Monday, 24 April 2017

INDIA part 1

India itself seems to be somewhere between Sanyassin and Bollywood .........
On the edge is(to be)   in the middle
in between is to be on an edge
what does it mean to be "edgy "  It sounds like neither one thing ot the other right ?
I found India to be exactly that .
On the one hand there is a sensuality that is almost overpowering in terms of smell colour and decoration. At the same time , as one floats  or  is propelled unceremoniously along amidst this profusion of  flora and  fauna ,(albeit squirrels crows eagles dogs and cows) in an auto rickshaw, there is the ashram ,its simple food , modest dress code and religious devotion  .

I went to Pondicherry on a pilgrimage and  lived there for two months .

 My father had sailed that coast known as the Coromandel coast, stretching from Calcutta to Ceylon on the Bay of Bengal many times before I was born and for a while thereafter also.  My earliest memories of my father were his homecomings to our  calvinist  family home in Scotland , bearing exotic gifts for my mother.  I fell in  love with  India and  Ceylon ,with  Kandi ,sitting atop a small high mountain ,was  I fanticised, my domain , I felt from that time on , that I really had been to Calcutta  Madras ,Ceylon and everything in between  and that I knew this coast and its Tamil people .
India became  and remained  integral to my sense of identity . Coupled with some stories my father read to me ,that  were not Rudyard Kipling that's for sure , were written in  language that was as exotic as the gifts he brought  and more like something from the bible ,Thus a pathway developed in my brain that led me far far away from Grey Gables in Bonnie Scotland to India where people, gods and goddesses were interchangable
Of course I did not continue to perpetuate the idea of my Royalty but India  went deeper and deeper into the deepest recesses of my imagination and became real.

Part 2
 The second reason is way deeper ..and yet a little shallow too and it may be harder to explain 

I had come accross the artist  Francesco Clemente some time in the 1980/'s  at a time when  conceptual work abounded and painting was considered dead.

                                 Image result for Francesco Clemente Water and Wine (1981)
                                                " seed"1991 by Francesco Clemente

 I was attracted to the freedom ,eccentricity , sensuality and the strong  expressionistic rather  mysterious and very personal  eroticism of Clementes' work ; its   midnight , almost drunken yet very clearly defined psychic quality  . It looked to me  like it could be incredibly meaningful or utterly shallow and meaningless .I can only say I was drawn to these qualities . There was something that I recognised ,something that resonated with my own creative impulse.

It was from this Italian born artist that I learned of Pondicherry . I learned that here the hand-made paper industry of  Pondicherry was reinvigorated . and that Pondicherry was the papermaking capital of India .( Im not sure that this is the case incidently)  I marvelled at this hub of art material was situated  on the coast  my father had plied and positively thrilled at the idea of large scale handmade paper production .
My dream of a place where I would feel as though I belonged took flight . I was there , in my every waking hour , I was there  like Clemente and felt a strong desire to also have his experience ,I felt that paper and saw all the colour and sights that had inspired so much of Clementes’ oeuvre and held within it a voice I recognised as close to my deepest and truest self aka my soul It was my voice also  .
Much more of my relationship with Francesco Clemente later on as this is very complicated and dificult to express well .

There are 2 more “coincidences” , where my souls’ desire and this bit of coast coincided , it was like I was being enfolded in a warm familial embrace.

some links to Clemente


Friday, 15 April 2016


Needed to get my feet up ,as you do after traipsing around looking for the best value kettle . I mean I have lived in cute little towns where to get everything you need is within a 500 yard walk . That's great ,but I live in London ,that is made up of villages ,so they say . Some of these villages ,however are really big and the borough or "village" of Kensington and Chelsea is big. Very big ,and ,indeed is made up of two villages ,Kensington & Chelsea.. 
Anyhow, just in case you find your self stuck on Kensington High Street and in need of a sit down that wont cost you the inflated price of a cup of coffee , here is my recommendation. and here are my feet up in my recommended spot .

and here are my feet up in my recommended spot .

This is the view from said window ,it is looking up Kensington Church Street towards Nottinghill Gate. I am sitting here ,with my feet up in an ARMCHAIR folks , a comfortable armchair . No-one bothers me . I am not obliged to buy anything. I can eat or drink  if I want to ,right here in this quiet spot looking out on a London that is pretty well iconic .

Did I mention ,the toilets are great and free ?

or that you can buy food here ,organic food ?

great bread

OK so it was Barkers and it was BIBA too ,both landmarks of a time gone by and part of my life that has gone by with both . I used to be a waitress in the divine rainbow room high in the roof garden of BIBA back in the day ,back in the days when gold-rimmed black coffee cups were exciting .Well the staircase remains in its art-deco glory

Anyway my dears, it is now an enormous wholefood store ,it is called Kensington Wholefoods and is situated at the top end  of Kensington High Street which for reasons of economy we call High Street Ken.
I say "top end" as High Street Ken is an incline or hill .

I aught to say , this is quite an obscure spot in this otherwise bustling store . It is situated up the stairs pictured above ,then turn sharp right on the first floor . PS. there is free wi-fi .  

Think of me dear reader, if you do drop in here  as I  think of you whilst lounging in this free comfort zone

Thursday, 4 February 2016

A Painting day

We artists find great fulfilment in pursuing our craft, but we are always dissatisfied with the results, which pushes us toward growth and excellence. (Steve Easterwood)

today is a Wednesday . Wednesday is a painting day . Why do I have a painting day? good question . Why do I do anything ? Because I want to be a better painter .( to self ..Is it all about becoming better ? am I not good enough ? Am I good ? after better will I want to be best ? ,but I would like to be my  best and  someones favourite !I am more than one persons favourite person  already and am loved by one or two also.)
I want to be more skilled  at everything.
There is a great deal of desire it seems in my life in all that wanting. Is there passion ? What is the difference between passion and desire ? between passion and wanting ?
I have a passion for colour ,for design for beauty for nature, for kindness ,for wholeness and integrity and a desire ,a want, to love and be loved  . I want love ?
Am I wanting love ? Do I really feel myself to be without love ? I do not love myself very much these days , so yes I am wanting that love my love for my self .
How can I love myself more ? I cannot be younger ,taller ,smarter,but I could be more "successful" could I not ?
Success has to be evaluated and measured .It is an outcome . I learnt this in my teacher training .
There has to be a goal or rather ,in teaching terms, an aim . I have never been good at setting goals which is ,I suppose  why I am a little hazy about what success or successes  I may have had  over the years.
However, In November 2014 I set myself the goal of becoming a better painter. Have I achieved that goal ? By what criteria should,or could ,I now  measure my level of success ?

here is an oil painting from 2003

and below , an acrylic painted in July 2015

The 2003 image of the mare and foal on the moor ,to my surprise ,shares  certain similarities with the second 2015 image of the swallows . The difference ,other than the medium ,(the first being in oil and the second in acrylic),is that the horses were painted plein air ,out in the open ,on Dartmoor and I was painting what I saw . The swallows on the other hand were purely from my imagination and not at all conceived of when I began the painting.
 The process which brought the swallows into being went thus-wise .
stages 1-9

I am not a better painter than before . I am though a different sort of painter ,braver and my imagination more liberated . So There you are regardless of whether the painting has improved , I have definitely improved as a painter . I am braver and more liberated. I have more to learn about colour and about the dark . 
I also enjoy this process more than painting directly what I see . It is quite different from painting what one sees and going straight for reproducing the object or scene on the flat surface ,which of course has it's pleasure and its value. I find the latter  too easy . Too easy , so not much of an achievement . I now enjoy the exploration of colour for its own sake in fact I am passionate about it whereas previously I was just copying it from the subject. I explore the very edge of failure throughout the process . 
All in all ,painting this way has made this painter,my self ,much better ,I  love this self who is adventurous ,brave ,intuitive , who trusts in the process so wholly. 
If you have any questions about this method I have adopted please subscribe to the blog and ask away
It's cool ...and there is loads more to tell  !!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015


 When I began this blog , I didn't know quite how to put it ,but I wanted to talk about how everything in life can be an art . I was not sure if that was even true as I am aware of the natural tendencies we are all pretty much governed by.

That was quite a while ago now when I had this urge to proclaim "everyone can be an artist ... everyone IS an artist  ...etc" . I still believe this to be so but along the way I have come to realise ,to learn , what a deeply complex relationship this is between art and nature and that I don,t know that much about either ,well not enough to make any grand statement or get involved in lengthy or profound didactical debate on the topic.

The tea drinking ceremony .;postID=5109086020610002834;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=22;src=postname  stands out to me as an example of what the artist in the article in the link below is emulating

I guess the question , I am trying to answer for myself is  "WHEN  is  something art ?" closely followed by "WHAT is art ? "
reading this article/review today , I get the feeling stronger than ever that art is just whatsoever we say it is and that ultimately the only people who really should be giving a darn WHAT it is should be the professional critics and the rest of us should just get on with living and doing it to the best of our abilities and bring to it our many differences ,dreams and  aspirations .

I have come down firmly in agreement with Elbert Hubbard who says
                                 "Art is not a thing ,it's a way

Monday, 26 January 2015

out and about: Islington.

One can walk along  the New river

Turn left to Essex road where one can find
 the beautiful little
North Library
guess what , it is not only filled with


One can sit and read the latest vogue!
And I did

Fashion is going my way
It seems

And free
yes the whole darn trip !
Yes Free 
Like me  

Wednesday, 3 September 2014


Strange as it seems to me, I suddenly realise ,that although I have been painting for nigh on 30 years , I have never learnt to paint.
I don't mean to say I have learnt nothing from experience . I have, however,  never been  taught .

At Art College I  hid my copy of the newly published interiors magazine under my table and whilst lusting after the beautiful and interesting rooms and other spaces I saw  , wanting to be either an interior designer or at the very least a painter of images to place in such lovely spaces as those  I was enjoying  in the magazine . Meanwhile , I tried to please my personal tutor by making installations and performance pieces that money could not buy and could definitely not be accommodated anywhere other than in a gallery.

I graduated from an art college in 1986 .I had studied fine art for four long years.  What I learnt there and was actively taught, was that impermanence was the goal of the artist. . I was encouraged ,or perhaps ,indoctrinated would be a better word, to believe  that only pieces that could not be purchased  by the bourgeoisie were worth making.

On graduating I had no idea what I was going to do as I had no longer got the access to the technology or manual assistance that I had  at art school  .... I studied interior design and ceramics but they did not satisfy all that much although I enjoyed both.

 video installation graduation  piece 1986

 I studied interior design and ceramics after my fine art course , and although I enjoyed decorating and designing for their potential to explore my eclectic taste for folk art, ethnography,religion, poetry and everything in between , ultimately I was a (so called) fine artist and  I needed a medium  through which I could   express my experience of being alive .
Did I say , I am shy ? Yes shy of my poetic nature , of my deep love of all sentient beings  shit like that ,you know the kind of thing .. I was an EMO  ,I think that means  ,emotionally overwhelmed, if not,  it does now as far as I'm I taught myself HOW TO PAINT

I am in fact  a SELF taught painter.

I started with Rubens . And I started with How Rubens started his paintings ie. under-drawing in red ochre/burnt sienna.

(I drew really well so that bit I had mastered) .

I got a studio and set to work .(see pic left)

I started from the heart (mine) and with the heart above on the left of the studio.. the canvas behind me in the centre is a hand copied lace mantilla and a heart . I was in mourning for  lost love . and I was starting as I meant to continue , that is to say , from real emotional experience .

Saturday, 14 December 2013

The aesthetics of joy : Marie Laurencin

If you have never heard of her, I am delighted to introduce you to Marie Laurencin , a contemporary of Picasso and member of  Picasso's inner circle of artists . 
Her work can be and was intentionally, some say , made in direct feminine  response to the masculinity  of Picasso  .

this is one of her cubist works

compare and contrast with Picasso at the same time 

Les damoiselles d' Avignon : Picasso 

Wednesday, 25 September 2013



I would like to say more about tea and ritual but below is  pretty well everything I might have said  If only I had more time ..... for tea and other pleasing , pleasant rituals . I will definitely fit an occasional tea ritual in to my now   over-extended project list. 
I should add that the above image is called "invitation to tea with grandma " and  that my own grandma  ritually baked a laden table of heavenly cakes ,pies and more  ,  for all the family , the fare was served from ancient matching  bone- china on a huge lace cloth ( lovingly laundered)  . She would have baked for an entire day yet would appear fresh and beautiful .
I will be looking for a venue for tea  to share with you all or I may even try it in my studio. (a work of art ? ) grandma's was  a work of art   "an act and art of LOVE"  

Tea time with friends can be turned into ceremony simply by the intention in which you prepare your tea.

"Coffee may be the power beverage that gets us revved up in the morning and fuels us when we’re burning the midnight oil, but tea is the drink we turn to when we want to relax and be refreshed at the same time. Black, green, white, herbal, hot, or ice cold, tea is more than a soothing beverage. It can be a ritual, a cultural experience, and even a spiritual practice. 

The reverence for tea has inspired ceremony in many cultures. From the spirituality of Chanoyu, the Japanese way of preparing and serving tea, to the sharing of Maté in Latin America, tea rituals are for celebration, ceremony, and relationship bonding. In China, tea rituals are part of many wedding ceremonies with the bride and groom serving their elder relatives in a show of respect and gratitude. The Chinese art of drinking and serving tea has been a source of inspiration for poetry and song. The Russian custom of chaepitie has inspired a unique style of teapots, caddies, teacups, and cozies. The samovar, a special brewing device, has become the symbol of the Russian tea ceremony and an object of art in its own right. Iced tea, popular in the U.S., as well as other parts of the world, is a modern ritual bringing cool relief on a sweltering summer day. 

You can turn your own tea time with a friend into a simple ceremony by preparing your tea with the intention of offering nourishment and good wishes to the other person. When you are seated together, rather than drinking your tea right away, look at one another and express your gratitude and appreciation for your friendship. When you pour the tea, again intend it as an offering. Drink your tea slowly, savoring its flavor and aroma. Let its warmth or its coolness soothe your body. When you are finished drinking your tea, thank your friend for taking part in this nourishing ritual with you. Whether savored in the presence of another or tasted alone, the custom of drinking tea provides a soothing pause in our hectic world. Drinking tea can be a daily ritual that brings inner calm and clarity to the body, mind, and soul"
by Madisyn Taylor

Saturday, 27 October 2012


One building has just gone up to the right of my view and another to the left has been demolished .
The one that has gone up is an art college, Kensington &Chelsea Art college. I like very much the fact that it resembles (in outline) the old Chelsea College of art that is no more here in Chelsea . It has the same vents (or whatever they are ) on its flat roof .

 I always thought the Art School building in Manresa Road to be very modern and stylish 
back in the day when Chelsea was very traditional and had very few if any modern buildings .There were of course a few squeezed in here and there between whitepainted and illustrious  semi-detatched houses .

The building that has been demolished is the Penguin Book Building ,to my immediate left. This was a landmark until it became a white elephant and has lain empty for the las ten years . Anyway that's gone now (and very quickly too ) all seven floors of it . It is to be rebuilt as social housing .
The building I live in was built originally as social housing . Local residents kicked up a right old fuss about it  as they felt it would lower the tone of the neighbourhood !
Residents here,some of  my neighbours, who csme here as social housing tennants but have since bought thier leases are not at all happy about the building next door becoming social housing , amazing really when you think that fifty years ago the entire block was a brewery ........You've got to laugh !Or you might weep at mans foolishness , greed vanity and selective memory .
Yes I have developed the art of just shaking my head and having a little laugh .
meanwhile here is the building I would like to see next door
( the Ashkalon Centre : Israel )

Thursday, 19 April 2012


And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
 - Anais Nin
  and thus that day came  upon  me also   .
and now I am free
I give thanks that I have lived long enough to feel it
and the thanks are thanks for every breath
there is no going back
upon my word
my word is
(my spirit within greets your spirit)
there is no master
of this spirit
                                                                         "  Namaste "

Friday, 13 April 2012


Art is something we can all practice .
 When we practice we are being artists
 The more we practice the better artists  we become.
Everything can be an art if we practice .
Artists are practitioners of awareness and mindfulness.
when we have put in lots of practice we can be artists .
There is an art to everything .
and then there is just doing stuff .
An artist is one who practices .
be it cooking ,gardening,mothering,caring,shopping,spending,entertaining, playng football,looking,seeing,dancing ,meditating etc.
practice whatever you choose in life and become an artist .
You will not fail .
What are the qualities of the artist ?
actually its not like that what it is is once you find your inner artist everything you do becomes an art . It is something that permeates your entire life . Choosing a medium like paint ink or clay is just that ..its just choosing to do that or rather to employ your artist to work through that medium but every rule of life ,of living as an enlightened human being applies also to your artwork . The artwork is really no more than a metaphor for life and living .

chocolate is still my friend and non toxic is best

The Life & Style: Our Favourite Raw Chocolate ‘Pudding’
just want to share this with you  ... my loves
may you be content, be well and fulfilled
and if that link dosent work try this one

Monday, 19 March 2012


It was in August 2010 when I was delighted to find my palette more interesting than the piece I was working on. Delighted because I knew I was moving on , that something new was on the horizon .
I mean I really knew , knew that what I wanted was to have that unconscious uncontrolled little mess of pink and green with my name on it  . This I would be proud of .

Does that seem strange ? Previously ,I had been working away making monumental detailed oil paintings of little tricky challenging bits plucked from nature and making ever such a good job of it and a fair amount of income too.But I did not like it ... I did not like the eye-strain or the brain- strain . It was art as a kind of tortuous display of observation skill . Almost a "showing off" of my" amazing" skills developed over years of assiduous practise but you know what ? anyone can do that with the will and practise !That's what I used to teach and I've seen it proved over and over again . Some people have more of a leaning towards it and a bit of a head start ,that would be the more left-brained ones (like myself) but believe me anyone and everyone can draw and paint what they see.

I needed to learn a little so went off to St. Ives ,the home of British Abstraction .. attended a two day workshop which got me going  and I have not stopped since. I am  liberated at last . Free to enjoy colour line and form for their own sake . Free to dance . I'm having a great time .  to see work in progress ... and give me feedback   ta .. love you all ... be happy !!

Currently I am preparing for a solo show in a hospital .Which is just the best thing possible for me right now. I Am going to do something sooooo cheerful and uplifting!  I'm going to make 'em "smile all OVER"

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Affordable art to live on under and over .

so I see this stall on Portobello Road . I am stunned . It is Marcus and his amazing collection of Kilims and Susanis
.Im crazy about these beautiful handmade artifacts . Im hooked Im broke but I cannot resist .
The first Kilim I ever bought was in a small village in Sparta and it came from "Asia Minor"I am absoloutly captivated by the magic of these carpets .
Kilim : Afghanistan

Marcus also sells Susani .... The work in these is just phenominal .
 Embroidered by hand they can be as large as 6 x6ft.
Im going to cut what could be a long story about my passion and tell you this instead ...

Rifat Ozbek has a new line these days "Yastik"( as you may or may not know) It is all cushions made from hand woven /embroidered fabrics .   I was given a lovely little one made from "susani" that is filled with Lavender ...with a traditional middle eastern ticking  on the back .... heavenly to touch look at and smell. Its tiny 6x6 inches  and cost £65.00. It's got me smiling all over at bed time these days

Robert Kime

 Robert Kime(above ) has Susani that make me almost faint with delight (thats a lot more than just "smiling all over") This panel in the window of his Kensington Church Stteet shop is £1,000.00 pounds . . I would own it and its matching partner if I had that kind of moneyfor that kind of thing
                                    He also has gorgeous susani  cushion covers that are very pricey.

Meanwhile , back to reality , real prices anyway, and  Marcus on Portobello Road ....... He's lovely , he sells lovely merchandise at earthling prices    Visit him , enjoy his stock buy something , he,ll give you a good deal.I call him magic Marcus as I dont know how he manages to give such good value in kilims and susani  
I'll give Marcus of Portobello Road (opposite Starbucks) the last word or rather "picture"


                    (Please let me know if you visit his stall and how it went and what you thought)

We (the artists) are the champions

"Art establishes the basic human truths which must
serve as the touchstones of our judgment. The artist,
however faithful to his vision of reality, becomes the last
champion of the individual mind and sensibility against an intrusive society".
- John F.Kennedy

Loise Nevelson : Sculptor


Preparing for a major show in June .
Studio and therefore home overwhelmed by canvases .
I am engaged totally with abstraction ,colour ,line and form and
am really only interested in experimenting with breaking up the surface and designing that space.
It is a spiritual practice that involves a letting go of all thought and control having faith in the muse and  the years of gathered skills, creating the work .
This is a liberated time for me .
Bless you all throughout this coming year and always ..... May your juices flow .....its a thirsty world thats on the turn . 

Wednesday, 13 October 2010


I’m growing rather fond of the big bird  on my block

I have become used to the fact that someone (an artist?)out there can see into my home.

I have also enjoyed immensely watching the Bauhaus type construction that is in progress .

It is ,as a whole, a very pleasing aesthetic experience of the urban variety.

The construction itself is so simple, it is a grid and a cube at that and that is rather pleasing in a rational sort of way and calls to mind Corbusier and Mondrian.

Here are some pictures of what I am priviledged to enjoy .

Combined with the crane it is reminiscent of Kandinsky and Klee

This sight (or should I say “site”) ticks quite few, aesthetic boxes for me.

I also love the way the concrete changes colour and when it first dried out to a white (bloom) it was quite spectacular and ticked a favourite aesthetic box for me.

Looking and seeing is such a joy and in the city we have to look quite hard for purity and essence of form.
Ok so it is design  that Im seeing but  that crane driver is definitely an artist  .
Paul Klee