Winner of the June Print Competition!

July 02 2016


 Thank you to those of you who recently signed up to my newsletter in June.

 Also, thank you everyone else for your continuing support! 

I am pleased to announce that Gary Barett is the winner of this months competition! 

His framed and signed print is on it's way! 

Congratulations Gary! 

Keep a look out for my next competition! 

Happy Summer! 

 If you would like your own print please contact me here! 

This July I am offering 2 poster prints for just £20 if you are member of my Newsletter.

Happy Times in the Nene Valley

June 03 2016

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”


Happiness for me, is being in that place where I can feel so completely myself, that I can see the joy in everything around me. 'Home is where the heart is',  they say and it's true - everything I need is right here! Family, friends, and our dog  as well as my little art studio here in Nene valley,  seem like the perfect ingredients to me.

Making art means that I can bring harmony into my life and share my own happiness with others. So I was really pleased to make a painting of the area I live in and then to share it. Nature gives people a great sense of well-being - seeing the stars at night, flowers in bloom or a red kite sailing in the wind reminds us of the delights of being alive today!
Red Kite by Jamie Poole

"Each blade of thy meadows my faithful heart prizes"

Since living in  'Artlenock' as the locals call it, I have learnt what it means to be part of a community. I have made many friends at the local Methodist Church, and in the town, who have made this an even happier place to live. 

Also, like many other people in the town, the lakes and meadows in the valley are a great source of inspiration and beauty. Its so great, that in a few short strides from my home I can be walking in a beautiful nature reserve. There are many birds and other wildlife to be spotted on walks around the lakes including swans, red kites, grebes, hedgehogs, deer, foxes and badgers, to mention just a few.
Irthlingborough Lakes and Meadows- The Greenway towards Irthlingborough
Recently our Minister Elizabeth Dunning announced that she would be leaving to continue her ministry near Walsall. She wanted an artwork to take away with her to remember her time in the Nene Valley circuit.  

Elizabeth, said that she always enjoyed seeing the many birds in the area, but particularly the Red Kites which sail overhead in the Nene valley. So, using this as my starting point I found an image of the Nene river meandering through the valley and a poem by John Clare called The Fens which mentions a red kite. 

`Ah, could I see a spinney nigh, 
 A paddock riding in the sky, 
 Above the oaks, in easy sail, 
 On stilly wings and forked tail.' 

Another name for the red kite, often used by Shakespeare, is the `paddock' (or `puttock').
Rev Elizabeth Dunning with the 'Red Kite' text painting

Dancing, Silent, Upon Salient Winding Breeze

The other poems I also used to create this artwork and which helped to spring board my ideas and thoughts were the these poems:

Red Kite 

Dancing, silent, upon salient winding breeze, 
Spring sun, warm and mellowing on horizon, 
Ascends to cross o'er rugged mountain pass, 
Looking to feed her needful young, 
She swoops to steal this evening's catch, 
Mouse in talon,to return to nest up high,  
Feeds chicks that chitter, beg for more,  
Then takes back off in steep evening rise,  
To seek out yet another one... 

Drifting upon the dusky breeze as evensong unfolds,  
A quest, survival, stay one breath ahead,   
Being careful and watchful, discerningly wise,  
Sharp of mind, keen of beak, tail of rusty hue,  
Eyes as sharp as a nugget embedded in gold,  
She glides off and up into darkening skies,  
She, such beauty, priceless, emotive sight,  
For I shall always admire you,  
The honest life of the Red Kite.  

 Poem by Claire Sanders  

I was also inspired by another poem called Sky Dancers which can read by clicking  here.

Above is a short video showing a detailed view of the painting. It brings together the parts which unify my own thoughts, actions, and words in the place I love to be. The place which I feel at home and happiest in.

Just as the quote from Gandhi  said -

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

As an artist and friend of Elizabeth I am pleased that I can give her something to take away and treasure from her time in Nene valley. Elizabeth said this quote from the Bible came to mind when she saw her painting,

Psalm 121: 

I lift my eyes to the hills -
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth.

Being able to share what I enjoy with another person is happiness!

You can read a bit more about what the scientists say happiness is, in the poster from 'Yes' magazine:

Download the PDF here!

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