I missed a few months of life!

I can’t believe, I mean I REALLY can’t believe all that has been happening in my life and I am so shocked to see it was FEBRUARY when I last posted.

Crikey… and insert words to that effect.

Well, I feel I should apologise for neglecting you.  I do hope you catch me on Facebook and Instagram.  For the blog here is a short recap of the missing months;

  • I was 50!!! Can only be summarised as fifty and f-ing fabulous!
  • A new ladies writing bureau found its way home, thanks to gifts of birthday money.
  • I decorated a room that was used by my soon to be ex-husband (yes, thats the big factor this year in my life – dealing with divorce) and, though I HATE decorating, I LOVE the end result.  A perfect room for the bureau and I found a perfect chair to pair with it.
  • I have drunk LOTS of coffee whilst studying the Masters Degree.  I have learnt an important life lesson.  One ALWAYS needs good coffee, even if you live on lentil soup for a week to be in a position to afford it.
  • I have read numerous NOVELS in the last twelve months. I have always read a lot, every day, well, every night in bed.  This last year I have often read during the day too, the best escape therapy there is.
  • I started work, one day a week, as a Front of House person at Coldstream Museum.  Well, on my working day I AM the staff of Coldstream Museum. The visitors have been wonderfully eccentric and entertaining, the other staff, though I don’t see them very often, are a great laugh and well, a museum.  How perfect is that for a job?
  • I changed my name.  Very empowering.  I am still ‘professionally known as’ Helen Cowans and my business is still Helen Cowans Arts.  My personal name is now Helen Leighton-Rose.  No, it’s not my maiden name, nor my mothers name but a name that wasn’t given by any man, but one I gave my self.  Leighton…. Lord…. his house is the MOST stunningly artful house I have ever visited and THAT picture of roses…. well, when I saw it for real it was a jaw-dropping moment I will never forget.  So there you are, thats how to choose a name.  It is google proof (as in there is only me in a search) but what a pain to type on a. email and b. a couriers scribbly pad thingy.
  • PINK.  Yes, I started wearing PINK.  Then I ordered PINK bedlinen…. and then a rose gold bed….. rocking my internal girly self.  Why not.
  • Black and greys and grunge haven’t deserted me though and I have retuned to them for the winter, both in sketches and apparel.
  • I’ve sold several pieces of work this year, I will summarise soon on another post and Henry is once again a poster boy, this time in the Earth Pathways Calendar.
  • Exhibitions ran in the Borders Textile Towerhouse and Gallery 45 in Felton. Sold originals and cards.
  • I have spent HOURS, DAYS, WEEKS, MONTHS reading for the MA after I somehow managed to ‘loose’ 6 months of my life through shock and depression…. I was granted a 2 month extension and pleased to say I not only gained a MASTERS DEGREE, but passed with DISTINCTION.  Go me!
  • The MA could not have been achieved without a. help from friends, b. gifts from friends c. coffee, d. more coffee and e. chocolate.
  • I wore (and wear) more red lipstick than ever before. Empowering and attitude forming.
  • My son has a new car, he is in love.  He cleans it on a regular basis, gives it TLC and it poses for photos.  However, being only 4 inches off the road surface, it is not the most suitable car for Northumbrian country road potholes. The exhaust gives a good warning that he’s almost arrived, the sound is distinctive and unmissable.
  • Autumn has come, and almost gone, and I had hoped to sell my house by now.  Seems not.  I have been house hunting, there are option and important decisions to be made.  Head for practicality or heart for the countryside. I think it’s the toughest decision I will make.  Sometimes you need to put your feet up in Barter Books and have a coffee, cake and natter to mull it all over.
  • And FINALLY as I sort and pack the studio I have decided to have a SALE.  Samples, small pieces, teaching aids…. they will be priced to sell in a ONE OFF SALE of my artwork.  Well two sales, one starting the the first week of December and one in the New Year. Watch this space (and Facebook and Instagram).



I took a trip out today, in glorious sunshine and mild temperatures. I walked to the harbour and sat sketching for an hour. I had a walk around Lindisfarne Priory and just had to photo THAT arch. When I got home I decided to add colour to my sketch. It’s not meant to be a masterpiece to frame. The whole point of doing it was to LOOK. There is a quote, that I can’t find (sorry) that says something like… no matter if the drawing is good or bad the point is you stopped and looked. With a photo you aren’t looking in the same way, nor for long enough. For me, drawing fixes a place in my head for future work.