Spring Newsletter





It’s been a busy time yet again.

This year for the first time I joined the Open Studios Notts.

Open Studios Notts, supported by the Arts Development Service, is a series of linked events organised and run by artists and makers across the county over 6 weeks through May and early June.

There is also a Central EXHIBITION AT RUFFORD CRAFT CENTRE running from 3 May to 7 June.
I have 3 paintings in this exhibition along with a number of mounted prints.

I turned my home into an Art Gallery for the weekend of 16-17 May.
Not knowing any other artists in my village. I went solo on this.

It was a great success.
Many people came to have a look at what I do and how I do it and some also came to buy which was fantastic.
Visitors stayed for at least 30 minutes, many stayed for a lot longer chatting and drinking tea and coffee which flowed
freely all day.
Some even came back for a second visit over the weekend.

I made short quick video before everyone came for those that wanted to see the exhibition but weren’t able to attend.
This I have now uploaded to YouTube if you’d like to have a look.
YouTube video

One of my twin daughters and her husband had come up from London to help out at the event.
(Having persuaded me to do it in the first place.)
And then her twin sister surprised me on the Saturday evening by turning up to give her support as well.
(Her husband having offered to look after the boys at home for the rest of the weekend.)
Thank you girls (and boys) love you loads and I wouldn’t have got this far without you.

Yesterday I dropped off a painting to Patchings for inclusion in their exhibition.
Patchings Open Art Competition 2015
This will run during and after the Art festival.

Have I got time to put my feet up for a break.
Well, no actually.

I am in the middle of doing some more New York paintings and as soon as the rain stops and the weather brightens up I will have to get on down to take photos in Nottingham.

More on that in the next installment.

Prints are now being stocked at Focus Gallery, Derby road, Nottingham
Pop along and have a browse.

Exhibition news

My first London exhibition was a resounding success.







The 2 day event arranged by Will Trump of Swiss re went down exceedingly well.

-0008085 -0009085






25% of monies raised through the sale of paintings and prints is being donated to  Alzheimers Society, which is Swiss re’s charity of choice for this year.

So far just over £500 has been raised from the event and for this week only 30th March – 5th April
25% of the purchase price from sales on the website on all paintings and prints will be donated to Alzheimers Society .

Lets see if we can raise some more.



The shape of things too come

Deja vu









I really can’t help myself and it amuses me, even if I am the only one who appreciates the pun !.

So I really do need to get to the point and stop going round in circles, but since writing my last blog things have been shaping up nicely.

It’s odd that after putting into words, then sending them words out into the world, my thoughts about what I had written began to make some sense.

No. 1 is Time management.

My time is no longer completely my own, which in some ways is no bad thing. It just means I have to allocate it slightly differently now.

Living back here in the village means a five minute stroll to the shops to get a bottle of milk may not be the same five minute stroll it was in the place I lived before.

People here know me and I know them. A chat with the lady from down the road who had a fall, the young girl who asked to stroke the dog, discussing the weather with a neighbour, it all takes a few extra precious minutes out of the day.

Then of course I have a new dog.
Whereas my other dog was old and tired and happy to shuffle around the garden at my former home this young thing wants to play and go walks in the woods everyday.

My mum calls in for a cuppa or there’s an hospital appointment, dentist, doctors, vets, supermarket.

It dawned on me that I need to allocate my time so I can be more efficient.

Having cut down my charity work from three half days to two should help do the trick but I need to make a concerted effort in the studio, which brings me to …

Offside by Kris Mercer









No. 2 Faith in oneself.


I don’t have any ‘arty’ friends or anyone to share my passion for painting with, so sometimes it wanes a little.

I get disappointed when a painting isn’t chosen for an exhibition and see that the ones that have been are all traditional still lifes and landscapes. Oh my goodness should I go back to painting them instead?.

Still life painting - Breakfast 2  -_








Even worse is when I do get chosen and then start to judge mine against the others and find myself wanting. I have no yardstick to gauge my work by. I have no peers, no critics bar myself. Am I falling into a rut.

Well, actually no.
Putting pen to paper or more accurately keyboard to web gave me the impetus to get my finger out and DO SOMETHING.


Fancy fish II









I have set myself a goal.
I am to do a series of paintings based on a set of geometric shapes.
I have set this series to consist of at least fifty paintings, canvas or paper of various sizes. It is the shapes within and the colours that matter.
I will next week enrol myself on a drawing course. Peers.
That may or may not be a success depending on whether or not I can control the flight response when around people I do not know.

I have also decided that I should take the degree I should have done when I left college. Now that it’s possible to do an Art degree course as distance learning.
I’m still looking into that and am printing out the details as I am typing this, so I will let you know more on that next month.

Back to the studio now then. Only another 45 paintings to go.



Losing my Mojo

Is it a phenomenon peculiar to me or is there some known psychological disorder that precludes creativity in certain areas.
Now I’m not talking areas of the brain or even areas relating to a certain craft.
This is geographical.
Or at least it seems that way.
I’m perplexed.

This notion would have never raised it’s head or even been thought of but for an issue that has come to be.
I’ve lost my mojo, my focus, my artistic inspiration took a long walk and hasn’t returned.
I’m lacking a purpose and it’s driving me insane.
I daren’t start a painting project as I’m worried it will turn out bad, and I’ve got myself into a self perpetuating circle.

Hayley plays princess by Kris Mercer







The story goes something like this:
When I returned from Cyprus (seriously depressed) I was painting virtually 24/7 unfortunately this was manic and couldn’t continue indefinitely.
I stayed at home and did nothing but work, even the food shopping was delivered and I saw no one for days on end.
Not particularly healthy, but very productive.
I was producing still life’s, figurative and semi abstract landscapes, alongside my abstract work.
I had a one man show and a small independent gallery in the city took my work.

There's always a story









A bungalow came up for sale in the village I had been looking at.
It needed a fair amount of work but it was habitable, well at least it was after the urine soaked carpets had been discarded and all the floors scrubbed and disinfected.
It was about this time that I was prescribed my “happy pills”
They may have evened out my mood but I was living in a sort of fog, a non world.
My abstracts weren’t being well received and the folks around me didn’t like them, somewhere along the line creativity took a hike.
I put away my painting paraphernalia.
The medication ended but the painting did not resume.
In the months and years that followed a fair number of the paintings that were still in my possession were burnt in fits of pique.

Fast forward 7 years.

I bought a derelict cottage in another village about 15 miles away.
Took a year to make habitable, moved in.
Had the urge to paint.
Got out my brushes and took up from where I had left off.

In the following 3 years I had work accepted in London as well as local galleries.

Due to my Mothers continuing ill health and other issues I decided to move back to the village where I had previously lived.
I had a buyer for the cottage so, my belongings went into storage and I moved in with my Mum for a few months.
After a 4 month wait I moved in to a bungalow on the same road that I had previously lived on.
That was last November.
I had a room allocated for my studio and was all set.



I have done a few paintings, but on the whole have not been too happy with them.
I’ve tinkered about with photos on the computer but that’s not really what I want to do.
And so it seems I am virtually back to where I started.
So… is it geographical.

Still life painting - Orange and flower  -_









Lets wait and see.