My latest painting is different from my other landscapes, an impression from memory rather than a studied representation. A rougher, more immediate painting style. The image started as an abstract, then became a sunset over a frozen broken land, then as paint layers built up, I realised I was painting Glaisdale. It feels good sometimes to start with just marks and colours and discover where the paint takes you. Glaisdale Dale. Oil on thin edge stretched canvas, 50x70cm.
An unexpected present at the beginning of January has been brightening and colouring my Winter. (I have lovely friends). The tulips arrived by post and flowered until March. I couldn’t resist painting them, lined up on my kitchen windowsill… It was an inspired and inspiring gift! I wondered whether to cut off the bulbs and plant them, but I loved seeing the whole plant. I assume they were grown hydroponically, as they arrived with flower buds and clean roots. So I put them in glass vases, and I put some diluted liquid feed in the bottom of the vase. Now the faded petals are falling, so I have cut off the flowering stem and I’ll let the bulbs rest and dry. I’ll plant them in the garden so they can delight me again. I put one in a clay pot, as I love that deep purple colour, so it doesn’t get lost in the garden.
Westerdale, near Castleton, is a very special place for me, and I often return there. It inspired my first two paintings of the year. The first one is currently exhibited at “Inspired by… gallery”, in Danby Moors Centre.
I’ve been selected to take part in the North Yorkshire Open Studios 2023, and all selected artists have been asked to exhibit one artwork in Danby. This preview, which runs until mid May, may help you to decide which artists you will visit in June. With over 140 artists in our vast county, the two open studios weekends may not be long enough to visit them all!
I’ve been so lucky this year: a commission every month, from January to July! I’ll be open to new commissions from September. My latest commission, for a lovely couple, to celebrate her 75th birthday, and to have sunny days on their wall everyday: Ebbing Tide Revisited, Robin Hood’s Bay. oil on canvas, 50x70cm.
I love bluebells and in May, between commissions, I painted this sunset. My only painting of bluebells this year, it is rather dark and moody. Someone said his mother used to live in a cottage in these woods, and had to walk to school along those paths. It could feel a bit scary if you were a little girl and, with the Little Red Riding Hood story in your mind, you imagined that a wolf may be hiding amongst the trees… Someone was very interested in this painting, so I told him I would reserve it for him for as long as he needed to decide (I really like it, so I was happy to keep it on my wall). A couple of months later, he has decided that he definitely really likes it. (happy little dance).
Here is a finished commission, now in its new home. For his wife’s birthday, someone wanted a painting of Robin Hood’s Bay, with a fox! It was kept as a surprise and revealed today. She wrote:” if I was to paint a picture in my mind of my favourite view from one of our visits to RHB, including my love of foxes, your painting would be it! I absolutely love it.” Commissions can be a bit daunting, but it’s such a good feeling…
I have a very small garden, shaded by buildings and fences on all sides, and plants have to stretch upwards to catch the sun. I recognise peace, joy and wonder in my garden, as I too, strive to find the light.
My latest painting is not a landscape. Here I wanted to capture the soft golden light of the setting sun through my tall lilies. It is over a decade since I painted large flowers. I love mellow yellow, its warmth and its joy.
I have spent a lot of time in my garden. It earths me. So when it’s warm and sunny, I am outside with the flowers. But of course I still find time to paint. I recently finished this commission. There is a wonderful couple, who love my artwork, and also love where they live. They bought their house because of the view. A few years ago, they commissioned a painting of the view from their house, and this year they commissioned the view from an upstairs window. It was a delight to immerse myself into such a peaceful landscape.
Danby. A view across to Danby Castle, above the village. This landscape was just about dry enough to travel when it was put in the passenger seat of an open-top Lotus yesterday, on its way to its new home. My paintings are usually transported in a tricycle, this was so much more stylish! I needed a new laptop, so I had asked on Facebook if someone had a spare laptop in exchange for a painting… So I now have a brand new and very nice laptop, and this is the painting my patron chose in exchange. I am exceedingly grateful, for I have exceedingly kind patrons.
Danby Sunset is another painting started earlier this year and recently finished.
It’s not always sunny in Whitby. Here’s a painting I started in February, and recently finished. I do like blue skies and sunshine, but rain and clouds are very atmospheric, and sometimes better suited to my mood…