The ten  things I can't live without (as an artist !)

The ten things I can't live without (as an artist !)

So as I sit on the sofa, watching daytime T.V, . This week has been a tough one for most of us, the news hasn't got any better, and we are all wondering where it will end. I also got the news last week that I could have my surgery this week.

Great news as I wanted it badly , after breast cancer surgery 2 years ago. I was so grateful to the amazing surgeon who saved my life but not so thrilled with my post cancer body, I am hoping this has tidied me up and enabled me to really love the skin I am in.

So after a beautiful trip to Budleigh Salterton on Sunday 

I had to get a covid test and self isolate till Wednesday.

Yesterday I had to get to the hospital for 7.30, but my long awaited surgery had to wait for just a bit longer, as I wasn't 'done' till 3pm. I brought a bit of sketching and listened to audible to pass the time. Oh yes and wore my lovely surgical stockings

Dreaming of nature, and Mid Devon walks, I was skill fully operated on.


Awaking around 6, and then very well looked after by the nursing staff. I was determined to get home so despite feeling very faint I was home by 9.Dosed up on painkillers and propped up on the sofa, I have resurrected this blog post fof you, 


In my working life there are some things I just can't do without, some are quite difficult to put my finger, on some are quite obvious here is my fun list ...see what you think

1. Regular cups of tea

2....and someone to make them for me !

This is Stu, my husband , he works from home too so does provide the tea, as well as a lot of encouragement, support with the website and he can be my biggest critic. I seriously couldn't manage without him. But it's mainly the tea !

3. My series 7 brushes

I love these brushes and use them all the time, they come to a great point and they hold just the right amount of water. 

4. Social Media, 

Facebook, twitter and recently Instagram have been a Godsend for me.I work in a little bubble and can get lost in my own world. Knowing you lovely people in the outside world and being able to show you my work has been a life changer for me. It has helped me grow as an artist and sell my work, I know I wouldn't be where I am today without you all.

5. My little studio 


This is where I paint,  in a lovely shed in the garden Stu ( see 2) put up the shelves and made my desk, I spend so many happy ( some frustrated) hours here, always striving to get better . I don't ever dread going to work, and I know how lucky I am , so this is my little haven.

6. Mid Devon

Mid Devon is where I have lived for 20  years now it is my inspiration, my muse and it gives me joy to get out into the countryside everyday. 

7.My paints and my lovely metal paint box

I have used this paint box for about 8 years now and I love it, I can mix big washes of paint  and I know instinctively where all the colours are. I use winsor and newton paints,I always have and I know just what to expect .

8. My phone

What did we all do before technology? I take my phone out with me everyday and it not only counts how many steps I take but I can snap away and gather inspiration for my next piece of work. It is also my constant companion in my studio as I listen to the radio I have listened to classic plays , comedies , debates, and music .I have been taken to many worlds up in my little room. all  through the glory of iplayer, and the odd game of candy crush too while I wait for a section to dry !

9 and 10 My glasses

It is a sad fact that as I have gotten older, I can't see the detail I need to without them now. I have only started using the the past year or two and now I cannot do with out them

and my glasses

Well at the end of a long day when everything hasn't gone according to plan we all need to unwind a bit x

 Take care everyone, and here's to getting back to painting soon...when things have settled down a bit 

Back to blog


Hope all went well with your operation.Rachel. I love your blog, something to look forward to in these uncertain times. You are always so positive.

Hazel Alexander

Thank you for the fun blog. Makes me think what I couldn’t live without (as an artist). For inspiration: my husband, my two dogs, and the great landscape of my home in Sauerland (Germany) >> all three usually show up in my paintings. My tools: my cell phone, too, as I first take pictures of landscapes and things I want to paint; my Schmincke watercolors in a metal box that allows me to mix the colors as I want them to be… And all is held together by hectoliters of coffee ;-) :-) :-D
Thanks for your beautiful paintings and your instructive blogs! Your paintings are a great teacher for me! Love


Thank you for your fun blog. Wishing you a speedy recovery. I have been following your blog for quite a few years now. Your work is beautiful and you are so


Lynne Pearson

Thank you for your fun blog. Wishing you a speedy recovery. I have been following your blog for quite a few years now. Your work is beautiful and you are so


Lynne Pearson

A fun great blog thank you for sharing a bit of your life with us.
I wish you well with your recovery and look forward to many more of your wonderful paintings. You are a true inspiration to me with my art, I just keep going with it because I hear you in my head telling me what I might do better.
Thank you 😊

Diane Hayward

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