Friday, December 31, 2010



Yesterday, added a little to Beau Peep, walked on the land under beautiful light and faced once again the tyranny of the white page. Sometimes when there is a deadline to meet I feel a little as if I am on a production line.
Eventualy I started and settled and hope to get another started today so that when I get bored I can swap between paintings and still make progress.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

One step closer.

One page closer to finishing. This one is Little Bo Peep, and through the book her story plays out over several pages.

 Baa Baa Black Sheep.

 Hark hark, the dogs do bark, and in the background Little Bo has lost her sheep.

 To market, to market, and in the background still looking for her sheep.

Boo Peep's flock consist of a Hebridean, a Welsh Half-breed, a Suffolk, a Wensleydale, a Jacob's sheep, a Gray Faced Dartmoor and a Black Welsh Mountain sheep. As usual, almost finished, but not quite.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Moorhens, cherries and working in the early hours.

Yesterday, moorhens at the bird feeding tree. Kiffer did like moorhens.
My love brought me bright cherries for Christmas and now I am thinking again of cheetahs with cherries. Bright red. Beautiful.
So much warmer and the sky has come down to kiss the green earth.


Monday, December 27, 2010

The Wishing Stone, white foxes and red.

This morning I woke to the sound of rain on the roof and windsong. It seemed as if the magic had been taken out of the world. Downstairs I wrapped myself in a rich red cardigan, long and warm, deep red, the colour of rosehips in mid winter. I thought about the fox and his winter queen. I thought about the Kitsune, Japanese shape shifting foxes. I found my book of Japanese folk tales and went fox hunting.

Japanese Tales
Edited and translated by Royall Tyler

The White Fox: Four Dreams

Four nights ago someone bought me a picture of the Kasuga God, though I couldn't see what the god looked like.

The night before last I watched the evening star and a bright moon rise over Flower Mountain. Star and moon were the same size.

Last night in the fields I came to a big stone that looked like a Wishing Jewel, and I touched it. It was warm. North of the stone lay three foxes. I picked the white tuft off one's tail and saw that it was a big white fox. "Wear red, " the fox said, " when you bring me offerings."

At dawn I got twenty gold relics of the Buddha.
As I write down this marvelous sequence of dreams, I shiver again with joy and awe.

A note to the story says:" Shaped like a fat, falling drop, the Wishing Jewel is an emblem of good fortune. The tails of magical foxes sometimes end in a Wishing Jewel shape." 
I smiled, wrapped in my woollen cloak of warmth. Perhaps the magic is still here, if you look for it.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Someone has stolen the stars from the sky. The wind is rising and the spell of cold has broken. The earth is no longer white.

Boxing Day

A short winter love story, chapter 3

Again she gave him the feast of a warm bird to slake his appetite grown fierce by dancing. 
And he gave her a crown of tangled feather and winter's thorns to replace her lost crown of ice. For now the love they both carried for each other had begun to thaw their dancing place. So they curled, tired to dreaming from three nights of passionate revelry, around each other, wrapped in love and russet fur.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

A short winter love story, chapter 2

They danced again on the pond last night beneath a sky clear of all but stars and then she gave her rust red lover the gift of a lapwing. He left the wrapping in the lane, still soft, beaded with frozen tears.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A short winter love story.

On closer inspection it became obvious. The fox had not been dancing alone. The Queen of Winter, who loves him so, had frozen the pond especially to dance with her russet darling. In a moment of careless abandon she discarded her crown in the garden. It has begun to melt.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Yesterday I went to see where a fox had danced across the ice on my neighbour's pond. Now I have images of dancing foxes in my head.

Russet red, thick furred, bush tailed and elegant. A dance of fox love beneath the full moon light. But no, single paw tracks. So this fox dances alone in winter.

The cow, the little dog, the moon and short stories in the snow.

The world looks too beautiful and is wrapped in cliches! Snow blankets all and the sea is like beaten metal. The cows are on fire with the sun's light.
Tom made an angel in the snow and I found it the next day, still flying and the marks of the belt and buttons of his great coat decorating it.


Walking today and some of the snow has melted away, fallen from the trees. In shadowed places there are short stories written in prints. Here a rabbit crossed paths with a bird. In other places foxes followed the rabbits.


Yesterday the moon was bright in the sky, where the cows are, and the little dog has been laughing while the cats sleep, curled and warm.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Walking in snow.

Two lots of snow and the threat of more but we all decided that we should go to the top of the hill to see the view. Pixie too thought that despite the fact she still has terrible cold this was the best idea of the day.

There were woodcock on the hill and snipe, and silence. Few planes in the sky, no traffic sounds. It rarely snows here, but always when it does I find that I just cannot get to work, despite the fact that I work at home. Even at the age of almost 50 I just have to go out to play!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

At last, snow.

The moon had ridden a clear sky all morning but when I woke at seven there was a bank of cloud. I walked out into the farmyard incase I could see even a glow, but no. And then I found out why. At last, it began to snow. Real, fine powder snow, like snow from when I was a child and before long there was two inches of snow. ( Everyone knows that snow is meansured in inches).
For a while it stopped, and then began again. 
Luckily the wood man had come from Welsh Logs. He had chains on the wheels of his pick up truck. I had been worried that we would have no logs before Christmas. We had burnt through so much as our only heating is the wood fired stove.

 On the wall by the door, a broken plate by Martha Allen.

 Hanging in the garden, a lantern.

 Max looking after the logs.

 Moonjar in snow.


Now there is a kind of hush broken only by the whisper of bird wings and the swirling fall of flakes.

Monday, December 20, 2010



Today, woodpecker, starlings, blackbird, wagtail, chaffinch, bluetits and dunnocks and robins, jackdaw, rook, thrushes and even snipe.


And Hannah on a warm perch.