Thursday, February 28, 2013


A bamboo stands upright but it is flexible, it represents the human values of cultivation and integrity in which one yields but does not break. A bamboo remains strong, honest, and
true to its principles.

The bamboo represents summer, since it is abundant with
growth during this season. It also symbolizes energy, vitality, nobility, and
gentleness. The inside of a bamboo is hollow which symbolizes the tranquility of
inner peace, tolerance and open-mindedness.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Plum Blossom

The plum tree is renowned for bursting into a riot of blossoms in the dead of winter. Its subtle fragrance spills forth at one of the coldest times of the year, making it difficult to go unnoticed. Though neither the plum tree nor its blossoms are very striking, they manage to exude an otherworldly exquisiteness and beautiful elegance during the desolation of winter. The demeanor and character of the plum tree thereby serves as a metaphor for inner beauty and humble display under adverse conditions.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013



I went out for a Sushi dinner this evening. I thought the textures and colours were every bit as good as the taste, so these are my images for the day.

Monday, February 25, 2013


I am making a series of four prints containing the subtle image of a flower. The chrysanthemum is one of the "Four Gentlemen" of China (the others being the plum blossom, the orchid, and bamboo) and one of the four symbolic seasonal flowers. The Four Gentlemen have been depicted in Chinese painting for more than a thousand years because of their refined beauty, as well as the moral characters with which the Chinese literati have imbued them.

The chrysanthemum bloom in the cold autumn air and foretells the coming of winter, which symbolizes the virtue to withstand all adversities.

"The Chrysanthemum"

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Peacock Abstract

Once again the peacock addiction took a hold of me.

I feel like I am taking the reins of the wagon, then off I fall into a bed of tickly feathers of such intense colouration that I almost blush.

Hopefully this us an isolated incident and I will get a grip of myself before the morning and strengthen my resolve. What can I say? It's just one day at a time.

Friday, February 22, 2013


Not much to report, just a quiet evening with rum at Wildflower Pub.

Location:Twin Lakes Dr,Reno,United States

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Swan of Avon

Continuing with the swan theme and nostalgia of the River Avon from my childhood, the English playwright William Shakespeare was called The Swan of Avon. The swan is associated with poetry (because the bard Orpheus is said to have become a swan), and with music (because swans were sacred to Apollo, the Greek god of music), which is partially why he was tagged with that name and the fact that his hometown of Stratford is on the River Avon.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Swan II

This is a digital painting made of one of the swans that I observed in California last weekend. I believe a swan will mate for life, but I wanted to work with the notion that each of half of the couple is strong and independant in their own right. Usually when a swan is painted alone, it looks isolated or lonely, I wanted to remove that conotation and focus on the balance and strength of each individual.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Growing up in England, I had always lived very close to rivers such as the River Avon, River Thames and River Severn. I love to see water birds and I gain a certain level of peace from watching them. One of the birds that I do not see regularly now I live in America is the Swan.

Over the weekend, I was able to observe black and white pet swans and reminisced over feeding swans in the park as a child and of boating dates in Stratford-Upon-Avon before watching a Shakespeare play with my husband to be.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Downtown Napa Stroll

Today is the end of our little President's Day weekend adventure. After picking up some wine at Napa Cellars, we drove downtown and took a wander around the streets and stores.  I liked this little walkway alongside Napa Creek.

One of the things I like about Napa are the little outside seatings at the restaurants and bistros. It looks inviting for people watching even in February.

We found a Starbuck's on the way back to the car and were delighted to see it had such a unique character.
We packed up and jumped into the car to make the journey home over the mountains. I did stop off at an art supply store in Roseville that had a fantastic canvas sale; 70% the 5 canvas' that I bought, I just wish that we did not have such a full car with the 5 of us and our luggage or I would have bought more!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Day at the Beach

When the Winter blues set in, you can't beat a day at the beach!

Today we headed out for a day trip to Bodega Bay to enjoy the sounds and smell of the surf.

We took a bracing walk around Bodega Head looking out for whales, then climbed down the rocks to a small tidal beach.

It was good to feel the sand between my toes and shake off the blues of Reno snow.

More ripples and sea foam were observed and recorded for future creations (oh what a tough job).

Heading back to the bay and dock area, I snapped a few photos of birds and water, in honor of the Hitchcock movie filmed there.

After purchasing some local Point Reyes cheese and watching the sunset, we packed up and headed back to the Napa Vineyards.


Saturday, February 16, 2013


After writing my blog last night, I had one of those silly cravings to go on a spontaneous trip. We had plans to go to a Sacramento Steam Faire day trip on Saturday, so the decision was made to go early and stay overnight. We threw some things in a case and headed to Sacramento.

I never get travel sick, yet that journey over the mountain made me quite queasy! Very unusual, but perhaps it was the wine at dinner. Lucky for me I had a chauffeur!

We got a room by the river and lucked out with a complimentary upgrade overlooking Tower Bridge.

In the morning, I made a quick (and rather bad) sketch of the view from the bed with a ballpoint pen, then made my way to a large omelette du fromage for breakfast dressed in Steampunk gear.

After a glass of guava juice was spilled down my front (thanks youngest daughter of mine), I grabbed a second shower and change of clothes then made my way to the Riverside Promenade with the family for a walk.

In my haste, I totally forgot my camera and ended up using the phone to take snaps.

I loved this bridge, I think it might make a great painting (interesting thought for someone who has not painted a landscape in years).

We walked on to Old Sacramento (in full and partial costume) and enjoyed looking around the stores and walking along the board walks.

My hubby left his top hat so as to not seem overdressed @_@

My daughter has converse boots to die for!

We had a coffee at Steamer's dressed in our Steampunk gear....

Walked past another bridge...

And took a nag around the old town in a carriage.

After lunch, we drive to the Steampunk Faire and shopped for goodies. The kids somehow managed to get wonderful gifts from generous Steampunk vendor friends of ours and conned their dad to pay for other items around the Expo.

I only took one photo as my hands were soon full with treasures. After saying farewell to friends (and somehow buying a mangle), we headed off to Napa Valley.

We warmed up by a wonderful smelling fire and supped wine until dusk whilst talking up our finds of the day.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Today I spent some time making labels for my upcoming exhibition. Most of the framing is done and I only have a statement and bio to write.

It makes a change for me to be this organized, so after taking the kids to karate and an after school event at the high school I was able to have a stress free meal out.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine Poster

It took me a while to think of what I wanted to do for an image. I finally settled on a Cassandre/Fairey poster. Beneath the poster is the recipe.

I scribbled one cup of  "love"

with a cup of roses,

    shaked and baked to make:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


A trip to the pet shop helped me discover the "dragon" that I have been searching for. I had planned to make a dragon print for the Chinese New Year, but sadly never connected with the right dragon. So here we are, a little late, but with the the dragon of my dreams in time for Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Eggs Benedict

A flood of rumors are spreading as to the real reason for Pope Benedict XVI’s abrupt decision to resign at the end of the month. Interestingly, the majority of the Italian media almost ignored the sex abuse scandals pointing to a growing Vatican crisis, made unbearable by rumors of allegedly illicit dealings of the Vatican IOR bank, bitter rivalries between groups of cardinals and an unprecedented campaign of leaked documents.

Where does this leave the Catholic Church I wonder? If resignation is an option for the pope, will followers pass on ceremonies and tasks previously seen as "must do's".

Today is also "Pancake Day". For many Catholics this is a precursor to "Ash Wednesday". For me, I just love the British tradition of making, flipping, racing and sometimes even eating pancakes. Due to my typically busy "personal chauffeur" role to my three kids, I was unable to make pancakes myself. I did manage to get the family ensconced into a booth at IHOP.

I found it interesting that we were the only diners on "Pancake Day"; is this the first sign of a crack in the foundation of the Vatican? As I am not of that faith, I decided to pass on the pondering and dig into my rather yummy pancakes.

A Question of Faith.
I suppose I could go on to discuss the composition, symbolism of the suggested upturned cross and nostalgia elements in the choices of colour and finishing techniques, but then my pancakes might get cold.

Monday, February 11, 2013


While working on this glass and water series, I have analysed the tension of where the light hits the surface. In the series I have experimented to recreate this and go beyond so that new tensions are distilled from both constructed and discovered textures.

As shifting replicas are formed, I hope that the viewer is given a glimpse of the changing boundary of abstraction and reality in visual and metaphorical form.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


One of my favorite forms of printmaking is relief carved blocks. I generally use soft blocks such as linoleum, for the simple reason that it is easier on my hands. The last time I carved wood I ended up with 3 herniated discs, so I might make wood a special occasion choice!

Carving wood can be an almost spiritual awakening of sorts, as the consious mind is on full focus of the task of the hands and the subconsious is resting on the creative nature of the image being formed.

Once the block or blocks are carved, inking and printing requires a rhythm of motion that brings a level of peace. Here is a Japanese master printer at work printing, just watching him at work in his studio has me taking deep mediative breaths!


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Poor Little Urchin

Painting an urchin and working on those water ripples!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Glass work

The vibrant nature of the glass can enlighten one to the possibilities of energy and light. I created something here that was more about the possiblities than the reality, more about the sparkle in the mind's eye than the science of refraction.