Winter at Quay Arts

At Quay Arts in Newport over the 2017 winter period there is an exhibition of ‘winter’ themed work. About seventeen artists are involved and a couple of my pieces are on display. The exhibition opened yesterday and looks terrific, pop along if you can.


In the studio

I love it when it’s bright and crisp, I can get lots done in my cosy studio!WP_20171027_16_10_40_Pro (2)

Shanklin Town Council Elections – Thursday May 4th

I am letting you know that I am re-standing for Shanklin Town Council Elections on Thursday 4th  May.  I was co-opted onto the Council around 18 months ago and will be a candidate for election in the Shanklin South Ward.

IMG_20170426_1436081_rewind_kindlephoto-111462744 (1)

I am standing as an independent.  Shanklin Town Council has traditionally not been about party politics.  This enables us to ensure that we are able to get things done for the benefit of all Shanklin residents.  With the Council elections going on the same day and with some town council candidates also standing as party representatives for the IOW Council there is a danger that this could give the Shanklin elections a political bias which could be detrimental to the town.

With more aspects of the Council’s work being devolved locally the role of the town council is becoming increasingly important.  I can offer stability as I am already a council member, enthusiasm and drive to ensure Shanklin continues to thrive.  I have spent seventeen years in the tourism industry and know how important tourism is for Shanklin’s success.  I have recently sold my guest house to move onto new challenges and I have moved to the Shanklin South area I wish to continue to represent.  I am now self-employed as a professional artist.   I hope this also gives me a creative vision towards the future of Shanklin. Public money may be tight on the island but with energy, determination and imagination we can get things done.

Please include Karl Stedman in your choices for Shanklin Town Council Election – South Ward. I would be grateful if you could share with Shanklin South voters.  I am not intending to produce a leaflet as I do not feel it is appropriate and it is less recycling for you!

A day at Lisle Combe

Thanks to the Isle of Wight Gardens Trust I spent a very enjoyable day at Lisle Combe a lovely house at the Undercliff just past Ventnor Botanical Gardens. The reason was for a talk by Kate Harwood a garden historian and lecturer. Lisle Combe is an early 19th century cottage orne (no, I’d never heard of one of those either!) and the home of the poet Albert Noyes (no, I’ve never heard of him).

The talk was titled….Gardens of the Picturesque and Recency Period.

I hadn’t known what to expect but in fact it was a terrific day. Amazingly it was  sunny and warm. The group were lovely. Kate certainly knew her stuff and how to share it with us in an entertaining and informative way. The house was fascinating and the owners pulled out all the stops to make us welcome and wonderfully well fed.

The gardens are overgrown and in a sad state but it’s still possible to imagine how they once were and hopefully can be again. Like all these old houses and gardens upkeep is a huge job and restoring and maintaining the house should probably come first but it would be wonderful to see the gardens looking fabulous again.

I have even been inspired to do a little pencil drawing of the house, something that I’ve not done for a very long time…….IMG_20170323_1751519_rewind_kindlephoto-605451760

The secret garden in February

It’s been a beautiful day here on the Island, warm, sunny and dry. I’ve not really been able to get into the secret garden for a few weeks so today was a bit of a treat. I’ve started to cut down some of saplings and prune some very wild branches. Clearing the brambles is well underway and I’m managing to to dig up some of the roots, though that’s not so easy to do. Although I’ve got some plants waiting in the wings ready to plant it’s going to be a while until I’ve got all the ivy and bramble roots cleared and the ground suitable for planting again.

I’m going to need to find some plants to hide the fence, I’ve put a call out for some bamboo so hopefully before long it’ll be hidden.

More from the pile!


Cleater Moor, old library and civic hall.


Cleater Moor


Bewcastle Cross.


The old antique shop, Temple Sowerby.


Kirby Stephen.





Sepulchre Lane, Kendal.

IMG_20160514_0946274_rewind_kindlephoto-700330674Ashness Bridge.


The Old Mill and Church, Aysgarth, Wensleydale. 


At the top of our little Island is Osborne House. It was designed by Prince Albert as a summer retreat for him and his wife (Queen Victoria) and their large family. As palaces go it’s not particularly big, the whole idea was that the family could lead as normal a life as possible……well as normal as you can when you’ve got umpteen children married into most of the royal families of Europe. When you rule over most of the world and have a line of dignitaries in a constant stream wanting your opinion about everything! ………..anyway they did their best. Obviously they are all long gone and now the plebs have the chance to look around. And jolly nice it is, the location is pretty special, the views spectacular. The gardens are beautifully looked after and so is the once private beach.

If I’m completely honest a few of the items in the house are a bit naff ……….but then it was a family home, full of things they collected, we’re given and made themselves, and that’s the whole point it was a family home. Let’s face it we’ve all got ‘treasures’ in our homes of dubious taste that we keep because they mean something special to us.

The guide’s are pretty special, knowledgeable, friendly and very helpful. When we took my parents to look around a few years ago one part of the kitchen wasn’t open for viewing because there weren’t enough guides that day. Mum had wanted to see where all the china was kept, all the dinner services etc and they opened it all up specially for her!

I spent a very happy Autumn drawing the house and gardens, particularly the wonderful walled garden.