Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Bone collector

I've been collecting rabbit skellies again, filling my pockets with the smallest of bones. It's a well timed waiting game. I spot a dead animal and mark it with a stick, then wait. I have to be alert to the instant that the bones become clean and devoid of any remaining flesh before they miraculously disappear. I don't know where they go. Maybe someone else is collecting too! So every morning on my walk around the farm with Tilly, I check my markers.
In the summer the sun does a great job of bleaching the bones for me. Otherwise they take a few days in a bucket of domestos to thoroughly clean them up.

Then the fun starts. It's a long slow jigsaw puzzle of a process,rather meditative, gently finding bones that fit together easily. Tiny, tiny little rib bones that slot nicely into a lacy jaw bone. A little glue and balancing act while it dries, slowly, slowly something begins to emerge.

 This one is beginning to take on the shape of a sitting figure.

The one below morphed into a bird like creature. I do these tiny sculptures, not to sell, but because I love to do it.

I have also been working on some small wabi sabi assemblages.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Hey ho

A bit of a disappointing turn out at the weekend. Possibly a combination of terrible weather and a massive pile up at the end of the road! or maybe I'm just too much out on a limb for folks to bother. No matter, I was very happy to see the people that did turn up. I'm always pleased to see new faces and chat about arty stuff with like minded souls and to meet other artists in the area.
The good news is I spent my time painting and my studio is now all nice and tidy  :0) Yay !

Thursday, 23 September 2010


I have long been a fan of assemblage and with the wealth of 'found' object lying around in our endless barns, I'm going to give it a go. I took a year's sculpture course a few years back, which was instrumental in my breaking away from the textile pattern quality of my previous work and helping me look at my art works from a completely different perspective.

There are boxes of rusty nails, small pieces of metal that no longer have a use for the farm machinery, and endless nuts and bolts that I can utilize. So armed with bucket, I collected a few bits and pieces.
There is nothing more satisfying than being able to recycle seemingly forgotten items. Teamed with the redundant wood from pallets and keeping with the theme I am running with in my paintings, I have made my first assemblage.

Starting small!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010


All done at last. After days wasted last week I have now finally caught up with myself. Studio tidy, pictures hanging, a few new small collages completed and a new large work on boards started.(click on the images to enlarge) Phew. It would be nice now if a lot of people turned up. I don't know what to expect really. The Open Studios weekends are well publicised so I hope some interested souls will make the trek out to the farm. I went to the Cuckoo Farm studios a couple of weekends ago and it was a real pleasure to chat to the resident artists, swap ideas and just generally see what other people are doing. Although I like working on my own it's always exciting to see different approaches to art.

I have posted a separate page on the sidebar which will give some further information on the workshops planned for the new year.

BBC ESSEX article on the OS weekends

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Working outside the box

Disaster struck least that was my initial thought. The key to my studio door got jammed in the lock, it wouldn't turn and it wouldn't come out. No amount of WD40 would loosen the wretched thing and for all of 40 minutes I wiggled and shook and even kicked the damn thing to try and get it to open......nope, not a thing. Now what?  I mused. I have a shed load of work I need to be getting on with, time is running out and it's all behind that stuck door! I did have my laptop in the house so all is not lost.

I have recently started Koan study and I am struggling with finding the time to 'sit' with a Koan. It's probably more of a fear about what may come up rather than not having time. Today was a good opportunity, no excuses.
Cushion put on the door step in the sun, I sat crossed legged listening to the wind, and instead of working on the Koan I was supposed to be working on I decided to 'sit as the wind'. A few things had been bugging me recently which I had been 'stuck' on, reluctant to change. It was windy today. The wind brings change, good weather, bad weather, the changing seasons, it never stays in the same place, each moment is different. Sometimes there is a lull and everything is still, not moving, then it starts again on it's relentless journey.

So that's what I did this morning for two hours, I was the wind. After, my head was much clearer and I started to think about being in the flow.....creatively, in my case. Sometimes creativity flows and other times it gets stuck and sometimes we need a jolt to get it moving again. I don't mean just for professional artists, but everyone. Some people just never feel they have the time to be creative, that family life or jobs get in the way. Or that they have a fear of criticism, that they are not 'good enough' to paint. Or that being creative takes them out of their comfort zone. Awakening our latent creative side is vital to our personal well being and the unlocking of creative inhibitions can only enhance our professional success too.
Soooo I have been exploring the idea of offering some 'unlocking creativity' workshops here at my studio. Exploring things like expressive painting, intuitive collage and making 3D works from found objects. A fun day shifting perspectives and preconceived notions!
If anyone is interested in finding out more about my workshops for the New Year, please email me.

So, being in the flow, blowing with the wind, was just what was needed and not a wasted day after all!
P.S. You don't always get what you want, but you always get what you need.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Dreams of Libya

The boards screwed together, two layers of gesso applied and the base is ready to go. First I painted on the poem., which is scribed in Moroccan Arabic. To be honest I don't know what it means...something lost in the translation I fear. The page that translated it read like gobbledegook. I wonder if it was something to do with trying to transpose words read from right to left into words read from left to right! I expect the calligraphy is very stylised. It looks very beautiful anyway.

The background was inspired by this lovely crumbling doorway, a legacy left by the Italians. The archway draped in faded, dusty, rotting fabric. Whose purpose was not altogether clear. The plaster on the walls flaky and the peeling pinky paint echoing the sandy ground.

I have so much material gleened from Libya it should keep me going for sometime, despite the fact my camera died on me only half way through the trip. Hey ho any excuse to go back!

I am making a start on some mini works. Small pieces of wood about 6-8'' long, some smaller. They are gessoed up ready to go and will post some pictures soon.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Post card give away

My post cards have arrived! and jolly lovely they are too.
If you would like to win a free pack of 6 post cards, please email me, putting 'give away' as the subject. At the end of the studio open weekends 2nd/3rd Oct. I will pick a lucky winner and send you the cards!
They are available to buy too..... email me @

Just a reminder Open Studio weekends are coming up....check out the link on the side bar.

Friday, 3 September 2010


I have started a Facebook page which I hope will link with this. There will be daily snippets and news and all sorts of other goodie please go and check it out and if you like it click the button....and of course I would love to hear from you over there too.
There is a link on the side bar.