Friday, 1 January 2021


Happy New Year, everyone.
I haven't been in Blogland for a while but I've been busy sketching and painting, one of my many favourite  things.
Happily Erika at "Art Journal Journey" is asking us to make art on the theme "Favourite Things".

On our last get-together I asked my friend June to choose any drawing from one of my black ink sketchbooks for me to paint in colour and she chose this one.  It's the middle one in front of Anastasia.

The new painting, now 4 x 6 inches

Here it is photo-edited with black and recoloured slightly

and in a different colourway.

Seriously, it's too much fun.

Of course I had to make cards.  Who has ever had enough cards, especially at this time of year.

The cards are displayed by Anastasia.  You might notice that she is wearing her tartan Christmas ribbon.  
All the teddies get Christmas ribbons in December.

I'm currently filling up a new sketchbook, handmade by my friend J., with small colour sketches.
I'll show you more of these next time.

I've also knitted three new pairs of socks and on to the fourth.
These were made from many left-over balls from previous socks.

I've got much more to show you, so see you again soon.

Thursday, 12 November 2020


 My art group has a monthly challenge and this month the Theme is "Beachcombing" with the Prompt "Use only one colour" and Wendy at "Art Journal Journey" is asking us to make art on the theme "Birds".

I had fun with this.
Each image was painted separately then all was combined with Photoshop.
The little bird middle right is an old friend who you might recognise and he (temporarily) turned blue for the occasion.


The bird on the shore is wearing a cosy striped jumper because it is rather chilly on a Scottish beach today.

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We try to go a walk most days and I thought you might like to see a few of the houses we passed by last week, all fairly close to each other.

This was a private little estate.

Just along the road we came across these houses, nicely spaced and with an interesting shape.

Moo!  I would have loved to have seen the rest of this house and garden.

In my own garden I leave a lot of the plants to over-winter to provide somewhere for insects and other garden visitors to hide although I do like to do a bit of tidying up.
This frog was not pleased with the tidying idea.  He had been hiding under a clump of vegetation which I disturbed and he stayed in this position glaring at me for over ten minutes, long enough for me to go indoors to get the camera and take several photos.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you have been doing too.

Monday, 12 October 2020


Hello everyone.

Chris at "Art Journal Journey" is asking us to make art on the theme "Hold the Line".

I made some zigzag lines 
and took it from there.


I don't know if this next piece qualifies for AJJ but you can have it if you want, Chris.  It does have some lines in it.

I'm still on a mission to make minimalist art with some painted texture.  By "minimalist" I mean using no photo-editing filters (which I rarely use anyway) or layers and creating uncomplicated images.


Here is the gift card ready to go with the present.

And in Real Life - have you noticed the amazing skies and light over the past few months?  It's as if the earth has been showing us how beautiful it can be.  
This was the view from our back door a few days ago from where we see ever-changing skyscapes.

Finally Anastasia thought her scarf matched Mr. Esmeralda's Sweet Peas exactly and wanted you to see it too.

I'm not sure if Anastasia has been on the blog before.
She was a gift from my friend J. and Anastasia says if you would like to leave a comment especially mentioning her, she would be ever so pleased.

Friday, 2 October 2020


 I've discovered a new way of creating art designs and a new way of printing on cards and wall prints and I'm also flirting with more minimalism.

I made these new designs for Chris  at "Art Journal Journey"  who is asking us to "Hold the Line".



What do you think of these?

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I thought you might like to see a few more photos of my recent holiday.

I loved these two lions guarding the door.


Everywhere we went there was beauty and stillness.


And there seemed to be so many robins singing to us.


It's also good to be home.

Sunday, 27 September 2020


Hello everyone.
We've been away from home, staying at an idyllic cottage on a hill looking out on to this.

No television, no news, just reading books, eating (loads), lots of walking round the area and by the sea,

jigsaws (Mr. Esmeralda) and knitting (me).
My sister sent me the wool for the holiday project.

* * * * * * *

Jo at "Art Journal Journey" is asking us to make art with texture.
I'm not a great fan of texture (bumpy bits) so this was an interesting challenge - which I enjoyed, so thanks Jo.
These two pieces are both square but I slanted the photo to show the texture.  They are made with stamped black fabric , hand-dyed fabric and hand-sewing.


I tried them on various printed pages
first, a matching painted page,

next, a minimalist page

and the second one on a flashy page.

They didn't like any of these suggestions (and neither did I) so they sorted themselves out to make a together piece on the cover of the sketchbook which I think was a much better idea.
Sometimes the artwork knows best.

* * * * * * *

The garden was luxuriant when we returned, flowers and vegetables had had a great time while we were away.

Have you grown or seen this plant?  It's a Nicandra, an annual.  Each pretty lantern-shaped seed head has a million tiny black seeds and if sown any time up to June or maybe even later in warmer countries produces a large wide bush (up to four feet or more) covered in these flowers with lovely leaves.  You could fill your entire garden with them.  The seedlings are easily identified as the leaves are covered in tiny black dots.   In Spring I go round peering at the ground looking for the seedlings although I usually save a few seed heads too.

A garden blogpost would not be complete without Douglas, my best garden helper, and here he is with the first Brussels Sprout of the year.

I'll be along to visit you later, so see you soon.

Tuesday, 1 September 2020


I was delighted to see the new challenge at "Art Journal Journey" where Jo is asking us to make art with texture as this is the basis of the new art I've been making over the past few weeks.

But first I have to give a short explanation.

When many years ago I started a four year course at Art College the tutor took one disparaging look at my attempts at painting and said I had to put more texture in it.
I hadn't a clue what she was talking about.
I added bumpy bits, crumpled paper, leaping strips, different materials.
Not right.  Had to do it again and again.
It took me more than a month (or two) to work out what she meant.
So painting of "The Uphill Street" which I made a few years ago has no texture

but this latest one has texture.

And when I recently sent this next design as a card to my sister, she said "It's got a great texture".  My sister is the best ever.

Here's a final one for now.  
It's a painting of Escharoides coccinea which are creatures of the sea and I've given them pink ribbons because I think they might like it.

I hope you all like these paintings with texture because I'm obsessed with them and I'm going to make more.