Saturday 26 December 2015

2015 round up

Yes, it's that time of year when I do a bit of a round up of my creative year.
This helps me to see where I have been and the direction I am heading. It also may let you catch up on a few bits you may have missed.

January got off well with me discovering how much I enjoyed working with papercloth. This was to be a life saver for the months to come, as January began to go downhill rapidly as I became ill with pneumonia
.After a miserable few weeks February began...only to see me breaking my foot after a tumble down some stairs. Stuck in a plaster cast unable to bear any weight on my foot for weeks on end sure focuses the mind......

get well daffodils
Painting and gluing was almost impossible because of mobility issues but I discovered I could machine embroider with my foot elevated,

wild sewing

So that is what I did, relentlessly!!! I made loads of little panels which I call wild sewing pieces. I also learned to crochet via you tube! 

April poppies
By April at last things were improving, I was starting to walk and paint again! Yipeeeee

April forget-me-nots

May at Abbotsford

May and I was back enjoying life, painting outside in the Scottish borders, Spring was horribly wet but after being cooped up inside for so long every sunny day seemed magical!
Buttercup hare
I worked hard during May and June creating many new pieces for Skyeworks Gallery.

Bluebells in May

And also a few new pieces for galleries in Lancashire. This piece
was made for Drift gallery in St Annes.

June saw me trying my hand at glass fusion, my first attempts.


July and Skyeworks has made a wee space for my bits and pieces... I really like them grouped together.

August continued to be wet and unseasonably cold..... Summer is usually the time when I am out and about taking photos and drawing outside... most of August looked like this....

Wet day in August

The days were beginning to darken and I began to work on a new series of work for exhibitions 2016. Most of these I will keep underwraps till next year although I did finish these two canvas collages for Skyeworks.



And finally December.
We have arrived at the years end....This piece was made for a winter exhibition in St Annes in Lancashire.

First snow detail
first snow

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy new year,
What am I wishing the new year brings?
calm waters,
blue skies,
bright horizons.

Sunday 20 December 2015

Christmas, glue and sparkle

 December is as ever a busy month!
I finally managed to find a little time to make my christmas cards. This year a bit of a cheat. I planned to carve a snowflake linoprint, however found this snowflake decoration made of wood and foam type material. It was the right size to print using white printing ink. Then added some ribbon, buttons and  liquid pearl accents, super quick and easy. I know many of you out there take months making beautiful cards, I would love to have had more time, but I am quite pleased with my improvised cards.

 Earlier in the month I hosted Drift gallery's Christmas party night.

lots of glue, paper and Christmas sparkle mixed with some tasty festive food. An opportunity to make wooden or slate gift-tags or tree decorations, and perhaps use some new materials. The object of the night was very much, forget 'less is more'.. just go for more!

I have also been working on several new pieces. Here is a sneak WIP peek.

At last Christmas tree is finally up....

So I'll take this opportunity, to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas.

Sunday 29 November 2015

First snow

I was asked by Drift gallery in St Anne's for whom I have led previous workshop events, if I could make a winter themed canvas for an exhibition space in the town. I have a lot of work on at the moment but thought it would be lovely to be able to make a piece just for Christmas.

I  am presently working on a series of pieces for a solo exhibition next year  at Skyeworks gallery in Portree on the Isle of Skye. The volume of work  I have to complete sometimes seems daunting but I am confident it is achievable, and so far have kept all of the completed works underwraps. ( not easy for me ;) )
 As the series progresses I have noticed  my style is changing. The constant themes return again and again, but evolve. I think the very act of making a back to back series of works make this happen, but thrown into the mix are personal experiences and feelings.

The way an Artists style develops fascinates me. Picasso very famously went through his blue period 1901-1904 where his work took on a more sombre tone, his sadness during that time led to his use of predominately blue palette warmed only by a very small amount of colour. Of course the period was relatively short lived and soon the colours came flooding back.
 Mood and season can  influence in subtle ways.
My 'First Snow' piece began a few weeks back in warmer hues, paint, thrown, dribbled and sprayed in merry abandon.

As the paper layers went down, the seasons had begun to change,

A biting wind,
A hard chill.
Cold, clear, water,
Mist, damp.... Winter.

I am working more loosely, using palette knives and splatter teqniques to apply paint freely over collaged paper fragments. the physical application of paint mirroring the wind and rain.

Of course there is still metallic sparkle in my work. Silver flakes merge with ice blue paint, but it is more muted.

 The finished work was hung in the exhibition space in Aston Pavilion on Wednesday and sold, I am told, as it was being put on the wall! Yay!!!!!
I took the photo below of ' first snow' propped up on my sofa to help show scale a little better...

first Snow

Sunday 15 November 2015

The path to brothers point

As you may know already I really don't like the cold. Much of my summer is spent outside photographing and drawing so that in the cold months of winter I can spend my days inside making. I think perhaps I would be better suited to hibernation, but alas that does not seem to be possible, so at the moment I am filling my dark days using many of the summer photographs as inspiration.
This is one such snapshot of summer, finished  a few weeks back.
It is a beautiful area of coastline on Skye which I paint regularly

It is quiet and peaceful, just the odd bleating sheep to break the silence.

I began by painting in the scene roughly with watered down acrylic paint.

I then covered the paint layer with paper fragments. I used pieces of old ordinance survey map as well as foils and hand made papers. ( you can also see my inspiration photo stuck into my scrapbook.)

I applied black gesso in my usual way.

 I decided to lighten the sky and sea and add moulding script to add more texture.

The foreground was filled with cow parsley and grasses using liquid pearls paint and gold leaf. You may notice the tea mug..... earl grey is what makes me function. ;)

Brothers point, mixed media on canvas)

Monday 9 November 2015

A late autumn

sketchbook pages

Autumn is milder and later than normal, although recently the winds have picked up and the skies are changing.
 There have over the past weeks been crystal clear days where the dark berries sparkle.

And more overcast days where the warm colours are subdued.

The leaves have stayed on the trees longer.

The colours more vibrant.

The brambles are later, some still yet to ripen.

Soon the trees will lose their robes of gold.