Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

 Whether we practice meditation or creative art or anything else, at first our experience is fresh and illuminating. When we begin, we have no thoughts of having already accomplished something. Then we can learn. But after a while, it can get stale. We may think we know something and lose our motivation. Our cup starts to fill, and there is less room for something new. When we become aware that this is happening, we can take a fresh start and return to a beginner’s mind. We may find it challenging to keep to our beginner’s mind. But it is so worthwhile. With a beginner’s mind we can learn from everyone and everything we encounter.

This is why sketchbook work is so important to me. This is why I like to teach about it in workshops. These sessions can be for artists in practice or complete beginners but are about processing ideas in a very guided and comfortable way.





Connect and Unite.jpg

Dates for other workshops will also be under the Workshops tab above


Recently I’ve been preparing some lovely velvet stitched velvet versions of my bigger paintings ready for Christmas gifts. They are mounted in a deep white box frame and the whole thing measures 10″ square.

Message me if you are interested. They are £35 plus postage.


(The above piece is sold but another can be made).


(Might have to get going with my Etsy shop again – note to self!)


Finally the exhibition with a bird theme at Bantock House Wolverhampton runs until September 13th. Plenty of yummy cakes in the cafe next door!



Summer Updates


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I certainly am enjoying the longer days of Summer despite the enormous amount of rain that we have experienced here in the UK. But the upside of that is that everything is very lush and green around where I live. The garden is romping away and the weeds are growing, as usual twice as fast as everything else!

It’s been a busy two months. My ‘creativity in paint workshops’ have taken off – all the sketchbook, 12″ canvas and 30″ canvas ones have filled up here in Wolverhampton, so I am shortly going to release some more dates on the Workshops page of this website. However I am taking to the road in October and doing some teaching in Cornwall (October 26th in Mylor Bridge, near Truro and October 27th at Threemilestone, also near Truro).
It’s all about expressing yourself in paint in sketchbooks and on paper – beginners and more experienced are very welcome.

Connect and Unite

Connect and Unite – Sketchbook 2016


Crazy mad summer time – the season for art to come out of the closet it seems. I am lucky to be selected for exhibition currently in Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Asylum Gallery Wolverhampton and I’ve just been astounded to find myself in the Macynlleth Open at MOMA Wales from July 9th – September 1st with a small oil painting entitled ” At My Side My Cradled Infant Slumbers Peacefully” taken from a line from a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. A great honour to be part of this.

And In My Arms My Infant Gently Slumbers_oil on board_12x8_inches_scan

“At My Side My Cradled Infant Slumbers Peacefully” Oil on Canvas 8″x 12″

Gentle Rain2 Clare Wassermann 30 inches square photo Neil Roberts

“Gentle Rain” Acrylic on box canvas 30″ x 30″

Pintar Rapido

We had our own Pintar Rapido here in Wolverhampton last weekend which was a great community event. We called it Paint The Day – 70 members of the public got their paper and canvases stamped and rushed into the very changeable weather to paint scenes in the local area of Whitmore Reans in Inner City Wolverhampton. We returned our work by 5pm and overnight some elves hung the exhibition.

It’s still up until next Saturday (July 9th) at Newhampton Arts Centre for the public to see at midday for two hours during the week and all day Saturday until the closing in the evening. All work is for sale and there is an auction on Saturday of remaining pieces. Proceeds go to keep this lovely Arts Centre open as the funding has all been removed by the Council due to continuing austerity measures. Do go and support everyone if you can – there’s some lovely children’s work.

painting in West Park conservatory

partially worked painting in West Park Conservatory

Finally  to mention I am part of a lovely exhibition at Tettenhall Wood Institute which is of a wonderfully diverse and contemporary spread of work by Wolverhampton Embroiderers’ Guild. Open 10-4 July 9th and 10th


My unique dream

I know it’s a fantasy …

I realise this is pure fantasy, but I might just set this as an intention here and now in front of you all. I want a van with my painting as its skin! It would be great to travel in it around the country and Europe (presuming we Brits can still get in). Painting pictures, going to festivals, camping out and meeting people

I believe in setting intentions and goals – this is how dreams come true! It’s worked for me a lot in the past!! Why not! Yogini Archer pose here I come!

Yoga morning

So lucky this morning to have taken part in a Yoga for The Solstice session at a location near Lower Penn, Wolverhampton which overlooked three counties here in the middle of England. We shared it with rabbits, magpies, swifts, swallows, bees and an eagle. So inspiring to do yoga in nature especially with a view. We eventually brought out the sun …


A new piece of art

I was hugely inspired by a visit to a local urban garden in Waterdale which opened last weekend as part of the National Garden Scheme. When something moves me as much as this did I have to get it on to canvas:


Waterdale – 12″x 12″ acrylic on box canvas


I would just say that I have had some wonderful experiences teaching my workshops on creative freedom in paint over the past few weeks. There are details on the workshops page of this website – click here



The Inexpressible



Sketchbook work

One of the beauties of keeping a sketchbook for painting in, I find, is not necessarily making notes and thumbnails for future work, but simply to feel an emotion into. This is what I try to teach on some of  my workshops.

The sketchbook is a freeing and liberating place sometimes, without the importance of a full sized painting.

This week I attended a funeral for a colleague who’s life was cut short before she was even 40 years old. There are no words for this. It was useful for me to express the inexpressible. Both art and music do this for me.

The Inexpressible

A Pleasure Trip

Yesterday I went to Saltaire, Yorkshire to visit the open houses there which have displays and sales of art in them from artists of the area. The houses in themselves are treat to visit, built as they were originally as dwellings for workers in the mill belonging to Titus Salt. There was some excellent art to be seen – it’s all open again today if you can manage the trip.

Salt’s Mill itself is now an amazing building with galleries, shops and a huge amount of work by David Hockney. It was fabulous to stand so close to paintings such as this which are all in a shop which is filled with art books and materials – heaven!


This is Salt’s Mill – huge! What’s more it has the most glorious kitchenware shop!

salts mill


See the workshops page above – I have opened a couple of new dates for Creative Sketchbooks workshops – click here for information as to what’s available – they are proving very popular.


Two coming up soon

  1. Wolverhampton Open Studios – my studio at Newhampton Arts Centre, Dunkley St., Wolverhampton WV1 4AN is open on June 25-26th 2016 from 10am – 3pm.
    Lots of other houses and studios are open that weekend.
  2. Bantock House and Park, Wolverhampton July 23rd – Sept 4th 2016 with a theme of “Birds”. Children’s activities and exhibition in the gallery. Street Art also by Steve Edwards.

Today’s first joy:


My first few copies of my first ever book illustration work have arrived! I have just a few for now, but more on order, and they are coming with me to the artisan fair “Make It Or Bake It” tomorrow morning on Tettenhall Green, Wolverhampton 10am – 3pm. So lovely to see it finally in print. Kathy Walsh is an American authoress with whom I have been working this year. She lives in New York and Santa Fe.

The Joyohboy Book series gives children the tools they need to lead a more peaceful balanced life. Children learn to connect with their hearts, think positively, and to express their feelings. “Today an Elephant I Will Be” connects children to their animal guides. As they search for peace they realize that peace is an inside job. Peace is a feeling, as they look into the eye of the elephant they see peace that carries them through the day.

Today’s other joy:

I have thoroughly enjoyed a day of lino print making today with Amanda Hillier. I could easily get very hooked! Can anyone give me a few more hours in the day please to fit everything I want to do in to this life.
Looks Like Rain Dear

Reincarnation is looking like an option!



The Night Garden Framed

Being an intractable insomniac I am trying to use those night time waking hours usefully I suppose. My brain is awash with colour and ideas from about 3am onwards and I could so easily get up and begin my day then. I choose not to at the moment and am enjoying the very beginnings of the first bird’s song through to the joyous uproar of the dawn chorus.

I am working on a series of paintings illustrating the sounds and textures of those dark hours. I framed this one yesterday and it’s ready to go.The image size is 12″ square and it’s in a nice deep box frame. It’s called “Night Garden”

I keep in mind, as I paint, how the birds sing just for the sake of singing. Just because they have to. Just because that is what they are made to do. Just for the joy….

I have an Open Studio on June 25th and 26th at Newhampton Arts Centre from 10-4 as part of Wolverhampton’s very first Art Trail. More details and a map of all the open studios will follow here as soon as I get one.

Please don’t forget to have a look at my workshops dates if you are interested. Please click here for availablility

Note: the above painting sold this morning. I’m working on the next in the series. 


Workshop News

horse on the moorI have started giving workshops for adults in “Unleashing Your Creativity” in paint which is mainly to help people to know where to start with art. Some participants are total beginners, some make art but often don’t know where to begin and there are some who are already artists but may suffer block or just wish to rekindle the flame.

We use paint  in sketchbooks and on paper and I show ways to open up your creativity from inside – to let your art speak about you.

That’s why this series of workshops are known as “Art and Soul” workshops.

The day is unusually holistic and is not just about painting but includes a mindfulness approach. Everyone says how good they feel at the end of the day.

These workshops run at Newhampton Arts Centre in Wolverhampton in my studio in the Gallery BlockHot House Flowershouses

Please see the WORKSHOPS page for more info on dates etc.

Jewellery Workshop

As you will see there is a lovely jewellery workshop coming up on May 26th run by Linda Alton – perfect for beginners and those who have already made some simple jewellery. Click here to see more info on this.


Studio News

I am really loving hiring my studio at Newhampton Arts Centre at the moment. I’ve been a resident there since January and it’s been the best decision I have ever made. It felt like a bit of a risk when I took it on but now I find it a place that I can have total concentration. On the other hand people call in sometimes and it’s a place with a creative buzz.

Being near the centre of Wolverhampton it’s a handy place for a meeting and a good place for me to start to run workshops.

At the beginning of April we had a very successful Art Fair there in the beautiful Victorian Gallery. My room is on the galleried landing upstairs affording me a fine view and the facility of having a little shop front. This is our second art fair and my first as a resident artist. I loved meeting people and chatting to them all in my own smaller ‘gallery’ and I sold plenty of prints and cards. I shall open up on other event days throughout the year. We have a beer and cider festival coming up in June and Paint The Day in July (Pintar Rapido). There’s also a Mods Festival and a Pagan fair later in the year which will bring in a lovely mix of people.

Here is a piece I have recently finished called “In Paradisum”


Acrylic on canvas 40 x 50 inches