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