Sunday, 31 January 2016


This weekend theyard:ARTspace hummed to the 
creative activity that the Gum Arabic and Sketchbook techniques workshop generates.
Lots of fun was had while learning new techniques.
Experimentation was the order of the 2 days.
Acrylic paint,
and Gum Arabic transfers covered sheets of cartridge
paper and filled sketch books
producing rich surfaces.
Gum Arabic transfer can be printed onto fabric as proved by Gwen
who embellished her apron with print and machine embroidery. 
Personal drawings
were used throughout the workshop
making drawings leave the confines of sketch books.
The work on paper was folded into 4 and 8 page leaflet books.
Such individual work was produced all using the same processes.

The next Gum Arabic transfer and Mixed Media Sketchbook workshop at the yard:ARTspace is 7-8 May, check out the website for details.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016


It is interesting to look back at where things come from (sometimes) and of course when we think about how long ago we should always double the number!!
In December of 2011 I first created one of my ladies. Inspired by the paper mache brooches made by Julie Arkell while I was learning to enamel on the MA course at UWE, I thought, 'what if I made them in metal?' So hand cut steel with a pair of tin snips and handmade rivets to attach the legs.
This is what she developed into, they have taken a while to start to sell, but I have been supported by galleries. So now that they are finding a market I have decided to make it harder...who for, myself, my following. My need to make art objects means I just can't keep still...!!!
So the Ladies & Gentlemen have taken a rather surreal turn. I have spent a few days playing with the enamel and the idea. I like to draw with the enamel as I go along.
Using the faces of my lost relatives, adding scary balaclavas (yes, just an excuse to use that word in context).
Taking a few more risks, but inspired by Cecile Perra and Caroline McCatty
the Surrealists and Dadaism.
And every small child I see wrapped up for winter wearing a woollie hat with ears.
I am looking forward to completing these art dolls and have ideas for more. But the rest of this week may have to be devoted to making a collagraph plate as I want to try making a collagraph a month as I did in 2014.

What are your artistic New Years Resolutions? 

Thursday, 7 January 2016


Happy New Year to you all, it seemed like a long Christmas break and I now feel ready to get cracking again.
I try to cheat the January creative blues by starting a few things before the tinsel sets in, so the budgie
and tea cup sparrows was where I got up to before the festivities.
With the yard:ARTspace to myself I got down and inky, 
a couple of proofs and then a couple of 
days making adjustments to the plates,
playing with inking has left me in no doubt more work is needed.
More glue,
more skim and repair plaster,
and another date blocked out in my diary to print and experiment.
I have also started some drawing so there is a peacock in the pipeline.

Even if the budgie and sparrows don't work the active process of experimenting, reworking the plates and reprinting help to lubricate rusty creative muscles and compositional decisions. It is not always the outcome that is important, a successful piece can often be an unexpected bonus, it is the process of making that is important to me.