Monday, 24 April 2017

Holidaying at Home and Abroad

Over the Easter holidays I had the good fortune to have a week away with my daughters to Lanzarote. 
We all had never visited this Island so we decided to break up the week staying at two different venues and this proved to be be a great idea as it varied our perspective. Lanzarote Retreats was our first destination which is close to the beach and a self catering eco establishment. We had Yoga and Pilates in the mornings and then headed out to explore. We discovered an artist called Ceasar Manrique who has a huge influence on the Island which he defended from developers with true passion. His legacy is breathtaking from the architecture of the tourist destinations including a Cactus garden and the longest lava tube in the world to his sculpture and paintings. Visiting his house and studio was eerie as he died in a car crash and so it is as if he could return at any minute especially in his studio where work was in progress and it has been left as it was.

 The second place was  surrounded by lava fields and volcanoes, I loved it here. El Jallo is a boutique hotel run by a lovely couple who couldn't have been kinder.
I highly recommend a visit!

Going away is lovely but then so is coming home, having a bit of distance is so valuable. I came home with a new found energy and am going with it.
Plans to use the house for airbnb has been my plan for a while now and now I am going to include 'Rosie' in the listing. She will reside at the end of the garden and once she is settled in I will start taking is all very exciting......

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Artist Retreats and other Ramblings

This is the first blog of the New Year and I feel like I have so much to say, it is very nearly a year since I on reflection put a hand grenade into my life and moved to Herne Bay. The changes that have taken place have been felt in ripples and as I sit here now making plans for the future I am feeling happy.
I have had the idea of inviting like minded creative and hopefully people that have doubt in their creative thoughts to come explore their ideas here.
I have since moving here met some very generous souls and this was truly unexpected but has help nourish the ideas as they have developed.
One of the things I had anticipated was the strong need to be closer to nature and to be able to experience this every day and feel the impact of that.
My ideas have truly felt like ramblings and I have found it really difficult to formalise them so I am just going to continue to ramble but not just in my mind.
I would like to make the house available at weekends to either practicing painters or printmakers who would like come and work here and make use of studio space and printmaking room with a great press. Have time to walk and think and work enjoying an evening meal at home and or eat out in Herne Bay or Whitstable.
I have space here but have b&b available.... need to reserve early as its very popular.
The other idea is to have weekend courses focusing on various interests I will be teaching in a student led style. We will enjoy what the season offers us as each one really has its delights as the layers of greys to the brightest blue sky, the wildest of windiest days and the delicate space of a breathless sea.
All of this putting it simply inspires me and I really want to share it
I have some dates for the guided weekends with some ideas of what could be expected and achieved
the first is.....
The weekend of the Friday 12th May-Sunday 14th May
Arriving Friday night for an evening meal and a sit round the table to discus ideas, the focus will be on using a sketch book. Gathering information and images is so useful in bringing ideas together, images and words can sit together in a sketchbook/journal.
After breakfast on Saturday we will walk out with this in mind and if the weather is kind we can spend tome looking and recording what we see. After lunch we can start to work on the image that starts to form.
We will be using paint on Sunday and will use most of the day to bring an image together.....
Thats it in a nutshell, it will be tweaked to fit applicants as I really know one size does not fit all.
The second structured course is about the flora and fauna found on coastal walks and a visit to Grosvenor House to see their garden. Frances and I are going to collaborate on this as she has extensive knowledge in this field and is a very talented gardener and all round creative human being.
We are going to use both our houses to accommodate our guests and we are very excited about the prospect of sharing the experience. This will take place in June 17th & 18th with meeting and greeting and sharing a meal on Friday 16th.
Weekends will be an introductory price of £250 for full board food and tuition.
Partners are welcome and may want to take advantage of great cycling routes and places of interest dotted all along the East Kent Coast. £95.00
A course only option is also available for locals.......
Well thats about it to start and if you need anymore info please do not hesitate to contact me at
Here is a little taste......