Here be Midnight

Friday, 30 April 2021

Badger Light

 I've always had a fondness for that dear old badger from Kenneth Grahams 'Wind in the Willows'. and, I have very much admired his grand Victorian home beneath the earth - nearly always depicted with cosy chairs and a glowing fire. All the niceties of the Victorian era without the stuffiness -I seem to  remember he didn't mind elbows on tables and that was such a relief to me as a child.

The cosiness of his home, I would even go so far as to say, has inspired most of my furniture choices - when I have had the choice . Small tokens and gestures towards creating my imagined version of that safe haven beneath the old oak in the Wild  Wood.

Today I live in the woods myself...which I am so very grateful for. My home is very small- more like Moles than badgers, but the hug that the surrounding countryside gives every time I look out of the window is a blessing I will never take for granted.

Here is another picture from  the Forest lullaby series, that celebrates the blue hours. A Badger at dawn going home with his  lantern.

Sunday, 14 February 2021

The Forest

 I am extraordinarily lucky. I live within the sound of the river and have a forest of old beech and ash, oak and pine hawthorn and rowan on my doorstep. It has been my sanity and my magic.

The forest and its creatures are my extended family, my neighbours, my kin.

And so here is another little forest lullaby painting, a pipe smoking rabbit from the forest.

One puff for sorrow,

two puffs for wonder

three puffs for magic

four puffs for slumber

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Remembering Innocence, Wonder and Magic through the language of the Heart


For as long as I have been painting there has always seemed to be an innocence about the work that I do. I have made some attempts to try and bring about an 'edge' to it, to make it more grown up, but none have been successful, so far.

Despite all that Life has brought before me, sadness, loss, grief, fear, all the usual suspects, the sense of wonder and magic about the cosmos and all its manifestations refuses to leave. Yes, I am regularly naive and some might say un-worldy, but it occurred to me that maybe that is not always a bad thing.

I have felt for sometime now the limitations of intellectual analysis of everything that surrounds us.  Where once I was interested in quantum physics and its shared ground with what we loosely term spirituality now I am more inclined to be in awe of the moss climbing the tree trunks. The sublime magic of  frosty branches decorated with icicles or the deer on the path that looks me straight in the eye, for one moment soul to soul with another being. Our insatiable desire to dissect things, to fix things, to understand things. To judge things. These well regarded and many times useful strategies have woven a spell that leaves our natural magic in the shadows, but I feel its time for being remembered is close at hand.

The language of the heart is the language of alchemy. Turning grief to gratitude, fear to joy, sorrow to grace. It only loves, and through that 'mind-free' love, magic and wonder is revealed, and for me that is where peace and joy is found.

Having been ill for so long, I did think that maybe the illness would change this. That it would bring more of the dark, more edginess, but it is not to be so.

Here is my first little painting of the year. A tiny mouse named Petrushkin.

Petrushkin mouse minds the hours,

He keeps them safely tucked up in bed,

And while they sleep soundly,

He walks the forest paths to fill his heart,

With tree and moss and rook,

Until divinity is in a dew drop,

And the gods whisper sweetly in the trees,