Tuesday, 24 December 2013


Clouds flow in the pre-dawn sky
grey & tattered
trees bend and sway gently
calm in the eye of the storm
and above them, dark shapes
slipping & sliding through the air
silent & graceful
moving without motion
circling and rising in perfect concert
feeling their way gracefully
through the currents and eddies
invisible to us poor earth-bound mortals

Friday, 20 December 2013


OK, technically it's tomorrow.
But tomorrow is going to be a little hectic.
So I'm taking this chance to wish you all
A blessed Midwinter/Solstice/Yule.

As the earth grows colder,
the winds blow faster,
the fire dwindles smaller,
and the rains fall harder,
let the light of the sun
find its way home

Sunday, 15 December 2013


The Cailleach speaks,
Cruel & cold
"This land is mine,
to have and hold"
Iron earth
Frozen water
Harsh & strident,
Winter’s roar

I must admit that the Cailleach's been pretty mellow up until now,
(down here anyway, the Scots may disagree).
All we've had is a couple of early morning frosts
and a few windy days.
But I'm sure we'll find out soon enough when her mood changes.

In the meantime I'll carry on planning for the great Midwinter feast next Saturday.
Somehow I've finished up with 14 people coming.
Which is great.
Except my dining table only seats 8.
or it did.......

Oh well, at least there's some creativity this week :D

(art stuff has been mostly packed away,
which means I now have lots of ideas!)

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Betula pendula

aka Silver Birch.

This is the piece that I started on the last day of AEDM
and I've slowly added to it this week.

Although the trees are the focal point at the moment,
they'll actually just be part of the background
when I finally get the whole thing finished
(don't hold your breath)

Finally, for those who think I am a caring, sharing individual
and all sweetness and light,
you may like to know that I am conducting psychological warfare
against my youngest daughter.
For some reason I am feeling more Christmassy than usual this year
(which means I have actually taken note of it).
I found a very cheap, tacky light-up snowman
and announced that I had decorated my desk at work.
This was met with sarcasm from said off-spring,
so I am now on a mission to be as clichéd as possible for the festive season.
So far I have window lights,
festive music, 
mince pies
and Christmas cards
ticked off the list.
When I spoke to her earlier she was sounding slightly concerned,
and muttered something about four horsemen.
The tree is going up tomorrow!


Saturday, 30 November 2013

AEDM2013 The End!

Before I go any further,
I have to say a big thank you to Leah
for making this happen again.
Hopefully I'll be around on CED from time to time.

Well, we've finally reached the end of another Art Every Day Month.
This year has been different from previous ones
Mainly due to life getting in the way,
but somehow I've managed to create every day,
even if it's only a quick 5 minutes sketch.

Today's offering is the start of a project,
a background for a canvas.
And it's not my usual nicely sized small canvas
this one is 16x12
which is way out of my usual comfort zone.
Keep watching to see where it goes
and thanks for all your comments
and encouragement over the last month.

Friday, 29 November 2013

AEDM2013 day 29

When she transformed into a butterfly,
the caterpillars spoke not of her beauty,
but of her weirdness.
They wanted her to change back
into what she always had been.

But she had wings.
-Dean Jackson

Thursday, 28 November 2013

AEDM2013 Day 28

Gliding in on still wings
Why now?
Or are you truly messengers?
Sent to stir my thoughts
To Open my eyes
And my mind.
Quiet you sit watching
Dark shining eyes
And then, as silently, you're gone
Leaving just thoughts
And questions.
A murder you are
Or should you be called elsewhat?
A puzzle?
A harbinger?
Time will tell
Or The Lady will

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

AEDM2013 day 27

Remember this?

It came to me one morning whilst I was getting ready for work.
The third verse came first and the rest just followed.

I'm not sure what sparked it,
possibly something that somebody had said,
or something overheard,
that eventually worked it's way out onto the page.

They're strange things, words.
Sometimes they're simple and inoffensive,
sometimes they're kind and gentle,
and sometimes they're the most destructive thing you can find.

Just thought I'd leave you with that.

Have a good evening.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

AEDM2013 Day 26

Low on energy again today
but the end is in sight
and I'm not falling by the wayside now
so managed to get an idea roughed out.
Not sure when the real thing will see the light of day.

Monday, 25 November 2013

AEDM2013 Day 25

This is one of those pieces which starts out as an idea
and then morphs into something else.
I have no idea how it's going to end!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

AEDM2013 Day 23/24

Before I say anything else
The Day of the Doctor was brilliant!
So that's last night taken care of.
The rest of yesterday was spent labelling up artwork
ready for the sale next weekend.
I have 14 pieces for sale and I reckon that's enough,
so I'm now back to creating what I feel like.

Today has been Midwinter ATCs (ongoing)
and cutting up old books for a wordy page.

Friday, 22 November 2013

AEDM2013 Day 22

Today has been productive
but there's nothing original.
It's all stuff I've done before,
but it's also things people have passed favourable comment on before
so hopefully they'll sell at the end of the month.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

AEDM2013 Day21

A couple of small canvases prepped for tomorrow

And I now have what I need for my other canvases :)
It's a hard life,
but somebody has to do it.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

AEDM2013 day 20

I know a few people like this!

I've actually enjoyed creating this,
I think the fog is lifting :D

Monday, 18 November 2013

Sunday, 17 November 2013

AEDM2013 day 16 & 17

Two days in one,
you lucky people.

It's been a flat kind of weekend
and yesterday I couldn't summon up the enthusiasm to post,
even though I'd done something creative
I'm not really happy with this
The idea is based on a little piece of dialogue that came to me
and was scribbled in one of my notebooks
"Why do you turn your back to the fire?" she asked.
"Because somebody has to watch the darkness" he replied,
"for it is full of shadows and fear.
But for those brave enough to approach, it is a place of wonder too."
The two figures are supposed to illuminated by firelight
but they just look muddy
I think this will be getting a remake soon

Today has been an improvement
although not exactly bursting with energy
I've put together three frames for the end of month sale.
They need some more work yet
and then I'll have to force myself to eat chocolate
so I have some empty wrappers to fill them with
I may have to drink gin too.
The sacrifices I make for the sake of art.....

Friday, 15 November 2013

AEDM2013 Day 15

It's actually copper
Maybe I should sort out the lighting in here.
But that would involve being a grown up
and going and buying bulbs
Rather than using the standing lamps

Decisions, decisions.........

Thursday, 14 November 2013

AEDM2013 Day 14

There's something a bit fishy going on here

Not to mention something a bit shady as well

Maybe I'm showing something of my dark side.

Keep watching and all may be revealed!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

AEDM2013 Day 13

At the moment I have ideas,
but they're not ready to surface yet.

Some are blurry images,
others are half formed words,
and all are lurking in my brain
waiting their moment to demand attention,
to be drawn
or painted
or written.

Usually at 7 in the morning
whilst I'm trying to get my socks on.

Or 3 in the afternoon
whilst I'm trying to create a data query.

But never when I'm sat at the table,
poised with pen or brush.

So instead I've sat and splattered some paint around.
And now I'll sit and stare at it.
I'll sneak up when it's not looking
and see if I can catch it out
and find out what it wants to be.

If you happen to notice what it is
whilst you're looking at it,
do let me know!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

AEDM2013 Day 12

Nothing too spectacular for this post.
I've spent most of my time playing around with old photos for a friend,
trying to touch them up so that she can frame them.
I have to admit that digital artwork isn't really my forte
I can just about manage to tidy up some of my artwork shots
with a bit of cropping and straightening,
but Gamma adjustments
HSV variations
and so on leave me at a loss.
I'll stick to paint I think.

Today's offering is some work on the third canvas board from day 4.

Monday, 11 November 2013

AEDM2013 day 11

Or will these changing times,
motorways, powerlines,
keep us apart?
Well, I don't think so
I saw some grass growing through the pavements today.

This has been rattling around my brain for a couple of days now,
waiting to be painted.

The inspiration is the line from Jethro Tull's

The colours on the left are closer to the actual painting,
but the flash takes out some of the depth
so you get to see both images.

And a video as well!
Some days I'm just too generous!

Saturday, 9 November 2013

AEDM2013 Day 9

Just a quick post again.

Still struggling with things
and not enough energy to try and be witty,
or deep and insightful,
so just a couple of WIP

Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Friday, 8 November 2013

AEDM2013 day 8

In a rush and not much sleep.
So feel free to add your own narrative :)

Thursday, 7 November 2013

AEDM 2013 Day 7

Soft and tender they flow
Like healing balm
Settling gently in the heart

Fiery and passionate they erupt
Like fireworks
Dancing in the heart

Sharp and barbed they fly
Like arrows
Burrowing deep in the heart

What words will you use?

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

AEDM2013 Day 6


The first of the canvas boards is complete.
Inspired by a ship's Plimsoll Line
the letters are for
Winter Temperate Seawater
Winter North Atlantic

Well, it's that time of year after all.

I didn't get chance to go for a wander through the blogs yesterday,
I hope to rectify that today :)

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

AEDM2013 day 5

Less productive for this one
(guess who's back to the daily grind)

I need to let the paint dry before I start adding more detail.
This is a possible idea for a sale item.
I'll see how it works out.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

AEDM2013 Day 4

After yesterday's foray into the world of verse,
I'm back to the paint

I may have the opportunity to put some of my work up for sale in a fairly public place, which is a great chance to get some cash and see if my stuff will really sell
(and not just to family & friends).
Or at least it would be if I had any to sell.
I have two types of artwork.
The stuff I make for myself,
and the stuff I make and give to friends.
So I now have a couple of weeks to try and get some pieces put together to go on the stall.
It's probably going to consist of pieces which are based on my journal pages and other previous works.

This is the start
8x8 canvases with several layers of paint and texture paste (mostly copper)
inspired by this
I've no idea how they'll look when they're finished,
it's going to be a surprise (even to me)

AEDM2013 Day 3

Gentle mists swirl imperceptibly
Yellowed leaves tumble in the breeze
as the trees sway lazily
gently moving to the song of the wind.
Dampness hangs in the air
Coating the world with a sheen of water
Bringing a fleeting touch of freshness
To a world in decay.
'tis November

The words are the same, just a slightly altered layout
(was on my nexus earlier and haven't figured out formatting yet)

Saturday, 2 November 2013

AEDM 2013 day 2

I guess this kind of fits in with the time of year.

Although Hallowe'en is Oct 31st
we tend to be a bit more practical when it comes to Samhain,
so I'll be celebrating it tonight with friends and family.
There's a Samhain feast with lots of wintery warming goodies,
good company,
and a place for absent friends.

I can't remember where I originally came across this quote,
but it's been in my notebook for a while.
And although it's cute,
the message is there for all of us,
no matter how great or wonderful you may think you are,
the wheel will turn
and you'll leave with the same as you started with.
The big question is;
What will you leave behind?
Hopefully it's a little piece of yourself in many hearts.

Samhain Blessings to one and all.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have some neeps to carve...

Friday, 1 November 2013

And so it begins. AEDM2013 Day 1

November 1st

The start of a month of activity for many people.
For hairy types there's Movember.
For those with the gift of words there's Nanowrimo.
And last but definitely not least,
it's AEDM!

This is the 3rd year I've taken part, and I'm hoping that like previous years I'll manage something every day, even if it's only a quick sketch or a verse.
So here we go with day one.

Two quick sketches for my illustrated poem
(based on this)

and a background page,
scrubbed acrylic over gesso,
not sure where I'm going with it yet.

Early days.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Just dance

The inspiration for this came from the video at the end of the post.
It was one of those random things that people post on Facebook that really caught my attention.
The music is brilliant, full of life;
this guy is obviously enjoying himself;
and the effect of the light is intriguing.
How could I resist turning it into a journal page?

The only downside is that it reminds me of something
I can't dance.
I'd love to be able to bounce around like that,
or maybe an Argentine Tango,
but sadly nowadays my joints have all the flexibility of a scaffolding pole
(complete with associated creaking noises)
But the good news is,
there's always the armchair boogie
(it's not pretty or elegant but who cares)
Needless to say, in my younger days when I could have done this,
I didn't want to!
George Bernard Shaw was right:
Youth is wasted on the young!

Oh, and if you're wondering why I'm posting this on a Friday lunchtime instead of a Saturday/Sunday evening, it's because I'm off to haul this decrepit old carcass around the countryside for the weekend.
Have a good weekend,
and if you get the chance


Saturday, 19 October 2013

Even in the quietest moments

there's no deep and meaningful hidden depths for this one
just me playing with a bit of paint in one of my journals
I'm sure that if I tried hard enough
I could find some hidden message from my psyche
buried deep within the lyrics of the song.
But that sounds like hard work
so I'll stick with the playing with paint idea.
maybe I'll do 'deep & meaningful' next time.
but don't bank on it.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Trying to think of a suitably witty title.........

I have a picture mount that's been lurking around for ages
so I figured it was time to do something with it.
It's cheap and cheerful,
and I'm not sure why I bought it,
probably another idea that fell by the wayside.
This is it.

I've been looking at it for a while.
Sneaking up when it wasn't looking,
and hoping to catch an idea when it's guard was down,
but without any luck.

But, I've now figured out what to do with it.
A series of images with female faces.
so I'm going to have to get to grips with doing portraits!
No pressure then!

These are the drafts.
I wonder if you can guess the theme?

I've also altered the other cheapy frame I had
and given it a pewter finish.
This time it's for a friend who needs a bit of a lift.

Sunday, 6 October 2013


Yes, I pray*
It's part of my morning ritual.
Up, showered, dressed and more or less awake.
Then a short Reiki session,
fresh water on the altar
a few minutes of quiet contemplation,
and finish with a prayer to my deities.
It sets me up for the day ahead.

The words have developed over the years and are not rigid.
What you see here is the core of it,
but I'll frequently throw in extra bits
ask for help for friends
or a little guidance with something that needs sorting.

Blessed Be isn't something I would normally use,
but in this case it seems to fit the flow of the words,
so that's good enough for me.

The frame started as a cheap pine picture frame.
I think it was 2 for 49p
It's been layered with gesso and black acrylic,
and then a few layers of silver acrylic
applied before the black had dried
to give the pewter effect.

*This may come as a shock to some people!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

In case of emergency........

Some of you may remember this from a few weeks back.

Well, I decided to use the idea for a couple of birthday presents at work.
Except one of the ladies doesn't drink,
and the other is a self-confessed chocaholic!
Oh well, adapt and overcome as they say........

I hope they don't get desperate,
there's no chocolate in there!

(It was in a separate goodie bag)

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Another book

Feel free to shout if you're getting bored with these.
(There is other stuff going on, but it's even more boring than the books)
I didn't even make this one, it was an ordinary notebook that somebody gave me.
With a sort of pink and brown stripey look.

It's now covered in texture paste and copper paint.
It's also in a jiffy bag, going somewhere.

So that's about it, 
the highlight of my week is an altered notebook.
Living the dream or what?

I'm off to gesso a couple of canvases.
Hopefully the excitement won't be too much for me.....