Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Drawing to order

Xavier told me exactly what he wanted me to draw this evening – and what Jack should say. He loved the drawing so much he said that I am now officially ‘cooler’ than Flo. You’d better think of some fun maths games girl if you want to beat me in the ‘coolness’ stakes.

Xavier ready to go on board ship

Nineteen family members spending the weekend together on board the ‘Aurora’. Xavier chose the jumper but fortunately they let us through security.
Brushpen in sketchbook

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sketching in Bruges

I love this quiet spot in Bruges which I previously visited three years ago. To find out more about the Béguinage read my earlier post. As I sat on the grass yesterday painting this scene, numerous tourists took a photo of me – maybe they thought I was a typical Bruges artist!
13.5" x 9.5" ink and watercolour

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Three blue paintings

Using some of my watercolours as a starting point I produced these three blue acrylic paintings for the Artshed Boys in Blue exhibition to raise money for The Prostate Cancer charity. This exhibition follows on from the huge success the Artshed had a couple of years ago with a pink picture exhibition to raise money for a breast cancer charity. All the paintings at this exhibition will cost £100, the only restriction is that they must include some blue and they are all painted on 16" x 16" inch canvases. You can buy a private view ticket for you and a guest for £100 and the ticket will allow you to choose a painting to take home. It should be quite a sight – hundreds of blue paintings exhibited together.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Waiting to swim

A busy week. Dinner for the parents at Flo’s college – how fortunate that we get to share a little in what it will be like for her. Producing three blue paintings for a show to raise money for this exhibition. And today, Xavier, waiting by the pool for his turn to be helped with backstroke. He lifts his head out of the water and his feet sink. When I suggest that it might work better if he put his head back he says he needs to keep his head up so that he can see where he is going.
Pen in sketchbook

Monday, September 15, 2008

Time to relax

The end of the exhibition and the first time that we’ve had a proper family meal in three days (we haven’t dared to spoil the ‘gallery-ready’ space with any proper cooking). And what a wonderful three days – it’s been a real village event – we’ve met all sorts of people in the village who love the surrounding countryside, we’ve shown that somehow at least once we can make our house tidy, my darling husband has at last after eight years cleared his desk so that I can dust his computer, and I’ve managed to get over that ridiculous possessiveness I have about my favourite pieces of artwork. How much better it is to for your work to be on the wall of someone who likes it enough to buy it than for it to languish in a portfolio behind the sofa. I know the illustrations above look like two boys but it’s just me – they are both Hugo after a bath.
Pen in lumpy sketchbook

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Another oldie by happy but tired.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Exhausted but on a high

Here is fortnight-old sketch of Walberswick viewed from Southwold because I am too exhausted to produce something newer with the upheaval of getting my house ‘exhibition ready’. The private view was a resounding success. You couldn’t move for visitors and fisticuffs nearly broke out over ‘Mr King’s Cattle’. Fellow blogger and poet Glyn arrived early having kept within the spirit of ‘sketchercise’ and walked the two or three miles from St Albans station. People kept coming in waves and our final very welcome visitor of the evening was art supremo and über-blogger Katherine Tyrrel. Today (the first official day of the show) lots more people came and the day was hugely entertaining. My father arrived with friends from Northamptonshire as soon as the doors were open. Anyone who arrived after that couldn’t get to see any pictures until after they had been button-holed by Dad finding out which part of the world they came from and recounting anecdotes of his experiences of their homeland. So we had everything and anything including him demonstrating to our new next-door neighbours his facility in speaking Swahili. My old school friend Fiona arrived around lunch and having shared a room with me at boarding school was gobsmacked at how tidy my house was. (Tee hee little does she know). We had a lovely hour or so together. Then in the afternoon more friends arrived and to my delight I met one of my favourite bloggers, Judith in the flesh for the first time. I hope she enjoyed my friend Ruth’s demonstration of a headstand in the middle of the ‘gallery’ as much as I did. I’ve had such a wonderful time that when Robin arrived back from a long day out he thought I’d been on the sherry when in fact all that’s passed my lips are a few cups of tea. To see how the house looked before the hordes arrived (and before I’d rushed out to buy the requisite ‘gallery opening’ flowers) have a look at Flo’s virtual tour.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Tom at Edinburgh airport

Ink and watercolour

Monday, September 08, 2008

Napiers, Edinburgh

I managed a sketch of this lovely building last month, while Tom and I waited to see the show that should win the prize for the worst show with the best marketing at the Edinburgh fringe. So despite wasting a tedious hour watching the show Tom is still entranced enough with the marketing to still be wearing his ‘This show belongs to Lionel Ritchie’ badge. It might just be me but I need wit and impeccable timing to enjoy comedy – surrealism without those elements and in the company of an audience who seemed as bored as I was, was the only blip on an otherwise marvellous and entertaining few days.
Pen and watercolour

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sister Rachel reading

Rachel and I wandered into the quaint sailor’s reading room on the seafront. How wonderful that in 1864 the founders created a place that provided food for the soul for the hardworking fishermen and sailors of Southwold.
Watercolour and pen in sketchbook

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Coffee cup sandcastles and digging a manly hole

More people on Southwold beach
Watercolour and brushpen in sketchbook

Friday, September 05, 2008

Girls on Southwold Beach

Pen and watercolour

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Cocktail hour at the Edinburgh Fringe

Brushpen in sketchbook

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Foul-mouthed but funny Otis Lee Crenshaw

Rick Hall playing his white-trash alter ego Otis Lee Crenshaw at the Edinburgh Fringe. Hilarious.
Pen and water colour

Nicholas Parsons’ red jacket

I know, the face is all wrong but I can assure you that pristine red jacket is perfect. And here he was interviewing the rather wonderful Australian comedian, Fiona O’ Loughlin at the Edinburgh Festival.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Porthmadog pint

We went into the pub for a coffee, (at ten in the morning) but the locals were already on the beer. Making up for all those years of dry Sundays.
Pen and watercolour

Robin, Xavier and Hugo crabbing at Southwold

I’d never come across this phenomenon until a Devon holiday a few years ago. Is it peculiarly British to want to spend time catching tiny crabs and then letting them go? Or do kids do this in other parts of the world? My childhood memory of having fun with crabs was having hermit crab races – where the first one whose crab moved out of a chalked circle was the winner, and where you stopped your opponents’ crabs by shouting if they came close to the circle.
Brushpen and watercolour

Monday, September 01, 2008

Whistling Sands Beach, Wales

The one sunny day we had in Wales. Everyone trying to get the sand to whistle and failing to hear even a squeak.
Watercolour and pen in sketchbook