Monday, 13 April 2015

Colour, Colour, Colour

Life has been busy - working with many textile projects that were interupted with a spate of colds, coughs and illness in the family.  I was sorry to have to miss the recent opening of Quilt Art's Dialogue exhibition in Heidelberg at the end of March and could not attend, due to illness.
My piece for the exhibition is called Reality and Rhetoric and is 2.7m wide.  The slats of transfered image hide the dialogue that reflects the history and economic life on the Somerset Levels, especially after the flooding of last year.
Back to my roots

When we moved to Somerton, we joined the Bruton Art Society which is a skilled group of painters who love all aspects of fine art, andwe can attend lectures, outdoor painting sessions and workshops. I recently did a workshop with Annette Burkitt an artist from Frome and we looked at Abstraction and Colour in the Landscape with reference to Gaugin and Kandinsky.

Getting a brush in my hand (except for painting paper and cloth for collage in stitched textiles) was wonderful to revisit.  Especially using Gouache which I used for illustration when I worked in publishing, years ago.  I had forgotten what a great medium it was.  Vibrant yet forgiving.

The first day we took the painting by Gaugin called the Talisman and looked at colour and shape.  This is not exactly like the original but I love how 'freeing' it was to just look at an artist's work for inspiration.

I have used this practise myself in textile teaching and really loved the experience of just giving myself over to another work of art.

Then, later we took our own inspiration and developed two paintings, again looking at the vibrance of colour, shapes and marks on the surface

A winter lane near Ilminster
Hills north of Somerton
Now I surprised myself at how colourful these paintings were. Not my usual pallett.
I am loving revisiting 'art' again and really want to do more painting - work, just for me.  None of these will necessarily find their way into stitched textiles, but I am keen to explore so much more 'art' practice and really having fun. 

So watch this space.... I'm busy filling sketchbooks now with new directions and will post more pictures soon.

Thanks for reading 

Friday, 23 January 2015

Facebook Challenge

I have risen to the challenge of 3 pieces on the Facebook Art challenge for 5 days and it has been fun to see so much creativity.  I am writing blog entries on my new website, so for now, will try and do the same for entries for Art Space.   Here is Day 1 and Day 2 so far if you are not a facebook viewer.

The first, current work based on the Somerset Level Flooding and the 2nd drawings and marks that inspired the Last Silence work as wall hung and 3D work.   Watch this space for more entries.

On another note...
I am planning to offer short mini idea/workshop suggestions in future blogs. They will mostly include drawing, collage, and imagery for inspiration, art and stitch practise.
I know there is so much 'out there' online and not sure if there is a place for it, but feel that as I am always creating and filling sketchbooks as a starting point for my own work, it might be good to offer some suggestions for others who may not be able to take classes so regularly.

As mentioned - the ArtSpace (the same name) blog part of my new website will have up-to-date information and news and I eventually hope to introduce flip page mini workshop approaches in the future as well.  Please keep an eye on the website  as well.

Thanks for reading.....more to come.

Monday, 19 January 2015

A new year and NEW WEBSITE

I hope you all had a good Christmas and we are now into 2015.  Can't believe when I write that.

Life has been full since last writing.  Open Studio for Somerset Art Works was successful, based here at my home gallery and studio with Vera Sheaf, a painter/printer friend from Somerton. It was fun to work small with framed pieces - all based on my new work about the flooded Somerset Levels last year.  Please have a look at the New Work section on the website.

I have been busy working on new pieces for upcoming exhibitions this year at the Festival of Quilts, Bilston Hall, the Museum of Somerset, (Taunton) and especially Quilt Art's 30th anniversary Dialogues and Small Talk touring exhibitions.

A big change for me is creating and managing my own website at 
Please have a look.   Even switching domain names (a challenge for a novice tech person like me), but very pleased I could do it.

I am really wanting to be more pro-active with this blog (there is also one on my new website) and hope to bring more news, views and mini work shop ideas to both sites in the future, so stay tuned.

Thanks for reading and will be in touch.

Friday, 24 October 2014

It's been awhile

Life has been full and very busy this summer so apologies for not keeping up with the news.
I was happy to be invited to have a solo exhibition during July August and September at the Minerva Gallery in Llanidloes, Wales and it was super to see my Arctic and Beyond work all in one place.
The whole body of work began with my trip to Arctic Canada in 1998 to visit the Inuit seamstresses in Baker Lake.  Seeing this textile did take me back to a wonderful inspirational trip. It created and interest in ice, snow, and glaciers that I continue to constantly revive.

I was also very pleased to have a solo exhibition at Midsomer Quilting, a wonderful shop, and gallery space in Chilcompton in Somerset.  Worth a visit if you are in this part of the country.  It also gave me an opportunity to see again some favourite pieces from the past.... some from the 'Within 4 Walls' series, and work done based on endangered trees and forests.  It is always good to see the work done in the past to appreciate how one's work has evolved over the years.  These are two pieces I hadn't seen for several years and they brought back wonderful memories.  On the left a Scottish/Canadian piece and the right 'Remembering Cabot' from a visit to St. John's Nfld. to the Cabot Quilters group many years ago.

I can't forget the Festival of Quilts and I was busy there for several days, judging and helping on the Art Textiles Made in Britain stand.  Our show was called 'Identity' and was very well received (if I do say so myself)  I may have shared these photos, but here they are again.

You can see Louise Baldwin, Pauline Brown and Jenny Rolfe at the desk.  A promising first venture for the group.  My work in black and white inspired by an arctic walk and the sound of cracking ice.

The Latest news...
Taking a holiday in France in September was a chance to relax before the Somerset Open Studios.
I took part (with a painter, printmaker friend Vera Sheaf) in my home gallery/studio space for two weeks.  It was my first venture and it was very interesting to meet non textile people.  All of the work on show was new, smaller framed pieces based on the flooding earlier this year on the Somerset Levels.  This is a theme that is developing into a larger body of work.  Many of the smaller piece were developed from collographs that were manipulated, painted and finally transferred onto cloth for machine stitching.

You can see more of the work from the Open Studio on

The above pieces were also at the South West Textile Group exhibition of 'Pathways' at the Ilminster Art Centre for most of this month.
That brings me up to current work.... 
Watch this space.. 
More developements from the Somerset Level floods are being done now.

Thanks for reading and will try and organise my blog time better in the future.

Friday, 21 February 2014

The Levels

What a winter we have had so far!   You may have heard about the flooding in many parts of the UK. - Somerset, Gloucestershire, the Thames valley and Surrey.  Somerton, where I live is on high ground, so no problems, but we are not far from 'the Somerset levels' where there has been terrific flooding since Christmas.  Acres and acres of farmland are still underwater, some villages are cut off and it will take months (of reasonable spring weather ) for life to completely get back to normal. On the sunny days we have had, I have tried to capture the beauty of these flooded fields, while always remembering the damage that has been done.

Working in black and white and neutral tones, I have been doing a great deal of sketching and mark making in graphite, ink and pencil, trying to capture the feeling of the landscape.  I can see many of these  images being taken further onto cloth with stitch.  A whole new body of work, I think. 

Watch this space

What's new -
My Design Essential course will begin March 1 at Midsomer Quilting and I hope to keep you posted on some of the progress during the next couple of months.  I have a great group of gals - we shall see.

South West Textile group have an exhibition space "Footsteps in Time" at the Fashion Embroidery and Stitch Show, March 20-23 at the NEC in Birmingham - a wonderful show worth visiting.

Hope you are all well and safe, wherever you are... seems the weather has been creating havoc everywhere since Christmas.

 Thanks for reading and will try and keep you posted more regularly in the future.



Thursday, 12 December 2013

Season's Greetings

 So, why has it taken me so long to write another entry??  Well.... no excuse, except to say life has been busy and full of good things.
Seems to me the last time I wrote we were off to Yorkshire for a holiday.  It was great and it seems so long ago I won't bore you with all the wonderful photos of the Dales.  I did get my piece for the Studio 21 'Chinese Whispers' finished and we had a super exhibition in October.
Here are some of the photos from South Hill Park...  Watch this space - we are seeking more venues in the UK at the moment.  Our website for more information is

  My 'Design Essentials' course is now happening! 

 It will be about understanding good design and composition for stitched textiles.

The classes will run from 1 March in 5 sessions (with homework) Although not a vocational course it will be a comprehensive guide to good composition for art quilts and stitched textiles.  We will be exploring the elements and principles of design. This will include ideas such as consolidating themes, working in series, the essentials of line, shape, form, colour, texture, abstraction through a series of collage exercises with some art practise, print and digital imagery.  For each session there will be a complete set of notes, demonstrations and exercises to follow and there will be some homework.
5 classes will run every 2 weeks on Saturdays
1st , 15th  and 29th March, and the 12th and 26th of April.  2014.  9.30am to 4pm 
at Midsomer Quilting, Norton Green Garden Centre, Chilcompton, Bath, BA3 4RR.   
Please contact me soon for fees if you are interested. Places are limited as booking has begun 
I do appreciate that it might be a distance for many, but Midsomer Quilting, where I am hiring the workshop, does have a list of accomodation nearby.

That is all for now, Christmas is coming and it is a busy time for everyone.  
Have a great holiday and I wish you and your family all the very best in 2014.

Thanks for reading......

Wednesday, 28 August 2013


Summer Update
I've been busy working in my new studio and quite excited with some new developments.  While sorting through old portfolios I came across some large paintings on paper that might find their way into some new work.  It is surprising that over the last 15 years, I have revisited my love of blues and whites with textures in many different series of work.  Most have been ice/Arctic inspired, but more recently I have been addressing global warming and sound.  The Meltdown work you can see in the New Work part of this blog.
Although working at this time more in black and white, with limited colour, I am sure these images might find their way into some new pieces.   Once I have a good jpg of any surface art, there are so many possibilities.
Lately, I have been exploring sound and silence with some pieces that are being developed for a new exhibition by Studio 21 called Chinese Whispers 14-27 October at South Hill Park near Bracknell, Berkshire.  for details.
Some of the work is a collaboration with other members work, but primarily my work will follow sound 'marks' and inspiration from sound waves.  I begin by working in paper with line, paint and imagery to resolve the composition on a small scale, then look at creating surfaces that will be eventually machine stitched.  Here are some explorations so far.
Watch this space......
 Stay tuned also for news of a SALE of quilting materials, books, embroidery cottons and threads at my home in Somerton, Somerset on the 2nd November.  I have so much material accumulated over the years, it is the time to take stock (or eliminated some of it)...  More information to come.

We're off to the Yorkshire Dales soon for a week (probably in the rain) .... some walking, site seeing
(to Bradford for the Hockney and 'Cloth and Memory' exhibitions), some reading....and hopefully creative time for sketching and sewing.

Thanks for reading.............