Wednesday 31 October 2012

Monday 29 October 2012

Rag Rug Wall Piece

Rag Rug Wall Piece

Over the past few weeks I have been working on a group piece with my Heathlands Textiles groups. I have been teaching them basic rag-rug making skills and we have each made a sampler. I asked each person to choose one colour and use just that colour. The finished piece then has a range of colours but they are all contained within the individual samplers.


Each sampler is worked in a circular embroidery ring and by last week I had enough samplers for us to start putting the piece up. My friend and colleague Helen Tuck started putting the rings up on Thursday and as more people finish their samplers the piece will grow. I love the different textures in the pieces and it's something the guys have enjoyed doing as it is quite easy and relaxing and grows quite quickly.

Detail of cream sampler

Work in progress

Work in progress

Work in progress

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Spooky Screen Printing

Ghosties and Pumpkins

I work at The Heathlands Project, a social enterprise supporting adults with disabilities. Yesterday two very exciting things happened at work. Firstly, we were on T.V. (watch us here) and secondly (and in  my opinion even more excitingly) my Monday art gang and I did some screen printing. I love screen printing; it's such a simple way to get really professional looking results.


Last week we made some stencils by doing simple Halloween themed drawings which we then cut out. Some of the guys needed a bit of support with this and some of them managed just fine without me! This week I got one of the guys with whom I've done quite a bit of screen printing to demonstrate to the rest of the group how it's done. He did a great job and was really good at supporting other group members throughout the process.

First time screen printing

Pro screen printer

My design

We were just using normal copier paper to make our stencils and we got 2-3 prints from each stencil before needing to wash out the screen so we ended up with a good selection of prints to make into bunting. The guys did so well I'm thinking of locking them in a room to produce beautiful screen prints for me! I'm really looking forward to decorating our cafe area with the bunting next week.

Cats and Pumpkins

Bats and Cats

Beautiful Bunting

Saturday 20 October 2012

Life Drawing 18th October 2012

One page drawing! Water-soluble graphite on prepared paper.

I can't believe I haven't posted in two weeks, I just haven't felt like it. I've been busy making C*****mas gifts and it seems to have stopped all other creative juices flowing! Anyway, Thursday's life drawing session was another good one. I really enjoy having Caf as a model as she is willing to do crazy things like balance on tables and fall over to get interesting poses (although in a lot of our drawings she looked like she'd been murdered!) I've also been trying to keep up with my experimenting/mixed media approach and I suprised myself by working on one drawing for an entire 25 minutes. I also managed to get a whole drawing on one page (well, pretty much.)

Water-soluble graphite and pen on prepared ground

Pen, continuous line



Isolating and drawing one section of the pose

Two drawings, different parts of the same pose

Same pose as above

Sunday 7 October 2012

Life Drawing 4th October 2012

Water soluble graphite on painted paper

Pretty much since I started running life drawing sessions (over a year ago now) I've been meaning to prepare papers ready for drawing on. When I was at college and university I rarely worked on plain paper, preferring to work on paper that I'd painted, collaged or printed. This week I finally got around to preparing some papers. I used white poster paint, newspaper, water colours and some bits of lace (pressed into the wet paint to add texture) to add some colour and texture to my papers.

Although far from happy with this drawing I like the prepared ground

I enjoyed working on these prepared grounds, it adds a different quality to the drawings and also I'm a bit more precious with paper I've already invested time in so I tend to work on my drawings a bit longer. I still produced lots of work but there are a couple of drawings where I've spent more time than I normally would and I think this has been a good thing, making me look closer at what I'm drawing and improving what I've already done rather than discarding it and moving onto the next one.

Working on the same piece of paper, over and over

I also experimented a bit more with how I draw as well as what I draw on. I used some water soluble graphite for the drawing at the top of this post and allowed the water to run down, echoing the background drips and adding interest to the surface of the drawing. I'm pleased with how this has turned out and think it has lots of potential to be developed further.

Two pens at once

Two pens at the same time

This was another experiment, which sent my eyes a bit crazy. I drew with two pens at once, giving two versions of the same drawing, slightly offset. It was difficult to look at whilst drawing as my brain couldn't decide whether to look at the blue or red line and the finished drawing has a similar, slightly disorientating effect.It looks a bit like one of those 3D pictures you need the special glasses for!

Some of my usual!

Focusing on one body part

And another

So, overall an interesting and productive session which has thrown up a few potential avenues of exploration for me. Watch this space!

Wednesday 3 October 2012

Cosy Cowls and Snuggly Scarves

Purple ruffles
Even the most optimistic folks are admitting that it is definitely Autumn and we are not going to get an Indian Summer. Personally, I'm quite happy about this as it means its time for hats, scarves and gloves to come out again. As well as revisiting some old favourites I have been in a flurry of wool and creativity recently conjuring up assorted neck warming devices for the coming gifting season.

Chunky knitted cowl



The cowl above is for my friends birthday; this may be the first time in our friendship that she has actually received her present even vaguely close to her birthday. Normally, despite my best intentions it ends up being weeks (months) late. It's made from a snuggly chunky wool/acrylic blend with bright buttons for extra funkiness.

Detail of ruffle scarf

The purple scarf is for me! It's a scarf yarn called Arabesque and it's a bit bizarre to knit with but pretty quick to grow once you get into the swing of things. It's a nice easy way to make a ruffly scarf without doing anything complicated!

The following pictures are Christmas gifts so I'm putting up no details, just a couple of teaser shots!

Knitted cowl

Crochet cowl