Monday, 3 September 2018


Hello everybody.

Yvonne who is hosting at "Art Journal Journey" this month is asking us to make art on the theme "A World of Fantasy".   Thanks Yvonne, for a terrific choice of theme.
I went miniature again, and my full journal page conforms to the AJJ specified minimum size (just about!) so I hope that's alright with the AJJ Size Monitors.

The drawing at the start of painting.

The Dark Guardian of the Stars looks after fallen stars in his underground rooms and sends them back home when they are recovered and ready.

The full painting and the watercolour pens I'm using.

A close-up.  The little house is the teensiest bit over 2 centimetres (under an inch). 

* * * * * * *

For those of you who like to see our garden - here is a view from the Persicaria looking over to one of our seating areas. 
You can see Mr. E's very comfortable chair and his painted flower boxes, all made from from recycled wood.

This perennial geranium is one of the loveliest flowers in the garden.  I love the strips of lime green and the dots of orange against the magenta.

The vase is one of my most precious possessions.  It was made by my niece.  Don't you think it looks like a fairy's vase?
These are Mr. E's sweet peas.  We've had the most wonderful range of colours this year. 

I've been mostly off-line for the past few weeks so I am very much looking forward to coming round and seeing what you have been doing and making.

Monday, 13 August 2018


My muse Algernon Pink has come back from holiday

and is joining this pair having a nice iced Mocha on a very hot day.

They have heard that Bleubeard and Elizabeth have a tea party every Tuesday and are looking forward to meeting Bleubeard and his fellow cat Squiggles.

So with Algernon Pinks's return I did manage to make some art.

I again raided my sketchbook and landed on this, choosing the one on the left which I thought had potential.

First attempt was digitally made

and the second attempt was drawn then painted.

I'm linking these to Art Journal Journey where the indefatigable Bleubeard and Elizabeth are asking us to "Count our blessings" and as regular visitors know, one of my great blessings is our garden.
I'm also linking to Moo-Mania where the theme is "Summertime".

Finally here is Mabel, in from the garden with some runner beans to freeze.

With the past hot sun and the current constant rain, the runner beans are growing like crazy and Mabel has plenty of work to do.

Monday, 30 July 2018


Hello everyone.

Some of you were kind enough to ask to see more photos of our garden.
Here is my new sitting spot next to the apple tree.
Because of the warm weather I was able to read there till almost dark.  The birds were singing quietly, a black cat sauntered by and I could hear rustlings in the bushes.
It was pretty idyllic.

Another little flower bed beside a well-used path.  The clematis "Etoile Violette" on the wall flowers profusely all summer.

Chris at "Art Journal Journey" is asking us to make art on the theme "Art for Art's sake" and as I haven't made any art this month it was the perfect theme to get me restarted.

I had a few false starts before I took my friend J's advice and looked for something in my sketchbook.
I've written about these sketchbooks before.
Each little square has to be drawn quickly, very, very quickly, without thinking.  I let the pens do it.  You can see it's not high art, it's only to generate ideas.

I chose the second in the first row, as Chris had asked us to consider doing something a bit different.
This is the original painting.  I was trying for a minimalist uncluttered look.

And here is it recoloured.

Which one do you prefer?

And finally I am going to join in, for the first time, with Elizabeth and Bleubeard's Tuesday Tea Party.  I hope that's alright, Elizabeth.  I see some of my friends go regularly every Tuesday so I'll have someone to talk to.
Mabel and Victoria (not their real names due to Teddy Privacy concerns) sometimes bring me tea in bed in the morning.  This is one of the best things ever.

Hope you all have a happy week and see you again soon.

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.