Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Making my own painting materials


It seemed a good idea to continue drawing from my chosen landscape by using parts of the landscape as my medium. A really great idea from Debbie Lyddon to make a proper paint from the mud seemed an intriguing idea and superior to the rather rough method I used earlier of rubbing the wet mud directly onto the paper or fabrics.

I started off by grinding some dried mud into a fine powder using a smooth pebble.

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Then adding two ingredients to make a solid paint block – a teaspoon of honey and of gum arabic mixing together to make a stiff gunge which set to a solid block.


Below: marks made with mud paint using feather paint brush with added black wire.


Below: as above but also with twiggy on the rightwith added black wire.


Below: stumpy, twiggy and added wire plus paper fragments


Below: wax, oil crayon, feather paint brush and spikey twig.


Below: scratched paper surface with mud wash and black wire.


Below: scratched paper surface with mud wash.


Below: wax, oil crayon, feather paint brush and spikey twig.


Monday, 16 October 2017

Views of ‘Change’ exhibition at CICCIC gallery in Taunton

three  Sian

20170924_123244Posing for photographs is never easy when trying to look ‘relaxed’ and ‘natural’ by photographers.

Lesley and I pushed Pauline forwards when a live interview was needed by the ITV cameraman. She did exceptionally well and we saw her on the West Country news that evening.

Thank you to everyone who came to view the exhibition and all the wonderful comments you eft in our visitors’ book.


From Lynda Duthie -

"You have the edge on most venues and collectives because your exhibition is not just a random collection of pieces of your various work.  You have done this as a collective over a whole year; it is considered; you know each other well, you work well together and your varied talents complement each other.  It shows! You must know that it is already a success but you all deserve good, appreciative audiences and acknowledgement of what you have achieved!"

From Jenny Blackburn -

"I have just got back from visiting your exhibition - Congratulations , it's a knock out. By far the best thing I have seen in Arts Week for several years. You must be very pleased with it."

From  Elizabeth Fortescue -

"This is very exciting. Three complimentary artists looking in detail with their differing textures and lines. Fantastic collage photography - new to me and very successful - Pauline's quality of line and subtle colour and Siân's beautiful textural sculpture. Thank you for your inspiration"


The gallery had three long walls – one for each of the three artists. This was my wall – a continuous long white area, lit by overhad spots that made the shadow potentila of my linear pieces very dramatic.




Groupings seemed to work well too. Here you can see ‘Getting there’ above the spiralling ‘Freedom’ with two smaller ‘Landing’ and ‘Taking Off’ pieces.


Thank you for all the advice on Facebook as to how many layers to present these ‘Stars of Steart’.I layered two in the outside stars (seen as a single image below) and a single layer in the centre one.



Monday, 25 September 2017

September in the gallery

Long weeks of drawing, thinking, playing with materials and resolving ideas into finished pieces which I was pleased with. 

The final job, to make little labels to sew onto each finished piece: hand written onto thin stiff fabric.

The everything was carefully packed into plastic boxes, ready to be delivered to CICCIC gallery. The car was just large enough!


I didn't take any photos of the setting up day - probably too busy! But it is up and ready for the first public day and Private View evening a few days later.Visitors' book ready for all the lovely comments to be written. Thank you to everyone who came which made all three of us feel well supported and our work appreciated.

us 3

Left - Pauline Lerry, painter;

Centre - Lesley Roberts, photographer

Right - Sian Martin, textile artist.

John Martin came from Cornwall to play the acoustic guitar for us at the Private View.


Showing work to visitors and telling the story of how Steart Marshes had inspired us to produce this body of work......

Stop waving your hands Sian!

.....especially the Steart Marshes mud which was given a special status of 'art' by being presented on a glass shelf.

Steart mud was used to coat some of the weathered fabrics and, with gilded edges, were used to make "Hidden Treasure" - below.

This wonderful mud is helping us to save the planet by absorbing carbon-dioxide so is very precious stuff.

Weathered fabric fragments, coated in Steart mud and the edges gilded with gold paint. Little 'nuggets' of gold mud were wrapped with gold threads and tiny gold beads.

Appropriately named nibbles at the Private View.

The gallery lights cast exciting shadows and added to the drama of my 3D work.

"Fragile Cradles"

"Pools of Sky"

A visit from ITV on the first weekend of Somerset Arts Works Festival. Pauline stood beside her work and spoke well into the camera. Several shots that spanned around the gallery, some looking through the spaces in my own work. A very short clip was shown on the Sunday evening. Well done Pauline.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

August in the studio

I’ve been spending more time in my studio than in Steart Marshes this month. Only a few weeks to bring all my ideas together into resolved pieces for the ‘Change’ exhibition. So many ideas and images to sift through and plan a coherent body of work. My head and sketchbook are full of ideas and potential starting points and I’m keen to start playing with my willow.P1040777

Lengths of fine cane were soaked and when pliant, made into these formations and temporarily wrapped until they dried. This gave interesting ‘kinks’ into each strip that could then be further gently manipulated into other formations that seem to suggest plant, grasses, ripples in water perhaps and also delicate lines of insects?


I’ve added lines of bright green to suggest fresh growth; then moulded silk fibre forms that could relate to new life. Watch this space for further developments of this idea.


Another set of shapes that I am intrigued by are these overlapping curved shapes formed by the cracks in mud. So I processed more dyed willow into oval curved shapes and laid the resulting shapes overlapping each other to create the same sort of shapes. Working out a way of holding these together and will post more images later.


Playing with shorter curved lengths of dyed and wrapped willow. Each star point is held with a piece of lovely frayed and faded weathered fabric that ‘wintered’ at Steart Marshes.

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The left image shows two layers and the right image, four layers. The image below is stacked with all ten layers. Thinking of a title around ‘wishing upon a star’.


Several drawings in my sketchbook were inspired by the sensuous curves created by the ebb and flow of water,defined by the  stepped bands around large ‘pools’ of water. It was invigorating to make such sweeping marks with  brush and ink.


The page above has been collaged with sections of two drawings to suggest changes in the water surface during the drawing session that day as do the two drawings below.

Sketch8   Sketch9

Starting to manipulate the dyed and wrapped willow lengths to form similar shapes and pleased with the way the willow held it’s unusual form to describe the curves..


Tried adding threads acrss the voids and making more curves and loops.


Further developments as I write this so more news soon.