Easter Holiday

Cover Image taken from Eahkee Original Outsider Art at etsy.com


I’m taking a break for Easter. This is unplanned and due to the length of the school holidays ( two whole weeks! ) and the hectic nature of my days since the kids finished up.

Have a happy Easter – I’ll be back in April 🙂

Stratton Mountain Tragedy

Cover image ‘Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening’ by Follow The Raven 


I’ve been thinking about including this song somewhere on the blog for quite a while. It’s based on a poem written by Seba Smith in 1843 and collected by Helen Hartness Flanders in the 1930’s. I came to know it when I discovered the writing and music of Robin McArthur and I never fail to be touched by the words. It seems to me to be a fitting piece to include here on the brink of Christmas as a tale of love and loss and ultimately survival in Wintertime.

It’s a true story about a woman called Lucy Blake and her daughter Rebecca who got lost on Stratton Mountain in Vermont during a snowstorm in 1821. Writer and musician Robin McArthur is also a native of Vermont and she and her husband Tyler Gibbons form the band ‘Red Heart the Ticker.’ They have recorded ‘Stratton Mountain Tragedy’ in their album ‘Your name in Secret I would Write’. In an article in the arts website ‘Gwarlingo‘, Robin tells how she sang this song at the Marlboro historical society and how people there contributed their knowledge of the story. One woman said that every Spring she visits the cemetery where Lucy Blake is buried and noticed there was a red rose on her grave. She later found out that Lucy Blake’s ancestor still lives in town and puts a rose on the grave every Mothers day. Extraordinary how history can be brought to life and made real again through story and song – words and music connecting people through time and across generations.

These are the words.



Stratton Mountain Tradgedy


Cold was the mountain’s height

Drear was the pasture wild

As through the darkness of the night

A mother wandered with her child

As through the drifting snow she pressed

The babe was sleeping ‘neath her breast.


Bitter blew the chilly winds

Darker hours of night came on

Deeper grew the drifting snow

Her limbs were chilled, her strength was gone

‘Oh God,’ she cried in accents wild

‘If I must perish, save my child’


She took the mantle from her breast

Bared her bosom to the storm

As round the babe she wrapped the vest

She smiled to think that it was warm

One cold kiss, one tear she shed

And sank into that snowy bed


A stranger passing by next day

Spied her ‘neath the snowy veil

The frost of death was in her eye

Her cheek was hard and cold and pale

He took the robe from off the child

The babe looked up and sweetly smiled.


Seba Smith ( 1792 – 1868 )



Click on this link below to hear the song.



Stratton Mountain Tragedy’ by Red Heart The Ticker



I wish you all a happy and a peaceful Christmas and I’ll be back to you again sometime in January.


A Treasury of goodies

I have just about recovered from my own excitement at getting my etsy shop up and running! It has been the culmination of a lot of work and energy and now that I am online, I am enjoying getting to know some of the etsy community. This is a really great thing when you are living in a fairly isolated part of the world like Clifden.
I have connected with people by making a couple of etsy ‘Treasuries’ which are collections of hand picked items with a theme. Apart from being lots of fun to create, they are a really good way to get in touch with other artists. People are notified straight away when their work is selected and so a connection is made when they make a comment and then view your work.

I called this Treasury ‘Mothers and Daughters’ which may be a little fanciful but I chose things that reminded me about this theme and I decided on mushroom pinks and browns for my main colours. You can look at this collection and some others by clicking on the title below.

Mothers and Daughters

Etsy is a feast for the eyes, when galleries and city life is so in accessible. Enjoy!

Welcome to my etsy shop!

Welcome to my brand new online shop with etsy.com!
I am very excited to be part of the etsy community of makers and artists at last and I invite you to browse my paintings and shop at your leisure. Click on the link in the sidebar opposite to go straight there.

I will shortly provide more easy links to etsy from here and visa versa to make it all a bit smoother. I am experiencing a very sharp learning curve here folks so bear with me!!

Here’s a sample below of what you will find in the shop.


Painting by Deborah Watkins


This painting is of a scene just outside Clifden. I was standing on a hill near Clifden castle looking down at a little outcrop of trees near the water. The ground in front of the trees was waterlogged and reflected all kinds of shapes and colours which I deepened for effect here. I allowed the paint to bleed which became part of the piece and for me it resembles both the trees and the reflection of the land on the other side of the bay.
I love to receive your comments so don’t be shy and let me know what you think..