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

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Mini and Me

Before I head down the A34 to the ferry, as I will be doing shortly, I do a sort of vehicle check on my mini. As I refuse to devote more than two neuron's worth of in-brain space to car maintenance, it does mean learning how to open the bonnet all over again and a few minutes matching the pictures in the manual to the stuff under the hood. This time I'm low on a liquid in a white Tupperware box that balances on the top of the engine which means a trip to buy brake fluid top up apparently. Hopefully insertion will mean nothing more than prising off the snap tight lid and pouring the stuff in. Need someone to develop the necessary processes for getting a landscape off the back of an envelope and onto about 600 square meters of enamel and I'm your woman, but anything car related beyond slopping liquid into various tubes is further than I want to go.

Last time I was down at Wells the furnace man informed me that my car was rubbish* and that all minis have in fact been rubbish since they were made by BMW. This was news to me on several fronts. I should have known about BMW: the fact that I bought the car from a BMW garage could indeed have been a hint, but in the fairyland of my imagination I like to think that the Issigonis grandchildren are overseeing production in a workshop somewhere British and rural. The rubbish bit seems unfair to me, though I agree it would be nice if the boot were designed to hold more than a slim volume of poetry and a lamb cutlet. In its defence, the car is a lovely shade of true red which is rare in car paint, the inside is as pretty and practical as Barbarella's spaceship and, since the car is very short and I am very tall, it fosters the brief illusion that I have the legs of a Thompson gazelle every time I climb out of the driving seat. What mortal woman could ask for more? Well, except for the keys to an eight litre Veyron of course. The minute I have diplomatic immunity and £800,000 to spare that's what I'll be driving.

In the meantime I'll top up my rubbish car's brake fluid, fill up its rubbish boot (and I must agree with you on that one Kev, it is a rubbish boot) along with its rubbish interior and hope that it's rubbish brakes work on the way over to the factory this weekend.

*words have been changed to protect reader's sensibilities.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Show Time

I can announce that the first of my panels went up in Aylesbury's Great Western Street last week. I went down at the weekend to have a look. My reaction to seeing a piece of my work slapped five metres high and about thirty six metres long across a public space was essentially English: I found myself doing a sort of dance. You have to understand that this wasn't an American-style high-five air-punching victory dance, it was a sort of hopping shuffle on and off the kerb born of the profound desire for there not to be a fuss. I was pleased; it did and indeed does look pretty damn good (you can check it out on my web site), but it was all a bit much really and could I now be excused to have a cup of tea and a sit down? It turned out that I wasn't to be excused until my husband had taken many, many photographs. It was minus five that day and my embarrassed squirming had turned into a hypothermia avoiding jig before he'd finally finished.

I've been back a few times for a better look and have reached the point of being able to flirt with the idea that it's a fairly big achievement. It's a bit hard to see the art at the moment to be honest: the panels have a blue protective film over their surface and the whole thing is surrounded by scaffolding and a fence covered in strict warnings about hard hats, steel toecaps and who to call with the remaining digits of your right hand in the event of an accident.

It's great to see a whole section in one piece. Anyone who has, like me, spent happy hours with Airfix kits will understand that there's magic in the moment when seemingly entirely unconnected parts of a model all come together (for some reason I had a thing about making bi-planes when I was young, I made lots extremely badly and never painted any, littering my bedroom with pale blue-grey plastic debris). However, there are still gaps and an unfinished section to complete. I met the site manager Derek who is responsible for overseeing the installation of all my panels in Aylesbury and he was extremely keen for the work to progress. He was very nice about it, but I get the message: there's a few dozen men in reflective vests awaiting my finished work and sooner would be better than later love!