Magenta Arts Newsletter Autumn Winter 2020

Dear Friends

   The days seem to lose there identity in these troubled times, but the seasons still guide us through and show in nature,in the weather and the sun rising and setting the yearly changes.
   I am not continuing with workshops for the time being, but I have worked on getting more greeting cards printed and am ready to take orders and either post them out or deliver them if not too far away.
  I will show the available cards on the Gallery site on this website and I will add more news in the next few days to this letter! 

Magenta Arts Workshops Spring 2020

   New Year Greetings from  Jenny’s Studio in High Buston                                               

It was so good to be back in the studio again after the Christmas break and get the Jotul stove going and the paints out for a workshop during the Holy Nights .

It brought to mind the seeds deep in the earth being stirred into germinating by the stars power! 

 So now I am planning a new season of workshops, following the cycle of the year and beginning with Epiphany!

A wonderful word with many pictures and themes associated with it, the Magi and their gifts, the Baptism in the Jordan

and the search of every person for their path towards fulfilment.

   Here to follow are some dates and possible themes for upcoming workshops in 2020


All on Wednesday Mornings,  10.00 to 12.30.   £20.              Full day possible on request

22nd January       The Star of Epiphany  

 29thJanuary         The Dreaming Earth

 5th February        . Candlemas or The Celtic Imbolc

 12th February      The Waking Earth.

 19th February.      The Far Isles. Legends of Iona

 26th February      Holy Island

 The workshops will offer mixed media artistic materials and  some adventurous explorations. I will be happy to follow anyone’s ideas or requests


 With All Good Wishes for the New Year,




07909 910107                  



Dear Friends, Far and Near, 

 The summer draws to a close and I harvest the richness of experiences in nature, and in company of friends and family, including the new family dog, Lotti!

 I have harvested some photos to give the flavour of the creative work that has been happening in the last few months.

 Here to begin is a view from my cottage when the may was in full bloom, as I joined a 30 day challenge to draw or paint every day with suggestions from a wonderful art teacher I connected to online. I used Intense watersoluble pencils, great fun!

 I continued with this challenge on my visit to Dorset in between helping my sister packing for a move. Here is a copy of the Virgin onto an oyster shell! In the studio I continued with workshop themes, first with the flowers of summer, here is one participants flower painting.

 We also explored Steiner’s theme of the butterfly’s connection to the flower, reading from ‘Man as Symphony of the Creative Word’

 This we followed with the theme of fruits of summer. I am drawn to the swelling and ripening of blueberries and strawberries and in this painting I appeared by chance gathering the fruit! Caring or feasting, I wonder?

 “I feel strange power, bearing fruit 

And gaining strength to give myself to me.

 I sense the seed maturing 

And expectation, light- filled, weaving 

Within me on my selfhood’s power.”

 Rudolf Steiner, Calendar of the Soul 

 I was invited to run a couple of workshops at a women’s enterprise in Amble, where they offer support and activities to develop practical and community projects. One painting session and one clay modelling when we built a landscaped refuge for the individual sculptures. A healing story arose out of all the contributions, which was a joy.

 The school holidays gave me some outings with the grandchildren, one to Ingram Valley, fun in the flowing tumbling river, others on the beach, and also studio time making puppets and collage.

  I had signed up for a mixed media portrait painting near Edinburgh with Àine Divine and a brilliant week I had with other participants and four amazing models. Close to the shore we could go swimming at the end of each day! This painting of ballet dancers was transported to the seaside by use of collage!( they were actually in the studio!) 

The Painting Week has brought a wonderful surge in my creativity, and I have begun doing portraits in the first! 

My final summer fling was a week on Skye with my walking group, we weathered the storms and relished the views on sunnier days! This is a favourite view in pastels from the window in the lovely remote house where we stayed! Looks rather autumnal I now notice! But I do love those earthy colours. 

 I am now planning for an active and creative autumn into winter and below you will find some events.

 I will also fit in a few Saturday workshops when requested, Wishing you all a smooth glide into autumn, and with much love,


Dates for your diary 

Macmillan Coffee Morning at the studio, 4 High Buston Thursday 26th September 10.30 to 12.00. Will send invites separately to local folk, RSVP would be helpful

 Workshops continue on Wednesday mornings 

Painting for Well-being and nourishment for the Soul 

10 to 12.30. £20 per session including materials and sustenance 

Autumn Themes: Mixed media(collage, inks, pastels, etc.) with occasional folk tales 

18th and 25th September, then throughout October, then towards the end of November ( after a longed-for visit to my younger son Nathan and family in France) 

Open Studio sale with refreshments. 23/24 November. 11.00 - 4.00. 

Advent Garden Spiral Sunday 1st December 4.00 - 6.00pm

Magenta Arts Newsletter Summer 2018

Dear Friends, Near and Far,

Many thanks to all of you who replied so warmly and affirmed that you wish to continue receiving my seasonal newsletters! And welcome to new visitors!

We are, in Britain, dealing with an extraordinarily hot and dry summer weather! And here in Northumberland, near the coast, we enjoy the long sunny days with occasional sea breezes. The studio is always a cool place to be on hot days and full of light and the sounds of birds. Swallows are busy swooping and calling, and blackbirds, showing off their youngsters, hop in and out.                       We even have a buzzard raising it’s brood in the pine down the field, so much calling goes on!

I have enjoyed the theme of the secret garden in

the Wednesday workshops. I was exploring the

garden as a the place between wild nature and our

modern life, a bridge where one can contemplate

in one’s soul this relationship and find artistic

expression, both in creating a garden and painting the soul-scape as a bridge, or as communion with the elements, where water and sun bring colour and form.

I received three visitors in June, on holiday up here from East Anglia and from North West. They chose to spend two days here painting and enjoying the sea view! Here are some of their paintings. These are inspired by their engaging with a flower that they felt drawn to. It was such an enjoyable time in the company of three friends meeting up for a holiday together

The Secret Joy by Mary Webb

Face to face with the sunflower

Cheek to cheek with a rose

We follow the secret pathway

Hardly a traveler knows

The gold that lies in the folded bloom

Is all our wealth

We eat of the heart of the forest

With innocent stealth.

We know the the ancient roads

In the leaf of a nettle

And bathe in the blue profound

Of a speedwell nettle

The last paintings had to be of the sea! We sat out on the terrace for coffee, lunch and tea drinking in the view of ever-changing colours of the sea below.

In France, visiting my son Nathan and family, I spent time in their garden which has tall trees to fend off the heat (and a lovely pool I must confess) and I basked in the landscape where Vincent Van Gogh spent his last years. I scribbled this sketch of his oft-used scene of harvest against purple hills, while sitting in a shady corner of the garden. “The foreground very low, undergrowth behind, violet hills, a green and pink sky with a crescent moon, tufts of bramble with yellow, violet green highlights”.

I found this excerpt from his letters only recently.* Of the hospital in St.Remy he wrote: “Through the iron-barred window, I could make out a square of wheat where alone each morning I saw the sun rise in glory. And the trees!” *

He never stopped painting; his life, as he wrote, was ‘sorrowful yet always rejoicing’. What a message for us

when there is so much to concern us in the world, to move from this to rejoice in the sunrise every morning! And find healing in colour and creativity.

I visited Arles where he lived and the clinic he stayed in which still has the flower garden just as he painted it from his room! How alive he seems to us today. He also left us his  letters, revealing so much of his inner turmoil and insights into use of colour.

Here is reflection of this hot summer I painted in May after a trip to the garden of Charles Jenks, the Land Sculptor, with grass hill forms and sweeping water, premonition of this heatwave of a Summer?

I am open to any requests for painting days throughout the year, in the studio or a

chosen venue elsewhere. Wednesday mornings will continue as studio drop-in

workshops. I also find joy in running workshops with children.

Our study group, meeting once a month, enters its third year! Reading lectures by Rudolf Steiner and enjoying lively discussions. We meet in our homes across North Northumberland.

Now, the harvest begins, the flowers fade a bit and the fruit is ripening on the trees. Time to head for the beaches maybe, but wherever you are, I wish you a fruitful journey in time through late summer and into early autumn.

With All Good Wishes,

        Jenny Jenny Blayney

*I found this clever little book a good resource, ‘Conversations with..Van Gogh by Simon Parke.

White Crow Books



Dear Friends,

     January can be a hard month and seems so long before we reach the real turn of the year on February 1st, when we celebrate this with

St. Brides day, also celebrated as Imbolc, Groundhog Day and Candlemas so there must be something special about the day!

and the days start to really lengthen and the bulbs notice too and spring forth with the energy of faith and trust.

   I am not ready to spring forth but will start to plant a few seeds of ideas and imagination, while I order seeds for the garden.

      Here at High B

uston, back from my travels to France, I can imagine the hard times of the past

when food became scarce and the log pile  getting low, and even the candles were burnt down to stubbs.

At last the light became stronger at dawn and dusk, so candles were not so

essential. They gave the stubbs to the earth as a blessing for the source of food.

     The studio is a refuge once I have the stove burning, as long as the north-westerlies keep away when

the smoke fills the room!   so I begin to offer it as a space for creativity and art, a chance to delve into the

palette of the soul and bring it to a new revelation.

At the moment I am inspired from an exhibition of works by Paul Klee, who really had a love affair with

colour and blended them so delicately.

The Wednesday workshops continue with a few Saturday sessions to celebrate the festivals of the year.

Mondays have been kept for parent and child workshops, with painting and crafty nature things! 

    So Greetings to all and Blessings of the Earth to you,








Now we have come through the dark to the lighter days and the garden beckons, and the wild places too, a slow dawning of new ideas and for exploration within and without become available to us.

       At CANDLEMAS  or Imbolc  at the start of February  we celebrated this mood of crossing the threshold from inner comfort and enclosure,  to the wild nature without our doors.

Thus a small group celebrated here at High Buston. Children and adults together, we made  St. Bride crosses from reeds we cut ourselves by the spring nearby, remembering the Old Ways of our ancestors. After crafting our crosses, we made pictures and wee Bridie dolls and chatted around the wood-burning stove.

    On Wednesdays every fortnight there is a workshop, when we paint  moods of the planetary soul qualities, drawing on myths, fairytales and observations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               So far     w

We   have entered the moods of Sun, Moon and Mars as  you can see  in  this example  of participants' work. This continues until Easter and then there     will be another block forSummer Term. 

Let me know if you are interested in any of these or the following,

With Very Warm Greetings,     Jenny

I have also put together a series of   MONTHLY  DAY WORKSHOPS  at weekends  as follows,

Sunday 19th March            SPRING EQUINOX. Finding balance in our lives

Sunday 23rdApril .             SKIES and SEA and SHORE. Boundaries of the Soul

Friday to Monday 5th to 8th May.         LANDSCAPES of the SOUL.**

Saturday 10th June.           FIRE of MIDSUMMER. Celebrating the Festival

Saturday 1st July.               The FOURFOLD PLANT from Seed to Fruit


All day session, including lunch and all materials £50(45)

Half day session, including refreshments and all materials, £25(£22.50)

Time 10.00.-12.30.   1.30.-4.00.


** This is a follow up from previous years as a long weekend holiday, but it is open for anyone to join one or more sessions as long as their is availability.o


                                                                                              New stepping stones lead you up to the studio!


Dear Friends,

It is that time of year when we are still in the glow of the summer light and warmth, but aware of the closing in of the dark, harvesting the fruits and organising our Autumn programmes.  More news on my plans for the studio on the way.

                  With a new flock of hens to look after, I find myself fascinated by the way they live their lives, always on the lookout for grain to peck, in frantic haste,  and then  the slow deliberation of ‘shall I?/shan’t I?’  before they decide to enter the hen house at night, for example, and I find myself slowing down as I watch their comic behaviour and wait until I can shut them safely in.

I have spent a few summer nights in my bell tent at the top of a  field and when I awoke from my tent one morning to watch the sun rising over the sea,  there was a near circle of a rainbow behind and above me and and my eyes could not see all of it at once, sunrise and rainbow and sea and land  , the great  dome of the sky being so vast. . But I pondered on how my mind within my skull  is also a dome within which I can imagine the whole  of this cosmic picture. I realised how easy it is to forget that all this is going on when we are focussed on our humdrum  lives 

In the way of painting we do here in the studio, I hope to draw on our memories of the soul experience in Nature, and create a landscape out of our own soul impression and imagination when back in the studio.

 The heart responds to this awe and my hands long to express, to create, to share!

“I can belong now to myself
And shining spread my inner light
Into the dark of space and time.
Toward sleep is urging all creation,
But inmost soul must stay awake
And carry wakefully sun's glowing
Into the winter's icy flowing.

Rudolf Steiner


  The Highlight of my summer in the studio  was the Landscapes of the Soul  weekend held here in my studio and beyond.

The estuary at dusk was the first outing and next morning we painted in the studio. Here is Judy's exploration in oils, capturing the rhythms of
sky, sea and sand dunes.

And Barbara's exploration of the colour mood which became a most moving expression of the heart forces.

Later we visited sites of the cup and ring rock carvings, then walked up to St. Cuthbert's Cave.

 The next day was a visit to the  Wild White Cattle of Chillingham. 


  The cattle, said to be related to the ancient Aurok, inspired us to make our own cave painting, using textured surface and earth colours. We ;then gazed at the colours and cracks and fissures, until an animal or two appeared which we could define. The animal each one of us found seemed to have a special message.




  And now, in the darkening evenings, this dome begins to reveal the whole starry realm as it slowly revolves. The night sky welcomes us to the beginning of winter.


Wishing you all a fruitful Autumn wherever you are,










Magenta Arts Spring Newsletter April 2016.
  April showers fill the sky with dramatic clouds in shades of indigo against the

blue sky and rainbows rising from the sea. Time to be out and care for the
   I certainly hunkered down over the last few months, and keeping the house
warm with coal and logs left little opportunity to heat the studio as well.
One lovely workshop in February brought the joy of Candlemas and early spring flowers, a

nd in the afternoon, working with a warmer colour spectrum, this bear appeared from his cave to s

ee if it wastime to wake from winter hibernation but he went back to sleep! We used Unison Pastels that day, locally made in Northumberland National Park which have a creamy chalky consistency.

"Time opens in a flower of bells...."
Kathleen Raine's poem, The Hyacinth, captures the mood and here is one participant's beautiful


 Today on my walk down the paddock a buzzard circled low overhead, calling for a mate perhaps. Each time I do this walk Nature brings a gift; a pair of lapwings, a startled hare, thesound of water rising from the spring where marsh reeds grow, rich colours of the sea.This field is to become a small campsite next
year created by my son Giles and his wife, Geno, with the name of The Seven Folds. Here one can
choose which 'fold' , in bell tent or shepherd's hut or B&B! I hope to offer a painting weekend with
accommodation in the future.  My two days a week working in Sheffield has limited the time I can
spend on studio work but I am still doing some mosaic projects.
Here is an ammonite step
ping stone which was quite a challenge!
 I hope to run some workshops over the Summer, some weekday
dates, and even a painting weekend with camping onsite! Also I plan
to continue more parent and child creative mornings.

Magenta Arts Newsletter Michaelmas 2015

        Now the Summer has played out its song, we can welcome the Autumn in all its moods. I have been swept along in August with  the preparations  for the marriage   of my son and his wife in their magical wedding venue next door.  My first request was a sketch for the invitations which was to show the terrain for the wedding. The field or paddock became a camp site up by the old thorn trees, while the lower  area, an old tennis court, became the setting for the ceremony and feasting.


We  now have a camp site with sea views to offer visitors to Northumberland and I will be posting links to this in the future

 I got into the swing of things with my own tent squeezed into the studio garden! My first night was thunder and lightening and torrential rain but I woke to the most sublime slow sunrise!


Although I have not managed to do much in my studio this summer, at the beginning of August I spent a week with my other son and family in Spain. It was relaxing and hot and sunny and in the heat of the day I found myself  painting postcards in watercolour , becoming absorbed in the play of it. Here  is one I did not get to write and put in the post!             


Now I am getting back into the studio and will run some workshop days, starting with an open studio event  with a chance to paint or draw. All Welcome! 

Other News? Well, I am happy to realise that our Study Group has met five times already! And we have six regulars, meeting in each others houses on monthly Sunday mornings.

April to may 2015

Dear Friends,

Here are a few thoughts and experiences that came as the  nights grew shorter.  I have noticed recently how much paintings speak to me and awaken the heart forces. One painting can present a whole idea or mood, and encapsulates an event in time.    From the early icon painters to Rudolf Steiner’s sketches, from cave art to Rothko.  In this newsletter I have paintings by workshop participants where one can be heart-moved in the act of painting as well as in the later viewing of them.

  Wishing you a happy journey towards the Summer,

       Love from Jenny

PAINTING the SOUL,  AWAKENING to SPRING                                                                Sometimes we have to wait in hope for rebirth and joy. As when Spring takes so long to come. What sustains us in these times? Maybe it is the time when we are more aware of the suffering in the world and compassion for others fills our soul. We had a workshop here in late February when this was expressed in our paintings. The theme of seeds waiting in the Earth and responding to the growing light seemed to awaken this compassion.

This painting by one of the participants, came to illustrate the words she had brought at the start of our day: words of the repressed?

"They tried to bury us, not knowing we were seeds"




Below is a poster for my up and coming exhibition in Edinburgh.  It is an honour to be putting up some of my paintings of the Cycle of the Year in the Community Rooms of the Christian Community. If you are in Edinburgh, please contact me if you would like to have a look around, or come along on Easter Day or the following Sunday.


I am happy to say that our new venture has launched into action! The Study Group looking at Steiner’s Lectures has met twice and we have four going on eight members! We have begun with The World of the Senses and the World of the Spirit and our conversations around the text are, I have found, all-embracing and relevant to the world today.  We are also planning to show the film, ‘The Challenge of Rudolf Steiner’ at a local film club in the next few weeks.



Often we feel moved by a sunrise, or the first crocus in Spring; but ask, “What can I do with this?  How can I understand, share or nurture this emotion?”  I find three qualities in this process:-

 Feeling of wonder in the moment,                      

Pondering on this, inwardly taking it in, and  

Will  to create something out of this feeling and reflection.                                                              ‘Liberating the Soul’, by a participant.                                            

The soul may want to dance, sing, write poetry or paint or carve in stone but too often life’s demands and our inhibitions cramp the soul. ‘ I do not have the time, I am no good at art, I feel self-conscious when I try and sing or dance’  Most of us know these clever responses, smothering the bird that would love to take wing...

tHE PARTIAL eclipse of the sun AT THE EQUINOX

Silence, Earth holds its breath, as the birds fall silent. The sun gleams too bright on the sea but  I find I can see the partially eclipsed sun in my small  pond's reflection, the clear arc cut out of the sun by the moon. There is a reddish violet aura around them
The after image on closed eyes is a wonderful green and I see bronze on leaves when I open them. . I feel I am under a spell but present with nature.

A lovely peace is in the half light,  but later it  turns cold, a real chill and ghostly daylight. Then the clouds  come across as if the sun had lost its  power to break them up. During the eclipse then, the air and water elements are disturbed. Is my heart and circulation also disturbed, and warmth ether withdrawn. Now a breeze after the stillness as the moon passes away from the sun's face. My hands are cold! The birds are finding their songs again.  My granddaughter wakes up and we toddle into the sunshine.

  Reminder Of Up-and- Coming Workshops


 June  27th           Summer Solstice to St.Johnstide

Saturday 11th July     Painting and  Plant Study at Dilston Physic Garden  

                    All workshops run from 10am to 12.30 and 2 to 4.30pm.                   Costs for the Whole Day £60(50)     and for the  Half Day £30(25)


“The soul’s journey through

the cycle of the year”


   by Jenny Blayney

  5th April to 8th June 2015


At the Christian Community,      

 21 Napier Road, Edinburgh, EH10 5AZ


First Viewing on


Easter Day


and with tea and cakes 2pm to 4pm



Viewing during Community Events

 or by  arrangement  with the artist,

 by contacting her at  or 07909910107


20% of any sales to church funds









Magenta Arts Newsletter 1stJanuary 2015


   During these Holy Nights, while looking back over my shoulder to year past and forward with trepidation to the coming year, I have felt an emptiness inside.  What about here and now? Where is my inspiration?  Then a gift came as my mind linked the tidal estuaries   here at Alnmouth and also at Le Conquet, Brittany, on the Atlantic coast, where I spent Christmas.*

        I was staying with my family 50 yards from the broad estuary, aware of the constant movement and rhythm of the incoming and outg

oing tides. Here one is neither ‘All at sea’ nor ‘cast adrift; nor is one ‘left high and dry’. The rescue comes with re-connecting with the rhythm and flow between extremes.  Nature, then, can reveal this to us. In this environment, emotions are often released that have been ‘bottled up’ and move with the tide, restoring the balance through movement of the soul through the heart sphere and harmonising the thinking and the will forces.  Steiner’s verse ‘Ecce Homo’ comes to mind as I ponder this.[1]

For five days I barely left this long estuary; taking walks deep into the sandy landscape where the pines hung heavy with cones and the sea birds

waded and fished in the rich waters. On Christmas Day I wandered here and stood spellbound where a pure white egret flew onto a branch as dusk fell. This flame of white I tried to capture in this watercolour sketch.

I also loved the way the usually city-dwelling grandchildren would spend hours on the pebbly shore hunting shells and finding hiding places under the footbridge. After a visit to the cinema, they were straight out there being children as children need to be.

* Le Conquet was also the first place to extract iodine from seaweed, and  iodine is a rich resource here. I guess I was breathing it in! Iodine has great health benefits in our world today, I was advised recently!

Now, a little step back takes me to a morning in advent when I woke with a yearning to connect to the Essence of selfhood. I came up with the idea to build an Advent Spiral in the Studio Garden, forgetting about wind and rain which sure enough, did its best to challenge me! It felt like a child at play and with my rising-three grandson’s enthusiasm it became just that!

The idea is to build a spiral of decorated winter greenery with a candle at the centre. One child walks the spiral with a candle in an apple in hand, lights this from the central candle then retraces their steps, choosing a place in the greenery to place their apple/candle.  Gradually as more people gather their light and place them, it becomes a spiral of light. We gathered all sorts of things as well as fir branches, moss, berried holly and ivy, to build the spiral; seaweed and shells, crystals and lead weights (to prevent it all blowing away!)

Midwinter Earth Rites

Spiralling into darkest source

  to seek renewal, passing residue of Nature’s  life force,

 gathered and laid down.  Mossy branch and sea wrack, 

  crystal shine among withered flower heads.  

 And the spiral commands,   

“Follow the dark pathway to the flame, then kindle your own,  

  to  place on this God offering.

So may we, together,  create a  pathway of lights to  celebrate  

   Sun’s Rebirth


And the next step, into the New Year and the Star of Epiphany. I have the biodynamic preparations for the garden and boundary for Three Kings Day. And my giant leeks seem to have been grateful for the Cow Horn preparation I sprayed in the summer!

Looking ahead, I have pencilled in these Workshop dates in the studio:

January 31st.         Festival of Imbolc               February 28th   Awakening of Bulbs

April 11th             The Wisdom of Trees          May 2nd   Beltane  

27th June              Summer Solstice

All on Saturday, Morning and/or Afternoon  

Saturday 11th July     Painting and  Plant Study at Dilston Physic Garden

One new venture is a Study Group two of us are starting reading one of Steiner’s books introducing   anthroposophy. This will be on alternate Sunday mornings, no charge, and I will show a film by Jonathan Steadhall to introduce this. Please contact me if you are interested.

With All Best Wishes and Love for the Coming Year from Jenny

        In the heart the loom of feeling,                                                                                                                       In the head the light of  thinking                                                                                                                       In the limbs works strength of will.

            Weaving of radiant light                                                                                                                                    Strength of the weaving,                                                                                                                                  Light of the surging strength.

        Lo, this is the Human Being!





                    Dear Friends,

Where has it gone? Those midsummer days and nights, spent mostly outdoors enjoying the

open spaces and feeling of freedom. Thus the  newsletter I began to write at St. Johns Tide stayed

scribbled in a notebook! Ah, well, as the summer slips away and the late fruits are ready to drop,

it is time to gather intentions and dreams like fruits to store for winter nights. 

  Milestones that mark the summer months for me include-   

    Watching the swallows from my kitchen window as their brood are pushed out of the 

    dark cosy  nest to fly free in these vast skies. And this fledgling blackbird that found

    refuge in the camouflage of last year’s cardoon heads in the studio porch.


v     Walking (most of) St. Oswald’s Way from Holy Island to Heavenfield; from coast to Tyne Valley in glorious

weather and in good company.

v Gardening

 The Garden

I have been tending the shallots and beans and beetroot as I pass from cottage to studio.

I remember reading that working with and handling soil releases the endorphins that makes us happy creatures

so I look for these opportunities to turn the soil in my hands.



v The  August event of Volcano night on Alnmouth beach meant plunging

into the four elements as the teams  build the sandcastles, lay the wood and set

fire to it , flames leaping into the air as the tide comes in licking away the sand

until it tumbles and we are wet to the knees but warm and exhilarated.

The darkening sky against the vivid flames,

it is the closest we have to a Pagan Festival!!


v I have lately been walking through the fields of barley and wheat; even

though the crops have been sprayed round here I cannot but admire the

massed golden heads of grain and stalks full of the silica that gives strength

and light.  Soon the harvest will be over and soon the harvest moon will rise blood red.  

Now is the feast of Lughnasa,

rarely celebrated these days, but it is a significant moment in the turning of the year.



v And the grandchildren of course, discovering the joys of beach and garden, woods and streams.

Hard to believe that the two year old will not remember all this, he is so inventive and engaged.

We will wait for Ethan to speak his first “I”.  Meanwhile Mila has reached her half year and seems to find life is all fun!


v My studio space has held its first ‘Corporate Off-site day’ which was a great success. To prepare for this I took

good hard look at all the neglected corners and the accumulated clutter and feel the energy is flowing better than ever.

I was able to lead a clay modelling session and after their business meeting, some painting when the experience

of the after-image was new and thrilling for them.



And what of the next season?

  Well,, I have listed my up and coming workshops on the Events Page for those of you who might be interested, and will update fairly regularly from now on.  I plan some clay modelling as part of the workshop days and painting for Michaelmas to start us off.


Also on the mosaic page are the mosaics I have been creating and now making on commission.  In particular the chakana design, based on an Inca cross, has been popular and I began a consultation process whereby the person chooses  particular crystals for each direction/element/orientation of their mosaic. This started a passion for crystals and their qualities and I sought out as many types as I could for my collection of ‘tumble stones’ 

I love the process when one chance encounter opens a door to something new and one avenue leads to another and opens yet another window in creative exploration,


      Wishing you all a fruitful August and an inspiring Michaelmastime,  

                 Much Love,


The Harvest Moon

The flame-red moon, the harvest moon,
Rolls along the hills, gently bouncing,
A vast balloon,
Till it takes off, and sinks upward
To lie on the bottom of the sky, like a gold doubloon.
The harvest moon has come,
Booming softly through heaven, like a bassoon.
And the earth replies all night, like a deep drum.

So people can't sleep,
So they go out where elms and oak trees keep
A kneeling vigil, in a religious hush.
The harvest moon has come!

And all the moonlit cows and all the sheep
Stare up at her petrified, while she swells
Filling heaven, as if red hot, and sailing
Closer and closer like the end of the world.

Till the gold fields of stiff wheat
Cry `We are ripe, reap us!' and the rivers
Sweat from the melting hills.
- See more at:



Welcome to the Spring Newsletter

    Here by the North Sea, Spring is playing her tricks, with warm sunshine one day and plunged into winter the next; a roller-coaster ride. I begin this letter while sitting in the garden, the sunshine warm upon my face (on this seat with my latest mosaic waiting to be hung) listening to the deep-throated croaking of frogs in the pond next door.  It read that they are half- submerged when calling which gives the watery gurgle to their voices. This in contrast to the birds in their soaring, airy celebration.

    Then the bumble bee on some early pale flowers risks an outing.    It is strange to have bare trees and ploughed fields now the sun is so high in the sky. It seems to me that Spring plays a tune of all four seasons, especially as we plan to sow seeds that bring a promise of harvest yet do not dare sow them in case King Winter pays another visit as he surely will. But the birds know they must start their nest-building and I watch them with beakfuls of moss and twigs and courting as they go.

        My own nest-building has been in the studio as I emptied nearly everything out onto the lawn so I could have concrete laid to level the floor. This has made a huge difference to the space- no step getting in the way! And a nice coat of paint on the walls before   everything found its way back in.  All will be ready for the next workshop on April 12th; ‘Towards Easter’ is the working title for this day.

Then I hope to have an Open Studio Day to celebrate on Sunday 27th April

So far this year, on the workshop days, a group of us have worked in the studio firstly on an Epiphany theme, ‘Star of Destiny’, exploring the prismatic colours of the light spectrum and the dark spectrum; and in February we found inspiration in Iris, the Goddess of the dawn and the Rainbow as well the flowering bulbs and the

iris of our eyes. (eye ris?)    

       This rainbow appeared on a gusty beach on our weekly Nordic Walk. The sea and sky there show a different face each time we visit.





Now at the vernal equinox the Earth balances the light and dark. Returning from a sculpture therapy weekend in Sussex, where we pondered the sun as Being and motif, we came to appreciate that the sun brings light but thereby creates shadows and thus has his/her dark side. The sculptures do need the light and shadow to become visible in the space. Awakening our conscience maybe?

 I am reminded of Steiner’s words that ‘Colour arises out of the meeting of dark and light’ and even more dramatically that ‘Colour arises out of the deeds and sufferings of the Light’ in his works on the Creation



   Looking for new ways to make the studio a workshop venue, I have been approached by a company to host a Team-building Day which would be a really rewarding new venture for me.

 Also I have been asked to produce a Gift Voucher for a workshop as a Birthday present. There’s an idea...


 If you would like to check the link below you will see an event I took part in recently supporting Women in Business. A really enjoyable, useful, friendly day.



Meanwhile I am still offering individual sessions of art therapy on a weekly or fortnightly six session basis.   



   The Landscapes of the Soul Painting and Walking Holiday is still an option and I have reserved a weekend for this (13th to 15th June) with a Saturday Painting workshop combined with Friday and Sunday walking and visiting local sacred sites. I have a new insight into the cup and ring carved rocks in connection to the Celtic Chakra System.

    I will produce a poster for this so please let me know if you are interested. Local B&B is available.


   The other Day Workshops are on Saturday May 3rd for Beltane, Saturday 26th July, ‘Celebrating Lughnasa’ and on Saturday 12th July at the Dilston Physic Garden. More details on the web-site or just get in touch if you want to know more.

 Then I will be as usual at the Alnmouth Arts Festival on the weekend of 21st and 22nd June


This painting came from the Iris workshop and you can see how a colour exercise on the rainbow, with magenta as the bridge colour can develop from a colour mood into a gesture and motif when using the linseed oil and rag method of painting

When searching for a final drawing-together of a theme, I find myself guided to The Calendar of the Soul and this week’s verse speaks this, I feel so well.


Into our inner being
The riches of the senses pour.
The Cosmic Spirit finds itself
Reflected in the human eye,
Which ever must renew its strength
From out that spirit source.                                               by Rudolf Steiner




     Epiphany 2014

        I had wished to write about having  intentions for the Holy Nights but sometimes the Angels'  send a message which interrupts our best intentions and we are left wondering what is all that  about.  So, on Christmas morning, sand in my eyes decided to cause me pain and inability to endure light or even to read. I find I have to  keep my head down and so can deal with the down to earth stuff (in sympathy with the animal realm).   I can write but not really read what I have written. So here I am writing from inside my skin.

           During the Twelve Holy Nights we have the chance to reflect on the experiences of the last year and to resolve on our wishes for the coming year.  And all this can happen at a time when the Cosmos opens up to allow the Hierarchies of Angels to  support us and instill some of their essence into our intentions.  At the time of the Earth's deepest in breath, the Divine Feminine receives the Christ being; Earth receives her own.

         In my studio stands a tree, bedecked with candles, red apples and symbols in copper and wood. The candles, when lit, seem held upright by their flames which in turn seem tethered to each a star; so still and shedding peace all around. I began to connect there to the presence of this tree as the focus of Time and Eternity,Alpha and Omega symbols; of Earth and Cosmos, star and square below triangle symbols; the Tao symbol reminding us energy through wave and tree ; the Tarok symbolising rebirth following death. Then the spiral of the planetary symbols giving us the drama of life in all its hues.

        So I sit reading the Christmas Tree and feeling immersed in its story.  The star's message is showing the path to the inner light;  the star of humanity which Rembrandt revealed in his nativity paintings. Like a Communion.
          But going back now to the Holy Nights and before heaven's gates close again shall I gather the Soul's harvest of intentions and resolutions? My intention is to continue to offer the workshops conne
cting us to the Festivals of Fire and of Light which are like anchors or beacons when we can gather and celebrate the cycle of the year. Just now the seeds are receiving the spark of germination from their Archetype and will begin the journey of metamorphosis from now til the fall.

          As the years pass this humble stable studio grows more and more roots of connection to the Elemental Realm and an aura as a place of Healing for the Earth and for those who come here to paint and share.  As its guardian I am rather in awe of what is happening here and noticing peoples' response as they walk in, the fire glowing and the sea sparkling below; when care falls away for a time.  The studio may get a new level and in
sulated floor this year as I had hoped for last year, but we remain very close to the earth!



With my fourth grandchild due towards the end of January I will be more and more involved with the children coming into the world just now. I hear of a host of babies due early in the coming year and I wish for them a safe and nurturing childhood in this fast-changing world of ours.

   Here is a Waldorf doll I managed to make for my grandson- quite a challenge!


  Art as therapy in its several guises remains close to my intentions,  and I  hope to further  integrate this practice  into the week and attend further trainings, such as the Sculpture Therapy weekends and art therapy conferences.   

           With all good wishes for the coming year,


 Here is an article written by a friend which gives a picture of Northumberland at this time of year.

 Coquet Country, December & January

Now that the leaves are off the trees and the bracken and herbage is laid low we can see

more clearly paths, tracks and other workings made by our predecessors. Looking from a

viewpoint just below the common I can see a deep pit on the opposite hillside; probably an old

stone quarry. A gently sloping and well defined track leads from the haugh towards Farnham.

Once used by carts and cattle, the track is hardly used these days since more direct routes

are found by tractor or quad-bike.

I tend to go for walks in the late afternoon after the working day and now, with the sun low

in the sky, traces of these old workings are accentuated by lengthening shadows. From the

same viewpoint I can see old ‘ridge and furrow’ lines running down the hillside. Signs of

ancient ploughing by horse or oxen. These workings have been transacted by a stone and

earth wall which itself has slipped into a mere ripple across the fields.

The cleared conifer planting mentioned last time now reveals several old workings including

two meandering tracks, hollow-ways, from off the hill down into the oak wood. I have known

Jenny Blayney,
Dec 8, 2013, 11:42 AM
Jenny Blayney,
Sep 1, 2013, 2:58 AM
Jenny Blayney,
Oct 24, 2013, 9:45 AM
Jenny Blayney,
May 10, 2014, 3:25 PM