Slow progress

Last week I met with Derry, manager of Powderham Castle. It now seems unlikely that the Fabulous Beasts exhibition will start before July because of Covid. As this gives me more time to produce work, I’m happy!

So far I’ve only completed 2 pieces for the show (lion and fallow deer) so I have a very long way to go! The half-finished frog has been put to one side for now while I work out how to finish it. A new tiger is in progress but I’ve been struggling with it this week. As so often happens, removing rather than adding a few pieces has led to instant improvement! Hopefully I’ll be posting an image soon.


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An Unusual Message

Janec and I have been communicating about our forthcoming joint exhibition at Powderham Castle (which will probably now open in July.) This morning he sent an email saying  “I skinned a huge squirrel yesterday”.

Now that’s something you don’t hear every day!

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New Website Launched!

I am delighted to announce that my new website launched yesterday. Woohoo!!

The old site was looking cluttered and tired. I’ve reduced the number of images and text, and the new site looks cleaner and more modern.

I’m so grateful for the help of two good friends (IT whizz kids!) – Gillian who got it started and Casey who got it finished!

The new site is in the name of Jane Perkins, but I’m keeping ‘bluebowerbird’ as my email address. Either name will take you to the website. Please take a look!

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Introducing Fallow

Introducing my next ‘fabulous beast’, Fallow…

I managed to buy some more superglue today to stick on the remaining snowflakes. The little saucer (see previous blog) has become the moon…

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A Good Progress Day!

Life’s a funny thing! Yesterday I was working on the Fallow Deer and nothing went right. But today, everything went just as I hoped!

Yesterday I applied navy tissue paper to the background with some scrumpling for texture. I then applied a black/blue paint to create a night sky but the result was that it looked too dark (well, black actually!) and ‘dead’. Today, I managed to rescue it with a lighter (dark) blue, applied with scrunched tissue paper, and it magically came back to life.

I added the pieces of sea-glass from Lake Michigan (for falling snow) until the superglue ran out so I’ll post an image when I can get more glue to finish things off. (I wish now that I’d taken more photos of the changing work in progress – the whole thing looks so different now from when the background was just brown hardboard.)

In the meantime, here’s a little teaser relating to something to be found in the picture – a miniature tea-cup and saucer which I bought in a junk shop. (The tiny saucer measures 6cm across (2.5 inches).

All will be revealed in my next post!




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The Evolution of Ideas

After a very quiet and unusual Christmas, it’s been wonderful to start work again. A break of a few days has enabled me to look at work-in-progress with fresh eyes – to see things which need changing, which I’d been unable to see before…

I’m working on two pieces for the Fabulous Beasts exhibition at the moment – a frog and a fallow deer. The frog is becoming quite OTT – I’m aiming to place him in a jungle setting under strands of a green beaded curtain, cascading down…

I’d started working on the fallow deer before Christmas without having any idea of how to complete the background. Then on Christmas Eve, I received a package from Suzanne in Chicago, Illinois – beachcombing finds from the shores of Lake Michigan. This included a collection of ‘sea glass’ – some white, some green. Suddenly I had a vision of the fallow deer against a blue/black night sky with snow falling (pieces of white sea-glass) as an echo of the spots on its coat. The idea is still in my head at the moment but I’ll be working on it this week – thank you so much Suzanne!

I work intuitively. Things are not planned carefully! The way in which ideas develop is fascinating – ideas evolve and get solved along the way and I love the process!

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Introducing Bourbon


Better weather has at last enabled me to take a photo of my recently finished lion. (I like to take the photos outdoors in natural light and we’ve had such dull, dreary November weather lately!)

This is the first completed work for next year’s Fabulous Beasts exhibition. I’m thinking of calling him Bourbon after a ceramic biscuit in his mane.

I’m now working on the next piece – a rather freaky frog. Watch this space!!

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Happy Days!

Today I’ve been putting the final glue layer on the new lion – not usually my favourite job. However, it’s been such a gloomy, windy, rainy November day that I’ve really enjoyed being cosy indoors, working with classical music on in the background.
Happy days!

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Thank you!

I’ve almost finished working on the first new work for the “Fabulous Beasts” exhibition – a lion. (Image coming soon.) It’s so wonderful to be working again!

I’m still working on a commission I started some months ago but cannot finish as I’ve run out of materials in a candyfloss shade of pink. Due to Covid-19 , I’ve been unable to access my usual sources of materials, particularly Car Boot Sales. I’m very grateful to friends and neighbours who continue to leave donated materials on the doorstep. And I wish to send an especially big THANK YOU to my friend Loren in London who has made it her mission to collect things for me and send me shoeboxes full of exciting goodies. This year, I don’t know what I would have done without you!

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News, Ponderings and Happiness

My RSI is improving and I’m able to work again in short bursts of 20 minutes at a time.  This has made me so happy!

I’ve been able to start working towards the 2021 exhibition at Powderham Castle, about half a mile from my house in the village of Kenton, Devon. This will be a joint venture with another local artist – taxidermist Janec van Veen whom I first met about five years ago. I’m fascinated by his beautifully executed, unique and slightly disturbing creations, inspired by mediaeval chimera. (Google him!) We will be putting on a joint show with the working title of “Fabulous Beasts”, taking inspiration from items within the castle, heraldry and fantastical mediaeval creatures.

For this reason, I’ll not be taking on any new commissions for now. Janec and I have been given quite a large space in which to exhibit – a new exhibition area being developed from what was previously the gift shop in the courtyard. It’s currently being given a makeover with a new roof, new floor and new paint on the walls – very exciting but also daunting!

I’m also in the process of having a new website created. For a long time, it has looked cluttered and a bit tired – I’m hoping for an entirely new look. Watch this space!

About a year ago, I blogged that I was feeling unsettled in my work, suffering from “art envy” and looking to find a new creative direction. I had an idea to try mosaicking – I still have all of my parents’ old china stashed in a spare room, awaiting inspiration! However, every time I try a move towards something different, I long to return to my glue gun and found materials. Perhaps this is my “true self”???

So, for now, I am content to work in this way and do what comes naturally …

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