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


The International Postcard Show 2016 : Opening Night

Venue : Surface Gallery, 16 Southwell Road, Nottingham, NG1 1DLOpening night

The International Postcard Show 2016 –  Friday 15th January – 13th February 2016.

The show opened on Friday the 15th of January; having over 400 entries, the opening was given a good response from the public.  Here are a few photographs from the opening night.  With my entry of a ‘Trio of Kingfishers’ Story-cards from the story ‘Blue Coot’, a story which talks about difference.

Opening night

The show opens...

15th January to 13th February 2016

Opening night

A Trio of Kingfishers

 My ‘Trio of Kingfisher postcards’ are for sale at £15 each which you can buy direct from the gallery…

To follow the show link up with The Surface Gallery on Twitter @ or follow me on facebook see link above…

TEL: 0115 947 0793


New Product Launch

Blackbird singing in the dead of night...

Blackbird singing in the dead of night…

Blackbird singing in the dead of night… a collaboration of artworks between Vicky Pearson and Lesley Pearson; to launch our new product range on the Jellygnomes Webshop… With Sue Lees modelling the new Limited Edition T-Shirt Range…

Jellygnomes webshop

The flight of the Kingfisher

Adapted to see underwater the kingfisher can see it prey.

Adapted to see underwater the kingfisher can see it prey.

The flight of the kingfisher is fast, direct and usually low over water. The short rounded wings whirr rapidly, a bird flying away shows an electric-blue “flash” down its back…

In the blink of an eye... the kingfisher is a king of fishers.

In the blink of an eye… the kingfisher is a king of fishers.

They are the king of fishers, eating a varied diet of equatic insects alongside small fish. Kingfishers usually hunt from an exposed perch; when a prey item is observed, the kingfisher swoops down to snatch it, then returns to the perch.

Kingfishers are generally shy birds, but in spite of this, they feature heavily in human culture.  As a shy bird the sightings can be rare, yet we see them quite frequently as we move about the rivers and canal networks of England and Wales.  Some kingfishers are quiet undeterred by human presence, others flitting when our boat comes to close.   The flitting electric blue is sometimes the only sighting we can record.  Kingfishers are territorial, nesting in crevices of upturned trees, in banks of rivers and canals.  Laying 2 eggs in a clutch, the flood waters can be a problem in spring.  This leads to laying more eggs to compensate for the loss if they are flooded out.

Kingfisher Perched

The kingfisher is on the Amber List of Endangers species… they are a sign of decent water quality.  In winter if the water is iced over they move to coastal regions, this causes problems for the kingfisher, it is a prime reason for the loss of the species if the bad weather is prolonged.  My drawings are a recording something I shall continue with.

Over the past year I have been writing a children’s book which largely features the coot; who has an encounter with a kingfisher.  During these past few years, I have been looking at characters, families, fall-outs, nesting seasons alongside spotting the diversity of wildlife living on our canals and rivers.

Jellygnomes webshop

A children's story about difference and colour.

A children’s story about difference and colour.

Leading on from the story ‘Blue Coot’ I have been privileged to be able to take part in the International Postcard Show 2016, with my Trio of Kingfishers.

My webshop has some of the drawings, which take form as prints, T-shirts, cards…


A Trio of Kingfishers by Lesley Pearson

Venue : Surface Gallery, 16 Southwell Road, Nottingham.  NG1 1DLPostcard show 2016

Opening Night : Friday, January 15th, 18.00-21.00

January 16th – February 13th

The Surface Gallery in Nottingham are hosting The International Postcard Show.  This year I decided to submit A Trio of Kingfishers; as story-cards, they are a precursor to a book I have been working on which tells the Children’s story of a ‘Blue Coot’.   ‘What a magnificent sight to be seen’ thought the Blue Coot as he gazed at the kingfisher sitting on a branch up above.  The Story and illustrations talk about difference.

KFDive storycard kINGFI

A Trio of Kingfishers

A Trio of Kingfishers

Follow me on Twitter : to see The International Postcard Exhibition 2016 unfold at the Surface Gallery in Nottingham.


Jellygnomes webshop

Over the last 12 months I began to see the ‘Blue Coot’  as an eccentric little bird, which is shy, who hides at every opportunity much like many coots we have seen over the past few years. The ‘Skating Coot’ is a carry on from the story which formed part of the Guild of Waterway Artists Christmas Card Selection which is for sale from my Webshop.

Christmas Coot



!!! Our New On-Line Webshop !!!

Jellygnomes webshop

Welcome to our new on line Webshop…

Where you can purchase, Original Drawings, Limited Editions, Prints, Cards… Click on the link in the Menu to view the On-Line Gallery Shop …. 

Originals and prints WALKING WITH COOTS

See the Current Exhibition in the menu Option to view the uptoday selection, alongside the Christmas Selection for gifts and stocking fillers.  We will of course be continuing with Pop-Up Gallery’s; alongside being able to offer an on line shopping option….

Thank you for all your support as we continue to make our ways through the back waters of the Canals and River Navigations of England and Wales.

Many thanks