Jobim.  I felt it encapsulated that flooded area where the river meets the sea.  Where seaweed caught up in the plants that were growing on the the edges, along with scraps of pottery, usually marmalade pots from a local producer.  I am talking in the past tense here, not sure why because I still love the song and have a playlist of many different people singing this song.  

I was in my studio yesterday, feeling a bit downcast. Didn't like any of the work I was doing.  It didn't seem to be working.  I have just been again and the very act of framing up that pic has cheered me up and the drawing I did yesterday doesn't look so bad after all.  Amazing what a difference a day makes, and a bit of sunshine.  It's been raining for so long, I feel we'll all be flooded soon.  

Wednesday 6 September 2023

“Go out and walk. That is the glory of life.” (Maira Kalman)


At the end of May, Ruth and myself went to visit the Cyprus School of Art, with the idea that we would used their studios and concentrate on a bit of drawing and making art.  It wasn't the most positive experience I have had, I have to say.  Although of course, we made the best of it. Cyprus is a really interesting country and there is a lot to see.  The mosaics are absolutely amazing, the colours and the tiles still intact and beautiful.   

Morning Glory was out at the time.... this was early June. (Although my garden version is only just flowering in September).  Lemba the local village was covered in it!  We went down into the valley and the tangled branches and old tendrils of morning glory festooned the path.  I started drawing it.  I was determined that I would draw something completely different from usual and that I would move away from focussing on individual flowers or small views.  

So I took some of last years dried plants and brought them back to the studio and put them on the wall and looked.  As I looked, it started to look like a map of some sort.  Even more so when I studied the drawings.  It's been over two months since I was there, and it's only now that I'm thinking of where I can take this.   I liked my mad drawing and can definitely see that there is something there.  I have also been on quite a lot of walks lately.  Walks in the Dales and walks around Leeds City Centre (with work).  My step count is quite high and I'm always looking at maps!!

I've also been doing a bit of research and have found that I need to read Wanderlust by Rebecca Solnit
for one.  Also Maira Kalman (title of this piece) who The Marginalian describes as the Patron Saint of Walking.  

Obviously I couldn't resist looking at the plant a little more intently.  The blossoms come out in the morning and by late afternoon they are done.  Leaving little tubes of delight.  

Forest walk. Entangled.

Friday 18 August 2023

Life on Mars. Life as it was.


I've been watching Life on Mars. Ages old, I thought it was quite recent but no.. 2006. That's nearly 20 years ago. Anyway, of course I started thinking about what I would be thinking if I was taken right back to 1973.  Back then, we thought that it was modern times. A couple of years ago, I taught students who were so young they thought the 70/80s were 'when everything was brown'.  I think I know what they meant.  It was all a bit brown.  But then the 80s! That was PINK!

I miss the 70s. Or at least some of it.  I didn't do well in the 70s, particularly.  I made some great friends though. Some of whom I still know.  I did terribly at school. It bored me. The music was great. I was lacking in self respect. I gained a foul mouth. It's always done me proud though. So. If I was thrown back to 1973, I wonder what the result would be?  I would love to go back with my now, amaaaazing view on the world.  I would be erudite and interesting and know absolutely everything in Physics.  I would treat blokes with utter disrespect, as they deserve.  Or else I wouldn't put up with the misogyny.  I wouldn't go out with any of them. Gaslighting bastards!! 

Anyway.... I wrote this after a couple of glasses of wine. I thought I would add to it. I have a nice story about me and 70s music!  In 1973 I was 15.  I loved Marc Bolan and Michael Jackson, although I think I was growing out of him by then.  I also liked Donny Osmond, but of course that isn't cool is it?!  I'm not going to pretend that my first single was Life on Mars by David Bowie, because it wasn't and I don't believe anyone who says it was.  Anyhoo.... digression!  We had family friends called David and Grace, Tim and Phil and we would often go and visit them, usually on a Saturday evening for a meal.  This is where I first ate spaghetti!  It really wasn't a thing in our house in the 70s.  Neither was garlic 😏 

One Saturday night David and Grace gave me 5 L.P's. they didn't want.  They were: James Taylor - Mud Slide Slim, Carol King - Tapestry, Carol King - Music, Neil Young - After the Gold Rush and Joni Mitchell - Blue.  Need I say anything else?  That was me from then on.  I still pinch myself.  


Monday 1 May 2023

Wilful Dispersal


It's nearly here and I will be spending the next week finishing and framing.  I've called the exhibition Wilful Dispersal, because I have drawn seed heads and dandelions. And I think we can agree that dandelions disperse.  The dandelions are out at the moment in my garden.  I love the bright yellow and so do the bees.  Dandelions are also out in the autumn, so that the bees have something to feed on at the end of summer.  

I get a bit over excited in early Spring.  The flowers start to come up and often I have forgotten what was planted where, so it's always a nice surprise. Even in my new garden!  Pulmanaria (lungwort) is a great early spring flower.  It starts off pink or blue and  the flowers change colour as they mature, so there are often pink and blue flowers on the same plant.  The leaves are spotty too, so that adds interest to the spring garden.  At the moment the garden is mostly yellow and blue, what with the lungwort, the forget-me-nots and the dandelions.  I should cut the lawn but I am loving the yellow, so it can wait. 

I always like a mallow, and I have included them in this exhibition.    They are truly the flowers of high summer.  You can rely on them to be alongside footpaths, on wild and rough ground and on roadside verges.  I've noticed they are often there with common mustard and the pink and yellow compliment each other no end!  Something I have just this minute learned: The French word for mallow is 'mauve', which is where we get the word for the colour mauve from.  
Thanks to the Wildlife Trust for that snippet. 

So now I am thinking of titles for my monotypes.  It's nice to have thought about the title. I like to hint at a story, or maybe inspire you to look it up and wonder why I have called it such a name.  

Tomorrow I will add some images. Otherwise.... come to the Apothecary Gallery in Thornton.  It's in Market Street which is famous for being the birthplace of the Brontes.  

Tuesday 4 April 2023

Exhibition coming up @apothecarygallery in Thornton. Opening Friday May 5th. Quick catch up.

What is it with getting work together for an exhibition that makes me think I should cancel it immediately and what on earth was I thinking?!  It will be alright on the night, as they say!  What everybody needs to know is that it is opening on Friday May 5th at 6 pm.  There will be wine.  It's at the Apothecary Gallery in Thornton.  I will be posting further news over the next month. 

Dandelions feature alot in my work and have for a while. They are important in Autumn and early Spring.  This is when the joyful yellow flowers appear, making sure the early and last bees have food. 

I have, today, ordered some box frames for my new prints which are on a very delicate paper. 

Anyway ..... Works In Progress (#wip on instagram) and I'm going  to be working very hard over the next couple of weeks to tie some ends together and get some new works framed up.  

Tuesday 7 March 2023

Everyday the sky is different.

 "There are a thousand things I can see! .............These simple little things are unbelievably rich.  A lot of people have forgotten that but you can remind them".

I'd like to talk about David Hockney!  To be honest, I hadn't really paid that much attention to Hockney, although he's hard to avoid if you have any interest in art at all!  I'd been to exhibitions in London, but as usual with big named artists, it was a frustrating experience.  Always too full of people to see anything and just annoying!  It was the same with Vincent (great Sunflowers) and more recently, with Cezanne.   

Now that I am in Bradford, I can see Hockney's morning, noon and night if I want to. (Some in Bradford can be a bit snotty about Hockney "There are other artists from Bradford, you know...") I am lucky to live near Saltaire, where there is a big collection.  Last summer I had the absolute joy to see Hockney's Spring Cannot be Cancelled at Salts Mill.  I loved it so much that I went about 6 times.  I did have a lot of visitors and they were always enthusiastic.  The thing about David Hockney is that he is joyful.  Happy to be alive and it shows in this 295ft work.  

I've just read Spring Cannot be Cancelled by David Hockney and Martin Gayford.  I had it for Christmas and read it through the dark days of winter.  It gave me hope and inspiration, both for my own practice and that spring would, indeed, not be cancelled and it was coming!!  

(Having said that, I write on March 7th and the forecast is for heavy snow 😀)

Of course, Salts Mill itself is amazing.  Look at the length of this room and this isn't the longest.  At the time Hockney was in Normandy, and stayed there to follow the seasons and draw all of them.  It's all there.  The winter trees, the buds, the blossom, the rain, the fruit trees, the hayrolls, the autumn and round again.  

The book is a conversation between Hockney and Martin Gayford.  "An uplifting manifesto that affirms art's capacity to divert and inspire". 

Here is a quote that I particularly loved: 
"...We have lost touch with nature, rather foolishly as we are a part of it, not outside it.  This will in time be over and then what?  What have we learned? I am almost 83 years old, I will die. The cause of death is birth.  The only realy things in life are food and love, in that order, just like our little dog Ruby, I really believe this and the source of art is love.  I love life". 

Who you calling common?

Who you calling common?

starling sketches

starling sketches
Ongoing work...waiting for a breakthrough!

The Waters of March

The Waters of March

It's the joy in my heart.

It's the joy in my heart.

Collected Items

Collected Items
the broken, the wrinkled and the uneven