Wednesday, 15 January 2020


It has been traditional for me to leave partly finished work on my studio bench just before the festive mayhem sets in. This helps me start again after Christmas. We often have to deal with post festive blues in the dark days of January and February. After all the jolliness it can often be difficult to get back into the swing of things. 
So I blocked out some diary dates mid December and made some Corvid drawings. Here is a raven found in the middle of Tenby while on holiday.
This is Bran, a tame crow I met earlier in the Autumn at Bobby Britnell's. I have been itching to do homage to this gorgeous creature.
This leaves me with a series of drawings that I can make collagraph plates from when the glitter has settled.
Using grey board, plaster, wood glue and carborundum, between Christmas and New Year I set about making
these two plates.
I press feathers into polyfilla areas,
cutting into the card and applying layers of carborundum to give velvety blacks.
The contrast with wood glue and the bare surface of the card creates tonal differences. Then everything is shellaced.
Then after the New Year celebrations are over, off to the yard:ARTspace to print, print, print.
I am pleased with Helpful Bran and have experimented with mono printing the red thread tangling off the reel.
Dig Deep is a homage to the lovely Mr B who is taking up an allotment this year
So instead of falling down the post Christmas hole, trying to get myself going on something new, what I have set myself up with is work to finish off. There are now new crow images I am itching to draw and get on with and other projects bubbling up in the background. The more I make the more I want to make...!!
So watch this space.

Saturday, 16 November 2019


I have spent the past few months experimenting and expanding my use of Gum Arabic transfer printing beyond my sketchbook.
I have documented these moth experiments from my sketchbooks and have been determined to combine
my eco printing with my figurative work on paper.
So here is my first larger experiment. Putting together my sewing, printmaking and eco printing activities.
Inspired by museum collections of entomological exhibits, I have created this 'Moth Eaten Shirt' 
Adding shishsa elements using watch glass in
place of mirrors.
Ghostly moths appear on the shirt made of silk organza and attached with entomological pins.
Eco printed, gum arabic transfer print and acrylic paint on vintage fabric has all been added to this deconstructed shirt.

See this piece of experimental work in the Artists in Action Area at the Knit and Stitch Show Harrogate. I will be there Saturday 30 November and Sunday 1 December recreating my studio and making more pieces using a variety of mixed media processes. 
Come and say hello.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

WORK IN PROGRESS...the sequel

For those of you who follow me on Instagram  you will be aware that at the beginning of August I ran a 3 day Sketch Book Master Class at the yard:ARTspace
As part of the workshop I develop a demonstration sketch book along side everyone. I completed 6 pages of the 20 pages in the book. Excited by the workshop I then announced to the world (well those following me on Facebook and Instagram) that I would complete the book doing a page a day.
Each day I spent no more that an hour. 
working on this document.
Keeping it small helps and adding eco dyed pages that speak for themselves takes the pressure off.
An hour a day means that the images begin to have their own confidence. A time limit means that less is more is a built in factor.
So where do I go now that I have formed this habit?
Into my A2 sketch book and work at a bigger scale. Here you can see the comparison.
How do I start a mixed media page? Especially a big one?
I randomly cover the page with gum arabic transfer prints, then Quink, then ink.
That will be the closest I get to I will then start to draw my theme with white acrylic paint.
It is now difficult to explain how I work into this, but adding, covering and adding again using
paint, stencils and collage
until the image is doing what I want...
another difficult concept to explain.
Now where? Onto fabric I think...???


Looking over past blog posts, there is a pattern. When I have my summer break I experiment. Some times new images, but the past few summers I have found myself experimenting with new processes.
I made these mixed media drawings earlier in the year and
 have found myself sitting on the idea in the hope that inspiration will come. If you wait long enough something happens? I decided to photo copy the drawings and turn them into gum arabic transfer prints.
These are the results so far.
A series of layered prints on cotton.
Certainly works in progress. Something is missing.
I had a little break through by printing
onto a piece of eco printed fabric (another experimental obsession at the moment)
Now I need to see what will happen if I eco print into the earlier fabric samples.

Working progressively over several days back to back helps to generate ideas. It is no good for me to do a bit once a week, I have to be head down and work on ideas solidly over a number of consecutive hours, putting right things that go wrong and developing things that go right. Its getting over the little voice in my head that says, 'Nah don't bother'
What does your little voice say?

Monday, 24 June 2019


It has now been a week since I gave over my house, garden and life to Cheltenham Open Studios.
A week of people coming to see me and my work and that of the incredibly talented Caroline McCatty and the super creative Sharon McSwiney
People arrived throughout the week, directed to the studio in the garden which
had been tweeked and pampered to create a lush jungle of plants. Much enjoyed and a relief to those who were not so keen to look at art.
Completely given over to showing work, my shed had been sorted over 3 days.
My lounge was made into a serene art gallery.
prints and enamels.
Fantasy objects
Metal work and
Caroline's exquisite objects, beautifully made and
wonderfully painted.
After 9 days of talking, listening to incredible stories and sharing our thoughts and despite the rain...thank you to everyone who ventured through my front door and up the garden path to my shed. All 627 of you!!