My stats are booming?

I’m not sure what is going on, but I’ve had a lot of views on my account. No extra likes or comments than normal. It seems strange. I don’t mind but it’s just odd. Should I be bothered?

What’s going on?

Well I think whoever is viewing my blog isn’t that interested in it if its just one person. So that makes me question its content. Maybe I should try and work out if there are any improvements I could make?

I don’t know if I should question things like this. Maybe I’m oversensitive. I know I think too much. What do you think?

Sleepless in Stoke

My minds a whirl..

Little thoughts track big ones

Trickle through my brain

Like sand in a puzzle

Clogging up the workings

No smooth calmness

Jumping clumps of

Dark matter

Or spaghetti goo

What does that meant

To you?

Nothing, random

Overactive

Spiced with tinges

Of pain

Let me sleep

Not that tune

Again!

Lick

Today’s #bandofsketchers prompt was lick. Tried to get a photo of my cat but it took a while in the end I dabbed a bit of cream off the milk on his nose. I think he quite liked it! I used dark blue felt pen and pale metallic green because all my pens are running out. I still have some maroon colour left. A bit of tippex for the whiskers. Plus a very dried up black felt pen and a black liner pen, also running out. And the photo was a bit blurred. I’m tired.

Sketchbooks

I just found this photo, and my mind is taken back to a Sunday afternoon in Prestatyn, Wales. We were visiting family and decided to call in here to have a coffee and cake. The place was part cafe, part second hand shop. The window ledges were covered in succulents (money plants). I remember a huge Teddybear on one side of the room with a big nose. A teapot sign hung in the window. The cafe was near the railway station.

Teddy bears and teapots cafe, Prestatyn

Taking a sketchbook out helps me remember places, it gives me a reference point, and as it takes time to draw the image its not like a photo, it’s got less information but you can choose how it looks (miss things out, add things).

I don’t always remember my sketch books, but when I do, and I have the time to draw or paint I really enjoy it.

Willow pattern banner

A banner for one of our Penkhull Mystery Plays. We hold them most summers and the one this was painted for was about the pottery industry and its history. This banner was based on the willow pattern famous in the potteries. Spode was one of the factories that made plates and pots with this design, but if you Google ‘willow pattern’ you can find lots of images from many manufacturers.

Blue acrylic paint on a canvas cloth. It took me a while to paint. I also painted the local church and methodist Hall as they would have appeared in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Earth painting

And then I paint planets too!

Acrylic on canvas, I’m interested in astronomy and this view of the Earth was taken from a photo. It shows parts of Africa, Greenland, Europe and the Americas. I think you can see the wind directions indicated by the clouds.

I’ve also painted views of the Moon, Jupiter and Mars, together with nebulae and galaxies. It may be something I do again.

Brindley again

In 2016, nine years after the Leopard murals, I was asked to do a series of illustrations for a leaflet about the Trent and Mersey canal and the Cauldon canal. This is of James Brindley taking measurements for the canal navigation. The image was painted in acrylics on water colour paper and was one of several paintings including Middleport pottery and the Kidsgrove canal tunnel. The leaflet was published. I don’t know if they did more than one set.

Another mural, Wedgwood and Brindley

Another of my murals, four gentlemen meet to discuss the building of the Trent and Mersey canal. They included Josiah Wedgwood and James Brindley. They were said to have met in the back room of the Leopard Hotel in Burslem.

This image was found on a ghost hunter website. I didn’t give my permission for him to use it, but I guess I can’t complain because it means I now have a record of it. I will keep looking for more.

A glass world

Glass paperweight

Like a water world with tiny golden islands on an ultramarine sea.

I have a few paperweights but this is my favourite. I look into it and am enchanted by how they managed to embed gold leaf into it. They must have gathered the blue glass and rippled on the black layer, then put gold leaf on and blown into the glass to make it split up or maybe just let loose gold leaf fall onto it? Then gathered (added a layer) of clear glass on top.

I’m only guessing about the technique but however it was done, it’s beautiful.

Almost midnight

She stands in front of her cottage. Molly Leigh, the Burslem witch. Notorious and buried in the local churchyard at 90° to the other burials. The painting is based on a peasant woman painting by Theodore Gericault.

This was one of my murals in the Leopard Hotel in Burslem. The pub burnt down at the weekend. I am bereft. I am trying to pass on my memories to keep a feeling of what it was. I painted these on the walls. Emulsion on lining paper directly onto the wall. I’ve had a few comments that they could have been taken down. I don’t think people understand what a mural is.