Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Keeping at it

Oooh it's a busy life!  Running a workshop is always an intense experience, bringing together a group of strangers, imparting creative knowledge and enabling learners to make the best of what is essentially a taster day.  My work includes so many materials and techniques I arrived feeling like a snail with a huge shell on my back.  Oh for my own studio with enough space to run workshops, surrounded by all my paper hoards, books, threads, paints, boards etc etc!

It's been straight back to the studio to carry on with the new work I am preparing for Sock gallery.  Luckily the work is going well and I've got a great sense of creative flow.  It's always an apprehensive time as an immovable deadline looms but I think I might just be ready in time.  I have one week until set up and have six new pieces nearing completion.  I collect the frames from the framers on Friday (new frames...all solid oak and very beautiful), and with another workshop on Saturday I think I better work hard at looking after myself and getting some early nights.

It was very flattering to receive a message from Angie at Artwork by Angie telling me that she had awarded me the Liebster Blog Award.  Awarded from blogger to blogger, it must be awarded to a blog that inspires you and that has less than 200 followers.  We all need a "hip, hip, hooray" now again and I would like to give a Liebster to Sue Bulmer for her creative and informative blog in which she is very generous in praising others.  Also to Ruth Green.  I love her visual language and she has some lovely links.  Sue, Ruth .... I award you the Liebster.  Three cheers!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Collaged Landscapes

Yesterday I ran the first of my 2012 workshops.  The day went really well with all learners responding to the challenges of working with ink, collage and some stitch to create a landscape.  It was a very busy six hours with a lovely lunch provided by Karen and some really good outcomes.  Well done ladies!

If you're interested in joining me for a workshop, places are going fast.  Next Saturday's is fully booked, there's currently one place left on May 26th and I am now taking bookings for Saturday 14th July. You can find my contact details here.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Huguette Caland

A friend emailed me the link to this blog, and this film link about the work of Huguette Caland.  Beautiful home and a beautiful lady. Inspiring.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Kettle's Yard

The thing I like about Kettle's Yard is that it's so alive. A row of cottages knocked together and developed by Jim and Helen Ede, it has been preserved as if they had just popped out.  The interior has become an artwork itself.  Their's was a pared back aesthetic and they created a home that revered the natural.  Visited by artists and musicians it is a treasure trove of midcentury artists; Ben and Winifred Nicholson, Alfred Wallis, Henry Moore.  Whenever I visit I get a tremendous sense of fortune to be allowed into this place, to see the art in its domestic setting, the beauty of the vignettes as a Ben Nicholson relief shares its shelf with a few carefully placed shells.  A visit to Kettle's Yard should always be on the things-to-do list.

Ben Nicholson 1934 relief.  Kettles Yard

Inspiration....Ben Nicholson 1945 Two Circles

The overlapping shapes reminded me of cottages under moonlight

Inked underpainting for 'Nicholson's Cottages'....to be completed

Monday, 20 February 2012

Turning a corner

Yesterday, it felt like we turned a corner toward Spring.  The sun was warm, the greenhouse was cleared, the potatoes set to chit.  We spilled into the garden and embraced the sun, bleary eyed.  It was a lovely day to end a lovely half term holiday during which we caught up with friends and family.

I escaped to Suffolk with two old friends and although arctic winds blew across the fens it was great to be in the company of like minded creatives.  We had a wonderful time exploring Kettles Yard, a place I could visit endlessly and never grow tired.  The surrounding snow lit the interiors with a beautiful, soft light and I had a wonderful spiritual calm descend over me.

The calm has long gone and I feel I'm approaching the storm with deadlines looming.  I'm working hard toward Sock Makers Market and have two workshops in the next two weeks.  I'm glad to have had a boost from the sunshine and will translate that energy into my work.  You can catch up on all my spring news in my mailer, here.  Please contact me if you would like to be added to my mailing list.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Following my nose....

This lovely image came to me on a bag via the Northlight Scandinavian Homestore that led me to an exploration of this, this and this.  Must be the cold, or talk of visits to Scandinavia that have inspired an urge for pared back living and black coffee!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Work in progress

On Sunday I had a much needed, indeed craved for, day in the studio.  My successes at the Sock Gallery in Loughborough before Christmas mean that I have a lot of new work to create to keep up with my commitments for 2012.  I am back at the Sock Gallery in March as a part of their preview show for the Sock Makers Market on the 24th and 25th of March.  March is coming around fast....very fast!

I've been so inspired by the sudden blast of wintery weather and its effect upon the landscape.  I like the bleached out colour, the greys and sage green and lemon-white sun-through-snow skies.  I've been enjoying working larger and this has allowed for more gestural marks to come through in the ink work.  With a season of workshops starting soon, I'll be able to share some of my mark making techniques.

Looking ahead, I am excited to have been accepted to take part in the Open Houses at the Saltaire Arts Trail during May bank holiday weekend.  I've booked a cottage and will love decamping to Yorkshire and discovering the delights of the UNESCO world heritage site of Saltaire.

Currently my work is at the Ferrers Gallery near Ashby-de-la-Zouch.  The In Print exhibition is on there until the end of March.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012


I recently purchased these books.  Both have inspired in me the creation of sketchbooks and journals that are real. Creativity as a part of the journey of life;  the visceral pleasure of the tactile;  the putting of paint on paper.  The journey from looking to seeing and translating the mark, a view, an idea, a colour palette.  I love my online journey but miss the time spent filling sketchbooks, not always knowing what for, some would be useful, some not.  Even now, I refer back to journals, scrapbooks and sketchbooks from art college and when I was a freelance designer.

In Orla Kiely's Pattern book, a book I had resisted getting because her language is so strong and directed, I loved reading about her own creative journey from her first experiments as a child and the progression of her career and business.  I loved the simple way she puts her visual inspirations together so I am now waiting for a parcel of notebooks from Muji, inspired to do the same.

David Hockney's, A Yorkshire Sketchbook created in April 2004 has inspired me to take my watercolours next time I'm in Yorkshire and pay homage to his beautiful county.  I love the tonal studies and his capturing of the great sweeps of the landscape.

I am also finding guidance and inspiration here to get me through the back end of winter and maintain my creative flow.

Monday, 6 February 2012


I recently finished these as gifts for a friends beautiful twins.  I tried to balance the elements of sun and moon, as symbols of these chaps intertwined lives, and pictured them as a pair of soaring birds.  Welcome to the world Charlie and Thomas.
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