Monday, 29 March 2021

Quilts of lockdown 2

 At the start of all of the lockdowns, I needed mindless stitching. No complex piecing, just pulling scraps from a bag and sewing them together. Mindless meandering quilting, bit of hand applique, Quilt 2 is the result. 70cm x 97cm, not large, probably destined for Project Linus. I also had the perfect piece of fabric for the back, found in a charity shop more years ago than I can remember.


Friday, 19 March 2021

Quilts of lockdown 1


I made this quilt during lockdown, loaded photos to Instagram, but did not blog about it. It was sewn completely from stash and is based on this pattern. Surprisingly straightforward to sew, and great fun choosing the placement of the tones of blue. It ended up at 102cm x 120cm, so not huge, but enough to cover a lap.

Machine quilted with straight line, walking foot quilting, in random geometric shapes.

Will I submit it to Festival of Quilts? It always seems like a bit of a cop out to submit a quilt made to someone else's pattern, but I suppose there have still been artistic decisions made in its construction.

Thursday, 4 March 2021

But is is art?

 I am thoroughly enjoying being a member of Susan Yeates " Inspire" group on Facebook. A theme set each month, a set of tutorials that you can follow or not as you wish, supportive members, interesting asides from Susan. This month's them is mixed media, so I'm off looking for bits and bobs in the " that'll be useful one day" bags!

An exercise based on the work of Jasper Johns

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Facing some fears

 So many fears in the past year, time to tackle some idiotic ones. Drawing the figure, yikes! An online webinar with The London Drawing Group, involving a live model. 

Very absorbing, particularly the explanation about the kinesphere, which my brain kept seeing as the kinetisphere. It was intriguing to assign words to the poses after drawing them, and to use the concept of three spheres to map out the position of the body in space. My efforts below, all poses between 30 sec and 5 mins, charcoal and then pencil. Yet again, however messy charcoal is,  I much prefer it to pencil, however soft, for this type of quick drawing.

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Where have I been?

 Drawing, painting a bit, mucking about with collage a bit, mostly here, Staying sane.

The immediacy of Instagram is fun, connecting with other creative people from many disciplines is easy........................but it is owned by Facebook......................but here is owned by Google. Choices to be made about how to use these media in the near future. ( This interface seems more intuitive and predictable than when I was last here).

Ginkgo leaf stencils with oil paintstick.


Friday, 5 June 2020

500,25,600 minutes...................not quite............

.......but it feels like that long since I’ve  felt the pleasure of blogging.

With the world hurtling to who knows what future, and the UK becoming an  country unrecognisable to me, my creative urge has been struggling to find any point in emerging in to the daylight. Today felt right for a review of February. This is a very photo heavy post.

Decorating a samba drum to be played at Extinction Rebellion events


A beautiful, soothing piece from the exhibition at Two Temple Place, “Unbound” sadly, like so many events, cut short. Some great pieces in this, particularly the historic clothing, but also a few strange placements of exhibits on the second floor, meaning that four pieces could not be seen effectively. If this exhibition is re-opened, I hope the curators take note of the comments about the placement of the beautiful saris, and the two indigo wallhangings.


Painting course, a piece now probably never to be finished about locks and fragments, 


based on this photo


Signs of spring



Creating textures with paint


The visionary Alexander McQueen, a superb exhibition in the shop on Bond Street - and they did let me in even although I was dressed in my oldest clothes worn to the painting class.

Dyed and shredded silk chiffon


As a dressmaker, intrigued to see the effect of the two wedge-shaped panels inserted in to the full circle skirt.


Hand made,  gold work bees


There are some excellent reviews ( and photographs of the actual garments ) in these articles here, and here. I know that couture is criticised as only being applicable to the rich, but I see the skills involved as no different from other fine crafts and therefore worthy of admiration. 

Then to see The Doncaster Heads, by Laurence Edwards, an art project commissioned by Doncaster Council to honour the town’s mining heritage. 


These heads are so moving, half life-size, I think. I’m often not taken with the finish on bronze portraits, but these are excellent. Perhaps it is the sheer number, and that each person is recognisable as an individual, yet part of a whole.There is a superb series of videos, of Laurence Edwards, sculpting the heads of 22 of the participants, as they talk to him. Each one is at least 1h and 50 mins, but are an excellent antidote to our current lockdown.

Library quilt, piecing completed, but needs a couple of appliques,  before quilting.


More textured paper


Picasso exhibition. Fantastic. I did not expect to enjoy this as much as I did . So many media, and I was not aware of how much he was prepared to experiment in them all. 


My professional life takes me to many hospitals across the UK. In Southampton General, there was an exhibition of the work of Alexa Cox. Delicate, yet powerful of images of young children, with paper cutaways. Very arresting and getting a lot of attention from hospital visitors. I didn't notice the parallelogram shaped light reflections until I loaded this photo.



Cutting circles in the textured papers


Experimenting with tone


Blue textured papers


An exhibition of new work by Frances MacDonald at the Portland Gallery. If I am ever left an inheritance, I will buy one of her huge paintings.


Franken-seed-pods in a London square


Spring sunset


Hellebore from my garden


Carrying the weight of the world? This running man, is one of a whole series that supports the banister inside a Newcastle hotel. Whenever  my work takes me away from home, I try to stay somewhere interesting, or to get to a local exhibition that I would not see otherwise. I wonder if I will be able to do that again before I retire.


The image below, from here, shows the statuettes before renovation.

"The staircase at 117 Newgate Street is unforgettable, here is why its so special."
Photos by Sarah Dyer


Flooding in York, seen from the train


What a month of memories and inspiration.

Saturday, 1 February 2020

Trying to glimpse the light

So here we are, 01 February 2020, bigotry and ignorance seem to have “won”. Let’s hope those responsible enjoy their “victory” and not too many people suffer from the consequences. Many glimpses of light needed to even attempt to keep my spirits up.

Sketchbook, exploring burnt sienna in its many shades and tones




A weekend away in the woods

Croft Castle Woods

Seeing fantastic 300yr old trees

Croft Castle Woods

Croft Castle Woods

Beautiful mediaeval floors, and new kneelers based on the floor tiles

Croft Castle Woods

Croft Castle Woods

Croft Castle Woods

Croft Castle Woods

Progress on the drum - an image from a children’s colouring book, coloured, then manipulated in imaging software, printed and glued to the drum. Some smaller seahorses to be added at some point, but this drum is now an active part of Extinction Rebellion.