01 December 2022

Found during studio cleanup

Cups from my kitchen

Moody mark-making

"House plans" on tracing paper (based on the 
work of Susan Hefuna)

So many trial strips of watercolours...

A rubbing that made itself

Favourite postcards - by Picasso, Terry Frost, Patrick Heron, 
Edward Ardizzone; textured boxes by Susan Jane Dunford (2009)

Wrote this wish-list when I gave up the day job (2008). Baking  
and freelance work have fallen off the list; walking happens every day but 
hardly ever on the Heath! "Paring down" is ongoing <sigh>

So much left to do!

25 November 2022

Woodblock printing - Construction Lines series 2

 These prints use the invisible basis of patterns created by traditional geometry (drawing patterns with just compasses and straight edge). In the first series I tried to add the pattern itself to the grid - that turned out unexpectedly!

This time I was after the interaction between the grid of circles (flower of life) and the overlying grid of lines from which the shapes were chosen. 

The boards

The prints

I wasn't happy with my choice of colours - too many possibilities, not enough intention!

But I carried on...

... to the point of printing on the back of some prints -

Turn them over!

Meanwhile I was enlarging the lines, working towards making the star into a negative shape; that was going much to slowly for my impatience to be finished with this project. In fact I decided just to stop.
Quite a lot of prints, but nothing to write home about

At the eleventh hour came this surprising juxtaposition - the dabsof paint waiting the be brushed evenly on the board (quick, take a photo!) -

I took a rubbing, and painted  and cut out some circular dabs - could this perhaps make something interesting? No, not really, but it was fun trying! 

My other favourite outcome of this project is the rough and ready rubbing of circles and lines -

23 November 2022

Before and after - the blinds

 It gets too chaotic -

... so I thought to get some blinds and hide the shelves. Out of sight, out of mind?

Tom installed them -

If you're wondering where all the stuff from the worktop went ... "it's behind you!"

Looks like a glacier is sliding into the room! Behind it, the shelves are being reorganised to put the most-used materials in the most convenient places -

And there's room on the worktop for the continuing project of sorting and documenting and thinking about my woodblock prints (and other projects) -
Gradually the heaps are diminishing. Eating the elephant one bite at a time.

14 November 2022

Lockdown wardrobe - and a little book


During lockdown one of my amuseuments was to "shop my closet" in search of favourite outfits. This is six months' worth. Quite a few items have moved on...

It started with the skirts (some of the many are shown above right) - I tried them all on, and wore some of them one last time before putting them in the donations box, taking them back where they came from!

As winter approaches and we're keeping the thermostat low, I have different priorities, different needs - warm clothes! (And always - comfortable shoes.)

Sometimes the reason you can't find anything to wear is that you have too many clothes. Too much choice.

On the closet/wardrobe theme, a little book I made in 2002 has surfaced. The original had brightly coloured tissue paper glued down, and then printed on with simple shapes made with waterproof glue, wood glue I think. This is a photocopy -

12 November 2022

Recent geometry

Practising painting (watercolours). Choosing colours can be difficult; currently I seem to be want to use blues, so many different shades...

(Needs a bit of red, I think)

Building up a stock of greetings cards.

04 November 2022


 Aka monoprints. To my mind, monoprints are the amateur version, and monotype is what they become in a gallery or exhibition. 

So these are monoprints. Trials. Experiments. They turned up during a recent studio rummage and brought back memories of a summer class (a whole week of entire days) at City Lit, in which I used a kettle as starting point/subject. It started with drawing and printmaking, and moved on to painting, and was in 2016 (see here).

The folder of work from the class sits upstairs; when I looked at its contents a year or so ago, I wasn't ready to discard them yet. Still thinking "I might use these later", why is that?

02 November 2022

William Kentridge at the RA

 A show (till 11 Dec 2022) with large work, and many short films - Kentridge's early career was in theatre. 

Early drawings, 1988 some of them

Tapestry designs

Colonial landscapes

Using found encyclopedia pages for a book

...so bold and striking

Found pages used as basis of collage "flower drawings"


Some sculptures scattered around

Drawn on paper, glued to cloth - it folds up like a map

In the last room the film is Sybil, 2022

...and into the gift shop - lovely beading...

31 October 2022

Geometry of 12

A five-day course at Princes School of Traditional Arts, tutor Ameet Hindocha, who aimed to teach us how to look at the pattern and see what's going on, rather than give us instructions to follow. He demonstrated the construction of 12 patterns, and guided us through combining two into "our own" pattern, and gave us handouts for them all. 

I'll start with "my own" pattern, which looks unfunished  - that's deliberate. The finished section can be "rubbed off" onto watercolour paper and painted, and the unfinished section (at top) shows some basic structure. 

However the main structure is on the sheet underneath, and it's derived from a design exercise using square and triangular tiles, with sides of the same length so they can be combined. My own design is utterly useless for this (too much white space!) but I enjoyed seeing how different shapes of white space emerged

Here's another that I got to a "finished" state -

Over the five days, time, effort, and concentration produced at least 12 patterns. The square versions laid out for overview -

First and last patterns, hexagonal and square format -

Short slide shows summed up key concepts -
I was sitting a long way from the ongoing demonstation and had to zoom the phone camera to the max to see what was going on. It didn't help that the green used for construction lines wasn't high contrast (sometimes a pale blue was used as well, indistinguishable to me), and when small-scale operations were carried out ("draw the next line from here to here") I was totally lost. But eventually all became clear, and I benefited from quite a few one-to-one instructions.

If you think this looks complicated - it is!

Several finished works were dotted around the room - beautiful work -

I itched to do some painting, however simple, and on the weekend I traced some sections of pattern, transferred them to strips of leftover paper, and tried out a few colourways -