Wednesday, 25 December 2013


Hope everybody has had/is having a lovely Christmas Day.   I feel so sorry for those who are without electricity or temporarily homeless due to the horrible weather conditions throughout Europe and the UK ... and across 'the pond' of course.    We've escaped pretty lightly with just fence panels destroyed and greenhouse glass smashed but in nearby Kentish towns and villages the situation is much different.

Anyway in the build up to the storms we had a rainy windy week - not the best time to be staging an art exhibition.  Sadly there were very few sales at the Gallery last week.   It didn't help that Whitstable had no Christmas lights and there was very little atmosphere.     Our council wouldn't foot the bill to repair/restore the town's Christmas lights.  There was a small amount of money available so the Chamber of Commerce took over and ordered brand new lights, especially commissioned to suit Whitstable, from China (cheapest quote).     The shipment got held up on the high seas and only reached Whitstable on Thursday last week.   Most of the lights were erected on Friday by a team of volunteers and after that the stormy weather arrived  ... so a miserable time for the town all round!

Manning the gallery for a couple of sessions gave me lots of time to think about smaller, cheaper items to make/sell at future exhibitions.   A lovely arty friend from across the pond Jan Gibson gave me great instructions for making coasters featuring my art work, she spent a long time perfecting the process and its something I'll try next year.

I was really impressed with the driftwood items made by a fellow 'Made in Whistable' member.   Simple driftwood casings for jamjars to make attractive vases and storage jars etc.  Some of her works were very complex and require lots of tools and skills I don't have but the simpler items gave me food for thought  

Today we had a lull between storms and David and I went for a walk along the beach and did a spot of beachcombing - early days yet but this was our haul today

its all in a shed at the moment, drying out.   We now have 'a purpose' and will be doing a lot more short beach walks when the tide is out I think.   David doesn't class himself as an 'arty person' but even he was inspired by the driftwood ideas ... watch this space

I will paint more stones/pebbles.    I bought a wonderful book called 'Painting Animals on Stones' by Lin Wellford back in 2006 and I really enjoyed searching out appropriately sized/shaped stones and painting them to represent animals.    The stones were very popular and most went to friends and family who all requested their favourites.    Some of them just got put out into my gardens (old house and new) and they've weathered very well.

Here are a few of the 2006 stones that line the pathway to my front door

and some photos I took back in 2006 - which weren't very good because of the glare from the varnish on the finished 'animals'  but you can see the possibilities are endless ... just find a stone and imagine the animal and ..  hey presto!

These aren't pictures painted onto stones, they are interpretations of the stone shapes which are so much more interesting I think

Here is some of the 'raw material' we gathered which is being 'washed' by the torrential rain to get rid of any residual saltwater.

Do any animals 'leap out at you' from these shapes?

The stones will be dried and painted matt black ready to be transformed.     I have so many squirrel photos in my files that I guess I really ought to try to make a squirrel stone image first  LOL

 Right ... enough for now.   Time to watch some Christmas TV now (yawn)!!!

more soon


  1. I want, I want. What a beautiful idea to make the stones into animals. I could kind of see a hippo head on one stone. It's got an eye already. I envy you being so artistic. If we ever do get back to the UK I'll be rushing to Whitstable just get some of those stones.

    Right now our turkey breast is heating itself in the sun of the oven as are the taties. The sprouts just have to be zapped. The bread sauce is almost finished as is the gravy, and we are having a - horrors - bought pudding. I used to make them, but not these days.

  2. Thanks Jo
    I don't really know why I stopped painting stones .. it was a short lived enthusiasm and I haven't done any more for 7 years. Cutting back on commissions has given me enthusiasm to try other things now I think.
    I don't make puddings/cakes any more. David has a sweet tooth so every now and then I make a very quick jam pudding which can be cooked in a few mins in the microwave - thats about it. I'm sure your Dinner will be wonderful whether bought or made.

  3. I envy your collection of stones and all the beach finds!! While I tried stone painting once using acrylics, I quickly abandoned it (because I was using acrylics!) Can't wait to see what you do - I don't see any distinct shapes but do think you should do at least one hedgehog! Wild animals such as your beautiful tigers or gorillas should do well too.

    I want to see the driftwood items - that sounds very intriguing! I got a new toy from Santa so spent yesterday afternoon playing. Have one thing about half finished and will post on my blog in the next day or so.

    Hope you and David have fun with your projects - I'm finding crafts are so much more saleable than fine art. Unfortunate but I do like doing both and think you'll do very well with yours.

  4. Thanks Jan. I hadn't thought of a hedgehog but that will be an interesting challenge. Rereading Lin Wellford's book I've found lots of little bugs/ladybird characters which are really simple and quite cute and a great way to use up the smaller stones/larger pebbles. I'm fired up now LOL

  5. one of the rocks looks like a beaver to me :)


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