NurturingThursday 99

‘Over every mountain there is a path, athough it may not always be seen from the valley.’ ~ Theodore Roethke

IMG_0260Watercolour and Wax Resist by Martin King

This painting ~ by my husband Martin ~ illustrates how I’ve been feeling about the current situation in the UK. Enough has been said and written about last Thursday’s EU referendum, so I’m not going to add to the confusion ~ I’ll let the picture speakย for me!

The quote above it (shared on Facebook by Serendipity Corner) reminded me that there is usually a solution to the most challenging of situations, even if we aren’t able to see that at the time.

So I’m focusing on the welcoming light in the little cottage and trusting that we will be guided safely over the mountain of chaos facing our country right now. May you be guided on your path too!


โ€œNurturing Thursdayโ€™ is hosted by Becca Givens, author of the inspiring blog On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea. If you would like to learn more about it please visit her site.

N.B. Due to the expiration of my Premium WordPress Subscription this site might not be available after Monday 4th July 2016. If so please come and visit me on Wightrabbit’s Blog.







VOS Roundup

I’ve been suffering from splitting headaches, recently ~ it transpires that my eyesight has worsened. So, until my new prescription specs arrive, I’m banned from staring at a computer screen.

I have collated all the previous Virtual Open Studio images onto a Pinterest board, entitled ‘Amazing Artwork by Martin King.’ So, if you’d like to see them all laid out together, please follow this link:

Jacqueline King’s Pinterest Boards

I hope to be back to 20/20 status soon ~ please accept my apologies for not posting or answering your much appreciated comments.

Missing you already! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Virtual Open Studio # 15

In earlier posts I’ve mentioned that The Artist has a habit of chucking his paintings in the bin or ~ better still ~ burning them, (unless I get there in time snatch them from the flame!)

Many moons ago, he painted this picture at the end of a somewhat volatile relationship, (could you guess?) So, when he met me, he decided to destroy it. But I loved it, instantly ~ and couldn’t allow that to happen, so I found a suitable frame and hung it on the living room wall.

The light shining at the window guides the eye towards the source of warmth and comfort, and shelter from the ravages of the storm. It came to symbolise the way we felt, coming home to our own cosy cottage.



This old-school painting is on paper and rendered in watercolour and waterproof ink, using masking fluid to create the forks of lightning.

Many have requested copies, (including the girl at the printers!) ~ so clearly the image strikes a universal chord!

This work is ours so copyright conditions apply ๐Ÿ™‚

Virtual Open Studio #5

In 1997, while we continued to live and work in England, The Artist and I bought a second home, across the Channel, in Brittany.

I wrote about it here and here.

Comprising of a traditional two-roomed cottage and a long, narrow stable, with hay lofts up above, it was set in sizeable gardens. Although little more than an unkempt ruin, this was the ideal rural bolt hole, to which we could escape from the stresses of city life.

A derelict barn, housing rusty tools and a horse drawn plough, stood opposite our kitchen window, on the end of a neighbouring plot. We thought it strange that the owners hadn’t kept it in better condition, or pulled it down to enlarge their entranceway – particularly as their house and grounds were otherwise immaculate. But we didn’t complain – it had a certain rustic charm, which inspired Martin to paint this watercolour:



Of course, it turned out that we owned ‘L’Hangar’, as it was known – and the triangle of land it stood on proved to be significant.

Apparently our neighbour had offered, many times, to buy it – it adjoined his garden after all and was separated from ours by a track. But the previous owner had refused to sell to him. She knew that he planned to widen the access to his property and improve the drainage. And, if he did that, the whole village would be subject to higher taxes.

About a year after we bought it, a local farmer called, asking if we would be willing to dismantle the ‘eyesore’, maybe grow vegetables on ‘le petit triangle’ instead. When we replied that we didn’t have the necessary demolition equipment; he said no problem – ‘tout le monde’ would help.

At seven o’clock the following morning we were roused by a determined working party – men armed with pick axes and shovels; women bearing pots of coffee, babies in pushchairs looking on. Although he worked alongside us, our disgruntled neighbour didn’t say one word!

By afternoon the ground was cleared, the rotting timbers burning on a bonfire, so high it almost set the surrounding trees alight. We dined outside, in front of it, to ensure it didn’t spread and – when we went to bed that evening – L’Hangar was no more.

We no longer own our Place in the Country. But we have this picture to remind us of the day the whole community pulled together, to assist ‘the crazy English people’ and to improve the village.

The Logo
Somewhere in this painting, Martin has super-imposed his logo – can you spot it?

In last week’s image, The Steampunk Racing Camel, the logo is situated at the top of the camel’s hump, not on the left eyelash – sorry Isadora ๐Ÿ˜‰

* All words and images on this blog site are the intellectual property of the Author and Artist. You are welcome to share them – but please be mindful of your Karma and use them with respect. Please credit us by inserting the link to Tao of Scrumble ๐Ÿ™‚


Virtual Open Studio #3

When The Artist and I became an item, I was living in a one bedroomed cottage on the outskirts of Plymouth. Although it was only supposed to be a temporary stop-gap, bought in panic when my first marriage ended, I loved that house-for-one. It was cute and quirky and the long, enclosed back garden made up for the lack of space inside.

I lived there alone, for quite a while, nursing my broken heart and coming to terms with the harsh reality of being single again, in my early forties. I’d married at nineteen, given birth to my son eleven months later and my daughter nearly four years after that. Having been a wife and mother for more than twenty years, I was suddenly adrift. But that tiny terraced house helped anchor me, it’s stout stone walls providing sanctuary; a safe place to weep and wail, to heal my hurts, to play my kind of music, to dance and sing. To reclaim my life.

I met The Artist early on, as a friend of a friend – but we lost touch when he went to Art College in Cornwall. It wasn’t until his course had finished and he moved back to Plymouth, that we met up socially, gradually becoming more and more involved. Reluctant to surrender my newly established freedom, I didn’t invite him to move in, until it became impractical for him not to.

It was a tight squeeze. In fact, we looked around for somewhere larger, where we could start afresh. But nothing had the same ‘wow factor’, that made this house so special. So we streamlined our possessions, gave unwanted stuff away and stored our ‘treasures’ in the attic.

By now I’d established a late-blooming career in Social Housing. The Artist was self-employed, working on commission and in community projects, while extending his own portfolio. This suited us – I found my full-time, busy job exciting; he focused on his painting and kept the home fires burning (albeit with fake gas logs!)

I’d bought the previous owner’s furniture and hadn’t changed it. So we decorated; bought a new bed, a sofa and a leather chair, hung Martin’s artwork on the walls – and transformed that heartbreak house into our first home.

And here it is:



The title of this painting is derived from our address. People sniggered when we told them it was ‘Butt Park Road’ – in a modern context, I suppose it is amusing. But the ‘butt park’ didn’t refer to my comfy armchair. In days of yore, every man was required, by law, to practice archery once a week – so that, if needed, they could be called upon to defend the Realm. And Butt Park – the common ground at the bottom of the road – was where the mediaeval locals did this.

Standing across the road at first and at the end of the garden later, The Artist roughed out the images in pencil. Then he came inside and rendered them in pen and ink and watercolour; blending top with bottom, front with rear to capture a complete picture of our quaint old cottage.

Every time I look at it, I laugh. There are so many fine details – the tiled roof, the old net curtains, the milk bottle on the doorstep, washing swaying on the line, (including my big knickers!), the neighbour’s cats. This is not simply a brilliant painting. It’s a perfect reminder of where and how we started out.

We loved living together, in Butt Park Road.

Although this is a retro piece, Martin has digitally super-imposed his logo. Can you spot it!

Last Week’s Answer:
Congratulations to Dragon’s Dreams, who noticed that, in My Old Ironhead the logo was on the end of the foot peg.

* All words and images on this blog site are the intellectual property of the Author and Artist. You are welcome to share them – but please be mindful of your Karma and use them sensitively. Credit us by inserting the link to Tao of Scrumble ๐Ÿ™‚