Illustrating for Darkside Training Women’s Gym, Lincoln

I’ve been illustrating various projects since 2014 for a fabulous Women’s Gym in Lincoln, UK which specialises in power-lifting for women of all ages.
Most of these drawings are colourful sketches made using an iPad App called Paper53 …

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September 2017 to illustrate a “Darkside Zombie Apocalypse Survival Group”
Loogo for various uses at Darkside training; 2015
Christmas card for Darkside 2016
One of the first images I drew for Darkside way back in 2014


Illustrating the Cosmopolitan Horoscope page throughout 1990

Illustrating the Cosmopolitan Magazine Horoscope page throughout 1990 was one of my favourite illustration projects of my early career. I’d already worked on various book covers and some magazine imagery but to work on a set of twelve images was exciting!


Capricorn 1990; private collection London
Aquarius 1990; pastel 22 x 26 inches AVAILABLE on ARTFINDER – click to view

In those days I worked almost exclusively in pastels and liked to work large, so each image was 20 x 26 inches / 56 x 66cm

Pisces 1990; private collection
Aries 1990; Private collection Lincolnshire
Taurus 1990; private collection London
Gemini 1990; private collection London
Cancer 1990; private collection Northern Ireland
Leo 1990; private collection Cheshire
Virgo 1990; private collection Northern Ireland
Libra 1990; private collection Lancashire
Scorpio1990; private collection Irish Republic
Sagittarius 1990; private collection Australia

I went on to illustrate the tweleve images twice more: for Aura Soma Products in 1999 and again for myself in 2012:
This third set of twelve are in a private collection in Northern Ireland in the possession of the owners of Cancer and Virgo.

All images copyright Phyllis Mahon
A member of DACS London
(Design and Artists Copyright Society London)

Dancing with imaginary men!

“Dancing with an imaginary man” – I first used this title in 2001 and have used it frequently in my newer works on Khadi handmade paper.

Here are some of the works created with a dancing theme in mind; it’s been one of my most popular! All images are 30 x 43 cm and on beautiful Indian “Khadi” handmade paper – with a deckled edge.

Dancing with an imaginary man Private collection California USA

The above image is in California and the following four images are in private collections in Lincolnshire, UK …

These two images are in Private Collections in Spain …

Then I decided that women could dance with goldfinches !
Dancing with a goldfinch 2016 30 x 43 cm Click to view on

Thank you for looking & if you like my works please share!

All images ©PhyllisMahon
A member of Design & Artists Copyright Society, London


Out in the night – a memory

©Phyllis Mahon
Out in the night – a memory 61 x 48 cm 2017 Acrylic and oil pastel on unbleached linen board.

A memory of the sight, the scent, the taste of her love; a woman set against a dark landscape illuminated by a glowing tree.
Its light is radiating towards her senses: her eyes, nose and lips.
It’s as if the flowing grasses are wrapping themselves around her as a transparent cloak or cape. They could be just suggesting the beginnings of wings. Tied behin her nape in a blue ribbon in a bow – forget me not.

Painted on unbleached linen board, in acrylics with highlights of Sennelier oils pastels, this moody landscape if full of love and longing.

I painted this while listening to Enya’s Watermark album, particularly two songs. Exile and On Your Shore. The latter is a haunting melody and is based on a woman revisiting the UK from America; a past life. Enya comes from the Northwest of Ireland like I do and I identify strongly with her lyrics.
“Strange how my heart beats, to find myself upon your shore …”
The other fascinating song that helped to title this painting is “Call yourself Renee” by Okkervil River -the lines
“Out in the night
The world was right against our skin
And it was right again … ”

The raised flying hair showing off her nape is a little nod to the Japanese prints (which focused on this erogenous zone) that I find so beautiful.


Available on

Stonecarving – “When Nyx draws her cloudy cloak…”

“When Nyx draws her cloudy cloak, and steps with winged feet…” Phyllis Mahon 2015

Portland stone 30 x 22 x 2.5 inches / 76 x 56 x 6 cm
Portland stone 30 x 22 x 2.5 inches / 76 x 56 x 6 cm
Asleep to dream...
Asleep to dream…

Originally started on my theme of “Waiting for the angel…” this is an image inspired by sleeping, dreaming, angels, love and memory which shows the goddess Nyx, with winged arms and feet, as a small figure stepping into a sleeping woman’s hair. Her wings fly out into clouds like a cloak being drawn behind her. To fit in with my current landscape paintings, there is a suggestion of an open field and horizon…

The horizon behind her...
The horizon behind her…
Stepping detail & winged feet
Stepping detail & winged feet

I’ve used my favourite ‘multiple’ tool on her hair and on the bed clothes around the sleeping woman to create flowing lines and pattern on her ‘bed clothes’ …

Pattern detail photographed at night for better contrast...
Pattern detail photographed at night for better contrast…

Nyx_4 copy

Signed & dated bottom right 2015
Signed & dated bottom right 2015
Carving tools and brush
Carving tools and brush
Carving in August
Carving in August
Nyx - little sleep goddess
Nyx – little sleep goddess

I’ve been working on this stone-carving throughout August and finished it on 9th September 2015.

All Rights Reserved © Phyllis Mahon – a member of DACS London

iPad imagery inspired by Hafiz poetry

Your soul once sat on an easel…

What a wonderful phrase! Not mine but a direct line from one of Hafiz’s poems.

I have always loved reading the poetry of Hafiz, who lived in Persia in the 12th century. Probably the one snippet that has been my inspiration over the past few years has been ‘The lips of the one I love are my perpetual pleasure. The Lord be Praised for my Heart’s desire is attained…’

As some of you may know I also love to work on my iPad on a wonderful app called ‘Paper 53’ – last night I uploaded some of these Hafiz inspired images, as well as some other ipad drawings onto a site called Finearteurope. So a perfect opportunity to merge two good ideas.


I am quite taken with – there is a chance to sell originals at 0% (I have never experienced this before in my quest to sell online) – they put a potential buyer in touch with the artist directly… but where they DO make their money is from selling an artist’s images as prints, cards, canvas prints but also onto cushions, mobile phone cases! This I do not mind; even if I only get a tiny mark-up: I see it as making imagery accessible that never sees the light of day in my studio plan-chest drawers. For someone like me  with a prolific output, I am hoping that it’s the way to get ‘out there.’

As soon as I uploaded one of my black and white images, Girls Frills, a friend bought a throw pillow in that design…it is going to look great! First sale in I trust many.

Finearteurope and Fineartamerica are one and the same…see some of my iPad drawings and more of my works on

Some lovely Hafiz quotes:

Phyllis Mahon June 16th 2015

Waiting for the angel and the angels though the years…

‘Waiting for the Angel’ – a recurring theme in my artwork:

One of my earliest memories was the prayer that my mother taught me & it had a great influence on me:

Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here; ever this day be at my side, to light and love, to rule and guide. Amen

Here are some images of angels from late 1990s through to present…

Two ‘Dark Angels’ from my last days in London; shown at Beck Road Open Studios autumn 1992…each is 22 x 32 inches charcoal and pastel

    angel breath     

Angel in the water…1992, never exhibited 44 x 32 inches; pastel on paper…

angel deep

A recurring theme – and a frequent title – in my artworks, Waiting for the Angel depicts an angel visiting people on the earth.

Above: 2007 – an ink drawing with watercolour wash 10 x 8 inches called Angel Moon…

Below: From 2011, a watercolour and ink drawing onto a small wood-engraving. A winged figure depicting Air and water…

‘Lovers & white dogs on a summer night’… Khadi Indian paper 20 x 20 cm; watercolour (private collection Lincolnshire)…

LoversAngelDogs_small copy

Below: Four little paintings from 2012, each on on a canvas 4 x 6 inches, showing a couple throughout their lives a) Spring with an angel in the tree b) Summer with a youung family c) Autumn and elderly couple d) Winter they have departed as doves in the tree, and the angel has landed. Note how in the first image, the young woman is sowing seeds that will bloom into a shrub, then in Winter the Angel lands on that young tree to start the cycle again…

Below: 2013 – a large acrylic and pastel 30 x 22 inches caalled Magical Tree showing a woman lying in the arms of an angel (private collection Lincolnshire)…

Originally a charcoal sketch from 1992, this large pastel drawing (22 x 32 inches) has been enhanced in 2013 with turquoise, blue and russet chalk pastel and a shimmering of gold powder on her face – she really glows!

Below: Most recently, from early 2015, two acrylics on canvas, each 20 x 16 inches. Right: An angel settling on a winter landscape and left: An angel watching a rain shower on a chosen tree…

And lastly, an injection of light-hearted whimsy from 2014 … a cherub showering a scantily clad lady and her pink poodles with flowers – 4 x 6 inches

All images ©Phyllis Mahon – a member of DACS London

Queen of Hearts in Lincoln…9th – 15th February 2015

Queen of Hearts awaits Winter’s Kiss 2014 Acrylic on linen 50 x 76 cm

Queen of Hearts and other recent paintings…

I am working towards a new exhibition in Lincoln…9th – 15th February 2015 at Gallery at St. Martins 37B Hungate, LN1 1ET
(corner of St. Martins Square)

The past year 2014, I have been painting mostly on canvas or linen, using my favoured indigo and Burnt Sienna colours…

2014-12-03 14.25.44
Winter Bride (right) 2014 Acrylic on linen 32 x 20 inches

2014-12-13 11.19.38
Earth receiving Spring Blossom 2014; acrylic on linen 76 x 50 unfinished as of this date…

Twilight Journey of the Heart 2014; acrylic on linen 50 x 76 cm

Veiled Venus Waiting 2014 Acrylic 50 x 70 cm

The Promise 2014; acrylic on canvas 40 x 50 cm

I also started to draw on iPad using a lovely app called Paper by Fifty-three…

TurquoiseVeil     VoileBlindfold

These two large pastels date from just before I moved to Lincolnshire in 1993…they have never been exhibited before but I feel that they relate closely to my current them. Just darker in colour!

Woman pondering her future. Pastel on paper 80 x 50 cm 1992

Lovers Enclosed; pastel 60 x 80 cm 1992

All images copyright Phyllis Mahon; a member of Design & Artists Copyright Society, London.

Evening falls – My Dark Landscape

Lincolnshire is my “Dark Landscape” with its wonderful skies.
Seeing so far away, being so far away…

 Photograph taken looking west over Horncastle from the edge of the Wolds, March 2014

I recall hearing an interview with Enya on BBC Radio 4 in the early 1990s, when she was talking about her album Watermark and she explained the story behind a song Evening Falls…an American woman having a recurring dream where she is walking around a house with a candle in her hand. Years later she and her husband came to live in England, only to find that her neighbours were frightened of her! When she asked them why, she was told that she looked just like the ghost who had been seen in that house many times in the past. I will never forget that interview; it sent a chill down my back. I suppose I related to it so strongly because I had recently moved to a house in the English countryside and maybe because Enya and I come from the same area of North West Ireland; it was like listening to someone that I knew very well…and the music of course was so hauntingly beautiful.

Twenty years later I found myself working on a new body of paintings for my Lincoln exhibition, “Love in a dark landscape” for late October 2013. Having had a successful exhibition there in February “Love 20 years / 20 images” I was aware how I was “back on track” and full of enthusiasm and optimism…I had spent a wonderful summer listening to music for the first time in a very long time. Enya’s Watermark became a key album and in particular the songs “Evening Falls”…and “On Your Shore”…the mood of these songs mirrored my emotional state or maybe listening to the words influenced my subsequent works; not sure which.

From Evening Falls :
When the evening falls And the daylight is fading, From within me calls Could it be I am sleeping?
For a moment I stray, Then it holds me completely – Close to home – I cannot say,
Close to home feeling so far away.
Even though I leave will I go on believing That this time it is real – am I lost in this feeling?
Like a child passing through, Never knowing the reason; I am home – I know the way, I am home – feeling oh, so far away…

and from

On Your Shore :
Cool waves wash over And drift away with dreams of youth – So time is stolen I cannot hold you long enough.
Soft blue horizons Reach far into my childhood days – As you are rising To bring me my forgotten ways…
Strange how I falter To find I’m standing in deep water – Strange how my heart beats To find I’m standing on your shore …”

Seeing so far away, being so far away…

Above: Love in a dark landscape, clearing skies:

Brighter Later (Inspired by Nick Drake’s song Bryter Later)
October 2013; pastel 30 x 22″     
Private collection Lincolnshire.
Looking west over the vista, she sits with cats; he is below the tree in the distance with dogs.
A warm wind blows from the west…optimistic days ahead?

Below: Evening Sky...
“She waits alone, at the edge of a dark landscape,
hair clouding up the storm that has gathered in her heart.
Furl west…”

Below:   “Her hand as tree…” December 2013    Private collection Spain; 20 x 30 inches Acrylic on linen
Below: Night Visitation pastel / acrylic 2013; 30 x 22″ Private collection LincolnshireBelow: tiny box canvas in acrylic 7 x 5 inches; 2013 as titled in image…Below: Looking towards Tetford in the early spring 2014; digital drawing…2014 copyright phyllis mahon All Rights reserved. Phyllis Mahon is a member of DACS London


Love in a dark landscape… Bryter Later?

I’m working towards the second of my Lincoln exhibitions in Gallery at St. Martins 2013

The autumn exhibition will be from 28 Oct – 2 Nov and will be of mostly recent works completed since the earlier Valentine’s show in February this year. Lincolnshire’s wonderful dark skies and open landscape have crept into my works; the lovers are no longer quite the complete focus.

Just finished from left to right:

         MagicalTree_small     Waiting for the night 2013Acrylic on 22 x 30 inches canvas

Small new works will include:

“Love in a Dark Landscape” and “You waited for me…” tiny box canvasses 7 x 5 x 1.5 inches; 2013

LoveinaDarkLandscape YouWaitedforME

“You waited for me under the tree; the others had gone on ahead and we took the long way home…”

“Waiting for the Night” / finished 20 August 2103 / acrylic on 20 x 30″ canvas. This was inspired by seeing a woman with an amazing arm-tattoo, a photograph on Facebook of a dark brooding landscape and finding some old landscapes that I used to paint in 1978! This past week I have painted intensely  whilst listening to Nick Drake (Bryter Layter!), Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game, lots & lots of Radiohead, Cafe del Mar’s Aria…and consciously staying with my favoured deep blue and russet pallette of the moment.


Below: a large pastel drawing 48 x 72 inches / 4 x 6′ …was started in 1987, finished in 2013, enhanced for this exhibition…
it has never been exhibited before and I hope it’ll fit into the tiny lovely space that is Gallery at St. Martins!

13th October 2013

All Rights Reserved / Phyllis Mahon / A member of Design & Artists Copyright Society London