03/07/2020

 Hi everyone - what a strange season this has been! I hope that you and yours have been able to stay safe during these challenging times, and I'm sending all my love to you as we face the world's next chapter. Life in lockdown has brought changes for us all, and I thought I'd share some of the things I've been working on here, especially new poems and paintings that I hope will help raise a rainbow smile.

I had a lovely surprise when one of my all-time favourite poems, 'Weeding', was selecte...

21/01/2020

Koala

Black smoke chokes me,

grey fur singed.

Small paws smouldering;

wide eyes sting.

Our homes in cinders,

charred debris.

New infants clinging,

forced to flee. 

Each family raised here

now bereft,

With bush floors burning,

birth meets death.

So, instincts wary, 

wild yet brave,

we trust in your kind

our own to save.

 I wrote this poem and painted this watercolour after witnessing the devastation caused by the Australian bushfires. On its sale, the full cost of the painting was donated to the WWF's Australia B...

01/09/2019

Greetings, everyone, from Glasgow and Grasmere! I hope you enjoy my latest vlog, in which I travel for the first time to the beautiful Lake District village of Grasmere. This perfectly picturesque spot was once home to William Wordsworth and his family, including his beloved sister Dorothy who wrote The Grasmere Journal (the book that inspired my trip in the first place)! 

Dorothy's journal was never actually intended for publication: instead, her very first entry on 14th May 1800 recorded that '...

08/05/2019

May the force be with you, Gallerina Gang! I'm starting this month with a vlog that technically doesn't have anything to do with my writing or artwork. Yet as anyone who's had the pleasure of watching The Greatest Showman will know, 'the noblest art is that of making others happy'! On the 7th May, I had the absolute privilege to be in the audience for the very first night of Hugh Jackman's World Tour: The Man. The Music. The Show. As far as I'm concerned, there's no greater showman (or greater g...

28/04/2019

Hi everyone, I’m a Gallerina full of gratitude today! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who supported my Glasgow Kiltwalk 2019 campaign: together, we’ve raised an absolutely incredible £792 for the Scottish SPCA! With the Hunter Foundation’s very generous 40% top-up, that means Scotland’s vulnerable animals will receive over £1000! 

I’m beyond blown away by the kind support that I’ve received - thank you so much to every single person who made a contribution. As many of you know,...

18/03/2019

Hi everyone! I hope you're having a good month now that spring has (very nearly) sprung! As you can see from my latest vlog, I recently got the chance to visit not one but two travelling exhibitions at Glasgow's Kelvingrove Art Gallery - Dippy on Tour, getting up close with a famous face from the Natural History Museum, and Leonardo 500, a Royal Collection exhibition to mark 500 years since Leonardo da Vinci's death. 

As an enthusiastic art historian as well as an artist myself, I relished the op...

10/02/2019

Baby, it's cold outside and it's making my Kiltwalk practice sessions that little bit trickier (click the link for more information on my springtime challenge and to add your sponsorship for the Scottish SPCA!) That said, winter weather is perfect for painting and, of course, for getting stuck into a good book (reading or writing it!). Here are some of my favourites finds this month across literature and the arts: from dashing vets to delightful otters!

Bookmark: 'Listening to the Animals: Becomi...

15/11/2018

As regular readers of my blog will know, I end every 'Diary of a Novel' entry with a Bookmark highlighting what I've been reading this month. As a passionate reader as well as writer, I love the opportunity to share books that I've discovered and, of course, to hear your recommendations too! This month, however, it feels like a paragraph just won't be enough. The book I've been reading - or more accurately, the audiobook I've been listening to - has raised so many ideas that are relevant to my o...

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