Sunday, 27 September 2015


The genesis of this page was in a trip away from home where the weather was warm and wonderful, and I was much better health and pain wise ... and of course we were free from the usual demands on us.  Coming back was hard because I also came back to the reality of living in a colder rather than a wondrously warm climate, where the pain is so much less.  If I could live somewhere warm all the time ..... but alas Lancashire in north-west England is home, and its cold.

So as ever I got what I was feeling down on paper and got over it!  This is just about my favourite colour combination - blue and green - and I'm really fond of this acidic lime green.  The collage materials came mostly from a home wares catalogue which yielded all sorts of wonderful colour and pattern - and best of all was free!  I don't always work like this but you can see here how I gradually built up a border around the painted page.
Then I added the eye, the human (blue with cold?) and one or two other bits, just to break up the straight lines.  You can also see a bit of doodling and on the right some printed tissue paper which I pasted down with matte medium.  If you see any nice printed tissue paper grab it because its great for collage.
Then of course the writing - still trying to remind myself NOT to write in straight lines, but I don't always remember.
And then I finished it off with all manner of doodling, dots and whathaveyou which I can never resist.  Paint pens figure heavily at this stage, and I have them in a wide variety of nib widths.
And to answer those of you who were kind enough to ask - Himself has now had two operations and we are now at the crossroads waiting for lab results, following which its either a big operation or chemotherapy.  Getting read to move house in a few weeks time is a challenge while dealing with all this, but oddly enough it takes your mind off worrying about the cancer when you have to think about flooring and tiles, and shall we have French doors or a sliding patio door.

We're quite calm because its all in the hands of God, whichever way it goes, and just trying to focus on the positive and finding some joy in every day.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015


Sorry there was no post at the weekend - I was just a bit overwhelmed by all the things that were going on .... I kept MEANING to do a post and never actually getting around to it!

Anyway thought I would just quickly share my journals - as you can see above no.11 (I know it looks a bit like 22) is now finished, and the blue journal no.12 is all pristine and just waiting to be worked in.  I LOVE starting a new one, it seems full of possibility somehow - I don't date my pages but I do
write the start date in the inside cover, and later add the date I finish.

Below is a quick snapshot of some of the pages in no.11 - its interesting to see how my style changes and develops as I look back over them.
And here below is the finished no.10 and no.11 all ready to go ... that was back in March.  I seem to fill about two journals a year, but am not counting or setting myself any standards.
These books are Pink Pig journals, nothing fancy - the pages are 8 x 8" and I glue two together for strength.  The paper isn't watercolour standard or anything like that, since I gesso every page first and throw a lot of mixed media layers at them it really would be a waste of the best paper.

I decorate each new book individually when I can see that I'm getting near the end of the current one, so there is always one waiting.  I add ribbons and tie on charms etc., but not too many to begin with because it can make working in the book a bit awkward.  I add more decorations when the journal is finished and they make quite a show up on my shelf with their decorated spines and numbered labels.

Life is a bit more exciting than I really want it to be right now.  I'm still grieving a number of losses this past year, we're in the middle of Himself's cancer treatment and the roller-coaster and steep learning curve which that involves, while at the same time trying to downsize a 4 bed house plus studio into a two bed flat plus studio plus balcony.  Retirement and move is planned for early November - it will be such a wrench to leave our church and the very special people in it, but it is undoubtedly time to put our own needs first.

Sunday, 6 September 2015


Something of a departure for me you might think, but then again maybe this is just an extension of the line and pattern that I've been enthusiastically exploring in recent months.  I also LOVE Scandinavian motifs, you know the kind of thing with a pair of birds facing one another and a pattern of hearts and scrolls?  So when I set out to paint a bird this is very much what was in my mind ....

And this was one of those times when I knew from the outset that the title of this page would be "Love gives Me Wings", which is why there obviously had to be a bird.
Now I draw better than I paint, and if I do paint then watercolour is my medium of choice, as I find acrylics a bit crude for fine detail and shading.  However, blue background and blue bird both went down OK and I knew I would be adding black line detail to liven it up.  At this stage Himself leaned over my shoulder and looked at the bird a bit doubtfully.  "Go make coffee" I told him, "then you'll see".

When he returned I'd added these basic lines and he began to understand where I was going with it. "Looks a bit Scandinavian" he said.  Good, because that was the look I was after!  Oddly enough no hearts found their way into this, and you'd think as a strong element in that kind of design, and the theme, they would have belonged?  Apparently not.
Then I was on a roll and exploring all sorts of line and pattern ... which is a bit of an obsession with me lately.  The words I already knew, but I expanded on them a bit.  It reached the point below and I felt like it was finished, but I couldn't help thinking that it was still a bit bare?
Not wanting to do my usual trick and risk spoiling it with too much decoration, I hit on the idea of using a white pen so that I could add doodling which would be very soft and subtle against the pale blue background.  I think it worked :)
We are just beginning the journey of living with cancer and embarking on treatment (Himself not me) so there have been a lot of dark days and some tears, not to mention a few rather bleak journal pages. However, one effect all this has is to make you take stock and be very VERY grateful for what you have.  We have been so fortunate to have more than 40 years of a great love, which time has not dimmed or diminished.  My man has been the one to give me wings and encourage me to test my limits, always with the safety of his arms to come home too.  Blessed?  You betcha.