Saturday, 25 February 2012


I just opened a shop on Etsy.  I've never done anything like this before and so I'm feeling my way with the whole thing: pricing, shipping, describing etc.  So far I've listed the three artworks that featured in the 6 Inch Cube exhibition at South Square Gallery.  More to come soon, including some new cards I hope.

Friday, 24 February 2012

something new (every day)

I've started something new this week.  So often I make resolutions about doing something creative every day, sketching more often etc.  Somehow they always get interrupted before they become established so I'm trying to address that.  With a period of planning this has become even more necessary.

This is my new little project.  By making it online I hope that I will be more disciplined about keeping to it!  Each entry is either the result of me making the time to spend a few minutes in my studio rather than at my computer desk or a snippet of something I'm working on anyway.

I follow various other people documenting similar daily projects; here and here for example.

I'd be interested to know what you think.

Sunday, 19 February 2012


You've really got to prepare if you're going to be spontaneous
David Hockney

I'm preparing to print but there is a lot to get ready before I can.  I've cut card for collagraph bases; made a registration sheet to go on the print bed; trimmed my press blankets to size; covered the bed in plastic so it is wipeable; made a board for weighing down damp paper; cut down my A2 paper to A4...

Before I can print I need to: buy some meths to dilute the shellac in; finish making and seal my first batch of collagraph plates; mix up some inks; soak and blot some paper...  

Meanwhile, I'm gathering together recent stitched paper samples and experimenting a little with stitches on the prints I made a few months ago

The weather is all over the place: yesterday it rained persistently for a few hours, then felt very spring like and I dried washing outside and took photos while there was sunshine streaming into the house, then I walked in the woods in wind and hail.  In my studio I now have daylight bulbs so at least the light is a bit more consistent in there.

Friday, 10 February 2012

marks in the landscape

I've had a couple of days of meetings, which have been really useful and stimulating.  One was about the development of a new collaborative project (more on that another time) and the others were about my main project this year.  As a result I have renewed hope about possible funding.  I know I keep being vague in these posts about projects I'm planning and that is because I don't want to announce things until everything is in place... hopefully that won't be long now.  

We're in the middle of a cold spell here with snow coming and going.  Yesterday was particularly wintery, with ice, remnants of last weekends' snow and then rain just to make things extra slippery.  I drove over to Hebden Bridge to see Angie Rogers, an artist who's work I admire and who was kind enough to give me some time to talk through various aspects of her recent residency.

The drive over the water shed between the Calder and Aire valleys is one I love.  You climb up from Haworth, through Oxenhope and then on the the moors that separate the two river systems.  Whatever the weather is doing in the valley, suddenly on the moors it can be so different.  It gets me every time!  Yesterday it was shrouded in mist and rain with the residue of recent snow marking out the features in the landscape.  It was bleak, cold and wild - bracing and breathtaking.  The subtle colours of the grasses, rushes and exposed peat are interspersed with patches of snow, which make a clean backdrop for stark stems.

Persistent rain made getting out of the car to take photographs a fairly quick affair, but sketches in the warmth of the car were possible.

Coming down off the tops the fields were suddenly visible, but still through mist.  A different layby, a different view.  Snow drifted along the walls mark out a pattern, almost a negative of the land without the snow.  Snow transforms the set of marks that make up the landscape; accentuates different features.  It lingers in dips and hollows in fields, revealing something new about the surface of the land.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012


I have, sitting on my kitchen table, a lovely four shaft table loom.

I rescued it from going in a skip at my kids' school yesterday and still can't quite believe my luck!  

It is in need of a little care and attention: one of the strings that lifts a shaft is frayed and almost broken.  But really it is in pretty good condition and I wonder how long it has been sitting in a store room un-used and un-loved.

While I'm talking about studio equipment, let me introduce you to my new printing press:  I bought this just before moving house and it has been wrapped up ever since, waiting for the studio to be sorted enough and set up to use it.  I'm hoping it won't stay this shiny for long!

Saturday, 4 February 2012


I can finally see from one side of my studio to the other!  I've spent a good deal of time this week sorting, unpacking and tidying in the studio.  I might even be able to work in there next week.  

I'm becoming a dab hand with a drill, having put shelves, blinds and curtain rails up in various places around the house over the last couple of weeks.  These shelves may not look much but they enabled me to unpack various boxes, which makes a big difference to the space.  I'm finding all sorts of ways to make the best use of the space I have.  In the midst of all the sorting I longed for a clean white-walled empty space, but I know it wouldn't last long: I'd only fill it with things.

These old school trays are just brilliant and are home to all sorts of bits and pieces.

I'm itching to get to work in there and it won't be long now before I can.