Wednesday, 13 April 2011


I've moved. This blog is now hosted on the site. Why? Because, when viewed on the iPad it looks really professional and is much easier to use.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Books galore

Took an interesting class today at the City Lit, London, on contemporary ways of doing medieval bookbinding. We learnt to use plastic wires, cable ties and even car tyres.
Last week I also took a class on coptic binding, single needle and two-needle stitching. Have made several books since then and feel I have, at last, cracked it!

Saturday, 20 March 2010


The March/April 2010 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors has published my letter about using Citra-Solv - it's in the Muse Flash section.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Time flies

Time flies... there has been little or no time for any creativity... or maybe this is an excuse for lack of inspiration. However, this might well change. Spent two days this week at Art Van Go taking a workshop with Ruth Issett -- Creative Paper Works. The group worked with acrylic mediums and colour to make wonderful textured papers.

The two examples here were made by 1. collaging white/neutral papers of various thickness and texture; 2. Brushing a light coat of white gesso in parts; 3. Brushing parts with acrylic varnish that had procion dye powder added for colour; 4. an ink wash using procion dyes as the ink (turquoise, lemon yellow and magenta); 5. an overall wash of magenta to integrate the colours; 6. Markal (Shiva) paintsticks rubbed over the surface; finally a light brush of acrylic wax with gold Pearl-Ex powder was lightly brushed over part of the surface in the top image -- the one at the bottom has some acrylic matte medium added in circle shapes for added texture.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Old stuff

Last April I made a set of pictures for our bedroom here in Naples. I decided to photograph them today as a means of encouraging myself to make some new work. The background is created from printed paper that has had the pattern knocked back by painting over with gold gesso, tissue paper, strips of a National Geographic magazine page that had been treated with Citra-solv and torn black paper that had been embossed with a pattern from textured wallpaper. The crumpled texture of the tissue paper has been lightly rubbed over with a gold Shiva (Markal) paintstik.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Absence makes the heart...

Well it has been a long time since the last post. Been busy travelling - Sorrento, Italy, in September; Stockholm, Sweden and New York City in October - then November was spent preparing for a workshop I taught at Art Van Go plus house guests and lots of socialising. Busy, busy.

Now having a very relaxing time at our condo in Naples, Florida. It is wonderful to be away from the cold and ice of London. Though it was cold here for the first few day after arriving the weather is back to normal -- sun, blue skies and warm. The most we have to think about is what to eat!

The downside of all this is that my creative muse has abandoned me... I can't put my mind to anything, not even jotting down ideas in a sketch book. Today, Carol, who I have met in the virtual world of the Altered Books group, sent me a link to a great blog - Dispatches From LA - where there is an online class for making a shabby journal from scraps. The images reminded me of a textured book wrap that I made some time ago for a miniature book of fairy tales with etchings by David Hockney. The material I used was dyed by me during a class with the wonderful Ruth Issett. The book wrap was made after a class with Angie Hughes.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Stephanie Redfern at Festival of Quilts

Last week at the Festival of Quilts (Birmingham, UK) I had a great day gazing at some wonderful pieces of textile art. Such talented women -- I am so envious. In particular I was drawn to the work of Stephanie Redfern, who had created the most amazing book with art quilt pages. It was stunning, so imaginative with words and pictures yet she only won second prize in the Quilt Creations Category... the winner piece was a vase of fabric flowers, they looked good, were beautifully made but did not have the wow factor that was Stephanie's work.

for Amy

Following on from the Triptych I made a similar canvas for my stepdaughter -- she had asked me to make something for her bedroom. She was thrilled. The style is similar to my earlier work but what the hell... many a famous artist has returned to the same theme.

My first teaching workshop

Exciting news... Art Van Go have asked me to teach a workshop in November. It's a real honour as I still consider myself a learner in mixed media. However, in a former life I was an information specialist and have a great capacity for recalling useful, and sometimes useless, information, which I love to share. This includes mixed media techniques, inspirational books, and web based resources. The workshop will be about sharing things I have learnt. The papers that will be created can be used in collage, handmade books, scanned for developing in Photoshop; printed onto fabric as well as inspiration for other work.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Altered Books

I belong to a Yahoo Group, Altered Books... not been a great contributor more of a lurker. It is the 10th Anniversary of the group and one of the moderators, Corinne Stubson, is making 188 books comprising of individual pages that group members have submitted to celebrate the anniversary. Each of us that has a page in the book will be sent a copy. This is a labour of love by Corinne: I am really looking forward to seeing the book at the end of September.

Corinne's work can be viewed at