Saturday 15 November 2014

Sporadic Posting and Salty Dogs

It seems I am incapable of keeping this blog running at the same time as I'm living my life.  I am sorry for sporadic posts.  I am not giving up.

The Salty Dogs shop opened today,  it's a pop-up gallery in Maldon run by Den Phillips.  As well as Den's work, all manner of arty nauticalia from hither and thither will be for sale including a smattering from me.  Go on... go and have a look!  Maldon High Street, next to the Crusty Loaf.
(CM9 5EP for those that like postcodes)
The lovely whale sign is from Den's Salty Dogs tearooms in Goldhanger.

Thursday 2 October 2014

Open Studios


Oh my goodness it's high time for a post!

I have been preparing for (and partaking in) Colchester and Tendring Open Studios;  a fantastic event, run over four weekends, where scores of artists across North Essex open their doors to visitors from far and wide.

Here (above) is the lovely brochure cover (image by Alison Stockmarr), and (below) the Mersea pages inside.  The Mersea contingent (all within a square mile) is made up of Debbie, Mike, Liz, Vinny and I. We are all open one final time this coming weekend; Saturday and Sunday, 11am-6pm.  Do come!

Monday 9 June 2014

Leafy's Emporium

Belated piccies of my stall at the Mersea Festival.  It turned out I wasn't in a blue and white gazebo after all but had a top spot, shared with Vinny Stapley (textile artist) in the main arty tent.

Oh dear, I am so late with these pictures, I am sorry (and suffering from post festival dip).  Deep in paperwork and sorting out (of sorts)...   and other stuff that's making me wilt.  Will try hard to perk up soon.

Thankyou so much to all you wonderful lot who made it down the little lane and came to say hi;  you made my day!

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Flat Watery Lands

I love our marshy wilderness. Here's a superb little film of our home waters from ifitsmedia.


'A wide waste of debatable ground contested by sea and land, subject to incessant incursions from the former, but stubbornly maintained by the latter.'  Sabine Baring Gould 

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Mersea Island Food Drink and Leisure Festival

May with it's darling buds, light evenings and the promise of warmer weather is my favourite month.  And (wincing slightly with that sentence starter 'And') it has TWO bank holidays!  Yes, TWO.  In England we have two long weekends each May which feels naughtily decadent (but very welcome).   The one coming up is giving me the jitters...

I've signed on the dotted line and will be standing to attention manning my stand at the Mersea Island Food Drink and Leisure Festival (24th/25th May).  Four hours at the Christmas NSPCC fair exhausts me...   I'm not sure I've got the stamina for two whole days of festival.

The Mersea Island  'food drink and leisure'  Festival is held each year over the second May bank holiday weekend. It's a brilliant event but has a title that grates on my sensibilities-  so much so I've put the words I don't like in italics (and inverted commas).  I have no sensible grounds for my prejudice and rejecting the event would be ridiculous, so I am swallowing that awful 'leisure' word and getting on with it.

Despite its moniker the festival is a cracking event.  Held in the grounds of a vineyard, bands will be playing, folk will be singing and food will be sizzling;  there is always a good crowd from bee keepers to belly dancers; lots to do and see and I will be there selling art, cards, prints and all the Leafy Dumas Illustration products I can muster. If you're coming along come and seek me out.

I will be on the lower lawn, sharing a blue and white gazebo with fellow islander, neighbour and silky-seaweed-cushion-maker, Vinny Stapley.  Vinny is a textile artist (there is more to her than cushions), click here for a peak at some of her work.   Click here for the festival website.

I am borrowing much needed trestle tables from my parents for this event.  I went to measure them last night and came home with a riddle on a scrap of paper:

Two inches more than two foot,
Two inches less that six foot.

Now, are two of those going to fit in Vinny's 3m square gazebo?  (Along with both of us, lunch, spare stock, a couple of easels, a daughter or two, chair(s), and all my accompanying paraphernalia.)

Friday 2 May 2014

East Coast Events Guide 2014

Feeling a little bit proud (and slightly embarrassed) to be featured in this year's East Coast Events Guide;  I'm trying to forget the nonsense about pride being a sin.

The ECEG, run and compiled by Gill Moon and Tim Allen, describes itself as a 'one stop resource for all things nautical along the coasts of Essex and Suffolk'.  Published annually at Easter, the guide aims to cover all marine and waterside events for the year.  

As well as an article on the 'inspiring coastline' featuring artists and writers (and me),  there is a piece on Mersea Island (illustrated with my Coast Road map).   I am attaching the relevant pages as images below.

Tuesday 29 April 2014

East Coast Village Affairs

I ventured East today.
Heather (Haward of Company Shed fame) is opening the old village shop next to Mehalah's (after a bit of a spruce up).  There will be a new sign and a cheese counter and some Leafy pictures and cards, and I am not sure what else;  I will report back with a full line up.  Opening Monday.

Saturday 26 April 2014

Here and There

Lately at Waldringfield (windy Waldy), and springtime blossom at Leafy HQ...

Sunday 20 April 2014

After the Flood

Four months after the storm surge, Art on the Quay is dry again and re-opening.

Art on the Quay is a working studio/gallery in a little boatyard next to a lovely pub in a pretty village  on the River Deben.  For an old-fashioned English day out, the place could hardly be more perfect.

Art on the Quay is stuffed to the gunwales with work by Claudia Myatt  (the artist in residence -who you are likely to meet if you visit).  There is also a smattering of my work besmirching the corners. Do go and look!

Opening Easter weekend and all summer long.
Art on the Quay, Waldringfield Boatyard, Suffolk, IP12 4QZ

Poster by Claudia Myatt.

Sunday 13 April 2014


Whitening wooden frames with liming wax.

Saturday 12 April 2014

Fire in the Boatyard

Big drama last Thursday; fire in the boatyard.  It was about 4am, a few loud explosions (I leapt out of bed) and the air thick with the horrible smell of burning fibreglass.  The smell lingered all day.  Gazette report here.

Sunday 30 March 2014

Mothering Sunday

It's Mothering Sunday in the UK today. The daffodils are out and the sun is trying to shine.  Wishing my mum and all the mums everywhere a happy day.

Friday 28 March 2014

Thursday 27 March 2014

Friday 7 March 2014


Trying out some colours on an old favourite monochrome illo.

Tuesday 4 March 2014

Framed Info Boards

Three framed prints of the West Mersea Town Council information boards leaving Leafy HQ for a new home.  The real things are planted on legs around St Peter's Well Meadow, Mersea Island, Essex.

Monday 3 March 2014

Show and Tell

The driftwood pencils I showed here evolved into this...

Trying to make my blog a nicer place, I have tentatively delved into the world of computer geekery.  HTML code generally looks like a lot of gobbledegook to me but after much reading up on it and making a few (not really so hard) changes I now have big pictures.  Hooray!  I'm not entirely sure big pictures are compatible with all the computer screens out there,  but I will keep posting big ones until I am overwhelmed with requests not to.

Friday 7 February 2014

Promised Pictures.

We Brits are infamous for grumbling about our weather.  There is a lot of  'Britain Battered by Storms'  talk in the news at the moment.

It really has been a bit wet and windy, so I think we might be allowed a little moan this time.  The railway at Dawlish washed away, for goodness sake, and the poor flooded folk in Somerset have been underwater for weeks.

Here on the East Coast, yes it's been quite windy and it's been quite rainy and we've had some fairly monster tides, but nothing as dramatic as the tidal surge that came a couple of months ago.  I promised to put up some pictures. So, better late than never, here goes....

It was a dark and stormy night (5th December 2013) and the tide came in and in and in until the North Sea was lapping at our gates.

The following tides were quite high too, covering Coast Road and flooding up The Lane.

And here are my punting friends last Sunday (such a lucky sunny day with no rain) sailing up and down the Strood.

The Strood is the causeway linking Mersea Island to the mainland.  It's normally a road (the B1025 to Colchester) but it floods at spring tides turning Mersea back into a real island, and marooning us for an hour or two.

Thanks to Lurch for the film.

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Nice Numbers

West Mersea Yacht Club's coordinates have been discussed at great length.  After a bit of dillying I finally painted them above the bar.