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…

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…

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…

Sketches of Tanzanian Markets

My family and I are in the process of relocating from Tanzania to neighbouring Kenya; so as one East African adventure closes, another begins… Although I may have physically left Tanzania, I am still keeping my memories alive by finishing off drawings in my sketchbooks. These sketches will go towards bigger art projects, involving acrylic…

I am the resurrection and I am the life – The tale of Bertie Rooster

This is the story of the luckiest, most cock-sure cockerel that has ever lived – Bertie Wooster. We bought Bertie about a year ago. We named him Bertie, because my youngest daughter, Frida, has difficulties pronouncing the letter r and says wooster rather than rooster, hence Bertie Wooster. He soon had a lady friend which…

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…

Dadas at the fish market

I’ve been painting this picture in my head for months now. The Kivukoni Fish Market in Dar Es Salaam is always busy. Both inside and outside the market walls there are scores of people; inside fishermen and traders huddle together around the many different catches of the day, outside house dadas dressed in brightly printed…

Swedish Summertime – and the living is easy

One of the things I learnt about Swedish people in the three years that I lived there, is that they really know how to really enjoy the summertime. In a country that is cold and dark for much of the year, celebrating the sun is of the utmost importance. So come June, tens of thousands…