Hello. It’s me.

That Adele is a bit of down to earth fun, isn’t she?  I think so.  

So.  I am popping in to say howdy, it’s been a while.  The eagle eyed may see I made some changes to my header and logo, but woefully, apart from this lament, there have been no new posts from me since last year.  The crime of all crimes for a blog.  

Often I’ve had a blog post in me over the last year – I have 18 drafts saved of me waffling in various degrees.  My big dilemma was, and still is – can I maintain a blog?  I’m not a natural at this social media game.  I wax and wane in my desire to communicate, which is not very helpful when you want to build a presence on the internets.

So I return to my blog remembering the main reason for it in the first place: this space is for me to spill out and order my thicket of thoughts.  Often my brain is has far too many tabs open.  But in between the seconds of thinking and typing, this mush of randomness forms into something more coherent.

Now I’ve decided:  I may post once a week.  Or once a month. Or, it might be snippets on a daily basis, instagram style.  It may be things you can relate to. Occasionally even useful.  Occasionally even humorous.

The big question is – what the bloody hell have I been doing for the last year then?  Well, I’ll tell you: art making, some good, some bad, learning, reading, getting on with living and children and dogs and houses.  And, closing in on what art I like to make, which is simpler, and includes surface pattern design.  Unfortunately, I can’t post as much surface pattern design work as much as I’d like, for various copyright reasons, but I try and share what I can.

Also, I may go on about gardening a lot.




Why beaches are best in winter


For a start, we can take our dog.  Gawd bless him, we love him. The bad news is everyone else takes theirs too.  Which our dog loves.  But sometimes you just want a tiny corner of the world to yourself for a minute.

Also, obviously people on the beach in summer are just littering it.  Not with actual litter I mean, though they do, I mean littering it with their bodies draped all over the place.  No walking to be had, especially when the tide comes in and there’s less sand.

No, there’s something very basic about wearing every woolly you own, your thickest coat, socks, gloves and hat and striding along the waters edge as the sun goes down on a winters day.


Urban sketching


Whilst I use a sketchbook (in fact, I have several in various states of use), these have mostly been for planning paintings, so thumbnail notans, compositions, etc, with the occasional sketch of my foot, or the lamp next to the TV.

One of the things that has established regular sketching for me is carrying around a smaller sketchbook ( I have a couple, both Moleskines, one for just sketching, the other can handle watercolours or pen and wash) and discarding the pencil and using pen.

In fact, I’m surprised, given how permanent a pen mark is (compared to a pencil) how liberating is it!  First off, I like the feel of how the ink flows on the page (fulfilling a sensory need is one of the reasons I paint), and actually I so enjoy it that I’m not (too) bothered about accuracy.

The other thing is that pens, a brush pen and a sketchbook are so portable and to hand, even indoors, and I’ve found huge inspiration from the fabulous Liz Steel, and Australian urban sketcher.

What’s great is that I’ve found of way of keeping a diary that I like – a combination of my sketchbook and this blog.  Some of the sketches will probably be worked up into finished oil paintings, but others definitely won’t.

Another plus is that whilst I’ve been known to paint plein air landscapes in my local area, I feel somewhat intimidated doing this in my local town with all the oil painting kit outside Starbucks!  Urban sketching will help me get my eye in and work up to that I hope.