Monday 30 September 2019


Looking back at previous investigations into plastic surfaces, I re-looked at these samples where lines of perforations were made into black bin liner plastic, stretched on the ironing board and ironed between baking parchment.

Tried it again on a white plastic that I'd printed with a feather.

I found that 'flicking' ink marks with feathers onto paper and plastic made interesting marks
and then onto a plastic bottle which I hoped would give it a suggestion of a feathered surface to relate to a bird.

Sunday 29 September 2019

Control or not

You might think this is a lovely free style drawing of a heap of bottles. It is done without control with my poorly plastered hand and wrist. Not as bad as I'd anticipated but a very different experience from before the accident.
Am I learning the secret of how to draw with more characterful lines and not to make too precise a record? Slowness of working gave opportunities to come upon ideas as if for the first time.

Ripped shapes from papers previously decorated by printing with crumpled plastic. Lack of control of ripping process creates loose shapes based on silhouettes of plastic bottles.
Marks and rips perhaps suggesting the break down of the plastic shapes.
The incidental effects were food for thought.

Saturday 28 September 2019

While two hands still available

I've been working with two artist friends, Pauline Lerry and Lesley Roberts for several years, meeting together to draw, ponder and explore different topics. Sometimes we chat and sometimes we just concentrate, sometimes we eat cake and drink coffee. Although we all have our own studio spaces in our own homes, the 'coming together' from time to time in a local church hall seems to give us a special bonding atmosphere of mutual creative thinking. 

This working relationship led us to arrange a common project which I've described earlier in this blog based on a study of the newly formed local wildlife and wetlands area on the north Somerset coast at Steart Marshes. We called the exhibition that evolved from this 'Change'.

To continue the idea of working together, a second exhibition topic was discussed based on environmental issues. All three of us wanted to respond to individual aspects of this vast topic. Pauline decided to look at the changing of sea levels; Lesley to look at the disappearing wild flower meadows and I to look at ideas based on the pollution of plastic on our coastline.

So making a start on my own topic, I started to look around for to see where and what sort of plastic items were being discarded on our beaches.


My foraging during last summer and into the winter seemed to produce mainly plastic bottles amongst pebbles and sea grasses in the coastal stretches I visited initially.I had many plastic containers at home too as well as plastic carrier bags I was re-using. An unattractive and unpleasant collection which wasn't at all inspiring, so a lot of thinking needed to be done to come to terms with how I should approach this topic.

This project is in response to the destructive deluge of waste plastic, particularly in the sea and particularly for wildlife.This is a fresh project although part of an on-going passion for conservation, an underlying theme for most of my work in recent years. 

I am filtering ideas to select a particular 'angle' for my research into a new material for me - plastics. I plan to focus on the discarded plastic bottle and its impact on the ea and coastline, and the plight of birds and fish.

I've been doing a lot of thinking and reading rather than my usual approach to jumping straight in to play with materials that then inform and help to develop ideas. Perhaps my difficulty in handling materials due to the broken wrist gave me an ideal opportunity to hesitate and ponder more deeply. The knack of noticing and absorbing small detail feels the right way to make progress within a personal landscape of thinking in which it feels I am able to fit comfortably.

Keep reading.

Friday 27 September 2019

Returning to my story

It’s been so long since I posted anything. Recovery from my broken wrist is my main excuse and then when I was finally able to use my right wrist in July last year I’ve been so busy producing stuff … well you’ll know the old excuse!!

My on-going passion for environmental issues continued into a large scale project that I exhibited with the 62 Group of Textile Artists in a touring exhibition starting at MAC in Birmingham, moving to the National Centre of Craft and Design Centre in Sleaford, Lincolnshire and currently opening in Scunthorpe.

Here is an image of ‘Rolling out a carpet of hope’ shown at the NCCD, next to a window  that showed how the tree outside blossomed to match my piece.

This 4 metre long installation of dyed cane structures is a response to the major UNESCO project to plant saplings across the desert band of Africa to try to re-store fertility to the dehydrated land.

A few close-up images to show details, starting with a page from my sketchbook where I started to make marks with inks and wires that indicate tree forms. 

The close-up image above shows the early stages of growth and the following stages of blossoming growth.

An intimate connection with materials is always an important factor when evolving and idea for a specic project