Thursday, 18 August 2016


When Mr. Next-Door was older he once said "The garden's got away".
Our garden hasn't got away yet, but I saw it packing its bags this morning.

The runner beans and courgettes are producing faster than I can get to the bottom of the garden.

I think I've picked all the beans then find this one laughing its head off.

Do you see who is here on the left?  He was just sitting there.

I fetched a couple of snails for his tea as he looked hungry.

I went down later and froggie was still there but I think the snails had legged it.

* * * * * * *

 At "Art Journal Journey" the theme is "Nature's Wonders" chosen by Gill.  Flowers and birds are very much alive in my garden and all are beyond wonderful.

I'm still in my watercolour phase - these are shown just as they were painted and are the fifth and sixth of the watercolour flower set. 



And I just had to have a little photo-edit play to end the day.
It was drawn and painted with the mouse.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016


One of the first priorities with our garden is to make it a safe haven for birds, bees, insects and other creatures. 

We made a stumpery next to the woodland walk for visiting hedgehogs, woodlice, beetles and other friendly visitors.

Sadly we have never had a visiting hedgehog, even although there are lots of little stump "houses" here for him to hide in.

And that's why this hedgehog is wandering.  He has heard on the Hodgevine that there is a perfect house waiting for him in Orange Esmeralda's garden, but he doesn't know how to find it.

If you see him, could you let me know?

For those who are interesting in such things -
Like "The Artistic Fox" in the previous blogpost, this was painted with watercolours and measures
6 inches square unframed.
A stumpery is a garden feature made from parts of dead trees to form a habitat for several types of wildlife.

Linking to "Art Journal Journey" where Gill has chosen the theme "Nature's Wonders". 

Monday, 1 August 2016


At this time of year our vegetable garden is in full and wonderful production and Douglas has some gardening duties to perform including

looking beautiful among the flowers

pulling the rhubarb for tea

and checking to see if the broccoli is ready.

Our garden is full of the wonders of Nature.

As well as flowers and vegetables and trees and shrubs, there are many birds and their babies  - and  - drumroll - the artistic fox.

You may remember the fox came along and rearranged some of the sculptures on our new Zen garden.

I saw him again last week and here he is -


He was painted with watercolours especially for the challenge at "Art Journal Journey" where Gill has chosen the theme "Nature's Wonders".

Keep an eye open - he may be coming along to rearrange your garden too.

Saturday, 16 July 2016


My dear friend Annie has chosen this week's theme "Picnic" for the challenge site "Sunday Postcard Art".

I'm also linking to 
"Moo-Mania" where the theme is "Anything Goes"
and to
"Art Journal Journey" where the theme, chosen by Yvonne is "In my Garden there is".

* * * * * * *

I am not a great fan of outdoor picnics and if I have to have one I would be happiest to have it inside, especially if the rain is battering down.

So if your friends are dropping in and the sky is darkening then why not have your picnic indoors, in the caravan for the grown-ups and in the garden tower for the children.

Doesn't every garden have a garden tower?

I hope you noticed one of the flowers has pink bows in her hair, she's wearing them especially for the Picnic.

Sunday, 10 July 2016


We made a Zen garden!
It's got a river and "sculptures" and plants.

The fox came in the evening and scattered some pieces, obviously not artistically satisfied with the arrangement.

* * * * * * *

I'm also currently fascinated with the process of painting with the mouse.
It creates a minimalist quality which appeals and I love the flatness and strangeness of the colours, and the erratic lines.

Is the cat dreaming of a Cat-Tail garden?  

* * * * * * *

And continuing with 100 days of abstract gardens, painting with splashy watercolours.

Linking to the challenge at "Art Journal Journey" where Yvonne is asking us what is in our actual or imaginary garden.
Thanks to Yvonne,  for a great theme.

Sunday, 3 July 2016


Over at Instagram, many artists are making art for the 100 days challenge.

While I am not a fan of making something every day (I often do not have an every day or even an every half hour) nevertheless something there appeals to me.

So I am embarking on "100 days of garden abstracts".

Each of these paintings was inspired by a flower in my garden and was painted with deliciously splashy watercolours.

The 100 days will not be consecutive, and I may not finish till I am well over 100 years old if then, who knows?  And I will be making other paintings in between.

These three paintings also fit very well with the current challenge at "Art Journal Journey" where Yvonne is asking us what is in our actual or imaginary garden.

Also linking to "Paint Party Friday".

Monday, 27 June 2016


My friend M. always makes beautiful gardens.  Her flower borders are a delight.  Tall plants stand up straight and clumping flowers stay in sweet little clumps.  The plants merge together in a friendly orderly way.

I can buy a dear little plant in a two inch pot, give it plenty space and within a couple of months it is all over the border, climbing up other plants and trying to get over the fence.  It would fly up to join the birds if it could.

While I was thinking about this (as one does) the computer that is my brain came up with this question 
"If a cow eats a flower with wings will it be able to fly?".

The cow and flowers were painted by the mouse using Photoshop, the trees were rescued from an older painting and the background was created using an earlier watercolour.

I am always astonished by what the mouse does, it has a mind and ideas of its own.

Linking to the challenge
 "Try it on Tuesday" where the very imaginative theme is "I believe I can fly"
and to 
"Paint Party Friday".

Friday, 17 June 2016


Conny at the fun art challenge "Mix it Monthly" is asking us to "Play with Fishes" using much orange paint and drops or drips.
I'm also linking to "Paint Party Friday".

This is how it started. 

Not thinking of anything in particular, just thinking about fish.  
In front of the computer. 
Just me and the mouse and the screen and the simplest tool in Photoshop, the paintbrush.

Have you ever tried to draw fishes with the mouse?

And this is where it finished.

OK, I quite like it.

It got me thinking a little.
About why we create art and why we blog.

I create art because I enjoy it.  I enjoy playing with colours and creating imaginary worlds.
I don't want to sell it, I don't even need to display it on my walls.

I blog because I have found an on-line community who understands.
And when I put my art on the blog, I hope it gives you a smile.

Or even a laugh, when you look at my fishes.

Monday, 13 June 2016


A birthday, a thank-you letter, an invitation to tea or just a friendly correspondence - all these could use a hand-written card.  Sometimes it is faster to make a card than to go out and buy one, especially when there is plenty art lying around that can be transformed with a few hours playing on the computer.

This design started with a little watercolour flower in the middle of a journal page

and several enjoyable hours later it turned into this.

I challenged myself to use this strangely coloured sketchbook collage, made with painted magazine cut-outs, inks and acrylic paint.

After several unsuccessful hours, I discovered simple was best with an easy colour-change and crop, and it will be a useful design if I ever have to send a birthday card to someone who is aged 24.

The third was a part of a large picture which was itself made from several oil pastel and watercolour paintings

with the colours altered just to make it different.

I always add my card logo to the back.

They are now real cards, not just virtual cards.

Would you like to say which one of the three you like best? 
I always like to hear what you think.

Thursday, 9 June 2016


I always take some artists materials on holiday.  I say always, but twice I didn't and then had to go and buy some from the local shops. Once I bought a packet of Crayola children's crayons and drew on newspaper pages, that was really freeing and fun, and the other time I had to buy some embroidery threads and cloth in a very small village shop to give myself some colour and creativity.

This time I took a 4 x 4 inch Pink Pigs sketchbook, oil pastels and watercolours, a glue stick and a tiny box of saved magazine papers.
I had a sort of theme of stripes and dots, but it was mainly just playing and having fun.

What do you think of these?

* * * * *

Now that I'm back home my main task is reclaiming the garden from the jungle.
Did you know you can buy garden string in many delightful colours?  Of course you can use them for other stringy requirements too.

Now back to the garden.

I love when the late Spring / early Summer flowers intermingle like this.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016



I've been off-line for a few weeks, staying in a lovely cottage in the English Lake District, with no wifi, no radio and a weak sporadic mobile signal.

It was very peaceful and stunningly beautiful.

Everywhere there were beautiful walks and after a steep climb

you could go over the next hill and come across a scene like this.

There were lots of sheep and lambs about.

Some were very keen to be photographed for the blog

and some would rather run about and play.

There was always time for a tea break.

Many of the houses were lovely too with beautiful proportions.

The dry stone walls are everywhere in the area, in the countryside and villages along the roads, as field dividers and as house walls.  They are made using only the stones.

The craft is very much alive and new walls are still being built.
It's a skilful craft where the wall builder has to choose each right stone for the right place.

It's great to be on holiday but it's also good to come home.
Leaving England at the border - "Welcome to Scotland"! 

I hope you enjoyed your trip to the Lake District.