Sunday, 24 January 2021

Whispering messages

A series of concertina book structures in folded vellum.

'Covers' of acrylic squares, painted with marks to echo the swaying rhythms of the grasses.

 Velum pages covered with lines of small punctures and threaded with fine yarns and narrow fabric strips.

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Next stage for the drawings

 Looking at all the 'play' ideas I've been making during the summer, it was time to resolve a few and give them some refinements to resolve the ideas. I started with the drawings made with the inks made from plants - dandelions, buttercups and nettles. These drawings showed the rhythm of walking around the same space repeatedly on a daily basis. Often this was a short walk around the garden, then progressed onto longer walks along local footpaths, following hedgerows.

You might remember the process for making inks from plant material from my previous posting 'Stitching and Rooting' last June.
I coloured some threads and fine cane as well as painted shapes onto paper to reflect the repetitive rhythm of walking round the same small area.

To make  it easier to add hand stitches, the drawings were perforated with threadless machine stitching.

Hand stitches were then added using strong linen thread that was stiff enough to make loopy effects with loose tension.
Rows of perforations were made through the drawings, making small holes for easy hand stitching afterwards: stitches to reflect the rhythmical lines made by the grasses and the small shapes of leaves and flowers.
The compositions shows the paths into the garden and the circular movement of pleasurable walking round and round each day. This piece is called 'Round and Round the Garden'.

A similar process was used to develop a second drawing, producing another resolved piece called 'Round and Round and Round Again'. Two drawings were placed close together to give a suggestion of the continuation of the painted circle lines.

Holes initially made by machining into the drawings and hand stitches added afterwards. Continuous lines made by couching down 'cords' of dried bindweed.

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Grand Opening

Myself and two fellow artists, painter Pauline Lerry and photographer Lesley Roberts set up a small exhibition in Bridgwater Arts Centre to help them celebrate the opening of the doors after a full closure during our Covid19 summer.

The inspiration for the work on show is the wonderful Wetlands and Wildlife area, Steart Marshes, a local place beloved by people locally and of national importance in its management of wildlife and wetland environment. I was taken on a routine data gathering walk across the mud flats by a scientific research group and saw areas of the wetlands not open to the public.

I learnt how important marshes and wetlands are in conservation as mud sediment absorbs more carbon dioxide than a similar area of tropical rain forest. This surprising fact shows how important areas like this are to the planet, so I gilded my fabric fragments with gold paint to show off it's newly acquired status for me.

'Hidden Treasure' is composed of fabric fragments that have been coated in mud from Steart Marshes with added touches of gold paint.

I was pleased with the situation of a large piece, 'Marsh Cradles' as this high-relief piece was highlighted by the shadows cast over these linear structures.


A close-up detail of 'Marsh Cradles', showing how the shadows enhance the linear features of the willows structures.

'Marsh Cradles' is displayed on one side of a large pillar in the gallery and is show here alongside two paintings by Pauline Lerry that seem to complement the textural quality of the textile.

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

And now for something completely different

 A most exhilarating weekend workshop with an inspirational tutor - Eleanor White from Bridgehouse Studios. This was one of our wonderful workshops with my friends from the Textile Study Group and presented through the medium of Zoom.

The tasks Eleanor set us were very challenging with several writing exercises to help us understand our chosen object. Just the sort of way I enjoy working.

My chosen object was this compressed plastic bottle and continued my passion of making art work that commented on an aspect of conservation. Hence the topic I chose to develop for the TSG two year project to collate contributions from all members to compile our new book 'Insights'. So it felt natural to continue with this theme, hence the choice of this object to study this weekend.

The first stage was to prepare a large sheet of paper with a painted ground of gesso, followed by  Asemic writing. The study drawing was then built up with line, using pencil, graphite, chalks and charcoal as well as a rubber, giving delightful lighter, revealing marks as you rubbed away some of the darker areas.

Continuing to work into this piece to highlight the distortions more.

Friday, 18 September 2020

Invitation to 'Somerset Reacquainted'

Especially for those who live in or near Somerset - I invite you to visit this exhibition at the Somerset Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury. It's a project called Somerset Reacquainted that I've been taking part in throughout the Summer - organised by Somerset Art Works (SAW) as a support project for Somerset artists during 'lockdown'.

It should be fascinating. The recent posts here in my blog show how I've been exploring elements of my garden during 'lockdown' which will be represented by my contribution to this exhibition by 63 fellow Somerset artists.

Please note that you'll need to book your visit with the museum in advance 

If you'd like to listen to the podcasts that these Somerset artists are making, you can listen to them talking live or if you wish to catch up, as a download. The podcasts are being broadcast live between 6 and 7 on 21st, 23rd, 25th, 28th and 30th September and 2nd October from this link 

The 2nd of October would be a good one to listen to!!!!

Friday, 11 September 2020

A new skill learnt and a tour around my garden and studio

A skill I wasn't expecting to need but has becoming very useful in this period of 'lockdown'. I've learnt how to edit simple films that I can take using my phone and I've been very pleased with the results although lots of things I would improve next time. 

Somerset Art Works (SAW) have provided training sessions by zoom and have encourage all members to contribute images and short films to show glimpses of you and your work to the public who would normally visit our studios and galleries. These are now being collated on a newly up-dated website At the time of writing this, this seems a few days away as I can't see my film or artist details yet.

So here is the short film I made showing you around my studio and showing you how I have responded to some of the elements in the confines of my garden during this summer.