Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Once Again.

'Landscape-Poem,' acrylic on canvas, 50 x 60cm

Once again, we are almost at the end of another year! I have not written for over a month due to completing several applications, and work going off for a show. I've applied to the Beijing Biennale, which was a long, complex application as both a CD of images and photos (large ones) were required. Also, I am submitting work for a watercolour exhibition, and 2 weeks ago 10 paintings went off for a corporate exhibition in Crawley.

Looming ahead is the exhibition in Cyprus, in the third week of January. But for now, Christmas is less than 48 hours away, and I just put up our tree last night! Happy Christmas everyone. 

My final painting, for this post, is 'Homage to Glyn,' which was painted in memory of my mentor and dear friend, the artist Glyn Hughes, and memories of times in Cyprus with him. It is 60 x 45cm, oil and acrylic on canvas.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Dancing Autumn

'Cyprus-Poem,' watercolour, gouache and acrylic on watercolour paper, 22 x 33ins
November has brought flurries of fiery-coloured leaves, while some are still hanging tentatively on threadbare trees, some lying in mosaics across the pavements. Scenes change daily - something that delights me - but I am trying not to let it intrude on my 'Cyprus Poems' series. I need to get the rest of these completed before mid-December. But how those glowing, autumnal colours intrude on my inner vision and dance hopefully on the end of my brush!
'Paintscape,' watercolour, gouache and acrylic on paper, 22 x 30ins

Of the series so far, the above is one of my favourite pieces because it refers to landscape but in an abstract way.
'Inscape,' (Cyprus series) watercolour, gouache and acrylic on paper, 22 x 30ins

It has been such a busy few weeks. Apart from the Cyprus exhibition, I have work going to a show in Crawley in December and work in the Chestnut Tree Auction at the Pavilion in Brighton in March. (This work is still to be painted!)

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Cyprus Poems (2)

'Landscape-Poem,' watercolour and gouache on paper, 11.8 x 8.3ins
I'm on a deadline right now, preparing a complex application for a painting residency I really want! It would be a huge turning point for me because when you can have 3 months to paint, as many hours a day as you need, and a large space, you can get nearer to that fidelity and meaning we as artists are all constantly seeking. I'm very restricted by lack of space to pursue the large CYPRUS POEMS watercolours on an even larger scale, or just to be able to work on 5 canvases at once, without any interruptions. To have that studio would be HEAVEN!
'Coastal-Night-Poem,' watercolour and gouache on paper, 30 x 22ins
'Coastal-Poem,' acrylic and watercolour on paper, 33 x 23ins

The 17 paintings I made in Cyprus have spilled over their abundant energies onto larger sheets of paper back in the UK, and I'm surfing on the meanings of colour, marks and shapes to make colour-compositions that catch, for me, the essence of my experience. The series is throwing up some strange and unexpected elements, which seem to be full of potential for further exploration, and I'm really excited by the way that my hand just wants to do its own thing!
'Coastal-Poem,' acrylic and watercolour on paper, 33 x 23ins

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Cyprus Poems

'Coastal Night-Poem,' (2) watercolour, 11.8 x 8.3ins
'Coastal Night-Poem,' watercolour, 11.8 x 8.3ins
'Carob-tree Poem,' watercolour on paper, 11.8 x 8.3ins
Well, I did paint on that balcony in Cyprus and I never imagined that I would end up painting 16 watercolours and one canvas! I began painting in Nicosia in my first week, sitting on my mother-in-law's balcony with the canvas I prepared back home ('Ebb and Flow'). I didn't hear the noise of traffic below as I slipped into the world of colour. That week I also painted one small acrylic on paper ('An Undiscovered Country').

'An Undiscovered Country,' acrylic and gesso on watercolour paper, 11.8 x 8.3ins
The following week we went to Paphos and we had a wonderful, first floor apartment with a huge balcony. I got up early in the morning and a series of watercolours inspired by the sea and those brooding, dark carob trees at sunset emerged. This led to more abstract evocations, and in between swimming and walking, I continued to paint. I met up with two Facebook friends. I had already met Valerie Brennan in January and one evening my husband and I went to her flat for a lovely meal and I met Bridget Fahy. Both artists are colourists and our work is very much in alignment, while also different. I saw their large, shared studio and we are making an exhibition there in January. It was very inspiring to see their work and to discuss the exhibition.
'Carob-Poem,' watercolour, 11.8 x 8.3ins

Back in Nicosia I made a few more paintings and decided to leave my 'Ebb and Flow' as it is. I will be showing paintings on canvas and paper and since my return 2 weeks ago I have painted 4 large watercolours taking my themes further. My series is entitled 'Cyprus Poems' and I am exploring what is, for me, the essence of my experience of sea, sand, salty air, shimmering light, warm, liquid sunsets and vibrancy. More photos next time!

'Ebb and Flow,' acrylic on canvas, 80 x 40cm

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Summer's Passage of Colour (2)

'A Garden of Paint,' (series) acrylic on MDF, 51 x 31cm

As a follow-up to my previous post, I decided to add a new painting which possibly reflects some of the colours of my patio garden! I will be in Cyprus within 28 hours and painting on a balcony for the next three weeks (in between various excursions to the beach, of course!) I'm taking canvas and paper to make some colourful responses to the environment there because in January 2015 I will be taking part in a show with two friends! More in my next post.

Summer's Passage of Colour

View of my patio garden from living room windows
My patio garden, view from top flower bed
I can scarcely believe that I haven't written this blog for more than a month! It has been a summer full of events, so much so that I didn't even plant my patio garden to its fullest glory - ultramarine blue Lobelia and Orange Dahlias were missed out.  I've just put in the final Geraniums today, spurred on by my impending trip to Cyprus tomorrow! But they will be something positive for my return and hopefully blooming by then. Though this blog is usually about my paintings, I'm posting a couple of photos of my lovely patio garden. This year it was the best in terms of colour and some of my friends noted that my paintings use similar colours! I spent 3 hours today watering Petunias, Busy Lizzies, Pansies, Violas (still in flower), and the wonderful yellow-with-red spots 'Monkey Plants.' My Fuschias are draped with flowers and my Begonias are just showing their red 'crowns.' I suppose I measure this year by my flowers because there were moments of frenzied planting followed by times when events took over and I had to hope the rain would nurture them.

It has been my busiest year for exhibitions - I have taken part in seven! Shortly after the SEE Art Fair ended, I submitted my entry for OFF THE WALL, The 9th Terrace Open. It is an installation-type show, which is open for only a day but has much coverage on the internet and Facebook. Every year artists from different countries send work for this show, which takes place on the walls of a piece of land in Hackney, London. Many of my American artist friends sent over work and I was thrilled to be showing alongside so many artists who I respect. I delivered my painting on August 2nd and met Karl Bielik, who organises the event each year. It was great to see actual paintings by my friends and I would say that of the 80 entries this year, I must know around 70% of the artists.
One of the walls of OFF THE WALL TERRACE OPEN.
Artists delivering work
'An Unveiling,' acrylic, silver paper, orange plastic bag, indelible marker pen and gesso on canvas, under glass

Karl arranging work on the walls of OFF THE TERRACE OPEN

The unique point of this show is that the works remain on the walls. Some have been there for 9 years. Not every artist likes to submit work that the elements will dissolve - and there were paintings I looked at and thought, 'What a shame, that is too beautiful to fade away!' But many works have stood up to the elements and are still there, either blazing away or flaking and warped. I decided to do two copies of my painting. Both are under glass, both have elements which will survive long after the paint has been washed away. I called them 'An Unveiling,' because the elements will slowly unveil the image. When I submit next year I will be able to see how my painting has survived, or not! 

On the tail of this, an artist-led London gallery accepted me for a two week show - the only snag being that the dates they offered were during my trip and unfortunately when I said I could not exhibit until late September, or October, the offer fell flat! But the fact they liked my paintings was a positive response.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Art Fairs and Fairness

The SEE Art Fair opened on Wednesday night, with 25 stands: galleries, artist groups, and individuals. This is a photo of me in front of a gallery stand, with my blue painting 'Paphos Walkway,' (a memory of flying out over Paphos harbour) on the panel above. I delivered 5 paintings and some of the others may be substituted as the Fair continues, but I was really quite disappointed that my painting was shoved to the top of the stand, and a larger work was not included. It made me realise that the only way to participate is to pay for your own stand! It was implied that my work was 'too colourful' and may not 'fit' with the other paintings, but last night I noticed that several artists on other stands had been nominated for 'Best Artist of the Show,' and they were mostly very colourful figurative or colourful abstract! Yet back in my studio I had so many colourful abstracts and semi-abstracted landscapes that were available to display. I felt I never stood a chance. Once again, it showed me that other people do not necessarily have your interests at heart. On the opening night I was told something along the lines of: we weren't sure how to fit your work in, and we were going to hang it horizontally. No way - I would have taken my work down and walked out.

On the positive side, it was a very lively event, held for the first time in Tunbridge Wells in the Assembly Hall, which usually shows theatre productions and concerts. The Private View was on Wednesday evening and last night I attended the Charity Gala Event, which was accompanied by live music and canapes. I stood for four hours and never stopped talking to artists, visitors and galleries. My painting received some very nice comments.

Above is a view of some of the other stands, with the theatre seating visible in the background. The music added to the general ambience and was not too loud. I really enjoyed meeting other artists, seeing some wonderful paintings, and took the chance to network and make artistic connections. But as I left at 10pm, I vowed that the next Art Fair I take part in will be under my own terms, with a stand of my own!

'Paintscape,' - work in progress, acrylic on board, 100 x 75cm

Friday, 27 June 2014

Random Paths and Sales

'Sale Fun,' acrylic on canvas, 92 x 92cm (36 x 36ins)
Yesterday my large painting, 'Sale Fun,' was installed in the windows of Hoopers department store, here in Tunbridge Wells, along with 9 other paintings. The brief we were given a month ago was to interpret SALE, and I had a lot of fun doing this! I started my painting with one idea and it ended up going in a completely different direction. The large, simple areas of colour and carefully placed figures represent a different approach for me, which is always good. The paintings are being sold to help the charity CHYPS (Hospice care for children and young people). I think that as we stood outside the windows yesterday to watch the 'live body sculpture' being performed in the windows, (which attracted much attention from passers-by), two paintings had already sold. No one knew which paintings but it is expected that many of the paintings will sell.

The night before the paintings were unveiled, I noticed that many shops had Sale signs in their windows, and yesterday most of the Sales began.

Unfortunately, my painting did not photograph well. I had to photograph it in a hurry as I was rushing to deliver it on Wednesday morning, and had just adjusted the colour of the vase near the top right side (it is a pale lilac, not white, as in the photo).  Luckily acrylic dries really fast. So I took the photograph of the canvas up against a wall, resulting in wonky edges. I could not crop them too much without losing important elements of the painting. The colours are also not very accurate: there is a deep turqoise blue in several places, and cobalt blues, and a lovely rich jade green. But the picture gives an idea of how I interpreted SALE.

After I delivered my painting, I had to dash up to London. My friend Gill Brown had work in the Society of Women Artists exhibition at the Mall Galleries and had given me a ticket to the Private View. When I arrived, she had just been given an award: The President and Vice President of the SWA Choice Award. It was much deserved as her sculptures are very beautiful and unusual. It made me reflect on the sometimes random nature of an art career. Last year I met Gill as I collected my paintings that had been rejected from the Discerning Eye exhibition. She was also in the tiny collection room, not far from the Mall galleries, and said to me, 'Not so discerning, are they?' It made me laugh and it was the beginning of our friendship. It shows how you can get rejected one year and win an award the next! I have had this experience too - I was 'culled' from the Axis artists' database in January 2012 (for not being 'contemporary,' I believe) only to go on to be one of 15 artists selected in June for an international painting residency at the Mark Rothko Centre in Daugavpils, Latvia. It was fully funded and one of the best experiences of my life, and my work is now part of the permanent collection at the Mark Rothko Centre, and not far from the original Rothko paintings. So for any artists reading this who are feeling discouraged, don't be - things can swing around the other way!

The window of Hoopers - promoting our paintings and Chyps charity

Monday, 9 June 2014


Last week the group show of the SEE Artists opened at Woods restaurant, Tunbridge Wells. It was a lovely opening with live music, drinks and canapes, and 10 artists are showing 2 paintings each. The above photo shows one of my watercolours, high on the wall, and in the foreground, on the left, Mark Paul Perry, who organised the show.

Me (on the right) by the drinks table
I only found out a few days earlier that I have been selected to paint a large painting for the windows of HOOPERS, a big department store. The theme is 'Sale,' and it is part of the promotion of the July SEE Art Fair here. I'm not sure how many artists are painting these 92 x 92cm canvases but we have until 21st June to complete them, and the installation of the work is on June 25th. I only just stretched my canvas and put gesso on it yesterday!

'Procession,' (Cyprus series) acrylic and gesso on watercolour paper, 11.8 x 8.3ins
 Finally, and deeply memorable, was the tribute to my ex-tutor Stass Paraskos that I attended on 24th May, at the APT STUDIOS, in Deptford, London. It was heavily attended and included a show of his marvellous paintings and a film about his life. I met some tutors I hadn't seen for some 25 years, and some people who had been in my Year at college.  It was very moving and all of us shared many sweet memories. Stass taught me at Canterbury College of Art, and I was very saddened when he died a few weeks ago. I will write more next time.

A photo of Stass, in front of tulips (he would have loved the colour), at the Tribute

Monday, 19 May 2014

Three Exhibitions in June

Me with 'A Journey Through Paint,' oil and acrylic on canvas, 95 x 54cm (behind, right)
The Private View of 'Landscape - Urban/Rural,' at 'art gallery 110 camden road,' was on 14th May from 6 - 9pm. It was a wonderfully sunny evening and visitors spilled out onto the pavement, attracting further attention for the newly opened exhibition. I have four paintings in the show, with two more ready to hang later. The painting to the right behind me is the largest one I have in the show.

Me with 'Rape Seed Fields, Kent,' oil and acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30cm
I also have a couple of paintings in the exhibition that are slightly more landscape-referenced and this is one of them.

My husband Thanos with two of my abstracted landscapes - to his left - 'Seasonal Echoes,' (the orange-based landscape) and 'Reverie,' (below the orange painting) both oil and acrylic on canvas

For the first time, I will have work in three shows in June! Two paintings are going up to London for the NOT THE ROYAL ACADEMY EXHIBITION (Llewellyn Alexander gallery) this week, and the show opens on June 10th. The current show at 'art gallery 110 camden road' runs till June 29th. I have work going on show in the SEE Artists group show at Woods restaurant in Tunbridge Wells on June 4th.

Monday, 28 April 2014

New Work - New Opportunities

'A Journey Through Paint,' oil and acrylic on canvas, 95 x 54cm
My diary for this coming month is full. It is getting to the point where preparing work for shows, and doing all the admin work and website updates, social media updates, and all web-related, promotional admin is taking over from actual painting! But these two paintings are some of the recent work.

I have to deliver two paintings to the Llewellyn Alexander gallery (London) in May, for the NOT THE ROYAL ACADEMY EXHIBITION, and they are still not framed. I am showing some work at The Art Pull gallery, in Tunbridge Wells (Kent, UK), in the middle of May. I'm entering a portrait for a portrait exhibition, which is a long shot as it will be very competitive. I haven't painted a portrait for a while and it was a very interesting thing to do. Also I have several applications for exhibitions pending and I am still planning a show in Cyprus with a friend, though currently we are looking for a venue.

'Paphos Walk,' (2) acrylic on canvas, 60 x 50cm
My work is still hanging in Camden Quarter (Tunbridge Wells restaurant), and every time I walk past the bright colours catch my eye. I think they catch everyones' eyes as they walk by!

I have also made a few updates to my novel's details and hope to get on with the sequel soon. The link is:

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Older work

Priest, oil on canvas
For this pre-Easter post, I'm adding some older work that I made when I lived in Cyprus. I finally scanned the photos of this work onto a CD and loaded them onto my computer. I have added them to my website too. I'm thinking to start painting portraits again, as an addition to my other work. When I lived in Cyprus, it was always a good source of income. The above portrait was painted over a week. The priest sat for me very patiently, in between seeing to funeral services! He liked the portrait so much that he ordered a second one, for his brother, though it was painted from a different angle.

The Priest with his portrait
This gives an idea of the size of the portrait.

This is part of a mural I made for a tavern. The owner wanted me to paint both walls of a corridor, which were roughly 30 foot by 9 foot high. On this wall I painted an image that showed a tavern. Half of the painting shows a man approaching the tavern in daylight, smartly dressed and ready to meet  his friends.
My Mural
 The other half shows him leaving at night, dishevelled and drunk. His wife is waiting at their house nearby, with a stick in her hand. This is what the tavern owner asked me to paint and her customers loved it, saying it reminded them of their wives! It took me about 5 days to paint, using housepaint. I invented the picture as I went along. Here is the night part: there is even a snail climbing up the side of the painting.

My Mural

On the other side of the corridor, I painted a scene of Cypriot houses:

The Second Mural
I completed literally hundreds of portraits and various commissions during my time in Cyprus. I love working large like this; it's when I feel most myself and that I have the freedom to spill out all my imagery without restrictions. The sad thing is that these murals are probably not in existence any more, because the building seems to have been renovated and I am sure they painted the corridors with something else.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Camden Quarter

'The Beyond,' acrylic on canvas, 40 x 40cm
I have just hung several paintings in a very beautiful, new restaurant in Tunbridge Wells, called CAMDEN QUARTER. The bold interior reminds me of New York restaurants, and as one of the walls is brown bricks, it called for bold, colourful work. There was really only space for three medium to large canvases, and one smaller one. On Friday I hung three canvases. One was  WE ARE ALL NOMADS (posted below), the largest, and the other two canvases are 75 by 75cms. I will post photos of the restaurant this week.  They are waiting for one more, smaller canvas to complete the set.

'We Are All Nomads,' oil and acrylic on canvas. 110 x 80cm

Other than that, I am pushing on with more work. Here is another of the Spring-based work.

'The Beyond,' (3) oil and acrylic on canvas, 35 x 24cm

Thursday, 27 March 2014

New Work

'The Wasteland,' oil and acrylic on board, 46 x 61cm
Yesterday I heard that the Llewellyn Alexander gallery (London) has accepted two of my submitted paintings this year. I was really pleased! Both are landscapes and a bit less abstract than my current work, but I submitted my photos, CD and documents with hours to spare, and was not sure if they would choose anything! I have shown with them for the last 11 years and it is always a highlight of the summer. The exhibition is well-known and called NOT THE ROYAL ACADEMY. It runs at the same time as THE ROYAL ACADEMY SUMMER SHOW.

I have been very busy painting. I have quite a few new canvases and I'm including some of them in this post. This week I have worked on 3 more paintings. Spring always has this affect on me.

'March Paintscape,' oil and acrylic on board, 46 x 61cm

My book is getting some good comments from the people who have read it so far! I think that the best thing an author can hear is that someone did not want the book to end, and that is what people have been saying. This is the link:

I hope you might take a look. Though it is an e-book right now, I will be making it available in print very soon. As an e-book, it can be read on an iPhone, iPad, and Kindle device.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

My Podcast Interview

'Paphos Glimpse,' oil and acrylic on canvas, 60 x 45cm

My podcast interview went live yesterday, the day my computer crashed! I was lucky though - a few  hours later it seemed to recover and I have been able to listen to myself. It's amazing how much you forget after an interview. I am including the link below:


Monday, 10 March 2014


'Reverie,' oil and acrylic on canvas, 55 x 45cm
Whirlwind! That is the only word that describes the past week! Monday: I had to prepare and deliver two paintings for an exhibition called 'Flight,' at The Gallery, (Tunbridge Wells, Kent). That entailed painting white around the canvas edges, to neaten them, and attaching wires on the back, and signing them on the back. It took more time than I expected. I also had to varnish one of them, and then took them to the gallery.

On Tuesday I set up Skype on my computer, to connect with an artist who wanted to interview me via Skype. That night I went out to the Private View at the gallery. It was crowded and I met some other artists.

In the gallery, my two paintings.

The Private View.

The two blue paintings are mine. They refer to flight over the sea, though I was thinking about people's journeys through life.

On Tuesday night at 10pm, just after I returned home from the PV, I connected with Phillip J. Mellen, on Skype, to discuss the podcast. Thankfully, the connection was really good, and we chatted about my work and the questions I would be asked on Thursday night.

On Wednesday I made my notes for the podcast, and began some new paintings. Altogether last week I worked on five new canvases, all fairly small because my supplies of canvas are low. But these were freebies! I was sent 6 small canvases by an art supplier because I'd received a slightly damaged canvas in a previous order. Small canvases can be fantastic for working out ideas fast, and making changes fast. This is one of them.

'It's That Time of Year Again.' oil and acrylic on canvas, 35 x 24cm

On Thursday I painted most of the day. It put me in the right frame of mind for the interview. I also had to finish filling in some forms for exhibitions and a website I want to be included on. Sometimes admin work seems to take as much time as painting.

The podcast was very enjoyable. I was more relaxed than I expected to be. The questions took about an hour and I was fully prepared. We both had our drinks next to us - talking for so long really makes your throat dry - and after the first 10 minutes passed, we were both at ease. I found it quite amazing being able to see Phil's room, and cat, and Phil picked up his latest painting to show to me! (It's the first time I have experienced Skype.) We ended up talking from 10pm to 11.30pm. For the last half hour, we discussed our own work. Phil is a wonderful artist and we both love colour.

I was really thrilled to be asked to do this interview as I am now in the 'company' of a lot of incredible artists from around the world. I feel as if I am part of an artistic community as many of these artists are either known to me, or are Facebook friends.  My podcast should be on this week, along with photos of my work. I also spoke about my book THE JAGGED GREEN LINE, and made a tribute to Stass Paraskos, my ex-tutor from art school, who I'd learned only that day had died. Stass was a big influence on me, and always encouraged my use of colour. I was really very shocked to hear of his death and that was the first thing I spoke about when Phil and I connected on Skype.

'The Land of the Midnight Sun.' Oil and acrylic on canvas, 35 x 24cm
As the weather has improved, my colour has become brighter. I finished the week with 5 wet canvases propped up around the room, and on Sunday I went to see the Paul Klee exhibition at the TATE MODERN, London. It was the last day and I was so glad I made the effort.  Klee's colour affected me emotionally, and I have started this week buzzing with painting ideas. 

The podcast website is: