How exciting … a new outlet on the net !

I have a new outlet on Redbubble … it’s fab ! You can get my artwork printed onto all sorts of groovy things … take a look here



Painting number 2 for my graduation show – Ramshaw Rocks

After painting the hilltop that is Shuttlingsloe, I moved on to a more imposing and dramatic landscape. The wind weathered sharp fingers of Ramshaw Rocks are one of Leek’s most recognisable local beauty spots.

I wanted to portray the eerie, sometimes menacing nature of the rocks in this piece. The rocks are often shrouded in low cloud during the autum, winter and early spring. It gives them an almost mystical quality.

Here’s a few progress shots and a reference image so that you can see where I am coming from.

Here’s a couple of quotes to set the scene …..

“Arrive there on a summer evening, fighting fit and determined – preferably with a few preliminary bouts under your belt – crash the jams in, move quickly and the climbs submit. Arrive on a bad day, and it is a different story; the rock will maul you and you will retire bloodied to lick your wounds.” Martin Boysen, Rock Climbs In The Peak, Volume 6. Staffordshire Area 1981.
“We noticed all manner of weird and fantastic shapes along the skyline of the Rocks, and readily realised we were in the Highlands of North Stafford.” W.H.Nithsdale. In the Highlands of Staffordshire. 1906.

Ramshaw Rocks


40 x 50″

First composition choice … I decided against this, so changed it to …


Composition number 2 … more emphasis on the iconic ‘Loaf and Cheese’ with some moody crags in the background


I worked on the background first


Then concentrated on the foreground detail


And decided to pretty much leave this one here …


Photo reference …


Shuttlingsloe – My first finished painting for my graduation show

After what has been a bit of a roller coaster ride recently, I finally managed to get down to the serious business of painting for my graduation exhibition at Astound 2017 … without going into details, I have had to work extra hours at my day job and wasn’t able to start working on my pieces until 2 weeks ago.

I finally have enough materials to make a serious attempt at furthering my painting career and (hopefully) start improving.

Anyway … here are a few progress shots of Shuttlingsloe plus a source image of the location itself.


Shuttlingsloe .


40 x 50″

Composition roughly sketched in … hill, horizon and pathway.







Some rough textured underpainting is added.



After many layers of paint and texture medium, it’s finished.


Source image of Shuttlingsloe showing the path leading up to the hill itself.


I’ve been busy …

Learning new skills and making glass beads like a woman possessed, in order to be able to dedicate my next month to painting and finishing off Uni work … Our end of year exhibition is fast approaching … I’ll post more about that soon enough, but May 20th at The Nicholson Institute will be the place to see Astound:2017 !

For now, here’s a few images of my recent makes.BeFunky Collage

Save the date …. Just a quick post and run for now …

Staffordshire Contemporary Artist and designer fair 2016 @ The Foxlowe Arts Centre, Leek Market place 3rd & 4th December

Sunday Supplement Christmas Artisan Market 4th December, Leek Market Place / Derby Street

15027965_2135478230010915_6409346026180400279_n 15027850_2135478300010908_1326134721504438621_n

Do you think these would make nice little gifts ??


What I’ve been up to today

 I’m thinking office desk colour … nice as themed sets … discount for multiple purchases ?? I do like that these are bright, cheerful and (when out Christmas shopping), very easily portable 


I’ll be taking a selection of mini paintings (both framed and unframed) to Leek’s Christmas Market on Friday evening … come say hi if you are local .. we’ll be by Oxfam in the Market Place
Wrap up warm though ! Brrrr

It’s that time of year already ….

Yes … it’s time to switch on the Christmas lights in town ! 

14680717_1228757330522191_1764850600825285609_n 15138522_1262180000513257_7530654630446505953_o

Leek Town Council Christmas Lights Switch on.

Abbas Angels will be heading the line up for Leek’s Christmas lights event this year and the Mayor, Cllr. Rebecca Done will switch the lights on at 7.30pm.

The evening starts wilth a “heroes” parade led by Santa and 5th Leek Scout & Guide Band, starting from Stockwell Street through the town centre, with children (and adults!) dressing up as their favourite heroes.

Carols from the Salvation Army band will be getting the crowd in a festive mood, the Totally Locally market stalls will be in Market Place selling unique gifts and food, John Collins funfair rides will be in High Street and Market Street


Festivities start from 6pm … I’ll be on our College market stall (further details to follow later)  .. come say hi !
We’re in the Market Place, opposite Oxfam.


See you there … don’t forget your woolies !!




More new work .. A proper catch up post will appear sometime soon .. Promise


13434688_1311262422235631_1852885553165217496_n      13445665_1311262315568975_4656740251536029754_n

13912443_1353439078017965_3186198499447928652_n   13912690_1353436358018237_4209456828106160066_n


14666060_10155862939518973_167799496923171846_n      14199328_10155746215738973_2703109129367507610_n




Exciting Times – Our end of year foundation degree show

Hi there … well I did a bit better this time, didn’t I ? Just a few weeks between posts instead of a few months (gold star for moi) !

Well, after a flurry of print making, reflective journal catch ups and sketch book annotations, I managed to get all my work in for assessment … phew ! I can’t quite believe that I’ve completed year two of my foundation degree. It all seems to fly by so quickly !

There’s not much let up in busy-ness though, oh no ! We now need to get the end of year show up and running. Planning and exhibiting is the main focus of the third year on our course.


Our graduating third years are doing a marvellous job of  planning, logistics, inviting, hanging and launching the exhibition. We have to do it all next year …eep ! Anyway …while lots of squirrelling is going on behind the scenes, here’s a sneaky peek …. a few pictures of our graduates’ exhibition pieces :

Ilsa Elford’s  wonderful banners


Jon Green’s lighting installation


Cathey Yardley’s fused and slumped glass dishes.

(I am yet to see the final ‘reveal’ of her finished piece!)



Its all go at the moment ….


Our Private View is on Thursday … not long now ! I must remember to polish my dreads, locate my dress and pick the paint from under my nails !

Wish us luck!

In the meantime, I’d better get a wriggle on and paint more artwork for our Take Ten Exhibition in Buxton, Derbyshire over the bank holiday weekend.

No rest for the wicked, eh

Well Hello Again

It’s been a while … again … I am SO going to start giving this blog site some much needed attention from now on.

Well …. I can’t believe that year two of my Foundation Degree is almost over already. This course seems to be racing away and just burning up the years. It’s a bit scary if I’m honest with you !

As far as my artwork goes,  I have decided, for this final module of the year, to depart from my safe (ish) space that is painting and give another technique a try before committing to my final year. So I chose print making. Collograph print making to be precise.

We had a day’s workshop with the wonderful Mary Wardle during our first year. A collograph print is basically a print taken from a texture collage. These can be made using all sorts of materials, from fine sand to scrunched up paper. Once the print plate is dried and sealed, the ink is rubbed on, into all of the nooks and crannies made by the collage. Excess ink is then removed before the print is taken. I am still a bit hit and miss with this process, but I am learning with each print I pull from the press.

I had one proper attempt at this technique over a year ago. I enjoyed it immensely and figured I’d delve a little deeper 🙂

My first ever collograph print .


It’s not very contrasty, but I was pretty pleased with it 🙂

I am currently, frantically working on a new series of print for imminent assessment. These are all based on a local set of standing stones, Nine Stones Close, in Derbyshire.


I am limited to black and one accent colour at the moment, as my budget is very tight. This explains the lack of technicolour in my newest prints !



And I thought I’d also have a go at an abstract composition.


Assessment is on the 12th … I am still having technical issues with wrinkles appearing in my paper (eek!), so I am starting to panic a little … fingers crossed I get it all sorted and ready to exhibit in our end of year show, Astound ( coming up in a separate post)


Well Christmas was busy !

It’s about time I caught up with things on here !

Blimey, it’s mid February already … where did the time go ?

Well … Christmas was mega busy … I had work exhibited in two, two day exhibitions. It is always a nervous time, showing your work to the public, especially when you spend most of your time creating it either home alone or cushioned in the supportive atmosphere of college.

I was so pleased with the results though. I couldn’t attend both events, as I had to be at the Foxlowe show as part of my degree course. I had more sales than I expected at both venues !

What did surprise me was the number of unframed pieces that I sold. Some were not of a standard size, so the buyers would have had to go to the trouble of using a bespoke picture framer, but they didn’t mind … that was a real confidence boost, I can tell you !

It was also great to spend time talking about art / my art to prospective buyers. I do find it difficult, talking to strangers about my work, but it’s something I really do need to work on.

Fast forward to now, and I am still busy with things.

I have just recently had some mega hand in’s for uni, but they have now been graded and feedback was all good … phew ! Now we need to embark on our final module for this academic year. I am going to have a go at printmaking this time, as we are advised that this is our last real opportunity to experiment before our final year.

Other cool news, too …. I have just taken on a studio in town !!

It’s right in the centre of Leek and in a beautiful building !


Well … when I say I, I mean WE … I am going in with my partner and his brother. It’s all very exciting, but I am hoping that soon, I can get in and sort the space out … I’ll have storage … a table and running water !!

Watch this space !

Some of my available pieces are still, well available to buy …. here’s a few to keep you going 🙂


If you are interested in any of these pieces, then please drop me a line via email, at and I’ll be able to tell you more 🙂











Another Exhibition !

Christmas is fast approaching ! I haven’t even thought about making a start on the shopping yet, though … I should really pull my finger out !

Anyway … I promised to mention another exhibition to you.


This year’s address is : 67 Albert Terrace, Wolstanton, Newcastle, Staffs ST5 6AY

Exhibition : Home is a fantastic annual show. I love the concept of it. Each year, somebody turns their whole house over to the exhibition an it becomes a gallery ! The ambience and atmosphere are just perfect for some relaxed gift buying. There is always something different to be found. From beautiful glass work, to delicate ceramics or original artwork, there is something for everybody.


Stag Teatowel by  Lauren Van Helmond


Beautiful porcelain tea lights by Perry Walmsley-Pitts


I am also feeling honoured to have been invited to exhibit a few paintings, including this one (above)

The exhibition runs from Friday 4th to Sunday 6th of December …. the address is further up this post, just below the banner image.

All are welcome … bring heavy purses 😉 !

Happy Shopping x





Christmas Shopping – Staffordshire Contemporary Artist and Designers Fair

Another reason for being so very busy is our annual Christmas fair in Leek, Staffordshire.

The Staffordshire Contemporary Artist and Designers Fair is a fantastic Artist and Designer fair, set in a beautiful venue, The Foxlowe. The building is set at the top of the town’s ancient market place and acts as a focus for all things related to the arts. They have a rather smashing fine art café, too !


The event is a fantastic chance to start your Christmas shopping with a huge range of beautiful objects of desire !

The Artist & Designers Fair is a showcase for original and contemporary art, craft and design from both local and National artisans.

Anyway, I digress … busy … yes !

As part of my Foundation Degree studies, I am part of the year 2 team who is coordinating  our college submissions … as well as finding the time to create our own artwork to show, we are holding planning meetings, talking with the press and liaising with college press officers … phew ! It’s a great opportunity to get hands on experience of exhibition planning though.  Fingers crossed it all comes together on the day, eh !!!

Here is a quick preview of what I’ll be exhibiting …



Photobombed by my cat !

As if this event isn’t keeping me busy enough, I am also exhibiting in ANOTHER exhibition … on the same weekend …. eeek !!

(see my next blog post … phew !)

Finally ! I have new EtsyUK listings !

After months and months of procrastinating, I have listed on …..

Etsy     !

etsy uk Etsy UK

I have been so incredibly busy with my art studies and facebook selling, that my poor shop has been languishing in a dark corner. I do solemnly swear that I will be much kinder to my little shop

You can visit my shop to see what I have on sale by clicking the link below:

MY ETSY UK SHOP   will gradually fill up over the next few weeks … I promise 🙂

These pretty beads were listed earlier today 🙂

*Although this post is relatively short, I have taken ages to write this and include as many SEO optimisations as possible …. I think I deserve coffee … and maybe some therapeutic spinning *

Etsy UK
For sale on Etsy UK


Some Lampwork glass bits I sold yesterday

Just for posterity, I thought I’d share some of my recently sold and commissioned glass art beads.









Days like yesterday are good days. They make me smile and help me pay my bills.

Thank you to all of you who support self employed artists … we couldn’t do it without you x

Its snowing !!

In the Cairngorms and up on Ben nevis, heh !
I saw this, posted by Cairngorm Mountain Company, earlier …


It makes me think of snow days and crunchy, icy walks.

There are so many delicate, pale colours reflected by snow. It is far from plain old white.
I am looking forward to the challenge of painting snow, this winter.

Here’s hoping we get a white-ish  one !

Last year was a good one for snow 🙂




Hello !

Welcome to my first blog post.

Hi … I figured I should start my shiny new blog with a short introduction … My name is Lesley .I am a lampworker (I make hand crafted glass art beads for jewellery designers), and I am currently studying for a foundation degree in Art at Leek School of Art (part of Leek and Buxton College).

I have always loved being creative for as long as I can remember.

After many years spent living in the city, I finally relocated to the highest village in Britain, in the Peak District a few years ago. It was to be the best move that I ever made. It was also the most interesting move I ever made … especially in the winter !

My career has taken on a whole new direction since the move, so alongside my glass work, I am now studiously training to become a fully fledged fine artist.

Here’s my artist statement … It all sounds very grown up !

I am a mixed media artist, based in the Peak District.
I am influenced and drawn to  mood and colour within my surroundings.
I mostly work with acrylics, but also love to explore using charcoal, collage, textiles and printmaking.

Wild Peak District Moorland

Some of my glass work

recent painting

Recent artwork