Thursday, 27 July 2017

So late.

It's so late and I've been struggling with sleep so long that I wonder if I'm becoming nocturnal! Why do words flow into my head just at the time when I desperately crave sleep? I know my body clock is working against me when my inner furnace sparks up and all rest is devoured by the need for a cool breeze, a fan or my wrists plunged into cold water. As I grow older, I have more wisdom but less energy to share it, that's not really fair, is it?

I'm drifting to sleep when suddenly I'm wide awake, hot as an ember and suddenly full of thoughts. I throw the covers off to feel a tiny paw touch my foot. Cotton is beside me. She's sleeping on my bed after a run in with the new local Tom, nicknamed Spicy nuts by Moomin. She's ok, but needs to feel safe beside me. Bambam has had a big fight with him, her honour intact, she's curled in a blanket beside the bed. They need me, little souls who ask so little but give so much.

These words are honest and frank, the kind I save for the other blog. Tonight though is when I want to share them here.

We're moving to a place where I feel a sense of old magic and wonder. These simple wash houses are just so full of history that I know I'll have to somehow capture them in paint.
 There is such a feeling of peace and quiet in a building used for so long by women who simply gathered here to do their laundry. I can feel their spirits and almost hear their chatter and laughter as they carried out such mundane tasks. A chance for gossip away from the men who no doubt were sharing a jug of iced water and a glass of Pastis after a long morning of labour.
The feeling here is hard to describe. A silence without words.
The closest I can come to is how I feel when I watch a Studio Ghibli film. There is an innocence and honesty about the place. Hayao Miyazaki often researched and sketched his film settings in Europe and I've no doubt at all that he must have found these wash-houses and used the inspiration here for his scenes in Princess Mononoke and maybe Totoro.
 There are so many houses in this style, often painted in pastel colours which would have featured in Howl's Moving Castle, although, I also think that a lot of the inspiration for this film came from Switzerland and Austria too. However, I feel so close to the emotion of what Miyazaki was trying to convey that I really must try to interpret it myself based on the emotions I feel.
 The secret, magical woodlands behind our house are most definitely where I would expect to find Tree spirits and if I was really lucky.
These little spirits would certainly be at home in my woodlands,
And the majestical forest stag is more than welcome to pay us a visit. We have our own little wild spring, deer of some kind (very reclusive) and lots of space to let the wild things in.
How can I not be inspired to paint and create :D

Monday, 12 June 2017


I'm packing up my home and it's going very slowly. I'm frustated at my lack of time to be creative but we'll get there in the end!
I can't wait for the day when I can devote my time to my art and spend time making this little house our home.

This picture keeps me going and cheers me up while I wade through a garage full of junk!!!

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

A little painting.

Before I came down with the throat virus I managed a little painting in the Studio. I'm just flexing my painting muscles before trying more challenging work.

This is one I've been meaning to work on for a long time, Moomin and her pony Toffee. I've called it Moon and Stars, because that's what they mean to each other :D
 This little snippet is something new I'm trying. I definitely want to do more, but fitting it in with house clearing and trying to pull the overgrown garden back into shape is becoming quite a juggling act!
Next week we're going back to France. Big things are happening and I hope to have more news when we get home!!!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Sketching tutorial.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't consider myself an expert handing out advice, but it occurred to me that I could at least share the system I use for creating faces.

First I start with the basic head shape, if you like, it's a bit like drawing the brain and then building it from there.  It all takes a bit of practise and as you can see from the sketches, no two heads are the same. I've written notes on my page, but basically, I divide the face into thirds, coming down one third for the eyes. Then come down another third for the nose and then divide the final gap in half and put a line in for the mouth.  The top of the ear should be level with the eye.

By changing the angle of the eye line you can position the head however you like. Play with the features until you find a look you're happy with.
If this is helpful for anyone, please comment and I'll do some more. I'm enjoying playing with my sketchbook and may have more pictures tomorrow.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Overdone it a bit!

I'm more than a bit tired today, in fact I'm flat out cream crackered!

Yesterday I painted the garage and front door for the photos for the Estate Agent. It all looked so tired and old that I had to take action.
Moomin's room also got a complete make over and I have to admit that painting and decorating with her is just so much more fun than by myself. I think the hardest bit was clearing out all her clutter, she's possibly worse than me!!!
I love my little house so much and will miss it enormously but it's time to move on to a bigger adventure :D

Thursday, 9 March 2017

The waiting game!

My little house will be on the market next week!  Eeeek, that's so hard for me to get my thoughts around! I've lived here for 20 years and it's going to be quite a wrench.  I can't believe how much 'stuff' I've accumulated over the years, heaps of it, some only fit for the tip!!!

This weekend will be filled with last minute painting and fixing jobs and then I have to just sit back and wait for someone to fall in love with this place! The Agent is hopeful.  Thankfully I have a small team of trusty helpers to deal with the difficult stuff, although what I'm finding hardest is throwing away things I may need one day! Huh! Who would have guessed I was a secret hoarder, lol!

Once all the work is done, I'll be retreating to the garden studio to calm my nerves and paint. There may be a solo exhibition  in the next few months. I've applied and recieved an answer but I don't have enough items yet. I'd better get going I guess!!!  Wish me luck.x

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Playing with inks.

I love my new pens, they're so much fun to play with. There will be so many more sketches on their way :D  This is just a warm up,
and this one is a sort of tribute to one of my favourite artists, Susan Seddon-Boulet. She painted all manner of animals and people bound by spiritual links. This one of a bear and crow have a lot of personal meaning for me. The bear represents healing and the crow is one of my totem spirits.
Soon, I hope to be acutally painting again!!!  I know! What a shock ;)

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Something nice.

Something very nice arrived in the post this week. Of course, I had to buy it first, but I needed a bit of cheering up, so I decided to splurge on some inks.

I'm only beginning to get the hang of it, but it's a bit of fun :D  The horn is still in the wrong place though, sheesh!!!
I'll be doing a few more this week, so it should improve a bit (I would hope so at least!)!

Thursday, 9 February 2017


 Handbags and funky baby grows now available :D

Today I have been mostly working from my bed! My legs hurt and I know a good walk might help, but I can't face it right now, so instead I've been updating my Etsy shop. The link is in the sidebar.

I need to clear out and get things moving but the urge to create pulls me back to my sketchbooks, crochet, knitting, felting.....  Oh the list is endless. I need to pack things away to stop these distractions :D

Meanwhile, I've been nursing my poor dog, Manchee. On Monday he was kicked in the face by Bo, my baby pony who has an overgrown aptitude for getting into trouble (remember the broken leg of last year?). Well, Bo has been such a pickle lately, swapping his muddy field for the one reserved for Spring, that we've yet again been threatened with eviction! 
Manchee meanwhile is suffering from a swollen jaw and a black eye worth of Rocky!!! He was extremely lucky not to have lost his eye and the incident is one of those memories I'll struggle to forget. He's on a lot of painkillers and a very mushy diet, but at least brightens up when I mention a Walk!

Aaah, the list of woes seem endless sometimes, but I will not be dragged down. I'll have a hot bath in Epsom salts (good for muscle pains), have a gentle walk and then create something arty. I've been playing with bleach art. It's not very good, but my kitchen is VERY clean :D I hope to share some pictures later.

Sunday, 8 January 2017


It's quite a fascinating thing to put a pencil to paper and make little sketchy marks.  I was quite happy with this piece until I uploaded it and realised that the horn is slightly in the wrong place. How does that work then? It looks fine in the book, take a photo and voila, mistakes leap off the page!
However it turns out, putting pictures into a book makes me happy. I feel more like myself when I sketch and of course, when I come to make this into a final painting, I'll already be aware of what's right or not.
Life can be a bit like this if we're clever enough to notice the mistakes when they're small enough to put right. The biggest and worst mistake is to just doggedly carry on with the same pattern, hoping the ending will be different. I love that saying that (and I'm paraphrasing here) if you always do the same thing, you can expect the same outcome.
This week I'll be making changes, shaking it up a bit and probably paying a few visits to the tip as I declutter!

Saturday, 7 January 2017

I'm hoping for a tower!

As I've mentioned before, Oakmoon is moving. We're moving far, far away (but not to a different galaxy, lol!). We've looked at a few properties already and have many more to view, but it occurred to me recently that I'd quite like a tower. Somewhere mysterious that I can paint from and be all romantic and inspired. Well, you've got to dream big, right?
I love this picture so much, it would be wonderful for something like this to come into my life, so I'm sending out positive thoughts to the Universe :D

Meanwhile, I've found that my muse has returned and begun to nag me. A new style is forming from necessity. Much of my art supplies have been packed away but my sketch books and travelling watercolour box are as always near to hand. This little sketch is of a character from a magical game the Moomin had for Christmas. I'm a little in love with his fierce, devoted nature. He is a little fickle though which gives him an edge of danger. He isn't completely safe!!!
I'm sure there will be more sketches soon.x

Thursday, 15 December 2016

What's going on in the Studio?

Not much, to be honest! Those of you who know me through FB will have seen the notice on the Oakmoon page that the Studio has temporarily closed. This is simply due to lack of time, although this past year has seen me struggle with my worst artist's block ever!!!

After a rather unpleasant 'row' with a supposed friend I found my artistic flow, not just interupted, but well and truly halted. Finding time to be creative on top of the usual problems of paying huge bills on my cold and almost tumbledown house and getting to grips with my job at the school has been next to impossible.  I've patched the house up as best as I can, as you can see from the picture above ;) but I've finally decided to throw in the towel and move. I've had a dream to go far away for a long time and finally that dream will come true in the New Year. I'm also hoping that a change of scenery will help me to get my 'groove' back so that I can once again open the Studio. I have no idea what direction my art will take, but not creating is a lot like being on an enforced diet - It's not fun and it makes me cranky!!!

So for the next few months, I'll be packing up and clearing out while desperately viewing properties that can squeeze in an ark load of animals! 

I must stress that I will not stop blogging :D My walks and adventures are still featured on the other blog and as soon as I have something creative to share, I'll do that here.

Thank you dear friends for visiting and sharing the trials of being a part time artist (for now) but you can join me for some rambles through my head and landscape on the Wild Woman blog. 
Big Christmas hugs to you all.x

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

The hats are back.

Yep, it's that time of year again when it's ok to wear hats be they ever so slightly witchy or just warm and snuggly.  I have some 'normal' hats in the pipeline and some with soft fur-like linings. This is the hat pegged and dried after steaming on my wonderful new hat block from BB at Codlins and Cream.

And this is the wonderful block all waxed up and protected from any abuse I might put it through. I wrap it in a towel before steaming so that the wood doesn't get too damaged, but I think it's been put through a lot of use before coming to me. It's gorgeous, isn't it?
And this is a very bad selfie of me in the hat. I love this new style and can't wait for a proper photo shoot to show off some of the others I've been making. They're stiffer and a slightly better shape than the old ones. Now, I'm off to eat before going to the school for my 'other' job! It's so busy in Oakmoon land these days!

Friday, 16 September 2016

Oh Dear!

Despite all my best intentions, not much work has been coming out of the Studio lately! I moved most of my supplies in from the outdoor studio when it became too hot to work out there, then disaster struck! One of the bookcases decided it was overloaded and started to come away from the wall. As I was trying to sort it out, things began falling on me and I hastily cleared it off and dumped paints and pots on any surface within reach. This is the tidiest part of the studio, the rest is a disaster zone!  Being back at school, sorting it out is slow; not to mention the fact that I don't really want to do it! I need a tidying faery ;)
I did manage to paint this little heart in between piles of junk! I think it was well recieved :D
We managed to fit in a little holiday and the weather was very good to us. Details of that on the walking blog. Now, how many excuses can I make to avoid tidying up?

Wednesday, 10 August 2016


Sometimes you find an artist that lifts your soul and speaks to your innermost thoughts and feelings.  I don't care if art is pretty or has a huge message but it does have to be honest. The feelings that awaken can be awe or horror or a mixture of gut wrenching emotions. It doesn't matter so long as it's not bland. Sometimes I create a piece of work that people dislike or openly hate. That's good so long as it's not dull. More often than not I feel guilty of just creating something that's frankly a bit 'blah'!

Imagine my delight when I discovered an artist that awoke such strong emotions in me and not all of them good. I felt stirred and intrigued and most importantly of all, inspired.  I love this persons work with a passion that I can't fully explain. Whatever you feel about it, you can't just ignore it and that's a good place to start.

The artist is Scott Radke and I love his work from the beautiful pieces above to the slightly scary pieces on his website. Art should evoke an emotion and this artist does not fail to deliver <3 br="">

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Still here.

I'm still here as my title says, but life has been so hectic and I've become pretty good at juggling work and chores. Working at the school, taking care of all the animals and not letting the house fall apart have been priorites, but I managed a little bit of painting and hope to do far more now the summer is here, I may even play with clay!

This picture of Fae is a style I want to explore more, but it will all have to wait just a few more days as we pack up the classrooms for the start of the summer holidays.
The walking blog has been more productive though, so pop over and see where we've been lately :D

Sunday, 22 May 2016


The translation of Melancholia is "the haunting melancholia that dominates the album". That just about sums it all up and I love the way it rolls off the tongue!
Whenever I dig out my photos of Oliver it's usually when my life is about to settle after a long hard struggle. He was my first and best horse, with me for over 20years after I found him as a wild and wayward 2year old. I knew he was the one for me even after he kicked the spot lights on my boyfriends Ford Escort (it was a looong time ago!) and then chased my sister out of his field. I loved his spirit, even though he often reduced me to tears of frustration as he flatly refused to behave like the other horses.
Eventually I gave up trying to mold him and just enjoyed his enthusiasm for adventure and went on the journey with him, even though I often had to shut my eyes and trust him completely.

We had such a bond and towards the end he taught me everything he could about healing and using Equine Reiki. He became very high maintenance in his old age!

Now I have the other three to look after, having the skills that Oliver taught me sure come in handy. Although this looks like Bo, it is actually Merlin at Bo's age. They're so alike, but Merlin likes to be airborn a lot more!
It's good to end on a high note (sorry for the pun). These pictures were actually taken on my very old phone, but they worked out quite well.  I really think it's time I got back to the studio and painted some flying horses :D

(I'm sure I don't need to say it again, but please don't copy or share these pictures without permission, thanks.)

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The eye of the storm.

Jackie Morris once asked on her blog 'what if we only have a finite amount of words and what happens when we've used them up?'  That's how I feel at the moment, almost like I've run out of words.

I started blogging many years ago to write, because I found comfort in the sharing of words and stories. Unfortunately some of my words and pictures were taken and used without my permission and I shut that blog down. I started the Oakmoon blog purely to showcase my art, but felt that it didn't fully reflect me as a person, so other blogs were started and discarded as I tried to work out how much of my life should be shared and why I would share it at all.  I've made so many friends in the blogging community and miss them when they suddenly stop writing, so maybe some of my friends have missed my occassional posts or rambles. But I worry about who else is reading my words and why they would want to? I guess if I constantly think like that, then I would never write again and I miss the solace of it all.

I feel like I'm still recovering from last year. Bo's broken leg brought me almost to ruin, financially and emotionally and now I'm standing among the half rebuilt pieces of my life wondering who I am. I'm changed, I know that much, but I'm not yet sure who or what is left of me.

Thursday, 12 May 2016


To say the last few months have been hectic would be a total understatement! There have been days when I've felt so crushed by the amount of work and worry on my shoulders that I honestly don't know how I've got up and survived another day.  So many things have gone wrong, too many to go into to be honest but finally there's light at the end of the tunnel and I'm getting my life back together.

Not much work has been done in the Studio, mainly due to getting urgent work done to the house. It's not a big house, but when it's all in need of repair and I'm the only one able to have a go and I can't afford to pay for help, it seems enormous. That's when you find out who your true friends are. I've had to swallow my pride and ask for help and it's amazing how people suddenly vanish from your life. The ones who have stepped up though are clearly the keepers!

Although not much painting has happened, I have been out walking with my camera, and that's been very therapeutic for me.  There are more pictures to be posted on the Walking blog, but for now, here's my favourite of Manchee and his new best friend Wally (with my new best friend!)

Sunday, 20 March 2016

The story so far.

What a busy few months I've had! My health has yo-yo'd back and forth and I have simply got to get it under control again. I'm determined that this year will be better than last!!!

I've managed to get back into the Studio and have begun painting again.
This one is of our little cat Cotton when she was about 6months old. She's been very poorly lately with cellulitus after a fight with another cat, but is thankfully on the mend now.
 Another owl painting as I adore barn owls and we even have one that sometimes visits the pony field. Prints of this painting will be in the Etsy shop.
 Pony cuddles and the appearance of the sun have helped to brighten the days, quite literally. Toffee, is just soooo funny :D
 And my sweet baby Bo is growing up and will soon be ready to ride. I think he'll be a handful so that will be interesting!
This week I'll be making dragons for a very special venture. I'm keeping everything crossed that this will work out so that life can once again find some balance :D

Sunday, 3 January 2016

So much rain!

Yep, lots of windy, stormy weather on top of an extremely wet winter so far. While it's lovely to lay in bed and listen to the patter on the windows and the insistent tapping on the roof tiles, it's not so great to venture out to feed the ponies.
My hands have been swollen for the last few weeks so today I'm trying Ibuprofen, I've tried everything else from herbal remedies to Epsom salt soaks. While most of these things bring temporary relief nothing is clearing the problem, so I just have to wait it out and get by as best I can in between!
I've had a lot of help with the ponies but today it will be Moomin and myself in the rain!  You can see how boggy the paddocks are here! Thanks to my Sister for this lovely picture.  Toffee gives kisses for treats, bless him :D
So while some poetic people find ways to wax lyrical about the stormy skies, I sit here beneath my blanket of cats and wish I could stay put for the whole day!

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Hats and stuff.

The hats are returning!
Hop over to the other blog for more news!

I've also been playing with little canvases to try out some new techniques.  This canvas is approx 12.5 x 17.5cm and will also be in the Etsy shop soon.

By the way, I will be updating my Etsy shop every Sunday from now on

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy Yule.

Itwas a very quiet Christmas in our household.  A time for dreams and reflections.  Last year was not good to me and I'm glad to be leaving it behind.
But twinkly crystals always cheer me and this was the first year I could risk my collection of crystal droplets. Only Piper showed a passing interest, the other cats barely noticed!
Mostly they enjoyed the radiators
or slumbered on the sofa.
The dog had his usual wrapping paper frenzy! When I hid a few dog treats in the paper his fun was off the scale!!!
My lovely Moomin and I relaxed and ignored the chaos around us.
I hope you all had a Merry and happy Christmas and Yule and here's to a better year to come.x