That Day

She tells glitter spells by the sea shore

our road trip 172When this problem for me all started I was in a house with stairs.. no good.. in an area that had lovely people, but no inspiration to create with. We had the chance for a new chapter and could literally jump in or stay there for ever. I walked into an estate agent one day and just said ( a week before Christmas) lets sell. By New year it was sold. 12 weeks later we had to be out. I had no idea how it would work out financially, but I knew it was meant to be, that I could trust it was the right thing for us. We went on a road trip, drove around meeting people, and looking at villages near the sea, about 100 miles of coastline from Edinburgh.

It was a complete blank card. We saw no actual houses. In a way, that wasn’t the important part. Its the place, the people, the distance to your car if you can’t walk easily, the safe places for your child to play.. the vibe..

One day, you wake up and the sun is glinting through the glasses in the breakfast room at the b and b, there is a tension in the air that wasn’t there yesterday. The light is brighter, the trees have stepped into fairy-tale mode and the beach in February is warm and calm. We drank tea and ate chips, chatted to locals, and felt we had returned home.

Those boats had been waiting for us. The chance remark by a little old lady in a newsagents that there was one bungalow for sale, was enough. The next day we were inside, having traveled home an hour and back again, dog and child already at home in the garden, and when the agent rang to ask if there were any thoughts on the purchase.. I heard myself answering I’ll buy it. I had no money, or plan, and in twelve weeks new people would be in our current house, it having sold in two. But this was going to work. We were home.

And we vowed to have a few of these in our new home one day.. The dream/nightmare began…. (single mum, no income, on crutches in pain but determined kind of way…)

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And we did, we have and we are.. its possible. The things you really want.. they actually are possible. My cat is sitting on that stripy cushion right now. In the bungalow by the Sea. It was a hellish time during those 12 weeks. There were a lot of panic moments and a lot of cursing myself for being a hoarder. I had enormous help from friends to whom I am forever in their debt. But this is about the  result, not the determination you need and must find to get there. That would be your journey, your learning, whatever you needed to find. All we can ever do is wake up grateful. And have a drive to create a best life for us. And that is completely different for everyone. ( We quite like ours!) xx

Dalkeith Arts

 

We were really fortunate to spend four years with some very special people in and around our last home. Being involved in Dalkeith Arts was initially a great way of getting out into a cultured environment with a small person in tow, and when it became an organisational position, and I was asked to be their Arts Co-ordinator, I learnt on the job and found skills I’d forgotten about . From co-ordinating exhibitions with the team, delegating out to sub-groups throughout the year, managing emails, paperwork and posters, meeting for committee meetings, chairing meetings, and teaching workshops, at times it was a full time job ( an unpaid job!) But the core committee at times when we could have given up, kept ploughing on with positivity and slowly drew in new, jolly bouncy people to help. Unfortunately, due to geographical distance, Brownies at night! and the general ebb and flow of change, we found it impossible to stay  involved, which felt like an appropriate time to make the change. The team is going great and like a river just keeps on flowing.. It would be lovely  to say here how rewarding and wonderful (along with frustrating and knackering) it was!

And to recognise how many amazing people we met. The genuine kindness, selflessness and wisdom of helpers, volunteers, creators, and the extended team who pulled events together at the last minute, was magic. I miss so many of you. It was like pulling off a plaster leaving. You can’t half involve yourself in something so all encompassing. And I am sure that the new team members are all raring to go , taking it on to heady heights.

More bits and bobs will be added here in time, once all the photos are found post move! But, it was long overdue to pop something up,  and wish D.A all the best. So, thank you, I thoroughly enjoyed bossing everyone about on my sticks at exhibitions… (Only kidding… helping co-ordinate successful events, even do the public speaking, which it helped rekindle a long lost confidence in, ..) and get to know so many folk.  Love and good health, keep the door open to everyone and keep smiling at each other. You are all welcome to drop in, pick our brains or borrow a white table cloth or two! xx

Bognor Beach Huts

There will be plenty of beach huts here for your delight, use one to paint a picture from or remember your childhood Summers. These ones live on the South coast just outside Bognor Regis/Littlehampton area, where my folks live . Lovely colours, very toothpastey! xx

Seaside Crafts

A few of the samples of craft-work created for the Dalkeith arts pop up shop for the last couple of years, which we began in addition to the community exhibition. I love making these products and more will be ‘popping’ up soon but it is hard going on the hands, especially making repeat designs. Anyone with arthritis will know you can get days where you can grip and days when you have a claw instead! Then even the jam is off limits… Ideas for prints and one -offs are being worked on for the next projects, collage and illustrations. ximg_4301.jpg

Adult or Child Beach bag
Fun, lined with wipe clean p.v.c and easy to grab and wear across the shoulder whilst carrying your deckchairs. !!
Adult- £27 Child- £23

The Artwork

 

Felt and Collage pieces.

 

My work is inspired by the sea and by the myths and legends associated with protectors of ships at sea. I am fascinated by the totems and folklore of the buildings created for the purpose of those left ashore waiting for their safe return.. Hidden in tiny churches across villages in every land are starry ceilings and paper boats, angels clutching sailing ships and the collective baited breaths of loved ones in prayer..

I have always been drawn to the depths, colours and textures of the seaside. Drawn to the power of the sea and also the nostalgia of childhood summers spent in the sand and on the pier, I feel it is a simple and wonderful connection which those by the sea are linked by, within the vast changeable fringes of an ever changing seasonal horizon.

My work evolves and grows organically when it is being created until it is is finished! Collages are created using a mix of acrylic, ink and different textured layers of papers, with the addition of touches of sparkle.

In my felted work, I hand roll each piece and build up texture with fleece and fibre . These pieces are then stitched together and needle-felted, embroidered by hand or on the sewing machine and manually and lovingly nurtured until the balance is right and the colours sing.

In My figurative paintings, I am celebrating the feminine archetype  the mothers, the sisters and the daughters, celebrating the everyday wonder of hearth and home and the magic within. They represent the tastes and smells of our connections with those we love and have loved. The excitement of treasures found in the bottom of a drawer, an envelope of old photographs, the feather found between the pages of an old travel book . These are the building blocks of good things we take forward and share with our children. Creating a piece of art for me becomes the essence of storytelling and magical surprises. My figures are suspended in time,  the fleeting moments of dreams, standing alone or hiding in the shadows of secret worlds. Real or imagined, they are the keepers of deepest memories and childhood stories.

I am a collector, a treasure keeper, a magpie, I cant help it! Bottle tops are little boats.. sweet wrappers are the glint of an angels wing, there are ideas and beginnings everywhere..

I have spent my life stitching together fragments of inspiration. In journals, sketchbooks, helping others to formulate their ideas and develop their own language.

I am interested in the hidden layers of magic within a painting or a collage, the way that materials react against each other:  in how colours and materials can be magically transformed, creating new depths , surface textures and plays of light.

img_5496.jpgA large part of my life so far has held my art contained in my home, my friends homes! and my sketchbooks.. Given over to bringing up my two stepsons and my daughter, largely alone, and managing pain from a debilitating health condition. But it never stopped growing and evolving, as did the dream to share what I was learning and experiencing with other people.

I do love a little bit of colour!

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