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

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

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



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 : http://www.llcs.org.uk/html/bicentenary_events.html