Thursday, 30 October 2014


I am working on a large canvas for my own home. I have large white walls, which I like very much but a space looking through an archway begs out for a painting.
I want to keep the canvas light with just shades of grey and some metallic. I had initially thought about a mandala or Buddha's head but decided they may be too fussy for the space. In the end a zen enso seemed to fit the bill. Something medatative, 
When I have worked on this kind of thing before I have used either a Chinese calligraphy brush or one I have made from horse hair. Neither of which are available on Gozo . A pigeon sat on my studio window sill preening itself and throwing feathers all over the floor. Aha , just what I needed.

 ... not quite as flexible as horse hair but gives a nice stroke.

As in other mixed media works I have glued layers onto the canvas to give texture over a gesso base. 

However my circle was not a single brush stroke, like a true enso but many, applied over and over again. Dipping the feather in paint and making the sweeping stroke and repeat..... I worked like this for about an hour and a half without stopping. I could have gone on longer as I was 'in the zone' with my strokes but a couple came into the studio and wanted to chat ! The distraction was not a problem just part of the day. I'll work on it again another time.

After the storms last week I found some nice bits of drift wood. I spent a morning sawing to size and glueing together pieces to make something large enough to work on. Using ideas and sketches from my note book I I got cracking this morning laying foundations.

An interesting bit of drift wood with a padlock still hanging on lends itself to something decorative.

Some gessoed fish waiting for the colour to be applied.

Saturday, 18 October 2014


 My plant dyed paper project incorporated the essence of Gozo. A little part of this island deeply embedded in the paper. I look forward to the rains bringing the earth alive again after the heat of the Summer so that I can start on some new work.
In the meantime I am working on a mixed media project. Elements of Gozo.  A series of small works on the same sized boards depicting, in rather abstract form, the elements that I feel describe the island best..

The parched earth of Summer

The fire in the beautiful sunsets

The fierce electrical storms 

The sea, within which this jewel of an island is held

....And the lush green of the hillsides when nourished by rain

A birthday treat and a picnic on the tiny island of Comino. We took a little boat over the water to the even smaller island sitting between Malta and Gozo. Much visited by day trippers, the famous Blue Lagoon is busy and sadly rather over done. So we took the boat further around the coast to the little bay of Santa Maria. The perfect place to spend the day lying on the sand on the edge of the water. Nothing to disturb the silence except the lapping of the waves. Glorious.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Birgu and Qbajjar

An early morning 7.30am ferry to catch the Birgu weekly market this week. It probably wasn't worth the effort despite the huge number of stalls. Sadly all selling exactly the same things, fruit and veg, cheap clothing and the odd mop. It seemed to be hugely popular with the locals but not really the bric a brac I was looking for. Maybe the Sunday market would have been better. was another chance to wander around the very lovely Birgu waterfront and marina.

The Grand Harbour

Storms brewing over the Citadel.

 Still no rain to speak of. It was all out to sea.

I am starting on a new project, a collaboration with the other artists at The Mill Room Gallery. A series of 5 canvases each using the five elements of Feng Shui as a theme, (long stoary....for another day). Water, Fire, Metal, Wood and Earth. We are all very different in our styles and it will be interesting to see how they turn out. There is a record launch held at The Mill Room at the end of the month so we have a few weeks to work on these. 
Inspired by the horizons and colours of this island my works will loosely be based on the strong horizontals and diagonals of the landscape. More on that soon.

A pot of gold somewhere out at sea ?

Small dog enjoying the cooler weather. Actually those rain clouds did amount to the heaviest down pour I have seen for some time. I was rushing around on the terrace last night at about 2.30am , rescuing tables and chairs from being blown down the road.
As I drove through the bay this morning the digger was busy putting the beach back and a posse of workers were clearing up the debris. Mountains of bamboo has been washed under and over the top of parked cars..... The start of the winter weather is with us.


Sunday, 28 September 2014

Xatt L-Ahmar under the promise of a storm.

What a terrific couple of weeks at The Mill Room we have had. Plenty of people through the gates despite the holiday season beginning to slow down. We have 5 artists in residence now (with room for a few more) and all of us are using our new studio spaces to the full. I have been painting outside making use of the breeze blowing through the roof tops. The upper terrace is a lovely cool place to sit and paint.
The artists co operative is working well and it has created a lovely vibe for us all to work in. I love to sit with the others swapping ideas and putting the world to rights. Visitors like to join in. They come and explore the old building and chat to us as they wander about. our work is finding new homes in all corners of the globe, as far away as Australia, Canada, Japan and everywhere in between. We have a map that charts the migration of our work ! Something visitors are intrigued by.

My doors on wood have proved popular and I now need to scour the bays for more wood.. The painting below was taken from a wooden panelled window. Intricately carved sections all cobbled together to form a whole rather lopsided but beautiful window. Not quite finished ...

We still haven't had a decent downpour...a few showers over night but nothing more than to dampen the dust. On a Raffi walk to Xatt L-Ahmar the other day I managed to catch the stormy light. I was hopeful for it to materialise but it passed us by. 

Looking over to Malta

The fishermen's boat shacks kinda remind me of Essex , Maybe it was the colour of the sky !

 What a spot for a beach hut

Just love this tent perched on the cliff right above the sign that says 'No Camping' 

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Marsaxlokk revisited

I first went to Marsaxlokk in 2010, it seems like a life time ago... and I think it was. I was struck by the pretty harbour and the crumbling buildings. My trip over there today hardly saw a change, Some new smart apartments on the water front, but not much else has altered. Still the coach loads of tourists visiting the Sunday market. My first trip inspired a series of paintings that featured the peeling paint and decorative balconies, Today I was again captured by the same buildings. I think I will do a whole new series.

My original mixed media piece 100cm x 70cm. Now residing somewhere in Norfolk.

Nothing has changed.

The colours are not quite as vibrant as when I was last here but boy was it hot and humid today....exhausting weather.

Love this.... Pirate junk !

Lunch at Pretty Bay Birzebbuga threw up an informative menue !  Duh ,,,, couldn't help sharing lol
Another fabulous day,

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Saatchi Art

Oooh it's all soon to be available at Saatchi Art. Click here.  I will let you know when I have work for sale. I have to get some decent photos done first. My Etsy shop will be soon be up and running again soon. All these things are Winter jobs. Summer is for selling !

This week I have been organising my new studio and gallery space. We had a flurry of people in this morning as I was hanging and sold a couple of pieces that were propped up on the floor ......very encouraging.

Beginning to take shape... a little more to hang, then I must crack on with some new work.

AMB Jewellery has a corner here too, displaying some new work.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

21 and the boy is back

It was child #2 's 21st birthday this week. How time flies ! It only seems like yesterday when he was in an incubator like a tiny rabbit. He's now a strapping lad who has just performed the lead role in an all singing all dancing production of Pink Floyd's 'The Wall'    What a star !

Frankly he needs to spend more time in Gozo to top up the tan. Who knows he may get a part in the Brangelina film now under way down at Mgarr Ix Xini, fingers crossed.

The beautiful Dahlet qorrot was a perfect swimming place on our tour of the island.

 Wied il Ghasri still very lovely but not as imposing as the out of bounds Mgarr Ix Xini. Looking forward to the filming to be over so we can all go back down there !

I am taking on a new studio space at the Mill Room Gallery. A light and airy room with a mezzanine floor that makes good use of the space. All I need to do is clear up and then build myself a pallet work station.

Plenty of room for hanging. So when all the family go back I will get on and kit out my new space....exciting stuff. Keep an eye out for winter workshops.