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.