Monday, 30 January 2017

An invitation


1. General: Cooperative arrangement in which two or more parties (which may or may not have any previous relationship) work jointly towards a common goal.

2. Knowledge management (KM): Effective method of transferring 'know how' among individuals, therefore critical to creating and sustaining a competitive advantage. Collaboration is a key tenet of KM.

3. Negotiations: Conflict resolution strategy that uses both assertiveness and cooperation to seek solutions advantageous to all parties. It succeeds usually where the participants' goals are compatible, and the interaction among them is important in attaining those goals.
(Read more:
Do you want to be part of something bigger than your self?


Saturday, 28 January 2017

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Body of work

I'm not one for hanging on to the past, I do like dreaming of futures yet to arrive...

I have arrived at one of my dreams - and am building a dream as we speak.  Most people hire in workers.  Not us:   me and Mr G are doing it all ourselves with help from friends when four hands are not enough...

This will eventually be a luxury holiday cottage.

It took us seven years to plan our dream and we are two years into the renovations.

We didn't have water when we arrived, so you can imagine it has taken the two year to reach a point when I could come back to my art and communicate it with the wider world though the web.

When we left the UK I cut up the credit cards - and cancelled them.

I had no regrets except at that time only took credit cards.  So I 'lost' my website blog and art archive...

Imagine my delight when yesterday I managed to use debit cards to buy back my domain and re subscribe to squarespace.

So, in the interests of giving you access to my historical body of work, and FREE tutorials (although I think there is more entertainment and less education) here is where I will be blogging from now on:

 Here are my dreams:

1. Keep on renovating so we can be inside a house next winter
2. Get the two holiday cottages up and running
3. Get the arts and crafts studios established
4.  Build the extension

It is our intention to provide autumn winter and spring 4 day all inclusive art retreats, a time of reflection and inspiration for anyone of any ability.  When you rent the cottage you get full access to my daily art studio sessions and the opportunity to develop your abilities.

For now it's all just being made/built/created...but it means you can start saving now so that when I'm ready to meet you as a guest you can pop over and spend time making stuff....

Summer will be just self catering weekly/fortnightly rentals as I will mostly be out painting in the sunshine or going to festivals or buying at the troc n puce/vide grenier street markets....whilst Mr G holds the fort!

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

WOYWW? - chaos

When I looked at the images I felt I should try to explain (justify?) the chaos...

My actual workspace is not too bad:

I'm applique/embroidering a cushion for my neighbour for her birthday.

Only the thing is that is NOT my desk... it's a coffee table, I could tell you I am working there because I live in an unconverted barn whilst restoring our breton ruins into habitable homes

It looks pretty here but there are actually no doors windows , the ones you can see fall out if you breathe on them...We have also replaced the roof (and a few A frames).....I hanker for a floor ....

I could also tell you, because we are on dirt floors and single thickness sparsely mortared walls, I need to work in close proximity to our wood burner.

If those were my claims I would be lying, the coffee table is todays workspace quite simply because, in getting out what I needed to make the cushion (fabric floss buttons etc), I totally trashed all the other workspaces

...and I couldn't just put away one set of stuff to get out the other because on Friday I will be wanderlusting  then returning to the sewing...

My main problem today is:

where to put my coffee...



it's a wonder I manage to produce anything eh?

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

politics and poppies and a coca cola advert....

So it's wanderlust art journaling week 3, this week our tutor painted flowers using ink and paintbrush to draw, then colour in, then repurposing a printed photo image of the original in two additional pages.  Most enjoyable, especially since I have never before considered using this style of painting in my journals.

Page one:

The quote is from one of my many art journalling reference books, and it struck a chord.  'Home is not where you live it is where they understand you'.  Despite being a migrant I am home and my adoptive country understands me and has made me welcome.

I thought a lot about 'where I belong' whilst doing these two pages,  hence my second page with my Winston Churchill quote.  It's a quote that makes me cry every time I read it these days....

The third page I decided to be a bit more personal and the story is just a few words about me...

 and then bizarrely I have this song stuck in my head - 'I'd like to teach the world to sing...'


Sunday, 15 January 2017

the story of a saint

I am a storyteller who loves people, and animals, and plants, and stones, and water, and trees and...most things! 

My husband despairs of my ability to accumulate said loved items.  He refuses to accept that I really do need a donkey...

I am an artist that needs to make something everyday (even if it is dinner); my current name is donna louise garner (I've been through a few).. and this is week two journal page (s) - eventually all the wanderlust pages will be bound into a journal...

I've done as much with this as I want to for here's the story so far...

They don't give sainthoods away easily..(click on the words for the link)

And yet she was sainted far more quickly than most.

and it was a quote from the sainted Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu that takes centre stage for my Wanderlust week two art journal page...

'Not all of us can do great things


we can all do small things with great love.'

A cup of tea, a nod of thanks, a pause, a safe space to be, a facebook thumbs up that let's us know we are still connected.

Where is the magic in that?  The magic is in the love story: between me and you and them and us and all the people that we see everyday; some for a moment -  some all the time - even those that are 'in our faces!'.  

We give love or we don't it really is that simple.

And we see it in the faces of those around us - we are loved.  If you can't see it you need to find some new faces...

 Would it be possible for us all to give a little more and to take a little less.  In very small ways - let's try it - I think you will find it makes a huge difference to your day and to everyone who sees your face ...

Let me know what happens...I'd really like to see your halo (call it a tiara if you wish) and your random small act of kindness, I think, should be delivered with an imaginary swoosh of your cape...


I Am Fairly Certain That Given A Cape and A Nice Tiara, We Can Save the World

you can find me here on the blog most days now - or on facebook if all you need is a thumbs up,  or in class at wanderlust if you want to share art, or at Home - we take in visitors -  sometimes for free ... depends on how much love you need

Saturday, 14 January 2017


So I have made a desk space and I have filled the space with my art supplies, I have looked through some 'old' artwork, and I have embarked on my wanderlust adventure...

I managed to download the lesson despite our interesting wifi (we use the term lightly) - more normally referred to as the 'without fi'...

and I even found time to watch it between henhouse and green house repairs following our storms...

Then I did the background without really feeling 100% engaged, in fact I believe I expressed a little disappointment to my hubby - 'oh'  I said, 'I'm not sure what I will get out of this one...'

Mr G explained to me: you are unengaged because it's not really you.

What's not really me? I enquired - at which point he retorted "oh Gracious - did I just say that out loud?"

Explain yourself I demanded,

At which point he quite rightly summed the situation up thus:

1.  For no good reason you have a real problem with certain american accents (and he advised me to  think on -  as apparently my own french accent can induce winces at 1000 yards)

2.  You do not believe in magic (of the fairy kind)

3. You have to think about playing it won't come naturally and you understand why - so give yourself a break and let go a bit (like the tutor said)

4.  Whilst as your husband I love (and am legally bound to) your kind of art madness it isn't every ones cup of tea, and you should judge others approach to the art world far less harshly.  Since I manage to live with you (and that is way above and beyond a normal persons abilities) such you could give this tutor a chance, do as she asks, and enjoy yourself.

Well that told me eh?

So I tried again: I forgot the accent, thought about the kind of magic I do believe in, pulled out my inner child that often would like to play but rarely gets permission, and drew upon the quote I often referred to when coping with impossible situations during 32 years serving others as a Nurse.

At which point I realise I am truly grateful that I no longer live and work in the UK where winter pressures blight the NHS workplace 12 months a year...

No- one can change something as big as the nhs but each individual within it is trying very much to do their level best to provide a safe and effective service.

Retirement suits me I think.

Here is phase two of the background (phase one is on yesterdays post).

Remember the nurses series "angels" ?  I suddenly recalled it, and that I have many times been called an angel by my patients... a little love goes a long way...

Friday, 13 January 2017

A bit of background

So week 2 of wanderlust... let yourself go our tutor said... not something I find difficult...hmm maybe she meant my artwork rather than my lifestyle???

Yes, well,  the difficult bit for me is watching the paint dry...

But - I AM going to leave the background to dry completely so I can start to journal on top of the background from tomorrow...

I enjoyed prepping this:  having printed out some of my favourite faces that I drew last year, I then ripped them up and stuck them down, layered up with paint and stencils.  Mandelas are not for me, so this too will become a face - since faces,  I believe are magical...

Yeah I think if you want to see magic happen just watch what truly holy people do...loving kindness - that's real life magic, in the worst of situations a genuinely good spirited human will be there able to offer a small gift of love.  As Mother Theresa said,

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love."

Thursday, 12 January 2017


It's been too long...
expect random acts of mail art to be landing on your door mat...

Sarah Harris yours is on it's way, forgot to take a photo!

Then, of course, Virginia came to mind:

she of Celtic House: I was looking through images of our swapped collaborart journals and looking at your fab christmas card you mailed me and; right here right now;  this came to life:

I will be working my way through my address private message me if your address has changed (LLJ) or if you want a bit of PHYSICAL art ...

Mail Art is what happens when I get a desk to use... on the other hand no pots have been washed this morning....

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Somethings never change

I think, despite my continental drift from the UK to France, my desk remains fairly much as it always was.  The difference has been the absence of a work desk to show on a Wednesday, but hey, new year, new desk....I will be surprised if you can find anything on it _ I certainly cannot...

Join WOYWW ( what is on your workdesk wednesday) HERE

and a close up of my hand made - 'tea is a gateway drug to biscuits', christmas gifts:

See you as I get around the desks....

Sunday, 8 January 2017

I'm going for a walk - I may be some time

I'm having a bit of an adventure....

HA HA HA (sound effect = hysterical laughter)

I am not referring to the recent move from the UK to France or the TOTAL renovation works where mostly we seem to bury very expensive stuff in the ground,


Now the dust (literally) has settled a bit I have managed to put a corner of our unconverted barn to use as an art space.

I sit nestled amidst my stuff and feel excited as to what this year will bring.

Since I am daft enough to think someone might be reading this:  There are a couple of options for you too - join the Wanderlust adventure (click on the link in the side bar) or watch me here as I go along my path of discovery.

My intention is to blog about the experience... yeah,  I delude myself that I can actually indulge myself the time to make art AND then talk about it!  oh and carry on with the renovations....and look after the animals, and grow this years veg, and try to keep us clean and fed...

Well we shall see.


A statement piece of journal collage.

Frankly my dear,  I was not up to the challenge of locating my stamps:  and a Girl can only unpack so many boxes of art supplies before risking the despair of her husband.

So I just did the lettering with pen and ink.  My intention?

 to be still 


it has many meanings for me, but I won't bore you with explanations.

See you next week....if not before