Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Old and New II

I'm finally in the new studio!  Such a busy few weeks of moving and Open Studios and a workshop and orders to send out, all mixed in with the usual stuff that life throws at you!  So here it is:

Behind the dividing cube unit is the headquarters of David Hallows Illustration.  I did suggest that the greenhouse was a nice light studio space but he didn't go for it.  Ho hum.

I need to get started on new work.  I have more ideas than I know what to do with, partly due to too many hours on pinterest!!  I think having a new studio is like having a new sketchbook....the first thing I create in there is doomed to failure.  

I have no more obligations this year and so will be disappearing for a creative hibernation.  I CAN'T WAIT! 

Old and New I

It was Open Studios at Long Eaton Art Rooms at the weekend. We had lots of people through the door interested to see what the building had become and what facilities were available. We put the Art Room on the map!  Funds were raised towards the building work needed in the arts centre and there was a great feeling of community spirit and creative camaraderie, which made it very difficult to say goodbye to Studio 10.

And the work of the unforgettable David William Sampson and Mary Graham........

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Collaged Landscape

At the weekend I held my first two day 'Collaged Landscape' workshop.  Previously run as a one day event, running it over two allowed participants to really get stuck in and explore all the different elements of mark making, painting, collage and stitch.  The outcomes were fabulous.

Due to outrageously positive feedback I'll be running more workshops in 2013 and can now announce the following dates:

April 13/14 Collaged Landscapes workshop at Long Eaton Art Room, NG10 4LD £100 - 6 places

May 11th    Creative play day - experiment with mark making, try machine embroidery, try collage.  Can be used as an extra day if you have already attended a course or as a try out before a longer course. £50 - Long Eaton Art Room - 8 places

June 15/16 Collaged narratives workshop at Long Eaton Art Room.  Similar to the landscapes weekend but focusing on the story behind your piece, perhaps inspired by a personal story or a poem. £100 all materials included- Long Eaton Art Room - 6 places

July 13th  Creative play day - as May 11th - 8 places, £50 including all materials and cake! Long Eaton Art Room

Please contact me if you'd like to book a place.  Also available are workshop gift vouchers (£50 or £100) if you would like to surprise someone with a thoughtful and inspiring gift!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Open Studios

On Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th I'll be celebrating my time at Studio 10 at Long Eaton Art Room Open Studios.  It's on from 10-4 each day with artists opening their doors and a craft fair in the Arts Centre.  It's at 29-31 Lime Grove, Long Eaton, NG10 4LD.  I'm having a *SALE* so hope you can pop along!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Before Winter

I try to live with the seasons and focus on their merits.  It gets hard at this time of year as life accelerates in to winter and all things Christmas.  At home, the top of the piano is a visualisation of the seasons.  In Summer there are the things we find on holiday, fossils and pebbles, postcards from our travels.  This Autumn it's been decked with seed heads and grasses.  I remember collecting them at the end of September, the day my youngest started full days at school. Soon it will all make way for a display of light and sparkle to take us through the darker days of winter.  But before then, my display captures for me the Autumn.  I love the bleached out stems and subtle colour of the seed heads.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Winter dreaming

Back in the summer I started a series of small works using up the detritus of my studio!  Because I use book pages in my work the board book backs start to make piles, all in lovely muted colours.  The end pages find their way into my larger pieces but small offcuts find themselves stock piled for another day. Beautifully worded inscriptions are pinned to boards or tucked in to sketchbooks and I was determined to give these snippets their own glory.  And so this year's Christmas card designs were born.

Christmas cards available on 'Folksy'

I have a robin who lives in our garden and inspires me with his resilience.  His forebears lived here before him and the card 'Earnest Robin' celebrates him.  The inscription that I'd salvaged from an old book seemed just the greeting my little robin would utter.

It's at this time of year I long to hibernate so 'Christmas House' allowed me to dream about the cabin in the woods I would hibernate to.  Who or what would you take to your secret cabin?  I'd be sat in front of a log fire with the cat on my feet, listening to Stan Getz and knitting.  Oh Winter is such a dreamy time!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Back to basics

Creatively I am starting again.  I have had an amazing year for my business and continue to be offered new opportunities and have lots to look forward to in 2013.  With the studio move though I have felt in limbo, and as I've come to be known for the style of landscapes I create I have continued to create them.  But something inside wants me to pursue a new direction.  Really it's a more vivid version of me, hopefully a more confident creator.  When I teach the workshops I love encouraging messiness and creating textures and papers to use which are uninhibited and free.  So, I've been doing what I love, and without a total vision for the work, I have been mark making and experimenting with the media that have become familiar to me, ink, collage and stitch.  I've bled out the colour....see previous post on black....and I am starting out on a new creative journey.  It feels exciting and liberating and a little scary.  I'm waiting for the colour and shape to arrive.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Current obsession

My current obsession is for all things .... black.  I can't quite believe it myself but I'm enamoured by its quiet simplicity.  If anything stands still long enough round here, it will be rendered black; the studio, the lean-to, the front door, the freezer (yes, the freezer!) and the pantry cupboard doors are all done or on the to-do list.  I'm loving it as a back drop to planting, set off with highlights of intense colour.  It's feeding in to my work too.

Monday, 5 November 2012

November Sunshine

The studio is coming along.....slowly.  I'm so keen to get in there!  The electrics are nearly done and then I can start to set up home in there.  Today, with the bi-fold doors open and sunshine streaming in it seems an idyllic space to spend my days.  The garden is still saturated with colour and the chooks seem happy to have new neighbours.  I think it will be a month of ferrying my things from old studio to new amongst a to do list that is growing!  I've Christmas orders still to get out and new work to crack on with.  I hope you too are enjoying some winter sunshine.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012


After a flurry of recent sales I'm feeling generous!  If you've not yet 'liked' my studio facebook page, I'm giving away a signed limited edition print of 'Red House', posted to anywhere in the world to my 200th liker.  If you already 'like' me on facebook and feel a little left out, I'm also giving away the same print to my 200th blog follower.  Get clicking!

Red House /50

Sunday, 28 October 2012

On the Turn

I'm delighted to hear that I've had my first sale at my solo exhibition at Opus Gallery in Ashbourne.  I had a beautiful drive through the Derbyshire countryside to deliver the work on Friday.  The landscape was ablaze with yellow so it seems fitting that my piece, 'On the Turn' was the first to sell.

'On the Turn'

Opus Gallery, Ashbourne

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Going, going, gone

Remember this piece? It's called Valley Deep and has been my magnum opus. It was one of the first pieces that I had produced as a print just over a year ago. And now I have only 8 left. So for all of you who wanted a reminder.....there are only 8 left.....you can buy online here!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


I feel a bit out of the blog loop.  It's been a period of introspection and I've not felt brave enough to share it with the world.  I'm on hold a bit because of the studio build and that has meant  a lot of sorting out and sorting through. I've got to the bottom of 18 months of paperwork, filed my tax return and completed a huge to-do list.  The relief has been great.  What has happened has been a feeling of coming full circle and a creation of a space within me.  Into that space are trickling new ideas and new visions.

I can't decide whether I am being brave or stupid but my creative soul is moving me away from the landscape work and in to new realms.  It might be just a new avenue I need to pursue, we'll see.  I have a few conceptual ideas rumbling in my head, to do with love and connections and the circle of life....there's nothing like focusing on the big stuff!

Hands have become important symbols of the connections between me and my loved ones and so I am using them as a starting point for some visual explorations.  It might be some creative play, a reflective journey, or the start of a new body of work.....

After writing this I went on to read this.  I really relate to the need for peaceful introversion to recalibrate mind, body and soul.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Autumn Sunset

Dame Laura Knight 'The Cornish Coast' c 1917

A trip to the Lakeside Arts Centre at Nottingham University is a must in the Autumn.  The tree filled campus lights up with the glow of reds, yellows and oranges.  The children love the playground at Highfields Park.  We love the coffee (!) and the newly enlarged gallery at the Djanogoly centre has allowed for more dynamic exhibitions to be curated.  We always come home inspired, the Lakeside programme tucked in to a pocket, ready to book up theatre and music events to sustain us through the winter. 
Laura Knight

And so a sunny autumn day found us at the Dame Laura Knight exhibition.  I knew her to be a local artist, born in Long Eaton to lace workers, but I didn't know her to be such a talented and prolific artist.   Dissuaded at art college for painting in a masculine style she wasn't put off and went on to produce a lifetime of colourful, dynamic work that challenged the visual norms of her time.  She was a prolific war artist and the first woman elected to the Royal Academy. For her depictions of the Nuremberg Trials, she was also made the first Dame of the British Empire.

Dame Laura Knight 'Autumn Sunset'

I loved the beauty and atmosphere of this painting, 'Autumn Sunset'.  Rich and evocative of misty autumn days, I think this piece will keep me going through the winter months.

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