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Captain Corelli in Purple!

Monday, 10 December 2012

This was to be an anniversary scroll, using a reading from the wedding....

You can see from these two photographs how difficult it can be to match a colour from a picture. I had a photograph of a lovely bride wearing what she called 'mauve'.... which was a different tone from what I would call mauve. And so I used a variety of shades in the decoration of this piece... little pastel squares drifting over the page.... 

It is to be framed in a 12 x 12 inch frame, but we weren't sure whether the ribbon would be included inside the frame or not.... so, I left extra space at the top allowing the scroll to be trimmed from either top or bottom (or both) to fit.

If you would like to commission an original version for yourself just get in touch> suziscribbles at, or take a look in my etsy shop where I also have some prints available> here


Cloths of Heaven

Friday, 7 December 2012

 Canvas size: 10 x 12 x 1.75 inches / 25 x 30 x 3 cm

The Cloths of Heaven by WB Yeats

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams

available to purchase in here the shop

I've used gold gouache for the lettering with splashes of gold & silver powder & paint. Aluminium leaf, 22ct gold leaf, & metal leaf form a textural strip of 'cloth'. The layered dark blues form a midnight blue backdrop.


Dreams... Wishes... Angels

Friday, 16 November 2012

I did these three 8x8 inch canvasses at the same time as the 'Forever Young' canvas...

chase those dreams, catch that star,
 always believe in who you truly are

there comes a time to act upon your dreams and
turn those wishes into reality

guide you every day
may they always inspire you in every way

they can be found in my suziscribbles shop on etsy


Forever Young

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

It's funny, but whenever someone asks for 'Forever Young' by Bob Dylan, 
they always want it on black! Great for a 21st birthday present, but for a new baby? Well... it makes more sense to give something that will grow with them!

Turquoise-y blues & greens stand out wonderfully on the black canvas.... I really liked the shadow cast by the cling film! Scrunched up cling film laid onto wet acrylic randomly daubed across the canvas create amazing patterns. It works with watercolour on paper too... 
and you can manipulate the film & squish it around a bit to help blend the colours. 

Look at the textures! I've even heard of someone 'injecting' colour into the folds 
to add more colour to the veins in the patterns.

Flashes of silver add a little more light & excitement.... hmmm, on this photo the blue looks a bit patchy, but it was more blended in real life!


What a difference a frame makes...

Saturday, 10 November 2012

I went to collect a framed piece of work for a customer recently, only to discover it wasn't what I had asked for. It looked ok, but was not something I would choose.... it might fit a certain style of decor, but it was just too heavy for the piece.  Besides which, I wanted to cover the mount & the proportions were just wrong for me.

I know the paper looks a different shade, but this is the same piece in the frame I wanted.... much more suitable for a modern home with a natural look. Picture framers tend to leave a similar amount of space all around, but when the text forms a long, narrow block, I want to preserve that shape. To do so, there needs to be more space left at the sides, with the top & bottom much closer to the mount than expected.... in this way the mounted piece is still long & narrow. The top pic is veering much more towards square.

The colour of the mount (or matt in the US) makes such a difference too & can limit the frame choice. I often use walnut ink and for many people the natural choice is to go for a sepia or dark brown mount... but that doesn't necessarily suit many frames. I much prefer to cover it with the same paper that I have written on.

People often don't know what I mean when I say that a covered mount would be an idea & find it hard to visualise. As well as complimenting the calligraphy, it suits a wider range of frames.


Audacht Morainn ~ in progress

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

I've attempted this canvas several times & never got very far with it... although things looked great on the prep work I just couldn't make myself proceed further... it just didn't feel right. I was waking up on a morning with ideas of what to do, but still couldn't progress. Usually that's a sign that I'm on the wrong track, but, as I never received a deposit I was thinking it was maybe down to my customer changing his mind. Even so, I decided i wanted to work with these words... if he pays great, if not, I won't add the personalised details.

 Is tre ḟir flathemon rosaig cech dán mochtide mind suíthi.  

It is through the justice of the father that each great man of art 
attains the summit of his knowledge.  

Then one day last week I painted the whole thing out & started again with this dark blue background. There is still a good bit more to add, but it suddenly feels good & I wonder why I never did this to begin with! How many hours of staring & trying different ideas, lol??!!  Isn't it strange how the Muse strikes & the Awen flows...

Toléci dorche do ṡorchi. 
Toléci brón do ḟáilti. 
Toléci borb do ecnu.  
Toléci dóer do ṡóer. 
Toléci dochell do chlothaib.   
Toléci anflaith do ḟírḟlaith. 
Toléci debuith do chóri. 
Toléci gó do ḟír.  

Darkness yields to light, 
Sorrow yields to joy. 
Ignorance yields to wisdom, 
Slavery yields to freedom. 
Selfishness yields to generosity,   
Anarchy yields to order, 
Conflict yields to peace, 
What is false yields to truth.  

The Audacht Morainn is an old Irish text, giving advice to a king, but here it has been adapted to 'father' to suit the recipient. 'Fraid you're not seeing anymore til i'm finished tho!!


??A leap of consciousness??  i often wipe the tops of paint tubes & frequently use a scalpel to scrape away a build up of dried paint... I've warmed tubes of paint up in hot water when the cap won't undo.... so why have i never thought of just dipping the crusted paint tube into some water to dissolve it when the cap won't go back on properly??  is it because i just like using sharp knives rather than cleaning the tube every time i use it or do i just need help, lol? Why does the obvious seem to be so bloody elusive? Please tell me i'm not he only one that suffers!


Earth Dance

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

And so, that symbol I mentioned earlier... i was splashing ink & paint around... walnut ink & watercolour... just random pattern & texture... splashy backgrounds... perhaps for text... or decoration... or concertina books... probably some little concertina gift books that Sam suggested would be an idea to do more of.

I suppose it is quite a meditative process... no great thought, just moving brush & water & colour around.... ideas of how to use them floating in & out of my mind. I was thinking of making some peace flags & hanging them around the local woodland when "Earth Dance" jumped into my head...

And so I turned the words over... thinking of the dance of Earth & planets around Sun... how the universe danced into being.... the words of Kathleen Raine "the earth upon her astral spindle winds her ecstasy producing dance"... of Gaia & the Mother Goddess... how life dances across earth... of animals, humans, plants... the ebb & flow... the circles & spirals... and my place in it all....

After I'd written the words i wanted a symbol that encapsulated my thoughts, and what i produced just flowed without conscious thought... except there were layers of thoughts running through my head.... an open circle, not closed... a suggestion of continuity whilst allowing things in... & out.... the upper line, what is above... sky, heaven, space, beyond... also above in a spiritual sense... the Higher Self, the Soul, Spirit, beyond... the lower line, the Earth, what comes from the earth & returns to the earth... what earth gives & receives... what we give & receive. It sounds a lot but it all took just seconds...

It was all intuitive, that's why I was curious to see if the symbol invoked any thoughts from anyone. In a way, you all picked up an aspect of the feelings i had.... which is pretty cool!! Straight away i had ideas for various projects so did a search. Of course a phrase like that has been used in various ways

Top of the search was a global festival of dance for peace, and although it has taken place for several years I hadn't heard of it. Here is an extract (from this page)


4pm California – 8pm Sao Paulo – 1am Cape Town – 9am Sydney [22nd september 2012]
The Earthdance Global Link-Up for Peace 
The highlight of the annual multi-location Earthdance Festival is a simultaneous link up, when every event across the world plays the Prayer for Peace at the exact same moment – morning in the Australian rainforest, afternoon in California, midnight in London, and sunrise over the Himalayas – the Prayer for Peace is a profound and powerful moment that unifies our intentions for World Peace on all levels.
"We are one global family

All colors, All races

One world united.

We dance for peace and the healing of our planet Earth

Peace for all nations.

Peace for our communities.

And peace within ourselves.

As we join all dance floors across the world,

let us connect heart to heart.

Through our diversity we recognize Unity.

Through our compassion we recognize Peace.

Our love is the power to transform our world

Let us send it out


Considering that i was thinking of peace flags for Ersi Marina's project  when i felt he words, i'm quite impressed!!

Another link that I'm looking forward to reading is "Earthdance~ Living Systems in Evolution" a book by Elisabet Sahtouris.

I just love this photograph [of an ammonite in the national History Museum in London taken by Nancy Larson]... and also the opening message that Elisabet included... "To my planet & its people". This is the opening quote...

Dancing is surely the most basic and relevant of all forms of expression. Nothing else can so effectively give outward form to an inner experience. Poetry and music exist in time. Painting and architecture are a part of space But only the dance lives at once in both space and time In it the creator and the thing created, the artist and the expression, are one. Each participant is completely in the other. There could be no better metaphor for an understanding of the...cosmos.

We begin to realize that our universe is in a sense brought into being by the participation of those involved in it. It is a dance, for participation is its organizing principle. This is the important new concept of quantum mechanics. It takes the place in our understanding of the old notion of observation, of watching without getting involved. Quantum theory says it can't be done. That spectators can sit in their rigid row as long as they like, but there will never be a performance unless at least one of them takes part And conversely, that it needs only one participant, because that one is the essence of all people and the quintessence of the cosmos.

-Lyall Watson, Gifts of Unknown Things

The book is available from Amazon & also as a kindle version... details on Elisabet's site here!  Dr Sahtouris is an "evolution biologist and futurist"... some really interesting articles & links there.

And then, looking on Amazon for one Earthdance, I found another by Joanne Ryder. It's worth looking just to see the reviews...
 I was immediately enchanted by the beauty of the words in this poem, and so moved by the message that, to my surprise, tears began to well in my eyes! I was reading the line "You are twirling so gracefully, carefully, not even the sand moves as you spin..".

There were more, but i quite like the vision of Earth Dance Farms (a non-profit organization)...
"We envision productive local farms where creative endeavors can bloom alongside flourishing produce. We envision former strangers cultivating the land together and growing relationships in addition to sugar snap peas. We envision an Artist-in-Residence gaining inspiration from the beauty of a community farm and in return sharing their talents with farm-workers and farm-goers. We envision individuals from all walks of life coming to EarthDance to learn skills in organic farming and gardening, to taste a fresh-picked carrot, and to see where their food comes from. We are dedicated to seeing this vision through to reality."

Aren't these connections amazing... I love the synchronicities & feel so honoured to be a part of this dance... and have thoroughly enjoyed the dancing around finding others touched by the magic of our Earthdance.


I'm working on...

Friday, 31 August 2012

I have some words....

—From an Old Irish text, Audacht  Morainn which consists of advice from Morainn to a young king.... 

Comath fírinni, cotnofathar.Ocbath trócairi, cotnocéba.  

Let the father preserve justice, for it will preserve him.  

Toléci dorche do ṡorchi. 
Toléci brón do ḟáilti. 
Toléci borb do ecnu.  
Toléci dóer do ṡóer. 
Toléci dochell do chlothaib.   
Toléci anflaith do ḟírḟlaith. 
Toléci debuith do chóri. 
Toléci gó do ḟír.  

Darkness yields to light, 
Sorrow yields to joy. 
Ignorance yields to wisdom, 
Slavery yields to freedom. 
Selfishness yields to generosity,   
Anarchy yields to order, 
Conflict yields to peace, 
What is false yields to truth.  
Air ní soí soithcedach sechtair. 

Let him exalt mercy, for it will truly exalt him. 

Is tre ḟir flathemon rosaig cech dán mochtide mind suíthi.  

It is through the justice of the father that each great man of art attains the summit of his knowledge.  

A prosperous man does not need to turn to the outside.   

and i have more than enough inspiration...

Images from the Book of Kells...

and from The Secret of Kells....

and work by Denis Brown...

It's the 'Secret of Kells' film that really tickles my taste buds.... i wrote about it before over here where there are more images to see. I'm actually trying very hard not to look too much... i don't want to be over influenced or try to copy.  Luckily i lent my copy of the dvd out & haven't asked for it back yet so I can't get too absorbed in it (did i say how much i love this animation??!!) Another excellent review is here

The text was written around 700AD & The Book of Kells is dated around 800 or a little earlier, but I am writing now, so I'm using my updated version of an uncial script & the illustrations won't be too traditional. This is for another 'memory canvas' which is why the translation here talks about 'the father', rather than king, as in the original. I'm playing with layout & fitting together ideas at the moment, so I'll show you more as I go along...


A Symbol... A Question...

Thursday, 30 August 2012

What do you think of when you see this symbol?

It's something that emerged as I played one day, together with two words.

well, the words came first but this followed on quite naturally.

It's nothing mysterious & there are no prizes, 

but I would be curious to know if it suggests anything to you.

Here are some snippets of bits i was doing that may add to the sense of it

(or not!) 

I'll share my thoughts in a few days or so :-)


One Card Leads to Another...

Saturday, 25 August 2012

And so, having done a selection of blue 'friends' cards, a request came for pinky/purples. It's always just as easy to do several as to do one...  a session of writing 'pink stuff' & painting splashy backgrounds to use for decoration resulted in a mountain of pages of words & quotes. 

All are duly scanned & saved for future use in other projects, & finally a batch of cards assembled & photographed. It takes ages sticking those 'diamonds' in place & making sure they look randomly scattered!!

splashy background = technical term for splashing paint around

I often use watercolour for these, but the inktense blocks i got a while back are really vibrant colours & run together nicely with a good sloshing of water (sloshing= another technical term). For this sort of thing, there's no point being too precious over it... they're only going to be cut up or used as backgrounds for other things.

cards listed at

I love how... when they're cut up or little bits are taken out... how they look so delicate, or how individual little pieces look like miniature works of art in their own right, no matter how messy the full sheet was!


Angel Wings 2

Thursday, 23 August 2012

When I did the "On Angel Wings" canvas I worked on a second canvas at the same time... it served as somewhere to test ideas, which is quite a good job, as the gorgeous earthy ink i sprayed on was decidedly pink, and even more so when i washed it off... quite a happy accident though, it looks great for a different piece of work!

8 x 19.5 inches / 20 x 50 cm

I found some copyright free images of angel statues that suit these colours really well. I had thought the 2nd canvas could be left as it is.... maybe...  but as you see from the photograph, the words 'disappear' and will need darkening up, and as I look at it now I have an idea of adding a bit more to balance it up a bit.

There's a bit of an uncomfortable space under 'soar'... i knew as soon as i wrote the first couple of words on the next line that i'd misjudged where to start! Once over I may have lost heart in it there & then & painted the whole lot out, but I've learned that it is nearly always possible to rescue any piece of work. What I'll do is add something else on the right, which will also add some 'weight at that side to balance with the image.... of course as soon as i darken the lettering the whole thing will look different again. Hmm.... decisions, decisions...


Your Song ~

Saturday, 28 July 2012

How many of us have a special song? One that means something to us or reminds of a particular time...
I've just had a request to write out the words to "their song", for a lady to give to her husband on their wedding anniversary. The full lyrics are here, but we decided to use certain more relevant verses and omit some bits that were repeated....

Listening to the song sent all sorts of different ideas through my mind & I was singing the chorus to myself for ages.... it must be one of those songs that speaks to so many people!

 As we discussed colours, S emailed me a photo of the dress she was wearing on the night she met her husband 13 years ago, wondering if I could use the turquoise. It's funny.... once I had that last piece of the jigsaw, i knew what i wanted to do... although at that point I was going to paint the little diamonds to decorate it or use pastels. As I wrote, the chorus was still going around in my head, & though we'd cut chunks of it out I added bits of chorus back in... layering the text to give some background texture and brings some visual interest in between the blocks of words...

When it came to add the decoration I actually printed the photo of the dress fabric & cut that up to create the blue & turquoise 'diamonds'. S said that the photo was a bit too blue & not 'turquoisey' enough, so i adjusted the colour a bit first before I printed, and then added some even more turquoise diamonds for good measure... i was only guessing at the actual colour, but hopefully by using several shades I got near enough! 

The scroll idea is proving a popular way to present calligraphy as a gift. It helps an unframed piece of work look something a bit more.... and the ribbon can easily be trimmed off to frame it later. Luckily, I had some turquoise tissue, & tied it with 2 shades of ribbon.... even if I didn't hit the right shade, at least it looked good to give!! The overall size was a touch under 12 x 17 inches.

Don't forget to leave a comment on my last post for chance to enter the give-away & have chance to win a print!!


In Honour of Friends... a give-away

Sunday, 22 July 2012

There are some extra special friends around... & I'm lucky enough to have some of them find me to help tell their best mates how much they are appreciated!! In this case, my daughter when Thornton's didn't have the particular chocolates she wanted for her friend's birthday and she was going round to see her in a few hours... huh, how dare she...!!!

The recipient of this canvas is always saying, "Well, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger", so that had to be on. These two are always texting quotes to each other and this was one that she particularly remembered, "Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly"

Aaaargh... having someone stand over me is really strange, especially a bossy version of me being extra critical about whether a splash of paint is in the right place! Anyway, cerise splashes & lettering on black, with a dash of silver powder is always eye-catching.

prints available as an 8 x 10 print in the

So.... in honour of friendship... for friends old & new & those yet to be made... i thought we should have a little give-away! I'm offering an 8 x 10 print of the image above (3rd one down!) or the one below...

these were on 8 x 12 inch canvas originally~
i can create something similar, 
but no two will ever be the same

... all you have to do to enter, is leave a comment with a quote about friendship or tell me about the meaning of friendship to you... how easy is that? And if you tell your friends & share it on your blog,  facebook or twitter, you can have another entry for each place, but make sure you come back to comment & tell me you've done so or i won't know! (And don't forget to say whether you prefer the quote or the heart)

You have til the end of the month... 31st July... I'll make the draw on 1st August, which happens to be Lammas (or Lughnasadh) in the northern hemisphere...a celebration of the early harvest... it will be Imbolc in the southern hemisphere, looking forward to spring.... a perfect time to celebrate friendship wherever you are, so get digging to find me some quotations!!


Cards for Friends...

Friday, 20 July 2012

Friends are the family we choose for ourselves...

same words...

different ideas...

available in the shop



My email address:-
I am based in North Yorkshire, UK.
Please get in touch if you would like to purchase any of my work. I can issue a paypal invoice for payment or use the 'donate' button near the top left once an order is confirmed.

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