Repainting the painting of the unpaintable

I decided I’d finished this yesterday, but really I knew I hadn’t. It grew out of one palette, drew on another, then morphed into a theme that needed the first. And I’d rushed the video. So I began picking away at it, finding the story, bringing out the face of the figure in the water and defining it. By this point, the story was about deep sea fishing and the cruelty that involves for fish and crew depending on the ethics of the captain. Through the podcast, Lost at Sea, I learned how crews are essentially trapped on board often … Continue reading Repainting the painting of the unpaintable

Literary artiness

Some of the prints on sale at The Basement are from my book, Not Being First Fish, which is on sale at Steyning Bookshop. Also on sale there is Fat Mo, the cover of which I painted at school when I was about seventeen. I’ve manipulated the colour in Paintshop Pro and added the text (obviously, or that would have been well prescient!) Fat Mo is alternatively available from here where all the revenue goes to a charity, Respond, that supports adults with learning (intellectual) disabilities who’ve experience sexual abuse and exploitation. As you might imagine, Fat Mo is not … Continue reading Literary artiness

There’s a cow in the basement …

… what are ya gonna do? Luvvit, that’s what! This is, let’s call her Muriel, whose first job was to illustrate a story called The Bridge in Not Being First Fish, and who today has joined several cats and a sheep at The Basement93 in Steyning. Here’s the rest of the gang. You can have a flick through the book and if you like what you see (read), you can nip across the road to get a copy at the Steyning Book Shop, otherwise you can click your way over to that there Amazon. From February 1st, the gallery will be … Continue reading There’s a cow in the basement …


This large lady with the world-weary expression is an enhanced version of the one in Not Being First Fish where she illustrates a story about townies not shutting gates because why should they, huh? She may be appearing in a shop near you*, well near me anyway, in the new year. There’ll be a copy of the book too, for perusal, and copies for sale over the road in Steyning Book Shop, bless ’em. *The Basement93, Steyning High street. You’ll find them on Facebook, and also Instagram where the whole shop-full of loveliness is presented in pictures. Continue reading Cow

The Wild Rose and the China Doll

I was messing around with charcoal yesterday and made some sweeps across an A2 sheet of cartridge. Another couple of sweeps and I saw what it was – a scene from a story I wrote some while ago which had been triggered by that extraordinary track by Nick Cage and Kylie Minogue – Where the Wild Roses Grow. I’d heard that track just a day or so ago. The story is called The Wild Rose and the China Doll and you can find it here on Full of Crow.     Continue reading The Wild Rose and the China Doll

Dancing Her Black Bones Home

This is from one of my own, as yet unpublished, stories (it nearly made it, nearly earned its keep, but the journal folded before publication so Rats!). It’s called Black Bones after the story’s title, Dancing her Black Bones Home, which is about a young deaf woman who is treated as stupid by her small community and eventually finds herself on a pebbly beach trying to work out her place in the world and her relationship with the religion she’s grown up with.   Acrylics on 8×10 canvas board with a cut out figure in silhouette at the bottom. That … Continue reading Dancing Her Black Bones Home

Eight Stranded Whales

Not long after surprising myself with the painting drawn from Oonah Joslin’s poem, I was struck by a whole bunch of images coming from a poem by Marianne Moore that I heard on Radio Four’s Poetry Please (I’m laughing at myself here because goodness knows how I stumbled over that – I’m a proper BBC6Music kinda girl! It is Roger McGough though). It’s called The Steeple-Jack and I was reeled in and landed by the first verse: Dürer would have seen a reason for living in a town like this, with eight stranded whales to look at; with the sweet … Continue reading Eight Stranded Whales

Crazy Diamond

 Crazy Diamond. I’m not a good reader of poetry, I do far better if I hear it read, but this one – From Crazy Diamond to Borrowed Light by Oonah Joslin – made me think because of her comment about how it came about. She tells me it was something her mentor said when she was struggling to believe in herself as a poet; he told her that diamonds don’t shine on their own, they borrow light from those who do. Turning the Pink Floyd reference on its head, the imagery that came from this, finding your own light instead of reflecting that … Continue reading Crazy Diamond

Getting all sheepish at the Basement

Joining the flock at The Basement93 tomorrow, and giving those cats a run for their money, Her Royal Woolliness of the House of the Red Wellies. The print is from an original pencil drawing coloured digitally in Rebelle software made by Escapemotions. Her Woolliness appeared originally in Not Being First Fish and other diary dramas as an adjunct to a Michael Fish anecdote (obviously), and if the wind’s in the right direction, there’ll be a copy nearby for a browse and possibly for sale. Several other illustrations are also available as prints so if you see one in the book … Continue reading Getting all sheepish at the Basement