Thursday, 30 June 2011


Back in the shed today preparing 2 sheets of A2 paper to work into tomorrow and Monday.
The first page I have decided to keep simple so I started off by scribbling with candle wax.

Covering the page with water soluble black ink.
Then applying gum arabic prints of moths, beetles and cow parsley in black and silver.

The second page became more adventurous...wax first then some gestural marks in Mars orange and orange acrylic ink.

Then a layer of water soluble and indian black ink, finishing off with the same gum arabic transfers.

Now I have 2 pages ready to bleach, scrape and draw into which will in turn inspire some enamel pieces.

It has been a liberating experience working on a larger scale, usually my sketch books are A5 and smaller. Bigger marks, bigger photocopies.

My next sketch book techniques and gum arabic transfer course is here in Cheltenham in October.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011


There must be something in the air, perhaps it is the closeness of the summer holidays, the ever changing air temperature or just inevitable cyclical change, but I am having the same conversation with friends about how difficult it is to get down to work at the moment.
So this morning with determination and after 2 cups of coffee I strode out to the shed to work in my sketch book. A few weeks previously when I have been feeling even less motivated I worked on empty pages putting in random acrylic and magazine transfers, the technique my daughter taught me.

Then a couple of weeks ago I went through the transfers making them bird shaped using white paint.

And today I have spent several hours with ink, paint, bleach and

gum arabic transfer working into the pages.

As you can tell some have worked better than others, but more to the point I am now up and running again. By the way, it is not a spiral bound sketch book, that is the gum arabic transfer image. I am looking forward to Thursday when I can again spend the whole day playing with ideas.

Thursday, 23 June 2011


June has been a really busy month. The house is now back to its usual state after the Cheltenham Open Studios, it was a very successful event. I have also just come back from teaching a collagraph workshop for the Twenty Twenty Gallery in Much Wenlock, Shropshire. I had a lovely weekend with some very enthusiastic and talented printmakers. Fab food and lovely work, what more can one ask for?
Well, to finish a collagraph I have been working on for a while. So enthused was I by the tremendous prints made at Much Wenlock that I came home and got straight down to proofing this silk aquatint plate.

This rook looks like a youngster still demanding food, or have I been watching too much Spring Watch?

Pressing alium heads into tile cement produces these wonderful textures.

For those of you with long memories, you may remember that I blogged about the arrival of a Scarlet Tiger moth in my garden this time last year. It must have met a friend as in the Spring we had caterpillars on the comfrey.

We now have a whisper of Scarlet Tigers fluttering exotically year how many will we have?

Sunday, 5 June 2011


Did you read the title to this Blog in a Geordie accent?
Yesterday was the first day of the Cheltenham Open Studios and we had people popping in while out buying milk because of the signs and bunting, so thankyou to the people on the committee who organised the designers. Will Sunday be quieter?

The fantastic thing about an event like this is that the public can see how and where artists work.

Now to be honest this space feels tidier when standing in it than it looks in this photo and I have squeezed 5 people in here to do a taster collagraph workshop. If nothing else Cheltenham folk will know what a collagraph is and how it is made...then I unlock the shed door!

Friday, 3 June 2011


Yes the Cheltenham Open Studios has started, my house is clean and the lounge is now a gallery space. Sharon, Stephen and I set up the exhibition yesterday.

Stephens ceramics work really well with my collagraphs and enamels.

Sharon's metal work pieces are hot off the work bench, these bird pieces have been made especially for this show.

I love the way this wall sculpture works with the colour of my walls

Stephen's ceramics also look very sophisticated in my sitting room.

Flashes of colour and the lovely crackled effect of raku match the enamelled spoons.

I could quite happily keep my sitting room as a gallery, neat tidy and surrounded by beautiful things. The show kicks off at 11am June 4th and continues to June 12th.

For details of the other open studios,

Ask me at the end of the week how I feel about keeping the house gallery tidy...!