Welcome 2018!

Hello and welcome to my blog 2018! My exciting news is that I am artist-in-residence to Victoria magazine and I am thrilled to bits. You can read more about it here on the magazine's website
Years ago an art editor I worked with used to post copies of Victoria to me and later I subscribed; it then went out of print for a time but is now back in circulation, this time with Hoffman Media. Victoria is a bimonthly women's lifestyle magazine celebrating all that is beautiful in life and promising a return to loveliness - an excellent sentiment wouldn't you agree? Below is one of the pages in the January/February edition featuring one of my prints. You can find this print and much more in my Etsy shop Acornmoon.

The year so far has been cold, grey and miserable and at times it has been difficult to find inspiration. Apart from a few snowy days and some amazing sunsets, I am feeling ready to say goodbye to winter. This time of year is always difficult and I am reminded of personal losses, especially that of my parents and siblings. Enough of that, life moves on and so do I.

In my garden today I found these tiny snowdrops bravely daring the cold January rain. Roll on spring!



A very Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Wishing you all a Blessed and Peaceful Christmas, I leave you with some images of a new miniature I have been working on, inspired by Medieval manuscripts.

The design is first worked in pencil

It is transferred onto a tea stained ground, the letter has been gilded with 24ct gold leaf.


Royal Miniature Society Exhibition 2017

I took part once again in this year's RMS annual exhibition at the Mall Gallery in London. This was my fourth time to exhibit with the Society and as an Associate Member I was allowed to enter six paintings.

Anyone can enter their miniature paintings or pieces of sculpture, the details of entry can be found on the Society's website. All entries have to be approved by the committee and it is always an anxious time waiting to see if your work has been accepted. You can enter up to five pieces as a non member, if you have all five pieces accepted in two consecutive years you can become a candidate. If the committee approves you can then become elected as an Associate Member. After a further three years you can apply to become a full member but this is by no means automatic. The Society also has members who are friends, people who may not be artists but who support the Society in other ways.

Many of the entries arrive in boxes by post, others are handed in by person, all of which involves a huge undertaking. Before I became a member I don't think I realised just how much work is involved in making the exhibition possible. Artworks have to be unwrapped, listed, judged and exhibited and all of this work is carried out by the members themselves who give up their time and energies to make it all happen. This year we helped at "hand in" day, unpacking precious artworks amidst mountains of bubble wrap, being careful not to miss any of the tiny entries in the process. It was both fun and enlightening to take part behind the scenes.

I was delighted to have sold four paintings at the exhibition, see below. All are watercolour; the owl has some additional gilding around the border in gold leaf.

The little portrait is my grandson George; this is the first time I have entered a portrait. This was painted on vellum, another new departure from my familiar watercolour paper. Although the exhibition is now closed you can still see the exhibition and some of the award winning paintings on the society's website

The most coveted prize is The Gold Memorial Bowl which was won this year by an artist called Raoof Haghighi for his stunning portrait "Linda". I think I am correct in believing that this was the artist's very first and only entry to the exhibition which makes it a truly remarkable achievement. Many congratulations Raoof and to all the other award winners. If you are interested in learning more about the society please click this link.


Pattern and Friendship

Ravilious and Co The Pattern of Friendship

 It has taken a while to return to my long neglected blog so if you are still out there, thanks for visiting, I hope it was worth the wait!

To tell you the truth I have been rather down in the dumps, who wouldn't be with all the recent events happening in our world? As always it is family, good friends and art which have lifted my spirits and I was lucky enough to win this wonderful book over on Dovegreyreader's blog. If you love books and quilting this well established blog is well worth a visit.

Ravilious and Co - The Pattern of Friendship by Andy Friend is published by Thames and Hudson. Not only does the gorgeous book feature Ravilious's wonderful wood engravings and artworks but many decorative patterns created by himself and his circle of friends. Numerous designs created for Curwen are featured, some of which I have featured previously on this blog. I am particularly fond of the work of Enid Marx who was a distinguished designer of textiles and also a gifted artist and illustrator.

Patterned Paper bindings

I recently took part in a workshop run by the Society of Bookbinders and we had the opportunity to put to good use an assortment of patterned papers. The top two on the photograph feature my own designs, these easy to make stub bindings are simple but surprisingly useful. The bottom left is a coptic bound book; here I used a beautiful Florentine paper given to me by a dear friend. The bottom right uses another paper, also given to me by another kindred spirit. What lovely friends I have!

Ravilious and Enid Marx often created patterns which started life as wood engravings, some were inspired by artists of their day. In these two pieces I have started by making doodles on a piece of scraperboard, or scratchboard as my American friends would call it. I have then played around with repeat patterns to create two different designs, the top one has a tile repeat which reminds me of a kaleidoscope I used to love to play with as a child.

Before I go I should mention an exhibition I took part in - The Annual Hillard Society of Miniature Paintings, in Wells, Somerset. The exhibition is now closed but you can visit it online here- Wells is a beautiful place to visit and was the birth place of the miniature artist Hilliard, hence the name. The exhibition takes place once a year in the Town Hall, it is always enjoyable and a good opportunity to make new friends in the miniature art world, both artists and collectors. There are also demonstrations by members who are always willing to share their knowledge.

I have been busy with new commissions, I loved working on this miniature version of an old Tudor portrait of a noble woman wearing the most exquisite patterned lace. I painted it in watercolour on a surface called polymin, this is a man made ivory substitute and the very devil to paint on! It does however have a lovely translucent quality and I have since learnt that it helps to dust with talcum powder first and then coat with a thin wash. (The painting is very small, three and a half inches across.)


Long live Manchester

I have no words to express my heartbreak and pride in our city of Manchester. A place so entwined in my life, a city of industry, hard work and creativity. The place I went to as a child for shopping trips, for new "rig outs" and visits to cinemas, theatres and restaurants. As a teenager, Manchester was all about discotheques and bright lights and the place I met the love of my life. Manchester, the place I studied art and lived for five years. Later, the place to visit family and friends, the city to take our children and now grandchildren to football matches, libraries, theatres, restaurants, street markets, festivals, galleries and shops.

Now Manchester is slowly coming to terms with the horror of an appalling and cowardly terrorist attack that has devastated so many young lives and families.

The bee has always been the symbol of the city and like the bee the people are slowly but surely working together and finding ways to rebuild their shattered lives with courage and tenacity. I am proud to say I stand by Manchester.


May loves blue!

I wish every child could take a walk in our bluebell woods in May! 

The paths wind their way beneath dappled green leaves and great tides of bluebells carpet the earth.

and in the gaps you will find forget-me-nots.

The top illustration is from my children's book "The Acorn's Story"
It is now available to buy as a print from my Etsy shop- Acornmoon.


Out and about in spring

My blog posts are getting less frequent, sometimes I wonder if this blog has run its course? So much has changed since I started blogging over the past nine years! However, I have made so many friends and connections over the years maybe I will go on a little longer.

We have been out and about quite a lot, making use of our rail cards we made a trip to see an exhibition of Bedtime Stories at The Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh that featured my Dream Quilt. This was an actual quilt made to accompany the book of the same name. Silly me, I did not check to see if the Museum would be open but fortunately the lovely curator opened it especially for us! The exhibition is still on if you are in the area, it had a nice review in the April edition of British Patchwork and Quilting magazine.

We celebrated my husband's birthday in beautiful Powys Wales, we had the most wonderful weather and enjoyed strolling round the hotel grounds. Primroses and wood anemones carpeted the woodland floor, it was truly a most beautiful setting and one we hope to return to soon.

I have been busy working on new paintings, this time for The Hilliard Society's annual exhibition in Wells later this year.

We had the family to stay over Easter, lots of chocolate was consumed and a fair few bottles of wine too. I hope you enjoyed your Easter too. X