Friday, January 30, 2009

Make a Moo Or Two: Vintage Love

They are young, they are in love, they have great hair.

I like the Moo format so I thought I'd have a go at this week's Make A Moo Or Two challenge: Vintage Love. As good an excuse as any for a bit of silliness.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Theme Thursday: 4 x 4


This week's Theme Thursday challenge is a 4 x 4 inch piece on any theme. This is the current version of something I'm working on at the moment.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Quirkie 73: Mrs Whistler finally gets a visitor

"Old Mrs Whistler? Oh yeah, she's in the room at the end of the corridor. Funny old stick, doesn't say much, never wants to go in the lounge with the others. We've put a telly in her room but she hardly ever watches it. She's got a son, artist or something like that, but he never comes to visit her. Would you like to take her cup of tea in with you?"

This week's Quirkie challenge over at Digital Art Quirks was to create an image that incorporated the painting Whistler's Mother, a cool colour and some lace. This is my response.

It can be a lonely, scary place and we're all going there.
Please support Help The Aged and Age Concern

All items were fished out of the cyber sea

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Gothic Arches Challenge: Gypsies

Shrine 1: Shave Green

When freedom is taken away
The Flower of life shall wither
And none but those weeping
Shall be found on the face of the earth

Sven Berlin - Dromengro: Man Of The Road

I've only just discovered that his week's Gothic Arches challenge is Gypsies. As it happens, there is a work in my gallery that is a Gothic Arch, if rather a large one. The piece is actually a 120cm x 120cm light box.
Shrine 1: Shave Green commemorates the Romanies and Travellers of the New Forest in Hampshire who, for centuries, enjoyed tolerance and free movement. From 1926 they were forced to live in seven restricted compounds where, despite oppressive and unsanitary conditions, they formed remarkable community settlements. The locations of the compounds are now regarded as secret and sacred places, treasured by many Romanies and Travellers. The late, great, Mr Len Smith, Romany scholar and political activist, took me to the beautiful Shave Green site, where I took these photographs. He also introduced me to the work of artist Sven Berlin who befriended and lived amongst the New Forest Gypsies.
The young girl was Dosha Wells, a New Forest Romany whose descendants still own the coral necklace.

This work is dedicated to the memory of Mr Len Smith, British Romanies and Travellers who are still fighting to be given equal respect amongst other ethnic minorities and my own Romany and Traveller friends and forebears of whom I am deeply proud.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Whither must I wander?

Home no more home to me,
Whither must I wander?

Robert Louis Stevenson

Many of us who grew up in the 1950s, 60s and 70s have memories of cheery Tyrolean-themed ornaments brightening up our homes. I lived at my grandparents' house and on the mantelpiece in their bedroom, there sat a little wooden log cabin that was supposed to predict the weather. When a tiny man holding an umbrella emerged from the left hand side doorway, rain was sure to follow. If the little dirndl-clad fraulein popped out of the other door, then it was going to be fine. Nan and Grandad also had a small collection of glass-fronted boxes, plaques and paper weights containing still-life arrangements of shells and dried flowers in front of views of Bournemouth, Broadway and Stratford upon Avon. I imagined them them as portals through the dull, tired wallpaper of our Black Country home into a world where every day was cheerful and sunny and so nobody needed a Tyrolean weather forecasting log-cabin.

The photograph of my grandmother and aunt was taken sometime between 1955 and 59. After leaving technical college, my aunt lived for a while in Austria before emigrating to America where she still lives.
What the three little girls who appear to have just escaped from their mountain iydll are about to get up to, I leave to your imaginations...

Credits: papers: Flitting Fall Faeries by Lorie Davison ; Happy Day by Studio Natali
wooden frame: Flitting Fall Faeries by Lorie Davison; glass in frame: empty broche element (modified) from Vintage Elements by Linda GB (; card frame: Recollections kit by Christina Renee;
chain: Playing with Chains by Studio Natali

China figurines, dried flowers and postcard are my own work

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Inari, Finland 2000
63.3 North
30.95 East

Credits: papers (modified) from Natalie studio's Breeze kit; Glam Fairy's Kiss of the White Fairy kit; Happy New Year mini-kit freebie by MyMy Design. Stitching element (modified) from Argentic by Karine

Monday, January 12, 2009

Stillness and Silence

During my stay in Lapland, I was privileged to become acquainted with a number of beautiful, strong and talented women. One afternoon, new friend and host, puppet artist Leila Peltonen, took me to the studio of Ilona Kivijavi who was making some puppets for her. Ilona's remarkable and challenging work ranges from felt sculpture to performance interventions. This photograph was taken from a window in her studio. Ilona lit a candle and we sat and talked together whilst eating delicious homemade apple pie made specially for our visit. Later, whilst Leila and ilona discussed business in another room, I stood by the window and watched the light slowly fade and silent stillness enveloping the landscape, wanting the perfect moment to last forever.

Credit: paper overlay (modified) from Breeze by Studio Natali

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday Postcard Art - Winter Mystical

My contribution to this week's Sunday Postcard Art challenge.
In 2000, I visited the wonderful, mystical place called Lapland where I took this photograph. Sadly, I didn't fulfill my ambition to see the
Northern Lights, the streak of glitter that's scattered across the sky is just a wistful dream...

Credits: glitter streak element from Glam Fairy's kit Kiss of the White Princess; paper (modified) from the Breeze kit by Studio Natali

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Theme Thursday - Vintage Valentine

This week's Theme Thursday challenge subject was Vintage Valentine and I thought I'd join in. The problem was, for days now, George Bush's comment "I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully" has been rattling around in my head, making me chuckle. In an idle moment, I'd find myself picturing George and the fish hanging out together: on the ranch; at a ball game; tandem bike riding; watching television whilst munching on pretzels... I knew that until I'd done something with it, I wasn't going to be able to move on.
So here, gentle bloggers, is my Valentine celebration of the enduring love that exists between man and fish.

I would like to reassure viewers that no fish has suffered during the creation of this image.
Psychotherapists form an orderly queue please...

Thursday, January 8, 2009


And we forget because we must
And not because we will

Matthew Arnold

Soon after her eighth birthday, my mother lost almost all contact with her parents and has often told me that she has no feelings for them. And yet, she has kept safe this fragment of a letter that my grandfather wrote to her when she was eighteen and had just become engaged. That year, Mum and Dad went to Skegness together and Dad took the lovely photograph.
The Polly Pocket trinket is in memory of my daughter who felt a special bond with her grandmother.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


If you had no name
If you had no history
If you had no books
If you had no family

If it were only you
Naked on the grass
Who would you be then?
This is what he asked

And I said I wasn't really sure
But I would probably be cold

And now I'm freezing

Words by Suzanne Vega, from Songs of Liquid Days by Phillip Glass

For a few days now it has been bitterly cold in my little corner of the world and this beautiful song has haunted me. I've created another version of this image, without the Word Art. It's in my gallery slideshow, should you care to take a look to see which one you like best.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Lyon 8th Decmber 2008

Every December, I visit Lyon in France for the wonderful Fête des Lumières. This digital collage is a response to the magic and strangeness to be found in the City of Light, which, by definition is also a city of shadows.