Christmas 2022, and beyond…


It’s far too long since I last did this! I’m sorry – I’m always someone who’d rather be getting painty hands than sitting in front of a computer. Consequestly this will be a Christmas and everything else I’ve been doing, all at once kind of Blog post…

I didn’t take part in the Hebden Makes Christmas event this weekend. It clashed with the twin’s birthday and I am no good at being two people at once. I either need to be all Mummy, or all work, and I didn’t want to short change them. Instead we went to see The Lion King in Manchester – which was amazing (despite the second worst train journey in living memory). We did get to mooch around the studios and fairs on Saturday though and it looked amazing! I bought many things, many of them not gifts for other people. Next year, if it goes ahead again, I hope to take part as an exhibitor.

So, if anyone still has gaps in their Christmas shopping, I have opened my last box of calendars this week.

And lanterns are a lovely gift to cheer people I think. We love candles in our house.

I wanted to share with you my favourite pictures from this year. I had an exhibition at Chantry House Gallery in June ‘Whispering Ruins’ – and I was especially proud of these two: Byland Marshes I visited for the first time in Autumn 2021. It’s a wonderfully atmospheric place. I was a student in York so I have so many happy memories of sitting in the Museum Gardens with books and picnics.

‘Museum Gardens’ – 75 x 59cm and ‘Byland Marches’ 75 x 59cm

Evening at Shibden‘ I painted earlier this year and auctioned for the Ukraine Appeal. And ‘Spindrift – Whitby‘ painted in the summer, but of a February trip. So cold and bright. The sea was amazing that day. I do love Whitby…

I think I love the paintings best when they capture something about the temperature or the day that I can’t quite define. Usually I don’t quite know how it happened so I can’t repeat it! My paintings are full of happy accidents and sometimes the paint just does what it wants to do. At Open Studios, people often ask if I do classes. I do now have the space in the mill studio, but I need to first work out how the paintings have happened before I can show anyone else!

I’ll be working on print orders this week and next, so it’s not too late for print orders. I send prints using FedEx, so these are not being affected by the postal strikes. For everything else I am endeavoring, on principle, to support my local post office. But we’re sending out as promptly as we can to avoid the backlog.

The last day for print orders will be midday on December 14th.
For all other orders, by midday on December 16th.

This last date is what’s recommended on the Royal Mail website.

Looking forward to 2023, I have been working hard on work for a new exhibition called ‘HOME’, which will open at Heart Gallery in late April. I plan about 10 paintings, all of the Calder Valley. I haven’t had an exhibition at Heart since ‘Crags and Fells’ 2018, and 2023 will mark 10 years since my very first exhibition with Alison in April of 2013! It’s been lovely to gt back to hills and washing, and favourite views.These are the two I’ve finished so far:

From Birchcliffe, down towards The White Lion. And Gibson Mill back in the hot, sunny July of this year. I’m also attempting an overly ambitious project of a Hebden Bridge A-Z! I began to learn wood engraving this year (It’s something I have always wanted to do) and the only way to get good at it is practice! So, I figured I had 26 chances to improve. The rules I have set myself are that:

  • I can only use practice blocks. These are small blocks, usually around 5 x 7cm. Bigger blocks are easier in some ways, but also quite expensive and therefore daunting to hone your skills on!
  • I don’t have to do the letters in order
  • I don’t have to think of an ‘X’
  • I am not allowed to do a letter more than once. I have to finish and move on!

This is what I have so far! A LOT of letters left to do, so I’ll just have to see how I get on. I am currently working on ‘H’ for Heptonstall. I’ve also started two Heptonstall paintings this week. When the valley was full of fog last week, I walked up the hill and out of it to blue skies up there!

I think that’s quite enough to be going on with. Well done if you’ve read all the way to the end. I really should do this little and often, rather than a quartely essay…

Thank you everyone for your support this year. I genuinely don’t mean just the buying of things, but coming to exhibitions, the studio or events. Commenting and sharing on social media. Emails. Whether you’re enjoying an original, a print, a card or a Jpeg – the fact that you’re enjoying it means the world to me!

3 thoughts on “Christmas 2022, and beyond…

  1. Looking forward to seeing the whole alphabet all together .. – & all the paintings too of course .

  2. I really do need to speed up. The tiny engrabings are taking me only slightly less time than the paintings at the moment!

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