Search This Blog

Welcome to my blog

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Triptych in progress

What an inspiring weekend I have had! Sometimes you need a reminder that as much a other people can influence you, steer you in the right (or wrong) directions and open doors for you, ultimately it's what you do that counts. As my best friend quoted to me today, "anything is possible if you have the front to do it".

Sometimes I think we expect opportunities to knock on the door or call us on the phone without us having to put in the leg work- and sometimes this does happen. But most of the time you need to look for these opportunities and create them for yourself -  positive attitude, hard work and thick skin.

So with this in the forefront of my mind, I have recharged the batteries and am eager to go out into the big wide art world and let them know that I am here and that they should take a look.

In the meantime I have got stuck into a new body of work, with my parents as my subject matter.  My parents are a huge source of inspiration and strength for me. My father is one of the most hard working people I know and my mothers courage, strength and determination whilst battling cancer has left me in awe. I would not be who I am without the guidance, support and encouragement I have received from my parents, in my current work I want to pay homage to this.

For the first piece I am creating a triptych based on my mother. I am still playing around with ideas but have started work on a couple of drawings which I am hoping will create a powerful triptych. The pictures below have been drawn in my favourite medium of the moment water soluble crayons on A3 cartridge paper, and I am hopinh that they will speak for themselves....

 My Mother and Step-Father at Thorpe Bay,
 inspired by a photo taken by the talented Matthew Gleaves
Cherry blossom caressing the curb

Picture number 3 to follow shortly....keep checking in

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Frieze Art Fair 2011

Last Friday (I know I am a bit behind with the blogging!), I visited the monster that is the Frieze Art Fair at Regents Park. This year’s show featured over 170 of the most exciting contemporary art galleries in the world. Alongside a potential migraine filled white tent of artwork, the fair also includes specially commissioned artists’ projects, a prestigious talks programme and an artist-led education schedule.

 1.  Sean Lander’s, self reflecting clown bravely navigates the water
 2. Rob Pruitt’s has rendered his panda’s with opalescent white and black glitter – showing the yin/yang colouring of the panda.
 3.      I absolutely loved Jim Lambie’s psychedelic furniture with spinning vortex created by coloured stripes of vinyl/tape (I think).
 4.    Haim Steinbach, Tin Drum 2011, Steinbach appropriates objects and images that he then places in a specific order on shelving, representing everyday life- do you recognise the dog chews and star wars figures?
 5.      Nigel Cooke’s, No Holidays 2011 absolutely blew me away and was one of the star attractions of the fair.  For me this piece is a stunning study of systematic painting, mark making, use of colour, space, flow and reference of graffiti. After visiting the Gerhard Richter exhibition at the Tate Modern, combined with Cooke’s work I am eager to explore some new techniques in painting that I can use to work on my paper sculptures.
 6.    Aaron Young’s action paintings are created by concentrating on the after effects of dynamic, energetic performances from hired motorcyclists that create exciting choreographed marks across the surface of the piece of work – a reference to Jackson Pollock’s action painting in the 1950’s.
 7.      Thoughts (Butterflies) 10 2011 by Barnaby Hosking, is an amazing play on the use of light with the gold and dark surfaces of the butterflies projecting both positive and negative through the use of shadow and space.
 8.      Rachel Harrison, 8910111213 2011 just loved the use of found objects is this sculpture.
 9.      Anish Kapoor, Untitled 2011, a convex mirrored sculpture that seemed to entertain the public taking pictures of their reflected selves
 10.      Isa Genzken, Geburt (birth) 2008 I am not entirely sure this is how I looked when I gave birth! Genzken has provocatively placed the red haired plume from a Bearskin Busby -a Christmas present from Hauser and Writh Gallery between the thighs of the mannequin. I wonder what they will send her this year?
 11.      Louise Bourgeois, Untitled 2005. I love the organic feel of this sculpture. Bourgeois was a well know hoarder of household fabrics and paraphernalia, turning lived in materials into art.  
 12.      Piotr Uklanski, Oligomenprrahea. Inially I thought this was actual blood drops on the canvas, but later found out that is was red ink, a powerful, beautiful piece of work.
 13.      Gagosian Gallery’s Dan Colens ‘Trash’ work, real life trash assembled onto canvas, love it or hate it, it seemed to create quite a talking point
 14.      Gary Hume, The Shit 2009 A classic trademark Hume with gloss paint on an aluminium sheet
 15. Martin Boyce, Fall 2011, one of Turner Prize Nominee Boyces ‘tree’ paintings, loving the tumbling effect in this piece
 16.      Cornelia Parker’s violently transformed pieces of silver, have been steam rolled to display the hanging object and it’s shadow, which in turn creates its own shadow on the floor of the space- Brilliant
 17.      Ali Banisadr, Time for Outrage 2011 - Next to Nigel Cooke’s piece, this has to have been my favourite piece at the fair, stunning use of colour, brush work, texture just amazing.
 18.      Marc Quinn, Finger print Painting 2 2011, love these larger than life sculptures of fingerprints, marks that we leave everywhere we go!
 19.      Cause and Effect, Do Ho Sau. This chandelier of transparent solider figures was quite magnificent.

20.      Finally Michael Landy’s, Credit card destroying machine 2010 – Genius!!!

The only down side for me was the price of admission – a whopping £27! After reading signs on the underground displaying £15 per ticket, I realised upon arrival that this was only if you had pre booked your ticket!!! Lesson learnt, always read the small print.

This week I am off to The Affordable Art Fair (tickets pre booked), it will be interesting to see if there are any trends in the works exhibited.

For more information on this year and previous Freize artfair have a look on the FRIEZE website

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Paper Pottery

Yesterday I had the pleasure of delivering my ‘Paper bowl’ (or as it was renamed yesterday ‘paper pottery’), workshop as part of Meldreth Primary Schools Family Day.
The day’s events were a storming success with families taking part in numerous FREE workshops at the school as part of the annual family day. The activities included, street dance, geometric dome making, car making, pop up cards, creative writing and making bath bombs –not forgetting paper bowls of course!
The paper bowls is a fantastic, quick, easy and affordable project, that once you have learnt the basic technique, the possibilities are endless. I took along some of my sculptures from the ‘Journey and Cells’ exhibition to inspire participants, displaying some of the varied shapes and objects you can create using this technique.
What I like about this activity is that it is an affordable activity that families can carry out at home on the kitchen table with limited resources. All you need to create your own bowl is newspaper, a glue stick and something to roll the paper with. We experimented with 3 different objects yesterday, a ruler, a thin plastic tube and a thicker plastic tube, you can see the results below.
 Rolling the newspaper, you can see some of my sculptures from the 'Journeys and Cells exhibition in the background
 Working together to create the newspaper coil
Gluing the end of the newspaper coil together 
 Voila finished bowls ready for painting
 To paint the bowls we used acrylic paint. This carries out a couple of important jobs.
 Firstly it bonds the shape of the bowl, acting like a glue. If you do not want to
paint your bowl you can always coat it with PVA glue which dries clear.
Secondly the acrylic paint gives the bowl a nice sheen and professional finish.
 All of the children and families that attended the workshop worked well together and seemed to really enjoy making their bowls. Here are some lovely pictures of the children taking their time and concentrating on painting and decorating their bowls
 If you look closely you can see the bowl to the right has a really interesting shape,
kind of like a sombrero
 This stunning bowl has been embellished with some paper stamped out butterflies,
what a lovely finish!
 I am always surprised at how imaginative and creative children and young people are when taking part in creative activities. You can see that this bowl was made using thicker roles of paper, making a more cone shaped bowl. I love the way that this young lady turned her bowl into a Christmas tree. What a fantastic idea!
The design was completed by adding a range of stamps out shapes from coloured paper for Christmas tree decorations.
 One proud artist standing infront of the bowls he made with his mother, but what is that in the background?
 And I was not the only one there using newspaper. Check out the fantastic Geometric domes.
Newspaper is a free resource which is very underated as a art medium. These domes were made in one of the many workshops taking place in the school as part of the family day. In this workshop families put on their problem solving heads and used newspaper to make these amazing geometric domes.

Some of the amazing bowls made througout the day

If you would like to find out more about the paperbowls workshops or to discover the diverse range of workshops, art projects, staff training or activities available for your school, club, organisation, please contact me on

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Papercraft Pencils

This afternoon I was lucky enough to 'crash' one of my colleagues, Angela Ferguson's, after school art club. I was really pleased to see that Angela was using one of the ideas that I has previously taught on one of my papercraft staff training session - papercraft pencils.
This is such a cute idea and simple to adapt to any project theme I thought I would share it on my blog!
The activity basically involves using a piece of paper to create your own unique pencil. Angela added the use of funky foam to create a little pencil topper.
This is cost effective activity and quick to do. It can be used as part of a design project to create your own stationary set (paper, envelopes, cards etc that coordinate with the pencil), a nice little extension project at the end of a session or even as an idea to raise money for the school (making lots of pencils and selling them at Christmas Bizarres, fun day etc).
 The children thoroughly enjoyed making these in today's session, as you can see in the picture below. These are some of the amazing Halloween designs the children came up with in just over half and hour!
 You can use this project to help assess children's fine motor skills and scissor skills -
Here's how we made our papercraft pencils...
 First you need to chose your piece of paper. This can be any type of paper from magazines, comics, wrapping paper, printed image, drawn images etc as long at the paper is not too thick to roll. You will need to cut a strip the same length of your pencil and wide enough to wrap around you pencil.
Generously glue both long sides of the paper, pritt stick is best for this. Line the pencil up carefully to one edge of the paper (make sure you have your paper up the right way).
 Taking your time, roll the paper tightly around the pencil. Glue the final edge of the paper and smooth this down. Make sure you apply enough glue to ensure the paper sticks.
 For the pencil topper we used funky foam but you could use strong card instead. Draw your design in pencil on the funky foam. For younger children you could use template for the children to draw around. We worked on a Halloween theme with the children using pumpkins, ghosts, stars etc
 When you are happy with your design fold the funky foam in half and cut out two of your shapes. By folding in half this will give you two images the same size which can be glued back to back either side at the end of your pencil. Felt tip pens can be used to add fine detail.
Voila! The finished article.
The children got quite creative with their pencil toppers. Amazing what you can do with a bit of paper, time and imagination.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Journeys and Cells

Last month I held my first solo show at Glass from the Past at Barleylands craft village as part of the A127 art trail. In the exhibition I showed a selection of my paper 'cell' sculptures and crayon 'journey' drawings.
The `cell’ sculptures in this exhibition portray my love of paper. I enjoy reclaiming old papers, newspapers, found images etc giving them a new life and a new form. My working process explores manipulating the use of paper as a sculptural medium, expressing the aesthetic quality of nature.
My drawings reflect observations of places and happenings I have come across on various journeys. I use oil pastels and crayons to create accessible images provoking the viewer to contemplate their own journeys, memories and thoughts of everyday life.
For those of you that missed out on seeing the show, here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure.
 Gallery View showing Eclipse, and 9 Cells, Paper sculptures made from newspaper and painted with acrylic paint
 9 Cells, newspaper and acrylic paint
 Metamorphose 1, newspaper, printed paper and acrylic paint
 Shapes that go together, newspaper and acrylic paint
 Nothings gonna stop us now, newspaper and acrylic paint
 Unknown Journey, newspaper and acrylic paint
 I'll do my crying in the rain (detail), newspaper and acrylic paint
 I'll do my crying in the rain , newspaper and acrylic paint
 My cup runneth Over (detail), newspaper and acrylic paint
 I'll do my crying in the rain, newspaper and acrylic paint
 Cell, newspaper and acrylic paint
 Live, Love Laugh, newspaper and acrylic paint
 My Journey Drawings on Display
 Paris in the Rain, Pastels, Water soluble Crayons and pencil
 London Calling, Pastels, Water soluble Crayons and pencil
 Brandenberg Gate, Pastels, Water soluble Crayons and pencil
 Bubble Girl, Pastels, Water soluble Crayons and pencil
 Wellies, Pastels, Water soluble Crayons and pencil
 Frothy Spoon, Pastels, Water soluble Crayons and pencil
 Norwegian skies, Pastels, Water soluble Crayons and pencil
 Elizabeth, Pastels, Water soluble Crayons and pencil
Going Nowhere, Pastels, Water soluble Crayons and pencil

I am happy to undertake any commissions and have some of the drawings and sculptures shown above still available for sale. If you would like to make an enquiry please contact me on

Thank you to Caroline Wieldman for graciously allowing me to exhibit my art work at Glass From The Past at Barleylands Craft Village and Matt from Root red photography for the amazing photos of my sculptures.