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Sunday, June 29, 2008


is a small piece, lutradur over a piece of felt that had fibres and cloth embellished onto it. I'm debating with myself, whether or not to burn out the places where the embellished bits are, to give some contrast in texture and colour. I think I may do so.

Kate goes home tomorrow night, but is likely to return to spend at least part of the summer with me. I'm busy, busy, and she will help me out with some of the admin type work that needs doing, so that I can keep track of things. I know how to do admin, but somehow it never gets done, so an extra pair of hands to set up the systems I need would be very welcome. And Kate gets to play in the shed, which is always a bonus for an art lover! She has started her own etsy shop, Kate's Collection, and has already had her first sale; we're both delighted! Please do click on the link to her shop, and see what she's up to.

By the way... SiteMeter tells me that I've had 49 936 visitors to my blog. I'll be looking out for the 50 000th, which should be some time this week...there will be a small piece of work waiting to go out to that person...providing we can work out who it is! I'm sure that won't be too difficult!

Friday, June 27, 2008

More Scars...

this one is entitled 'Defining'. I wondered... am I defined by my scars, or by myself? This piece explores that question. See what you think.

Kate is still here, and will feature on the other blog very's great having an arty niece!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Spot of Touristy Wandering...

with my niece, who is staying with us, and Robin, took us to Cambridge yesterday, where I found someone selling interesting textiles, including this piece. The lace is gorgeous, the cloth, a light silk, which is faded almost beyond recognition. I was attracted, not to the lace, but to the cloth, the remains of the images, clearly figures. I wonder what the context was; my first thought was religious, but I have no real idea why. Looking at it now, it appears more domestic in nature. I'm not sure what I'll do with it...probably not keep it as it is (unless one of you clever conservationists tells me that I ought to). I saw the panels appliqued onto rough antique linen (of which I have some...surprise...) and worked into with stitch. We'll see.

My niece is here til next Monday, so blogs may be intermittent. Work won't be, though. I have a gallery appointment tomorrow, and other stuff needs to be done, including work on the book, Lovely Lutradur, so that we can get it ready to issue on CD at its launch date of 1 August, just in time for Festival of Quilts. I'll have copies there on Saturday and Sunday, working on the Spunart stand, demonstrating the use of lutradur. I'll have some ACEOs and small pieces of work for sale, too; do come and say hello and ask me questions! I love talking about lutradur!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

They're Coming To Get You...

came out of nowhere, an evolon piece... it required to be quilted in this way. It's very simple, but it feels somehow panicky. Something is out there, in the big city, and it's coming your way... got to run... got to hide... And then you wake up, and it's just a dream.

I'm increasingly enjoying drawing with a sewing machine. Most of my work now is much closer to embroidery than to quilting... and I hope, closer to drawing than to embroidery. I think there's a magazine article in there, somewhere... probably not a book...sigh. The lutradur book will, of course, be out very soon (I can say that with some confidence), so perhaps it's time to think about one of the other projects in my head... the drawing one will have to take its place in the queue...

Sunday, June 15, 2008


I'd forgotten what good fun it is to do some simple bookbinding. So, as Robin worked away at trying to get the doorbell chimer to work in the shed (took all afternoon to get a partial success, shame, really), I made some little pamplet books. The covers were a piece of acrylic painted watercolour paper that had been lying around for a while; the insides are made of a curiously textured hand made paper (no, not some of mine) with intruiguing fibres contained in it. As you can see, the result is four bright, cheery journals, each different, just right for popping into ones handbag. Bright is important, or at least it is to me... some of my handbags behave like the black hole of Calcutta. And, of course, now that I've made these, I'll just have to make some more!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Green Girl In The Garden.

You might remember (or not...) that I made a doll called 'Green Girl Gets The Blues'; see her here
Well, Green Girl In The Garden is a new lutradur piece that should perhaps be subtitled 'The Further Adventures Of Green Girl'. Did I start out to make a piece about Green Girl? Well, no... but I recognised her in the shapes when I started to quilt, and lo! a story was born! I love it when fun little pieces like this pop up to surprise me, a little frivolity never did anyone any harm.

Who was it said that you should write what you know? I'm sure he was right. Much of my work is serious, deep and meaningful, these days; scars are not the most obvious theme for paintings. As a gallery person said recently, he finds that Venice 'scapes sell well.... But I've never been to Venice... and scars and Green Girl are what I know, so I'm just going to have to keep going with what turns up! Besides, I'd rather go to Barcelona!

ps Remember to click the picture to see a larger version.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Altered Images...

or rather, quilts, in this instance. I made a piece I didn't much care for, and when Jill agreed she thought it wasn't quite right (and for exactly the same reasons as I had thought), I decided to cut it up. This is one of the pieces I'm left with. the largest (the rest are ACEO sized and awaiting alteration). I added some colour (from paint sticks) to the existing marks and stitching on the piece, but I'm still not happy. Next, I think, will be foil. Or not. I'm very indecisive these days; having decided not to change the piece I showed you yesterday, I found myself adding some cerulean blue... It adds something, though I'm not sure what. Meanwhile, I'm prepping some board books for altering, and working on another mixed media piece. Hurrah for the shed!
*note to self...make sure you clean ALL the brushes before leaving shed...and wipe down the table top. Guess who has a cream mount with pastel marks on it now...sigh... no, they won't come off (unless you know different...).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Making Decisions

I've been working in the shed today, finishing off some lutradur pieces, experimenting with evolon, making some ACEOs, all fairly standard stuff. I was also, however, trying to decide what to do with this painting. One of the In More Than One Language series, it is called 'Over Here', measures 56" by 44" and has been around in this form for about a year now. I feel rather funny about this painting. Half of me wants to paint over it, as a failed piece. The other half finds it a little odd, a little edgy, perhaps, but a resolved painting, nonetheless. So it has been in the shed waiting for its turn...but that turn didn't come today. I think I finally decided that it should stay as it is.

That said, having put it up here, I will look at it again as a photograph, almost as if it were someone else's work. Photographs bring distance, and that encourages thought. We'll see. But I am a great believer in sitting with paintings until they tell you a story, and this one told me a story today. Two, in fact. I wonder what story, if any, it will tell you?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mixing It Up Some More...

...and who knows where in the unconscious this piece came from! Jazzy, it's called, and Jazzy it feels. Velvet and lutradur, as well as papers and paint, and scrim on the base. Thick, thick paint (try clicking on the image for a closer look); impasto gone mad! It's the first time I've used lutradur in this kind of piece, and I'll be using it more often, trust me! And there's a shell, too, but a Scottish shell... all of my hoarded embellishments are coming out of the box and onto the work these days. Not that I can remember where I got *every* piece of shell, you understand... but this one came from the Highlands, the Black Isle to be precise(ish). The piece is titled 'Jazzy', because the song 'All That Jazz' keeps whirling round my head every time I look at it. That gave me a bit of a clue!

I feel the call of the sewing machine today, and it's a bit cooler than it was yesterday, so upstairs won't be such an oven. I'm off to open the windows and clear a path to the may be that Jill will come over today on a quest for fabrics (officially sanctioned, no less), and I'd like her to be able to get into the room without falling over... I've always said that tidy is overrated, but this is a bit extreme...

Monday, June 09, 2008

More Mixed Media...

going on today... this one is called Downwards Spiral. It relates to the Scars series, but doesn't belong there as such. I found myself being hypercritical of my work, today, always a sign that I'm moving towards a downwards spiral. Hope this one doesn't last long.

I'm getting used to having my hands permanently covered with glue and paint, as well as rogue bits of tissue paper... I'm looking on this as creating texture, at the moment, but I began painting with coloured paper this afternoon, tentatively, as you do. It's always exciting, working in a new way. I hope the results are exciting, too... it's hard to tell until they have sat in a corner of the spare room for three months, to let me get a bit of distance between me and them.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Unexpected Outcomes

Sometimes, what you end up with is not what you intended. In truth, I wasn't really intending anything with this large canvas, but, having added the background colour, I had no idea what to do next. After a reiki session with my lovely brother in law, I found myself telling him that I knew exactly what to do with it. Of course, this isn't exactly the 'exactly' I had in my head, but it'll do. See what you think...remember that you can click on the image to enlarge it. It looks quite small in the image; in real life it measures 44" by 56" approximately. At present, it hasn't a title. I rarely call anything 'untitled', but this might be it. There again, it might not be finished...

Saturday, June 07, 2008

More Scars...

and more thinking. These are darker, these pieces, but they will become brighter as the process goes along. Scars don't disappear, after all...or some of them do, over time, but others remain, faint but there, and others remain much more obvious. I wonder what this series will change about my scars... or whether I am sufficiently detatched, after all this time, and all this therapy, to be able to look at the topic objectively, rather that, or perhaps as well as personally. Maybe it doesn't matter. As it is, these pieces are dark, but they reflect what that looks like, not how I feel. That's a big and important distinction for me, at least.

At the moment, I just want to get on with this work, and see what comes of it. So on Thursday, out with Jill, I bought quite a lot of medium, as well as a nice t shirt, so more scars and erosions will doubtless be around on the blog next week.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


is the title of this new piece of work. I say new... in fact, it has been lying around waiting to be finished for some months now. I find I do this often; prepare pieces for stitch, only to leave them lying around until I work out what to do with them at some unconscious level. Then, when it's time, I pick them up again and complete the work. Or perhaps it's simpler than that; the time away from the piece allows me to see it clearly. Either way, or in some bizarre combination of both, I'm pleased with this one. It is a layer of dye painted lutradur over a piece of dye painted cotton, itself on velvet, and measures 15" by 21".

I've managed to complete several new pieces over the past couple of days; perhaps Robin should go away more often. Actually, I don't think I'd like that... but it is getting the work done!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Can't Draw?

Try thinking of it as mark making. I know I do! I was wandering through a sketch book, thinking about the way that, with practice, my mark making has become more sophisticated, so that I can, in fact, begin to express what I want with it. (In case you were wondering, that's not a function of talent; it's a function of practice. You too can do this thing. Trust me!)

Sometimes, of course, I just make marks for fun... like this one. To me, she looks like a girl in a new dress, not entirely sure of herself, wondering if she looks okay... but to you, she might seem something else entirely. And that is the joy of it all, to me, at least. It doesn't matter what I might have intended (nothing much, as it happens...just making marks, and then more marks, until I'd finished); what matters is what you see. Please do tell me what you see...

Monday, June 02, 2008


...dictate that you use up every little scrap of material. And if you don't, you tend to hand it on to someone who will, I know I do. It's not so easy with thread. I've been quilting this morning, and decided that this piece, Cave Paintings, needed a hint of burgundy. Problem was, the only burgundy thread I had was a wee bit on a reel. So there I am, nursing it along, focussing on making it go as far as possible...when the bobbin thread ran out! There's nothing more frustrating than having hardly any thread, stitching carefully and realising that actually, you're only making holes in the lutradur! Still, as you can see from the finished piece, I did indeed have enough thread to complete the piece. It is hand dyed lutradur on top of discharge dyed cloth, which makes an interesting piece, I think (I hope...).

Now all I have to do is find somewhere with burgundy thread... I only have about six inches left, and that's not going to do anything, is it...sigh. Even better if it's variegated...I love variegated threads, and use them extensively. Yes, there is some in this piece, too!