For details about my work have a look at my website,

I am currently working on large prints combining water based woodblock techniques with oil based linocut: nothing if not a challenge! I'm also doing some teaching and go back to school myself in the spring to qualify as an adult education tutor

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Pens perdu...

When I started the final phase of this project I bought a box of twelve permanent markers. Now there are six. I am not very happy about this. I should say that these are specially tested (by the Michael the printer at Wells) markers: markers whose ink disappears in the heat of the furnace. Markers that I can draw with on enamel panels in the full confidence that no mark up lines will remain. Markers that will make me look good and furthermore markers that I hunted out on the net and ordered specially.

I accept that all families with kids lose the pen-by-the-phone, the only roll of sellotape on Christmas Eve, the one pair of scissors that actually cut. I know I was guilty myself - I can clearly remember taking my mum's dressmaking shears and (helps if you read this in a rising octave) using them to cut paper...

Trouble is that my son is on his way to being an artist himself so, instead of growing out of pens-by-the-phone and into motorbike parts, he's grown out of biros and into propelling pencils and fine sable brushes. The upshot of this is that he's had half of my boxed, individually wrapped, pristine black markers.

I challenged him about this, waving the rattling box under his nose while carrying on about my 'professionalism' and 'needing these specially for the factory'. He wasn't contrite and said, justifiably, that I'd let him ransack my sewing fabrics for his bookbinding, use my best scalpels and have almost unlimited access to my paper store, so why would he know these pens were off limits? 'Besides' he said reasonably 'I'm very careful with your stuff - I'd never use your dressmaking scissors on paper...'

Monday, 21 July 2008

bucket and spade

I mentioned my relief in finding a little house to rent in Sandown while I'm staying on the Isle of Wight to a friend who knows the island well. 'Hmmm' he said 'you'll find it a bit bucket and spade...'

This made me think that worryingly he'd somehow overlooked my eight week project to paint a picture longer than one and a half rugby pitches (statistic provided by sport loving friend who tells me the dimensions of my work in relation to various sporting fixtures as they occur to him) and was thinking that, in the manner of all artists, I would dabble with paint on the odd afternoon I could spare from lying down with a glass of absinthe and a distant expression. Or perhaps he simply meant to warn me that I wouldn't be ending every working day by drinking my way around packed bars in a sparkly halter topped micro dress, finishing up dancing in a foam filled club and getting a new tattoo.

Either way, bucket and spade sounds good to me. I'll probably see very little of Sandown beyond the comforts of my rented house with its, thank the Lord, big bath and comfy bed, but it'll be good to know that, if only I had the time, I could sit behind a striped windbreak, suck on a strawberry mivvie and contemplate the final additions to my sandy replica of the Sagrada Familia.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

The Blog Begins

Now that the enamel panels are in production and there's an ever growing stack of blanks awaiting my attention it is time to start the blog.
I will be working on the first section of the street very shortly. My husband Ben will come with me to the Isle of Wight to help set up the projector (I'm transferring the drawings on to each panel from individual jpegs) as well as taking some pictures which we will post here. He also plans to get in some cycling and perhaps a paddle on the beach, weather permitting. I will be seeing how much work I can get done per day and should have a better idea of how many weeks work this will entail.

AJ Wells have been great, they do a lot of work with artists, but never before on a project this big and so reliant on one person! They have embraced all the problems that I have thrown at them and come up with solutions. I have a great space to work, my own drying shed (a sort of open sided hut where the wet panels sit in hot air for a while to turn the pigment from thick cream into a hard powder) and some great custom-made steel gurneys so I can move the panels around (possibly these will make their way to the local hospital after the job, very possibly with me lying on one of them in a state of collapse).

We're all very excited and enthusiastic. Good for Buckinghamshire County Council for being brave enough to seek out a local emerging artist and to give me such an astonishingly huge blank canvas...