It’s probably become apparent that I like things that are a bit weird and spooky. It’s not my only interest but I do have a fascination with the dark side (the halloween variety as oppose to the Luke Skywalker variety.. although I like that too) which is why my first Whitby piece used Bram Stoker and the Whitby Goth Weekend as its inspiration.
However, as I mentioned in an earlier post, Whitby’s heritage is far older than vampire novels and goth music and this is something that I also wanted to use as a theme.

The town’s coastal location means the sea is an ever present and influencing factor on the town’s history and daily life, and although it was the building of the abbey in 657AD that resulted in the growth of the town and established its religious importance, it’s the enduring presence of the ocean lapping at the town’s shoreline that is most relevant. From fishing through to the holiday makers that come for the sea air and the unique jet stone it will always provide a means to create an income.

It is, essentially, the life blood of the town.
Unlike the ghosts, who are obviously not alive. Although they still act as a source of money, if only for those with a similar curiosity for the unearthly such as Dr Crank, who runs a guided ghost walk. There are books available too which will come in very handy when I start researching my second Whitby | Gothic piece.
But first I’ll finish the Sea…

And if you’d like to share that would be fab…


Graphite and collage on plywood board
20” x 30”

As I was finishing this piece my small tribe of Whitby regulars and I were also planning the spring version of our twice yearly jaunt to the Whitby Goth Weekend. We’ve been going for over fifteen years now and the various events that take part in and around the official festival have always been part of the weekend’s attraction and, for the most part, have enhanced the festival rather than detracted from it.

However, the planning for this one proved to be a little more problematic than our usual flurry of B & B deposit sending and ticket buying as there was a clear discrepancy in the decision of which events to actually attend. There was a real danger, unheard of in all the years of our glorious adventuring, that the group would split up into different factions and attend (I shall pause for some dramatic effect) different venues! What, I declared, was the world coming to? Never mind the very dangerous precedent that this would establish, with gang members running off in all directions doing their own thing without so much as by your leave, but it just wouldn’t be as much fun if we weren’t doing stuff together.

Now I know what some of you are thinking; don’t be such a needy child and learn to be a bit more independent. If some of you want to do one thing and others want to do another what’s the problem? And I know what you mean but that’s not what we’ve done in the past and I just don’t think it would work. So that’s it, we’re not doing it.
The upshot of this (apart from realising that I’m still a child) is that we’ve gone for a voting system that resulted in the needs of the many outweighing what ever anybody else wanted. Hard luck and get over it was the bottom line although we all decided (after much weeping and counselling, especially for Helen who desperately wanted to see Auger) that this was the best thing to do.
Obviously we shall see how it goes and, assuming I survive, I shall file a report with my next piece of art.

Original Artwork : £290.00

And if you’d like to share that would be fab…


This was originally Brigantia, the first of the York Art heritage series. In fact this is my third attempt at Brigantia, and that’s just for this art project. My attempts at her for the art heritage project are detailed in an earlier post, but it’s becoming clear to me that she is an elusive spirit, one that I may never get. Which doesn’t mean I’ll give up, and while I keep trying the art doesn’t necessarily have to go to waste.
Having realised that this was not Brigantia it struck me that (in my opinion anyway) she worked as Minerva, and although she needs a bit of work I’ve found some good collage materials for her and so all should be well.
Until I try Brigantia again…

And if you’d like to share that would be fab…


Graphite and collage on plywood board
20” x 30”

Mad Alice features in Haunted York, a book I’ve just finished writing (or rather re-writing) and designing and which I’ve just sent off to a publisher who has expressed an interest. Fingers crossed that they go for it as it was a lot of work and although I’ll go down the self publishing route again if necessary it would be time consuming and I’d rather focus on my art.

Now I know what you’re thinking: ‘why is Alice in a book about ghosts’, which is an entirely reasonable thought and so perhaps requires a brief explanation.

I was working on Haunted York when my friend suggested the jaunt to Pendle and the idea of Spirits of Place came into being. I was familiar with the Mad Alice story and although she’s more of a legendary curiosity rather than an actual ghost I wanted to get her in the book. Spirits of Place / Spirits (ghost) was a good enough justification for me and also gave me the idea of using her as an art subject.

If only I could find out who she was…

Original Artwork : £290.00

And if you’d like to share that would be fab…