Emeritus Worcestershire Poet Laureate Maggie Doyle & Sara Hayward MA (RCA)


Pilgrim Poetry Workshop in the Crypt at Worcester Cathedral Worcestershire Literary Festival 2014

The Pilgrim workshop at Worcester Cathedral was shared between artist Sara Hayward and Worcestershire Poet Laureate Emeritus Maggie Doyle. In the atmospheric crypt the journey of The Worcester Pilgrim was discussed as poets and writers set about discovering their own pilgrimage. Ms Hayward brought along a piece of her artwork as inspiration.



Collage & Chaucer Day 17


water colour study from my sketch book

water colour study from my sketch book

Friday April 5th 

On my way in from the station I checked out the exhibition William Morris & the Kelmscott Press in the Muirhead Tower. I felt very priviledged to be able to handle the original Kelmscott Chaucer tome- William Morris’ last great project before his death. Beautifully executed with delightful illustrations by Edward Burne-Jones. Arrived in the studio to find a note from my old English teacher Miss Jones saying she was sorry she’d missed me but will be back to do drawing in the grounds over the summer. Worked on a collage all day pre colouring sheets of paper with acylic first and working up a small A6 pastel drawing into a larger A2 study. Quite pleased with the result; am inching towards something elusive. Also worked on a figurative study of Nina with wet hair from swimming in a limited palette: black, white and blue; semi successful. The first was in my sketchbook and I left the second study on the wall of the studio. Not there yet. Winterbourne’s Coach House gallery has changing exhibitions; last week it was university staff research, this week bee inspired micro drawings with magnifying glasses for viewing. Clare is not back from Japan yet; can’t wait to hear about her time out there during the cherry blossom season.

David Lodge Day 13


water colour study from my sketch book

water colour study from my sketch book

March 12th 2013

Continued in square format but this time worked in watercolour which is similarly challenging; very unforgiving. Started six side by side studies which I can work back into with mixed media also. Late afternoon I went across to the Barber Institute with Sunny to hear David Lodge talk about his novel, “Changing Places.” He was introduced by the wife of the novelist Jim Crace. Liked his use of a variety of stylistic formats in the book, eg. third person, first person and script; gave me an idea for the text in my picture book. I call it that as it is aimed at children and adults. Slightly embarrassing as he was asked at the end to choose between a bottle of wine and a bottle of champagne as  a gift and as the bottles were physically there we all felt he should be given both; but he wasn’t . He took the champagne and kindly signed my first edition copy of Changing Places. Upstairs in the gallery afterwards I saw the latest acquisition: a Reynolds they had hung that veryday; it had been given to the state in lieu of death taxes apparently. Talking informally to the marketing man at the Barber they apparently receive income from paintings loaned out so the large Manet for example is currently down in London at the Royal Academy. 

Scullery & NADFAS Day 9


water colour study from my sketch book

water colour study from my sketch book

February 28th 2013

Clear cold blue sky day. Very productive planning day. Have a whole new range of ideas to explore. Considered the children’s picture book more closely and looked at the family history and the children who lived here and what they might have got up to. Tried to upload some of my film onto the screen in the studio but to no avail as my laptop kept crashing. Chatted to a man named George about the university art collection which I must find time to see in particular Paolozzi’s prints and the primitive art collection. Thought about the subject matter as well as the style. Looked into the kitchen and scullery which will surely feature, also their shop, which won’t. Chatted to a lady from NADFAS – West Midlands regional Chair no less- and another representative from the parks and gardens department regarding the possibility of doing some workshops. Developed a tiny A6 sketchbook (a format I hadn’t used before), adding dark wash to the pencil studies. Worked on each double page spread before drying it on an old fashioned Edwardian radiator beneath the window. I now have a clearer idea of my direction which is helpful. Need to get a quote from a printer for my small book to assess if it is viable to self publish. It would have 47 double page spreads. Watch this space!    

120414 The Hive

Today was a chance to step inside Worcester’s new Golden Hive for the very first time. It is a state of the art new library bang in the middle of the city where University students and the public will be welcomed equally and which will have an amazing new childrens’ library. Apparently. It opens in July and I can’t wait. It was a great opportunity to don my silly hat and read my childrens’ picture book, “My Magic Stick,” to a bijoux audience along with others from Worcester Writers’ Circle. My daughter was sitting in the audience on the front row and I truly appreciate the fact that she and her friend didn’t walk out. Thank you Sweetie, I’ll pay you later. 

An hour later I was on level one preparing to run a picture book making workshop in an orange pod with a yellow pod full of children on one side and a terracotta pod full of children tunnelling through story cubes on the other. Wow! Stereophonic children I thought. Imagine the surprise of my life when the workshop participants turned up and weren’t the seriouslyinterestedinwritingmyownpicturebookthankyouverymuch adults I’d envisaged and planned for but……….. more little people! So now I had quadrophonic children. Delightful! Suffice to say their ideas were far better than mine, their drawings far fresher and better, their natural marriage of pictures and text so brilliant and effortlessly created that I could easily have packed up and left them to it asking Walker Books to come on in and publish the lot. They really were that good. Each wonderful child left with their very own unique and original zig zag picture book. Well done kids! You should be running the country with creative ideas like that! And as for me I left feeling well and truly knackered but well and truly inspired which has to be THE best feeling.

111115 nearly there

Today I am putting the finishing touches to my children’s picture book, “Stick.” I’ve been working on it for the last six months and tomorrow a kind friend is going to help me overlay the text so that touchwood I can send out a mock up book to potential publishers next week.

It is a children’s picture book I have written and illustrated and was inspired by Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake. I already have ideas for the next three picture books which are  Shed, Sugar and Saved, so watch this space. It is very exciting.  I feel as though I am about to send my baby out into the big wide world. So fingers crossed!

110618 Theo Theobald

Our literary portrait exhibition opens on Monday for one week as part of the Worcestershire Literary Festival and there are twenty four portraits of key authors on show. Paul is showing watercolours of Salman Rushdie, Seamus Heaney, Martin Amis, Colm Toibin and  Will Self , and I am showing portraits in oil or acrylic of Virginia Woolf, Carol Ann Duffy, Germaine Greer, Enid Blyton, Anita Brookner, Agatha Christie, Simone de Beauvoir, Laurie Anderson, Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh, Dylan Thomas, Sir John Betjeman, Ezra Pound, Louis MacNeice, Laurie Lee, Ted Hughes, Edith Sitwell, V.S Pritchett, and Alan Bennett. Each portrait is accompanied by a quote either from the writer themself or from one of their works. I am delighted with the exhibition and would dearly love to show it at other literary festival in this country or abroad.

We were delighted at the opening of the exhibition to welcome from the Williamstown Literary Festival, Australia, Councillor Angela Altair who happened to be over in the UK for a visit. She was incredibly enthusiastic and complimentary about the exhibition depite being fresh off the plane.

The following evening she attended the official opening of the Literary Festival in front of the Mayor of Worcester and the Dean of Worcester Cathedral in the search for Worcestershire’s first Poet Laureate. All the contestants were great but the award finally  went to Theo Theobald who I thought was brilliant, very funny and incredibly engaging. He reminded me of Harry Worth in both looks and delivery which just shows my age.  One poem was inspired by a bottle of Worcestershire Sauce, and covered everything from culinary expertise to marital relationships; another was called, “I’ve fallen in love with the girl from H & M,” which had a hilarious punchline and had the Cathedral filled with laughter and applause, a rare feat.  We were enthralled, he was a great choice, and the judges came up trumps.  With real presence on stage he showed great originality in both poems and I for one will definitely go and hear him again as a newy converted fan. Well done, Theo!

Watch Sara talking about the festival on Youtube: