Monday, 22 June 2009


At last, after 2 days in a school making collagraphs with year 10 students I have managed a day in my studio doing some work.

The Open Studio event gave me time to do some sketch book pages but I finished this off today.

I have also been able to experiment with colour a little more on slightly larger plates, this is Burnt Umber in the intaglio with a Raw Sienna and a Turquoise Lake roll.

And this is the same rolls but with Carmine in the intaglio. I love the rich possibilities and
I think it will push me to try and make more abstract pieces. Meanwhile back to the work that exhibits and sells.

I made this Flamingo plate before the Open Studios, all carborundum and wood glue on card and have finally got to print it today. It is 32 inches by 24 inches, perhaps a little cross looking, but if I was a big pink bird I think I would be too!

Saturday, 13 June 2009


9 days of Open Studios in Cheltenham is now over. The exhibition at Hampen Factory has been taken down and it is now back to a normal life, well as normal as can be!
Hampen Factory had a very successful show, we had 280 people come to visit us, new friends were made and we caught up with old friends.
Carolyn and I found it a valuable time to play with colour in printmaking, so for 3 days all this experimenting was done. These little plates are collagraphs made from card, tile cement and wood glue about 4 inches by 2 inches.
It was a controlled experiment with colour separation inking. These will be a useful resource when I next come to print with colour. I would never allow myself to sit alone and experiment like this in my studio and Carolyn is more daring than me when printmaking with colour, many of the most exciting examples are her suggestions.
More fun with friends and more feed back!!

Worth doing an Open Studio? With good friends, yes! If people come to see artists at work, yes! If you are visited regularly by a Woodpecker...YES!

Monday, 8 June 2009


3 days into Open Studios at Hampen Factory and much to our relief we have had people come to visit us. In fact our 'Meet the artist' event was very lively and I met lots of friends. I hope a good time was had by all.

Carolyn's mixed media collagraphs have been well received.

Sharon's garden sticks have been popular.

Caroline's sewn narratives have been much admired.

Lesley's ceramic sculptures have caused quite a stir.

I spent the weekend at Hampen Factory with other members of the group happily working in my sketch books. While setting up the show on Thursday we found a baby blue tit, Sharon and I

took lots of photos. Sadly it was found dead on Saturday morning because we had heavy rain on Friday night. So it is immortalised in a couple of my sketch book pieces, and I can feel a

collagraph coming on. I will report how the rest of the week goes, but so far so good!

Thursday, 4 June 2009


All over the country, all through the year, artists open their studios and homes to the public for Open Studio events.

Saturday 6th June, Hampen Factory Arts Centre opens it's doors as part of the Cheltenham Art Festival & Open Studio.

After hours of cleaning, painting, sign and label making, publicity creating, and hanging the work, we are ready! And still friends! Preparing for an exhibition certainly makes creating the work for it feel arms never ache like this after editioning!

Let me give you a tantalizing preview of Five at the Factory, an exhibition of five artists

Lesley Maddox McNulty's ceramic sculpture welcomes visitors at the studio door and although the studio now looks like a chic gallery space the press will be in operation all week as there will be artists at work.

Carolyn Foulkes set up Hampen Factory 4 years ago to host printmaking and painting courses. Carolyn uses the studio to make her own mixed media collagraphs and etchings.

I look to Carolyn's advice when it comes to using colour and we are looking forward to a week of experimenting with colour and collagraphs while we are stewarding the exhibition.

Caroline Mc Catty has made a series of sewn narrative pieces for the show, yes, this frog is all fabric and thread. I am sorry the photograph does not do it justice because of the glass reflection...all the more reason to take a trip out to Cheltenham to see it!

I am showing new collagraphs and etchings which have not appeared in galleries yet. These collagraphs are Great Tits that come to the many feeding stations dotted around the studio.

Hampen is in the middle of the Cotswold country side and at this time of year surrounded by baby birds. Hopefully we will see the Woodpecker that visits regularly.

Sharon McSwiney's metal hangings shimmer around the studio, they picked up the light and make the exhibition rich and textural.
I am so lucky to have such a talented group of friends and that we have been able to put this show together without a cross word or artistic tantrum. I am sure I have been bossy, but everyone seems to still be talking to me.
Well, lets hope we have a few visitors after all this effort, but what ever happens, so far the experience of it all has been worth it and we are all really pleased with the way it looks.
FIVE AT THE FACTORY an exhibition of 5 artists. 6th-14th June