Sunday, 7 August 2016

Hornsea art exhibition

I'm very pleased to say I sold a painting at Hornsea art societies annual exhibition.  This is my first year as a member, and I had been told that they did very well with sales, but I didn't expect to have one.

'Orchard, alfresco' acrylic
I entered the 'Orchard al fresco and also Bridlington Boatyard as framed pieces.  I also put in three unframed pieces.  I sold 'Orchard, al fresco' and one of the unframed pieces, 'Moorings', so was very pleased.

'Moorings' acrylic

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Things getting easier

I am back from the TSG summer school which was very enjoyable.  Very interesting few days.

Bridlington Art Society annual exhibition is also over now, and I am pleased to say that I got the award for both best abstract painting and, amazingly enough the best picture of the exhibition.  I got this last for a machine embroidery that I almost didn't enter.

Celtic Fish 10 x 8 inch machine embroidery

This was worked on water soluble fabric.  After the stitching is complete, including some hand stitching and beading, and some padded work, the water-soluble fabric is washed away.

I'm disappointed that neither of the two large acrylic pieces won anything.  I thought they were much the better pieces, but there is no accounting for taste.

I spent the day at Spurn Point yesterday, on a trip arranged by Larry Malkin, for members of East riding Artists.  It was a wonderful day, such a beautiful place, and I have loads of ideas for future work.  We are hoping that he will arrange another day as we spent most of yesterday learning about the history and geography of the place, and wandering around taking photographs.  We did very little sketching.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Still running

Although I have now finished the artist residency at the Old Parcels Office, Scarborough, I still feel under pressure. I have paintings to hand-in to Hornsea Art Society today, which has meant finishing, varnishing, framing etc over the last few days. I have also been getting ready to go to York on Monday for the Textile Study Group summer school.

I haven't been sleeping very well - a combination of warm nights and stress, so I am very tired.  On the plus side I am getting up at 5.30am so have a couple of hours before breakfast to get work done.  I enjoy these quiet hours before anyone else is stirring.  

'Orchard Al Fresco' acrylic 16 x 20 inch

This is one of the paintings I entered into the Hornsea Art Society annual exhibition.  I like the illustrative quality of it.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Art @ Home Farm

Diane Leach and I are exhibiting at Sledmere this weekend.  We did an Art@Home Farm in 2014.  It was in May and very cold.  They have moved it to July, and the weather is fabulous.  Unfortunately visitors are low. I am enjoying having the time to chat with Diane as we never seem to get together except at exhibitions, so we always have a lot to chat about.

'Peace' 20 x 24 inch acrylic
The above painting is one of two new paintings I have submitted to the Bridlington Art Society annual exhibition.  I meant to take a photograph of it in it's lovely wide frame, but unfortunately I forgot.  I'm very pleased with it.  An experiment in palette knife painting.  It's very difficult to do minimalist painting, you always want to add more.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Artist Residency

I wouldn't have believed what a difference it makes to work away from home, and to work for a long period, up to 6 hours one day!  Usually it's four hours, and it suits me perfectly.  There are no interruptions, and I just get on and work. I need to put a similar routine in place at home after the residency is finished.  At present, I never get more than two hours, and often not even that.

I have covered the tables and floor with plastic, then covered the floor again with scrap paper I've saved from packaging.  Because it doesn't matter about the mess I feel so much freer.

The major plus is that I have the space to work on four or five pieces at the same time, plus a couple of warm-ups as well.   I can spread them out on the floor to dry, then prop them up and look at them from a distance. I will be sad when the residency finishes in two weeks.

This is one of the paintings I'm working on.  It still needs a lot of work, but it's getting there.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Old Parcels Office, Scarborough

Have had a couple of good sessions at the Old Parcels Office.  I wasn't sure how it would go, if it would be different from working at home or not.  It is very different.  I have more space to walk back and just look.  In fact I have more space for everything.  Because it is such a huge building, the 'feel' of the place is different.

I have made a start on several paintings that look as if they have great possibilities.  I am going again today, and hope to get some sketching and take photographs of the beach and harbour as well as it's lovely and sunny.  It just depends upon if I can get parked anywhere as it will be busy with Sunday trippers.

The piece above is on board that I covered with a stiff gauze.   It isn't anywhere finished, but I'm pleased with it so far.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Still on the escalator

The time seems to be going at warp speed at the moment, but I don't seem to be getting enough painting time.  Something has got to go.  I have cut down my exercises classes, but this week sees the start of my Artist Residency at Scarborough's Old Parcels Office, so that will give me the time needed to do some exploration, particularly on a large scale.

I didn't get in to the Open Exhibition I applied for, so here is one of the paintings I put forward.

'Solitude' acrylic on canvas 24 x 20 inch
I still think it's a good painting, and will be getting it framed to put on my wall.  If I can get it framed quickly enough, I could put it in to the Bridlington Art Society annual exhibition.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Still running up the down escalator

My flu/cold has left me tired and breathless, so it's slowed me right down.  I have had a lot to do over the last couple of weeks, with preparations for the Artist Residency at the Old Parcel's Office in Scarborough starting soon, plus entering work into the Woodend Open exhibition.  There are also two other exhibitions, one entry this week and one entry in three weeks.  I want to push myself to reach higher in my professional practise, so I don't want to give in.  All the exhibitions are via online applications, so at least I don't have to get the work framed and take it in, unless I am accepted!

I visited the OPO at Scarborough last Wednesday and its a great space, in fact a very great big space, so I am looking forward to it, it just means losing three afternoons a week, an hour travel, plus at least two hours actually working there.  I want to try and fit in another hour for research and sketching around Scarborough if possible.  Something has to give, and it's going to be my exercise classes.  Until I caught this flu/cold thing, I was doing 8-12 classes a week.  I can't keep that up unfortunately and get work done as well.  So I am planning on cutting down to 5 classes a week.

The second  exhibition is in Lincoln.  It sounds great, and I have a project that I have wanted to do for a long time, based around the fishing industry of Bridlington, the fall and rise of fishing in fact.  This exhibition doesn't actually take place until January 2017, but I'm not altogether sure how it actually works, so I need to give them a ring.

The third one is based in Bridlington, and doesn't have to be in until 10th July, but what I had planned is a complex piece of work, and I don't know if I will have time for it.  I may try to combine it with the OPO Scarborough.

As if that's not enough, I am trying to keep up with a 'drawing a day' practise, which is turning out to be more like 3-6 drawings a day.  I feel fired up to improve my drawing, and just need to go with that feeling whilst I can fit it in.

I'm not posting a picture this week as all the work I have around the studio is for the above exhibitions and I don't want to tempt fate by posting early.

 I apologize in advance - the spell checker isn't working on blogger, so there my be errors.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Colds and work

I started with what I thought was hay-fever on Friday, but it may be a cold as I still have it, even though it's now raining.  The rain usually clears the pollen from the air.

I went to Hull yesterday with a friend to check out a drawing class.  It's a 'back to basics' sort of class, but we both feel that this would be good for our practise.  We had a look at the BA work first and didn't feel that the organisation of it was very good, no labelling of either names of students or the course they had taken.  The fact that there was hardly anyone there is an indication of the feeling it generated.

We then went over to the FE side and found the place packed, the staff were completely different too, couldn't do enough for us, drinks, seats, brochures and arranged transport to the other site where we saw some extremely good work, all correctly labelled, and with a member of staff escorting visitors around and answering any questions - a perfect presentation.  We have left our contact details as we have been told that the tutor will ring us to discuss our needs and arrange an interview.  It all sounds promising.

I haven't managed very much painting this week unfortunately, and what I have done is for the Woodend Open Summer Exhibition which I don't want to post yet.

The picture above is work I have on my studio wall, work that isn't for sale.  They are all from my 'Coast' series of on going work.  The top two pieces are very simple stitched wax paper with found beach treasures, representing the ebb and flow of the tide.  The bottom two are mixed media paintings, representing the fishing villages of North Yorkshire that cling to the cliffs, tiny communities holding fast against the massive force of the North Sea.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Working in different styles

I've been working on three paintings in the last week or so.  The subject is the same in each, but the style is different.  Or I should say the style is meant to be different.  It is very difficult to change your way of doing things, you get into the 'zone' and just revert to the old tried and tested way.

This painting was done using high chroma colours, in the style of the Scottish Colourists.  It's not quite finished, but I want to leave it for at least a week so I see it with fresh eyes, and can see what needs doing to finish it.

I'm also writing an article for Diane, Jacqui and I as a form of self-promotion.  It's been difficult to get together and get the necessary photographs done.  So difficult to take pictures of yourself working as you need a friend or a camera timer, and you can only really pretend to be working as you are aware of the camera, and the fact that you can't move much.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Studio sorted, but no time to use it

My studio is looking good, if as bit crammed, but I haven't had time to use it.  I've been out every day this week, either at the Gym or for art related reasons.

I am determined to spend the week-end working, I'm feeling a little stir crazy from not painting.

This is a piece that will be part of a hanging, can't say more about it at the moment, but all will be revealed later.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Studio reorganisation

I have spent a lot of time this week moving the studio around, general tidying up and making two workstations; one for oil paintings and one for acrylic or watercolour painting with the new easel I bought at ArtWaves exhibition last weekend. Until I start to use the areas, I don't know if its going to work, so I need to get painting.

I haven't actually managed to get much done actually painting, so this is just a beginning I'm posting.  I'm not sure where it's going to, not even sure if it's a seascape or landscape yet.

beginning, 20 x 20 inch

Friday, 13 May 2016

Another week has flown past

We finished at Burton Agnes on Tuesday.  Didn't do too bad, but the footfall is drastically down.
I wasn't feeling too great, a combination of the ongoing back problems, plus very tired, and then a sore throat and cough, presumably because I feel worn out.

I'm feeling much better now, and have started working in my 'Trees' workbook again, preparatory to the TSG summer school in July.

I have also ordered 6 canvasses for my artist residency at Scarborough Old Parcels Office, the complete work being 1m x 4m.  I have started planning out how this is going to work, but I am a bit worried that I won't get it all done during the time I have there.  Hopefully I will find time in the next couple of weeks to make a start on the research - walking, collecting, sketching over on the north side of Scarborough, starting at the Sealife centre.

I have also had a lovely time experimenting with pouring acrylics, and am very excited by the results.  It is messy and I think I need to get some of those plastic clogs to change into when I'm doing it as it's difficult not to walk into the puddled paint.  I have a plastic sheet down, but I'm thinking of putting sheets of paper underneath as these would be absorbent, and would make nice beginnings, or failing that, sketchbook pages.

Modiglianis piazza

The above is a collage painting started at Cober Hill.  It's quite large for me, 25 inch square.  I haven't had time to do any more to it, and I'm not sure I want to finish it, so it will be propped up against the studio wall for a while until I decide to either paint over it or work on it.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Cober Hill

I have had very little time at home over the last week.  First I was at Cober Hill, and then Stewarding at Burton Agnes Hall Courtyard Gallery.

I did one or two good pieces of work at Cober Hill, one of the best as far as I am concerned was done in a couple of hours on the last day.  These are both quite small, around 9 inch square.

Seascape, acrylic

I bought a set of spreaders in Poundland a few weeks ago.  I just happened to see them, I don't know what they are really designed for, but were in the DIY department so maybe for filling cracks in walls?  Anyway I decided to take them with me to Cober Hill to give them a trial.

Yorkshire landscape, acrylic
I didn't get chance to use them until the last day, in fact the last few hours before we cleared up.  They are amazing.  Although plastic, they have the same flex and spring as a palette knife, and as they are very light, they are easy for me to use.  The largest is around 5 inch wide, going down to around 1½ inch wide.  The corners are right-angles, but I am going to try trimming one corner to a curve.  I hope they still have them because I love them and want to buy some more.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Burton Agnes Hall and Cober Hill

Spent most of the day setting up our exhibition at Burton Agnes Hall Courtyard Gallery.  The weather was horrible, windy, raining and very cold.  The exhibition looks very nice, but unless the weather improves, not many people are going to come out to walk around gardens, however lovely they are.  I had to do a little shopping on the way home and got caught in a hailstorm!

I have also spent what was left of the day finishing my packing for Cober Hill.  I don't go until Sunday but I am stewarding at Burton Agnes Hall tomorrow, so took the chance to do it today.  After such a busy week, getting ready for the exhibition, it will be lovely just to have five days of painting.

Summer tide
I'm not sure if I've posted this painting or not.  The colours haven't come out very well in the photograph, it's much stronger and the brush marks more prominent in the painting.

Hopefully I will have lots of new work to post next weekend after Cober Hill

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Burton Agnes

I'm still getting ready for our first exhibition of the year.  We are setting up at Burton Agnes Hall Courtyard gallery next Friday.  I have all the work finished, but still framing the results.  I have taken the photographs though, and remembered to sign each piece of work.

South beach.  Acrylic & watercolour on gessoed paper
This piece is one of three I am framing.  I started them in Joy Green's workshop, using watercolours, but I have since worked over them several times with acrylic.  I found that acrylic does wipe off the gesso in the same way that watercolour did.

Had a wonderful workshop with Lesley Birch last Sunday.  We experimented with using three primaries, any red, yellow & blue.  Later we added in white and black.  The results with some primaries was amazing.  I did stick to safe colours, cad.yellow, permanent rose and ultramarine, but some of the earth colour results were lovely and it's something I want to experiment more with when I have the time.

acrylic approx. 10 x 12 inch

This is one of the many pieces I did on Sunday.  It needs more work, but I love the energy in it.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Lesley Birch workshop

I'm going on a one day workshop, lead by Lesley Birch tomorrow, the subject being 'colour'.  I'm really looking forward to it,  hopefully I'll write about it next week.

This week I have been pulling work together, getting ready for the first exhibition of the year at Burton Agnes Hall.  We set up on Friday 29th April, so only two weeks to go.

I have had some lovely frames made by Paul at Blacktoft, I'm very pleased with them.  Together with some I bought last year, my work is going to be in mid to pale wood frames this year, with either white or cream mounts.  I have striven to get a more co-ordinated look, and this year I have finally managed it.

I spent the day matching paintings to frames and mounts, then making a list of the work, together with notes on what else still has to be done.  I have twenty-two pieces of work altogether, sixteen of which are new this year.

Fishing boats. Collager & Oil on canvas with some stitching

This is one of the pieces that's almost but not quite finished.  I still have a lot to do before set up day on the 29th April

Saturday, 9 April 2016


I thought that I had all the exhibition info in for this year, but have had another two this week, so more to add to my year planner.  It's very hard, this trying to get organised.

the first exhibition is Woodend Open Exhibition, Scarborough.  This is the first open exhibition they have done, and is on the theme of Moors & Coast which is amazing as that's my themes anyway. Digital entry deadline is 17th June.  As it's the first they have done I think there will be a large entry so I may not get in.

The second exhibition to come up is Art in the Garden for ERA (East Riding Artists).  I did know that it was coming up, but didn't have the list of gardens to visit, or the entry deadline.  The exhibition is 22-24th July at North Cave.  It does seem rather a short exhibition, and a fair distance for me to have to go at least twice.  Once to take the work, and once to see the exhibition/collect unsold work.

Checking the ERA website, I am assuming that there will be the ERA Open Exhibition at Wolds Village Bainton in July, although this isn't on the Wolds Village list.

There is also Art in the Aisles, at St Mary's Church, Beverley.  I haven't taken part in this exhibition before.  It's listed as 1st to 31st August, but that doesn't sound right, so will await more news.

I haven't managed to do very much painting this week, partly because of a bad back.  I did work on a still life on Tuesday.  It still needs work, but it's coming along.

Still life with blue bowl

Monday, 4 April 2016

Getting ready

I've been sorting out art that I've done over the last six months, deciding what to frame for Burton Agnes courtyard.  We set up on the 29th April, so I need to get it sorted out. I'm going to the frames this afternoon, always exciting to get work framed.

I am also trying to get some beginnings done for my painting week at Cober Hill near Scarborough, as I am going on the Sunday after setting up at Burton Agnes, 1st May.  

We are having an open afternoon at Burton Agnes Courtyard Gallery on the Saturday, 30th April, so I need to have everything ready for Cober Hill by Thursday 28th, all packed and just waiting to be put in the car Sunday morning.

summer fields 15 x 15 inch

This piece was a 'beginning' I did at Neil Helyards the week before last.  He said to leave it as it is.  Still not sure, so I'm leaving it for now.

summer hedgerows. 16 x 16 inch

And this is the piece I intended to work on the one above.  I did another beginning but kept going.  It's inspired from a much smaller piece of work I did a few months ago.

Sunday, 27 March 2016


I've been working on a very large painting this week, totally abstract.  This is a new thing for me.  I also decided to work it in oils - so a really big change as I haven't worked in oils for a long time other than the Markal oil bars.

I so enjoyed it and amazed myself.  The canvas is 30 x 30 inch, I've never worked on anything so large before, and I've never just started without any source material.  I just let the painting tell me what it needed and it was a lovely experience.

Hope Island

I'm not sure where the title came from either.   I want to work on it more.  The bottom left corner needs simplification and the right hand brown area needs the sharp edge altering.  Having said that I am really pleased with this first attempt and my husband really likes it too.

I've also painted four expressionist landscapes, none of them quite finished.  I begin staining papers for collage yesterday, getting ready for my Cober Hill sabbatical.  I want to take several prepped boards and do Still Life there.

I haven't done any stitching yet, but I am getting itchy to stitch.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Getting ready for the start of the season

I only realised a few days ago that our first exhibition of the year is only six weeks away, and as it coincides with my painting week at Cober Hill, I have a lot to organise in the next month or so.

I have spent the day sorting out frames, throwing out old ones, and checking the measurements of the new ones as well as checking what mounts I need to order.  This has taken up most of the day, but at least I know what I have now.

I also had a nice hour or so doing some expressive painting to music,and managed to finish an abstract collage, shown below.  I really enjoyed doing this one, and have a couple more in the pipeline.

Coastal Pathways 2, acrylic collage 9 x 9 inch

Rain over Flamborough, monoprint 10 x 10 inch

I started a new series of expressive landscape collages yesterday, five in total.  These are larger than the last ones, at 16 inch square.  I have the collage and the acrylic underpainting finished, and will start working on them with the Markal oil sticks tomorrow.

I want to try adding stitch to these in a different way from the last series.  It may be difficult stitching them on the sewing machine as they are on paper and so much larger than the previous ones.  I can only try and see what I can do.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Two workshops and a pile of work to review

I missed posting last Sunday because I was on a workshop, more of that later.

The workshop at Art Van Go, Knebworth; Monoprinting landscapes with Sarah Burgess was excellent.  Sarah is a born mentor, and spent a lot of time with individuals, talking about their work.

We did monoprinting on paper the first day, then on fabric the second day.  We also looked at combining the paper and the fabric into collage pieces.

monoprint on paper approx 8 x 10 inch

monoprint on paper, fabric added approx 8 x 10 inch

collage made from monoprints, tissutex, line added, A2

detail of above

 I enjoyed the monoprinting on paper, but was less successful with monoprinting on fabric.  I will do more as I think it has great possibilities.

monoprint on fabric

The way to think about this type of monoprinting for me is as preparing collage elements that I will later combine with other pieces.

Sunday, 6 March 2016


I am getting ready to go down to Knebworth on Monday morning to attend a monoprinting landscape workshop at Art Van Go, led by Sarah Burgess.

This fits in very well with the expressive landscapes I have been working on for the last month, and I hope to build on the work I have already done and expand on this theme, but working on fabric.

I have been working on the Seawhites All Media, heavy cartridge.  Using collage, charcoal, graphite and oilbars.  I had eight on the go, moving rapidly from one to another so that they didn't get overworked.  They are all around 9 inch square, so not very big.

The second piece shown has also had some fine, hand dyed cheesecloth scraps added, plus some machine stitching.

They haven't all been a success, but I think six are good enough to be framed, I'm very pleased with them.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Its been a long time

It's been a long time since I posted here or on my other blog.  I want to start writing a blog again, so have decided to put everything here, whether painting, stitching, assemblage or whatever, it's all art.

I am still working on 'Coast', and want to start walking on the beach on a daily basis when the weather improves a little.  At the moment it's cold and windy, not conducive to walking, drawing and note taking.

I have been down a few times, and always come back with pockets full of things collected from the beach; shells, stones, driftwood.  They all evoke a  poignant feeling within me, a warn piece of wood that might once have been part of a ship, or more likely a box from a ship, or perhaps a limestone pebble with tiny veins and marking in rust and ochre, or perhaps a shell - animal, vegetable and mineral.

I want to be able to capture something of that feeling in a series of works.  I have a small piece of wood, a mussel shell and a small stone with a hole in it, sat in a box on my desk, and they have been there for several weeks.  I don't want to try and copy them in stitch or in paint.  What would be the point?

An idea is gradually forming in my mind, whereby the pieces are part of the actual work, together with perhaps a photograph of the beach, perhaps a stitched piece, perhaps a  painting, but all parts of one piece of work.  I still don't know how I am going to put it together, but like a bud, gradually opening, I see more each day.