Tuesday 31 December 2013


Red Berries December 31st 2013

Wishing you all a HappyNew Year xxx

Sunday 24 November 2013

Creative Spark Week 6

I feel slightly sad that my time with all my lovely class mates in the creative spark e-course has now come to an end. I feel I have packed alot in and have probably been at my most productive in terms of drawing and painting for a long time.

Our task for week 6 was to collage/paint onto canvas and rather than 'over think' the process, Tara, our course teacher wanted us to be in a space where we get out of the way of ourselves and just allow for something to develop.

Step 1: Sorting out collage papers
Step 2: Deciding on the final arrangement and sticking them down
Step 3: Working with 3 colours only
Step 4: Turning the canvas around and noticing a woodland feel
Step 5: The feathers weren't working and my wolf was looking a little lost
Step 6: Poor light quality in this photo, I made my wolf slightly bigger but not happy with the foreground
Step 7: I toned down the foreground and added some spirals to create a relationship with the patterns in the trees
It was really interesting to go through this process and watch the canvas develop, there are things I would like to change but sometimes we just have to allow it to be finished!

Wednesday 6 November 2013

Creation is never about changing yourself....

......it is about meeting yourself, probing deep into your own core. (Life, Paint and Passion by Michele Cassou and Stewart Cubley).

There seems to be alot of meeting ourselves currently taking place over in the creative spark e-course
with lots of conversations about why we judge ourselves when it comes to making art.  I was particularly struck by the words of one creative spark who wrote in the facebook page " Just as I look at everyone else's work and wonder the same! "Compare and despair" they tell me, the story of my life! Rather than enjoying the journey of making a piece of artwork, I project myself to the finished article, find it lacking (in my head) and stop.......or just never start! I know I am not alone in this, but 61 years of lack of confidence really is showing in this course"

This really hit an arrow into my heart, I was witnessing my relationship towards my own art! So last night I decided to do another blind contour drawing (with a little peeking) as I find them quite therapeutic and used lemon yellow and  yellow ocre as these colours don't feature strongly in my colour story.

I spent a peaceful hour or so painting, listening to music and enjoying the crackle and heat of a coal fire and found the entire process very meditative and deeply satisfying. 

I wanted to add a background but believing I may spoil the picture, I took a photo of it and added a background in picmonkey, then added a few words around it:

Feeling further inspired by what I read in Life, Paint and Passion, I added some words onto a picture I took of my paint palette - "creation wants only to fulfill your deepest desire, to know and accept yourself as you are.  There are no conditions, no invitations to show at the door.  You are at the door and your brush is the key"

Tuesday 5 November 2013

Small Stones 5

Painting, peaceful and meditative
Lemon yellow and gold, warm a winter evening
A happy stillness glows within my heart

Monday 4 November 2013

Black, White and One Colour

Over at Collage Obsession, the theme for this week is  to create a collage using shades of black and white, and one color of your choice.   
For photo editing I use picmonkey, a free app, so I decided to see what I could create with the challenge:

Using Ombre within the paintbox tools, I chose blue as my one colour and was able to manipulate the direction of the colour tint and I added a weave element to create texture.

Small Stones 4

My word for October was commit.  I think I am sticking with this word for November too and so I am hoping I can commit to writing a small stone each day.

What is a small stone?

A small stone is a short piece of writing that precisely captures a fully-engaged moment.

Why write small stones?
When we translate something we’ve seen or experienced into words, it is necessary to pay more attention than we usually would. A few minutes of mindful attention (even once a day) helps us to engage with the world in all its beauty.

My knitting resting in the sun
flowing with colour and pattern
Bamboo needles, waiting for hands
to play a song

If you want to find out more about small stones, visit here Mindful Writing Tool: small stones.

Visit my friend's blog Tara Leaver, she is creating beautiful word art with stones she finds on the beach.

Saturday 2 November 2013

Thursday 31 October 2013

Clingfilm Art

This week over at the creative spark e-course, we have been playing with collage and  creating texture with gesso and acrylics, covering it with clingfilm and then smooching the paint around.  My  first attempt looked like this, I don't think I was generous enough with the gesso or the paint!

Getting more liberal with gesso and paint and then adding a little texture with sgraffito, my second attempt looked like this:

I have been continuing with the blind contour drawings as I really enjoy this process, I feel this is the best feather I have drawn so far and the words are taken from a Jonas Gerard video I watched about his creative process which is really fun to watch.

Thursday 24 October 2013

Sunny Day

It's been a warm and sunny day here and I decided to go on an extra long dog walk to soak up the sun, absorb some vitamin D and help Jasper burn of a few pounds as he seems to be "filling out" recently :)

Here are some pictures of my walk today:

Jasper having a paddle - I like the purple sunflare to the right of the photo!

A walk home via Witch Wood - love the outline of the trees

Sycamore Leaf - I used a filter on this to make it stand out and the areas of the leaf which had been nibbled turned out blue which I quite liked!

I used this picture of a leaf as inspiration for a pencil and water colour pencil drawing for today's assignment in Creative Spark, an e-course which started this last week  run by Tara Leaver who I met at an art retreat a couple of years ago.

I must admit it feels good to be putting pencil to paper again, it's been a long time!

Sunday 6 October 2013

Big Love

I went to see Fleetwood Mac at the MEN arena this week, a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a band I have listened to for many years with great admiration.  All of the band are in there 60's and here is a  clip I found on you tube of Lyndsey Buckingham (aged 63) playing at the MEN this week with  the track Big Love taken from the Tango In the Night album.

Monday 30 September 2013

Sunday Baking

I had a few over ripe bananas hanging around the kitchen, each time I looked at them I thought to myself that I must make some banana bread.  When others pointed out the bananas were past their best as I said "they are perfect for making banana bread". So, the thoughts and the talk blended into Sunday morning baking action:

Mash two bananas

Mix butter & sugar together, add a couple of eggs and blend, fold in sifted flour with a dash of baking power and then add bananas

Pour mixture into a 2 Ibs loaf tin, top with sliced banana and a sprinkle of sugar, then bake!
Ta-Dah! - Yummy banana bread

Sunday 8 September 2013

A Walking Challenge

The inspiration for my walking challenge is a bit of a long story, perhaps too long for a blog post.  It never ceases to amaze me the connection we make with people in the on-line world, and I feel particularly lucky to have made a friend from the Joy Up Tribe who is currently walking the Via Francigena, the name of an ancient road and pilgrim route running from France To Rome, though it is usually considered to have its starting point much further away, in Canterbury.  The route passes through England, France, Switzerland and Italy.  In mediaeval times it was an important road and pilgrimage route for those wishing to visit the  Holy See and the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul.

I got to know Kym just as she was making the final preparations to begin her pilgrimage, and there was something about her journey which really resonated with me and it was through an email conversation I had with my coach that the idea of me doing some kind of my own walking alongside Kym was born. So, the intention has been set to walk the Lancaster Canal (in stages) and last weekend was the start of my first leg of the journey.

The Lancaster Canal starts at the Preston terminus and ends in Tewitfield (Kendal), most of the canal runs through open countryside except where it runs through the City of Lancaster and is 42 miles along.

So here my walking challenge started here:

 There were many pretty gardens with decking over looking the canal:

Graffiti to be found on some of the bridges:

Reminders of the cotton years - Tulketh Mill, built at the height of Preston's cotton years but then lost its way as the old industry declined. With Carphone Warehouse taking over the mill in recent years, however, the old mill has taken on a new lease of life, having found a brand new role for the 21st century.

As the canal gently meanded it's way out of Preston, I was greeted with  pleasant countryside, with plenty of sheep and cattle grazing in the fields:

Plenty of wildlife to observe and enjoy:


Cute little white duck
I'm not sure how long I had been walking before I came across a stretch of canal which was very familiar to me at Salwick, this part of the canal is beautiful :

My walking companion Jasper waits ahead
Soaking up the beautiful energy from the trees
At this particular part of the canal, there are long-term moorings, this boat was all stocked up for winter with wood piled up on the tow-path:

Some boat owners have a sense of humour:

I planned to stop my journey at Brock and I knew I wasn't too far away when I got my first view of the Bowland Fells dark and brooding:

This particular boat name made me chuckle as I knew I would be on my own cloud wine when I got home:

Bridge 47 is where the first leg of my journey ended (approx 13 miles from the Preston Terminus)

The Green Man Bridge
I felt a sense of achievement having completed this first part of my canal journey, it's the longest I have ever walked with just myself and my dog for company, and although this journey is nothing compared to the pilgrimage that Kym is currently undertaking, I was still proud and I had a happy heart.

In her poem, Pilgrims Blessing, Macrina Widerkehr writes, "May the weather that's important be the weather of your heart."

Wednesday 7 August 2013

August Break 2013 - Day 7 Skyline

Living in the North West, we get some lovely sunsets.  Here is my entry today, using the prompt "skyline". I must like this picture as it is on my blog banner too!

Tuesday 6 August 2013

August Break Days 1- 6

It's that time of year again for Susannah Conway's August Break, as I have been away on holiday in Skye, I have missed the first 6 days. So, here is a selection of photo's representing days 1 - 6.

Elishader or Ellishadder  is a small  crofting township, situated close to the north shore of the freshwater Loch Mealt on the Trotternish peninsula of the island of Skye        

Deer Statue at Flodigarry Hotel
View over the water at Portree
Staffin Beach - I like the smoke signal type cloud formation
Tiny fishing boat on the water