Always carry a camera with you!

Driving back from Norham where I had a lovely New Year with family to return to my holiday cottage at Allanton for my second arts-inspired week and thinking about a plan of action. Suddenly, turned a corner in the country road, just over the border into Scotland, and the sunset appeared like a dramatic theatre backdrop.  So I pulled over, parked on the verge, stepped out into a puddle of icy water and got the attention of a herd of sheep.  ‘Photo opportunity, everyone!’  Fortunately I always carry my little Sony Cybershop camera in my bag, so was able to capture this great shot. No further words needed from me! The sunset says it all – tomorrow will be a sunny day!

Sunset over the Borders

Lowry ‘s view of Berwick Coast on New Year’s Day

Happy New Year, everyone. May 2017 be the most creatively inspiring, adventure-filled, fun loving time of our lives!  Today, I braved the balmy North-East weather to venture out and take some photographs of local views before I head back to my holiday Studio Cottage tomorrow.  The famous ‘matchstick men’ painter, L. S.  Lowry spent a good amount of time in Berwick, and I have it on good authority, sometimes paid his Castle Hotel bill with a picture or two that he sketched on the tablecloth. This view from the Point at Spittal is one of the many Lowry painted and forms part of the Lowry Trail around Berwick, well worth exploring.

Close by is a lovely little stone-built cottage, I wonder if it was used for Kipper Smoking, or perhaps fishermen’s nets and can only imagine the stories it must hide. Steeped in the fishing history of the North-east, the Coast at Berwick is a photographer and painters dream. Make sure you visit Northumberland at least once in 2017!

Lowry’s Berwick Views

Scott Robertson – an artist I truly enjoyed meeting

It’s New Year’s Eve and, before the partying starts, I  take a trip to Scotts Gallery, Bridge Street, Berwick-on-Tweed, meet local artist, Scott Robertson, and enjoy a really stimulating conversation with him about his work on display in the Gallery.

Scott explains that he was brought up in Berwick and moved away but was drawn back to this wonderful part of Northumberland, motivated by its architecture, countryside and seascapes.  Curious about his abstract paintings of the sea, I ask Scott to explain one particularly expressive piece of work. Using oils on board, the work is in response to a view of the North sea from his front garden when he painted the early evening light and a focal point of one wave breaking near the shore. As he expresses his motivation to produce such a large painting, I am struck by the realisation that when an artist expressing his rational behind his work, it goes a long way towards helping the observer understand its place in the abstract world of art.

Scott Robertson runs the Gallery alongside fellow artist, Mark Irving and I can recommend a trip to this part of Berwick to meet the artists and enjoy learning about their work.  I most certainly will be back there.

Making Quilts with Harris and Donegal Tweeds

Spending a lovely evening with my sister, working on our wool quilts from fabrics bought at the Harrogate Knit & Stitch Show. Both our patterns are inspired by Margaret Lee’s pattern book ‘Wool Quilts’.  A very creative adventure using an assortment of fabrics and enjoying the journey that quilt making provides.

Wool Quilts in the making


Inspiration lives nearby!

Working in my Cottage/Studio Space today to gain some mileage on the pencil/brush and focusing on figure drawings to help with my Fishermen Series. Then wander down the road to have a cuppa with lovely local artist, Pauline Burbidge and her husband and fellow artist, Charlie Poulsen.

Inspired by both Pauline and Charlie’s dedication and commitment to their art forms gives me renewed energy to spend more time on my own work.

Pauline Burbidge in her Studio