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 :

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.


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


Telephone: +44 (0) 115 947 0793



Mapping our Journey….

Celebrating the Bi-Centenary Passage
of Kennet and its Flotilla

14th October to 23rd October with the Friends of Kennet – recreating the inaugural journey of 1816.  It is was a Bicentenary Celebration which we took part in; it was such a fantastic journey for our memory maps.  We began our own journey back in August from Liverpool Docks to make our way to Leeds.  Albeit in the opposite direction it was to form part of the celebrations with a place for Hekla in their flotilla. We joined at Bingley Five Rise to make our way to Skipton with the  Flotilla.  We presented the drawn maps to The Friends of Kennet as a gift to their society.

Presentation of the maps

Our part of the journey began on the 16th of October, with the arrival of Kennet at Bingley 5 Rise, what a welcome they and we got.  As Kennet rose through the locks, the banks and towpaths we a wash with hundreds of people cheering them on.

The crowds cheering...

The crowds cheering… The Friends of Kennet

Back in August I began to create two maps to commemorate the Bi-Centenary; the first one being the West Pennines.  They are drawn to form the 127 miles of the longest canal in England.  I have tried to represent and bring together the boats and their journeys through the countryside and industrial heritage it served through its heydays.

The Friends of Kennet at Bingley 5 Rise

The Friends of Kennet at Bingley 5 Rise.

Earlier this year I gained licence to draw on the Lockmaster Maps which has made it possible to draw our journey alongside giving a memory to journeys by adding images of the sights we see.  I like to call them memory maps… as they are just that, bringing history, architecture and landscape together… ghostly images of times gone by alongside the present.

Leeds & Liverpool Bi-Centenary with The Friends of Kennet and Canal & River Trust.

Leeds & Liverpool Bi-Centenary with The Friends of Kennet and Canal & River Trust. October 2016

Hekla At SkiptonBirthday Gathering - Eldonian Basin - LR

Flotilla - Elldonian Basin - LR

Passing The Piano Raft Ben Cummins


We arrived at Silsden on the first night of our journey in the dark; to the cheers of people, music playing, bunting, fairy lights, hundreds of people and houses lighting the way.  A memory we nor the Friends of Kennet will ever forget…

The two maps depicting the 127 mile Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

The two maps depicting the 127 mile Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

One of our researches came the discovery of Brightwork which in contrast to the Roses & Castles, the Leeds & Liverpool Canal had their own patterns which denotes what trade you did.  Roses and Castles were not featured as they are found on other canals.  Brightwork is patterned and quite colourful.  (More to come on this as further research is done on this.)

Brightwork on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

Brightwork on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

I have incorporated some of the Brightwork onto the maps along with the Red Rose of Lancashire and the White Rose of Yorkshire as part of the Bi-Centenary Celebrations.

Links :


Greens Create

‘Greens Create…’  Art Exhibition at The Hoxton Arches Gallery in London – 19th October to 24th October. 2016.

‘Green Creates…’  is an innovative free week-long exhibition which seeks to celebrate Green Creativity.   Andy Goldsworthy : Grayson Perry : Gavin Turk : Ralph Steadman : Lesley Hilling : Jon Snow – A fantastic line-up of artists talking about the environment through Artworks.

I am very excited to be part of this exhibition; my contribution brings focus on the waterways of England and Wales… We live and travel on our narrowboat ‘Hekla’ – this  life enables us to see the environment and how the wildlife live among us. The waterway networks are the corridor gardens linking the towns and cities together. My drawing in the exhibition :  looks at what does the average person see?  An endangered species, or do you simply see a frog…    ‘I became enchanted… is a poem written to be read in any direction… so it changes with each reading… to be read up close…  Whilst the drawing is to be admired from a distance…

'Green Creates...'


I began working on a series of drawings which capture an essence of encounters; coming together as  postcards, prose, drawings, sketches, paintings; they tell the story of the characters we comes to know.. Watercolour, Pen and ink, pencils, create… Kingfishers perched, diving, rising, frogs sunbathing,, toads hiding, swans tapping on windows, lapwings flocking, geese squawking, coots hiding, moorhens fighting, a narration of life on the water.  To realise what a difference water quality and habitat can make; is the meaning of life or death.  For with out either we loose a species… food for thought!

'I became enchanted...'


Medium : Pen & Ink with pencil

Start   19-10-2016

End     24-10-2016

Times Wednesday 19 & Monday 24 10.00-18.00 (last admission 17.30), Thursday 10.00-23.00 (with live performances), Friday,Saturday 10.00-00.00 (featuring vinyl DJs last admission 23.30), Sunday 10.00-18.00 (short film screenings from 18.00-20.00)

Venue            Hoxton Arches

Address       Cremer Street, E2 8HD London, United Kingdo

Telephone    02036919400



Cost             Free – Suggested donation £5


What’s happening ….Mapping our Journey….

Mapping our Journey…. our latest venture which is quite apt.  We have been travelling for almost 3 years now covering many of the canals and rivers of the England and Wales.  This has been an interesting journey of discovery, painting, drawing, photographing, making small videos, writing poetry… which has opened up the opportunity to draw on The Lockmaster Maps.  Licenced to draw has a nice ring to it… and that is exactly what I am doing under licence to Lockmaster Maps.  The first in the series was The Cheshire Ring…

Under Licence by Lockmaster Maps

The Cheshire Ring – Drawing under Licence with Lockmaster Maps

As we came through Birmingham I completed the The Black Country Canals as part of the journey adding places of interest as we traveled.  The Third in the Series will be The Four Counties Ring with others to be come available as we gain momentum and will be part of our journey.

The Black Country Canals

The Black Country Canals – drawing under licence with Lockmaster Maps

After leaving Birmingham – We are now en-route to Liverpool to see the Biennial Arts Festival as is in now full swing… The city comes to life supporting local and international artists.  We will be there at the end of August for one week; mooring in Albert Docks which will be quite an adventure for us.  September will see our plans are to be part of the Leeds & Liverpool Bi-centenary, we will be joining in with the celebrations as an when along the route from Liverpool to Leeds.  Creating visual maps of some of the iconic images you might see along the journey.  Touching base with the Leigh Canal Festival – my home town which we are to be part of 9th to 11th September.  Leigh, Lancashire.

Leigh Canal Festival

Leigh Canal Festival

Canal Art Exhibition – 13th March to 9th April 2016

Venue : Canal Art Exhibition – Audlem Mill, The Wharf, AUDLEM, Cheshire CW3 0DXKingfisher Portraiture

The exhibition is a group exhibition where artists from the UK come together to bring artwork; a representation of the canals.  

What inspired you to make these drawings?  On my part; my contribution has come together over the past few months.  I have been working in different mediums, sketching together with putting words to pictures, I hope this compilation comes to describe how we meet kingfishers along the way on our travels.

'A Shroppie Kingfisher'

Common Kingfisher : Facts and Information

The Kingfisher : as a member of the Alcedinidae family,  they are a gem among birds; they are so brightly coloured as it is almost a dazzle to the eye in certain lights.  I have seen one on the wing in flight looking like a bright blue flash of light rather than anything solid.  At that instance; for a moment, I wondered if it was a dragonfly as the blue was so vivid.  In another light when sitting without movement on a branch just above the water, they appear to be comparatively dull, with dulsive tones.  When travelling on our boat sometimes we come so close; just enough to see the variation in their colours.  The upper parts are vivid blue with a greenish flash on the crown and wings.  The under parts and ear-coverts are chestnut red, and and and a part on each side of the neck are white. Male kingfishers and female kingfishers are are almost identical except for an orange colouration with a black tip on the lower part of the females beak/mandibles. Young kingfishers are similar to the adults in appearance, however, they have duller and greener upperparts, paler underparts, black beak and initially, black legs.

Kingfishers are territorial birds living by lakes, rivers, streams, canals and sometimes the coast.  When the water freezes they tend to move to the coast.

They nest in sand banks above the water, burrowing down into the earth, laying anything between 6 to 10 eggs, which are white with flecks, rather round in shape than oval, around April to June.  Their diet is quite adaptable, fishing for water insects, shellfish, tadpoles and small fish.

Their song is a sharp whistle, or a warbling song.  When fishing they are quiet, being a shy creature it a privilege to see them.  Which is sometimes possible if you are quiet; or maybe they are more accustomed to human presence.  How big is a kingfisher, I paint them in various sizes so you can see the detail; to the best of my ability, a sketch to show what you could see if they were a little less shy.  They are in actual fact 6.1/2″ 17 cm in height.

Status : Resident on the Amber list of endangered birds.

Audlem 2016

‘Canal Art Exhibition’ Audlem Mill, Audlem, Cheshire. CW3 0DX