Friday, 31 August 2012

I think of my studio as a vegetable garden

What would August Bank Holiday be without rain? On the way back from a soggy camping trip in Derbyshire we stopped of at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Since my first visit a year ago, it's been a joy to revisit and a place of inspiration and contemplation. This time it was to see the Miro exhibition. The ideas behind his creative process were most inspiring and the development of his work from two dimensions to three. His descriptions of creating three dimensional collages appealed to me as a collage artist and set of sparks in my imagination.

"I think of my studio as a vegetable garden. Here, there are artichokes. Over there, potatoes. The leaves have to be cut so the vegetables can grow. At a certain moment, you must prune. I work like a gardener or a wine grower. Everything takes time. My vocabulary of forms, for example, did not come to me all at once. It formulated itself almost in spite of me. Things follow their natural course. They grow, they ripen. You have to graft. You have to water, as you do for lettuce. Things ripen in my mind. In addition, I always work on a great many things at once. And even in different areas: painting, etching, lithography, sculpture, ceramics."

Miro interview with Yvon Taillandier 'I work like a gardener' in XXe Siecle Paris 1959

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Joy and Gladness

I've been working on some new collages for my upcoming exhibitions.  This one is called 'Joy and Gladness'.  It's collaged on an old book jacket and is part of a series of narrative pieces that I'm currently working on.

Saturday, 11 August 2012


My inspiration board

I loved the following words on the opening pages of 'Never not a lovely Moon - the art of being yourself' by Caroline McHugh:

"Nothing is original.
Steal from anywhere that resonates 
with inspiration or fuels 
your imagination.  Devour old
films, new films, music,
books, paintings,
photographs, poems, dreams,
random conversations, architecture,
bridges, street signs, trees, clouds,
bodies of water, light and shadows.
Select only things to steal from that speak
directly to your soul.  If you do this, your
work (and theft) will be authentic.  Authenticity 
is invaluable; originality is non existent.  And don't
bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it 
if you feel like it.  In any case, always remember
what Jean-Luc Goddard said:
'It's not where you
take things from,
it's where you
take them to"

- Jim Jarmusch

I'm currently feasting on:

The Olympics - such inspiring achievements, great dedication and such happy faces.  The power of positivity.

The ceramics of Makoto Kagoshima brought in to my life through the wonders of Pinterest

Eating watermelon and feta salad and feeling fresh!

Bees on a tumble of flowers.  Boys with maggots going for their first fishing trip.  Crocosmia in a vase. Tapas to celebrate our wedding anniversary.  Guatemalan cloud forest coffee and vanilla roibois tea.  The colour purple.  Neat stacks of cards in the studio and rows and rows of tiles ready for firing.  Flip flops. Tom Jones.  Life.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Me time

I've been enjoying some 'Me' time and a bit of introspection. Life can seem a bit tangled and I've been trying to pull out the threads and re focus on goals, both personal and business. I've had my head in a couple of books that have really raised my positive energy.

'Never not a lovely moon' is an insightful visual essay by Caroline McHugh. Subtitled 'The art of being yourself' it's a celebration of all people and the uniqueness of each and everyone. Looking deeper I delved in to 'Instructions for Happiness and Success'. Running a business, a home and a family, it's become a default mechanism to always be worrying about what needs doing next and waiting for things to go wrong! I've been reprogramming this negativity and feeling so much more positive.

I've felt a bit lost with my creative goals. To address this, I've booked myself on a course with Pete Mosley and Janet Currie who run The Refectory Table. Hoping that they can help me plan out the next stage of my business and creative development.  I've also been remembering the power of sleep. My self care package has seen me getting to bed early, going swimming, eating more healthily and taking a break from drinking alcohol. I feel like a new woman!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

New work

Cloud 25cmx25cm monoprint, ink, collage and stitch

Green Field 25cmx25cm monoprint, ink, collage and stitch

Hill 25cmx25cm monoprint, ink, collage and stitch

Red House 25cmx25cm monoprint, ink, collage and stitch

Here's a few of the new pieces I've been working on.  They're a bit quieter.  I've been using mono print to create the base image which has made the images softer.  Red House is my favourite and is available as a limited edition print.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Exhibiting in Whitby

From today, a small selection of my framed originals, prints and cards are being exhibited at Trattles and Gaell Fine Art in Whitby.  I'm hoping for a good response as all the work was inspired by trips to the East coast of Yorkshire.  The gallery is at the foot of the steps up to the Abbey so is well placed on the tourist trail.  I'm hoping that holiday makers will fall in love with my Yorkshire landscapes.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Being Human

from 'Shape of Time' by Doris Kareva

You aren't better than anyone.
You aren't worse than anyone.
You have been given the world.
See what there is to see.

Protect what is around you,
hold who is there beside you.
All creatures in their own way
are funny-

and fragile.


The question isn't
how to be in style
how to live in truth
in the face of all the winds?

With mindfulness, courage,
patience, sympathy-
how to remain brave when the spirit fails?


Idleness is often empowering,
recreating oneself-
just as the moon gradually
grows full once again,
a battery surely and steadily recharges,
so everything, everyone
must have time for the self-

for mirth and laziness
time to be human.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Pride of place

Finally I'm checking back in with blog land!  I took a much needed break to meet some deadlines, host some workshops and rattle through a list of end of term events with the boys. Then we crashed in to the summer holidays with a 24/7 list of play dates, picnics, and paddling pool parties.  Finally we got away for a much needed break.

So now I do feel recharged and ready for a month of hard work getting ready for the Wirksworth Festival, closely followed by the Melbourne Festival.  I'm delighted that my print 'Valley Deep' is the main image on the Wirksworth flyer.  It's such a dynamic festival and I can't wait to be there.  The festival art trail is the weekend of September 8th and 9th and I'll be at the Methodist Church on Derby Road.
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