The Scent of the Night …

These days I seem to be obsessed with the flower Nigella, common name “Love in a Mist.”

The title and the structure of it is so inspirational: feathery foliage and a host of tiny fine petals in soft blue, pink or white with lots of little scribbly energetic lines…perfect little flower.

Today 26/06/2013 I've begun a painting 10 x 14 inches. This originally stated out its life as a linoprint on Japanese paper called Little Flower 1991, never exhibited.

little flower copy2

I love to paste beautiful papers onto canvas either blank or as prints and then work on the surface, greatly enjoying the texture of the paper and like the fact that structure of the canvas negates the need to frame and it is possible to carry the image around the edges.

In this new adaptation I plan to make the woman's face shine with the colour of the flower which might be pink, white or blue…not sure yet! And the man will not be too obvious.

close up… deep violets, blue and magenta against black

Sunday evening 30th June…

Am happy with this now.

All images copyright Phyllis Mahon


The Progression of Fidelity 2013 -14

“Fidelity ~ Forget me not…” 2013 acrylic on canvas ~ 12 x 16 inches / 30 x 40 cm…

Now titled ‘The Promise’ and completed late 2014

I think I’ve spent longer on this little painting that any other; it started off as a lone woman, veiled, unveiled, then veiled again…then in the past week a man appeared. Even its title has been a progression: once planned as a simple icon, a profile against a flat gold background, something about a memory as she held the scarf to her face (see earlier images below).

The man is a memory, or is HE thinking of the woman? I am never quite sure.

Subtitled “Forget me not” she has a blue tie around her wedding finger; he has a faint gold ring on his finger. Her veil is fairly flat gold…a little bit transparent. His hand cups hers, behind which is a warm glow…keeping their love treasured. Her eyes are open because she is in a daydream thinking of him. Or he is thinking of her as she was in her wedding veil?

Images go from finished at the top to earliest at the bottom of the page. 5 images…

All images copyright Phyllis Mahon

Lovers once again? paintings in progress late Spring 2013

After two recent solo exhibitions, in Lincoln in February and in Omagh in April, it's time to relax and settle into some new works and finish off some others…

Studio in Lincolnshire on 7th May 2013

I'm finding that working exclusively in acrylics as opposed to in pastels or watercolours, gives the opportunity for changing the image again and again. Not sure yet whether this will be good or bad. Those two mediums are both quite “immediate” and suit my way of working. However, having the ability to be more “considered” about a picture might be interesting. We'll see! I am really enjoying using acrylics especially Gold, Indigo and Russet. Also found a lovely colour called Quinacridone Red…very intense…but GOLD I am going crazy for right now, especially the wonderfully warm Winsor and Newton's Renaissance Gold.

Heaven and Earth – Night and Day – ? untitled as yet…

Wearing the landscape…? Cat woman…
“Icon” and (below) “Golden Kisses”...the latter is a watercolour on cotton from 1990; now presented on canvas & (will be) highlighted in gold acrylics. The picture of the woman's profile is heavily painted in Antique Gold which is cooler than the Renaissance…might change it. This painting called maybe Icon…is about someone holding a heart in her hands…almost finished.

All images Copyright PHYLLIS MAHON


Phyllis Mahon “Home from Home” Twenty-five year retrospective at Strule Arts Centre Omagh

A selection of almost fifty pieces of artwork comprising painting, pastel drawing, linoprints, woodengravings and stonecarving. The gallery is the beautiful Arts Centre by the river Strule in the centre of Omagh, County town of Tyrone. Exhibiton runs from 30th March to 27th April. The title is so because I was born & lived in County Tyrone until I was 18; this is a range of my works from 1989 – 2013.

Thank you to Jean Brennan & the arts team,

Phyllis Mahon 5th April 2013

Just a little feline fantasy! 22 drawings made in Spring 2012

I wanted to escape into fantasy-land & my dearest cat seemed to be the only one who wasn't giving me grief!
Drawings were made over a few months; looking at them now, it looks like I worked through my stress so a calmness appears eventually. In the last few a man makes a brief appearance, being kissed, as he normally would be in my images!

I have presented these images in the order they were created.
Each original is 23 x 32 cm; pencil & caran d'ache on Ingres paper…

Kitties & kitten-heels
Scorpio promise
You never judge me, ever.
Guardian angel for white kittens
Our little private siesta
Luxury lace love
Talisman on her shoulders
Her beauteous burden
Bountiful & balanced
A possible world
A feline fantasy
Birds think of angels
Woman attended by cats & bird
Feeling secure if a little sad
In the Bosom of the dreamer
Two little talismans
Kiss cat
Kiss cat blue
Kiss cat heart
Madame chat ~ ma cherie
Tender cross-tailed kitties

The end of this particular series…2012…

All images copyright Phyllis Mahon; DACS London

I subsequently began work on the “Lovers under a tree”…(the magical magpie series).

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Love of a lifetime, trees and magical magpies in Lincolnshire…six images tell a story

I’ve been working on this little set of pictures for quite a few months. Based on the idea of a couple’s lifetime around a large tree where they met and the milestones in their love. The main inspiration is Lincolnshire, particularly the wonderful Wolds where (I am lucky) to live, and the massive beech trees in my garden as well as following the “Magpie rhyme.”

Please scroll down to read:

One for Sorrow: “I was Waiting in Winter…”    


Two for Joy: “Summer brought you to me…”


The other important inspiration is my wonderful little grandson who is deeply interested in birds; hence the magpies. I started off this series with him in mind. I don’t have dogs but have got used to walking my elderly neighbour’s dogs and have to say that this is a wonderful place to go walkies!

I have been planning to get these images finished for my mini retrospective “Love: 20 years, 20 images” at Gallery at St Martins, Lincoln City, 4 – 10th February 2013…have actually finished painting tonight but am now thinking to present them in a little handmade folding book format approx 8 x 8 inches instead of as a long landscape shaped framed piece?

Each image is 6 x 6 inches on Khandi handmade Indian paper with lovely deckled edges which I bought in Cass Art in London. I’ve drawn in waterproof ink with many watercolour washes, then built it up to a sort of opaque effect, finally highlighting the magpies with white rays.

Three for a Girl: “After the Storm, a precious gift…” 


Four for a Boy: “Another summer; another blessing…”


Five for Silver: “Magical nights …”


Six for Gold: ” … and the richest of days …”


Although I have already drawn & painted number Seven in the series, “Seven for a Secret never to be told,” I have decided to group these six as one and leave it as a piece on its own as they are complete in themselves.

All images copyright Phyllis Mahon 2013; a member of Design & Artists Copyright Society, London.