Category Archives: Misc

Inspiring women – who would you choose?

My daughter is helping to organise a conference as part of International Women’s Day in March and as part of that wants women to post pictures and details of women who inspire them.

They are asking anyone to send a photo of a woman who has inspired them at some point in their lives. This could be a family member, a colleague, a celebrity….. absolutely anyone and for any reason! Accompanying the photo, they’d like a description, short or long, of how this woman was inspirational.

Post them on Twitter with the hashtag ‪#‎inspiredbyher‬

So who to chose?    Florence Nightingale?   Aung Sang Suu Kyi?   Georgia O’Keeffe?   Marie Stopes?  Millicent Fawcett?  Vera Brittain?

I could write pages on any of these women and the incredible work they have done, the sacrifices they’ve made, the obstacles they’ve overcome.  The truth is that I am inspired by any woman who went before me and who struggled to have some freedom that I take for granted – education, voting, contraception, exploring the artwork I want to do… how ever I chose to live my life, there are dozens……hundreds of women who fought so that I could have those choices.

But if I have to chose one, I will chose Georgia O’Keeffe the artist.     I loved her art the first moment I came across it many years ago – there is something very visceral and free about her work that I admire – all the more when you consider the reaction it must have had in the first part of last century.    Her works show emotion and power by abstracting objects and she took her inspiration from the natural world.   I have stayed at Ghost Ranch, one of her homes in New Mexico twice and it was very moving to stand where she stood and see the wonderful wilderness that she painted so often.   I have also been to the museum of her works in Santa Fe and was very excited to hear that Tate Modern are having an exhibition of her work in the summer of 2016.

Georgia O’Keeffe used many mediums to express her work and grew and changed as she aged.   She was a pioneer in the art world and did what she wanted to do.   I admire the way she followed her heart.

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.”

“I had to create an equivalent for what I felt about what I was looking at – not copy it.”

Learn more about her work here.



It’s official….. I’m an artist!

Well, I am not sure how it happened but the uni have accepted me to study an MA Fine Arts in September.

I am still in shock about it.    When I was made redundant in January and decided to take a few months to find my creative side (see the beginning of this blog) I had NO idea that this is where I would be a mere 5 months later.

So, now I have to accept that I am an artist.

And do some art.

Real art, meaningful art, art that moves me.

Yup, still in shock…….

Early morning trip to see the USS Theodore Roosevelt in the sunshine and frost

Whoa it’s big 🙂

The USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier is currently moored in the Solent just off the peninsular where I live because it is far too big to fit into Portsmouth Harbour!   It is colossal!

I got up early this morning and it was sunny with a heavy frost.   My hands ached with cold as I walked along the beach at 7am but it was worth it, I beat most of the dog walkers and had the beach, and the view to myself.   I took a few pictures I am pleased with.  It took me a while to get one of the aircraft carrier that I was pleased with because I didn’t want to just take the usual pic of it in the sea (although it is very scenic with the Isle of Wight behind).    On my way back along the beach, I spotted this fence and rope at a cafe and chose to use them as the foreground.   I am pleased with the result!

Yesterday it was raining (actually it was hailing until it looked like snow!) so I stayed in and practiced some painting – I had a lot of fun, I bought some extra colours to compliment the ones I had and spent a happy afternoon doing finger paintings on rough paper.   I will use one of them for Free Art Friday again this week, not sure what my text will be though!

More soon!

Daily photograph – Day 12 – Spring has sprung in Hampshire!

OK, first off, I have an admission to make.  I can’t do the one picture a day challenge!  There are just too many pictures out there to take and it is such a beautiful day!    I went out today for a long walk around town and found several things that I wanted to capture – so I did.  I am not going to let a self imposed challenge stop me from taking the pictures I want to take.

But I have learned a lesson from the exercise – I have learned to take my time before snapping, to think and really let the picture come to you rather than searching too hard.     And I think I have come to value the shots much more highly, to treasure the good ones more – so it is not wasted.    And I will still post a picture a day for the 30 days that I intended.

It’s a glorious day here and this is some pussy willow against the blue sky.

I have continued to practice my painting and I am having a lot of fun experimenting and learning about using acrylics.   I have used watercolour and gouache a lot in the past but for some reason I have not tried acrylics before.   I love the way they mix and the way I can move them across the surface with my fingers.  Below is a practice version – I love the colours!  They really make my heart sing.

2015-03-17 14.20.03

I feel like last Thursday was a real breakthrough – as if I had been shown a whole new room of creativity and ideas that I didn’t know was there and I am having so much fun exploring the room and realising there are so many more things I could do.  And this is why I took time off between jobs, it’s taken a while to bubble to the surface 🙂

Photo challenge Day 11 – oops, I missed a few!

I have been busy with other stuff…. and I realised just now that I hadn’t picked up my camera for a few days.   So what’s going on?!   The weather has been lousy and I think I am so obsessed with light and shadows that on a dull day I just don’t see anything that makes me think “Quick!! I have to take a picture!” – so I haven’t (I really feel strongly that you cannot force these things, it will come or it won’t).   Also, since starting to paint seriously again after a few years of pfaffing around, I guess my creativity is split at the moment!

Anyway, today is gloriously (and unexpectedly) sunny and I was in the middle of upholstering the chairs when I looked out of the window and these shadows really called to me.    I love the mix of shapes on the fence, and then the texture of the fence behind.

I also love black and white in photographs – my art work is always extremely colourful but with a camera  I think I prefer the simplification that black and white brings.   It strips everything back to shape and texture.

I feel like I am really in the groove at the moment with having ideas and trying them out.   I am saddened that it has taken two months off work before the fog really started to clear but happy that it has – I knew it would come back at some point!

More tomorrow…. 🙂