Monday, October 8, 2018

Owls flying off to new homes

The Minerva's Owls of Bath project is coming to a close with a gala charity auction on 17th October at the Apex Hotel Bath. Funds raised will go to four wonderful local charities, UK Little Owls, Bath Young Carers Centre, RUH Forever Friends Cancer and Therapies Centre and the Roman Baths Archway Project.

Tickets are still available for the auction at or for those who would like to bid for an owl but can't make the auction in person you can register to bid online at or register to make a telephone or absentee bid with Bonhams the auction house here Minervas owls Telephone/Absentee Bidding The auctioneer for the evening will be the charismatic expert valuer and auctioneer Addison Gelpey.

My 'Owl & Pussycat' kindly sponsored by Southgate Bath, will join over 60 individually designed and decorated sculptures that have entertained thousands of locals and visitors throughout the summer. I hope he and his cousins in the 'parliament of owls' will help raise lots of money for the charities.

Last weekend saw a spectacular display of all 82 owls together for the first and last time, on the Rec in Bath for the Farewell Hoot, where around 7000 owl fans flocked to see them and took part in lots of owl related fun activities.

The 'Owl & Pussycat' design I painted is based on the famous poem by Edward Lear.
It begins;

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea 
   In a beautiful pea-green boat, 
They took some honey, and plenty of money, 
   Wrapped up in a five-pound note.

Inspired by Japanese screen paintings, I included a little owl and a black and white cat, waiting to set off together in their pea-green boat under a full moon.The honey they took is represented by honey bees flying around and the money is a five pound note disguised as an origami butterfly.
I set them in a landscape of  Wisteria which is a symbol of good luck in weddings and new ventures and Cherry blossom which signifies beauty and reminds us of the precious fragility of life.

Good luck Owl & Pussycat wherever you fly off to next!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Owl and the Pussycat

My Owl and Pussycat themed Owl for Minerva's Owls of Bath this summer, has been enjoying all the many visitors who have come to see him in Southgate Bath.

On Tuesday 14th August,  11am-1pm there will Children's Poetry Readings with Josh Seigal in Southgate. Including of course, 'The Owl and the Pussycat' by Edward Lear

The Little Owl,Cat, Wisteria and Cherry blossom featured on my owl are inspired by Japanese screen paintings. References to the 'honey and plenty of money' mentioned in the poem are hidden in a special way!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Minerva's Owls of Bath

I was delighted to be asked to create a design to help launch Minerva's Owls of Bath, the 2018 Public Art sculpture trail around Bath.

'The Owl and the Pussycat'

The Roman baths in Bath were dedicated to the Celtic goddess Sulis and Roman goddess Minerva whose symbol is the owl, a depiction of which can be seen on the iconic carved stone Gorgon's head temple pediment. 10 years on from King Bladud's Pigs in Bath, 100 variously adorned owl sculptures will  fill the streets of Bath from June to September.

Sponsored by local businesses, they will be auctioned in October with the profits going to several local charities: The RUH's 'Forever Friends' Cancer Centre appeal, The UK Little Owl Project, Banes Young Carers and The Roman Baths Archway Centre Project.
Full details about the project can be found on their website Minerva's Owls of Bath 

To reference the gilt bronze Minerva's head statue at the Roman Baths, I decided to use gold in my design, and inspired by beautiful Japanese gold screen paintings which often show birds and animals, I chose Edward Lear's famous nonsense poem, 'The owl and the Pussycat' as a theme. 
My owl is kindly sponsored by The Southgate Centre Bath, whose own summer theme for 2018 of gardens, prompted me to include wisteria and cherry blossom in the design. The 'lots of honey' in the poem is depicted by honey bees amongst the flowers and the 'five pound note' will be hidden in a slightly unusual place!

 I can't wait for summer to arrive!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Paper making

I was lucky enough to attend a Washi papermaking course run by the wonderful Master papermaker Elaine Cooper, earlier this year. Elaine Cooper is a leading expert on washi (Japanese handmade paper) and a unique exponent of its innovative use in art and design. She was taught the ancient craft by Master papermakers during a 10-year apprenticeship in Japan that was followed by many years of detailed research and development. Her work can be seen on her website Washi Artist . Elaine runs courses every year at City of Bath College 

                                                    Elaine Cooper in Japan

As a Printmaker I was very interested in learning how to make my own handmade paper and experiment with techniques such as laminating, casting, embedding and sculpting. Elaine was a great teacher and it was huge fun getting out of my 'lonely attic' and being part of a group of creative people all finding different ways to make and use handmade paper for their work. Here are a few of the pieces I made on the course.


                                                             Dove Rising


Monday, September 18, 2017

Knights Trail 2017

With family history in Lincoln and the Lincolnshire area stretching back many generations, I was delighted to create a design and paint a knight for the Lincoln Knights Trail 2017. This trail celebrates the 800th Anniversary of the Battle of Lincoln and the signing of the Charter of the Forest.

My knight is called 'Lincoln Greene' and is inspired by the Charter of the Forest and the traditional dyers colour of Lincoln Green,( famously worn by Robin Hood). The horse is decorated in a medieval style forest containing dyers plants, and the knight is a greenman wearing the Lincoln insignia of a Fleur de Leys.

From 20th-27th September, all 36 knights from the trail can be viewed together at Lincoln Castle before they are auctioned on 30th September Tickets are available from Visit Lincoln .The auction will be raising funds for The Nomad Trust  a wonderful charity which provides support for the homeless and those in need in the City of Lincoln.

Lincoln Greene

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sitting with Jane

The wonderful 'Sitting with Jane' book bench trail organised by Destination Basingstoke in partnership with Wild in Art and supporting the Ark Cancer Charity was launched in Basingstoke last week.

It was good to see there were some willing helpers when it came to moving my bench about!

I was delighted to have painted the inaugural bench inspired by a Regency Doll's House, which has kindly been sponsored by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and is now situated outside the beautiful Georgian building Goldings, the Basingstoke Register Offices at London Rd.

Photo by Ross Harvie

The trail forms part of the 'Jane Austen 200- A Life in Hampshire'  celebrations which mark the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death. The trail map and phone App can be found on the Sitting with Jane website. The Book benches will be out in public until 31st August and then will be auctioned to raise funds for the local Ark Cancer Centre.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The tiger that came to town - Chipping Sodbury

Hop along to Chipping Sodbury on Saturday 25th March 2017 

My 'Tiger that came to town' will be introduced to the public in Chipping Sodbury on Saturday 25th March. Kindly sponsored by the Chipping Sodbury Chamber of Commerce, he will be situated on Horse St outside JMI Kitchens and Bathrooms and joins 3 other hares in the town, which form part the Cotswold Hare Trail 2017. More information can be found on the Visit Chipping Sodbury facebook page.

 'The Tiger that came to Town'

The Trail continues until September when all the hares from around 20 towns and village locations in the Cotswolds will be brought together on display in the New Brewery Arts Centre, Cirencester before being auctioned in October to raise money for 'National Star' the charity which supports people with disabilities to reach their full potential.