Colour studies in the undergrowth



I'm doing a series of colour studies using an exercise used in Louise Fletcher's 'Find Your Joy' taster course. I really like this intuitive way of working 'blind' in the first instance (you are never sure what will remain in those taped-off spaces) - and then adding further elements once the tape is off.


Something I need to ponder, is whether to gesso the paper to prevent the tape from ripping the paper surface. I'm using low-tack masking tape but it still rips it - I quite like the effect; it adds to the random quality. Anyhow, these are some of the 'finished' pieces that I'd like to use as a starting point for bigger works. They are all about light.


This one I really like - initially it was just a broad stripe of water and banks - the defined tree form came later - but the fluttering light and shade are so nicely captured.


Again with the fluttering light and shade; shafts of light coming through the tree canopy. All I added really, were the black strokes. Really like this one too.

The rest of the series are maybe a bit more abstract - they're on my Instagram - still with the fluttering light. I'm continuing with this exercise, using a different light and palette. I really like this method of playing with paint and drawing into it. 

Daler Rowney System 3 acrylics on A2 300gsm watercolour paper with the addition of Stabilo Woody crayons.


Seed heads



When your clematis finishes blooming and you feel a bit sad - and then you notice the EPIC alien-like seed heads.
These amazing whorls and globes surrounding the seed heads almost make up for losing the gorgeous flowers. Of course I thew the plastic plant tag/identifier away so I have no idea what variety it is lol. It is growing like mad; it has this lovely purple-bronze foliage.

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Here's something I'd like to work up larger.

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Square pegs and round holes (also Print Day in May)


Since the beginning of the year I've had a calendar list of opportunities on my studio wall. Last week I took it down and threw it into the recycling bin- it had become a reproachful list of applyapplyapply, that honestly - I didn't really want to take up.

You know that thing where you see a submission oppo, go and see what kind of thing fits-in on the interwebs and then wonder how your square peg will fit in that round hole? Why do I keep doing it lol.

Yesterday was Print Day in May 2022 - I know my limitations - I am not a 'printmaker' but I do like to play with printing things. I whipped out my mangle and a few remaining polystyrene print tiles that I had kicking about and set to. I enjoyed it very much.

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Print on the left, plate on the right

I don't have a press - but my table-top mangle serves me well; I don't use inks because I am both impatient and like breathing.

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Mangle maintenance and sunlight


Today, I have mostly been cleaning my faithful mangle. Not having the room for any kind of press (nor the budget) I found this glorious little yellow mangle in a charity shop. It is just FAB for monoprinting my way - but I am a neglectful mangle owner - and rarely bother to clean it.

The rubber rollers were a bit crazed and cracked when I got it - and I think there's some age to it* in any case - so it has cleaned up beautifully, all things considered :) I've actually spotted a very similar model on eBay for £150 which seems excessive - but then, you never know I suppose!

* (It's a 1950s Limpet Portair Table Top Mangle apparently and closer to £35 - so good luck with the £150 ask lol).

We used to have a single-tub washing machine with a mangle - it was left in our first house when we bought it. It cracked every button on any garment that went through it lol.

In my workbook this week, I have been trying to record sunlight coming through a canopy of leaves.





Paint, marker, ink and Woody pencils.




An annual obsession!

They smell like heaven, and even though it often doesn't feel like Spring is here and Summer is on the way - such a treat. I love how the blooms gradually fade to a gentle uniformity - but at the moment they are a jumble of vibrant shades of purple and pink, threaded through with the orange, papery remnants of the flower bud calyx. 


I've enjoyed playing with various bits and bobs to produce these pieces on paper - I need to get back to a regular art practice again. Everything has seemed a bit 'uphill' of late - I have a lot on my plate at the moment - and my studio practice has suffered for that. However, I've revisited my branding (I know, that sounds a bit arsey) and now everything I do - online at least - has a coherence to it.


Might get the mangle out for a bit of monoprinting I think ...




Warm up and recycle

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Inspired this morning by Sam Lock and the ever-inventive Dan Tirrels I found a pile of Christmas cards heading for the recycling bin and thought I'd recycle (like Dan) and attempt a wall of imagery (like Sam) - see below.

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Needless to say I didn't match Sam's output - but this is 15 mins thinking about the local landscape as seen this morning. The weather today is all heavy skies and contrast; the land is criss-crossed with tractor ruts. I wish I could draw wind.

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In other news, I've refreshed my site - apologies if some pages look rank - but I'm being super-zen about what I can and can't control (she lied - it irritates the living crap out of me). Anyhow - these are a few interesting images from the corkboard of oddments.

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LAF 2019

Liverpool Art Fair - progression to submission.

Work exploring light and the 'sacred' river/nature of water - as well as its place in forming boundaries and borders.

So many land divisions follow watercourses; indeed, the local town boundaries are defined here by the meander of brooks.

I have been fascinated by the Marsh Brook which defines and lends its name to the area where we live, and which flows beneath our house.

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This pair of canvasses were accepted and shown in 2019 at the Met Quarter in Liverpool


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