edge of painting by Trudi Murray on wooden panel in styled shot

‘Black Thorns’

I dropped a couple of paintings off at Kevin’s for his exhibition*.

It was just me and him for a little while, and we had a funny chat, setting the world to rights as we usually like to do. I think Kevin should be Chancellor of the Exchequer and I’ll be the PM.

Our main manifestos would be yoga (or pilates, OK, that’ll do fine) and kindness and good coffee and art materials for everyone.

We talked about the weather, the news, the river, our kids, someone we both know. We didn’t even really get started on the political heat in the UK right now; the actual heat provided enough stories for one day.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, in a rare moment, a flash of approbation came my way.

But he’s wrong.

He’s the humdinger.


*Not this one in the photo, though. You can see this in person at my own exhibition.


illustration of goldfinch


I sat in the garden for a minute or two with a cup of tea. No book, phone, pen or paper.

The heat continues, and my mended but sadly damaged foot does not like it one little bit. I rested it high on the rickety garden table and closed my eyes and tried for a moment to feel cool.*

The sounds in the garden were so lovely.

A slight breeze – ever so slight – rustling the leaves of the smoke tree.

A crow, calling from the cedar.

A train, trundling past into town.

A line of ants, all those little feet, marching up the cherry tree, and another line coming back down.

A pair of goldfinches playing in the maple tree, trilling and twittering. A flash of yellow and red. Have you ever heard such a noisy, sweet call? It’s worth listening out for.

I don’t think I have heard it so clearly, until today. And it was such a fine moment.

Thank you, charming little birds**.


PS: Have you read The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt? It will stay with you for a long time, it’s one of those books. I loved it.

*I don’t often manage this, ask my children 🙂
** Guess what a group of goldfinches is called?

Love somebody

charcoal drawing of female model


Wow, I think I’m actually melting.

It is so hot, (in the 30s again!) and so difficult to do anything productive at all. I have to make a birthday cake, so cycled up to the supermarket on my bike, and spent quite a lot of time standing next to the chiller cabinet.

I would have got in, if I could.

Outside, at the bike rack, I had a long discussion with an old man about my bicycle panniers. (Lidl, £10). The sweat was dripping off his nose onto the ground as he bent over to inspect them.

The little children in the precinct were whooping and shrieking, running in and out of the fountains in their pants.

The mothers sat watching, in sunglasses, with legs stretched out.

The guy who used to sweep our street raised a languid arm to wave as I pedalled past, and only just managed a smile, which is unlike him.

I tried to get home expending as little energy and yet creating as much breeze as possible. I sang maroon 5 songs all the way.

Don’t judge me. It’s the heat.*


*It’s actually not. Maroon 5 are cool.
** This drawing was from life class yesterday.  I like it a lot.

Hold your treasures tightly

black and white doodle

I don’t mean possessions, I’m not at all materialistic. I find money and things get in the way of the real stuff.

What I mean is the people you love, the habits you’ve formed together. The smiles you share and the games you play.

The odds and ends of life always turn out to be the best bits.

Alex and me have a thing for curling up on the sofa to watch some TV at the end of a long day – and busy evenings with the kids and their friends and everything else going on after work – we don’t usually get there until 10pm. If we’re not watching something together (and at the moment it’s The Handmaid’s Tale – which is another blog post entirely), Alex is so patient and will watch any sort of thing I choose, though he draws the line at hospital emergencies, and so I have to watch them from behind a cushion. Or sometimes I’ll draw and doodle while some film is going on. I’m very annoying – I ask too many questions about the plot, so that’s why I doodle instead.

I usually just draw whatever I can see; all the tiny, familiar but worthless objects that make a world cosy.

It’s nice. It’s boring. It’s love. It’s home.

Hold onto it tightly, and let all the rubbish fall away.


A hot night






hot-night-6hot-night-7hot-night-8cartoon illustration sleeping together

I made some biscuits


i made some biscuits
four tins
one: chewy
two: crunchy
three: chocolatey
four: crumbley
wrapped in paper
tied up with string
so pretty
to the cake stall
at the church fete
this afternoon

i forgot to take them
i left them on the
kitchen table

i blame Holger
because since
he got me so tipsy
on champagne
last week
and found it so funny
i am going to blame him for everything now

though i love him dearly


would you like to come over
for tea and biscuits
i have lots






painting of woman in progress

I carried on with this charcoal drawing/painting today. I had some house paint right there, so I just got started with that. Then some pastels. More charcoal. Acrylic.

It’s looking pretty weird, but it’s definitely got rhythm. It’s also giving me the right feeling – that feeling – I can’t really describe it … sort of a cheeky feeling, something approaching rebellious and impulsiveness.

It’s a good feeling! Perhaps the best. I got it strongly when I went to see the Royal Academy Summer Show this week in Piccadilly. There was some stuff I loved, but the niggly thought that I was in an extended episode of the Emperor’s New Clothes, with a lot of extras all paid £50 to scratch their chins to look more intelligent, and say Hmmm… made me want to do something naughty.

It also made me determined to get some work in to that show even more. I tried this year, but now I see my submission was too nice. Too polite. Too asking for permission.

I also see it was just as good as any of the rest.

Ha ha!

I’ll keep going on this girl. I guess I’m going to make her skin less green, but let’s see.

🙂 Have a good weekend.

Love, Trudi


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