Webshop Updates

Shroppie kingfisher cards

Webshop Updates : we are currently working on the webshop with the new cards and maps being added along with some other items.  It has been an ongoing process after encountering a problem with gauging an accurate postal pricing system.  Great news… we are now linked with the royal mail to gain up-to-date pricings with weights.

So there we are, over the next few weeks there should be some activity with lots of new maps going on there along with cards and mugs.

kingfisher cards

Maps… talking about maps we have 3 new maps this year with the Nottinghamshires Waters, Chester & Llangollen Canal along with the Warwickshire ring.  All maps are now uploaded and the cards will join them shortly.

It’s great to be able to finally get the webshop up and running properly.

We are currently on the Chesterfield Canal on the Nottinghamshire Waters… its been a lovely summer and its been great travelling some of these waters this year.

Nottinghamshires Waters A5 Nottinghamshires Waters A6

Nottinghamshires Waterways

Expo 18 at The National Waterways Museum

The opening at The National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port on the 20th of July.  It runs till the 4th of November, I have some pieces of work in there as part of the group exhibition Canal Art… not what you might expect.

I have been travelling on the canals and rivers of England and Wales on the ‘never ending journey’ on the ‘Wrong Way Round’ since January 2014.  As it says on the tin… so to speak it is a journey of ‘Art & Travel’ recording, writing, drawing the things we see and the routes we take on that journey.  I exhibit those findings as and when possible… in this case it is maps and wildlife which are influenced by milestones, time and scale.

Mile stones, boundaries and maps.

Milestones, boundaries and maps.

Wildlife & maps

Wildlife & maps

Instruments for measuring distances... old mapping equipment still in use today.

Instruments for measuring distances… old mapping equipment still in use today.

Boundary Stones

Boundary Stones

It is an eclectic exhibition with contributions from the Guild of Waterway Artists of which I am a member.  Here are a few photos taken on the opening night.

Opening night 19th July 2018

Opening night 19th July 2018


A charming exhibition of the Waterways

A charming exhibition of the Waterways

‘Summer Exhibition’

23rd & 24th June at Braunston Historic Boat Gathering and Canal Rally.

An eventful weekend from start to finish, the sun shone and the people came to see the ‘Summer Exhibition’ by the Guild of Waterway Artists.  It was well attended and I had a good weekend, and it is always nice to sell something.  In this case the ‘Kingfisher Dive’ I finished in May is now sold and has gone to his new home.  It was one of those paintings that I had been working on for about two years and finally completed in May and Sold in June at Braunston.

An original Watercolour, Pen & Ink drawing

An original Watercolour, Pen & Ink drawing

Highlight of the weekend was Timothy West and Prunella Scales who came to look around our exhibition, showing an interest in my Lockmaster Maps Illustrated series.

Taking a look at my Lockmaster Maps Illustrated.

A small write-up with more updates to come.  Trying to keep on track with our journey which from Braunston is taking us to Nottingham to have our boat blacked and to see our first Grandchild.  Sixty miles, 33 locks and 8 days to get there at 3 miles per hour.  Early mornings and early evenings to avoid the heat of the day.

Canals, Maps and Festivals

Canals, Maps & Festivals… we have been updating our maps and adding more as they are illustrated.  Which we will be adding to the webshop over the next few weeks.

O.S. Maps part of a series mapping the canals and rivers of the UK & Wales.

O.S. Maps part of a series mapping the canals and rivers of the UK & Wales.

We enjoyed being part of the Norbury Canal Festival and Rally where we brought Maps, Wildlife Drawings and cards.  Newport & Shrewsbury Canal Trust host a fantastic lively festival which is well liked and attended and of course we really enjoy being part of it.

The Warwickshire Ring O.S. map/

The Warwickshire Ring O.S. map/

New to the series this year is the Warwickshire Ring illustrated maps of our journeys along with history or notable buildings and locations.  With more to come as they become available soon to be available in our webshop as we are updating it with the new Map cards which come in A5 and A6 sizes.

This is going to be a very busy year for us as we have a few festivals and exhibitions we are part of where you can see drawings and maps as part of our journey mapping the way.

There has been a little delay in updating… but rest asured we are working on the webshop to bring our new products for sale.

Canal Art Exhibition 2018

18th March – 14th April 2018  10am to 5pm daily -  Audlem Mill Limited, The Wharf, AUDLEM, Cheshire CW3 0DX

What’s On! Where we are today!  I have 4 Illustrated maps in the Canal Art Exhibition at Audlem Mill over this Easter.  It runs daily with the exception of the 23rd of March : noted closed for the day.  Over the last two years I have been adding to an ever increasing collection of my illustrated maps.  They feature history alongside our journey thus marking the extent of where we have been.

compass small

As a travelling artist, I am making a story of where we have been, it is a small selection of the routes we have made from Birmingham to Liverpool each one has their own journey to show.

The Four Countie

The Four Counties Ring

The Cheshire Ring

The Cheshire Ring

The Back Country Canals

The Back Country Canals

Pennines West

Pennines West

It is the first exhibition of the year with the Guild of Waterway Artists, and the first time showing of some new maps.  The maps are Illustrated drawings, framed and are of varying sizes.  All are for sale at Audlem Mill over the Easter period.

Over the year there will be new additions with some wildlife versions, if you keep an eye on my facebook page or my diary dates for new venues as they unfold.

Lock 1 Aire & Calder, Leeds

3rd February, 2018 – 10am to 4 pm – Visitor Open Day – Leeds

We are heading over to join with the Canal & River Trust for the Visitor Open Day by invitation from the trust.  It should be an interesting day; with the lock taking precedence, together with Art, Photography, Music and lots of activities to learn more about the locks.

Aire & Calder, Leeds

Lock 1, Aire & Calder, Leeds

127 Miles of Canal

With Maps, Map Cards, Drawings and books… we are bringing a selection of our journey.  Which has been through these locks on a few occasions.  We will be coming by car, not boat this time.  The marque is provided by the Canal & River Trust; it is looking to be an interesting event.  Hope you can join us on the day.  We will be there on the 3rd February; the event is open for two days 3rd and 4th with various activities taking please.  Please see links for more details of the event on the Canal & River Trust Website below.

See Links : https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/events/2018-02-03-leeds-open-weekend-aire-and-calder-navigation-3-4-february-2018

Maps & Map Cards illustrated

Maps & Map Cards illustrated

Leigh Canal Festival

8th, 9th and 10th September : Location : Leigh Lancashire WN7

2017 white

Dates for your diary : A lovely festival which lends itself to the 3rd Canal Festival hosted by the town of Leigh.  It is a rather special event for us as it is my home town where we can touch base with our history together with joining in with fun for all the family.  What’s on? Vintage Car Rally, Willow Weaving, Live Music, with Leigh Spinners opening its museum last year, which will be open to the public over the weekend.  My mum spent a few years at Leigh Spinners as a weaver weaving carpets.  A little bit of history; Leigh is a cotton and silk weaving town and has a mining community, in its hey day it was the heart of Lancashire.  The canal weaves its way from Manchester to Liverpool on the Bridgewater canal; switching to the Leeds Liverpool from Leigh centre.

This years festival hosts waterside activities, with last year seeing music events, evening canal cruises and day trips, canoeing taster sessions, lantern trips alongside a host of canal boats bringing their wares.  We took part in the festival for the first time last year, enjoying every minute of the festival.  Which is why we are there again this year.  It is a chance to catch up with family and friends.  We will bring more updates as the festival unfolds.

cards maps books

A small selection of our gallery; Drawings, Maps, cards and books.

Leigh canal fest.

Our boat at the festival last year; watching the Canoe taster sessions.

Leigh location

Map : Go by boat

‘Click on the pictures to enlarge them’

Greens Create… a platform for artists in Lincolnshire

I have been invited to help launch the New Arts Platform for local artists alongside national artists for Lincolnshire.   It is the jewel in the crown for the West Lindsey Green Party as they launch their campaign for the new Green Party of West Lindsey.   On the night we hope to have some interesting informal discussions about the artists, wildlife, and how you can make a difference.  I  have a three drawings in the exhibition, a celebration of life on the fresh water navigation’s of the Lincolnshire Fens.  We hope this will be the start of an annual exhibition of Green Creates…

Green Creates


We hope you will be able support this event, by sharing, coming along for a chat, being part of the local art scene.  hosted by The West Lindsey Greens Creates for Lincolnshire. https://tinyurl.com/loa5la4


We shall be seeing Mel’s new launch of one of her new Lincoln Knights… which opens this next week in Lincoln…

Peter Marsh…  a renouned artist who has quite diverse and interesting subjects.  On the night we will be able to see how he has taken the subject of Green Creates…

pete marsh

Reflections by Peter Marsh…  these a little look into what might be found at the launch which will be revealed on the night.

My contribution are 3 drawings of what I think are the essence of the clean waters of our waterways…  what a wonderful line-up.  I will be doing a Roving Reporter alongside chatting to people who are attending the event.

Hope to see you there….


19th May 2017 : Greens Creates : Ashcroft Road, DN21 1JY Gainsborough, Lincolnshire




Canal Art Exhibition

Canal Art Exhibition 2nd – 29th April 2017 at Audlem Mill, Audlem on the Shropshire Union Canal.

An exhibition inspired by the Canals and Waterways with the Guild of Waterway Artists alongside other artists of the United Kingdom.  There will be around 150 paintings on display during the exhibition with my two maps being part of the show.

The Cheshire Ring

The Cheshire Ring

Location : Audlem Mill Limited, The Wharf, AUDLEM, Cheshire CW3 0DX, UK

The Maps : Over the past year I have been working on a series of maps, which have led me to show them this year at Audlem as part of their Annual Exhibition of the Canals and Waterways.  They show a history of the canals and waterways and the diversity of the navigation networks by boat.  Illustrated to show the landscape, Industrial scenes from its heyday, alongside what you might see today.

The Cheshire Ring

The Cheshire Ring

The Cheshire Ring : Taking about a week to complete The route has 92 locks and is 97 miles (156 km) long. It passes through contrasting landscapes between Manchester City Centre and rural Cheshire with views of the Peak District and Cheshire Plain.

Four Counties

Four Counties

The Four Counties Ring is a canal ring which links the English counties of Cheshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire and the West Midlands.  This route is commonly used by holiday boaters typically taking about a week to complete it is 109 miles, 94 locks and takes around 56 hours travelling.

A little bit of potted history of the canals : The canal lies in the counties of Staffordshire and Shropshire and Cheshire in the north-west midlands of England. It links the canal system of the West Midlands, at Wolverhampton, with the River Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal at Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, 66 miles (106 km) distant.

The S.U. main line was the last trunk narrow canal route to be built in England. It was not completed until 1835 and was the last major civil engineering accomplishment of Thomas Telford.

The name “Shropshire Union” comes from the amalgamation of the various component companies (Ellesmere Canal, Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal, Montgomeryshire Canal) that came together to form the Shropshire Union Railways and Canal Company.

The British Canal System of water transport played a vital role in the United Kingdom’s Industrial Revolution at a time when roads were only just emerging from the medieval mud and long trains of packhorses were the only means of “mass” transit by road of raw materials and finished products (it was no accident that amongst the first canal promoters were the pottery manufacturers of Staffordshire). The UK was the first country to acquire a nationwide canal network.

In its heyday, the canals were the Trunking Routes of the Industrial Revolution seeing fly boats, package boats, alongside many manurfacturing industries transporting their wares.  Coal, cotton, potteries, a diverse and important phenomena of its day.  I hope I have brought through illustration a vision of its magnificence.

Audlem Mill CW3 0DX

Audlem Mill


Getting Ready for the New Year…

Southrey on the Witham

Where we are at… January…. we are currently on the River Witham in Lincolnshire with rather a lot of twitchers about.  We are sharing our stretch with a rare bird from Norway. The White Billed Diving Duck… no less. See link for more information on the sightings.


The weather is rather cold and blustery with white horses racing along… the river which has prevented us from moving today.  Winter is a slower time of year with no boats to be had; except for us and the wildlife.  The pontoon moorings rising up and down as the river levels change.  So far so good the new moon saw us racing to higher ground due to the flood warnings; which in actual fact didn’t come, but better safe than sorry.    I love being on the river, the wildlife can be so intriguing, we have a resident kingfisher which sits on the pontoon waiting for his opportunity.

This slower pace of life gives me time to start working on more drawings and maps. Currently on the drawing board is a Mandarin Duck, they are not native to the UK but all the same a spectacular resident which deserves its place on my memory boards.  Hoping they will be finished in time for Audlem this Easter… a Mr & Mrs Mandarin as seen in Market Drayton last year.  A bit late in coming but hey ho.. I do get there eventually.  Which brings me on to maps…  I make them whilst we travel; a recording of a journey, our journey.  I call them ‘memory maps’ as that is exactly what they are; memories of a journey.   The Plan : This year we are undecided on our route, we are hoping once we leave the river Witham to make our way to the Chesterfield Canal, then on back down the river Trent to Keadby, and onwards to Sheffield.  My City of Culture where I studied for a Fine Art Degree.  We haven’t been there by boat yet, so it is on the list of places to visit this year.  Moving onwards over the Rochdale Canal and then the diary is open only to Braunston and the map is therefore uncharted as yet, with no dates for the diary except for the last weekend in June… where I hope there will be more maps to add to the Summer Exhibition at Braunston Wharf with the Guild of Waterway Artists.  See link for more information of our current maps… for sale or for viewing.  The little video / slide show is a little introduction to some maps which have sold as copies over the last few months.

The International Postcard Show 2017 - 13th January – 11th February


This is an annual exhibition which I enjoy being part of.  As part of our journey I have produced a series of maps, of which I have used as part of this project.  Producing 3 post cards specially for the Postcard Show 2017.   My cards are for sale during the exhibition, with the unsold cards taking part in the international exchange.  Which will be another part of their journey…  International meaning they could be exchanged to anywhere in the world to participating exhibitors.

surfacex3 surfacex4


Journey cards

Photographs from the opening night on the 13th January 2017.

Surface Gallery
16 Southwell Road

Web: http://www.surfacegallery.org

Telephone: +44 (0) 115 947 0793
Mail: info@surfacegallery.org