Monday, 22 November 2021

Monday, 22nd November 2021 - A Tonal View

I have been trying to get to grips with getting photos onto my website. I have now got the method. I find it a tedious task. I interspersed computer work with trips to my studio.

This evening I was in my art class. Our tutor is pushing us into new territory. Tonight was preparatory work for a project.

A Tonal View
Quink Ink

Sunday, 21 November 2021

Sunday, 21st November 2021 - Driving Home

Grandma-by-the-Seaside, nearly over the cliff, was in good spirits on a visit this afternoon whilst pondering over our latest family photos.

Rye Harbour was stuffed with couples, runners, parents, children, bikes and dogs. The meagre amount of daylight and sunshine seemed to have enticed the south east of England out for the afternoon. We didn't linger long.

A Pop-up Exhibition by Jason Michael proved to be an absolute glory. We now have a beautiful piece of art by Ronald Helen on our wall.

Driving Home
Indian Ink and Watercolour

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Saturday, 20th November 2021 - Tim's Violas

I take pleasure in the dark evenings at this time of year. And there is less gardening to do while everything gets ready to rest for the winter. It makes the daylight seem more special when there is so little of it. 

An afternoon tending a massive bonfire in our woods was a great way to purge my exhibition angst. 

Tim's Violas
Pen and Watercolour

Monday, 8 November 2021

Monday, 8th November 2021 - WOKAS Preview

I finished four collagraphs, four paintings and a stack of greetings cards with the support of a very tolerant husband for the Weald of Kent Art Society autumn exhibition. It is in St Mildred's Church, Tenterden. Open all this week 10-5pm and the last day Saturday 13th November 10-4pm. Free entry and a chance to buy a lovely piece of art.

There was a great turnout for the Preview last night. Thank you to all those who came and to those who didn't I am stewarding Friday afternoon. It would be lovely to see you.

I am in the photo behind the bar!!!

WOKAS Preview Night

Monday, 1 November 2021

Monday, 1st November 2021 - Composition, Chiaroscuro and Colour

Yoga with Adriene got me limbered up for an afternoon working on collagraphs in my studio. 

Blimey it is dark early. 

This evening it was back to art class. I hadn't done my homework. Partly because I thought I would fail. I should have done two portraits, one low key and one low key. Sounds difficult doesn't it?

Composition, Chiaroscuro and Colour

Sunday, 31 October 2021

Saturday, 30th October 2021 - I Made A Basket

Today I was on the road by 8.30am heading to a course to teach me a new skill. 

Eight virgin basket makers arrived at Linda's home. Marianne van Niekerken patiently took us through the basics which got more complicated by the hour. We were given ready made bottoms (mine was a lovely big one) then started slyping and inserting stakes, following weaving the upset to make sure our stakes were in the correct position we chose a weave to make up the sides then there was a bit of wailing before the border. There was a lot of faces contorted in concentration. Quite a lot of foul language as we undid our mistakes. We all came away with the most beautiful crafted pieces of basketware. Some were going to be hung as lights, some filled with bread or fruit, mine is sitting on my kitchen table where I can admire the workmanship and tend to my sore fingers. Thank you Linda for organising the day and keeping us fed with coffee, cake, lunch, cake and tea.

I Made A Basket

Friday, 29 October 2021

Friday, 29th October 2021 - Honey Bee

I am very thrilled that my print room is now up and running. Tim has been patient and encouraging with decorating and furniture moving. In between cutting my finger making collagraph plates I have been experimenting with drypoint. 

Honey Bee

Sunday, 24 October 2021

Sunday, 24th October 2021 - 'Seek' And You Will Find???

It has been a glorious day to have a birthday. With Si, Lesley, Nick and Alli we went a walk peppered with parasol mushrooms, which Tim identified using Seek. Lesley managed admirably considering the soles of one of her boots followed by the other came adrift. In the garden we drank a bottle of Moet that had been waiting in our fridge for a celebration. A fish pie with peas and eggs being stipulated by the birthday boy was followed by an apple crumble that contained our entire crop of Bramley apples. Thank you for making it a lovely day for a birthday.

'Seek' And You Will Find???
Pen and Watercolour

Sunday, 17 October 2021

Sunday, 17th October 2021 - After Lunch at Water Lane

This weekend we had friends to stay. It has been a couple of years since we last saw them. We ate, walked, talked, ate, talked and caught up on many months of news. 

After Lunch at Water Lane
Pen and Watercolour

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Tuesday, 12th October 2021 - Shapes and Shadows

I have nearly finished painting the walls in what will become my print room. It is looking excellent. Luckily there is not enough room for an armchair or I would spend all my time sitting pondering and reading books instead of working.

The art class I go to on a Monday evening feeds into my drawing and painting during the week. We have been looking at shapes. I found four vegetables, drew them before deciding which one I was going to use in our monochrome exercise. I decided upon the pepper being the simplest but am fond of the onion.

Shapes and Shadows

Saturday, 9 October 2021

Retrospective Sunday, 3rd October 2021 - White Cottage Open Studio

Tim and I visited an Open Studio in Playden. Richard Adams (I have adore his paintings) and his partner Jane Beecham opened their home and displayed their works of art along with their ceramicist daughter. We came home with a new piece of a lovely expressive work of art for our wall by Jane. I am thoroughly inspired.

White Cottage Open Studio
Pen and Watercolour

Friday, 1 October 2021

Friday, 1st October 2021 - Pistachio and Marzipan Black Tea

I met with Sarah this morning. Wendy's in Cranbrook does only diminutive coffee. No size option. We could not fathom the reasoning behind this. Subsequently we had pots of tea. 

I had a couple of hours this afternoon sorting out and painting the walls of what will be my print room.

Tim was in the garden taking on the task of hedge cutting. I went to help and was delighted to be in charge of the shredder. A very satisfying job.

We have discovered a new series to watch the Dublin Murders. It takes a lot of concentration. Excellent entertainment so far.

Pistachio and Marzipan Black Tea
Pen and Watercolour 

Thursday, 30 September 2021

Thursday, 30th September 2021 - Sunflowers from Pippa

I have planted seeds and bulbs. The house felt cold on my return so I lit the woodburner. Such a glorious smell and the warmth has percolated through the rooms. Just lovely.

Reading art books and listening to ArtJuice podcasts has been taking up my art energy. This evening I tackled my procrastination. 

Sunflowers from Pippa
Pen and Watercolour

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Tuesday, 14th September 2021 - Steve and Ange's Damsons

My paints and brushes having been taunting me. At last I get to wet my bristles.

We have a bucket load of damsons to process. The removal of their stones is laborious. I expect excellent culinary results.

Steve and Ange's Damsons
Pen and Watercolour

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Wednesday, 8th September 2021 - Ben Harvesting Lunch

Tom and Fable are staying with us for a few days. They go for a brisk morning walk. I have joined them the past couple of days.  Fable waits for me when I lag behind. 

Adriene put me through my paces on the yoga mat.

At Water Lane I met Pippa and June, followed by Lindsey for coffee. The orange, almond and polenta cake was delicious. It is such a glorious place. Nick and Ian have great plans for workshops, a Christmas market and I love the idea of going to watch a play.

Back home and the heat slowed my ability to do anything very productive.

Ben Harvesting Lunch
Pen and Watercolour

Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Tuesday, 31st August 2021 - Elizabeth's Plants

I got back on my yoga mat today after a few days of negligence. I never knew I would enjoy a downward dog so much. Good to be back with Adriene. 

Tim's sister is a keen gardener. She was away for a few days over the weekend. As we were passing by she put in a request for her pots to be watered. It took a while as she has a vast variety inside the greenhouse, outside the greenhouse, around the house - all four sides, on the porch and some tucked in the flower beds. They look amazing.

Elizabeth's Plants
Indian Ink and Watercolour

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Wednesday, 25th August 2021 - Pineapple Lily

I have a pot that most of the year is full of green leaves. In August it produces these weird looking flowers. It has yet to charm me.

Pineapple Lily 
Pen and Watercolour

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Tuesday, 24th August 2021 - Nearly Mud Free

I woke to find a message on my phone asking if Harriet and the children could visit. What a lovely surprise. Tim made them pizza. Herbie played with the hose. Hetty and Bella got very smelly and muddy in the stream at the bottom of the garden. They needed to be showered off to remove the smell. It was wonderful to see them all.

Nearly Mud Free
Pen and Watercolour

Monday, 23 August 2021

Monday, 23rd August 2021 - Art Critiques

Lucas Rockwood put me through some bendy stretchy yoga poses. He has a rather gorgeous voice. He tells me to close my eyes and breath deeply from my pelvic floor ... no problem Lucas.

I met up with Wendy, Leelee and Kara at the Pilgrims Way Artists exhibition. We spent a happy couple of hours studying the artists work. There was some gorgeous pieces. I am filled with inspiration. Sadly I spent the afternoon ironing bedding for the bed and breakfast guests instead of exploring with paint.

Our neighbours friendly Jackdaw was pottering in the garden with Tim this afternoon. I took him out some grapes as a treat. He flew round me then adeptly swiped a piece of cheese from my other hand. Clever bird.

Art Critiques
Pen and Watercolour

Sunday, 22 August 2021

Sunday, 22nd August 2021 - Waiting for Directions

I laid in bed this morning listening to the thrumming rain. I love that sound.

Then the damn alarm went off. I had to get the toast and croissant ready for bnb guests.

Tony and Wendy met us by the clock in Sandhurst. MapMyWalk told me we took 1 hour 59 minutes and 13 seconds to walk 6.82 km. That included many pauses to study maps. We stopped at the The Swan for beer before heading home. 

I filled my palette with wonderful new watercolours. 

Waiting for Directions
Pen and Watercolour

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Thursday, 19th August 2021 - Hibiscus

I am missing my Mum. She was a great listener and would let me talk about everything and anything no matter how trivial. It was all important to her.

There are some glorious flowers in the garden which are brightening up the all the green.

The hibiscus is so beautiful. I looked up the benefits. Not only is it packed with antioxidants it may help lower blood pressure, boost my liver, dissolve my fat, fight any lurking bacteria, and prevent cancer. The tea is easy to make. Anyone fancy making me some?


Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Wednesday, 18th August 2021 - Chilli Three Ways

Last night we had friends over for dinner. Si gave us a glorious pot of chilli plants that look full of promise. I like a chilli. 

Chilli Three Ways

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021 - Wandering

I have delivered an elegant full English breakfasts to my bed and breakfast guests. I did wonder if I would remember after 16 months of absence how to bake tomatoes, saute mushrooms and grill bacon. I found my muscle memory was still active. 

The Kent Library provides me with free audio books. I plugged my ear buds in and  found that ironing bedding was nearly enjoyable.

We wandered around the footpaths of Benenden Girls School where they are filming the Junior Bake Off. Loads of tents to peer into. Michael educated us on the use of various plants that could make tea. I think he thought my palate needed educating too as I was derisory, only slightly, about the musty tasting tips. A lifetime of PG has been embedded deeply into my taste buds.

Pen and Watercolour

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Wednesday, 28th July 2021 - A Colony of Chanterelle

Today was spent preparing for incoming guests. We have delightful new beds in the twin room. The old pine ones I sold through social media. 

Our foraging friend dropped round a bag of the most beautiful fungi. We are going to search for a recipe that will be worthy of their rarity. He took half a loaf of my homemade sourdough bread home in exchange.

A Colony of Chanterelle

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Tuesday, 27th July 2021 - Lime Confusion

I was out walking when I stopped by a lovely scent in the air. It took me a while to find the source. An enormous tree with tiny yellow flowers. I think it is a lime tree but it has caused me confusion as the one next to it is a lime tree but has small green fruits. Maybe one is female or they are different varieties. 

Lime Confusion
Pen and Watercolour

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Tuesday, 20th July 2021 - Incoming Tide at Wendletrap

It was a beautiful sunny day to celebrate a birthday with coffee and cake in the garden. Happy birthday Suzy. It was the first time I had made a whisked sponge and decorated it with a birthday candle. June and Alli helped eat the cake.

This afternoon we took the remainder of the cake to Fairlight. I had more cake and tea. Brenda and I sat and chatted about families. 

Incoming Tide at Wendletrap
Oil on Board

Monday, 19 July 2021

Monday, 19th July 2021 - A Sense of Place

So much heat followed by so much rain followed by more humid heat that our air quality monitor warned us our air quality is not perfect. I agree.

 My art tutor set us the quest following our topographical painting, I have now done three and dislike each one, was to abstract with feeling. So I did.

A Sense of Place
Watercolour and Ink

Sunday, 18 July 2021

Sunday, 18th July 2021 - Honey and Gold

We were given a glorious gift of creamed honey and sungold tomatoes. I have eaten the honey on buttered sourdough bread, thick and sticky it is delicious and nestles in the holes of the bread. The tomatoes didn't make it into a salad before I ate them.

Wow what a stinking hot day. It was a day to appreciate the shade of the trees to read and draw. 

Honey and Gold
Pen and Watercolour

Saturday, 17 July 2021

Saturday, 17th July 2021 -

I blame my poor sweet pea production on a bad situation and poor soil. Next year I will plant them where they will have an abundance of sun and glorious soil.

I have not been good company today as my mind has been plagued with self doubt. The weather drew us into the garden which was a good place for dispersal.

Eccentric Sweetpea
Pen and Watercolour 

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Wednesday, 14th July 2021 - Pink Hornbeam and Sketchbook Pages

Tim and I spent a couple of decadent hours at Sissinghurst Castle Gardens. We found an empty bench. I sketched, Tim worked. I have been investigating a glorious very tall plant that is in their nuttery. It is Chinese meadow rue. I now have to track down some plants or seeds.

We have a small woodland that was coppiced in the past. The trees are now rather straggly. I like their wayward shapes. At this time of year you enter at persil. The mosquitos are vicious.

Pink Hornbeam

Pages from my sketchbook.

Charcoal and pen on brown cartridge paper.

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Tuesday, 13th July 2021 - Angel's Fishing Rods

Some days I get stuck in neutral. I suppose it is better than reverse.

There is a bounteous display of Dierama in my flower bed. Google tells me the corm is a fertility charm. Hopefully the angels are taking advantage.

Angel's Fishing Rods
Pen and Watercolour

Monday, 12 July 2021

Monday, 12th July 2021 - Double Vision

I hunkered down in my studio to do my homework and listened to the rain.

Double Vision
Watercolour/Pen and Ink

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Wednesday, 30th June 2021 - Seed Pods

I think of seeds heads on plants as an autumn occurrence. A dead heading expedition in the garden proved me wrong. The love-in-a-mist and honesty are being left to populate, proliferate and procreate for next year.

Seed Pods
Pen and Watercolour

Monday, 28 June 2021

Monday, 28th June 2021 - Classwork

Brett came with Herbie. They stayed a short while. My heart hurt as they left.

I had to wear a mask in my own home today as I showed my bnb guest to his room. It was weird.

Monday night = Zoom art class. Our tutor has set the theme of water. Pretty topical with the thunderstorm that descended upon us this afternoon. I have started a large piece of work. I got lost in a world that takes me to a place of utter contentment. 


Friday, 25 June 2021

Friday, 25th June 2021 - Low Tide

We took flowers from the garden and walnuts to Fairlight to celebrate Tim's Mums 92nd birthday. She does also have a delightful wildlife camera so she can watch the badgers at night.

Low Tide

Thursday, 24 June 2021

Thursday, 24th June 2021 - Jump

The MG was taken out this afternoon. It didn't get very far before stopping. Steve and Tim tried valiantly to get it going. It was returned home on a low loader. 

Pen and Watercolour

Saturday, 19 June 2021

Thursday, 17th June 2021 - Ian and an Owl

Wow what a storm last night. My sister and I were able to find a dry spell in the day for a walk. We swung by Water Lane to check on progress. Ian paused his Dahlia duty to chat with us. His venture with Nick is coming on leaps and bounds. The raised beds are looking glorious. The owl keeps watch over the sweetpeas and has done a fine job of keeping the pigeons at bay. Next month hopefully we will be able to have coffee and cake. Great work.

Ian and an Owl
Pen and Watercolour

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Tuesday, 15th June 2021 - Harriet's Roses

When Harriet lived next door she planted a tiny rambling rose against the fence. Over the years it has grown and is now a profusion of bud and flowers. The petals are shaped like tiny hearts. I miss our chats cradling mugs of coffee sitting on the back door step so very much.

Harriet's Rose
Pen and Watercolour

Monday, 14 June 2021

Monday, 14th June 2021 - Next Stage Obliteration

I spent the evening swearing at my canvas. That tree needs taking out.

Next Stage Obliteration
Oil on Canvas

Friday, 11 June 2021

Friday, 11th June 2021 - Feeling Wild

The unmown grass, with it flowers and insects, is just as beautiful at the cultivated garden.

Feeling Wild
Pen and Watercolour

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Tuesday, 8th June 2021 - Foxgloves

Whilst on my hands on knees pulling weeds I extolled the virtues of WhatsApp video calling - to myself. I leant my phone on my weeding bucket. I was able to chat with a friend and she could watch and admire my work.

We have a robin nesting in a plant pot. I didn't realise she was there until she came flying out at great velocity. I checked later and she was sitting beady eyed back on her eggs. I feel rather delighted.

Bed and breakfast guests are starting to filter back. I feel useful again.


Monday, 7 June 2021

Monday, 7th June 2021 - Oil Painting in Progress

Multiple mosquitos have been hatching. They are much more evasive to my swipe than last year. Little devilish beasts. 

Harriet was in Cranbrook this afternoon. We sat in the garden at Arthur's with coffee talking about very important mother and daughter stuff. I miss her very much.

My art class is still on Zoom. Not being in a confined classroom I took advantage of being able to work with the aura of oil paints. Our brief is flowers in the landscape. So many ideas swirling around in my head.

Oil Painting in Progress

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Thursday, 3rd June 2021 - Lewisia

I am preparing the house and myself for the first bed and breakfast guests for over 14 months. It is quite a task. 

These came from Tenterden Market. They are giving me much pleasure.

Ink and Watercolour

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Tuesday, 1st June 2021 - Visiting Family

Over the last couple of days family have come, some stayed and now have all gone.

Visiting Family
Pen and Watercolour

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Tuesday, 25th May 2021 - Time to Turn Back

I woke up thinking I may have the onset of flu. My neck and shoulders were aching like anything. When the drowsiness of sleep had left me I realised it was the exertions of wielding an emulsion brush overhead for the past two days.

I was in my studio painting people and animals this afternoon. 

Tony and Wendy collected us for a walk. We headed out in the direction of Cranbrook. There was a very handy map stuck to a tree which showed us we were either going to have to keep walking for the rest of the day or retrace our steps. We got back to refreshments in the kitchen just as the rain descended....again.

Time to Turn Back
Pen and Watercolour