Tulip Art workshop


Yesterday was a great Art for the soul day, painting almost non stop for 3 hours in a lovely Studio gallery location in the buzzing Hertfordshire market town of Hitchin. I have never painted in Oils before and found them quite a challenge but I will get mine out at home now because they are such a tactile, vibrant medium. I love them. I hope you enjoy my painting. I tried to capture the light and different colours in a photo of the ‘black tulip.

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In the presence of trees


It has been a wet, autumnal day. I set off this morning with my dogs through a local woodland. It was dark and dripping raindrops which splattered on the leaf mold and moss filled floor. I could see beauty in tiny pools of water collected in large leaves which reflected the tree canopy and the charcoal sky: the woodland creaked and spoke to me of the year so far. The ancient trees, bark toughened, branches gnarled, split and hanging low over the path. The people I met were enjoying their rainy walks too, we were all out there enjoying the elements, exploring our day.

Later this afternoon, I left my husband decorating and headed down the garden to my Studio. I knew I would paint one of the old trees I’d seen and love in all weathers. I’m not sure if it’s finished yet. Tomorrow I will see my watercolour in the morning light! The watercolour sketch on the right I did a while ago. Another oak tree I see regularly and enjoy its presence.

Simple treat


In the month of January, we often give up rich and often sweet foods and opt for healthy options. This month has been called Veganuary! I have heard of a number of people trying the Vegan diet. I have cut down on sugar and alcohol and dairy and increased my daily intake of fruit. I am also enjoying a quiet nurturing time at home, cooking wholesome meals and soups. I am reading new poets to me, novels from a endless big pile, books about the British countryside and farming and I am trying to sketch more often. Here is my simple pastel drawing of the big red apples which are simple, nutritious and delicious. Treat yourself, simply. Enjoy!

Restorative walk



I always find walking along the North Norfolk coastal path calming restorative. The endless skies of clouds whch make dreamy characters from children’s picture books and the gentle salty air filled with samphire and sea lavender. The colour palette and interesting wild textures inspire me to write and paint.

Here are two textured painted sketches of the atmosphere evocative of Stiffkey salt marshes. I hope you enjoy t

Cherishing our summer dreams


When grey rainy days

Seem endless, we mourn

From dawn;

Lingering on lush chamomile edged lawns,

On well worn comfy chairs

Making endless dainty daisy chains,

Retiring to take tea in the  tent before feeling faint.

Warm bread slices spread with butter,

Hearts a flutter;

Ripe strawberries gushing with cream!

Forever cherishing our summer dreams.


Have a lovely week everyone.  🙂

 

 

Yesterday we had a gorgeous walk in Ampthill Great Park. It felt chilly and I wondered if it would rain, however after a while the sky looked an entcing intense blue, reminiscent of hot July days and my poem was born as we walked!

There are still plenty of brambles ripe and dripping from the hedgerows, the haws are blood red and sloes are growing plumper! I’ve seen a few butterflies and bees, sounding more anxious in their work, before the days get cooler. In the Park are lots of Sweet Chestnut trees, ripe with their spiky balls dangling down. The crab apple trees look the best so I think I’ll be back for more foraging!

Swathes of summer blooms


Swathes of summer blooms,

so soon their petals will crumple and fade.

For many more sultry days,  bees will  bathe and tumble in pollen,

And many of us will loll about entranced by their hypnotic tune. 

Dancing Kitten Tails


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Even though bitter winds can make me cringe:
Tears fall like salty streams.
Dancing kitten tails, ginger tinged,
Soft and kissed by sunshine beams.

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I love this time of year when the sunshine peeps through the charcoal trees, lighting up the beautiful Hazel catkins and dancing on the trees. Sometimes taking a photograph can be challenging when it’s cold and windy and I have to sweep away the tears!

Mystical Thistles


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Mystical Thistles

Twist their silver

Bristles.

Sycamore keys

Kiss in seed

Filled mists.

Fairies in gilded rickshaws

Ride at a lick on

Chamomile lawns:

Admired by

Nymphs

Tooting silver

Horns.

Victorian town Parks such as this one near the stunning Embankment in Bedford,  offer beautiful borders along pathways  to explore, abundant with nature, away from the hustle and bustle of the town.  I enjoyed a lazy summer afternoon here with a friend after a leisurely lunch. I expect these thistles will appear in my design work soon!  🙂

Rowing on the River Ouse at the Embankment,  Bedford

Rowing on the River Ouse at the Embankment, Bedford

Enjoying a leisurely stroll on the Embankment,  Bedford

Enjoying a leisurely stroll on the Embankment, Bedford

A word a week photo challenge: recline-reclining cat.


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I couldn’t resist this shot of the cat reclining on the balcony, enjoying the sunshine. We were walking our dogs along the Grand Union canal at Berkhamstead, a lovely English town full of interesting shops, architecture, history and a canal and railway going through it.

Thanks to Sue Llewellyn for inspiring me with her word a week photo challenge.

A word a week photo challenge ‘window’ – ‘Down the garden path’.


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I loved walking along this garden path discovering the magic of the cottage garden.Look how the Buddlea draws us closer to the open blue framed bedroom window. Perhaps an artist is sitting there painting the view and enjoying the scented summer. For me, experiencing this hideaway garden was a very special moment. I hope you enjoy it too. 🙂