Monday, 12 November 2012


Well,  it has happened,  and nearly a week has rushed by!  Thank you to all of you who came & supported me,  & especially those of you who bought paintings & prints - all the money will be donated to the Woodland Trust.

Luckily my friend, photographer & artist Sarah Knowler was there to make good use of my camera for me - thank you Sarah :-)
I am not going to post many of her lovely shots of friends & family,  but have selected 5 that show off the venue the best. The beautiful Forge venue in Camden, London is well worth a visit ( details on flier on previous post ) and these pics are taken in their upstairs room - the Foundry Gallery - which is about to become a sought-after  place to exhibit.  I am proud to be the 2nd artist to do so.

It was lovely (once over my nervousness) to show various family & older & newer friends some of my work from the last 3 years,  & celebrate after with a delicious meal there too.

Here it is :-

I must add that this last photo is of my nephew,  Adam Caird,  who dreamed up & runs this wonderful place with his wife Charlotte;  and he is holding my irresistable great-niece Isla,  who had dressed perfectly for the occaision !!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Glorious Sun

I am deep in exhibition preparation mode (see flier 2 posts ago ) & its amazing how much time it takes up putting hooks & string on the backs of paintings,  cutting bubble wrap to size,  making labels etc etc  ..  Probably wont post again till I have put the exhibition up next tuesday. 

Luckily a friend came down last week for a long w/e and that stopped me spending too much time on it.  Even better we had some consecutive days of glorious sunny but not too cold autumn weather,  & took our cameras for walks.  I am the proud owner of a new compact,  & chuffed with the opportunity to take better photos -  I hope my occaisional posts here will thus improve..

Here is an example of one of those lucky moments,  & here's to friends that come & take us out of ourselves :-) .. you know who you are ..

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Enjoying Colour & Texture

Here are some photos I have taken  at various time & places over the last year or so,  all at moments where my attention was caught by colour,  or texture,  or both .  I was simply going to share the most recent one,  but  when I look back I realise how regularly this happens,  & I'm interested to put some side by side & see them as a group.

These moments of joy in seeing some particular combination of random things feeds my painting practice.  When I am working on a painting & looking/feeling for the combination of colours that will , I hope,  make each other sing,  things such as these are feeding me.  It is an unconscious source of support - I don't deliberately seek to copy nature's colours,  that has never worked for me.  Sometimes I will only see the connection from a painting or drawing back to a photo afterwards.  I think my Spirit Helpers have this sorted ...

These 5 shots are taken in some of my favourite landscapes - S Wales,  N Wales,  & Scotland.  I feel so glad to be able to spend time in these places,
I hope these convey something of their mixture  of ancient presence & fragile beauty.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012


Haven't posted for a while so here is one thing I am busy with ..  and big thanks to Nick Breeze Wood for turning my idea into this lovely poster/flyer image. If any of you out there are in London in November please  come & have a look. 

Monday, 13 August 2012


My Spirits gave me the title for this painting before I started it,  which is a first for me.  It illustrates an experience I had on a shamanic journey when my spirit helpers were showing me how their energy connects to mine - or your spirit helpers'  energy to you..

I saw the human energy body as a floating empty space being filled with  spirit power - each spirit helper shows itself to us in a way we can understand,  in a form like bird,  or animal or stone or flower, and this energy is connected to the human energy body by lines or threads or light paths of energy.  We each have many helpers as I have shown in the painting,  including sun,  moon & stars.

The 3 triangle shapes behind the human shape remind me of the 3 worlds of shamanism, upper,  middle and lower -   or the 3 realms of my chi kung practice,  heaven,  human & earth -  or 3 power centres in the human body,  in the head,  the heart & the belly.   
Also they refer to the Sri Yantra -  the beautiful  2000 year old tantric image made of 9 interlaced triangles.  
Before the British Library moved to its present site it was part of the British Museum, and  there was a small Sri Yantra image on display  there which I used to go & spend time with every time I went to the museum.  The geometry of it was riveting, & calming & satisfying..

I had no idea when I began this painting that all these elements would come together.  Indeed I thought this painting was a personal one,  and its journey to completion has been quite a long one. 
Just recently I got the message that it was meant to go out in the world too -  so I hope it feeds you as much as it does me. 

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Land 8 - 'Promises"

The next of these paintings from the land here has come in quite fast.
The initial drawing on canvas in the particular place  took place in Spring,  & then the non-summer weather after that meant I didn't go back there many times during the making of the painting, which is a change.
It had a very lively energy right from the beginning,  and once again,  I worked in acrylics,  and enjoyed finding new ways to make marks & build layers.  All my paintings are spirit-led,  but  this one stretched my trust to new heights.  Put that colour there ?  Really ?  OK.   
And then the Bird appeared,  which was totally unexpected,  and off we went somewhere new.

When I finish one of these paintings I make a shamanic journey to take the painting to the  place & thank the Spirits there,  who gave me the painting.  This experience was deep & joyful this time.  And  yesterday I walked round the land again & the next painting is already on the way.  Things seem to be accelerating !!

I would like to thank all my fellow participants in the annual International Shamanic Community summer gathering earlier this month,  because all the dancing & interaction with the Spirits of the Land there definitely helped me trust & follow my Spirit Helpers to create this painting. 

It occurs to me looking back at my posts that I only put relatively small files of my paintings up here,  which makes them appear smaller than the ipad work -  not true !!  just convenient.
You will just have to come & see the real thing some day.. either here in SW Wales,  or perhaps when I have an exhibition in London in November..  of which more nearer the time,  but let me know if you want to have more info please.

Sea labyrinth

This one is an oil painting which has taken time to appear in my studio.  It got quite stuck for a while,  an I only found the way forward by drawing several more versions on my ipad,  the last of which I will add below.  
I have done several images with labyrinths in over recent years - its a series I add to sporadically -  some of them are in the archive section on this blog.
I always find walking the labyrinth magical & focussing both as a meditation,  & as a ceremony for a specific purpose / ocaision.  
In this painting the way the labyrinth changes the view makes me think of seeing differently as I sometimes do when guided by my Spirits.  Different ways of seeing...

Here is the ipad version - 

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Evanescent flowers

Whilst working on paintings take time,  the flowers in our garden seem to whizz through flower to seed in our very changeable & unseasonably cool weather.  Still I would like to share a few beauties..
This 1st is a peony bloom from a few weeks ago - a plant my Mum subdivided from an old one at the house where I grew up,  north of London.  It then lived at Mum's next home nearby for some years.  Then it came here to such a different climate about 3 years ago.  It just survived 2 very hard winters, & after this last milder one has given us a first flower since its arrival,  which felt even more epic when Mum told me it was possibly planted by my great-grandmother !  Praise to the tenacity of this beautiful  plant which has felt able to flower again at last ...

The other is a poppy -  we have not had success with these either til this year - & I feel that this is the first year that we really have a proper garden,  & the Spirits of the place have settled after all the changes after we moved here. Thank you to all who have helped us reach this point,  both human friends & Spirit helpers...
I think this poppy's  shapes & colours are so fabulous at every stage of its growth  :-)

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Water Worlds

I took this photo a few years ago ,  its of part of our pond.  I like the way it has become its own surreal world in the image.  I just found it again,  & it occurs to me that it follows on well from my previous post.  How many layers are there here ???  How many worlds ???  
It makes me think of the layers of the 3 worlds shamans have walked in for longer than  we know...
Its good to let our awareness keep expanding...

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Land 7 - " Open Field "

This is the 7th painting in my series inspired by the land here where I live - the others have all been entered in this blog. This one started with drawing onto the canvas the shapes that I saw up in the middle of our top field last summer.  The canvas waited quietly in the studio for some months,  then I put a photo of it onto my ipad, & drawing over that created this 1st version :-

Then last week I finally came to painting it -  well I didnt want just to repeat myself,  & also I worked in acrylics ,  unlike the preceding oil paintings,  so it changed .. I enjoyed the different pace,  no long careful mixing of colours,  the limitation/ attraction of paint drying quickly..  And some surprises as always. The painting travels round the edges of the canvas,  as with most of my paintings.

The title both reminds me of the literal place,  & also that I have experienced shamanic ceremonial work up there, when I and the place have been open to other levels of activity that often remain unseen..
So all blessings  & thanks to the place and the Spirits.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Write a love letter to the Earth ..

This ipad drawing is called  SUN EARTH LIGHT LOVE
I drew it in response to thinking of that moment at dawn when the Sun arrives over the horizon & HITS you with it's light,  with its love & energy...

I have submitted it to the website of a wonderful campaign gathering images for illustrations to get people to write Love Letters to the Earth,  not just cos it is Valentine's day today,  but to express how much each of us cares for the Earth in the run up to the next Earth Summit in Rio.  This is highlighting & raising awareness about inspiring work being done by a wonderful barrister called Polly Higgins  to get the United Nations to recognise Ecocide as the 5th crime against Peace. 

I recommend having a look at all the artists' work from all over the world  there,  & writing a letter ..

go for it !! 

Friday, 3 February 2012


The full title of this painting is actually written through the canvas ..  whereby hangs a story..  I thought myself really stuck with this one,  it was hanging in my studio for ages & I knew it wasn't right & yet couldn't see what it needed.  The answer came in a conversation with someone else who commented on sitting in our conservatory last summer  & enjoying hearing the trees.   Mmmm  ... HEARING them... why ..?..      The penny dropped very soon after & made a link  for me which became the title - 


So I painted the text into the painting,  each word in a different place.  here are a couple of close-ups 

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

iPAD suggests new drawings / paintings ...

HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!  BLESSINGS ALL ..    Its been a while ..  and yes I have joined the ranks of ipad owners. Its quite a surprise,  since I have not been attracted to pursuing my art digitally before,  but when I asked my Spirit helpers last autumn for guidance about my artwork,  they were unequivocal - use an ipad. 
Well I am enjoying it.  I haven't moved beyond the classic 'brushes' app yet,  I know which ones I want to explore next,  but there is so much to try out just within the permutations of this one app for the time being.  As you can see below,  I am very absorbed in building up textures , as well as the playfulness the instantaneous  palette of lovely colours brings.  There are things I cant do with it,  of course,  but having to work within certain constrictions is often inspiring ..
So thank you,  Spirits, this technology has given my drawing a much needed  shot in the arm,  as well as being an interesting way to try things out for actual paintings.

Here are 5 examples, I don't really know whether to call them drawings or paintings.  I would love to know what anyone thinks who reads this - see my email address  at the side of this blog,  or leave a comment..

From a friend's comment this is called "Woolly Jumpers & Celandines"
It came in the doing..

"Riverbank 2" - In this one I was thinking back to walking in a valley in the Cairngorms last autumn

"Stone Movement " - These textures & patterns came from sitting with a stone,  a palm sized pebble,  which sits comfortably in my hand.  It called out to me on a local beach where lots of water was pouring over the sands to reach the sea.  It is teaching me a lot.

"Arriving / Leaving"  -   This one is an image of the feeling of energy leaving me during shamanic work ..  some is leaving,  & other energy is arriving..

"Revealed "  -   A young tree which is teaching me a lot at the moment  was suddenly caught in my torch beam on a dark cloudy night recently.  Our ongoing  conversation is private,  but perhaps this drawing conveys something of that moment of communication.