Crochet Snowflakes from Plastic Bags

I heard a report on the BBC World Service a couple of days ago about a little sea turtle named Kai which made me so sad that I couldn’t stop thinking about it all day. Kai had been found floating helplessly on the sea surface because she had ingested so much plastic waste that her…

Feed your Head – An Alice Inspired Afternoon Tea

If you ever feel like disappearing down a rabbit hole on a busy Saturday afternoon in central London, then I know the place to escape to – where waiting for you, you’ll find afternoon tea, a glass of champagne and a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. The Alice in Wonderland themed afternoon tea, held at the…

My Pen and Ink City Panoramas

A few years ago when I was going through a minimalist phase I did lots of simple pen and ink sketches, trying to capture faces, places and buildings in just a few black lines, by reducing everything back to its basic elements. Part of this project included a series of panoramic sketches I did of…

Hope over the Horizon – Sunrise on the edge of the Ngorogoro Crater

While camping on the edge of the Ngorogoro Crater in Tanzania I decided to wake up early to watch the sunrise. What I witnessed was nothing short of breathtaking. Snuggled up inside my hoodie and scarf, I sat alone, mesmerized by the changing horizon before me and watched as the African sky changed from an…

Endless Abstract Land

Endless Abstract Land is my interpretation of the Serengeti and is painted using ink and acrylics. Serengeti comes from the Maasai Maa word Serengit and means endless plain and this vast area of grassland spans northern Tanzania and southern Kenya and covers approximately 12,000 sq miles. As I travelled through these immense plains, which are…

Moja, Mbili, Tatu… Jump. 

There is nothing more fun than jumping into a swimming pool with your friends – and this is the moment nearly 30 boys jumped into the water together.   The photo was taken during the last Saturday School session of the year at the school I have worked for the last couple of years in…

Early morning bargains at Kivukoni Fish Market

These shots were taken on an early morning visit to the hustling bustling Kivukoni Fish Market on Ocean Road in the heart of Dar Es Salaam. It’s a great snippet of Tanzanian life with fishermen and house dadas haggling at full volume over an unbelievable selection of fish and crustaceans. We brought two very large, very snappy…

The Reveries of a Solitary Walker

Because I’ve lived in so many different places, I don’t have one specific place to go to when I need to recharge my batteries. Instead I have a routine or a ritual which usually makes me feel a bit better. This involves an early morning experience – a walk, cycle, run, or just a prolonged…

Snow Falling Soundlessly

Last week, when I thought winter in Sweden had long gone, there was an unexpected fall of snow. It came heavily and suddenly one night, submerging the yellow and purple crocus flowers which had already started to grow in the lawns and gardens. It really was rather magical. As inches of snow fell late into…

Cities from a different perspective

In life I always try to see things for a different point of view. From 9 to 5 (well 8 to 4) I am a teacher and seeing an experience through the eyes of a 12 year old can be a huge advantage, invariably avoiding conflict and leading to an amicable outcome. In my free…

In religion, India is the only millionaire.

India is the land of dreams and romance, the land of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty. This photograph of a sadhu was taken in the Holy City of Varanasi, a city once experienced is never forgotten. Varanasi, is one of world’s oldest living cities, and is rightly called the religious capital of India. Also known…

A room with a view

A room with a view is the pièce de résistance of any accommodation. Whether the view looks down to the city below, across the sea, out onto a busy street or over empty countryside, the view is something which can really enhance your experience of being in a room. During my travels, I have been fortunate…

Finding my sketchbooks and travel journals

I am over the moon with excitement… A few weeks ago I drove, with my family, across Sweden and Denmark, sailed the North Sea, and then travelled through pretty much every county in England, with the aim of collecting some of my old travel journals, sketchbooks and photographs (and visiting friends and family too). It…

Smoking shisha at Jabri House in Damascus, Syria.

Tucked away in a maze of narrow alleyways in the Al-Qaymariya area of Damascus’s Old City, is my favourite restaurant in the whole world, Jabri House.  Jabri House (or Beit Jabri) is situated in the courtyard of an old Damascene house. People come here to have dinner, drink a cup of coffee, smoke narghile or to play…

Crafting isn’t a hobby, it’s therapy

I am rubbish at meditating, absolutely rubbish. And it’s not for want of trying; I’ve read books about meditation and mindfulness, joined yoga clubs, listened to calming CDs, discussed meditating with therapists and have even tried going for a relaxing massage, but that just made me laugh. I decided to get a Zen app on…

It’s Time to Spend Spend Spend

It’s that time of year when people start spending money like it’s going out of fashion. What with Black Friday tomorrow and 31 days to Christmas, anything and everything you can think of has being reduced and it is almost impossible not to spend, spend spend. If I am honest, I actually hate all the…

Travels with my Art Named as one of the Top 100 Art blogs in the World

There is a quote which has haunted me since I first heard it as a self-conscious, paranoid and self-doubting teenager. The quote was from one of my painting heroes and possibly the most confident and cock-sure artist of them all, Pablo Picasso, who said: “He can who thinks he can, and he can’t who thinks…

Let’s go where we’re happy and I’ll meet you at the cemetery gates

Sombre, scary and creepy are the feelings usually associated with visiting graveyards  but for me walking around a cemetery is a truly uplifting experience. Eerie sometimes, yes, but there is always an overwhelming feeling of peacefulness, contemplation and curiosity. From as far back I can remember, I have enjoyed wandering through graveyards… now I guess…

Anchor Chains, Plane Motors and Train Whistles

Do you know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are? Anchor chains, plane motors and train whistles. These are not my words, but those of one of my favourite film characters of all time, George Bailey (James Stewart) from the classic 1946 movie ‘It’s a Wonderful Life‘.  When I embark on pretty…

I’ve been awarded the Blogger Recognition Award – not once but twice!

Something rather lovely happened the other day, my Travels with My Art blog, was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award – not once, but twice. I would like to say thank you to both Sara from MALINČICA and Joelee from Joeleepost  for nominating me for the award – it is always a pleasure to receive positive feedback and…

Getting a taste of the Nairobi Art Scene and the Kenyan Coffee

Prior to moving to Nairobi, lots of Kenyan friends told me that the art scene was pretty vibrant here. And while sipping a latte in my local cafe, the rather aptly named Artcaffe, I flicked through the exhibition listings in one of the many what’s on guides to Nairobi and I felt fairly confident that there was indeed…

Every Cloud has a Silver Lining (sometimes even two)

I have been doing a lot of sitting down this week – and no, it’s not because I’m lazy, but for two reasons; because firstly I sprained my ankle and can’t walk and secondly I have been working on three paintings to enter for a competition. What I have learned from this week is that…

The World Was Suddenly Rich with Possibility

Some books you read at exactly the right age and time in your life. For me “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac was one of those books. As I read it I remember thinking that travel would be THE escape route from my humdrum home countries Hertfordshire existence and I remember scribbling down so many inspirational quotes…

Addictive Art Materials

Charcoal and soft pastels are addictive. Admittedly they are not in the class-A drug category of heroin or cocaine and there doesn’t need to be a government health warning about them, but there is something about their versatility that makes them so appealing. For the artist, charcoal and soft pastels are extremely satisfying to use;…

Back to the drawing board

After recently leaving my teaching post in Dar Es Salaam to move to Nairobi for my husband’s new job, I now find myself ‘in between jobs’ and consequently at a rather interesting crossroads in my life. The million dollar question, well, million shilling question is this: Do I continue with teaching Art and English or do…