2021- what will it bring? Life and art and moving house…

Spot the marooned van (York racecourse)

Lakes and mountains – or York racecourse?

Let’s celebrate the positive. There’s been so much kindness, collaboration and altruism all around us. Small businesses continuing to supply delicious food to local NHS workers. Volunteers delivering to homes.  Thank goodness for the continuing efforts of the Trussell Trust, and our more local northern Two Ridings Community Foundation. At a personal level, I’ve had a series of delightful and unusual surprises and gifts from friends old and new.

What is a snorkel?

Universal (Dis)Order (detail)

I’m most honoured to have been given a snorkel by Richard Coldman!  A snorkel, you may ask?  Surely swimming pools are shut?  A snorkel, it turns out , is  a leisurely tour of an image via video, with music. I can’t seem to embed it so the link is here:


Richard is a film-maker/composer/sound-designer/motion graphics video consultant for artists; have a look at some of his original and inventive creations on  Instagram .  I now have a lovely one-minute audiovisual response to my painting about our current chaos,  Universal (Dis)Order. @richardcoldmanfilms.

Chanterelles, ginkgos and fan-vaulting

Winter chanterelles

Dried chanterelles. I remember gathering them with my grandfather aged seven (me not him) when I lived for a year in Germany. I love those grooved patterns,  like ginkgo leaves or little bits of fan-vaulting in a medieval church (I know, it’s all maths). What a gift!  So, mushroom risotto it was. Recipes and information can be gleaned from the Arch Forager Duncan Mackay himself, at www.udderdishbeeleaf.com/dishes.  A generous neighbour has supplied me with plums, apples and raspberries over the year.  Now it’s blood oranges.  The juice is so tart I have been using it in place of lemon-juice in cooking – delicious!

Telephone Project – 7,177,703 kilometers and continuing

Single example of an interrelated set of artworks

This fascinating international ‘Chinese Whispers’ project is drawing to a close after more than a year. 950-odd interconnected works by artists of all kinds, from 70 countries, will be published on April 10th.Art, music, photography, poetry, much more. Director Nathan Langston says ‘If we were to lay all the pathways on a map at once, it would be an indecipherable tangle…when we say the message has been passed 7,177,703 kilometers… it is not an exaggeration.’  With a photo from Anchorage and a poem from Mlwaukee as my prompts I made a piece out of reclaimed board and handmade paper- I’m not allowed to show it yet!

York Open Studios – postponed

York Open Studios

The YOS committee has taken the wise decision not to take things to the wire, and put back the dates of  the Open Studios – a delightful feature of York life whether or not you are a participating artist – till July.  By then better weather, ventilation, and the possibility of using outdoor space should make the event safer and more relaxing, wherever we are with the ‘figures’. 

But where is the Wolf?

The Wolf in Cygnet St.

Here is the LINK to this year’s really impressive line-up.  The new dates are as follows.  10/11 and 17/18 July 2021. Cygnet St? see the screenshot above …and now comes the big revelation… the Wolf will have moved by then. We will be Venue 31….


‘Naturally propense to flit and shift his Habitation’. 18th-century horoscope.

It seems (according to this old horoscope) that someone born under the sign of Cancer is ‘naturally propense to shift and flit his Habitation…’. (Better ignore the bit about being idle and a sot.) Our current house, lovely as it and its setting are, doesn’t lend itself well to messy papermaking and other activities and needs.  Large-scale works were required one way or another. Lockdown gave us time to contemplate yet another noisy, expensive and time-consuming building project. Planning consent in York is a nightmare: we are grade 2 listed….. And, above all, poor house: leave it in peace.

Where to?

Dog End to…Wolf’s Beginning?

By pure chance we spied an unusual house for sale, not far away.  We stopped and thought hard. Life seems too short for further massive disruption; here was a house more suited to our way of life.  We decided to be brave (or was it foolhardy?) It feels callous at times to be thinking about something so inessential as a house move, and it has brought its own anxieties, but it has also given us a focus and objective. It is also already on the York Open Studios map!

Cancellations and postponements

Lockdown with Westside Artists at the Village Gallery, York; work available online

So many things have been cancelled. For myself, new to the North, various new opportunities lost, events interrupted or cancelled. Most of the Ferens Open Exhibition in Hull. The Paper Exhibition in Manchester. My City Screen solo show in York. The Westside Artists debut show at the Village Gallery, York and the local Blossom St Gallery exhibition. And of course, York Open Studios 2020. That’s nothing compared with the country as a whole, but it’s my little nothing, a beginning to settling in in the north. So let’s hope it soon starts becoming normally again to mingle (if cautiously) at events, and to enjoy music and art and cinema and so much more with our friends and other people in public spaces.

River or lake? Walkway in Rowntree Park

Living in York is full of surprises of one kind or another. It’s a long time since I met a fully-armed Viking in the streets. But last week our local park became a river and the racecourse a huge, gleaming lake virtually overnight( see header photo). Luckily locals are well-versed in the procedures and it’s a bad year when there’s a lot of damage. But the (temporary) views are stunning!

 Full moon –  recent commission for Judy.

Another full moon has come and gone. Where does the time go? Why does everything take so long? I have insomnia (again) – it seems worse here in the north when the days are short. But they’re lengthening; and I’m trying out some headphones which deliver electronic impulses to the brain. I may be a zombie by the time I write my next post….

And I hope that very soon now I will have a proper selling page on the website, with secure checkout. It’s the way of things. It only remains to wish you all a very much happier, easier and steadier 2021.

Life and Art in Lockdown

Domesticity and Dusters

Early on in lockdown Vanessa Marr invited me to contribute to the new lockdown version of her wonderful Women and Domesticity project.  You stitch your thoughts about both on to a classic yellow duster.  Lockdown has had such a huge effect on our habits and lifestyle (if style’s the word).  We’ve faced the sort of fear and uncertainty our ancestors took for granted.  We’ve had to adapt and improvise around work, family and other obligations.  But the underlying ‘domestic’ issues remain, often exacerbated by enforced proximity.  

A tea and coffee disaster

But there are smaller issues too. I had a disaster early on, when the shops were running out of basic foodstuffs. I poured a lovely new pack of tea-leaves straight into…the coffee canister.  It wasn’t our usual brand – the pack looked just like the standard shiny coffee bags.  I was in a rush. (I know, excuses….)

What have I created??

Tee? Or Coffea?

Well, our total tea AND coffee supplies down the drain!  Except…I couldn’t just throw it away.  I remembered the duster.  I experimented by pouring some of the tea/coffee mixture on to it, followed by boiling water.  And, what did it look like when it dried?  That day’s Guardian pic of the Coronavirus!  Result:  further experiments on cotton and on handmade paper.  This one, World in Lockdown, uses my paper, bits of reclaimed wood and…tea and coffee.   A much bigger one is in progress.

World in Lockdown

Black Lives Matter

Instagram has been, to my surprise, a source of inspiration and pleasure.   It has brought new friends and reinforced old friendships.  That’s how I see Geraldine Guest’s beautiful gardens (both in southern Spain and in England) and plants, and curated art posts.  Jane Porter, writer and illustrator, kindly sent me her beautiful linoprint poster Black Lives Matter, to display in my already crowded window. An honour to do so.

Black Lives Matter

The Boy Who Loved Everyone

And Jane’s children’s book The Boy Who Loved Everyone has just been shortlisted for the @littlerebelsaward  – celebrating ‘books which challenge stereotypes, promote social justice and advocate for a more peaceful world’.  Her new non-fiction book So you Want To Be An Owl will very soon be out.  And her you-tube channel LINK is full of delightful things to make with your family.  Armadillo? Elephant? Surprise box, anyone?

The Boy Who Loved Everyone

Magic Bubbles

Bubbles are NOW.  We’re all in our bubbles.  My friend Carolyn had the inspired idea of giving her friends a kit for making those mammoth bubbles for her (her) birthday.  We had huge fun. Our young neighbour Louise helped. It’s surprisingly poignant – they’re so beautiful, so fragile – and so transient. You gasp as they grow and grow, you wait anxiously for them to pop – and they’re gone.

Bubbles in our Lane

The Schoolhouse Gallery in York has had the brilliant idea of inviting artists to submit images (in whatever form) of their ideas of home.   It’s an Arts Council project, funded by the National Lottery.  I contributed some of the bubble pics – do have a look at this growing collection and maybe contribute to it.  It’s a touching and intimate record of these extraordinary times. LINK

Artists’ Support Pledge

Artists’ Support Pledge

Recently, artist  Matthew Burrows devised a remarkably successful initiative to help artists through these difficult times: the #artistsupportpledge. Because of COVID, artists have found it hard to continue work and to sell their art. Matthew’s idea: You post images of your work to sell for no more than £200 each (not including shipping.) Anyone can then buy the work. Every time you reach £1000 of sales you pledge to buy another artist/s work for £200.  Everyone wins.  It’s worked for me (thank you, dear buyers). I’m just about to receive a wonderful piece by Annamarie Dzendrowskj! Why not have a look round and see if there’s something you fancy on offer from one of your favourite artists?

Art in the Window (sold!)

Open Windows

Another delightful thing has been Openwindows2020, which began in Brighton.  Artists have been displaying artwork in their own windows, giving passers-by something colourful and interesting to look at. Originally in lieu of the cancelled Artists’ Open House/Open Studios, it has spread throughout the country; our local version is OpenwindowsYork2020.  It’s a bit of a challenge to change the display regularly; my neighbour Julia keeps me up to the mark!

The Wolf and the Window

Art on the Underground

A big excitement: another of my paintings is now on display in poster form on the London Underground, as part of Art Below’s summer show, curated by Ben Moore.  Here’s a pic – so sad I won’t see the original. (I have an auto-immune problem so have to play safe.)

Seaside Past – on the Underground

When were you last on a train?

It’s at Hyde Park Corner, just suppose you’re passing through. If not, we’ll all have to make do with the pics. How long is it since I was on a train? I can’t even remember!

Evening, Haven: handmade paper, pigments, gold/siver leaf

Strange Times

As part of the same show, a new painting of Cuckmere Haven in Sussex (with those threatened iconic curves) is on display – and sale – from today at the Ad-Lib Gallery LINK in Fulham. Every Day’s a Miracle – a pretty good title for the times. The pictures of the Private View looked amazing. (Sigh.)

Every Day’s a Miracle – exhibition now on

Kielder to London

The last painting that appeared in this way (at Regent’s Park Station) is in the process of being sold.  The marvels of online art sales! A big thank you to the Nicholas Bowlby Gallery which showed it at the Affordable Art Fair.  A complicated procedure of liberating it from the wonderful but remote Kielder Observatory in the Dark Sky Park in Northumberland. It’s going to London later this week.

Exhibition in Lockdown: Kielder Observatory

It’s been in lockdown at Keilder since it was installed as part of their very first art exhibition. So many thanks to Natasha who organised the show – which sadly has never seen the light of either day or night.

Night Sky 1066

Night Sky 1066 at the Affordable Art Fair

the noes and yesses of lockdown life:
NO… hardly seeing family and friends. Difficulty with sitting down to read a book; with making large confident paintings; with making big decisions.  Cabin fever.  Zero visits to seaside and country.  The health of our car (lockdown heaven for pigeons).

The birds are enjoying life

Involuntary Art (otherwise, Our Car Windscreen)

YES: Gardening, making sourdough crackers, painting furniture, seizing the moment.  Help between neighbours. Eating like kings with ingenuity and improvisation. And a wonderful birthday recently – first family meet-up for months.  Let’s all hope for better times soon. And I just hope we don’t all end up like this! The cats and dogs are having a mighty fine time though….

And so are the cats and dogs

Life in Lockdown

New Year, new horizons, new opportunities, new shows…

Augsburg Book of Miracles , 1552

Let’s all hope for a good and constructive New Year in the middle of all the political chaos and natural disaster.


Since the clocks went back in October I have seen suffering from (at times) crippling insomnia so a lot is on hold for now.  Exploring, visiting new galleries, getting the feel of the area, all these things will have to wait for longer days (and in my case, nights).  Hibernation….

Anne Bronte 200

Who’s a Bronte fan?  I discovered the Brontes as a rather solitary child in Africa, and read everything on my parents’ bookshelves. The textile artist Lindsey Tyson has organised a superb exhibition to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Anne, the lesser-known sister. Today is Anne’s 200th!

Marriage a la Mode: a murmuration of harsh words: pages 231-2

Anne Bronte p.200. 200 Artists, 200 pages: each artist was allocated  a random page from The Tenant of Wildfell Hall to use/embellish/adapt /illustrate – in whatever way we chose. Above is mine. My page involved an implied discussion of two relationships, and bristled with harsh, hostile and brutal words about the state of marriage. I imagined these swept up into a sort of murmuration which swirled over the cliffs of Scarborough where poor Anne, already author of two powerful novels, died aged only 29.

Anne Bronte 200 exhibition, Woodend, Scarborough, till end February

The resultant pages, each totally different from the others, have also been made into a striking book. The show runs from 11 January-7 February 2020, Scarborough, and there are numerous brilliant events associated with it.

Penguin visits the Pyramid Gallery

The first private view I went to in York last year was at the lovely Pyramid Gallery, on Stonegate, right in the heart of the old town right near the Minster.  As a member of the York Art Workers Association  I’m showing work there from 17 January-23 February 2020.  Begins tomorrow!

Our garden, formerly an allotment belonging to Micklegate Priory

And the following month, my friend and neighbour Julia and I are opening our adjacent gardens on this secret little lane (snickleway), Mount Parade, and displaying a range of sculpture, ceramics and art from some terrific artists. Do put it in your diary: two weekends, 13-14, 20-21 June, Art in the Garden. An attempt to brighten our lives…more details soon.

‘All Good Things’ by Stephen Ellcock

A propos of beautifully-produced books such as Bronte  and Flux Review, let’s not forget the wonderful Book of All Good Things recently published by the fabulous Stephen Ellcock.  It’s sold out and re-printing – Stephen would like you to order from your local independent bookshop. Full of striking, beautiful and often mysterious images from many times and places. It’s receiving extraordinary praise and attention.

Christmas Open Studio day with Robin Grover-Jacques

I nearly cancelled my Open Studio weekend in December, but compromised and opened for a single day. I was joined by Robin Grover-Jacques with his beautiful metalwork. A huge pleasure – and thank you, Julia and Annis, for all your help. Though we didn’t have April-style crowds there was a steady stream of visitors. Neighbours, friends from a distance, passers-by, other artists and people who had seen our publicity. Thank you so much for coming!

Warm welcome. Taken by Julia, Stillingfleet Garden

The people (and animals) of York are so friendly and constructive and have made our move here easy.  Our house and its situation are delightful, but there’s a lot that doesn’t work properly and we need building works on the house soon,   In the meantime, there are a surprising number of art events on my horizon.

From 14 January to  24 February I’m taking part in a joint  exhibition with Lesley  Peatfield (photographer) at the Angel on the Green. It’s on the famous Bishy Rd in York (our local shopping street). Every show I have seen there has been excellent so I’m very pleased to have been asked. Here are the details.  Thank you Jo and Charlotte.

On the Horizon : mixed media on handmade paper

It’s also an honour to have had a piece (above) accepted for the annual Open Exhibition at the Ferens Gallery, Hull.  This painting on handmade paper returned from the much-missed Nigel Rose Gallery, Brighton, via a circuitous route – thank you so much, Judith and Helen!  15 February – 26 April. In April I’m again going to be part of York Open Studios 2020 here at the Wolf at the Door, York:  18-19, 25-26 April 2020.  Last year was smashing – I loved it. 

‘Urban Decay’: five artists, Blossom St Gallery, York (till end Feb)

Other excitements: the very first edition of the exquisitely produced Flux Review is out, and being distributed widely throughout the art and design world by its extraordinary creator, Lisa Gray. I’m honoured to be in there.  The exhibition Positive Emotions also continues at the Kunsthuis Gallery, Crayke, N Yorkshire. And tomorrow a new exhibition opens at the Blossom St Gallery, York. The theme is ‘Urban Decay’; I’m one of five artists.

Art patron

One sad piece of news. Citrus, aged 19 ½, quietly gave up the ghost before Christmas.  My paintings are now safe from her extravagant and often damaging attentions.  Famous at Open House events – she always featured in the Visitors’ Book – she began to flag in Hove and didn’t really adjust to life oop north. Raise a glass to her.

Last seen on the train

Furthermore, we can’t locate Penguin – his second disappearance this year.  He was at the Wedding last June and holidayed in Antibes in September. But where is he now?  Please keep an eye out for him. And raise another glass:  happy New Year to all.  We can only hope for Good Things….

New home, new city, new life, new art

Works on handmade paper in our new hallway. Foreground picture shows a misty day on the N Yorkshire coast very new work.
New work in a new house

This is my first post on here since our move early this year. There have been various Wolf at the Door newsletter updates: the latest one is here.
I was for some reason unable to upload images to this blog (WordPress updates?) and gave up the struggle with so many other things to do. Now they are magically available again. So, here at last is the new domicile of our cherished Wolf, made entirely of recycled materials by Iain Tatam fifteen years or so ago.

Our new house (and impromptu gallery) in York. Our signature Wolf made of recycled metal is there in the garden, but not very visible
Wolf at the Door in York

We are tucked away in a leafy, quiet little ‘snickelway’ lying between two main roads. We’re very near the centre and the railway – convenient for visitors. We even have a largish garden which formerly belonged to an ancient Priory – it was used to grow rhubarb, we hear.

My stand at the Flux exhibition in Chelsea.  The light was low but this quite suits my work.
Flux exhibition, Chelsea

In theory life has got simpler since the summer. Immediately post-move, it was hectic. First, the wonderful  Flux exhibition in Chelsea in March. Its organiser, Lisa Gray, is constantly diversifying and has many art plans bubbling away. The first Flux Review will be out soon (and contains some of my work.

Bright yellow Artists' logo for York Open Studios 2020

Then York Open Studios in April, and Brighton and Hove Artists’ Open House in May kept me really busy. It was a bit of struggle to get ready to open our house to the public so soon after moving. But, over two weekends, we had (I think 1350) visitors to the Wolf, all interested and involved. And many bought work too. Much more, we have made so many friends and people were generous with their knowledge and suggestions.

My upstairs gallery space, labelled for the occasion 'Dark Nights, Dark Skies'. Paintings of or seen from the sky.
Night skies and dark paintings were all upstairs

I have been accepted again for York Open Studios next April. This is by no means a foregone conclusion as artists here are selected by an external panel of six experts, unlike in Brighton where you simply cough up a (large) sum! Different philosophies….

Lovely colour and shape juxtaposition by Karen Hollis. Ceramics by Tessa Wolfe-Murray, sculpture by Robyn Neild and painting (now sold) by Jill Tattersall (me).
Evening, Haven (sold) at Art in Bloom, Hove AOH)

It was a huge pleasure to be involved in Brighton’s Artists’ Open House – without the headaches! Lots of friends, lots of visitors. And sales too. Many thanks to Karen Hollis of Art in Bloom.

A wall at the Kunsthuis Gallery, Crayke. A large blue night sky on canvas of mine has been given a great position.
A Night Sky painting at the Kunsthuis Gallery

Since then it has been a bit quieter, though there’s so much to catch up with. (I am deliberately omitting all reference to politics.) I am involved in the ‘Positive Emotions’ exhibition at the unique Kunsthuis Gallery in Crayke (continuing over the winter).  An uplifting counterblast to current  affairs – enough said. If you are in N. Yorkshire it is well worth a large detour. A lovely art gallery, extensive organic gardens and a riverside walk, all free entry, plus a plant nursery and Dutch pancakes….Check opening times though.

I am starting to look for new Yorkshire galleries; all suggestions welcome.

A wall at the beachside gallery in Hove/Brighton which is closing down. My paintings on handmade paper, all sold now, plus glassware and ceramics by Joe Campoli and others.
Sad news about the Nigel Rose Gallery

To everyone’s profound sadness, the beautiful and wonderfully successful Nigel Rose gallery on the Brighton/Hove foreshore is to close. Lively, delightful, and always busy. I owe Nigel a huge debt for consistently giving me a wonderful large display space, and for selling many of my paintings. He even allowed me to continue after my move away, describing his painters, sculptors and ceramicists as ‘nineteen Brighton artists – and one has-been’!

Tiny abstract on reclaimed cedar block, part of the 'Brighton Glimpses' series. Misty grey-brown hues.
Seen in York, bought in Brighton! Tiny cedar-block abstract

It’s odd how many people here in York have Brighton connections, and vice versa.   A while back I had the pleasure of selling, in Brighton, a painting that someone had seen (and not forgotten) in York, at Art&. Now the reverse has occurred and someone from these parts saw and remembered a piece at the much-to-be-missed Nigel Rose Gallery  

Sun on the sea In Hove, with distant wind turbines and the characteristic iron railings in the foreground
Seen in Brighton, bought in York! Sun, Wind, Sea

That’s enough for now; I have various irons in the fire and some definite dates; they will have to wait for the next update which I hope will be a lot more prompt than this one. I have been updating the ‘Events and exhibitions’ page on this site even though the blog and gallery sections have been inert.

Life and art: moving house, moving studio

Origins series, human maze

Human Maze – (or, how do we get outta/into here?)

Again a long overdue post. Our lives have been dominated by the off-on dynamics of trying to sell a house in one place and buy a house in another.  It all feels like a maze – this recent painting above was prescient! But somehow art events and exhibitions have continued to happen.

House for sale sign

Wolf for Sale

House-hunting, house viewings here  (the studio is a shambles!), legal matters, the changing market, Brexit….  Then, at the last minute, our buyer changed his mind.  Back to Square One.

Recycling room:

Waste not, want not: art and giveaway!

We went ahead nonetheless with our farewell Open Weekend at the beginning of this month. Brilliant – so many lovely visitors, most of them people who have come again and again to the Wolf at the Door.  A recycling theme in the Garden room:  art made using reclaimed or throwaway materials, plus unwanted items for people to take for free.   We had wonderful weather, and terrific catering as ever from Siobhan of TableBrighton.  Just a few brownies left….

food all sold

Sold Out!

The next week I finally ran the long-promised papermaking workshop for a few keen people . We were again lucky with the weather – warm sunshine and a general sense of satisfaction, with enthusiastic participants.

Papermaking participants

Papermaking survivors at the end

I had to scurry round and hide the evidence for a house viewing the next day. The cat managed to sit and luxuriate on a pristine sheet of drying paper – her idea of heaven – while my back was turned.

The cat sitting on wet paper

The cat wins again

I’m not leaving Hove entirely;  I’ll be taking part in Artists’ Open House next May.  Karen Hollis opened her beautiful house close to The Wolf at the Door last year with a very successful first season.  She’s kindly invited me to return as a guest in 2019.   My work will also remain on show at the lovely Nigel Rose Gallery in the Brighton/Hove King’s Rd Arches, by the West Pier (where the starling murmurations are just beginning again).  As Nigel put it, ‘nineteen Brighton artists…and one has-been’.  Sold from there this month: ‘Dungeness 2’, below – this time to a Swedish buyer!

painting at gallery

Dungeness 2 at Nigel Rose Gallery

Five of my paintings will shortly be going off to the  Affordable Art Fair , 18th-21st October, with Nicholas Bowlby.  This will include two of my largest Night Sky canvases.  Glad I don’t have to transport and hang them – thank you, Nick! If you’re in London and can go, do drop in at the Nicholas Bowlby Gallery.

three night sky paintings

Night Sky paintings at Wolf at the Door

At the end of October seven of my paintings will be in a show in the lovely cathedral city of Ely. It’s curated by Deborah Jones, book expert, teacher, photographer, collector and, now, curator!   Art: a Personal Choice, Babylon Gallery, Ely, 31st October-11th November 2018.  Some brand-new work.

York station

‘Arrival, York’, detail (mixed media on handmade paper).  Here’s hoping!

We now have another buyer for our house.  The move is on again: superstitious moment. More details when it’s all signed and sealed.  We are migrating to York for family reasons – it’s a city we’ve long been fond of, and indeed nearly moved to ten years ago.   Not least of its attractions is its lively art scene.  I much enjoyed being part of the Art& Show at York Racecourse last year, and I’m just waiting to hear whether my application for  York Open Studios,  to which I’ve been a keen visitor, has been successful. Always assuming I have a studio to open…. If all works out as planned it will be a very exciting studio, but I daren’t say more yet in case it doesn’t happen.

So, please keep your fingers crossed for us in many ways.




Exhibitions and Artists’ Open House

Flux exhibition, April 2018

Flux Exhibition, Chelsea College of Arts

I appear to have skipped a month or three. It never rains but it pours.  Since Seascapes and Waterways  at Burgh House, Hampstead in February/March,  it’s been non-stop busy with exhibitions and preparations – not all watery.

visitor at Flux exhibition

Unexpected visitor at Flux Exhibition

In April I took part in the wonderful Flux Exhibition at Chelsea College of Arts. A burst of colour and enjoyment and art, with meticulous organisation by the inspirational Lisa Gray and some surprise guests!

Jill's paintings at seafront gallery, Hove

New work at the Nigel Rose Gallery

Nine of my paintings, several brand new, then went off to the Nigel Rose Gallery on the Brighton/Hove seafront as part of the new-season Artists’ Open House show.  A wonderful spot right opposite the West Pier in Brighton/Hove, with the acclaimed new Murmur restaurant right next door. Also the i-360 if you fancy a ride.

collage in blues/greens

‘Alternative Worlds’. collage, Jill Tattersall

The largest of these. ‘Alternative Worlds’,   will soon be going to a new home in Belsize Park (where I had singing lessons long ago with the elderly ‘Prof’ who once taught Kathleen Ferrier!).

Espacio Gallery, Shoreditch

Jill at Espacio Gallery

In early May, first,  the Perspectives exhibition at the lovely Espacio Gallery, Shoreditch (London). Short but sweet.  I always appreciate it so much when a show is well organised and beautifully hung and presented.  Another artist kindly took this shot of me there – a nice memory. I usually forget to take photos.

Garden at Wolf at the Door

Open garden, open house

At the same time, and continuing till next Monday, the total onslaught of Artists’ Open House is in progress here at the Wolf at the Door, Hove.  It  takes over your life, your house, your kitchen…and your mind, for a whole month or more.

paintings with dark blues

Blue corner

The weather has been kind and we’ve had a lot of visitors – delightful as ever.  We always seem to have some fascinating coincidences and conversations. I aim to achieve a calm, bright, uncluttered atmosphere so we can all relax and take our time in the house and garden.  People are hugely appreciative, which makes it all worthwhile.

Garden Room, Wolf at the Door

Mel Allen and Penny May in the Garden Room

Just in case you’re within reach of Brighton/Hove (we’re a couple of minutes away from Hove Station) now is the time to visit.  11-6, Saturday, Sunday, Monday.   This will be our last Open House here if our plans to move northwards succeed. More of this soon.

Wolf at the Door details

Wolf at the Door flyer

Some of the recent paintings  shown in this blog are now sold.  It always feels strange when pieces I haven’t lived with for long go to a new home.  Which is why I ask buyers to be kind and send me a photo of my painting in its new surroundings.  In this way it has an afterlife in my own mind, rather than disappearing without trace.  (If you sell via a gallery, rather than directly, you rarely know where your work has gone.)

picture of Much Ado bookshop

Jill’s ‘Evolution in Blue’ at Much Ado Books

Finally, if you’re anywhere near the Sussex village of Alfriston (maybe for the Charleston Festival?) don’t forget to call in at my favourite bookshop, Much Ado Books. Cate and Nash have done a total refurb full of surprises and riotous colour.  The main bookshop is now in the old stables.  The old bookshop has been converted to house Prospero’s Project, ‘where we celebrate all things bookish’ and to support their Social Enterprise aims.  Exhibitions, workshops, events, signings….  Their new show includes seldom-seen original art by Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and other members of the Bloomsbury Group plus some special and rare books by and about the group, some of which you can buy.  I’m honoured to have a painting there in residence!

2018-05-05 13.08.01


February Blues: Blue Paintings galore


Paintings in blues and greens

The Blues

I’m surrounded by blue paintings!  Blues and greens to be precise.  This is not deliberate.  But as I’ve said elsewhere, orange, yellow, pink and red just don’t cut it at the moment.  World politics – pah!  No need for comment.  We’re around the low-point of the year….    Hang on, let’s not get morbid.  Lots of good things to celebrate too.

view of the moon from Devil's Dyke

Supermoon, February 2018

The days are lengthening; we’ve had a wonderful SuperMoon, also a Blue Moon and (though not here) a Blood Moon.. Here in Brighton the skies cleared and we had a beautiful view.  I’d just finished a double commisssion of Night Sky paintings, so to celebrate we drove up to the famous Devil’s Dyke for a proper look. I always have this strange feeling of kinship across time with people who may have stood on (roughly) the same spot 30,000 years ago and looked up at the night sky.

Starling murmuration

Murmuration at the West Pier, Hove

The murmurations are at their peak too. There’s a wonderful Starling Murmuration Facebook page,  on which people post the most spectacular photos.  There seems to be something almost spiritual in the experience of watching  the birds swoop, swirl and turn.  I like this blurred photo at dusk. You can see my most recent Murmuration painting below:

Paintings by Jill tattersall

Jill’s work at Burgh House

Three of my large paintings, and one small, are on show now at the lovely Burgh House in Hampstead, London  An area I knew long ago in  my teen years, it’s seemingly remained in a time-warp as an enchantingly pretty, friendly village.  If we could all only afford to live there….

The exhibition organiser is Sue Ecclestone, an inspirational curator and encourager of woman artists via the  WIA . This show has both women and men artists: Seascapes and Waterways: till 4th March.  More details here. 

Private View, 'Seascapes and Waterways'.

Exhibition pics

The next exhibition in sight is the very exciting Flux Exhibition – the opposite end of the exhibition spectrum.  Both beautifully organised: Burgh House smallish, themed, in a quiet location. Flux involves 100-odd artists and will be held at the Chelsea College of Arts opposite the Tate, with installation art and many surprises alongside the paintings and sculptures on show.  It’s an equally great honour to be selected for each – and variety is the spice of life!

Cuckmere Haven

Transient Nature

As the end of February approaches we have been having some dismal freezing grey days, but also stunning sunshine. I’ll leave you with a close-up of the slanting late-afternoon light on Cuckmere Haven.

New Year, new art, new prospects; Twelfth-Night reflections.

Christmas image

Christmas at the Wolf at the Door

Happy New Year! So where did December go?  Truly I have no idea.  I won’t bore you with my Christmas but it included packing and sending a lot of parcels, some quiet time, some travel, lots of food, some wine (ahem) and above all lovely family.  Short but sweet – and it already seems an age ago. Look at this beautiful Advent Calendar by Stephen Ellcock; time for it to come down.

Advent calendar

Stephen Ellcock, Celestial Calendar

I promised myself I’d spend January making new work.  With life’s many interruptions your creative flow falters, you have at once too many and too few ideas, and can quickly lose momentum and confidence.   We all see so so many images – not just the world around us, but umpteen photos of places, art, reality, fantasy. Past, present and future are conjured up for us.  ‘Too many notes, Handel’ said George II. Too many pictures. say I!  Our minds get cluttered – too many ‘windows’ open – and it’s easy to lose your  thread.  Time to find it again.

Remnants of Storm Eleanor at the West Pier

During my lovely summer hol, which combined scorching heat  with raging cold winds, I was smitten – appropriately biblical word – with dramatic muscle pain and fatigue.  Drugs reduce the pain but bring their own problems (everything from psychosis to facial hair, depression to digestive issues) so I’m taking it slowly while I come off them.  Catch-up and consolidation I’m calling it….

And a bit of fun.  We spent several days in Newcastle after Christmas – lovely times.  The hardest work was building a snowman and a snowdog!

a snowman

    Newcastle snowman (you can’t see the snowdog)

However I do have some exciting prospects ahead this spring, for which I’m busy making new work.

  •  First, an all woman-show, Seascapes and Waterways, organised and curated by the inspirational Sue Ecclestone. This will be held at Burgh House in Hampstead.  A lovely place to visit (and there’s a great coffee-house to meet up with friends).  Sue organises Women In Art, with seminars, exhibitions and many other events, greatly to be recommended: http://www.ecclestoneartagency.com
  • In March the lovely Nigel Rose Gallery will be opening again.  At the moment you can see fabulous murmurations of starlings sweeping and wheeling and whirling before they swoop down to roost on the lovely West Pier right opposite the gallery which is on the Brighton/Hove shore.  Storm Eleanor produced some incredible waves the other day – see the picture above.  http://www.nigelrosegallery.com/
  •  I am honoured to be included in the by now iconic Flux Exhibition in April, held at  Chelsea College of Arts  just opposite the Tate. What I love about this is that it must be the least boring show  on earth. It’s organised and curated by Lisa Gray, an artist, a business analyst and a force of nature, and describes itself as ‘a collection of the most dynamic painters, sculptors and performance artists which represents an alternative way to encounter today’s best new art’ .  No  pressure then!   Hurrah.                                                http://www.fluxexhibition.com/flux-2/  

And in May comes Artists’ Open House.   Every year I think, never again (it’s a lot of work and eats up the whole month).  And (a few months later) I think, well yes, maybe….  Every single year I meet lovely people, have some amazing conversations and unearth the most astonishing coincidences.  I sell lots of work. People pop up from the past,  opportunities arise, and there is a warm collaboration among the artists.  Above all enormous and genuine appreciation from our visitors.  Not to mention the pleasure of having a house full of  wonderful art.  So… yesterday I coughed up the rather large sub…and we’re on for 2018.

marks in the snow

Snow tracks in York

tyre tracks

More tracks in the snow







Inspiration can come from anywhere,  I loved these track marks in the snow in York.  Will they find their way into a painting in some form?  Who knows!  5% inspiration, they say, and 95% perspiration.  A propos of perspiration, I  need to make a proper start on  ArtworkArchive, a professional system for keeping tabs on all your pieces past and present. My own indexing always lags behind as I don’t get round to adding new works till I have an exhibition imminent.   It’ll take days of solid work and I’ll have to keep it up properly. But how great to be able to have labels, a catalogue and details ready for any event at the click of a mouse!

traditional small figures for Epiphany

Six Kings visit at the Wolf Epiphany

Is Twelfth Night the fifth night of the New year,  or today, January 6th, which is Epiphany?  People never seem sure. It’s when the Three Kings came with gold, myrrh and frankincense.  (Wonderful set of gifts!)  We somehow have six kings in our traditional set of tiny clay provencal ‘santons’ that come out each year.  How did we manage that?

All best to you all for 2018 – here’s hoping for a kinder, more rational world.

Paintings on show, art fairs, racing, and Christmas treats

art show in York UK

Art& show, York, October

Mea culpa, it’s been a long time since the last blog post.  What with Instagram and my Facebook artist page it’s difficult to keep up, let alone make paintings and show work and do all the other things.  Yes, I know we all have similar problems whatever our line of work!

Painting: Looking from the Cliff

Looking from the Cliff – sold at the Affordable Art Fair

The Affordable Art Fair came and went.  I was thrilled to sell a large piece to someone who’d bought a favourite painting of mine there in 2013 and kindly contacted me through Instagram to let me know.  (There, I knew it was worth doing those updates.)  Also a brand-new Harvest Moon on which the paint was barely dry.

York Art Fair Oct 17

Jill’s work at Art&

I travelled north to the lovely city of York to take part in the Art& Art Fair,  which took place in the large, attractive and well-lit Knavesmire Grandstand of York Racecourse.  (‘Knavesmire’  makes me imagine a muddy medieval apprentice jockey!)  I wrote about the Fair in my Wolf at the Door newsletter – link here.   Last time I visited that racecourse was long long ago when I was seven, wearing my new party dress and a family watch from my grandmother, which fell off and got lost.  Disaster!  I was so lucky – it was found and returned to me  and I still have it.

long greenhouse

Peach House, Allerton

Afterwards we had a quieter few days staying in an air b’n’b on the estate where the Secret Garden was filmed.  (Once seen, never forgotten….)  Bedroom, bathroom, kitchen/diner and…a glass peach house all to ourselves  which must have been 100 feet long. Only half of it shows on the photo!

Artists' Open House on the seafront

Nigel Rose Gallery, Christmas Open House

I’m lucky enough to be part of the Nigel Rose Gallery‘s Christmas Artists’ Open House – which is  a lovely trouble-free way to to do this three-week stint.  A complete rehang; seven of my paintings are there for the next two weekends at least.  The gallery is right on the Brighton/Hove sea-front right opposite the beautiful skeletal West Pier.  You can watch a murmuration of starlings, browse Nigel’s collection of local art plus artefacts from all over the world – loads of affordable Christmas presents.  Next you might try the i-360 for an aerial view of the city,  and finally stop off for a meal at Murmur restaurant next door. If you still have any dosh.

Siobhan's treats

Siobhan’s goodies at the Wolf at the Door

We may not have the stamina for a full Artists’ Open House, but we are going to pop up for the Wolf’s Winter Weekend – make a note for your diary if you’re anywhere near us. 9th-10th December, 11-5, 49 Hove Park Villas (just up from Hove Station). Mention this post and I’ll give you a couple of free cards!  An attempt to add a bit of joy to life in these complicated times – no need to buy anything – you’re welcome just to come and have a look round and a chat.  There will be glorious refreshments (plus edible and culinary gifts) from Siobhan of Table Brighton. And paintings, books, sculpture, jewellery and kinetic art from talented friends and neighbours. As affordable as we can make it.

I have so much to catch up with.  I’ve also recently joined Rise Art, an excellent selective and supportive online selling platform: do check it out  here.     And I’ve  begun the long task of inventorising  all my present and past work on Artwork Archive. This should  make entering work for exhibitions and competitions, preparing catalogues and list of work and making labels a lot easier.

My next significant art date in the New Year will  be in Hampstead at the lovely Burgh House – taking part in an exhibition of seascapes by women painters.  But that’s next year… .


Gallery opening, papermaking and new prospects.

gallery opening on Brighton beach

Nigel Rose Gallery opens

Gallery opening! Last Saturday saw the official opening of Nigel Rose’s lovely new gallery on the Brighton/Hove seafront.  Nigel first opened his doors in May for Artists’ Open House but access was difficult.  Building works were still in progress and the paving in front of the Arches incomplete.  Now there is a wonderful fibonacci-curve lighting spiral in place, made from columns of the iconic but doomed old West Pier, which you can see in the background.

Lighting spiral by the gallery

restored column

Lighting column

The chic new restaurant Murmur has just moved next door and the area is full of life and interest.  The gallery, as well as featuring local Brighton-based artists, also holds a fascinating collection of artefacts and objects from all over the world. You can spend ages in there just rooting around.  I’m lucky enough to have ten pieces on show there at present, and will be providing new work regularly.

artwork by Jill Tattersall

Jill’s work at the Nigel Rose gallery

By a coincidence we also went to a wonderful wedding right by the gallery; the marriage actually took place  in the i-360, the still controversial ‘doughnut’ which rises into the air and gives beautiful views all round.  It’d be perfect to combine a trip on the i-360, a visit to the gallery and fish soup at Murmur!

vview from the new BA tower

View from the i-360

In other news, my painting Murmuration 2 didn’t make it to the last stage, but many thanks to all the people who took part in the vote for the National Open Art Competition. I’m in good company, but it’s always disappointing.

new art sea-view with starlings

Murmuration 2

Never mind, there’s someone keen to buy it – once you tie up work in competitions and exhibitions it can often put them out of play for months.

I came back from holidays in France with a mysterious muscular complaint, having beem lashed by vicious cold mistral gales then roasted alive in temperatures of up to 42 degrees. This has rather limited my movements and I’m really behind with my papermaking.  But at last I’ve made a start, though I’m now running out of the high-quality cotton  fibresI use to make my larger-scale pieces.  As usual the cat has been getting in on the act.  How to stop her? I really don’t know.

The cat is on my new paper

Cat on new paper

I’ve been asked to show work again in the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea by the Nicholas Bowlby Gallery, always an honour,  in early October.  Not so far ahead now; I have another large Night Sky nearly ready.  I sold one of these at each of the last two AAFs, each one very different in detail, but there is a continuing fascination with gazing up into that dark sky.  Here’s a picture of one of the pieces in the early stages.

Painting in progress

Early stages in making the painting

Very excitingly, I am doing an art fair in York at the end of October. This is the wonderfully-organised Art&, which looks like being an excellent event.  I’ll post more about it shortly – lots to organise and decide. We nearly moved to York instead of Brighton, and visit regularly, so it will almost feel like home.

York Art Fair


So now – it’s back to work.  Lots of it!