Sunday, 2 May 2021


I love the Honesty plant.  It is well named.  It is trustworthy and reliable and seeds itself anew every year but not in an obtrusive way.  
It quietly says "Hello. Here I am again". 

I'm joining in with Elle's theme "Language" at "Art Journal Journey" with the language of the flowers.

I was sorting through a box of old artworks when these fell out of an envelope and made a rather pretty arrangement all by themselves.

The flowers talking on black

and on pink.

I used the on-black pattern to create and print wrapping paper.

Here is Cecil again, showing the wrapped present and the Birthday card.

Cecil doesn't talk much but he does make his presence known.

Monday, 12 April 2021


"Art Journal Journal" is asking us to make art on the theme "Inspired by".
I am currently being inspired by Elizabeth who, this month, is posting a series of ingenious artworks made with recycled materials.
I've hardly ever made art with recycled materials so was inspired to have a go, helped by my friends.

It started with a little box of soap, strangely named "Magical Beauty Queen", and a box of biscuits.
I rescued both of these from the cardboard recycling box

and made a crown from the biscuit box cardboard.
I used Mr. E's gold acrylic to paint the crown.  He said he had hardly ever used it so that was a sort of recycling.

The deep purple fabric is from one of my fabric boxes labelled "Fabric I will probably never use".
The striped paper was cut out of yesterday's newspaper.
The pink wooden block was an offcut from one of Mr. E's projects which I rescued ages ago and have been keeping as I just liked it.

I've got a very large box full of foil papers from confectionary collected over many years and I made a little banner attached to thin washi tape.

And now - what you have all been waiting for!
It's the beauty pageant results!  Anastasia has been chosen as the Beauty Queen!  Loud cheers!!!
Cecil is the proud compere of the event.
You can see the glamorous Sapphire in the background looking slightly miffed.  She was the runner-up. 

That was the only photo I managed to get because -


A rather strange bedraggled protester has crashed the event.
"SAVE THE TEDDY" - what does that mean?
Nobody knows.  Nobody knows what to do.

Cecil has come out of his commenting box to appeal to the protestor who is saying nothing.

How did it end?
Don't worry.
It was just a game of performance art and recycling.
They are all good friends and got together shortly afterwards for a drink and a debrief although Sapphire is still ever so slightly miffed.

In case anyone is saying - "Wait!!!  This is not art journalling!!!"
We think it is.  It's (performance) art and it is in my Art Journal for today.

Kisses to all art journallers from the four actors - Anastasia, Sapphire, Cecil and Mabel.

Sunday, 4 April 2021


The theme at "Art Journal Journey" this month is "Inspired by", which was chosen by Eileen before she recently died.
So this month Chris and Erika are hosting her theme as a tribute.

One thing I enjoyed very much in Eileen's blog were her journal diaries.  Each page was full of little illustrations and words which were delightful and fascinating.

I thought a good tribute would be to post one of my older journal pages which are different but the same sort of idea.  


What am I inspired by?
My art group has a monthly challenge where the theme is chosen by one of the members.   Last month was an intriguing theme "Workman's marks".  We were encouraged to go out into the streets and look for painted marks made on the road or pavement. 

Here are four of the more useful marks I found.

The next is a coloured version of the previous photo to highlight the marks.

I made a couple of paintings using oil pastels and watercolour inks using all four of the marks above as inspiration.  This was the first painting with no photo-editing except for the frame

and after giving it a good going over with Photoshop I produce this.  It's basically a crop of the right-hand side turned anti-clockwise.

Concurrently the weekly challenge with my friend J. had the theme "Shakespeare".   I used this second painting, also inspired by the workman's marks above

to make this to illustrate the quotation "The isle is full of noises" from Shakespeare's play "The Tempest".

I hope you enjoyed this post and the paintings inspired by the workmen's marks in the streets.

Wednesday, 31 March 2021


My "Single Flower" presenting team would like to say thank you to each of you who contributed to the beautiful Single Flowers we have seen this month at "Art Journal Journey".  We have loved each and every one.

From left to right is Anastasia, Cecil who is Douglas's new apprentice, the glamorous Sapphire and Douglas.

We showed this Pink Flower in the previous blogpost and we have been having lots of fun playing with it.

We made our own "washi tape".   It makes a lovely seal for this pretty pink envelope.

Come back another time to see what else the Pink Flower can do.

Friday, 26 March 2021



Here is the desk in my studio waiting for me to carry on with this painting.  
You can see I am well-placed to watch the nesting box which two blue tits have been investigating.

Of course it's easier for me, I've got very good helpers

This is the painting at the stage which you see on the table above and I made it in pursuit of some paintings for my challenge on "Art Journal Journey" with the theme "A Single Flower".  
It is one of those paintings which start with a splosh and finish with a splash and has a few stripes and dots in-between.   In other words it is a play-painting.

What is that thing upper right?  I've no idea, the paints went off on their own.  
I took a slice from the top left which has possibilities.  Below is straight from the painting with no photo-editing trickery
And before anyone suggests that there are two flowers here I state quite definitely that the pink thing on the right below is a non-flowering cactus or maybe an alien insect.

Then it got a make-over in Photoshop.
I think I may prefer the one above.  What do you think?

It got a further crop

and here is the same with a colour change.

I rather like these crops and they will make good card designs or even wrapping paper.

* * * * * * *

I went out to the garden this morning in the hail, sunshine and snow, all in the space of ten minutes, to see if I could find any real flowers, single or otherwise.

I found:

A euphorbia in the woodland walk,

some pansies in a pot which had survived the winter,

Honesty, which at this time of year is my favourite flower.  It's just what it is, an honest flower

and finally this sweet single pink flower on the lime green leaves which had also survived the winter.

I've got plans for this little painted flower which introduced this post.  Come back later to see what they are.

You still have six more days (counting today) to make a Single Flower for the challenge at "Art Journal Journey"  It doesn't have to be mega-fancy, it can be as minimalist as you like, but if fancy takes your fancy it can be fancy too.

Monday, 22 March 2021


The artwork I will show here literally made itself.  Yes, I do mean literally.  I was out in the garden all afternoon and came in just for a minute and as I was passing through my studio I saw these ancient felt tip pens looking at me, still sitting there from where they had made the art for my
 previous blogpost.   
They hypnotised me.

I got a piece of cardboard out of the waste basket and chose a pen.   Because I was only there for a minute I made a rule that I would not try out the pen colours but trust in the colour of the cap (not usually trustworthy).

I started with the arch and this creature jumped on top.

I next drew a flower.

then three dancing cactuses

and finally a house

which all made this.

Then I wondered what happened next.
Luckily the pens knew exactly what they were doing and a title came straight into my head.

So I found a motor car in my small paintings box

and a background pattern in my computer files called "The Dark"

and with the help of Photoshop made


The "Single Flower" challenge at "Art Journal Journey" runs till the end of this month.   As you can see here you don't have to be able to draw to enter, just get some materials, possibly some strange old pens, and make a flower - painted, collaged, stamped or whatever you like.