Sunday, 28 September 2014

An Indian Summer at Camber Sands

saturday evening

There are a lot of people in Germany reading this blog; they seem to be interested in what goes on at Pontins. I know they love to visit Camber, and who can blame them. The beach is something special for those who live in a land locked country.

camber sands, September 2014

Walking on the beach last night as the sun set, and again this morning at low tide I felt very lucky.

My other half is enjoying the daffodils in Sydney, Australia, so I am living it up and eating lots of fish while he eats lots of meat down under.

each to his own.......

As the sun set there was an extraordinary calm sea.

the ship that carries the rocks

Of course I didn't go anywhere near the big rocks down at Jury's Gap that are being used to build the sea defences, and nor did this man and his children

nowhere near the rocks

or this dog and his owners.

a little bit near the rocks

I just enjoyed the setting sun, and the incredible stillness.

This morning was equally calm and still. An Indian summer in every sense.

The beach spotlessly clean.

the litter pickers do a great job

So it was surprising that the Sunday peace for many people in Camber today was completely destroyed by the voice of one man, who could be heard right down on the water's edge.

Pontins was having a '24 hour party'. And it seems that the whole of Camber was expected to listen to the compere.

I drove to Rye for some peace and quiet.

There was a rock concert on the salt marsh, and about 200 men in leathers on bikes at the harbour.

Must be the weather..........

I gave in and went for a run.

Indian Summer at Camber Sands 

Saturday, 20 September 2014

what colour would you like your sky?

I am going for something a little joyfully outrageous today, as it reflects my mood after yesterday's results, getting my studio ready for visitors today, and the incredible beauty of Camber Sands on a warm September afternoon.

come and say hello today

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Open studios are this weekend at The School Creative Centre, Rye.

Open studios are happening again.

Time to say hello and inspect the artists' shoes.

Eat cake.

Listen to a fascinating free talk by Chris Cleere, conservation consultant, about preserving the past for the future.

See art on the make.

Say hello....... buy stuff.........

And see a fabulous exhibition of new works entitled "Realms" by all the resident artists in the clean white room downstairs.

I hope to see you there.

School Creative Centre, Rye

Monday, 15 September 2014

don't touch those rocks............

Norway, Camber Sands
The sea defences are under reconstruction from Jury's Gap to The Suttons at Camber Sands.

For two years rocks from Norway will be brought ashore by boat and built into the sea wall.

Men in orange jackets are guarding the rocks closely. Health and Safety prevails.

It is a long walk up the beach to see the rocks at present, and only a few people have strayed that far from the  Kit Kat cafe and the bratwurst bar to take a peek at the works.

If you get too close, a man will shout and wave at you, and tell you to go away.

man in yellow jacket watching me watching him

There are several piles of stones, and the workers are always working, so tactics would be needed if you wanted to get closer.

Decoys would be required. False identities assumed.

For the man in the red hat will be very upset if you get near his rocks. They are dangerous.

'can't you see the sign? it says no entry'

The 'no entry' sign is in the car park, completely invisible to those who arrive on foot, strolling along the seashore. I don't envy him his job, for it will get harder and harder as the works move nearer the populated end of the sea wall.

rocks and a power station. 

Some naughty people walked right past the diggers before they were spotted.


Obviously I stayed well away.

And will continue to do so.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

pigs and pies at the September Art Exhibition ; how to survive when exhibiting at an art exhibition

Pigs in conversation by Mary Clarke

The September Art Exhibition in Wadhurst is now on.

 It is a lovely show, and there is a great variety of work to enjoy. I am taking part, and have learnt a lot.

Lessons learnt

  • Don't expect everything to go to plan. In my case, nothing went to plan.
  • DO check out exactly what the hanging system is; be prepared to change your hanging plan at the last minute and without a laptop to work it all out on.
  • Don't expect your pretty pale blue step ladder from Argos to be tall enough ( unless it is 8ft high)
  • Don't expect to be able to hang your work without help; it just isn't possible. Take a friend.
  • Don't try and sell boxes of cards when everyone else is selling individual cards. There is nothing as sad as having to tell Aunty Mabel that she can't have that card unless she buys the whole box.
  • DO find a beautiful box to put your bits and pieces in. You don't get a table to hide everything under.
  • DO remember to eat and drink. They do big pies in Wadhurst. And a bar of 'fruit and nut' works wonders too.
big pie, Wadhurst

  • DO put your business cards picture side down; otherwise children will collect them like smarties and you will have none left at the end of  day one of the show.
  • Don't hang pictures with velcro; they fall down at awkward moments, ripping holes in other works as they fall.

crafty browser with card box and business card holder attached

DO have a comments book or page; positive feedback makes it all worthwhile. The odd "WOW" works wonders.

Comments page by Kay Jones

Don't expect dogs to appreciate your work.

Dogs don't 'get' art, especially abstract photography

DO take pictures.

Charcoal drawing by Kirsten van Schreven

DO leave sweets or something free for people to take. I made bookmarks out of old photographs.

free postcards, spare pens and a comments/contact book by Sue Davis

work in progress by Dani Humberstone

DO demonstrate if you are able. It really gets people talking and engaging with you. 

Artist's demonstration by Ceridwen Jane Grey

DO be there as much as possible; conversations and connections lead to sales. Clear labels are vital; people hate having to ask about prices.

two Argos folding tables at £7 each, a browser and a hamper for storage from the charity shop in Rye

DO be very grateful for the free sample of 'age defying face cream' in the artists goody bag. After 4 hours of hanging and smiling in a 'professional' manner on set-up day, you will need it.

abstract by Sue Davis

The show is on for another week.

DO go!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Still here after all these years - learning how to see without a camera.

proof of my existence

10 years ago this month I started treatment for breast cancer. It was not fun. I thought I would die.

5 years went by and I felt really, really lucky. I felt as though a coin that had been flipped up in the air , rotating slowly for 5 years had finally come down on my side, as I knew from the outset that I only had a 50% chance of still being well after 5 years.

10 years passed this week, and again I found it really hard to believe.

Oh me of little faith.

I AM a survivor.

It has been photography that has sustained me through those years, as a way to express my gratefulness for being alive and as a way to find inner peace.

As a consequence of small celebrations I have been gifted a new camera; see above.

I have been challenged to create something special with it.

The gauntlet was thrown down thus......

"They say a decent photographer can make something beautiful with any camera, so let's see what you've learnt over the last 10 years"

I have yet to decide how to respond; there are no instructions with the camera, and it has a flash, but I have no idea how many times it will fire. I will take my time.

Here are a couple of my favourite quotes from other photographers that feel appropriate right now.


The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” - Dorothea Lange


“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.” 


Here are some fish, from the Mediterranean sea.

I am not sure I'll be able to create anything like this with my little Kodak; this was taken in a harbour in the Med last weekend on a mini break with my other half.

He took my portrait.

 wife with old stones........... 

As you can see, I am fully alive .

And still married to a man who would rather I took more pictures of a conventional nature; in focus and preferably with an old rock or two in the foreground.

We both can dream.