Archives for category: stitching


My goodness, it’s not 10am yet and already a layer of colour is done. Today is hopefully going to be a good drying day and I’m aiming to get some definition with these pieces. My last soak stain layer should go on tonight and then we’ll see what occurs before the morning. I’ve no idea what happens to them overnight, they always seem to change from what I expect, and not always for the better 😦  But at least they’ll be dry layers to work on top of.  We’ll see how the day progresses.



I need to write on these canvases earlier on than I usually do and this presents a problem…. what to write? Usually the paintings have formed and developed before I commit words to them. Obviously I have a sense of what they’re about but this usually becomes clearer, more in focus, the more I paint. Committing to words right now is an interesting one.

I know it has to be about the sense of place. Dartmouth is such an incredible space not just physically but for me mentally. My thought processes seem different; I can dream bigger and see clearer; problems seem like challenges and spur me on; I take time to stop and to ponder and to dig deeper than normal – and the irony is that I’m not writing this there 😦

Oooooo. Past diary extracts! Bingo! There’s one on 4th August this year, part of which would suit….. but the pieces are about more than that. The whole thing is a symbol, stitched, constructed, formed. What fabric am I made from? I love this quote from Daniel Christian Bradley in his book ‘Tailored Dreams’: “taking the fabric of our past, tracing out the frame of our purpose, cutting away the excess material, and then stitching it all together”, such a beautiful description of what I want to achieve. We sometimes pick, pick, pick at the things about ourselves that we dislike, or moments we have struggled through, almost to the point that we unravel. If only we could see the full picture and understand that even though some past events hurt like hell, they have shaped us, help form us, made us who we are today, and often they can produce beauty: that strength you find when you least expect it, that sensitivity to someone else, the walking alongside others who have gone through the same, resilience, determination, unwavering desire to live life in all its fullness. Beauty from scraps of material, off cuts, seams, joins.

I think I can start to write now…





Two things have happened over the last few weeks that has made me awaken. The fabulous and beautiful emporium gallery in Lichfield is closing down, and I had a phone call out of the blue. The first made me incredibly sad. Jannette and Amanda have become much more than excellent gallery curators – they have become friends and their advice to me over the years has been invaluable. They have always been welcoming, encouraging and positive about my work and I am so sad that their dream might be temporarily put on hold. I have absolutely no doubt that they will be back and stronger than before, but it has made me think – this was the only venue that supplied my work, now there is no other and that made me get of my backside and look around. I’ve no idea why I haven’t approached another gallery, probably because I was only producing enough to supply to one. But time to look around and see if there are opportunities I’ve not thought of.

The second was a conversation out of the blue with a complete stranger who had bought my work in the past. I think when you create you sometimes forget where pieces end up. These ended up in north London and it was such a thrill to talk to this woman and see the pieces again en situ, like being reunited with an old friend. Ironically I may have made a new one in the process and it has made me value myself and what I do again.

So, armed with ideas and an ounce of self belief I went to the shed! SO pleased with what I’ve done today. The start of three paintings that will eventually be coastal pieces. I’m so in love with Dartmouth, and it will be brilliant to create some work in which I can celebrate that.


Brought the pieces inside to give them half a chance to dry before I gesso them tonight. Excited again 🙂




It really is amazing how many surfaces you rediscover in your home when you declutter in preparation for an art sale! Hubby will be pleased to note that dusting is taking place too (this is the woman who didn’t even nest when pregnant!) so, even though it looks like a bomb has hit the house in certain areas, especially the upstairs spare room, eventually surfaces are being reunited with the light!

I’m having an art sale on Sunday. The shed has need of more space so the paintings must go…. on the dresser, on the walls, on any shelf or protruding nail. It’s only when you have a decade of work samples in front of you that you can see the development of style and visual voice. You can see how one idea led into another, how changing one element opened the door to a new series of work, how particular colours are used and returned to again and again. You also realise how dirty your walls are! Finger prints from toddlers alongside the same child’s sticky fingers years later. A whole history of food consumption could be found by forensic scientists. I actually found tomato pips on one section of wall and I recall exactly when it happened…. We were making a fish dish, me and the kids, they must have been three and five, used scissors  to cut the cherry tomatoes. Genius idea, mmmmm.


The one thing it does make me want to do is get in the shed and do some work! Which can only be a good thing. I’m currently working on pieces that are so completely not me it’s weird. They’ll probably be white washed so this below becomes a base layer, but I have set myself the challenge and I need to follow through to wherever it ends up. Also painting material again and hoping to stitch into it/create garment with it. Again, no idea where that will take me but actually enjoy going the no knowing. Feel like a kid again. Playing.


Told you it was unlike me!! But who knows…..

Details of the Art Sale on Sunday 1st October from 12-3.30pm can be found by contacting me. Do drop by if you’re passing 🙂




One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is how hard it is to leave my art work in a gallery or in its new home, especially if the pieces represent a personal journey of sorts. I dropped off the five completed pieces at the Emporium, Lichfield on Thursday and it once again took me by surprise, to the point that I had to explain why I was just looking at them and not moving or talking. The five pieces that are currently at Emporium I’ve called ‘tolmàō’.

Greek: tolmáō (from tolma, “bold courage”) – properly, to show daring courage necessary for a valid risk (“putting it all on the line”); courageously venture forward by putting fear behind and embracing the fruit that lies ahead for taking a necessary risk.

IMG_5784I said this on Facebook – I love that there exists a Greek word that needs nineteen English words to explain it!! But it exactly sums up what’s I was trying to say. Have courage. Go for those dreams. Step out from that comfort zone. You are brave. You are enough.




IMG_5727I’ve had this idea, picture, in my mind for such a long time and at last I think I might actually be making steps towards starting it. Today I’ve been trying to work out which type of paper to have as the printed base. I’ve kindly had several sheets printed with various photos of people, or in some cases squirrels, with their hands in the air, and I’ve mocked what I want to achieve on a much smaller scale. The final results made me smile as these squirrels stand there, drippings wet with paint! We’ll see how they dry.

Yet another layer of paint was poured onto the canvases today. The results of the last soak staining was quite disappointing and looked washed out. A think maybe a layer of brown afternoon this blue one has dried. Brilliantly warm day for it.IMG_5731




IMG_5723I love this technique. I use it all the time and instead of allowing the paint to drip down the canvas I literally pour it onto the canvas and wait to see what happens. I felt the two sections were really separate and needed some sort of visual link to pull the piece together. I also love the way the paint clings to the edges of texture and emphasises it. The only problem now is that I can’t do anything until it is dry, and with the weird weather today, that could be a while. Lovely to have time to blog though 🙂