The accidental finding

By woodpeckers

The artist at work

For the women at work challenge, I've chosen Kirsty Tallon, a self-taught artist specialising in aeroplanes and vintage vehicles, though her colourful, unique repertoire is far wider than this description suggests.

Kirsty lives in Stroud and has a stall at the Shambles indoor market most Fridays and Saturdays. This was where we got chatting, on a not-so-busy day, when I was also running a card stall. She recognised my surname, Petre, and asked if I were related to the 1930s female racing driver, Kay Petre. I was proud to reply that Kay had been my great-aunt! Kirsty then showed me her collection of portraits of female racing drivers, and we found Kay among them.

I was particularly struck by Kirsty's print, Peacekeepers, which shows a bomber plane releasing a cloud of brightly coloured butterflies against a blue, blue sky. You can see it on her website, broody, along with her other work. Better still, if you're in Stroud over a weekend, drop into the Shambles to view her work, and meet the artist face-to-face.

In other news, the snow in central Stroud has turned slushy, and is a potentially lethal surface for walking on. Up here at home, we're still having what feels like a white Christmas. I'm glad I got to town on both Friday and Saturday, with my market stall packed into my trusted shopping trolley. Eccentric, maybe, but important  for me to get out, breathe fresh air, and witness entire families sledging and sliding in the parks and cemetery (yes, the cemetery)even up to 5.30pm on Friday night. You don't get that much daylight at Christmas!

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