Purbeck Art Weeks _ one week to go

A5 poster PAW

With only a week left to prepare for Purbeck Art Weeks I imagine many local artists are frantically doing all the last minute preparations before opening their studios to the public.

Whether it is framing, mounting or trying to squeeze in some last pieces of work before the doors open, I expect everyone will be now feeling the pressure. After months of thinking ‘no need to worry, there is loads of time to do that…….’ it has suddenly come around so quickly!

Being a guest artist at Laura Evans’ venue means I am relieved of all the extra stress of having to make sure the house is clean and presentable on top of getting the work ready and I am extremely grateful to Laura for that! As I am not based in the Purbeck area, it would not have been possible for me to take part in this event if not for her kindly allowing me into her home.

Although I do not live in the Purbeck area, many of my previous mural work has been based around there, most recently being the large ‘retro’ poster mural at Swanage Railway.


It was largely due to the amount of mural work I have done in the Purbeck area that I used to be an honorary member of PAW back in the days when it first started and often took part in the Art Weeks, as well as producing the brochure, until 2010.

The work I shall be showing for PAW this year will be mostly my wildlife paintings produced on recycled canvasses, which have been picked up from car boot sales or scavenged from other people’s junk.

My interest in wildlife painting started when my husband took up photography and we began to spend a lot of time in local nature reserves while he practised capturing birds in flight.

I have several reasons for using recycled canvasses, the main one being that I hate to start work on a brand new blank canvas, I find it a bit intimidating and worry about making a wrong mark or spoiling the surface. Whereas the used canvas is already marked and often has a unique surface texture, which I love! I like to allow parts of the original image to show through within the finished piece, giving the work a character it would not have if it been done on a new canvas. We live in a ‘throw away’ society and I just hate to see waste. I have lots of old work that I would never show again as it is not relevant to where I am now as an artist, so I often paint over my old paintings too.

I am looking forward to taking part in PAW again after so many years break and hope to see you when you come to visit Laura and myself at Venue 44.

For more information about this event please visit the PAW website at https://purbeckartweeks.co.uk

I shall give a list of dates that I will be at the venue closer to the time, I shall try to be there as much as possible, but I know that I will not be there on Saturdays due to my commitment of Life Drawing with the hen parties taking place every weekend.

Pyrography 3

new forest pony_pyrography3

I went to the Wood Fair at Dorset Coppice Group, Bonsley Wood on Saturday and picked up a lovely piece of Hazel wood, which still had the bark on 2 edges. I then cut this piece up into 4 smaller pieces on Sunday and used one of them for my 3rd Pyrography ‘painting’ today “New Forest Pony”.


Amigurumi Crochet Animal_Frida the Flamingo

Frida the flamingo3

At my crochet class last week one of my ladies brought in a project she was having difficulties with, it was a pattern for an Amigurumi frog and she had some strange puckering on the rows where the stitches decreased to form the shape of the body. She wanted to try Frida the Flamingo next so asked me to take a look at the pattern to see if I could work out what she was doing wrong.

I had do do a little research as, although I had seen patterns for them, I had never made an Amigurumi animal before. I discovered that Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures. Reading up about it on Wikipedia


I learnt that the Japanese used an invisible decrease stitch that I had not seen before, so I then found a youtube video that showed how to do it


Frida the flamingo2

I went on to try the pattern for Frida the Flamingo using the invisible decrease stitch and it gave a beautiful smooth finish, so I decided to finish making the whole animal.


I noticed that the rows did not mention any kind of slip stitch at the end or chain stitch for the next row, but appeared to work continuously in a spiral so I had to put a marker in at the beginning of each row so I knew where it ended. I found this helped to make the body flawless as there was no change to the pattern where the rows changed.

The final toy measured 27cm (10.5in) from the base of the body to the top of the head and took me roughly 8 hours to make. In the original pattern the legs were much shorter and were made with pipe cleaners inside, but I thought this was probably not a good idea if the toy was given to a baby or young child so I stuffed mine with 4 strands of ultra chunky wool and left them dangly.

I am not able to post the pattern here due to copyright, but if you want to have a go at making your own Amigurumi Flamingo I did find a free download version for a Baby Flamingo:


Pyrographics Drawing No 2

squirrel approaching

My second attempt at a finished ‘drawing’ using my pyrographics pen. The pen is next to it to give an idea of scale.

I found the piece of wood in a charity shop with a transfer photo of a bird on it, I sanded the transfer and the varnish coating off, which made the wood a much lighter colour, perfect for the highlights on the squirrel.

Swanage Railway Footplate Ride

Strong country mural

I had to go back to Swanage Railway Station today to put a coat of anti graffiti resin over the poster mural, mainly to protect it from the soot and dirt which comes off the steam engines.

About half way through my work a wasp did a suicide dive into the resin compound, so I thought as it had sacrificed itself I should make a piece of art from it, possibly to become a paper weight or pendant sometime in the future.

When I had finished rollering the rest of the resin over the mural I was offered a Footplate ride on one of the engines.

WOW! I loved it!

Even got to toot the whistle while I was there!