It’s been a busy year for lots of reasons and I’ve found it quite difficult to find enough time to paint……..
We took our second group of painters to Japan in March, it’s such and inspiring country and I am fascinated by their culture, the beautiful landscapes, and the amazing talent on offer. We visited Mt Fuji for the second time and went to a better location, we were fortunate to be able to sit out and sketch and paint all day.
We took out original work and spent a day developing it in the studio. We introduced collage to the painting, using any leaflets, adverts, magazines, and some speciality papers.
I have developed some very interesting techniques with this idea in mind. It has become an important element in my latest body of work.

In my previous career as a fashion designer, I drew many ideas for clothing, this painting isn’t meant to represent a dress design it’s a painting to celebrate many of the elements I like about Japan and to celebrate the beauty of the Kimono.

I used Japanese floral papers, adverts, flyer and receipts. It’s very detailed collage work and not easily identified as collage first look. I exhibited some work recently and although admired the techniques weren’t identified by the viewer.

While painting on the beach in Cornwall with another group of painters I found a beautiful piece of driftwood, two different woods entwined. I put this in my studio, wonderIng what I would ever do with it when the idea of the Wishing Tree popped into my head. This became the central piece of the exhibition. I asked visitors to write a wish and tie it to the driftwood tree. It was something I’d seen in Japan many times, and totally in keeping with my Japanese theme.

While in Japan I hoped I would be able to buy a Kimono. I didn’t have. Much time for shopping and after one failed attempt in Tokyo had almost given up. I was waking to catch the traIn back to Osaka from Nara and walked past a Kimono shop, it didn’t look that interesting but I though one last look. Amazingly there it was the Kimono that fitted the bill. I hadn’t really thought I’d buy a floral kimono but with its beautiful design, the colour predominantly purple and the double collar of purple and orange, it was the one. This kimono hangs in my hall I walk past it every day, it brings me joy! It was also an inspiration for a commission. I used its colours and delicacy of pattern to make the kimono in the painting. I tucked a little Grey cat “Charles” inside the kimono. Inspired by an ancient Japanese painting and the owners cat, it all fitted together beautifully.