Tuesday 17 June 2014


- Jez
This reluctant lady was created some time ago, the cow collaged on to the pre-painted acrylic background and altered.  She is my entry for the current 'Animals' theme at Opus Gluei.


I've taken the easy route of using a past piece because I have decided that for the moment I feel it is necessary to take an enforced break, and my energy levels are close to nil.

- Jez
My current health problems are not resolved yet, and there are more blood tests and X-rays to come this week.  Added to that, Dev is undergoing lots of tests for what looks as though it could also be something rather serious.

So I am hoping to come back to Blogging as soon as I can but until then I shall try to visit and comment when (a) I am awake and (b) things are a little better.

Until then, I want you to know how much blogging, visiting, commenting and most of all your lovely comments have meant to me and have kept me going through some difficult times.  I'll be thinking of you.  
             - Jez

Linking to Order of the Opus Gluei, Paint Party Friday, Manon's Paper Saturdays

Friday 13 June 2014


I've managed one very simple, quick sketch which I am linking to three challenges - Opus Gluei and Art Journal Journey, and because I like black, white and red, I'm linking it as a second entry for So Artful.

Pitt Pens in black and red - Jez

What would I want in a house that's new?
Some trees, a wide sky and space to roam.

But it's family, friends and a "Welcome to You"
That turns a house into a home.
                                                                                                                                                 - Jez

Wednesday 11 June 2014


One design to fit two challenges today:

Shapes in Black and White - Jez
The challenge from So Artful for June is 'Black and White', and this celebrates the time Dev and I went to see Stevie Wonder in the Birmingham NEC Arena - I think it was in 1984.  I have been reminiscing lately on great musical memories, and one of the highlights for us was seeing and hearing Stevie sing for a whole evening.

For Take a Word the theme is 'Shapes', and there are plenty of different shapes in this piece.

I have not been able to visit and comment as I normally love to 
because I am out of action and asleep much of the time.  
I do apologise, and will get back to see you and comment as soon as I can. 

Linking to Take a Word  and  So Artful Challenges

Friday 6 June 2014


Feeling a little better each day, but getting very little done except a few sketches for Paper, Paint, Pencils and Pens, where this fortnight's theme is 'Music and Musicians'.  As I am not getting out to see any musicians, I am concentrating on musical memories, which has been fun and the cause of a good deal of discussion and laughter in the family.

'Sparky and his Magic Piano'
Pitt Pen and Coloured Pencil - Jez
The Sparky records on the radio in about 1947 or 48 were my introduction to the wonderful music of Chopin, and to other classical music.  I had never heard anything like it, and fell in love with it.  Does anyone else remember Sparky and the piano that played the music for him?

Add caption
One day my younger daughter blew into her recorder.  A large earwig shot out of the other end, and she screeched in horror.  She just reminded me that I said sympathetically "Well, that shows you haven't been practising".  And that was the last note she ever played on a recorder.

Well, the sketch with its story tells you everything here.

The three of them, each with their own piano-accordion, took lessons together for a couple of years until their teacher married and moved away.  And they all moved on to different instruments.

Musical memories of seeing a special production of 'Madame Butterfly'.   

Linking to Paint Party Friday, Paper Saturdays

Saturday 31 May 2014


I have missed taking part in challenges for the past couple of weeks so much, and so I am determined to make an effort today, even though it is an effort.

At Three Muses the challenge is 'Get Ahead, Get a Hat'.  Marilyn and Archibald had their photo taken specially to show off their new hats.  They assured the hat-maker that they were delighted with them, but somehow the photographer just didn't quite capture that emotion.  They either need a new milliner or a new photographer. ……. or both.

In the next picture the apple-cheeked lady is my offering for both Try it on Tuesday and Moo Mania.

Moo Mania asks for the use of corrugated cardboard.  I scanned the corrugated at an angle to give diagonal stripes and changed the colour to blue digitally, then added the green background digitally as well.  I then assembled the whole image on Photoshop.  She may not be able to tell her dots from her stripes, but still, she looks a happy lady.

And for Try it on Tuesday Dotty wanted to have her say on the subject of 'Feminine and Fancy'.  Dotty's always been a bit of a feminist who doesn't see why she has to wear frills, furbelows and feathers to show her femininity - and she's had 5 husbands and 12 children so it works for her!  She always likes to be a bit different from the rest, and I think she may well find that she achieves her aim in the TIOT Feminine and Fancy challenge.

Both the Hats card and the Dotty lady card were originally made to send to my dear friend Karen Isaacson at I am Rushmore a while ago, and I hope she will excuse me for re-using them for these challenges given the way I am feeling just now.

Linking to Three Muses, Try it on Tuesday, Moo Mania

Thursday 29 May 2014


Thank you to everyone for your kind thoughts and good wishes.  When she was not well my dear Mum always used to repeat 'Every day, in every way, I get better and better', and I follow her example.  There is power in positive thought.  And I also think of Frida Kahlo and her determination.

This was the last sketch I did before the pain hit me on Sunday 18th
Coloured pencil 

Normal creativity is beyond me just now, so I am sharing with you what I call 'real' sketchbook pages, rough drawings.  The following sketches were all done for Lynn Cohen's Paper, Paint, Pencils and Pens blog where artists share quick sketches to a theme - well worth looking at and joining, I love it.

You can see what I mean when I say these are 'rough sketches'.  The current theme on PPP&P is 'My Daily Life', and I was determined to do a very quick sketch almost every day.  It's amazing how focussing on drawing can mask pain for a while, though I was pretty-well zonked out anyway.

The first thing I always do every day when I get up is look at the sky.
When Dev got me up for early pill time I quickly sketched
the unusual cloud formation in coloured pencils.

My new digital radio, which helps to pass the time.

Dev had bought me a huge bunch of carnations.
I didn't think I'd be able to draw them
but I was very pleased with the result in coloured pencil.

With Dev's help in running errands to choose a few pieces of pre-gelliprinted papers for me,
scissors, glue, and anything else I suddenly needed,
I managed this simple collage of a Windmill Flower.

And finally, one of my silly doggerel doodles:


I brush, I mop, and then I clean,
Swipe away any dust that can actually be seen.

Stop for a drink, a ciggie and a rest,
I may not be good but I'm doin' me best.

When I've banished all the dust and fluff,
I'm all worn out, and I think I've done enough.

Just wash the windows, no more time,
Say I'm finished - and they'll think it's fine.

Just the one sketch a day was all the creativity I had energy for in one day, but it did me good.
I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into another of my many sketchbooks and I hope you are all well.

Linking to Paint Party Friday,  and Manon's Paper Saturdays

Thursday 22 May 2014


Coloured Pencil - Jez
It never rains but it pours, as they say.  Since Monday I have been in excruciating pain, which the doctor thinks is caused by crumbling of some bones in my lower spine - one of the joys of old age.
 X-Ray tomorrow.  At the moment I am zonked out with loads of pills.  Dev has me up for lunch and more pills.

Big Bird - Jez
Pastel Pencils on Pastel Paper
So I am posting three of my sketchbook pages that were all ready to post some time, and asking forgiveness for not visiting and commenting on your posts yet again.  I am so appreciative of the fact that you visit even if I have not been to you, and it means so much.

Art Materials - Jez
Pitt Pen and Watercolour

Back to bed now.  I hope that all of you are feeling well.

Friday 16 May 2014


For Inspiration Avenue the challenge is Creativity and Cats, and I've created Dezzy:

Dezzy - by Jez

Dezzy is an actor, and he thinks that's cool,
He learnt his acting skills at the Feline Drama School.

Just now he's in a movie with a wonderful part,
Being ugly and scary, with a very black heart.

So he looks very fierce, but when all's said and done,
He's not wicked at all - he's just having fun.

I hope that the So Artful Challenge team will not mind me submitting a second entry for their theme of Friendly Monsters, but it's such a fun theme that I wanted another go:

Rose - by Jez

She's a Camephant and her name is Rose,
Four Humps, twisty tail and an oversized nose.

Rose lives in the desert, as everyone knows,
Where the land is dry and nothing grows.

And she wears her boots wherever she goes -
She can't bear getting sand in between her toes!

Finally, Collage Obsession has an Open Theme this week, so I am showing a page from my sketchbook of my art mannikin Mervynn:

Sunday 11 May 2014


'School of Fish' - Jez
Mixed Media
 This is my entry for the Art Journal Journey theme of "Circles".
I enjoyed painting this once I came up with an idea - plenty of circles there, I think.

I'm having great problems with my internet connection.  I've had no connection for several days, and before that it kept going on the blink temporarily.  The problem is not actually with the internet, but because my telephone has been out of order for days, and BT told me they "hope to have it fixed by the end of 15th May"!

'Flowers for All' - Jez
Pitt Pen and Watercolour
And this pretty lady in the middle of a field of mini-sunflowers
is my entry for the Opus Gluei theme of Flowers For All.  
I think there should be enough flowers there for everyone.

BT even added insult to injury by giving me an internet site on which I could check the progress of the problem - but that's my problem I can't get on to the internet!

Trying to find a PERSON to talk to is almost impossible.  Everything is automated and every time I try to find a person to complain to they refer me to the same number that is impossible because it is automated.  No internet, no email, no anything.  Hardly good service.

So it seems I will be absent until then, and I apologise for not visiting and commenting, but I shall be around as soon as I can.

My daughter has kindly let me visit this afternoon and use her wireless connection, but I have to go now.  See you soon, I hope.

Thursday 8 May 2014



A trio of challenges today, starting with Mix it Monthly, where the challenge is 'Coffee, using a certain colour range', and this is my entry along with a couple of verses to make the coffee taste even better:


I love coffee, I love tea,
I love the Java Jive and it loves me.
Coffee and me, makes me happy you see -
A cup, a cup, a cup, a cup of coffee.

I love coffee, I love tea,
I love the coffee shops and they love me.
Coffee and me, and the Barista makes three,
We really love a cup or mug of coffee!

(Words from Milton Drake's lyrics, very much adapted by me - with apologies to Milton)

Anyone around my age will probably remember the catchy tune that this song was sung to)


Over at Inspiration Avenue the challenge subject is 'Water', a nice theme that can be interpreted in many ways:

My entry is Dashing Darren Duck in his smart red cap and turquoise tie,  dressed in his best and ready to meet the ladies.


Ladderlegs is my sketch for the So Artful challenge of Friendly Monsters.  He was never happy about his unusual legs until he visited the park one day and found everyone wanted to be his friend.  He's so happy that he's made the park his permanent home.

Linking to Mix it Monthly, Inspiration Avenue, So Artful Challenges,
                 Paint Party Friday, and Manon's Paper Saturdays.

Saturday 3 May 2014


'Springtime' - Jez
 Mixed Media on gelli print page
My blog-friend Margik is the guest designer for Try it on Tuesday this week, and my entry for the Springtime theme came about when I remembered the rhyme my cousin taught me when I was a small child:
The spring is sprung
The grass is ris,
I wonder where the birdies is?
Birds on the wing -
But that's absurd,
Because the wing is on the bird!

I'm a bit concerned that while the pink cat is wondering where the birds are, they are about to give him a hard time.

I hope spring is sprung where you are, with lovely blossoms and birds singing.

Linking to Try it on Tuesday, Paper Saturdays

Tuesday 29 April 2014


It's springtime, and the challenge at Opus Gluei is EGGS, so it seems the right topic for a vintage song, with a few changes from the original lyrics:


Keep your sunnyside up, up,
Let your laughter come through, do.
If you think it's raining for you
Just remember others are blue

Keep your sunnyside up, up
Turn that frown to a smile.
Stand up on your legs,
Go and fry some eggs,
And keep THEIR sunnyside up.

Linking to Order of the Opus Gluei,

Thursday 24 April 2014


A4 Watercolour Sketch - Jez
Drawn in the Clinic Waiting Room and coloured at home
In 1939 my mother, sister and I had been sent back to England, while my father stayed on duty at his naval base.  For me it was, in fact the first time in England and I found it so cold and wet, and the house seemed dark and had very little furniture.  In addition we had a new baby brother shortly after our arrival, and we would look after him while my mother tried to sort out our new lives.

My sister and I played in the almost empty front room with little brother.  I'm the little curly-headed horror in the pink dress.

We were rather mischievous children, and one day we had the idea of giving the baby roundabout rides on the wind-up gramophone that was one of the few things in the room.  My sister would wind the handle to start the turntable going (without a record on it, of course), and my job was to help him sit up as he slowly went round.  I don't know how he grew up to be so normal.

I drew this from my memory and imagination while waiting in yet another hospital clinic.  I didn't feel like sketching the people around me, and suddenly this memory jumped into my mind.  Strange how memories like this just come unbidden into the mind.

I shall send a copy to my sister, a fun memory to share and talk about on the phone - but I won't send one to 'little' brother, he probably doesn't remember it and is better off not knowing!

The finished sketch gave me a smile and made me happy to think of those times 75 years ago, so I am offering it as another entry for the Art Journal Journey challenge of Moments of Happiness this month.

Linking to Art Journal Journey, Paint Party Friday, Manon's Paper Saturdays

Sunday 20 April 2014


Pitt Pen and Inktense Pencils - Jez Eden
'Lighthouses' is the theme for Sunday Postcard Art this week, which makes this the second lighthouse I've painted in the last week or so.  The other one is a couple of posts back.

This was one of those drawings where I didn't know what I was going to do when I started.  I liked the idea of doing doodly waves crashing on the rocks, and it grew upwards bit by bit from there.  The grey sky spaces asked for something to be written there, so I made up this little poem about the lighthouse:


How many lives I've saved I cannot say,
From rocks and reefs along the way.
Who needed me I do not care:-
Enough to know that I was there.

Linking to Sunday Postcard Art,

Friday 18 April 2014


A couple of Limeys - Jez
Pitt pen, coloured pencils and digital framing
The Three Muses this week asked us to create something using Turquoise and Lime Green.  I asked myself what I could paint with Lime Green, and the answer was obvious - Limes.  I even found that I had pencils labelled Lime Green and Turquoise in one of my many sets of coloured pencils, so it was meant to be.

When I was younger English people were often referred to as "Limeys", mostly by Australians and Americans.  This seems to have died out in favour of other nicknames.  The name Limeys was derived from the fact that from the 1800s the British Navy issued lime juice to their sailors to help prevent Scurvy, which is a rather nasty illness caused by lack of Vitamin C.   

Nothing like doodling - Jez
Acrylic paint
For the April challenge at Art Journal Journey the theme is Moments of Happiness.  I was stuck for a while because it can be interpreted in so many ways.  Inspiration struck when I was doodling with paint, and realised that doodling and colour - particularly yellow, orange and red - give me a lot of pleasure and many moments of happiness.  Who needs diamonds and couture clothes when we've got colour to play with!

Linking to The Three Muses, Art Journal Journey, and Manon's Paper Saturdays

Wednesday 16 April 2014


Doodle-Town Map - Jez
'Welcome to Doodle-Town' is my entry for the Mix it Monthly challenge to create a map and use pinks and browns.  Wherever you go in Doodle-Town there is a great deal of variety - in fact it can get a bit too much variety if you are driving around looking for a particular address because there are no signposts.  The best thing about Doodle-Town is that all roads lead out of town and away to something more like civilisation.

And now three digital paintings, which I created for the 'Away from Home' theme at Paper, Paint, Pencils & Pens .  I wanted to illustrate some of the holidays I would love to have taken but never got around to, and here are my imaginary holiday destinations.  All three were painted with the 'Brushes' App on my I-Pad.
Painted on I-Pad with 'Brushes' app - Jez
I love Japanese Gardens, and this little corner of the large garden of the old house we'd spend a month or so in would be where I would come to sit and enjoy the silence and serene atmosphere.

Painted on I-Pad with 'Brushes' app - Jez
Then there was the holiday we fancied in a lighthouse on a cliff, but that was in the days when we would have enjoyed climbing half a dozen or more flights of steps to see the view.  Good job it's got a television aerial and broadband.

Painted on I-Pad with 'Brushes' app - Jez
And a real castle on its own little island, with a gentle slope on the other side behind the castle with a helicopter pad and beautiful gardens leading down to the beach.  At the moment we are out for a ride in the power-boat that is included in the deal.

If you want to come and spend a little time with us in one of those lovely imaginary places, I'm sure we'd find room for you.

Linking with Mix It Monthly,

Saturday 12 April 2014


'INCHIES' - something I haven't tried before, so the Opus Gluei theme of 'Inchies' was quite a challenge for me.  First cut up some cream watercolour paper into tiny squares, OK.  Then draw or paint something on these little pieces, but what should I draw that will fit in that miniature space!

Inchies in Black and Cream - Jez
Black Pitt Artists Pen
This is what I decided on.  I thought of arranging them in nice neat rows, but realised I'd never get everything straight, so random placing is what I ended up with and in fact I prefer this arrangement.  I enjoyed the challenge because it was so easy and relaxing to sit in a spare moment and draw one or two.  I'll definitely do more of these. 

SPRING is the theme for the So Artful monthly challenge.  My offering is very simple, just love among the apple blossom.
Copyright-free image from 'Memories of a Lifetime' book
Words added by me on Photoshop
Hubert is such a nice young man, shy and polite.  It's clear Arabella felt she had to provide a little encouragement by pretending to be snoozing, but by golly the top of that stone column must be killing her neck.

Tuesday 8 April 2014


I drew the sketch below this morning from a photograph I took many years ago on a holiday in Sussex.  Dev and I were walking along the country lanes when we saw this yacht marooned in the middle of a field, well away from a river or the sea.

A4 drawing with Pitt Artists Pen - Jez
I've never been successful at drawing boats in the past, so this was quite a challenge for me.  I decided to be brave and paint it as well, though the line drawings are really my favourites.

I was pleased with the result.  The paper in the sketchbook is not good quality and of course it buckled - served me right for using that book.  But I remembered a comment someone left on a previous post that ironing the back of thin paper when the painting is completely dry will flatten it.   (I'm so sorry, I can't remember who, but thank you).  I had to tear it out of the sketchbook, but it can be stuck back in.  And the ironing tip worked.

The sketch was done for Lynn Cohens Paper, Paint, Pencils & Pens blog, where lots of interesting work is posted several times a day by very talented artists - the current theme being 'Away from Home',  but I am so pleased with it that I wanted to share it here, and hope you like it.

Linking to Paint Party Friday

Saturday 5 April 2014


Vintage Image 'Romantic Illustrations'  Copyright-Free Book
Frame - own photo - Jez

Someone should point out to Jessie that a chap too mean
to buy a drink for each of them
is not ideal marriage material.

Linking to Three Muses challenge, where the theme this week is "Vintage and Color"

Sunday 30 March 2014


Last week was taken up almost completely with unmissable appointments, giving me little time for creating anything new except the "Egg Family" of my previous post.  So here are a few of the drawings and paintings I've posted on Lynne's Paper, Paint, Pencils & Pens blog recently, where posts are constantly added every day - check it out for the work of many fantastic artists.

"Pine Cone' - Jez
Pitt Pens on Cream Card
"Red Breasted Goose at Martin Mere" - Jez
Pitt Pen in A4 Sketchbook
The Goose Drawing - colour added on Photoshop - Jez
The rest of the drawings and paintings shown below are from one of my "Garden Sketchbooks", all drawn or painted in the garden of our last home.  Lynn kindly let me post 'old' sketches because of time constraints.  Only two hospital appointments (so far!) next week, so I hope I can create some new works.

"Aster" in A4 'Garden Sketchbook'
Pitt pen - Jez
The sketch of the Aster blossom measures 4.5 inches by 4.5 inches.  I was really pleased with it at the time , and am even more pleased with it now I look back a few years.  It's one of those "Did I really do that?" moments.  Do you ever have those feeling about something you drew a while ago?

Watercolour in A4 sketchbook - Jez
This page, like the Aster and the following sketches, is from my A4 'Garden Sketchbook', all sketched in the garden of our previous home a few years ago.  There were many old trees in the garden, and all around, as well as the wood behind the property, and little seedling trees grew absolutely everywhere.  The poem at the left is "Home Thoughts From Abroad" by Robert Browning".  I learnt this at school over sixty years ago and it is one of my favourites.

Watercolour in A4 'Garden Sketchbook' - Jez
As children we called these Sycamore seed pods 'Propellors' and would throw them into the air to watch them twist their way down through towards the ground.  I know other people have different names for them - what did you used to call them?

"Papaver Orientale" - pencil and watercolour - Jez
Poppies, whatever their size, are my favourite flowers, particularly the red ones, and most people seem to love them.  When I was a young teenager we lived in the country and I worked on the farm next door whenever I could.  The fields of oats and wheat would be dotted with the scarlet splashes of wild poppies.  So lovely to look at and a treasured memory.

Check out Paper, Paint, Pencils & Pens to see the work of many artists taking part in this fortnight's theme of "Gardens &Parks", and from the start of April the new theme of "Away from Home".

Linking to Paint Party Friday, Paper Saturdays, APR