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.



Illustrated Lunchtime Lecture


Roll up! Roll up!

Well I am pleased to say the free illustrated lunchtime lecture this Thursday (1.30-2.30pm) at Winterbourne (13/2/14) is nearly finished; I have been tweaking it all day and I think there will be 150 images that I will run through in an hour so it certainly won’t be boring! I am a visual learner and really appreciate images and I think you will enjoy the drawings, illustrations and photographs saved from my year at Winterbourne. If you’re free pop along and gain an insight into the sketch book studies behind the paintings, the imagery behind the film. I really hope to see you there. Come along – all welcome – even if you can only stay for  a short while.

Headaches & heads Day 19

2 flowersSaturday 20th April 2013

I set off early to walk to Shrub Hill station only to find Saturday timetables are different; not only was the train I was hoping to get on later than expected but when I eventually sat on it found it didn’t stop at my stop, the university (evidently students sleep in on Saturdays and don’t need to attend lectures, silly me). I therefore got off and walked on to Foregate St. station, enjoying the early morning sights of Worcester. Eventually arriving at Winterbourne for their big child friendly bug orientated open day an hour later than expected I sidestepped a banana skin that I suspected had been deliberately placed on the pavement opposite Winterbourne to find I had forgotten my lipstick! I had to make do the whole day with lip liner which as any self respecting female will know has zero moisturising affect and is not the same thing as lipstick by any means.

Imagine my surprise therefore when half way through a session with 29 charcoal experimenting little ones (Esthers and Ellas and Orlas and Bellas) I was tapped on the shoulder by my old headmistress, Miss Evans. My goodness I thought, you’re wearing trousers (Miss Evans always wore a perfectly accessorized twin set & twin suit). Woh! I thought, do not say anything; you are not wearing lipstick (people in glass houses). I unfroze from shock and substituted a curtsy (which would have been over the top) for an awkward kiss on the cheek which seemed to do the trick. Hey ho. 

Art Review: Lucy Tomlins


water colour study from my sketch book

water colour study from my sketch book

It is fitting that the current sound installation by artist Lucy Tomlins- composed of moments recorded at a Premier League football match and interlaced with recordings by Worcester Cathedral choristers- can be found in the Cathedral’s Chapter House, for its unique circular design creates near perfect acoustics. Normally one person talking can be heard from any other seat in this round building so it is an extraordinary experience to hear the whole of the West Bromwich Albion fan base juxtaposed with Worcester Cathedral’s choir in songs of praise and worship.

Familiar renditions of psalms and football songs are interwoven to create a new evocative sound piece which is mesmerising, haunting and at times startling. Laughter, clapping, chanting, and sudden silence capture the fervour, euphoria & disappointment of the football ground; the harmony and the discord.

This is a must hear experience especially to convert those who only see art as visual. Whilst I was there visitors commented, “profoundly clever,” “excited as a Baggies fan,” “loud.”

Built nearly a thousand years ago the Chapter House was once a meeting place for monks; now hearing the roof raised to both the angelic and raucous strains of Psalm 23 and When the Saints Go Marching In, I think they would approve.

Lanterns & Fringes Day 15


water colour study from my sketch book

water colour study from my sketch book

Thursday 21st March

It was a cold day and I forgot my hat & gloves. There were lots of visitors: from Canada, Japan and a couple up from Bedford to see the garden. Went to the lunchtime Magic Lantern Show which was fascinating with Cinderella, volcanoes, earthquakes, and mining all covered in glass slides with background music. Added further layers to my paintings intensifying the blues, greys and black; also added signature spots at the end: the artist fingerprint. Studied old family photos from the archives and drew from one of Nina and Evie sitting on the sands holding a toy sailing boat with a bucket & spade beside them with the dunes in the background. They both have severely cut fringes and are seated wearing near identical sailor dresses; Nina looking very serious and Evie looking wistful. Received positive feedback from visitors about my blue palette. Hurrah!

Bear’s & Snuff Day 11


water colour study from my sketch book

water colour study from my sketch book

March 7th 2013

Grey dismal damp drizzly day. Drawing in the nursery two days ago was challenging as there is a problem with the sensor. Hence the tune of the Teddy Bear’s Picnic is playing constantly and appears to go faster and faster forcing you out of the room to find an axe! Normally the music is triggered by new movement in the room and there is a sedate pause between playing but not at the moment. The first thing  I did on arriving in the studio today was turn off the lights as I prefer natural daylight whenever possible. I realised I had forgotten my specs so the lunchtime lecture might be a bit blurred. Primed the back of a number of paintings- aka recycling- because I can’t bear to paint over them but I may not necessarily wish to start a new piece. Attended the lunchtime lecture at the Barber Institute about the changing landscape of Paris during the French revolution; very interesting.  Completed adding watercolour to my sketchbook and began working on two illustrations of Winterbourne landscape which I might use as a backdrop for the picture book: Where’s Snuff! It will be a story about John & Margaret Nettlefold’s little dog, Snuff. Clare is going to give me copies of photographs of the family to aid the research. Chatted to three young people from Finland who were impressed I had been to Helsinki (I exhibited at the British Embassy in Helsinki in 2005 representing the creative industries of the West Midlands). Began some big splashy abstract paintings- layer one.

Structure & Ideals Day 4


water colour study from my sketch book

water colour study from my sketch book

February 6th 2013

It’s colder in Birmingham than Worcester and the train was delayed by half an hour so shivered as I alighted at the University. I learnt more today about John Nettlefold’s ideals and emphasis on tradition and craft via town planning aka Moor Pool Estate.Went to a lecture at the Barber Institute about the Venice Carnival and decided my picture book might be about “Clara the eighteenth century rhinoceros” in and around Venice with puncinello masked figures in tow. Primed four canvases and chatted to people and braved the cold to do four drawings in and around the garden using black aquarelle strick which is really hard and performs like Conte crayon. At the bottom of Winterbourne gardens I sat on a bench dedicated to Hilde Hunt (1913-2004) who coincidentally taught me German at school next door at KEHS from 1975-82. She looked ancient then; and I can remember her telling us about the horrors of Buchenwald. The inscription about her said simply, “who loved gardens.” At home I googled her and read an obituary and hadn’t realised she was actiually Austrian, not German.The drawings I did today focused on winter structures and edited out 90% of what was there;  working solely in black and white I find it easy to think monchromatically. The colour will come.