Gallery of past work

Tuesday, 31 July 2018


With French visitors staying and awful rain and storms in the last few days, we have been struggling to show our beloved Scotland at its best. But on Sunday evening, the weather relented as we drove home. Mist and a subtle sunset turned the landscape to mystery. One of our visitors felt she was seeing the soul of Scotland. I think she was right.

And the quiet was profound - no traffic, no wind, just the call of a buzzard to its young. 

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Plants in the right place

It is often said that a weed is only a plant growing in the wrong place. Since l dispute the subject frequently with my husband, I’ve come to the conclusion that the definition is in the mind of the beholder!

In an entirely tamed garden such as he favours, these small unassuming plants would have been dug up and discarded as undesirable. Today, I found them growing wild and undisturbed beside a wall near a track through a local wood and I could study them freely. Here, they were not weeds at all. They were most determinedly in the right place and what a pleasure they were to draw up close.

Stinging nettle, growing where it should

Camomile growing profusely

I must apologise for the rather scrappy nature of these uploaded photos. Here in Scotland, with only the editing software on my iPad to rely on, I have done all I can. 

Sunday, 22 July 2018

A warm evening walk

It’s been a beautiful hot summer’s day - doors and windows still open into the evening - and over the years of visiting here in Aberdeenshire we’ve not had many of those to enjoy.

This evening we walked round by the river (Dee), a favourite walk always enjoyed. This time there were many swallows and house martins catching insects but no fishermen. The river is very low. We could almost have walked across. It’s an extraordinary summer we’re having.

Looking up river weat towards Aboyne 

Wild rose bushes against the evening sky 

Blogger on the iPad is not impossible... but not easy. Why I ask?

Friday, 20 July 2018


During the tidying up that I mentioned last time, I came across some drawings that I hadn't posted before - often precursors to or developments of things already posted, but hopefully interesting.

A local hedge group, Malmesbury Wilts

Hedge in South Island New Zealand previously embroidered, 
here traced in 2B pencil, smudged and some negative spaces erased

Olive tree traced, enlarged in size and flipped horizontally and reproduced

Tree as above, repeated twice and reduced in size

A favourite tree group in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, 
negative spaces filled with 4B graphite stick and blended

We are returning to Scotland tomorrow for three weeks of (maybe) good weather. I will no doubt commune again with this last tree group in its beautiful setting in Glen Tanar, near Aboyne. The peace and tranquility of this place have been a continuing delight over 45 years of marriage. 

I will hopefully find time to draw and if Blogger allows, will post occasionally during our stay. 

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Tidying up

No, not tidying my work room, though that's much needed (and my husband would be delighted). This time, I've been concentrating on three of my sketch books or work journals. I've blogged before about these here and many times in passing elsewhere. My sketchbooks form a record of my thoughts and the processes I go through to develop and finish a piece and are very important to my practice.

This tidying up, ahead of an attempt to join a new stitch group, has made me look afresh at what I've been doing in the last couple of years - a very useful exercise indeed. It has forced me to look at everything I've done recently, whether taken to fruition or not. It has highlighted some pieces for future completion that I might otherwise have overlooked and some areas where a lot of new work could perhaps bear fruit.

So, very useful then, and I include here some of the pages I've come across as I looked through in this case the first of my Structures sketchbooks. Here I explored shapes, patterns and forms in high rise and exceptional modern buildings in Queensland and Sydney, Australia. This visit was especially meaningful for me and triggered the development of a new approach to my work and further exploration of the use of my own photographs as a basis for stitch.

Starting with the exploration of metal and fabric structures found above in a cultural performance space near Cairns in Queensland and below in the Sydney Opera House,

then exploring circles,

and near circles or ovals,

and then the beginnings of some work ideas,

and finally, exploring colour in the Red Centre and Aboriginal art.

I have been surprised at just how useful I've found this process to be. It has focused my mind, made me consider further the nature of my practice and its effectiveness and uncovered several pieces of future work, and perhaps even suggested new directions.