Monday, 23 April 2012

Sketchbook Peeks

Sue Bulmer is featuring me on her blog as part of her continuing series, 'Sketchbook Peeks'.  It's been one of my plans for this year to get back in to keeping sketchbooks and visual notebooks.  Recent purchases of Hockney's 'Sketchbook of Yorkshire' and Orla Kiely's 'Pattern' have inspired me. The process of editing and simplification that an image goes through as it moves from what I see, through my hands to what I draw gives me space to compose the image ready to work on it in the studio.

Making a simple zig zag book of houses I have lived in for the Memory Book workshop reminded me how much I love the book as a private space.  It must hark back to keeping diaries as a teenager. I enjoy the sketchbook holding a collection of thoughts or ideas or images...a time capsule.  I find it utterly satisfying to close it up and tie it with string. Like any book it contains a miniature world and I love the tangible ritual of opening the sketchbook and revisiting another time and place.  You just don't get that sensory experience when you load up your blog!!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Memory Book Workshop

Yesterday I ran my first workshop from the comfort of my own studio. Nine lovely ladies joined me to make Memory Books. Some created books that celebrated children and family, another a combination of photos and drawings from a honeymoon in Vegas. Some were books about special places, another a book of affirmations to carry with you and provide emotional support when needed. I'd made my own memory book of houses that I've lived in. We collaged and printed, painted and inked.

If you'd like to join me for a creative day making a Memory Book, I'm running another on Saturday July 7th in Long Eaton near Nottingham.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Just what I need(ed)

The busy-ness of getting moved in to the studio means that our holiday already seems a long time ago and oh I 'd like to be back there.  Days spent rock pooling were followed by evenings by the fire.  I took my knitting and we all read.  Amazingly I finished a book.  The East Yorkshire coast proffered it's beautiful stones and fossils to us.  We explored more of the desolate moors and I drove up a 33% incline and we all lived to tell the tale and celebrate being alive with chips and ice-cream....and more ice cream.

I'm very pleased that I'll be back in Yorkshire before I know it for the Saltaire Arts Trail (May 4th-7th).  It's come around fast!  You'll be able to find me here.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Studio Ten!

I've so enjoyed moving in to Studio Ten.  It's a very satisfying feeling to have evolved in to a fully functioning creative business!  I've found things I'd lost and had a good clear out and revelled in having space to store work and space to frame and create and be.  I'm feeling good about life.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Yorkshire, April 2012

And so started my sketchbook!  In an ode to Hockney whose Yorkshire Sketchbook opens with a similarly water coloured 'Yorkshire April 2004' I set out to capture some of the landscapes that he and I both love.  I topped up my watercolour box and packed a pencil.   I had been so inspired by Hockney's use of watercolour and pen but found it a tribulation to use watercolour in my sketchbook.  The sun didn't shine much and I found myself standing around waiting for the paint to dry!  Once I reverted to a pencil and sketched in a way that was true to myself I was able to engage with the landscape.  I stood atop hills that had vantage points out to sea, down valleys and across the moors.  I loved the pattern, the ruggedness of the moors and the juxtaposition with the manmade fields split with dry stone walls and the safe domestic shapes of home and farm.

By Wednesday of our trip away I was so in love with Yorkshire. A fortuitous detour found us in front of a bungalow, around the corner from the sea and up for auction.  Oh how I ached for that to be my home, scrubbed and white washed , a simple base for an artist's life.

Fancy it?  It's up for auction next Wednesday.

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