The Barn Scrubbed Up Well...

That funny old cart shed with the seventies sliding patio doors on (yep, I know!) looked great this weekend - all clean and clear - to show my work in a little 'at home' sort of exhibition.
Here are a few pics of the 'getting ready' stage, taken a week ago:

The canvas wall was already hung - to hide all the stuff behind - but there was still lots to be done..
Yet, at the weekend it looked like this:

Well - not quite like the wobbly panoramic one with an artwork-eating window and a ghost table...but you get the idea..

I was chuffed, big style with my homage-to-Malevich wall. 
Look how that cheeky little window is even pretending to be a pastiche of the Malevich black square:

A great big Thank You to all those lovely people who helped out to make it happen and THANK YOU to those who came along to support me as well. I was surprised and delighted by your positive responses and generous feedback.
I'm planning to do Norfolk Open Studios next May and a joint exhibition in Norwich sometime next Spring too - if I can find one or two people who work in such a way that our pieces will compliment each other...
So, if you missed this show, I'll keep you informed here and on my website. Be lovely to see you at the next one.

Planning For 2015? - Make Time For You....

Very important
That's why I have planned some fun, creative, self-indulgent workshops, just for you...

Happily they'll take place in two venues - so you have a choice of dates and places.

I'll run four full-day workshops at The Art Trading Company - which is in Bungay...on Saturdays in Spring and Summer next year:

Recycled Paper Collage with Gold Leaf - 
combine the pragmatism of re-use with the indulgence of precious metal
- 23 May

Painted Paper Collage - 
painting techniques on paper, then using them to collage
- 6 June

Chine Colle Mono-prints - 
collage and mono-printing techniques combined
- 4 July

A Letter to...(a loved one) - 
working with type and hand-written elements 
- 15 August

Details and booking at The Art Trading Company website

To compliment these, join me at my studio for some shorter-day workshops during 2015, with the following themes:

Collage - explore using Gold Leaf - similar but different from Bungay
Saturday 28 February

Experiment with Mixed Media - create a painted collage art piece
Saturday 21 March

Creative Collaborations - bring a friend and create together!
Saturday 9 May

'And I Quote' - explore various techniques to create lettering and make a creative quotation
Saturday 20 June

Check out more information on the workshops page of my website

Bye-Bye Collage - Across Europe....

This week I sent a collage on it's little way to Europe, in a carefully constructed cardboard folder / parcel:

The Post Office have a good system where I can track the package as it travels south..

It's not there yet... Bye collage - safe trip!

Started Framing For The Show...

 Phew - it's all go from now until late November - as I'm counting down to me little exhibition in the Barn...
Spending time painting frames and cleaning glass.

When I was unwell, I used the sofa-time to construct one or two very small scale collages - with a few of my lovely old stamps. With dear old envelopes, they've made some fun little cards - on the left. The ones on the right are printed and taken from my larger collages:


When I was printing the little labels, for the backs of the cards, I REALLY wanted to resist putting 'vintage' (such an over-used phrase...) but succumbed in the end because 'pre-loved' sounded really American (no dis-respect to lovely people from the US - it's just that I'm not American).
Also, it gives the impression that the envelope may have been used before - written on or sealed and then opened.
Using 'old' made me think that the flaps would be stuck down, as they sometimes can be if they've been stored in a damp place..
These gorgeous envelopes are NOT stuck down and have NOT been used before, they are just old - but that still seemed the wrong word. 
Maybe I have been a bit harsh in the past about the word 'vintage' does say 'old but loved and in good nick' - like a vintage car, I suppose...

I'm quite into me snippets of gold leaf on some of my work at the moment - so a little fragment on each of my other cards gives it an individual touch:

It's A Lightweight, Fly-Away Sort Of Thing...

I'm very happy to announce that it's time for a Creative Collage Workshop
Here's the flyer:

This time - you'll have the chance to mix science and art...dabble in Alchemy we create GOLD for your beautiful collage artwork. 
Well, that's a big fat lie actually, we won't exactly CREATE gold (not in three hours) - but we most certainly will work with it 

Can't wait... 

It's my first workshop in the *barn, so should be really good fun... 
My dear man (the BEST male cook over 40, in our house, I always say...) is going to cook up some delicious little nibblets to accompany the scrummy coffee and tea

  • No really - he is a good cook - 
  • I'll provide you with ALL the materials -  including gold leaf - with which to experiment (but if you have things you love to use, bring them along)
  • Bear in mind - there are only EIGHT places, for a morning of creative focus

So, lots of reasons to get in touch and book up.
email me: 
*Please be aware that there are steps and some uneven surfaces to negotiate en route to the barn. There is space for up to four cars on the driveway. Buses run regularly to and from Norwich

How Your Work-space Can Influence You

"Sir is an online magazine that notices exquisite talents today who will be in your fancy magazines tomorrow" - is how the Belgian website Sir Magazine describes itself.
They showcase the work-space of an artist/illustrator each week.
What works so well is that they get the artist to illustrate their own work-space, so we learn not only a little about how they inhabit it but we get an insight into their illustrative style too. We are also told their age (so young!) and where they live as part of a short description.
Usually they have recently graduated - so Sir offers a lovely way for illustrative artists to put their work out there...

Christine Roussey
Christine Roussey

have been thinking recently: my little shed itself, the things I choose to fill it with - and how I order all of them is a key start-point for a lot of my work....

....hence having a look at these work-spaces:

Wietse Palmans

Artiom Brancel
Atiom Brancel

One of my favourite descriptions of a work-space is that of Larissa Seilern - who says "MY workspace is a bubble in which I am the Almighty Queen"

Larissa Seilern
Larissa Seilern
Too right - it doesn't matter how tiny your bubble is - as long as it's yours...

Who Said Painting Is For Stuckists?

Tracey Emin once had a boyfriend who was a representational painter - and she dubbed him and others who used paint on canvas as the expression of their art "Stuckists" - which became a movement in its own right.
Ironically Emin has returned to representational painting herself recently - with a series of self-portrait nudes
Anyway - I digress -
The reason I mention painting is that last weekend I went back to my roots (to a school reunion) over in the North-West, where I was born and brought up.

The John Moores Painting Prize exhibition is showing at the Walker in Liverpool.
Did you see the Alexi Sayle programme about it?
By no means were all the paintings representational either...
I thought some of the Chinese contingent were really strong and the raspberry-ripple relief piece grew on me in enormously in the few minutes that I stood before it:

I only managed to grab a few snaps on my phone before a gallery attendant stopped me...

This was my favourite - the one I voted for in the people's choice vote:

Closely followed by this one:

Mum and I also dropped in to have a look round the new (amazing) Library next door.
Built behind the old facade, it is enormous - they have also kept the gorgeous rotunda of the Picton Reading Room
Here's a pic of the atrium and five storeys of new space - with a contemporary take on the Hogwart's staircases (no magical movement though):

The reading room:

We also visited the Bluecoat Display Centre - a craft/design gallery and shop that's long been a favourite haunt of mine:
There were some delightful cups by Karin Eriksson
I wish I'd bought one (the bottom left one in the pic) but I was worried about the very fine handle and my jam-packed back-pack on the train...hey-ho

mmmm - I'm longing to sip coffee from it as I look at the photo again here - what is it about handmade mugs? Connection with the earth? 

Bright Space, Dynamic Woman, Interesting Work

Enjoyed a fleeting visit (let's do coffee NEXT time, Sally!) to printmaker Sally Hirst's studio this week:
She's just done really well at this year's Norwich Print Fair

Sally showed me her new discovery - a versatile paper from the US that she's been printing on to.
It is thin yet robust and has a slight transparency, allowing her to layer up collage; creating interesting surfaces of abstract compositions:

Sally explained that her work always begins with a representational start point - usually industrial architecture.
She screen-prints, stencils and adds rust to paper initially, to begin to break up the surface.

Working onto small square blocks, with raised elements, Sally constructs a collage's abstracted theme, building a low-relief surface:

I think all that layering sustains visual interest - it's subtlety demands a closer look. the above photo shows two finished pieces sitting with the grey base blocks.
It's always inspiring to meet a new fellow practitioner and have a peek around their work-space

We're planning an exhibition - probably in 2016 - with at least one other abstract artist, maybe a painter or look out...
See more of Sally's mixed media panels at her website: HERE 
Thank you Sally!