Thursday, October 30, 2008

New Computer!

We have a new computer and we are still muddling our way through with the help of several people including my brother in law Graham--big thanks to you dear!
We took over 700 photos in Scotland and have only learned how to get those sorted tonight!
You will all have to bear with me while I get the hang of it!

This Saturdays Class

I have a full class this Saturday with people coming from all over!
As usual they will have the choice of painting the birch trees in either the monochrome or the sepia colourway.
This is always a popular class with lots of different styles coming through the work.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Yet More Pics!

Here are some more of the photos from yesterday-we met some real highland cattle just outside Gretna Green.They are just so cute!
We went walkabout around Ullswater and found this pub-had to get a photo of course!
The weather has changed today-rain and winds but that didn't stop us from going off and having a good mooch around.
We went from Kendal over to Keswick, a lovely drive with some spectacular scenery en route.
We are going to try the Chinese restaurant tonight--its just up the road from the guest house-which is highly recommended by the way.
We have room 7 which has the super kingsized bed--it was so comfy---and so big!!! We both lost each other during the night--would love one at home----will have to see!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Last night we went to the pub recommended by our hosts Sturart and Yvonne from the Lyndhurst Guest House--The wheatsheaf was as expected. Stuart had warned us they serve great food, he advised us to share a starter as portion sizes were generous.
As we were both ravenous we shared a combo which consisted of scampi,plaice , garlic mushrooms and onion rings with some bbq sauce to dip in. Beautiful-- but lots of it!
Then we ordered the mini Lamb Henri with fresh veg. We couldn't believe the size of it-it almost looked like a whole shoulder of lamb on the plate-besides all the fresh veg and onion and mint gravy--no wonder Stuart had told us no-one had finished 3 courses there!Its hard to believe that anyone has ever finished 2 courses! The prices were very good though-with 2 drinks to start and a bottle of wine with the meal it was less that £35
It was a shame to leave it but to be honest one plate full would have been more than enough for the two of us!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

More Scotland

Yesterday we left Inverbervie and travelled to Dumbarton via a beautiful scenic route as you can see. The mountains had snow on the tops of them.We stopped at several places en route to admire the scenery.
The waterfalls were breathtaking-the roar of the water was un-real.
The colours of the trees was changing more as we drove from the east coast to the west coast. We had great weather until we almost reached our destination. We stopped at a lovely little cafe next to Loch Lomand and it started to rain a little there, but instead of being miserable it cheered us up to see just how the colours of autumn were brightened up and became much more vivid!
Our room at the travel lodge-just £19 was situated in a lovely setting with a view from our window, and a fantastic pub over the road that did the most amazing carvery meal for just £3.50p
Bill had the roast beef and I went for the turkey.
Our expectations were not high at those prices but we were very pleasantly surprised-both meats were delicious and the selection of veg was excellent and well cooked.
After a couple of large glasses of white wine I was ready for bed and we both slept like logs.
We were up bright and early this morning to start the next leg of our journey to Dumpries.
The weather has changed and it is wet and windy-not that that has made any difference really!
We have still been able to see the beautiful scenery. We stopped several times again, We had a wander around Glasgow and found some lovely shops there.
We arrived early afternoon at our guest house--beautiful place, very homely and comfortable, settled in very quickly, we ahve been advised where to go for our evening meal by Derek our host! He actualy knows Ludlow very well!
Im off for a nice hot shower now, will be going out for a meal shortly after that.
We are making our way down to Kendal in the Lake District tomorrow ,we have 2 nights there,so will be making quite an early start--its a good job Bill loves driving!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Well we are into day 3 of our Scottish holiday and we have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves so far! We stopped off at Carlise on Sunday evening after a lovely journey from Ludlow-no holdups on the way-just a break for a beautiful Sunday lunch at Beeston Castle-we are calling back there next Sunday on our return home!
We made our way up to our friends in Montrose on Monday afternoon, and after getting settled we all went out for a fantastic meal at the Cutty Sark pub.
The prawn cocktail was to die for-I have never tasted prawns like them-you really could taste the sea! The ribeye steak and trimmings, pepper sauce was gorgeous and the mango sorbet was delicious! We will be on strict diets when we get home no doubt!
Today we all went out touring round the area-Ros, Lincoln and Domenic knew just where to take us and we had a brilliant time.The weather was lovely-the sun shone all day.
First of all we went to Gourdon habour and had a look around, got some great photos for inspiration!
Then we went on to the top of The Garvock Hill where the view was just amazing-you could see the Grampions and miles around.
I have loads more photos to put on when we get back, so will do so next week.
From there we went Laurence Kirk and had some great coffee and homemade scones, from there we drove to the Fettercairn distillery and then on up to the top of Cairn o' Mount where we could see right across the Mearns to the east coast and sea.
On the way back down we went via Banchory and dropped in at Milton of Crathie , had a wander around the craft shops and gallery which was a bit of an eye opener!
From there we drove back to the coast and Stonehaven and parked at the beach where we enjoyed some freshly cooked chips!
From there we went to Dunnottar Castle---oh boy what a beautiful sight.
Set on a huge mount of rock really high up-you can see why it was only attacked twice in its history!
Again, some great photographs to come when we get back.
We made our way back , had a couple of hours on the computers sorting things out and loading pics, before getting ready and making our way back to the Cutty sark for some more delicious food.
This time I opted for the chicken stuffed with haggis with fresh veg served with a whisky sauce--I wasn't disappointed!
After trying the garlic bread last night that Ros had with her meal-we decided to have a side order of that--I dread to think how many calories are in that-it was dripping with lashings of garlic butter---wont have to breath over anyone tomorrow!
Anyway-we are off to bed now-have worked out a different route to what we had decided originaly-Ros and Lincoln have told us about the beautiful views to be had en route via The Trossoachs and Pitlochry -the colours should be wonderful at this time of year.
I think I have covered just about everything--the fresh air and good food have made me very tired-a good nights sleep is guaranteed!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


As all my regular readers will know ,we are off on holiday tomorrow.

Bill is going to pick up Jean who is pet sitting first thing tomorrow-we have been busy getting everything sorted ready.The fridges are full of goodies for both Jean and the livestock

We have packed the cases and got everything else ready(I think) sure to be something I have forgotten I expect!

Got the 2 cameras at the ready-the colours should be pretty amazing at this time of year.
As our first stop is Carlise there is no hurry to get away in the morning.Around 4 hours should see us there.
So a nice relaxed journey up there with a Sunday lunch en -route !

I will be keeping everyone updated as to where we are etc--we are going to be travelling around quite a bit.

Todays class

We had a lovely day today in class-we were one short at the last minute due to one of the Shrewsbury WI ladies having to cancel at the last minute.
I think Gwen was the most nervous out of todays group-she is second from the left in the photo. She had never had a brush in her hand before and was convinced she wouldnt be able to do it!
She commented in my book that she had wonderful day and she didnt think she had it in her!
As you can see she did a beautiful painting -as did the rest of the students. Carole and Jane had both been to me several times before.
Jane thought todays painting was her best so far-certainly she was more relaxed in this class!
Although Carole had been to me 14 times before she found she had learned new things in this class,I try to do something different in each class so there is always something new to learn.
I am looking forward to seeing everyone again !

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Some Beautiful Inspiration

I took this photo when I called to see my friend Jean who is coming to pet sit while we are in Scotland.
She is lucky enough to live by this beautiful pond.
The trees are just starting to change colour and are reflecting into the water.
I will be painting this scene for Jean for a Christmas present!
We are really looking forward to this holiday-its been a long time in the planning--We will be seeing a lot of Scotland and the Lake District.
Ive been busy lately , Ive been invited to sell my work through a website that only sells work through their invitation only-you cannot apply to be on there yourself.
So Ive been getting my work photographed and sent ready to go live.
Its a popular site and hopefully my work will sell well on there-certainly Michelle the owner seems to think it will so fingers crossed!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Date for Oriental Dawn--Dec 6th

I have set a new date for this class .Saturday 6th December.
This class is suitable for all abilities from first time to more experienced students.
If you would like to join this class please get in touch via my website

Friday, October 10, 2008

Serenity In Green--CANCELLED

I'm really sorry to have to cancel tomorrows class.

My chest infection isn't getting any better and I'm coughing a lot.

Its a real nuisance-Ive let everyone know, and I will sort out a new date a soon as possible.

Im off for some more cough mixture now and curl up on the sofa.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Pearl's Class

Today Pearl came again for her 3rd class.
She has already painted a ''Waterfall''' and a 'Poppy Field'' painting in the past, with fantastic results.
Today was her first time using acrylic paint.
We had great fun-Jake kept us amused all afternoon with his chattering-Pearl was creased at him most of the time!
Her son in law is a picture framer and has her poppy painting at the moment, Im sure it will look even more stunning when she has it back.
He made a beautiful job of her waterfall, no doubt he will be having the birch trees to do later as well!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

class up-dates--The Waterfall-- Nov 22nd

There are 6 places left for this popular class subject.
Mysterious and magical-the waterfall painting is always a class winner.
Even if you have never painted before you can achieve beautiful results in this class.
We work on a black background which helps to take the fear out of it!
A black canvas is a lot less scary than a pure white one!
Places for this class usually get booked up really quickly, so if you want to join this class please get in touch via the website

latest classes up-dates--Cat In A Tree-Nov 15th

I have 4 places left in this new class.
Using acrylic paint means this painting will be dry for you take home!
A simple but effective painting-suitable for all abilities even first time painters!
If you would like to join this class please get in touch via the website.

latest class updates--Stormy Skies--Nov 8th

I have just 3 places left for the Stormy Skies painting.
This has proved to be a very interesting subject in the past.
We use just black and white oil paint in this painting-its very interesting to see just how different pressures on the brush produce such different effects. There are many shades of grey through to black in this picture-all produced with ease with just brush strokes!
There will be the option of adding in a palm tree or three to the finished painting.
Suitable for all abilities-even first timers
you will learn to use several different brushes and the palette knife in this class.
If you would like to join this class please get in touch via the website

Latest CLass Updates-Birch Trees-Nov 1st

This popular class is being attended by 6 students-Bev has had to drop out due to visitors-to say shes upset is an understatement-but we will be doing it again soon so she will be top of the list for that class!
I can fit one more student in for this class--but any more than 7 students in class just doesn't work.
By keep in the numbers small it ensures that everyone gets full attention from me.
It also means that everyone can make friends easily with each other and inter mingle with each other.
Something that has become a big part of my classes--there have been many firm friendships formed in classes.
''Birch Trees'' is suitable for all abilities and we always get stunning results from this class.
You will have the choice of painting this in monochrome or brown and cream/sepia
If you would like to join in please contact me via my website

latest class updates--Winter Wonderland- Oct 18th

I have the ladies of Sundorne Wi coming from Shrewsbury on Oct 18th to paint Winter Wonderland.

Joining them is Carole who is one of my long standing students.
Carole has painted all of the class subjects except for this one.
She currently has an exhibition of her work in the window of the Leominster Information Centre-its lovely to see just how she has developed her own style.

She called by the class yesterday and admitted to having withdrawal symptoms -its ages since she came to a class-though we keep in regular contact via the phone!

So that leaves just one place for this class.
This is just one version of the finished result-we put fences and all sorts of extras in on the day.
Its suitable for first time students as well as more experienced ones.
Please contact me via my website
if you would like to join us in this class.

latest class updates--Serenity in Green-Oct 11th

Due to illness I unexpectedly now have 2 places left for this class--its suitable for both beginners and more experienced artists.
There will also be a choice of colour ways--so far the painting is being done in shades of green and browns!
If you would like to join this class please get in touch via my website

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Chris's Work

Chris bought along a painting he has been working on for some time--its in oil so hes had to wait for each bit to dry in order to put masking tape on to keep a straight line.So its taken several weeks to produce--its much better in real life than on photo!
He tells me its based on Hypothesis's Theory or something like it-will have to go to Google and check spelling on that one!
He did explain it all but it went in one ear and out the other I'm afraid!
When we were chatting in class the other week , it was mentioned that Chris analyses handwriting---it was brought up again today and we are all going to write 10 lines of writing and give them to Chris to see what he makes of us--we wont tell him who's is who's.
He has told us he wants us to write our own thing not copy out of a book, so when I get a minute I will be doing so--being very careful not to give the game away with what I write!.
It will be an interesting experiment to do--just shows we don't just talk about painting in class!
Another interesting fact--Chris's wife Pauline told us in a previous class before that if you have trouble swallowing a large tablet you just stick one finger in your ear before swallowing the tablet - we all laughed at her when she told us--but today in class Doreen said--"It works--I tryed it-couldn't believe it but it does!"

Class of Oct 4th -Poppy Fields

We had a lovely class today-right from the word go-we were having a laugh!

Pauline and Chris have been lots of times before and Doreen and Bev were here for the 2nd time.

As you can see from the photos all of the paintings turn out different right from the start-it never fails to amaze me or the students just how different they can be,the skies all have lots of different things going on in them although we all used the same colours and same brushes to do them with!

This is a very 'easy on 'painting to do-it encourages students to be free with their brush strokes.

Doreen and Bev found it easier to get on their knees to do the little daisies at the end of the class!!!

Everyone enjoyed creating the lovely poppies using very thick paint--for once Im not telling students to ''watch they have no blobs on their brushes!'' The blobbier the better for this one!

After the class while we clearing up I spotted Chris's palette-what a work of art in itself--we were all having fun spotting what had appeared in it-we could all see sky, trees, and water-Im not sure what he was most proud of-his painting or his palette-which he took home!

As you can see the paintings were all beautiful and they are all coming to classes again.

Friday, October 03, 2008


I was approached a short time ago by Richard who has a small company.

They have been looking for a suitable painting to use as their logo on their Banners,business cards etc.

After checking out my website

he found several paintings that were suitable and got in touch.

The printer had told him that the images needed to be original size-not re sized as they were on the computer.

Unfortunately all of the paintings were already sold and the remaining one was the wrong colour.

Fortunately my friend Annette was able to do wonders with a full size image I took of the pink poppy painting.

I'm useless with the computer--cant do anything like that---Ros has promised me some lessons when we see her later this month in Scotland!

Annette manged to colour the pink to the scarlet red wanted by Richard,and we are just waiting to hear if it is suitable.

I have asked for a donation for the British Heart Foundation for using the image and Richard is happy with that.

I have raised money before from people using the images of my paintings-one of which had been made into gift wrapping paper!


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Back to Normal

Im starting to feel well again after being poorly with a chest infection all week. Havent done anything all week.
Should have been on the craft market today but didnt feel life facing the cold winds and rain-so stayed in!

So normal service is being resumed now-looking forward to class on Saturday!