This summer I have been exploring the ways in which I see my garden as an artistic entity in its own right and an inspiration for my other forms of art. During the last few months this has particularly focused on oil painting. I have enjoyed the luxury of standing among the plants to work, giving an immediacy and vitality to the paintings.
As a textile artist with a love of colour, pattern and surfaces, the markets of India are a real delight. Here in Jodhpur the delicious smells of the spices combined with a bustle of life that completely engaged me. I have translated the wonderful patterns of draped cloth the women wore into the rich, light reflective fabrics of my collage.
The green of Marrakech is concentrated in the courtyard gardens and so are the birds. At dawn this explodes in song. Sparrows, House Buntings and Bulbuls are the main players. This is the courtyard of the Riad Laila, a lovely oasis in the intense business of the city.
The courtyard gardens of Morocco are a delight, often full of both fruit trees and flowers and, it seems, tortoises. I met Fatima in the town of Taliouine, south of the Atlas Mountains. She was a tortoise of enterprise although she did not always get her way.
When I was planting my new flower garden in September the bed next to me was full of Devil's Bit Scabious in flower. Each plant was buzzing and humming with Hoverflies, Butterflies and Bees. My hope is that by next Summer all the flower garden will be the same.
Every artist needs to pause from work. I find it makes a huge difference to my working day to sit for a while in my courtyard full of flowers. Especially as the year is ebbing and each moment of sunshine becomes more precious.
Autumn sunlight has been catching in the dew of early morning, etching the outlines of flowering grasses and spider's webs.
As an artist I see my garden as part of my working practice, but rarely show the working side of this. Here is the new flower garden I am planting, with the tools I use. All in the Autumn sunshine. And a bit of breeze getting in on the act, sorry for sound quality.
This hot-rock Iguana in Southern Mexico was strutting his stuff while the drums were beating.
Visiting Bishnoi Villages in Rajasthan we passed a group of clay carriers, all veiled women, their forms described in swathes of gorgeous cloth. This is the collage I created from the experience.