Sunday, December 24, 2006

'Limpet' an 8 week old sweetheart who nobody wants.

I'm staggered - we're still in the process of being homevetted to get a rescue dog and now each day, I regularly visit the Many Tears Rescue Centre website in Wales, to see what's going on there.Sylvia and Bill, the angels who run the centre write a weekly post - and today, inspite of all the mad festivities here, it brings me to tears, just thinking about how awful the reality of their day job must be.

Of course, they have 'light moments' I'm sure and moments of happiness - yet, so much of their work just tears at the heart and must make you cynical of mankind.There are more dogs on there today - and many puppies.

click below to see how you could change a dog's life!

Gusty - an 8-week old puppy at Many Tears Rescue Centre, Wales.

Have a heart!
Here's just one of the little sweethearts at Many Tears, in Wales, UK.

We've been thinking about getting a dog for some time now; and were going to go and buy one from a reputable breeder.However, after stumbling upon this website recently changed my mind entirely.

I sat at the pc, in tears determined to do anything I can to help make the life of at least one of these dogs, better than it has been up till now.We've been in secret discussions with the doggie fostercarers (so the kids don't know just yet) and after chatting to one angel, named Rosemary, it turns out that the dogs receive healing, get to wear crystals on their collars and also get Bach Flower remedies.

We've put ourselves forward to be 'homevetted' - so we can go and adopt as soon as possible. People like Bill and Sylvia (and all their fostercarers and volunteers) at this centre, are a few of many unsung heroes of today - there are so many people who live with stress, horror and misery yet keep plugging on for the benefit of others. How they get up each morning and face whatever horrors they're going to see and hear about each day, I just don't know.

I thank the Goddess and God that there are people like the folks at Many Tears Rescue in this world today.In the new year, I will be putting stuff on ebay to make money for donations of food, blankets and others things - I don't care what I have to do, I'll sell as much as possible.Please visit their site and have a look at how you could help.
Even the smallest gesture makes a difference.
In the meantime, remember to love and cherish our pets as well as our families at this special time of the year - it's so easy to forget them in the Christmas mania!!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Death of the Roses
6ft coffin lid made from wood and stretched, primed canvas.
Medium: Acrylics and mixed media (tissue, handmade papers, gold leaf).

Has 2 months really passed by since I last left a post on here? I am amazed, but then when I think back to what a busy time it's been over the last couple of months, I'm not surprised.

I am in college nearly 5 days a week - busy working. We have just finished our first assignment and hot on the tail of finishing that one, another one started.

Here's the piece that I showed at the assessment.

It's called 'Death of the Roses' and is based on the psychological meanings behind classic fairy tales.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I haven't written in ages.. time is racing by lately. Anyway.. I had to post these on - my daughter came home on Friday, hopping up and down with excitement.

The English topic this term is Shakespeare - which was music to her ears, since she's been overdosed on it this year already!

"What shall I do mummy?" was the question...

"Do you want a canvas and my paints?" I replied....

She was over the moon... here's her finished painting. She did it today.

It's acrylic on canvas 9 x 7 in and we think it's fantastic.

She's only just 10 years old.. I'm so proud!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Happy happy day!!!!! Had a moment of extreme happiness and disappointment all mixed up together tonight... and now - I'm cartwheeling with joy!!!!

Firstly.. my mum phones. Did I really want to go to Chicago? YES YES YES.. I screamed down the phone. Well... don't get your hopes up, she says mysteriously and then tells me that she knows someone who works for BA and maybe just maybe she could get cheap tickets. An hour of 'subdued hysteria' later.. and she phoned back and said, nope.. it just couldn't happen. I kind of expected it to be honest.. and besides.. No 1 daughter is still not out of the woods and we sooo cannot go plane hopping about, as much as we would sorely love to.

Half an hour later.. Johnny 'suggests' that we check online to see if there are any remaining tickets for the Madonna concert at Wembley. Especially as he could 'feel' the vibes in the air screaming 'I'm not going to Chicago sob sob !!!!'

Anyway.. There were Madonna tickets available!!!!. He booked them. We tried to get tickets nearly 2 months ago with no success and I really really was gutted when we failed. 5 minutes later I was screeching and hopping up and down and kissing him. A lot.

I love Madonna!!!! Am not usually the 'fan' type personality... but I have loved Old Madge since I was about 18 years old and bought her first album! Only yesterday, I popped on one of my documentaries about her to watch while I was munching my lunch and seeing her in concert nearly brought me to tears.

So - we're going... we've got fantastic seats... and I can barely contain myself. Chicago - I'll be there for the next one Susan!!!! Am saving my pennies right now!

Me? Cheshire Cat? Happy? Grinning? Loving Johnny for suggesting we try for it and then buying the tickets? YOU BETCHA!
'Sound and Fury' (inspired by Macbeth)

'Where Titania Sleeps' (inspired by A Midsummer Nights Dream)

'The Shadow of My Conscience' (inspired by Macbeth)

Here are the remaining paintings that are going to be exhibited.

I shall explain a little about each one:

The Shadow of my Conscience: Was inspired by my daughter, who loves this character (Lady Macbeth). My daughter also modelled for this painting. She's acrylic and mixed media (her corset is made from layers of text from the play and then overpainted in gold).

Where Titania Sleeps: Was inspired by A Midsummer Nights Dream. I loved the idea of Titania, resting in a cool woodland area, surrounded by beautiful flowers, fairy spirits and small grass snakes weaving around. The gold spiral symbolises energy and the snakeskin that is shed, which the fairies wrap themselves in at night time.

Prospero's Plea: Was taken from the Tempest. At the end of the play, Prospero (a magician) literally pleads with the audience to applaud him - the last page has a wonderful feel to it. The hands are his.. outstretched to the audience.. behind him, his magickal text and incantations.. meaning nothing if the audience will not applaud and forgive him! The text is written in Theban and actually spells out a magical incantation from the play.

'Indian Prince' was inspired by A Midsummer Nights Dream. Titania looks after a young indian boy who her husband wants for himself. She's having none of it - she vowed to look after this boy herself, after his mother died in childbirth. The play says that the two women would sit on the shores, watching ships laden with riches and beautiful sunsets, whilst talking about love and life and the baby growing inside her. The beautiful Indian woman would travel far and wide to bring Titania back treasures from other lands. I loved the idea of this child, growing in the womb - unaware of what would happen after his birth. I have taken text from the play and placed this in the womb area. I love this painting!

'Sound and Fury' was inspired by this text:

Macbeth Act 5 Scene 5

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day

To the last syllable of recorded time,

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death.

Out, out, brief candle!

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more: it is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

This text is so real, honest and hardhitting. I couldn't resist it. It was painted after a long 'shakespeare' discussion with the family and my daughter's boyfriend said 'this is my favourite piece'. He described it so well - I couldn't not paint it. It is layers of mixed media.. foils, inks, acrylics, filler, built up and then varnished heavily. It's not like my usual work but came about after that deep family discussion!

Finally - the Dark Lady - inspired again by my daughter, who up until this year seemed to have no interest in Shakespeare at all. We were having another one of our family discussions and she told me how Shakespeare had a 'mystery woman' that he wrote about. It was fascinating researching about this lady, who has never actually been named. This painting, a mixture of acrylics, text, foils, inks and tissue is for 'The Dark Lady' who obviously enchanted the Bard at some point.
I hope you enjoy looking at them.. and if you're in the Chicago area.. please go and have a look and leave some feedback on my website. I'd love to hear from you.

My website is now up and running (although it still needs a few things added to it) but it's good to go so please take a look.

Here's the addy :

As ever, the biggest hugs and squeezes go to Johnny.. my patient and extremely talented man, who built the site and is forever hearing 'Johnny - can you come here a minute???? I need your help' whenever I'm within 2ft of the computer!!!

Thanks Johnny - you are a star!
'Prospero's Plea' (inspired by The Tempest)

'Indian Prince' (inspired by A Midsummer Nights Dream)

' Dark Lady' (inspired by Shakespeare's Dark Lady, written about in the Sonnets).

So.. we're days away from the Chicago Shakespeare exhibition and I'm getting so excited.
Sally Swingewood (a friend and fellow artist in the show) has boarded her flight this morning and will be joining Susan Barton in Chicago (oooohhh I'm so jealous!).
How great to finally meet Susan and see just how hard she's worked curating this show.

Susan - you're a peach honey - we do love you for all your hard work!!!

If I could have got on that plane with Sal, then I would have gone without a doubt.. but we'll all be there in spirit and thoughts!

Here's some more of my work - I hope you enjoy looking at it!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

"All that Glitters is not Gold"
Taken from 'The Merchant of Venice"
The picture shows Portia, a wealthy heiress. It's mixed media on boxed canvas measuring 16 x 20 inches. I've used acrylic, foil, gold leaf, tissue, and printed words from that part of the play.

Well... I've finally stopped painting.. it's been mad here (nothing new there!) whilst I've painted like a madwoman to get the canvasses finished for the Shakespeare exhibition.

I've really enjoyed doing these paintings... they all feel very personal and in some respects it's quite hard to let them go. My talented and (very) patient other half has also been making me a wonderful website, where I can show my work. I'll put details of that on here once it's done.

So.. I thought you'd like to see an example of what I've done so far. I'm not finished yet though! Painting may be over, but I have now have to do some little ACEO's and OPAC's.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Shakespeare Show!

I haven't blogged in ages... life's been frantic! But more about that later.. here's some information about a show that a group of artists (including ME!!!) will be doing soon to celebrate Will and the first performance of one of his plays at the Red Lion Pub in Chicago... details below:
August 3rd-August 6th, 2006
The Red Lion Pub Gallery2nd Floor2446 North Lincoln Avenue Chicago, Illinois
Exhibition:Painting Shakespeare's Words
A Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of The Chicago Shakespeare's First Performance at the Red Lion Pub...
Featuring fine art from well known international artists,
Susan Barton,
Amanda Cox,
Elaine Jones,
Laura Keeble,
Michelle Izzard,
Sally Swingewood,
Terry John Waites
Colin Cordwell.
Artist reception on Saturday, August 5th, from 7pm-11-pm.

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Week From Hell....

This week has been the pits. Well, our year so far has been difficult to say the least - one of the kids has been very ill and in hospital for nearly 5 months. The trials and tribulations of dealing with a varied team of doctors, nurses and therapists and some of those who don't do their jobs very well has been almost as stressful as our daughter's illness.

This week, we had another scare which almost finished me off! I've had to leave my job and on top of this, life and all it's other rubbish just piles on top of you.

But - I'm always looking for the upside of stuff and I do value so much, the happy moments that we have together. Yesterday, inspite of a cloudy sky, we headed off for the beach as a family. My eldest daughter brought along her beloved boyfriend and inspite of a very strong breeze, we had a great picnic on the beach together and tried to relax a bit.

It made me realise about percentages... how much of our time is spent worrying and doing hospital stuff.. and how much is spent having fun. I'd say that it comes out at about 90%/10% (90% being the illness part).

We MUST try to have a balance. And when I see pictures like my kids smiling faces.. I know that however bogged down I get.. We MUST make the effort.