Tag Archives: ipswich massachusetts

Time for reflection

I have always found that leaving one calendar year and entering another is a good time for reflection.

As an artist, I am aware that all of life is interconnected.     There are no lines around anything, and as I often point out when teaching…to change one tiny portion of a painting, is to change the whole.    This same principle applies to everything in life.

With the internet and social media our interconnection is much more tangible.    We can communicate with people from around the globe in a way that has never been possible before.

As the environmentalist, David Suzuki says,

‘The human brain now holds the key to our future.    We have to recall the image of the planet from outer space: a single entity in which air, water, and continents are interconnected.    That is our home.’

Many indigenous peoples, saw the hummingbird as a connection with nature and the unseen worlds.


This past calendar year has been a good one for me and has been all about ‘interconnection’.

Through Facebook I have connected with Axlepin Publishing, and through Axlepin I have connected with some brilliant writers, poets, painters and photographers from around the world.

Early in the year, again through FB, I connected with a fascinating woman in Dubai, who suggested that I contact her son who is currently studying at the Royal College of Music in London.     This lead to a meeting with Arsha Kaviani – an extraordinarily gifted composer, pianist, which in turn led to my painting his portrait.


I had two fun visits from my friend and fellow artist, Suzy Davidson from S. Africa.      I first met Suzy when I house/studio/animal sat for her seven years ago in a wonderful place outside of Brussells.

This ‘still life’ represents an inside joke, which only Suzy will fully appreciate:)   For me, it represents a wonderful memory.


Last February I visited my friend Helga and her two lovely cats in Vienna….This time around we took the train to Semmering, a delightful place in the lower mountains of Austria…not much more than a two hour train journey from Vienna.    It was snowing and cold….and very beautiful.

Helga taking a mid afternoon picture in Semmering.


I also spent a long weekend with my old art college friend Maureen Poynter Franklyn.    We were reunited through FB after not having seen one another for 47 years!    Five minutes in one another’s company, and it was as if no time had gone by:)

I took this photograph in an ancient Dorset church when visiting Maureen last spring.


I visited and painted portraits of my friends Mick and Gail.     We have known one another since we were young children.     Our lives are intertwined in so many ways.

Gail Duff…writer, performer, musician, therapist and dear friend.


Mick Duff.   Photographer, performer, musician and dear friend.


I had a wonderful surprise in August when my friends, The Kearnsclan called to say that their daughter, Catherine was to be married in October, and that they would be sending tickets for me to attend!

I was at Lynn and Stratton’s (the parents) wedding in 1977, and have known their four children since they were born….they are family to me.

I painted this large watercolour of Catherine, the day before the wedding.    A very special moment.


It was a joyful affair…full of love and laughter….this picture shows the bride and groom and wedding party…..


Given that I was in the States, I also visited my beautiful daughter, Christie and my equally beautiful niece Kate and her husband and the the twins, in Ipswich, Mass……and we had so much fun.

Photograph of Kate, Christie and Grace in front of a mural in Ipswich, Mass.


Me painting with the glorious twins…..a very happy moment.


On the same trip, I saw other friends who I haven’t seen since 1968!    Once again we found one another through FB…..oh the power of the internet.

A photograph taken in 1967 when we were neighbours living on Staten Island, New York.   Helen and I were wearing costumes…a special memory.


This joyful picture is of Carmella….a budding young artist who lives outside of West Chester, Pennsylvania.     I have known her grandparents since 1974, and can remember the day that my daughter and I delivered a baby present to Carmella’s mother….Ruby.

Thanks to FB and the internet, we are all still able to be in touch and enjoy special moments like this one.


There were many more special moments in the past year.   T hese were some of the highlights.

Tomorrow, New Years Eve, I will talk about my hopes and wishes for the coming year.

A Bientôt

More Past and Present

My recent trip to the States was superb, and of course like anything in life, it’s the people who are involved that really make a difference.

At the beginning of the trip I stayed in Ipswich, Massachusetts with my niece, her husband and their beautiful five year old twins and my daughter Christie.    This made for a fantastic weekend, full of laughter and much joy.

I took this image of Kate, daughter Christie and Grace (one of the twins) in front of a mural in Ipswich depicting the history of what is a very old and fascinating town.   (past and present)


As you can imagine, I took many pictures of the twins….here they are in a local orchard where we went on a hay ride and apple picking, and yes of course I painted watercolours of them.


Then I flew from Boston to Atlanta where I was picked up by Lynn….and taken to the house in Gainesville.    The whole week was action packed, with wedding excitement, painting portraits, and just having fun.

This picture shows the ‘Kearnsclan’ on one of the occasions when they visited me in Wales.


Now all very grown up and leading fascinating lives…..the following are portraits I painted of the four children on this trip.

Catherine – the bride.    In the photograph she is the little girl in blue wearing glasses.   I painted this spontaneous portrait the day before the wedding.


This is Maddy who in the photograph is the little girl holding her teddy bear:)


This is Amey who is in the white sweat shirt to the rear of the photograph.   Amongst other things, Amey rescues animals, including beautiful Ally who has been shown on Facebook:)


This is Jackson, who in the photograph is the little boy in front…..


I have painted all four children several times before,   It’s wonderful to see how they have developed and grown into fine and very interesting human beings.   I look forward to spending many more times with them.

May the hummingbirds be with you.


A Bientôt

A Journey is a person in itself; no two are alike……

‘A Journey is a person in itself;  no two are alike.    All plans, safeguards, policing and coercion are fruitless.   We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip;  a trip takes us’    John Steinbeck.   

New England apples…..



I have just visited dear friends and family in the United States.    A trip which has taken me to a new level of love and understanding in my life.     A trip that also warrants my writing several posts.

The View from my window in Ipswich, Massachusetts.  Image


I first visited the States as a young woman in 1966.    My first husband and I set sail on the United States Liner from Southampton on January 28th 1966.    On February 3rd we sailed under the newly constructed Verrazano Bridge, which connects Brooklyn to Staten Island.   We then took a Greyhound Bus to Miami, Florida, where we were picked up by my husband’s Uncle and driven to Key West.   The plan was to stay for two years.      

A very long story, and twenty eight years later, in 1993 I returned to the UK/Europe.   I am currently living just a few short miles from my place of birth in London.   

Ipswich, Massachusetts reflections. 


Reading Steinbeck’s words at this time of my life, I realise that I have reached the beautiful stage, where the ‘trip is taking me’.

This past spring I had a life long block removed.      What it was and how it happened again warrants much more time than afforded in this post, but let it suffice to say, that it has freed me at last to relax, and enjoy wherever the trip of life leads. 


This adventure began with a flight to Boston, where I was picked up by family members, and driven to Ipswich, Massachusetts…..a lovely New England town.       Interestingly the property where I stayed (and I had been there once before) was purchased by my niece and her husband from a family member of one of my dearest friends in Stonington, Connecticut.   Pure coincidence, some might say:)

A wonderful place to dig for clams. 



After a blissful few days in Ipswich, I flew to Atlanta, Georgia to spend the week with some of my dearest friends…..they are also family to me.      The main event was to be the wedding of Catherine and Kevin – and oh what a wonderful event it was. 

I attended the wedding of Catherine’s parents in 1977…..yes, we go back a long way. 

When I arrived at the house in Gainesville, Georgia, which sits on one of the large lakes which dot the area, imagine my delight to find that the hummingbirds were still in residence. 

The veranda where the hummingbirds visited me every day.



I would sit on the veranda, and wait for the humming sound and click as quickly as possible. Image

Amazingly they left for their long flight south right after I flew back to the UK.    

Along with seeing family, friends and lots of beautiful animals and birds….I also got to paint several watercolour portraits.     I will write much more in further blogs during the next couple of weeks. 

Meanwhile, wishing everyone peace, love and may the magical hummingbirds be with you. 


A Bientôt