Tuesday, 18 July 2017

a new zine - small windows



small windows


Small Windows is a mini-zine of poetry with colour artwork. This little booklet offers a small selection of nine recent poems. If you have read any of my writing previously I hope you may like - if you are new to my poetry then it might just be something you find at least intriguing....

Poems are contemporary, experimental little creatures with contrary minds. I write about trying to fathom things out or just not: paintings, the process of making pictures, gardens and nature, history. Each zine will come with a tiny original botanical drawing - gouache on Fabriano paper. This will be a first edition of just 50 - but I may consider making a further run if there is demand. The zines/booklets are designed, printed and hand bound by myself. I'm keeping the price as modest as I can - £5 including UK postage (extra postage cost for overseas).

Small Windows will be available to purchase from my shop from Wednesday 26th July. I am not reserving copies - but as stated above, if there is demand I will make additional copies so everyone who wants one should be able to purchase.

It's taken me a few attempts to get to this latest zine - I had a couple of false starts in the past, getting so far but then feeling the poems did not want to work together. But with this handful of nine I feel they are doing what I want, in their own ways. I'm glad to be at this stage - with a new zine ready, and I am pleased with it. I've had poems published in a variety of journals and pamphlets previously, but I decide to self-publish every so often, to allow me to present my writing in the way that I want - with my own colour artwork - offering anyone interested in my work generally an opportunity to have a small collectable piece.


Monday, 17 July 2017

Monday

still life with earth teapot

still life with earth pot - acrylics on Fabriano paper

tiny painted book

tiny book - sketchbook - acrylics



hello, It's a very warm and sunny-with-a-bit-of-cloud day here. I feel I've made a good start to the week - I've been working on new larger paintings and have just this afternoon started to print and bind copies of my newest zine! Yes a poetry (+artwork) zine is due out next week. More details to follow soon (probably tomorrow)....

So this week I will be busy continuing to print/bind zines as well as making new paintings and drawings. I expect the days will go by quickly but I do hope to make time to share things here.

My next shop update will be a week on Wednesday - Wednesday 26th July at 2pm.

More soon....

Monday, 10 July 2017

Monday

oil pastels

working outside yesterday - sat in the shade, making marks with oil pastels - I have not worked with oil pastels for a few months so it was good to get them out again. I prefer to work outside when I can.


Hello, it's another warm and sunny July day. Thanks to everyone who visited my shop last week and purchased artwork, very much appreciated. It was a pleasure to put together packages and send to near and far. One of my most favourite things to do is put packages together and I hope you enjoy all the artworks received.

One of my least favourite things is paperwork - but that's what I am doing for some of my time this week. I have to do it and of course it is all part of being a self-employed person etc... but paperwork involving lists of numbers is ugh, anxiety and headache but eventually it all makes sense. I check and re-check all my sums but when it is done - yay! To balance the paperwork out I make time each day to work in my sketchbooks and make a start on new artworks.

My garden is starting to bloom and there are tomatoes just forming on plants. I'm hoping to share another gardening post some time soon and hope this might interest you.

I will share a post of sketchbook posts later this week - until then, take care and more soon.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

new work

mother and child

a small yet atmospheric monoprint drawing with additional ink wash

leaves and scissors

one of an ongoing series of book-form works - hybrid artworks, perhaps - or simply concertinas. This one is mixed media, with acrylics, gouache, linen, collage and monoprint drawing

bottle collection

bottle collection - a larger painting in acrylics


I am updating my shop tomorrow at 2pm UK - hope you will pop by to see the full selection of new work, thanks always

Monday, 3 July 2017

Monday

three paintings/books

concertinas - paintings/little books - acrylics and gouache

Hello, happy July - here we are moving toward the heart of summer (I think of mid-July as just about 'the heart', perhaps because that is the time schools finish here in England). I hope you are enjoying fine weather. Of course I know you may be in the southern hemisphere - I send quite a few packages to Australia and a one or two to New Zealand - many thanks! So I am mindful of the fact you are experiencing a different pattern of sun and days. We each live in our own microcosms, and what inspires me here in my modest house on the hill may be different to someone who lives just a hundred miles away, so to make international connections with people in many different countries is a great thing, something I value very much - thank you.

So, enough of the musings - I am posting this a little earlier than usual today as I am working all this afternoon and perhaps later this evening to complete work in progress. My shop will be updated this Wednesday at 2pm UK time. Expect to see a mix of paintings and drawings, including a lively selection of artist books works.

I hope you have a good start to your week - more tomorrow.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

new work

ginger tea

ginger tea - a larger painting - acrylics on Fabriano paper (size: 35.5cm x 30.5cm)

still life with green dish

still life with green dish - a larger painting - acrylics on Fabriano paper (size 36.5cm x 26.5cm)

I am currently working on a variety - my 'usual' eclectic mix of still lifes, portraits, drawings and more.... As well as the larger paintings above I am also making a few new artists books featuring still life objects and I hope to show you those soon.

figure standing in a stream

figure standing in a stream - gouache on Fabriano paper (size: 17.5cm x 13.5cm)

I hope you enjoy your weekend

Monday, 26 June 2017

Monday

sketchbook

tiny artist book - sketchbook - gouache paint and monoprint drawing


Hello, it's a sunny Monday here - almost perfect weather - not too hot, bright, a little breezy. I have spent today painting, drawing and checking on zinnia buds in anticipation of flowers (see yesterday's garden post).

This week I am splitting my time between working on new artworks for my shop and personal projects/spending time with family. My son has finished his exams and we would like to spend some time going places etc...

My next shop update will be July 5th - but before then I hope to share here new work and some of my personal projects. Above you can see recent sketchbook pages - I am aiming to work on this little book over the coming week and fill it quite quickly with a mix of paint and drawing. Just let the ideas loose.

Have a good start to your week and more soon.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

garden in June


Lots of expectation at the moment - annuals are coming into shape and bud. There are some healthy plants looking promising. This year I have grown zinnias from seed for the first time. I don't know why they are not grown so much in the UK - perhaps that is changing - I think a reason might be the need for a lot of sun. I am hopeful we might get just enough. It seems I am having a second childhood when it comes to gardening, with a need for bright annuals and picture book flowers. So along with the zinnias I am growing sunflowers, centaurea, snapdragons, calendula and easy veg such as lettuce and chard, as well as tomatoes and herbs. My hope is that by August my garden should be producing plenty of bright jewel blooms and veg. That is if the slugs don't attack, the aphids are repelled by friendly wasps etc...

centaurea and sunflower

tall red snapdragon

you can't be too protective when it comes to basil - here I'm using a child's chair so they are not sitting around on the patio waiting to be eaten by slugs

clematis 'voluceau'
(a bit redder than this photo suggests) - is quietly blooming at the moment - not bad for a £1.76 supermarket plant bought only this spring)




chard 'bright lights' - will be great in salads and later in the autumn will be left to grow larger - might possibly over-winter in this sheltered garden

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

new work

still life with yellow striped jug

still life with striped yellow jug - gouache on Fabriano paper


small landscapes

small landscapes - monoprint drawings
this group of drawings came about recently - I've been making many different monoprint drawings, with attention to mark-making, that certain smudge and quality of line. A few years ago now I made quite a large series of monoprint landscapes - and just recently looked back on these, so the drawings above stemmed from the past series. I used additional brush work in a few of the drawings to add an extra dimension to the space of the drawing.

It can take me several attempts to get a drawing that feels right. Quite often this means making three or four drawings of one idea, then comparing and considering. I might like certain things about one drawing but a bit of another - and I learn from these, continue on with making further drawings. So I do end up with quite a few drawings and have to be ruthless - yes I do 'cull' drawings. And I do hold on to some, but I can't hoard everything. It is all about making a drawing that works for my eye and this is of course why I have to carry on drawing until I get to what I want.

My working methods are not something I want to reveal in a step-by-step way - but I will say I am very hands on, preferring to spread ink with fingertips, and I use a range of sharp tools for drawing. It has been suggested to me that I write a book on monoprint drawing from the perspective of an artist who does not use a printing press - and this certainly interests me. An idea to consider, a possibility.

There will be quite a number of monoprint drawings in tomorrow's shop update. I always offer these at special prices (bear in mind the above, it takes time and sometimes multiple drawings to get to the one that works).

So tomorrow there will be new paintings and drawings in my shop - and I do hope you will enjoy taking a look.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Monday

still life with blue patterned bowls

still life with blue patterned bowls

Hello, it's a very warm day here -much of England is experiencing a heat wave. It's a sunny, sad start to the week. I hope you understand the sense of sadness many of us are feeling - and perhaps you share it too, no matter where you are in the world. But I will not give up on hope - and look to see the best in everyone.

**
I have spent today working on a new still life painting - another in the ongoing series - and I am looking forward to sharing with you all the new artworks I have made over the past few weeks or so. My shop will be updated this Wednesday at 2pm. It's always a pleasure to send my work to people near and far, and I do hope you enjoy seeing the latest selection.

After this week's update I'll be taking a few days off. My son has just finished his GCSE exams and is now home for a long and well-deserved holiday. I will be back to work soon enough and aim to update my shop most weeks during July and August - small updates throughout the summer.

Have a good start to your week - more new work to see here tomorrow


Sunday, 18 June 2017

new work

monoprint drawings

monoprint drawings - ink on paper

still life with grey-lilac jug

still life with grey-lilac jug - a painting in my ongoing series of still life 'shelf works' in gouache


These and more will be added to my shop this coming Wednesday - at 2pm UK time.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Tuesday

still life with blue bowl and stacked cups

still life with blue bowl and stacked cups - gouache on Fabriano paper

Hello - apologies for no post yesterday - I usually try to post each Monday but the time went by and I had a busy start to my week. It's a warm, sometimes sunny day here. It's that time when I check the salad patch and can see the leaves growing, hour by hour.....

I've been painting today and listening to a feisty blackbird chatter on and on.... I think it may be more than one bird I've been listening to. At one point the bird become so insistent I turned off the radio and just listened to the bird instead.

Looking forward to sharing more new work with you as the week goes on. My next shop update will be a week on Wednesday - Wednesday 21st June at 2pm UK time.

More soon...

Sunday, 11 June 2017

new work

still life with earth bowl

over this past week I have completed four still life paintings

and spent some time working on new monoprint drawings - I expect to continue on with these, experimenting as always - and making collages

monoprint drawings




Monday, 5 June 2017

Monday

sketchbook

sketchbook - bird watching in gouache


Hello, first Monday in June - and it's a windy, cloudy, cooler start to the week here - with rain forecast. We do need rain but the sun this weekend was very welcome.

**

I did not want to believe the news as I read it on my phone Sunday morning - having gone to bed on Saturday unaware of what had happened in central London. Of course the reaction is to be upset, saddened, appalled - but I am also angry, angry at the reaction I saw on social media from some people, inciting hatred and division. Perhaps I should not have read so much online, but at times one does want to know what the rest of the world is thinking.

I remind myself often - there are many good people in the world and I am grateful for the courage and humanity that exists in so many people.

**

I started this week with working on new paintings - and my plan is to work on these through the week - but I am also working on new poems and will say more about about my writing soon.....

Hope to share new work with you later in the week.

Thanks to everyone who visited my shop last week and especially to those of you who purchased a new artwork (or a few). Your interest is much appreciated.

Have a good start to your week

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

shop update

a trio of ink drawings

a trio of ink drawings

Indian ink on Fabriano paper


Just a reminder - I am adding new artworks to my shop today at (the later than usual) time of 8pm uk. I hope you may enjoy seeing the full selection. There will be ink drawings, artist books and paintings. Thanks always.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

new work

wild and gentle - botanical

wild and gentle - ink on Fabriano paper

exploring botanical shapes and the gathering of difference....


scented garden

scented garden - gouache sketch on paper

I make a lot of sketches and for some reason or other always worry about offering more abstract work - but I am trying to gain confidence (it's been many years)..... NOTE: I am holding on to this new series of abstract sketches so that I may work on them through the summer and have a group of work to look over.

I have an eclectic mix of new work - available tomorrow( from 8pm uk time) in my shop.




Monday, 29 May 2017

Monday

hide-and-seek

hide-and-seek - artist book - gouache on Fabriano paper


Hello, it is a damp bank holiday here in the south east of England..... I have spent the morning painting, enjoying the process of working on artist books and smaller paintings. As an early riser I enjoy this time of year, getting downstairs and sitting in the garden with a cup of tea. This morning the sun was shining at 6.30am - On a drier day I will sit and work, or plan my day, and use all that early sunlight. As we move toward summer I am thinking more about working outside, possibly working in my local woodland. We shall see....

This week I am updating my shop on Wednesday - please do note the time is later than usual - 8pm uk time. I have received several requests to alter the time so that people not able to look at 2pm can get a chance to see the full new selection. I will be changing the time about over the months ahead and see how things work out. I hope this works positively.

Tomorrow I will share here a few more new works. Have a good start to your week.


Friday, 26 May 2017

ink drawings

woman and child figure (detail)

detail from an ink drawing

My plans for this week changed - various reasons - I decided to go with the flow of my ideas, and be myself as much as I can.....

So I have found myself in familiar territory, exploring historically-inspired figures in ink drawings.... These drawings are indeed inspired by the past, yet have a timeless quality. They do not pretend to be 'historical' or of one time, but are about the merging of time and influence, the recurrence of themes such as motherhood and family.....

A selection of ink drawings will be included in my shop update next week.

gather wildly

'gather wildly' - detail

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

artist books

eavesdropping

eavesdropping - artist book


Hello, I had hoped to share a post of new work with you yesterday - but events here in England have shaken many of us and I was just not able to put together very much at all.... (Today I am determined to be a bit more focused and make the most of my time, so I am sitting down to write this before going to my studio space and working on paper).

I continue to explore the simple concertina artist book - as a fascinating way of presenting visual ideas, mark-making and narrative.

I am working on books with a variety of media - some featuring my distinctive figures, others showcasing different still life objects. Working in acrylics, gouache, ink and monoprinting allows me to display various ways of seeing.

small book of vessels (red tin)

four vessels - (red tin)

The artist books I create may be enjoyed as folding little books, to place on a shelf, display as you may - or you might prefer to display in a glazed frame. Or another idea for display is to have the book propped within a cabinet of other, complementary objects. I can imagine the book above looking very interesting propped on a shelf or inside a cabinet alongside ceramics, for example.

I hope to share more new work with you later in the week.

A reminder my next shop update is next Wednesday, 31st at the different-from-usual time of 8pm (UK).

Monday, 22 May 2017

Monday

mantle

mantle - a larger painting on Fabriano paper


Hello, it's a sunny, warm - almost summery - start to the week here. Today I have been painting, working on a variety of new work. At the moment I am working on larger paintings - which are liberating and I am working in a looser, bold way and learning a lot. Alongside the bigger ones, I am working on new concertina artist books..... So I vary my scale of working quite a bit, going from 12cm tall to 40cm tall... which may not seem like such a difference, but really does feel like one.....

Tomorrow I'll share here a few more new works.

Just to let you know I will be updating my shop next week - on Wednesday 31st May - please note the time will be 8pm (uk time). I am shifting my times a bit, with the hope that different times may suit different people in different people - as well as suit those lovely faithful folk who tune in each update, thank you! I do appreciate all interest in my work.

Have a good start to your week

Sunday, 21 May 2017

garden notes - May II

rosemary cuttings

rosemary cuttings around the edge of a basket

Until recently I did not have much success with cuttings. This has been more to do with simple neglect, getting distracted, than the cutting being 'wrong', I think. In the past I would take cuttings and put them in a small pot, perhaps cover the pot with a plastic bag, and put it somewhere to then forget about it, oh dear.... Now I take the cuttings and put them around the edge of the container the parent plant lives in, so that I am reminded of them. The cuttings do take longer, perhaps, being outside and not on a windowsill, but they do actually make roots and become their own plant. So, some success.... The rosemary cuttings above have a fair chance, perhaps not all will make roots, but at least a few, and a few is all I need with a small garden. I have done this successfully for other plants such as penstemon growing  in a pot. I'm also experimenting with layering thyme and will report back on that.


sempervivum in a blue and white pot I bought from a charity shop




ferns are really coming to life with beautiful colouring - this one is in a metal container just outside the kitchen door - it seems to like its sheltered spot with shade and a little afternoon sun

(a post of new artwork tomorrow)

Monday, 15 May 2017

Monday

interior with figures

artist book - figures in interior

Hello, it's a cooler, cloudy start to the week here. We had a sunny weekend and I got a lot done in the garden. So much weeding that I have given myself a bit of a tired-sore right arm. I am sure all will be fine in few days (and the weeds will be popping up again).

I've been painting today. Over the next few weeks I am simply exploring - folding forms and colour. Expect to see artist books, still life and abstract paintings. I am keeping my intentions quite open this 'cycle' (the three weeks until I update my shop again). But I know I want to work more loosely, following on from the 'from life' series I have made recently.

I hope to share more later this week.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

a garden post - May I

I would like to share with you a series of posts, just now and then, about my small garden and gardening interests....

May garden border

the border in May - just had a trim

I live in a rented house with a small back garden. When we moved here, several years ago, there was just one sickly rose in a narrow stretch of earth (not really a border) - the rest of the garden being lawn, patio and a huge conifer. I decided to replace the sickly rose but the replacement did not last, despite tending to the soil. Slowly I have dug a narrow border - not wishing to make too many changes to the garden but to improve it. I planted box and have watched it slowly grow, trimming each year (though I did not trim last year, see below), and finally there's something like a mixed border with formal and informal elements.

May garden border
box, just trimmed - to the left you see rose foliage - that is one of two Poundland roses I bought in January. In the foreground is lady's mantle. To the right is Greek oregano.




Last year, for various reasons, I didn't feel much like gardening - though I did the basics like cut the lawn. I was a bit depressed and lacking gardening inspiration, perhaps. I focused on planting cheery things in pots. The lacklustre summer did not inspire me much. But this year, for the past several months, I have found my 'old interest' renewed. Years ago, when I had an actual garden of my own, (not rented) I enjoyed planning and planting, but then I struggled with the garden. I had young children to care for and the garden/house was positioned next to a very noisy major dual carriageway - so that any time you stepped into the garden all you heard was the rush of traffic like a constant hiss. I had never wanted to live there, it was a terrible compromise on my part to accept moving there - but we were there and I had to make the best of it. I tried to make a nice garden for my family but it never did come to much.

May garden border

I know I may never have a 'garden of my own' but I will make the best of what I do have - and I do have a lot of containers with plants and have collected many interesting things over the years. The rose you see in a pot in the border has been carted from one home to the next, and still flowers each year, despite being pot-bound. I can't bring myself to break the pot and that would be the only way.....

This slim border has something to offer all year round. I plan to plant summer annuals in spaces and hope they don't all get eaten by slugs and snails. The soil here is terrible - free-draining on top but dig just ten centimetres of so and you hit hard yellow clay. So each time I plant anything I add plenty of compost and slowly the general condition of this patch is improving. i have tried various plants but it seems the tough ones are the best - box, lady's mantle - all seem fine. Other things such as hardy geraniums have been fleeting, though interestingly there is a white hardy geranium that is once again appearing and will soon make flowers - and it's supposed to be a tricky one to grow, I think. If you like something it is worth giving it a try - and you never know how well it might thrive.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

new work

handmade vessels with green bottle

handmade vessels with green bottle

three blue

three blue - smaller works in acrylics


These new artworks - and many more - will be in my shop tomorrow from 2pm (uk time).

I've written quite a bit about the twists and turns of my work over the years - and certainly I continue to return to favourite subjects and ways of seeing, as well as working on considered series of works. Recently I have been working on still life paintings 'from life' and have enjoyed the process, have learned yet more about looking at humble objects. I enjoy also working more abstractly and return to my familiar figures for their playfulness - though I find pleasure in them being yet more abstracted these days. So, all in all much to be keeping me busy...

I hope you enjoy seeing all the new artworks - tomorrow

Monday, 8 May 2017

Monday

Summer room I

summer room I

Hello, just a quick post this evening - I have had a busy start to the week. The painting above is from last week when it felt a good deal warmer. Today we are back to chilly spring weather.....

I am enjoying working on a variety of still lifes and interiors at the moment. The interiors are more abstracted (see above). Today I painted a composition featuring a funnel I bought on Saturday and I really enjoyed painting it - not many people can declare such a thing!

This week I am updating my shop on Wednesday at the usual time of 2pm - I will be varying times in the future however, as I have had a few requests. Perhaps now I might invite a few comments, if I may - what time would suit you in future?

Have a good start to your week and more tomorrow

Friday, 5 May 2017

a few yes moments

old & modern (old chinese teacup & sake cup)

old & modern (old chinese teacup and a saki cup) - gouache on Fabriano paper

I am showing here two quite different works. The above is of course a still life, worked from life, considering the shape, pattern, form etc... in a representational way. I enjoyed painting this, particularly the challenge of the Chinese cup. I decided on gouache for this as I felt I needed to keep my mark-making quite lively, a little loose... and to be honest I attempted to paint this cup about a year ago and just did not like the result at all. So I feel like I have conquered it this time, a year on!

And so, from my abstract dept - with their roots in my sketchbooks, still lifes and interiors - I feel like I've made a recent breakthrough on how to translate into bigger on paper.... making the marks I enjoy in my sketchbooks but more so, on a bigger scale, has been a challenge I have wanted to get to grips with for a while....

lemonade

lemonade - acrylics on Fabriano paper

Monday, 1 May 2017

Monday

drawings on the wall

drawings on the wall

Hello, it's May - how are you finding the start of this month? It has been a chilly, spots of rain kind of a day here. I have been busy with housework duties (and considering objects, making arrangements for my next still life paintings). Yesterday I wrote quite a bit about how my work has been evolving. I did write quite a bit, my hope is that it makes some sense.... My post yesterday was very much about my newest still life paintings. They take up most of my working hours. However, I should say there are two main strands to my current working - the still life paintings and expressive drawings (see above). It seems that working on something very concentrated and then something more spontaneous helps me greatly. I enjoy both ways of working.

This week I am continuing on with new still life paintings - and new drawings too. Hope to share more soon.

Have a good week ahead