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!!

Thursday, 30 May 2019


 Where exactly did 2 years go? 
Yes it is 2 years since I last opened the doors to both my house and garden and the yard:ARTspace for the biannual  Cheltenham Open Studios.Starting 8 June, Commercial Street will be open 10-4pm until the 16 June.

I am just one of 200 artists taking part this year and Commercial Street is one of  79 venues exhibiting and opening up their creative work spaces. 
So what goes into planning and delivering such an event?
So a month before it all kicks off the lovely Mr Brown and I start to tidy the garden as it has to be walked through to get to my shed.There are a few people who come to my Open Studio just to see how the garden is getting on.
So I don't like to disappoint. A bit like Chelsea Flower Show it is touch and go for things in flower. The foxglove may have peaked too soon! That is where the comparison ends.
But this rose by my shed will be in full scented glory.
Apart from the tidying of the shed, house, garden and the yard:ARTspace and all the hanging of work, there is all the signage to sort out. I want you to find venue 32 & 33 with ease together with the other artists in the Suffolk area. So arrows and an area walking map have to be produced.
My shed is almost ready, you will be able to flick through my sketch books.
There will be a few bargains to find next to my current work.
I will be working in the shed over the week so come along and talk about printmaking. You might like to discuss which workshop will unlock your creativity?
Back in the house I am trying to create a gallery feel with my enamel work.
Come early to snap these up, I do not have many figures left.
My collagraphs will be available, framed and unframed.
I have new printed textile pieces, this work
is only available from me as it is not presently in galleries.
This is just a small taster. There will be more work to see as once again I am joined by two very talented artists. Sharon McSwiney will be showing her jewelry and metal work and 
Caroline McCatty will exhibit puppets and automaton 
Can't wait for Saturday 8 June?
I would like to invite you to our preview evening,
Thursday, 6 June 6-8pm
Join us for a drink and an early look around the work before we open in earnest on 8 June.