Paintings delivered

I’ve previously exhibited these at Arts and Minds in Harper Street, Middleport and I’m having a swap round. So I’ve taken these to Etruria Industrial museum today. (I have more work up at Harper Street.) The lower two photos are my painting of the governor on the Princess beam engine at Etruria. The poppies and wildflowers represent the summer and poppies are hopefully going to grow there as the museum has initiated a wild flower garden to support bees and other pollenating insects. The idea is to stop mowing the grass lawns around the site and reintroduce more of a natural habitat.

One thing that upset me was seeing litter and rubbish in the grounds and in the canal which the museum volunteers deal with by litter picking. They have a long pole with a net and one of the volunteers fished a plastic cup and other litter out of the canal while we watched.

The museum is part of Stoke on Trents heritage and I’m pleased to have my art displayed there. X

People sketching

When I was out sketching a few weeks ago there were lots of other people drawing. After I finished I took this photo of my friend drawing the same view I’d done. He was working in charcoal and pencil I remember. The day was overcast with patches of blue sky. The ground is covered in concrete, but the way it is breaking up I think there are probably cobblestones underneath. There is a large area of cobbles around the corner where you enter the Middleport pottery complex. In the backdround you can see a small wooden crane which was used to load and unload barges. Forty years ago my hubby worked at another pottery, he actually used one of these to lift packed pottery ware to load onto a lorry. He said you could lift a big weight easily because of the gearing on it. The one he used was cast iron. It had a band brake and a pawl and ratchet to hold the load in place as it was swung over the lorry.

We are not that far away from the past, history is not that long ago. A lot of the old industry in the area was using old machines and equipment, because they had always done things that way and it probably saved a lot in investment. Even now there are lots of pottery molds to be found in the area. Sadly a lot of them get smashed. Losing our heritage. Do we really want to wipe our history out completely?

Canal boats

On our walk today round Westport Lake we incorporated a bit of the Trent and Mersey canal. We saw a few canal barges as we walked along the towpath. It made me think of a song we sing at choir which goes ‘fifteen miles on the Erie canal’. Most of the boats were painted dull blues and greys but there was a more traditionally painted cafe boat in primarily green and red but with yellow and white details too. It made me smile to see it.

Socks idea

Thursdays #bandofsketchers prompt was socks. I don’t know if these exist, so if they don’t this idea is my copyright ©. Canal and bottle oven socks. The ideal present for someone who loves industrial archaeology, is interested in the Trent and Mersey canal and needs to keep their feet warm!

Canal geese

We saw these Canada Geese on the canal today as we went for a walk after handing my painting in for the three counties open. These look like parents and young (some are in full plumage but smaller). I have plans to do a few more in a similar style for the cafe at the Etruria Industrial Museum. They are swapping out the current paintings on display. Apparently my painting of an owl was too expensive, but how can you ever earn anything if people don’t want to pay. BUT I might consider charging less because I just keep having an increasing collection of them and I really, really want them to go to new homes….

Watch out for a few new paintings over the next couple of days /weeks.


We had a little walk today and came across these three goslings taking a stroll along the canal towpath with their mom and dad. The parents were very protective and we made sure we kept away from them. I snuck a quick shot and then cropped it later so that they are easier to see. I think they have slightly longer legs than ducklings. They can’t be very old as they are so small. (parents were Canada Geese).


I was listening to the Queens’ Speech today (the state opening of Parliament). The government announced that they would be trying to do something about the cost of living and ‘levelling up’, spending on improving the country across the UK. But it never seems to happen. Seeing our once industrial city collapsing in ruins, losing historic buildings. Being overcome by the cost of energy so that factories and shops cannot afford to run. Yes we need to reduce our use of energy, but there seems little effort to do anything about it. Our government are talking about bringing back fracking and opening new oil and gas wells. Yes it is complex, but after twelve years in power we don’t seem to be getting a good result.

Dereliction of duty?

White bridge

I drew the horizon a few days ago walking over this bridge but I decided to show it from the side too. This is on the opposite side of the canal from the Industrial Museum at Etruria. Facing away from Hanley in Stoke on Trent. Taken on a sunny but breezy day. The ducks were out enjoying the sunshine. This coming weekend it will be having a steaming weekend. I will try and find out the details.

Tree fall

A large tree has fallen on the far bank of the Trent and Mersey canal opposite Westport Lake. Luckily it seems to have fallen sideways instead of across the canal. It doesn’t appear to have damaged any canal barges or cars on the access road behind it, although some of its branches are trailing in the canal. Seen on a walk today.


We saw this duck and her ducklings today, she must have had a second brood.

I took a few photos as one of the ducklings was jumping on and off its mother’s back. I tried hard but it was only fir a few seconds and I think if I’d done a film of them they would have been too far away to capture the details.

They were sweet. Cute. I hope they grow up sturdy and healthy. X