Sunday, 31 January 2016


book pages - yet to be titled artist book

book pages

sketchbook pages

book pages

sketchbooks - I've promised to write a little on my recent sketchbooks and here's a selection of recent pages....... Alongside my embroidery, sketchbooks are at the centre of what I do as a visual artist. I work on several books at a time. Alongside the sketchbooks I have notebooks for writing - these at times get taken over with drawings, lists and scribble. The sketchbooks I've been creating recently are handmade books with not too many pages in - so that the may contain a few weeks work and are a good record of a certain phase of thought.

Most recently I've been working on scraps or sheets of paper and then adding these, scrapbook style, to the books. I may layer papers, crop paintings or drawings to focus on what I like and cut what might not have worked. My work space is very small indeed, but I don't like to just chuck used papers into the recycling, so I will hold on to things, put them in a folder and then see if I can use in my sketchbooks. After a certain amount of hoarding I then have to have a ruthless purge of things. Quite often as I work on a quick series of ideas on paper I can fall in love with a certain tiny area of work, or colour combination, or something - a something I don't really know how to describe, but a quality that I like. However 'scrappy' or otherwise that little idea might seem it becomes the most important piece of paper on my desk - and so I may work around it for a while, until perhaps the spell is broken or it fits into my sketchbooks with some other work to add contrast.

I often work in bouts of making stuff on paper, whether drawing or printing off paint from one surface to another. I'll return to paper that has got just a few simple smudges and add another layer of paint or draw over. It's important not to try to remember how to do something. If I have any aim it is to make work that can never be reproduced exactly. So as much as knowing how a simple technique happens, I also don't want to know what I am doing in the moment. (The same automatic approach helps me with my stitch work too.) If I don't want to reproduce what I make in my sketchbooks then I accept they are in themselves works of art, albeit humble ones - and they are not starting points for something else. They are the work.

Inspiration for what goes into my sketchbooks - this comes from everything I do each day. A pattern, a worn piece of paintwork in the street, a face in a crowd, a painting by a favourite artist, a colour in a shop window, a feeling, a line of a poem - all of these things and more may spark something happening on paper. Whether it relates directly is not so important. It is important to me that what ever marks I make feel like they are my own. If I feel I am straying away from a feeling, I will stop and return to an idea on another day.

So at the moment I have several books 'on the go' - of various page sizes. They are my own work for myself but I also make books for other people, from time to time. Perhaps I am most at home when working on a page and certainly I prefer it to a grand-scale canvas. I am happiest when working on a simple folded page - or a simple piece of linen fabric.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

new work

portrait brooch

portrait brooch - embroidery

Last week I offered my first selection of portrait embroidery pieces - and am happy to be continuing on with offering a modest choice of stitches most weeks..... Stitched using my sewing machine as a drawing tool, these intricate and miniature works fascinate me as they come to life. They are worked in an improvised way, meaning I am never sure who I may meet as the stitches appear....

Meanwhile, paintings.... I'm exploring both still life and abstract ideas, and there's of course a lot of cross-pollination. Certainly my fascination for botanical shapes will always be in my work somewhere, in stitch motif or abstracted shape in paint....

black vessel with botanical shapes

black vessel with botanical shapes



These works - and others - will be in my shop tomorrow (2pm UK time).

Monday, 25 January 2016

mosaic Monday

mosaic Monday

1. Still working with ink and charcoal and just can't get enough of it.., 2. Recent work, learning as I go., 3. Homes diaries 3, 4. #dailyproject #dailydrawing 21./22.1., 5. ·, 6. 14 January 2016, 7. Untitled, 8. gestern im Städel, Frankfurt, 9. 94p27, 10. huddleston aeh in grey sweatshirt 2016 acrylic 9x12 inch, 11. DSC_0009 (2), 12. decay, 13. Calluna vulgaris, 14. mirroring..., 15. You have no idea, 16. Print on paper, still wet, 17. Dungeness, 18. G0695, 19. Tiny Myling, 20. another pheasant, 21. before the show, 22. Last night #printmaking #latergram #linoprint #linocut #monoprint #dryingrack #wip #reliefprint #rose #window #drawing #marylouiseevans  #patternplaces, 23. a problem called janu, 24. Into the trees, 25. Winter Chair #draweveryday #painteveryday #chair #indoorplants #flowers #interior

Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Hello, last Monday in January - already! It's a mild start to the week here. I realise you may be reading this from a very snowy part of the USA, and may I send you a special hello and hope you are all ok. Thanks always to the artists and photographers featured in this week's electic mix. Follow links to discover more.

I've started my week by working on some new embroidery pieces - intricate stitches as always - and I'm enjoying the process. There will be a new selection of various artworks in my shop this Wednesday, at 2pm (uk time). I'm adding a mix of work most weeks. Any questions please do send me a message via my shop. Thanks always.

Last week I suggested there might be a post here featuring my recent sketchbooks - and apologies for this not happening. So I will make an extra effort to get to that this week! Of course you may see photos of my work over at Flickr or Instagram, but the reason I keep writing here is so that I may offer a little more dialogue - hoping you may find this insightful.

Tomorrow I hope, if time allows, to share with you a selection/preview of new artworks.

Have a good start to your week.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

drawing with thread

portrait brooch

a new embroidery brooch

I am making a start on new portrait embroidery pieces - these are created using my sewing machine as a drawing tool. I've worked this way for many years now and return again to familiar themes of women's lives, mother and child, the seasons..... Influence comes from folk art of the recent and more distant past: medieval through to twentieth century. What I aim toward is a naive feel, whilst offering an intricate design. Working in this way has taken me years to develop.

So I am beginning on the design of a new 'spring collection' - and rather than adding it to my shop all in one go - I am adding a little, a few or more pieces on a regular basis. There will be the first embroidery brooches in my shop tomorrow, along with a small selection of other works.

Monday, 18 January 2016

mosaic Monday

mosaic Monday

1. night morphing, 2. Some imagined future, 3. ., 4. Stratificazioni- ©EmilioNanni-2016 #EMILIONANNI, 5. beauty @modernbotanics, 6. will be a container for a figure, 7. mustard dye, 8. corvi che ballano n.1 - dancing crows n.1, 9. DSC_0002 (2), 10. racing home, 11. little book pages (riffing with/learning from nature), 12. Drawing in Chefchaouen, Morocco., 13. Untitled, 14. Untitled, 15. 44 (the book of a), 16. untitled, 17. drawing at lunch, 18. Colored by the Moon, 19. 1986Junep08, 20. 3 January 2016

Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Hello, a happy Monday to you - a chilly start to the week here. Feeling a little wintry now: we had a tiny bit of snow appear Sunday morning, but it did not last for long. Many thanks to all the artists and photographers featured in this week's mosaic. Please follow links to see images larger. It's always a pleasure to make collections and find links with images posted over at Flickr.

This week: I've just shared a new stitch/text work over at my blog nevering. This piece is called 'winter maladies + winter cures' and you can see and read it here. The piece will be in my shop on Wednesday. (It may be the last stitch/text work for a little while, as I am busy with other writing projects).

I'm currently working on drawing and painting - and have spent some hours recently working in sketchbooks. As you may know from reading here, sketchbooks are a main part of what I do, they are both puzzling-out spaces and works in their own right. As a writer, I am of course obsessed with books but there is something particularly satisfying in expressing things on pages without the use of words....

The book form is something I return to often and so it feels right to me to be putting together ideas in 'artist book' form. So perhaps I may have some new books to offer for sale in the near future (if not this week then perhaps soon).

I'm continuing on with monoprint drawings and paintings too. Still life forms are still very much my 'thing' - though figures creep in now and then, and some times I feel myself moving more toward abstraction.

So I hope to have a small, interesting selection of work for you to see in my shop on Wednesday. If time allows I will share some pictures here tomorrow. There should be a sketchbook-focused post here some time soon too!

Have a good start to your week.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

monoprint drawings

I've just updated my shop with a new selection of paintings and monoprint drawings.

As promised, I'm writing a little more about my monoprint drawings. It was a lovely thing to receive a comment over at Instagram from a person who stated they found my work 'many years ago' via my monoprint drawings - and indeed it is true I have been exploring these for some time.

There are various and different, all right and varied techniques one can explore when making a one-of-a-kind print. A monoprint is what it says: a single, one of a kind printed image. My own drawings are created by putting ink or paint on a piece of glass and drawing into it using a needle. This means that my drawing is almost blind, feeling my way to some extent. I like to use a needle to get the feel of a sharp line that can also be blurred, depending on the consistency and wetness of the ink/paint. I might use the sharp point or the eye of the needle. When I work I often spread the ink or paint using my fingers to create deliberate finger smudges and textures. I like to have incidental marks. Often I will draw the same idea over and over until I get the result I want. Many sheets of paper later I may just have what I want, but not always. So, however 'simple' my monoprint drawings may appear to be there is certainly a lot of trail and error. There will be drawing sessions when I just don't get the right feel, or a mark appears in the wrong place in an otherwise satisfying drawing - that's just the way it goes some times.

sorting through drawings

 I spent some time this morning sorting through a folder filled with recent monoprint drawings and selected just six to add to my shop today. In future I may put together an artist book/zine or two featuring drawings in addition to offering single drawings. So look out for new ideas evolving.

You may note there's no new stitch work in my shop this week - I hope to have some special new pieces in the coming weeks....

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

new paintings


bottles - acrylics on linen (20cm x 15cm)

chairs - interior

chairs (interior) (24cm x 17.5cm)

Over the past several weeks I've been considering ways forward with painting - there are as always too many options. I write lists and ideas for myself, all the time, day to day. I'm considering working a little larger. There are drawing marks and textures in the paint. I'll always consider the shapes of my dreams.

There's more to come. I have another painting I've been working on, completed this morning and yet to photograph.


You will see these and more in my shop tomorrow. If time allows I'll write tomorrow about my monoprint drawings and share a few photos here.

Monday, 11 January 2016

mosaic Monday

mosaic Monday

1. The funny little thing! #sketch #sketchbook #cutecreatures, 2. Sunday with M, 3. Jules, 4. Amaryllis, 5. 20160105_122953_001-1, 6. Me on brother's pony '51:  Her name was Blaze and my brother decided he didn't like to ride, so I took over.  She was a fine little pinto but I was growing too large for her, so within the year we sold her., 7. This Will Never End, 8. Salt The Wound, 9. Jan 9/16 #stitch #texture #light #grenedierpond #highpark #toronto #ontario, 10. Untitled, 11. 05-01-2016, 12. Feel flowers, 13. out of sight, 14. #cute #doodle #drawingoftheday #cat #cutecat, 15. Untitled, 16. not at the butcher's (pheasant), 17. "Il faut être léger comme l'oiseau et non comme la plume" Paul Valéry . Série noir, 18. Dolly quilts, 19. little book pages, 20. Untitled

Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Hello and thanks always to the artists and photographers featured in this week's mosaic. As always I encourage you to look further, follow links - and look about for inspiration in all that you see. Today has started sadly with news of David Bowie passing away. Bowie's individuality and ability to reinvent has always given me great inspiration. Indeed David Bowie is one of a long line of diverse English genius artists: from Keats, Blake to... Bowie.... May we all continue to enjoy his works. I was asking myself this morning: what can I learn the most from Bowie and I think the answer is transformation. Something to consider for a long while to come.....

What to do on a morning like this one: I decided to get on with painting and feeling my way around the edges of new paintings, where to go with all the colours and shapes I want to explore? Continuing on with experimenting with shape, texture, line..... Drawing is something I will be exploring a lot in the months ahead and I can already see how this can help me in my painting work.... I'll share some of my new work tomorrow.

For the months ahead: I'm continuing on with updating my shop most Wednesdays. As the updates are weekly they may of course be quite modest (or not so) - all depends on me, of course. There may be weeks when there will be a focus on one medium. Thanks always for your support and for reading here.

Looking forward to sharing new work here tomorrow.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

shop update - new work + sale

'waving figure ' monoprint drawing

The first update of the year - always feels a little special and here we are: a new selection of monoprint drawings and new stitch/text works..... This is a small(ish) update and I look forward to adding new work to my shop most Wednesdays this year.

Just for a change, I thought I would share a stitch/text piece here rather than nevering (though I will continue to post the writing-based artworks over there, it just feels right and I can have them collected together). This piece is 'not quite Bruegel'. It is another in my series of tiny winter stories.

There's also a sale in my shop - from today and until the end of the month only. Making room for new works. Please note: I do not reserve sale artworks but am happy to reserve new works. Thank you!

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

new work

work in progress

work in progress

I am showing you just a small glance today - at the new work that is happening..... Here you can see examples of new monoprint drawings. What may look 'simple' is actually a tricky process of getting ink consistency and dryness just so, achieving a certain quality of line, a feel of space and texture, little quirks of smudges - all of these things obsess me. I use a needle to draw and so am drawing almost 'blind'. I'll write a little more about my process when time allows.

seated figure

seated figure

a small work - postcard size

Meanwhile I shared a new stitch/text piece over at my blog nevering - 'thread the needle again'

Monday, 4 January 2016

mosaic Monday

mosaic Monday

1. Obsessed, 2. work in progress, 3. forty-nine ghosts of twenty-fifteen, 4. concrete poetry 1/5, 5. Untitled, 6. At home #draweveryday  #home #portrait, 7. moving trees, 8. vintage watercolors, 9. Il faut être léger comme l'oiseau et non comme la plume" Paul Valéry . Série noir, 10. Waterlogue #dailywalk, 11. back at the butcher's, 12. thread storm, 13. untitled, 14. beauty in decay / adiantum capillus-veneris, 15. Making a bed, 16. 💕😴 #ceramicartist #ceramics #porcelain #sleepingdoll #doll #porcelaindoll #myling #toydesign #arttoy #hemligdolls, 17. Un po' così, 18. Untitled, 19. ©js_JSA_7175bw, 20. Untitled

Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Hello, a happy new year to you! Many thanks to the artists and photographers featured in this first mosaic of 2016. I hope to continue on with a weekly (just about) choice of inspiring images - sparks to get you thinking perhaps....

This week I'm aiming for a small shop update + small sale - in my shop. So do take a look on Wednesday at 2pm.

Over the festive season I worked in my winter sketchbooks. You may have seen a few pages in previous posts. I have no huge 'fanfare' plans for this year - at least not yet! I can tell you that I am enjoying new monoprint drawings, working with collage, thinking about painting (that will come) - and stitch. I do hope to offer more stitch/text pieces this year. This may be a quiet 'easing into' the year - but I have many ideas - and am looking forward to seeing a book published in October.

Tomorrow I hope to share with you some of my newest drawings and more. Over the coming months you may see new ideas evolving.... January is an opportunity to begin again and yet start where you are. I know some artists like to give themselves 'one a day' challenges and I have done so in the past, but that's not for me at the moment. Instead I am going to go with the flow - with a keen eye on mark-making and interesting phrases....

I hope you may enjoy seeing all that I may share in 2016.