Have spent some of the weekend writing up guided meditations, visualisations and all manner of stuff for a forthcoming workshop in Malta I run with a couple of friends.   In doing so I was inspired to create this image.   I call it THE MASK ………….. of perfectionism. 

I have worked with many people who are crippled by this, unable to sometimes  even make any steps forward because of the immense anxiety.   Often this control comes of out of a real sense of sadness within, it cannot be revealed at any cost so the person controls their external environment to such a degree that absolutely everything around them has to be perfect. I too have this incidious trait, it can be so cruel, I have battled with this a long time, its a lot easier now I have learnt to let go a little and life has become somewhat less anxious but the creative process can sometimes be a nightmare.  Dr Estes wrote a letter on facebook about perfectionsism,  she explains it so well, I have posted it on my other blog, click here

The image is done in oil paint, oil pastels, scanned into my laptop and layered digitally……………

Friday flowers

Another week has passed with no posts, busy at work, busy with my monthly newsletter,  It’s all good and everything as it should be.

Today I gave myself a beautiful little treat, passing by a little country cottage on my way out for a nice walk with a friend of mine, I came across these beautiful bunches of flowers, sweet peas, dahlias and asters, so perfectly bright, cheery and smelled so sweet, just perfect as you can see.  I adore sweet peas, when I had an allotment a few years back now, I always had sweet peas growing so I could have a jug full of  the  bright coloured stems next  to my bed.  Just looking at them brings a big smile to my face and lots of happy memories of  sowing and planting out, weeding and harvesting, always ending a stint on the allotment with a flask of tea sitting outside my shed with Brian, my allotment neighbour  and sharing his years of  experience growing veg, we would chatter away and laugh, drink the last drops from the flask, then I would gather a bunch of the heady perfumed sweet peas and drive of home.  Happy memories.

Ended up walking along  Ditchling Beacon, a little ways only as it was quite chilly and very blustery, but enough to blow the cobwebs away and  put my life back in to perspective.  The Beacon is the highest point in East Sussex and one  can see for miles around.   I had hoped to have a nice drive in my new car with the top down, but it was too chilly.  Did for awhile though, with the heated seats on full blast !!

Lunched in THE WHITE HORSE at Ditching village, a nice simple pub, with nice simple food, totally unpretentious, warm and welcoming………….

All I want to do now is sleep…………………..

Suzani and friends

today I received my parcel today from Tashkent, Uzbekistan !!  How exciting, ripping open the brown paper and wrapped inside in a plastic carrier bag, was my precious suzani, a hand emmroidered cloth I bought on ebay.

I have another one coming that is similar colours but a slightly different pattern, the two together plus some plain fabric i am going to create  wonderfully coloured wing chairs that will sit at my new desk.  Actually its a long trestle table, in aged silver oak, over 3m in length at which I can sit and create, write letters and eat breakfast as it looks out across to the common.

A suzani for those who may not know is a hand embroidered cloth, usually sewn in panels and joined sewn together to make a large piece.  From Central Asia, these pieces would from part of a brides dowry, shows her skills at embroidery.  Often used as wall hangings and bedcovers.  Each region can be identified by its designs, but need to research this a bit more.

Such wonderful colours, and each embroidered shape is so neatly sewn, the back is almost as neat as the front, such tiny, tiny stitches.

above are my little friends, the large boy you will recognise from my before images, (if you click the image above you will see)  he is painted black at the moment, thinking of either a bright pink shade, or repainting him white with a white with a white sculptural shade and putting in my bedroom……. decisions, decisions.  The other little friends are my all time faves my japanese collector doll uamou ,  buuts buuts uamou and boo.  Unfortunately buuts got a rubbing over by my cleaning lady and lost part of her head piece which was very annoying……….  we have a bit of a love hate relationship, but all in all we get through, the flat gets cleaned.  I cant do everything sadly, my interior design work takes a huge chunk of my time and the last thing I want to do in my spare time is clean………  You can can see the whole range of collectable uamous here

The Guest House

The following poem just says it all for me.  It took a long time find the place of acceptance of “what is” in life.  Once tasted I realised the answer to  living with that elusive ” inner peace” was trying to achieve acceptance in all areas of my life and day to day life’s challenges.

Whatever life brings up for us, know that its arisen because we have something to learn from it, learn to see the gifts in all and every situation.

The poem is by RUMI, the famous Sufi poet who died in 1273; he states very clearly just what I am trying to say, he says it far more eloquently than I ever could,


This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

Oblivious – detail – Carol Gearing

Tears, did this man make me cry or laugh?

I saw Taylor Mac last night at the Soho theatre, he was amazing, so colourful, full of passion and joy, and very surprising to me,  he was so tender, vulnerable and showed great compassion for life.  I was really touched by him in a way I had not at all expected………….  For all his clashingly vibrant dress and his sparkly bejewelled make up was a man that  not only made me roll up with laughter but bought tears to my eyes with his honesty.

In his own words  ” I believe the more personal risk I take in the work the more the audience will relate and see the whole of their humanity reflected back at them.  So, through art, I try to be as masculine, feminine, ugly, beautiful, intelligent, base, chaotic, graceful, joyful, sorrowful, perfect and flawed as I am in real life” and Taylor you achieve all you set out to do and so good to share my evening with you.

My first piece of felt…………….

what an amazing day spent with my friends in deepest sussex.  Ali is an artist, and today she passed onto us her amazing skills as a felt maker. Sitting together amongst a riot of colour, pinks and reds, blues and greens, sketch books, paintings, the tools of the trade and from the windows a view of the sussex downs, what inspiring surroundings.  We chose our colours and with patient instruction slowly constructed  our chosen designs, poured on hot sudsy water and rubbed and rolled the wool into submission, then like magic the fibres all “knit” together into one glowing piece of wool felt cloth.  What was really great was sitting n a circle with my friends, rolling and rubbing in the soapy water and all chatting and laughing and sharing our stories, a magical day which I know will inspire some future work………..  Thanks so much Ali.

Please follow the link here to Ali’site

is this the one? I think it is

After much deliberation, I think I have chosen this image for my kitchen wall…………..

Its going to be 3.2m high x 3.8m wide, very large, but oh so magnificent.  I don’t want to go for your stereotypical foody, flower image that kitchens usually suffer from, but something magical and I suppose a talking point.  With white gloss kitchen and plenty of colourful ceramics on my open shelves I think I am going to love it.

Resting my brain

The weekend has been full, my head has been full, but now I am giving it a rest…………

I awoke on Saturday morning with a real sense excitement, like a “fizzing” feeling going on inside, and tingly, needing to create something.  My mind seems to go into overdrive and images, colours, thoughts, past journeys, magazine clips, feelings I want to portray, all manner of ideas swirl around like an “eddy” in a stream.  Its as if they get caught, I hold onto them for fear of them flowing away from me, but as they spin the ideas gather and the vortex gets bigger, I cannot express my ideas fast enough and as soon as they are on paper more and more are building………  its exhuasting and my head begins to feel engorged with heat and flickering images until I cant take anymore.

So I have stopped now, paper and perncils, illustrator and laptop are about to be put to bed and I am going to go to bed and rest my weary head.  For tomorrow I am designing, huge spaces, so exciting.

The image is trying to portray how I feel when the brain is in abundant mode, creativity is pulsating and courses through my veins.  (mixed media)

Good days, dark days, some ok days

Today has been all three combined, the sun is just going down after a beautiful spring day, a GOOD day.  Designing, creating a bistro today was mixed with a real passion for expressing the feelings when first entering a room that makes one feel special, but in getting there I have been back to places that bought on my perfectionsism, a small little girl with no power, feeling helpless and  reacting within my adult self. DARK day.  It was she who felt helpless that left me with feelings of “must be in control” something I have been working on letting go.  All is well most of them time, but when it comes to getting everything in order I can somethimes get very anal about everything and become too perfectionist, this stops the “flow” and i get so frustrated.  Anyhow the days work is done, I am now at home, and getting ready to go out to cinema.  Going to see the new Tilda Swinton film, a perfect start to the weekend.  Any thoughts of perfectionism are now far from my mind.

The image is oil pastel sketch, scanned in and made into a pattern on illustrator.  its called “Plaything”