Bentley & Spens at the V&A

Everyone is very excited because later this month one of Sally and my ‘yukata’ and ‘obi’  outfits, produced when we were the Bentley & Spens textile design partnership, is to be featured in Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk an eye catching oriental fashion show at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. 

The exhibition- running from Saturday February 29 to June 21 – is a celebration of the iconic Japanese kimono tracing the antecedents of this defining garment back to the 16th century whilst reflecting upon its influence and inspiration for a raft of 20th and 21st century fashion designers.

I met  Sally Spens (latterly Murdoch) at London’s Goldsmiths College.  Later working together as Bentley & Spens our hand painted and batik designs drew favour from clothing and interiors outlets from London, to New York, and Paris, eventually coming to the attention of Japan’s foremost Kimono producer, Kawashima. The company intended to use our designs in a range of less formal lightweight summer kimonos known as yukatas – de rigeur for chic women at the nation’s popular and season defining cherry blossom festivals. An ‘obi’ is the waist belt or band.

Our first Bentley & Spens yukata collection in 2002 comprised a dozen designs  with the theme Cool Flowers, Fruits Party, Exotic Japan, Sweetheart and Sea Story. To our delight an instant hit with Japanese retailers it prompted a second collection the following year entitled Tropical Daydream’ featuring hand painted birds, shells, elephants and fauna.

Bentley & Spens Tokyo launch

We were flown out to Tokyo for the launch (see adjoining photographs), taking the Bullet Train to Kyoto to meet the production staff at the factory. During the subsequent six years we supplied around 80 original yukata designs.

Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk, February 29 to June 21,2010, Gallery 39 and The North Court, Victoria & Albert Museum, South Kensington, London SW7 2RL. £16-£18. 


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Back on the beach – three new pieces for Easter 2019 at The Padstow Studio

Cold Water Surf ll Treyarron

It’s been a long chilly winter although despite, or perhaps because of the grey skies and shivery temperatures I’ve completed three new pieces that are going into the Padstow Studio in time for Easter. I’m always amazed at the hardiness of surfers who take to their boards even in the depths of winter. There’s a flavour of their toughness in Cold Water Surf ll Treyarron. More typical of the classic Cornish beach experience are Sports Day at the Beach Padstow and Cooling Down High Summer Harlyn  – with all the sun, fun, frolics and happy pooches enjoying the sand and sea on perfect summer’s days. Anyone with a keen eye will spot Asta on both. All three at at Sarah Adams’ Cold Water Surf II Treyarron Padstow Studio in Duke Street now.

Cooling Down High Summer Harlyn


Sports Day At The Beach Padstow


The Padstow Studio, 30 Duke Street, Padstow, PL28 8AB telephone: 01841 533777

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four new pictures at my Shared Histories show in St.Ives the first week in April


cold water surf porthmeor

island life st.ives


















all paintings from £525 – £595. contact me at



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Shared Histories at St.Ives

our press release for our forthcoming three artist show in St.Ives

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The Padstow Studio’s 10th anniversary show

Last year I was invited to take part in Sarah Adams’ wonderful 10th year anniversary show at her Padstow Studio.  My contributions were these three images – all sold: On Stile Selfie; Paddling Pooches; Sitting On The Rock On The Bay.The preview was wonderful event with many of Sarah and my own clients making the time to share the occasion.

Sitting On The Rock On The Bay

On Stile Selfie

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My work at The Square Gallery St. Mawes

Winter Quick Step

Winter Quick Step

I am delighted to announce there is a second gallery (after the Fowey River Gallery) showing my work on Cornwall’s south coast. It’s the Square Gallery, right on the seafront, close to the harbour, at St. Mawes. It’s a wonderful place with work by dozens of great artists including my friend, and design partner Sally Spens. It’s a small and bursting at the seems with great contemporary art work and is run with contagious enthusiasm by Catherine Talbot, whose love for art and support for artists is refreshing and encouraging. To begin with Catherine is showing four of my embroidered paintings; The Beautiful Game In Battersea Park, and Cornish beach scenes Jump For Joy, Sailing School, and my latest, Winter Quick Step, a chilly out-with-the-dogs and wrap up warm sort of day, that for me could be almost morning walk on the beach between November and March.

sailing school

sailing school

Asta and I have been scoping out the area and there will embroidered paintings of St.Mawes in the near future.

If you get a chance take a look at the Square Gallery. There’s lots to see and a great pub with huge servings of fish ‘n chips, across the road, The Rising Sun.

The Square Gallery, 5 The Arcade, St.Mawes, TR2 5DT. 01326 270720/

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Football and Shopping – winter scenes in Battersea and Chelsea

The Beautiful Game in Battersea Park

I took a break from west country beach images this month and devoted my time instead to a brace of London works. With the football season in full swing The Beautiful Game In Battersea Park is a painted and embroidered snapshot of footie on the banks of the Thames. With Battersea Power Station in the background, and Asta Puppy looking at something in particular, parents watch on as the young blues look to be getting the better of the young reds.

Flower Stall on Sloane Square

Not so far away is Peter Jones, on the Kings Road, where I worked in the haberdashery department for three months after leaving Goldsmith College. I’ve always loved the flower stall on Sloane Square and enjoyed quite a few lunch breaks on that bench. I’ve tried to capture west London style; there are Chelsea ladies buying flowers, another talking on a mobile, and fashionable west Londoners going about their business.

‘The Beautiful Game in Battersea Park’ and ‘Flower Stall On Sloane Square’ are framed and ready to go; £620 each.


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