Just returned from Art in the Gardens…what a fantastic show! And my prediction of Hot and Sunny weather was almost correct!! We did have hot and sunny on the Saturday, but Sunday was a little wet at times (although my husband kept on saying it was only sea mist!!)

Here’s some photos, the good photos …the nice one taken by Adrian Richardson! Thank you Adrian.

I will put more on when I figure out how to!!! PS I’ve just found my old school report from 1070…watch this space!


Helen’s thought for the day

It’s nearly my eldest daughter’s 21st birthday (Lizzie) and I’m getting all reminiscent and emotional looking back over life as I’ve been leafing through photos of her as a baby and growing up. The other day my middle daughter, Emma, thoughtfully held my face in her hands and tenderly asked “…How does it feel now that your life’s coming to an end and mine’s just beginning?!”  Ending! I was rather taken aback at impending mortality!! At least the prices of my originals would increase with my untimely demise! I don’t feel on the way out! It doesn’t matter if you’re not “yummy” mummy…more “crummy” mummy!! But the only thing “yummy” staring back at me in the mirror in a morning is the bright purple and brown hair colour that reminds me of the liquorice sweets that used to pull your fillings out!

It’s how you feel on the inside that matters. Of all the things I’ve taught my babies, children, teenagers, and now young ladies, one of the most important things in life is that it’s what’s on the inside that counts!



I did promise you some paintings of Rome, but unfortunately when I went on my reference finding trip on a cruise visiting various lovely cities on the med, I got food poisoning and was confined to my cabin the day I was meant to in Rome! Simon, my poor, long-suffering husband also had to stay in the cabin even though he was in the peak of health!

So….we WILL be returning to Rome, hopefully this Spring! So watch this space.

We did get some lovely photo reference of charming Italian street scenes, and we visited Barcelona for the first time and got some amazing reference …see my latest paintings section – “Hotel Lloret”

I also intend to paint some English landscapes soon, including a gorgeous sunset snow scene!

60 Second Interview with Helen

What is your favorite holiday destination? I’ve not traveled an awful lot, but Egypt and Machu Picchu are on my to do list!! Maybe a an odd Maya Temple thrown in!

What’s your biggest extravagance? I’m a bit of a Yorkshire woman at heart, so an extravagance to me would be a two for one orange cinema ticket and a big mac!…Oh, I did recently buy some gorgeous purple and gold velvet shoes for my preview night…that said, they were discounted!!

Favorite car and why? I’m not really into cars, or wasn’t until we bought our little Fiat 500…it’s like a giant mint imperial you just want to suck!

Favorite movie and why? Shrek! …all my best quotes are from Shrek eg Working hard, hardly working!

If there was a film about you who would you like to play you? Princess Fiona, no just kidding. Ermmmm … the Grinch!

If you could change one thing about you, what would it be? Okay, being serious for once, I would have to say a new right arm – I have had one operation on my elbow, and now have repetitive strain in my wrist. Aaaag! …mind you, what if it needed 25 years teaching on painting?!…or what if it was an anarchic arm?! …no, I’ll keep my old one thanks!

If you were Prime Minister what would you change? I would introduce a “Room 101” and put in it: mascara adverts, jazz music and stretched limos!

When you were younger what did you want to be? 1st place a farmers wife, 2nd place an artist…I’m rather glad I didn’t meet any handsome farmers as this would have meant getting up even earlier than I have to sometimes to get the gorgeous sunrise photo reference!

Do you have any idols and why do you aspire to them? Atkinson Grimshaw, one of my favorite artists, and a Yorkshire-man too! Also, when I worked as a book illustrator, Norman Rockwell’s work really influenced me. I even visited his home town near Boston. I also really like John Singer Sergent’s work…he does magical things with velvet and satin! Oh, and also Whistler and Turner’s work is truly awesome, especially Whistler’s nocturne paintings.

What is your favorite sport? Sport? …what’s that? …I’m really not very competitive. I just like walking my dogs!…oh, that said, I was recently in a gokart and underwent a character change!!

What’s your favorite food? Mmmm this is a hard one. I love food! The spicier the better – Thai, Indian, Persian…lovely!

What’s you favorite drink? I can’t remember the name of it, but I had a lovely cocktail in the Hilton made of coconut and chilli! ..sounds revolting but tastes delish!

Where do you hope to be in ten years time? Stroking my beautiful greyhound and whippet, sipping a glass of the above-mentioned drink, watching Shrek!