Thursday, 20 February 2020


Elizabeth and Bleubeard at  "Art Journal Journey" are asking us to make art on the theme "Hearts".

I painted a pink page in my sketchbook and added a heart and a little house.

Millicent has been wandering around in the darkness of space for a while and she thinks she has finally found home.


At another great challenge site, the team at "Try it on Tuesday" is asking us to "Go Green or Recycle it".
I had a lot of fun with recycling on this one.

While I was splishing and sploshing in my studio, Mr. E. was in his studio next door making delicate paintings with a number 000 paintbrush.  His test paint patches are carefully cut squares about 3 inches square.  My test patch paper is often whatever is nearest.
This is what Mr. E's test papers look like.

I went next door to see what was going on and found some rather nice paint sample squares and carried one away to play with.

You will have to use your imagination as I got too excited and didn't take any progress photos, not even one of the original square.
However Mr. E. made me a copy and this is roughly how the original looked before I started playing with it.

Here is what I did with it very quickly using watercolours, metallic pencils and collaged painted paper glued on at the bottom.

Then I started to change it with Photo-editing and that's when it began to get exciting.

I really love the way Photo-editing can produce strange and beautiful colours

and produce different colourways.

Here is Sapphire showing off some of the new card designs.  
She would also like you to admire her off-the-shoulder organza shawl.

I hope you enjoyed looking at these experiments.
See you soon!

Tuesday, 11 February 2020


It started with a heart for Elizabeth and Bleubeard's challenge at "Art Journal Journey" to make art with a heart

and was finished with watercolours, stamps and pens.

This little heart stamp has been hanging about for years waiting patiently.

My ancient computer with an equally ancient Photo-editing program went to the PC heaven in the clouds so I took up the challenge of using a new computer and different Photo-editing program.

After many hours and lots of help from Mr. Esmeralda, the kindest and most patient of helpers, I think these results are not too bad. (Would you believe cropping a photo could have been so difficult?).



Mr. E. likes the blue one best.  Which do you like?
I turned the designs into wrapping paper and cards and this is a special present for a special person, my niece.

Hope you have a great week and see you again soon.

Saturday, 1 February 2020


Hello everyone.

What to make when you want to get back to making art but you are out of the habit?

I got out my bowl of bossy prompts.

The rules are - take out a prompt one by one and 

And I gave myself another two rules - 
do everything quickly, no faffing, 
and take four prompts sequentially.

First up was - "Use a heading from a magazine".
I've got a good supply of magazines, took the first "reasonable"(?) magazine I found and very quickly tore out a random heading.
I coloured in the lettering with a nice pink.

Next out was - "Make zigzags".

Then - "Make a shape and repeat it in different sizes".
I painted some grey stripes on paper and cut three diamonds, quick, quick.

Finally was - "Add a doodle".

First layout. 
You can see I added a little orange leaf. (I'm allowed to add anything).

Second layout with a pencilled grid.

Third layout.
I do quite like this next one, nice and lined up but there is something wrong.  Do you see what it is?  One of these elements is not right.

The magazine heading was killing it so I drew a new header.
I left it for a few days to see if it would improve and on the 1st of February the theme by Elizabeth and Bleubeard at  "Art Journal Journey" was "Hearts", just the thing for an "Energy Source" collage, thanks Elizabeth.

I rearranged everything, gave it a narrower lined pencil grid, added five energetic hearts to go with the title and stuck everything down before it became a lifetime project.

I quite like it but I'm not sure that either the prompts or I knew what we were doing.  
There is one piece I would remove, but it is well stuck down. What do you think it is?

Saturday, 11 January 2020


Hello everyone.

At the "Art Journal Journey" challenge Jo is asking us to make "Something new".  What could be better at the start of the New Year and the New Decade?

I'm also offering this post to "Try it on Tuesday" where the theme is "Make someone smile today".

My artist friend J., whom I meet once a fortnight, has "encouraged" me to start a new personal art journal.
I started out by making messy pages.



These messy pages are supposed to create a background as a substrate for words.  Unfortunately I seem to have got a bit carried away.  The creatures appeared on the page and just needed some outlining.  (The paints did it).


The next pages turned out a bit better for adding words


Finally got round to creating an actual journal entry.


Some details from the page above......

Do you find that the sizes of new clothes in the shops often bear little relation to real-life people sizes?  I can wear anything from a size 8 to a size 14 depending on the store.
This illustration shows the difference between a pair of trousers ordered in my normal size and me.

Finding a new cheese shop with new cheeses and the fabulous Rosebud preserves is a big event.  (We are easily amused).


Over Christmas and New Year we saw a lot of paintings in a lot of galleries and one painting especially appealed to me. 
It was a simple painting of two robins but one of the robins was not happy so I had to make up for this by drawing two very contented robins.


Don't you just love these robins?  I painted them in about five minutes, they just walked into my journal.  I could have taken a bit longer with the printing, but there you are.
I gave Page 2 a pretty frame.  I'm going to make a wall print of it

and the robins demanded a pretty frame too

and also demanded to be made into a card.

Hope you enjoyed my new journal pages and see you again soon.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019


At "Art Journal Journey" this month Yvonne is asking us to make art on the theme "Words and numbers".

I enlisted some help..............

The green bird decided to throw a "Words and Numbers" party.
He invited another bird (but this caterpillar had an important engagement elsewhere).

The middle flower below came along too and invited two of her other flower friends.

And a never before seen little caterpillar who didn't have an appointment elsewhere arrived last.


This was made using one of my favourite techniques which you have seen many times before using the ancient Windows Paint program and an elderly mouse, combined with a little modern photo-editing.

* * * * * * * 
In other news.......
There is a new teddy at Orange Esmeralda's house.
Here is the story of her arrival.

Three weeks ago I said I was never going to have any more teddies.  There are already enough teddies here causing mayhem.
Unless the teddy was really really special.

We took some books to a Charity Shop and there, on the wall, was a dear little teddy in a see through bag hanging off a peg.   I said "Sorry little teddy, there is no more room for another teddy in Orange Esmeralda's house".
Little teddy looked sad.

A week later I just happened (?!?) to be passing the same shop and popped in.  The teddy was still there!

Here she is with her new friends, Douglas and Mabel.
She is called Sapphire.

We all send love to you on this Advent time.

Sunday, 24 November 2019


I've barely painted anything this Summer and Autumn and my artist friend J. is always saying that there is enough in my sketchbooks to provide inspiration - so I decided I would open one of the sketchbooks randomly at a page and that would be the inspiration for my next painting.
It opened here.

Eeek! So many other better sketches, so little time.
However a decision is a decision and I started with the top right.
Seriously, what is this supposed to be?


Stay with me - it does get better.

Next was the sketch bottom right.
Minimalism is the thing!

I gave it a carrot for Rike's challenge theme "Fruit and Veggies" at "Art Journal Journey".


Then I found a page in another sketchbook just waiting for a little something extra -  which happened to be a plum, also suitable for Rike's challenge.


And finally I rescued an old carrot which was hanging about with two old flower friends, for a colourful finish.


My favourite is "A SINGLE PLUM".
Do you have a favourite?

I really enjoyed this experiment.  Maybe I'll try it again with a better sketchbook page.