Scissors in a Landscape

I cut up an old, experimental ink and Conté crayon drawing (coated with gesso) of the view from Robin Hood’s Hut in Somerset with a view to putting a lino print of branches over it. I had a last minute change of mind and, instead, I drew (with a chalk pen) the scissors that I used to cut up my picture. The result if a quirky juxtaposition using two contrasting drawing styles. A bit weird and wacky but interesting.



Happy marbling accidents

I’ve been having a go at marbling for the first time using some inks my niece bought me for my birthday. The great thing about not knowing what you are doing is that you can get some unexpected outcomes.

I can’t help but enjoy this accidental female form (1) complete with very suggestive splodge of red. The blobby images (2) feel like loose frames waiting for a drawing. (3) and (4) are much more conventional marbling (I’d got – or perhaps lost – the hang of it by this stage) but these could become backgrounds for drawings or be collaged into a picture.

Marbling could be a good way to kick start some ideas when stuck. It is certainly enjoyable.

Sketchbook Cornwall

I’ve taken a break this summer from my OCA studies… a long break, nearly four months, and now I’m gearing up to start my Level 2 studies, starting with Investigative Drawing 2. I’ve neglected my drawing practice lately having been occupied with printmaking, working with my past OCA drawings and paintings, so I’ve been experimenting in my sketchbook and looked back at my photos of our recent Cornwall holiday.

My aim was to produce loose, expressive work and experiment with minimal lines… Well, the results are not exactly minimal but they are experimental and the exercise has got me back into using a range of drawing tools that I have not picked up for a while.

Lots of learning from these drawings and of course some work better than others. I’ve made notes directly into my sketchbook.

One linocut with many and varied outcomes

Continuing with printmaking I made one A4 size linocut of tree branches and experimented with monoprint backgrounds and printing over existing drawings and paintings… and also added a stencil for the jug.

Turn Back Now – Keith Tyson at The Jerwood

A snapshot of Keith Tyler’s studio wall drawings

I never miss an opportunity to visit the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings. It has such a lovely location, down on the beach among the fisherman’s tall huts. And there are stunning views out over the working boats and fishing paraphernalia to the sea.


View from the top floor of the Jerwood Gallery to the beach


The Jerwood collection is full of surprises and the gallery attracts some excellent visiting exhibitions. For some reason I didn’t think I would be drawn to Keith Tyson’s studio wall drawings; I thought they would be too busy and in my face for me. And they are these things and also overwhelming because of the huge numbers of drawings and paintings and the way they are displayed in close grids. But they are clever and often profound and tell fascinating stories of life as understood through the mind and eyes of the artist.

The phenomenal quality and quantity of Tyson’s artistic output makes me feel like a sloth!

The studio drawings are the outcome of 20 years of painting or drawing on a large piece of paper on the wall of his studio every day in between and during other projects. The result is like a visual stream of consciousness diary. He says the drawings lie somewhere between a diary, a painting and a poem. In incredibly clever and beautifully executed work he explores ideas and thoughts. Sometimes about world events, sometimes about his emotions or response to everyday things or matters that are on his mind. Over time working on these drawings has evolved from a preparatory activity to a more expressive and essential practice. The Jerwood’s three ground floor spaces are filled with more than 300 of these works.

I just wished I lived nearer. If I did I would go back many times. They are overwhelming on mass… overwhelming and wonderful.

Tyler was born in Cumbria  and his life journey has taken him from shipyard apprentice at the age of 15, via art school and a degree from Brighton University, to Turner Prize winner in 2002.

Turn Back Now runs at The Jerwood in Hastings until 4 June 2017 so go on, take a trip to the seaside!

More information on the Jerwood Gallery website.

Picking up a paintbrush for the first time in ages

I spent last Thursday with  friends Karen and Stella gathered around our dining room table with brushes, palette knives, credit cards, sponges and acrylic paints. We dived in with abandon and worked quickly and freely painting on to large canvases, or in m case gesso primed paper.

This is the first time for nearly a year I’ve painted with acrylics. I was drained after POP1 which I found to be a very intensive module . At times I felt I’d lost the joy of painting but it’s back after a very therapeutic and enjoyable day.

Painting tulips and irises

Having been inspired by the flower paintings of Peter McCarthy whose work I saw recently at the John Russell Gallery on the Waterfront in Ipswich, I painted tulips and irises with abandon. With the tulips I actually did succeed in capturing what I had in my mind and I felt that a good bit of me had gone into the picture. The irises, while still loose, got a bit lost in translation. Shame as they had promise at any earlier stage.

Happy day tulips – acrylic on paper

Irises, acrylic on paper

Earlier stage. Something promising was happening here. It was quite striking at this point but I lost the plot!

Printmaking class – experiments with drypoint

I’m feeling my way forward but liking the medium. Drypoint seems to enable a more spontaneous, looser result than  I can achieve with collograph or linocut. Early days… early experiments. Interesting how different colours and different density of the inks influence the end result. Background helps to create atmosphere. I am keen to experiment more and frustrated that I can’t print drypoint at home as this form of intaglio printing can’t be done by hand.