Orange is sharp, orange is zesty,                                                         bright like the sun, full of sweetness.

Orange is clay, terracotta, rusty.                                                         Iron oxidized, turned into ochre.

Orange is fire, hot lava pouring,                                                         burning with heat, spitting out rocks.

Orange a mixture of red and of yellow,                                            painting the sky in a deep sunset glow.

Orange is warmth and spice in food,                                                 saffron in rice, turmeric too.

Let Orange be free, paint with it, see –

It’s colour reminds me to be happy…

Cee’s foto fun challenge, Chatterley and Whitfield

I have decided to add this photo to Cee’s challenge add a dilapidated barn or any other building.

Thus us the old Colliery building I was drawing on Saturday. It’s amazing that it is still standing, it reminds me of an old cathedral or castle…..a ruin of the future, which until a few decades ago supplied fuel for our homes and power stations.

Hopefully it will reopen as a museum to the hard work and skills of its former workers.FB_IMG_1526758834556

the old Colliery buildings

Yesterday’s drawings

It’s been too hectic to post much over the last couple of days, I was getting ready for out makers market at Spode. …I only sold a couple of things, ah well there is always next time.

But yesterday morning I went out with Stoke Urban sketchers to draw the old colliery buildings at Chatterly and Whitfield enterprise zone. A former colliery closed in the 1980’s, I remember visiting when there was a mining museum there. You could walk through some of the old mine workings and he a feeling of what it was like to work underground.

Sadly the museum closed down due to lack of visitors, but I have heard that volunteers are trying to bring something back to the site.

We were outside the perimeter fence, somewhere on the path in the nature reserve that now surrounds the site.

The buildings are very big, there are many stories to them, with arches and windows in the side of the buildings. Huge winding wheels look miniscule where they sit at the top of the building, and guard rails are placed on either side if them. The main building is starting to get covered in foliage, eventually it could end up looking like an ancient relic or monument.

Metal frames and wheels also dotted the horizon, I did a pen drawing, a couple of pencil sketches, and a pastel and ink picture.

Being surrounded by other skilled artists really encouraged me to try and capture the architecture of the landscape. Drawing in a group can help your confidence. Even my partner had a go!


Painting Earth



I finished my nebula paint in tonight and I had this black canvas, so I have started a painting of Earth.

I remember seeing the Apollo 11 landing on TV. I was only young and Dad got us up out if bed to see it. Grainy pictures showed Armstrong stepping down the ladder.

I think that inspired my love of science and space. Then seeing the photo of Earth rising above the moon fascinated me. The old TV programmes did not show Earth properly, sci fi had Earth without clouds, just blue oceans and brown land.. Seeing the reality, especially the photo showing the African continent was so special.

So anyway.  I like planets, I have painted Jupiter a couple of times and this is the second time I have painted Earth. It is amazing to see the colours and clouds. I wish I was young enough to go into space to see the reality.


Here is the painting again…almost finished…I may add more detail to the clouds, painted under electric light so need to see it in the daytime. .

Escher cat

My dear friend who runs a forge called Sculpted Steel.

Late last year I asked my friend if she could make me a cat for my garden. She took on the commission and I drew a quick sketch of what I wanted.

That was a few months ago. There have been a few hiccups and ups and downs, but I finally collected “Escher” today.

He is finely made. The details are brilliant. He even has green eyes! My friend took on board my request that the whiskers were to be curled roundcat the ends to stop anyone poking themselves in the eye. It has been finished off with green car paint.

Escher is now in a quiet part of the garden. He might even frighten off the neighbours cat, at least can’t pounce on the birds!

Purple Heart

I drew a purple heart to follow my colour theme, then realised its a symbol of being wounded in America?

This is not my meaning, I also added extra hearts, which remind me of the flower dicentra spectabile …if that’s what its called?

I love the colour. When I was young I wanted a bike, but because my parents could not afford it they got me a car race track instead  (to be honest I think it was more for my dad?) Anyway there was a gorgeous model of a purple sports car with it, all shiney purple. I had not seen that colour before, having black and white tv, and only cheap felt pens to colour with. I remember some of the other cars to, a turquoise blue estate car and a green Capri type….

I would have liked the sports car when I started to drive, but I ended up with my mom’s old car ( she told me watch out the brakes are a bit worn) which I promptly crashed into a low stone wall on our first trip out in the countryside…but it was because I had to avoid a car driven at about 40 miles an hour which was oncoming from round a corner on a narrow road. It was either a head on collusion, or dodge. I dodged and ended up knocking my engine back about 6 inches. But, we were OK. The car was a write off… the other car disappeared without stopping.

Moral, don’t drive down country lanes when you have only just passed your test!

Little Devil


I saw Adam from Hulton Art pottery today, which is based at the Spode pottery site. I bought a wall mounted bracket  (which is still wrapped in bubble wrap) but along with it he gave me a terracotta tile of what looks like a cheeky little devil..

I can’t  help liking his wide smile, the twinkle in his eyes, his spikey, possibly flaming coat, (the tile, not Adam!).

I asked if it was OK to paint this little guy, because he made me chuckle with laughter. It looks like something mediaeval that could have been a gargoyle on an old building. Adam told me it was made in about 1997, soon after he had completed his training in pottery, so it seems really special.  I feel privileged to have something that has age and character. This cheeky little devil is probably going to find a home on a window ledge somewhere.

I feel like he is related to the green men I have been painting over the last few years. Maybe they all have a feeling of spirit of the Earth in them. An old hidden life that we have lost as the world becomes ever more urban around us. I like the idea  of faeries and little people getting up to mischief.

I remember one if my favourite paintings when I was a teenager was Richard Dadds’ the Faeiry Fellers masterstroke. He was put into a mental asylum because of ‘madness’ but I don’t know his history apart from that. Dadds’ painting has amazing tiny details. If you can try looking it up on the net.

Anyway I might post a follow up picture of the little devil if I ever finish it.