Foot bruised by an accident of enthusiasm

I can sit on the salvaged Parker Knoll recliner

pondering in splendid regality.

Spider Queen surveying her domain

of seven growing decades

Through wide opened double doors

On the hottest day of herstory


Up close (and so personal)

A bee fusses the scented pelargonium

on Dad’s old hand built coffee table

Marquetry stained by decades

of over enthusiastic watering

A fly dies in the cobwebbed corner


Foreground of swaying

frothy alchemilla mollis

Mum’s favourite coloniser of stone patios

and steps, perfect foil for sweet

Pastel pink blowsy Summer Wedding

rose blooms, stark against darker shadow

Memories of those North facing gardens


Backdrop of top heavy sycamore crowns

Rustling with seed jewels

Harbouring raucous caws of picus picus

Five for silver or six for gold

Most likely seven for those family secrets

Never been told


In the midfield young rowans

reach adolescent feathered arms

Up to the light. Early years stunted

by the North wind

Now finding strong footholds

Deep in the Donegal granite.


St Stephen’s Day

Watching the sky from our ‘sun room’ where we overwinter our geraniums. Nursing a sore back.

sudden gusts

of black dust

motes of


or small


burst forth

from spidery

sycamore skeletons

waving bony

branch fingers

across the

gentle soft

grey sky

with luminous

liminal spaces

watched from

inside a

hazy cloud

of codeine

and caffeine

by bright globes

of whitest




these winter



nearly winter

I have been away from home, visiting family and being a Granny in Wales, for two months, as well as a ten day break in Portugal

So I’ve been away from my studio and not painting

During the last couple of weeks I have begun to crave paint and canvas. So I bought a few materials from local shops and made these two small works on the floor in my daughter’s spare bedroom. In between visits, and in between layers, they’ve been drying in the shed.

My bedroom at my daughter’s home has sliding doors out onto the garden, with views into the trees beyond. And a view out of the side windows to a stand of Scotch Pines. From my bed I can see both dawn and dusk through these trees.

The paintings are not at all a representation of these photos of views. In fact they have more of an essence of a walk in the woods. I even embedded a fern leaf in the paint, removed it the next day to leave its impression, then rolled over it again with more layers.

However, some of the colours are there. A friend of mine said of these two latest pieces that they were a return for me of a ‘confident enigma’. I like that



can’t see the woods for trees

Richard Diebenkorn apparently aimed for ‘tension under the calm’
He also had a ‘rule’ on his wall that advised himself to ‘tolerate chaos’


In progress. 120cm x 200cm


‘Where am I going’ Oil and mixed media on jute – unstretched size 100cm x 160cm


‘Can you hear the wind’ Diptych 80 x 200cm


‘Winter trees’ 100cm sq

taping trees of hafod





First time back in the studio after returning from Wales
Started 2 canvases each one metre square
Tape and paint and more tape and more paint
Will add dark tree silhouettes after Christmas
Wishing everyone a happy peaceful holiday

subliminal influence

Over the last couple of days I have been pondering the words of Henri Matisse
from a long hidden, recently discovered interview with him


The quote that struck me most was ‘ The subject is myself and what I see. ‘

Unusually for me, when I was painting, I was thinking of this idea and I had just taken these photos of our alder trees that we planted 5 years ago in a wet area among the reeds



So what was I painting and how did the thought and image of tbe trees impact the work?

Here are some images of the canvases at different stages over the last couple of days, as well as some closeup details