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. .

Life drawing

I go to a life drawing class on a Wednesday night. Last night was hard work. I lost my eraser during my second drawing, it turned up in my pocket. Then I dropped my palette half way through the last pose and someone had to get it for me because I was sitting too close to my easel and couldn’t stand up without knocking over the person behind me.

I don’t know about anyone else but I had trouble with the proportions. On one drawing I made the model too wide and also made her hands too large on another one. I had taken a couple of little canvases with me so I spent an hour on a small painting. I made the mistake of drawing the figure out first in burnt sienna, when I came to add paler colours it showed through! I was trying to use zinc white to go over the lines, but ended up using titanium white to mask them. By the time I had sorted that out 20 minutes had gone and I only had 40 left so ended up with an unfinished painting.

The class is held in a little village hall out in the countryside. Most times when I drive home it is dark but the sun was just setting and the trees were beautifully  sillhouetted against the darkening sky. I wish I had taken my phone with me to get a picture of it, but it was at home getting charged up.

Sometimes things don’t go exactly as you want them to, last night was like that, not a disaster, just a bit frustrating. I should be painting now but I’m giving myself a rest.




Just spent two hours going from a blank canvas to this. I’m trying to paint Planetary nebula NGC 2044. May have got the number wrong?

Anyway I saw the canvas last week and decided to have a go at something. I was going to paint the moon  but decided on something a bit more colourful….hmm there I go again!

Anyway, astronomers out there will see its not accurate, but its bloody difficult to hold a book in one hand and the canvas in the other…not doing my back any good. Its now 2am. I have an appointment at 9.30am, I dont know why I’m still up? Well yes I do, my artists block is well and truly broken. I have finished 8 tiny paintings today and started this!

I sort of explode sometimes with art.. can’t help it. I am so full of ideas sometimes…..but…bed…ok..bed..hmmm…coffee? No..bed…

Night all!


This is the finished painting. Sorry about the lighting!

Artists block


I want to paint, I have to have new work done in ten days, but apart from a few sketches I’m stuck.

I look at old paintings and drawings, and they are not good enough for what I’m doing, they don’t come up to scratch. They need to represent me, my art. I’m trying to be professional so they all have to be good quality.

I am blocked, I am allowing my fears to hold me back. Even thinking about it makes my mind go blank. It’s the fear of failure, the belief that Im not good enough. I know its not true. I can and will probably be OK, but its the fear…..

I can’t imagine being on the other side of it though. My stomach is fluttering. My mind is empty. I do not want to pick up my paintbrush. There’s canvas’s waiting to be covered but I’m not sure what to put on them!

Is there a patron saint for painters? I hope I get some inspiration soon…….

Yesterdays Art


Some paintings I have worked on and a Mini Mona Lisa. ..

The first four are recent paintings that I have worked on because I was not happy with them. Water and Earth are both part of a series (including Air and Fire) I also want to improve them.

Leaves was originally a single leaf but it was very simple and I wanted to add more to it. The leaves are from my imagination. I sometimes use art as a way of helping my memory. If I can remember what something looks like I can use the memory for other paintings and not necessarily use reference photos. I dont have a photographic memory but I sometimes describe an image to myself, like the way a gutter and drainpipe are attached to a house. If I can describe it I can draw or paint it.

Autumn pottery is based on a “pot bank” the kilns that were used for firing pottery in the past. Now they use gas tunnel kilns. The plants are roses and cotoneaster. They are to represent vegetation growing around old, derelict pot banks. The blue background could be sky, or the water from local canals.

The final painting was a quick copy of the Mona Lisa, taken from a very old book on anatomy for student artists. I know it is wrong, the face is too thin, the smile is wrong. But for half an hour’s work its not bad. It’s on a tiny canvas about 1 inch by 2 inches.

So there you are, more paintings, its something I do.

I saw a Dragon, fly…..


Ask me if I’m a poet and I will say no. It’s not something I do very often. I wrote some on Facebook a few years ago and then lost track of them. I suppose now I have more time that I’m trying to fill I can try to write…..

But it’s not Art!  I hear gasps of fear,                                          There is no paint, no sculpting hammer.

No blow to chip the detail from the infinite ages.                           Where is your paintbrush, do you care? To mold                       faces from thin air?

How do I draw a Dragon, head and tail…with words or crayon, clay or ink?                                                                                              I do not know, I cannot think.

But I will try to soar in flame, give sight to thought, or begin again.




I have had some cards and prints done!

The top painting is of a light at Spode. I was pleased with the prints that came out. The tones are good, and the image is clear. I’m glad I used a local fine art printing company.

The second card is of a painting similar to the green man above. It was a second version I had done, without the curves at the bottom of the painting. (I don’t have a photo of it).

The green man is on a gardinere in salts mill, saltaire, Yorkshire. It was an example of Victorian pottery. I took a photo with my phone and used it to work from.

I will be trying to sell them at a few craft fairs over the spring and summer. It’s hard to judge if people will buy them, but you have got to try !