Wednesday, 18 July 2018


It's been an unusually busy July with holidays, the best of visitors and a fairly demanding garden.

Take a little walk down the forest trail, a peaceful part of our garden which never demands much attention.

Next is one of the watercoloured abstract garden series and is the actual painting with no photo-editing adjustments.

The next few are photo-edits from my own photographs in the garden.   For those of you who don't do photo-editing, I would like to explain that for me, photo-editing is just another way of making mixed-media art.

A pretty flower given to me by a friend who didn't know its name, and it is still a mystery (even more so when it is photo-edited).

A blue collage of pebbles and grasses.

These violas look as if they are on the march.

I was quite pleased with how the background purple looks stencilled.

Finally, for fans of Douglas, here is what he found in the vegetable garden when he returned from holiday.   Those of you who grow courgettes will sympathise/understand.

Douglas says "Hi" and he's happy to be back in Blogland.

Linking to Chris's theme "Art for Art's Sake" at "Art Journal Journey".

Monday, 2 July 2018


Hello everyone.

Elizabeth and Bleubeard at "Altered Book Lover" have a monthly challenge on the 2nd of every month encouraging us to repost a previous post. 

It's a marvellous idea as there are many gems hidden in blogs, never to be seen again.  

This is the first story/fantasy painting I did for Orange Esmeralda and was the third post I made after I started blogging, and was also the start of painting seriously together with photo-editing.   

I've copied it unchanged below and I hope you enjoy it.

* * * * * * *


The theme for the Three Muses challenge this week was "Red".  There are a million associations with Red but all I could think of was Red Riding Hood or Red Tulips.  So I put the theme "Red" into the computer I call my brain and for the next few days thought about it on and off, without any success.
Then suddenly a few days later, while I was out walking, this phrase appeared in my head "The Grokiza only eats red flowers".


What's a Grokiza?

As soon as I got home I got out my sketchbooks to look for some inspiration and found this.

Oh, that's a Grokiza!

Painted some red flowers.

Poor little red flowers.

Painted the Grokiza.

I'm a nervous painter and since I've discovered photo-editing I draw each component of a picture separately and combine them at the end.  This avoids the inevitable disaster of spoiling what's already been done, allows a lot of flexibility of composition and I can also change the colours of some of the parts if they are not quite right.

The Grokiza only eats red flowers.
The blue flowers on the right are laughing and dancing because they know they are safe and the purple flowers on the hill are saying "Oh look, there's Old Groki over there, isn't that interesting".   But the red flowers are going "Oh, no! Oh, no! Oh, no!".

If you are not a red flower the Grokiza is friendly and harmless.

Monday, 11 June 2018


Windows has brought out a new version of Paint which has lots of additional features.  I've drawn a few pictures with the mouse using the old Paint so was inspired to try out the new.

I'm linking to the challenge at "Art Journal Journey" where Gill is hosting the theme "Inspired by....".

One thing I like about drawing with the mouse is that the mouse has an artistic mind of its own so it's often just a matter of watching what it does next.
When someone throws a party they sometimes say "Bring a friend".

OK I know it's crazy, the mouse did it.

* * * * * * *

I'm often in the garden and thought you might like to see some of it.

Sheep in the rock garden.

Boxy has a new neighbour in the Zen garden and he's not very sure about it.
You can just see Boxy top centre.

My niece made us a little deer for Christmas and Mr. E. adapted her design to make one for the garden.

We have poppies all over the garden, everywhere.  This year I planted flowers specifically to help and attract the bees.
They go crazy over these poppies.

They love foxgloves too.  They go right inside a bell and have to reverse out.

Some of the vegetable plot.  Mr. Esmeralda made the raised beds.

On Saturday I planted mimulus round the birdbath and neatened the edges.
The next morning it was like this.

Here's the culprit.
The female blackbird was racing back and forward pulling up earth and rushing off with it.
We guessed that part of her nest had collapsed and she was doing emergency repairs.

A little flower bed to finish.

Hope you enjoyed this short visit to our garden.
If you ever come again, bring a friend.

Friday, 1 June 2018


I've always been amused by this quote -
"If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck".

Gill at "Art Journal Journey" has a really good theme "Inspired by.....anything" so here is my painting inspired by this quote.

I started by making a drawing 12 x 8 inches (30 x 20 cms).
I was going to paint it in watercolours but then tried something different

which was colour filling with Photo-shop.

I had a next idea which was to fill with pattern.
All these infill patterns are my own original designs derived from my own paintings.

The last two fill-ins on the left took ages to choose.  I tried loads of patterns and colours.
Do you like the two pink creatures watching?

Finally, the final result.

So what do you think?
Is it a duck?

Sunday, 13 May 2018


The sun is shining in a blue, blue sky

and the flowers and plants in the garden are all going bananas because they want some attention

but my Finnish friend Susu has just posted a blogpost where she has painted a scene upside down.

Immediately I had to do this.

Here it is as I painted it. 
I did turn it round just once to check that it wasn't completely bonkers.  It was, but I carried on anyway.

It was crazy fun.
Here it is turned round.

Is that really a fish on a bicycle?

I gave it a better background.

The fish are now swimming on dry land but still looking quite happy about it.

I kind of like these dancing flowers.

Seriously, do give painting upside down a go.  It's tremendous fun.

I'm linking to Jo's challenge at "Art Journal Journey" where the theme is "Flora and Fauna"
and to "Moo-Mania" where the theme is "Flowers".

Wednesday, 2 May 2018


Can you have underwater flora and fauna?

If so, then this is my entry for Jo's great theme "Flora and Fauna" at "Art Journal Journey", the great challenge site which gives us a new theme to inspire us every single month.

Here is my original painting, made with watercolours and a little stamping  

and here it is underwater.
I think the flora is at the top and the fauna, strange underwater creatures, are below.
Did you know that colours change under water?

And nearby there is a starfish and her friends.

Isn't it great that we can have and keep our original painting and also change and enhance it with photo-editing.

I'm also linking to "Moo-Mania" where the theme is "Flowers".