Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Well here's the little illo I promised made with the indian papers that matches the tags. It turned out to be incredibly difficult to photograph, it's so dark in here so you don't quite get the true colours but it's the best I can do until my new scanner turns up.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Monday, November 27, 2006


Got my gel medium today so had another go at this canvas. I added image transfers of one of my own photos along the bottom - you can just about make out the arches. There was also a tree but it made the whole thing feel bitty and too green so I've painted it back out. I've redone the face but it came out too pale and I added some writing but I didn't like that either. It actually doesn't look too bad in the photo, the real one is dark and rough and gloomy. I'm not very good at gloomy. My instincts are telling me to give up and paint over the lot and start again but another little voice is telling me to hang on a while longer. I know what the problem is too. I want to paint the face myself, I'm reluctant to rely too much on the transfer technique as useful as it is, but the last time I tried something like this it came out really childish. I need to grit my teeth, face my fears and just have a go. Then I can paint over it if it doesn't work out, right?

On a lighter note I pick up these pretty indian papers in the art shop, they are so sparkly and light, perfect for christmas bits and bobs. So inbetween stressing with the canvas I was playing around with these and started 4 large tags and an illustration (pic to come) so I had quite a productive day in the end. Looking forward to tomorrow!


Life doesn't end when you don't have any gel medium, honest!

AEM DAY 25 - Disaster!

Just goes to show you should never try to cut corners! I'd run out of gel medium aaagh so thought I would try to add an image transfer of a face with normal acrylic medium. Big, no, huge mistake! Because it is more liquid it takes longer to dry and soaks up more of the paper as well as the ink. Pull it off too early and you get nothing, leave it too long and you leave behind too much paper and it's a so and so to get off. So I've painted over it with more gold and blue to darken the painting, leaving the area around the window as is. The papered area doesn't show up quite as it does in the photo, that's just the effect of the camera flash and it all adds to the texture! Will have to amuse myself with something else until I get into town next!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

AEM DAY 24 - Work in progress

We had a fun and creative day yesterday. Apart from taking Kamal to school we didn't have to go anywhere or please anyone but ourselves. Bliss. So Anya sat at the table across from me to paint another masterpiece while I broke into one of my new canvases. It's not finished yet as I haven't decided which way to go with it but I started off covering it in torn strips of a Japanese newspaper I bought from Borders, then sploshing a thick layer of paint over it which I promptly wiped back off to allow the paper underneath to show through. This will be another tutorial piece if it works out!

Once the kids had gone to bed I did more work on my card / wedding site, which although I am still working on it in places it is open for business if you want Christmas cards! I've only set it to accept UK orders I'm afraid, mainly because when the wedding orders start coming in again I won't be able to cope but if you live overseas and have found it through blogger please email me if you would like something and I will send you a paypal invoice instead. Don't forget to look at Kamal's christmas cards, they are ones he did last year for his friends but I think they are good enough to put on the site too, much better than mine!

Friday, November 24, 2006


Even more Christmas cards!

AEM DAY 21 - 22

Catching up with posts for Art Everyday Month, have been creating but too busy to post, so here we go - Tuesday and Wednesday I was working on wedding designs. Daisy and Cherish.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I've disappeared...

...under a pile of work and life stuff, why does everything always seems to happen all at the same time!? But I'm still creating, just haven't got time to show you yet, unless you want to see the 80 labels I've just typed up but I'll show you one of Kamal's Christmas cards instead. I'm delivering my paintings for this weekends exhibition this afternoon so will catch up properly tomorrow when hopefully I'll be back to normal. Oh and I had loads of new canvases arrive yesterday and I can't wait to get started on them. Don't go away!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Just playing around with faces in different drawing styles. I find if I think to hard I lose what I am trying to do so need to distract myself and let the drawing sort of flow. Don't know if it's a left brain, right brain thing but my logical side is saying one thing and my creative side struggles because of all the noise. So I always work with the radio or TV on to shut the voices up and quite often have one or two things on the go at the same time too - if I get stuck with one thing I move over to the other until the flow comes back. And of course having a little one around is enough of a distraction. And guess who I caught adding her own little embellishments this morning. Wish I'd had a camera handy to capture her face when she realised I was watching her, a mixture of guilt and smugness all rolled into one!

Monday, November 20, 2006


When digging through my boxes of stuff left over from the time I did craft fairs, some to go on the website, some to go on ebay, I came across some plain brown gift boxes that were just calling out for decoration. I only managed one with little fingers about trying to 'help' but I'm pleased with it.

As gorgeous and talented as she is, fingers with that much paint on can stay well away!!

Saturday, November 18, 2006


More Christmas cards!


Christmas cards!

Friday, November 17, 2006


Back to the computer today to finish the wedding/card website I've been talking about forever and a day, will spend tomorrow tweaking and twiddling and putting more stock on then it should be ready for the grand opening - yeah! I designed a header months ago but wasn't completely happy with it so have altered it a bit (you will have to wait before you can see it, sorry) but while I was at it I had a go at one for my art tutorial blog. Thank you to everyone who has been blogging about it and adding links, you are all so kind! I shall put new tutorials on as regularly as I can, about one a week if I can manage it, and they won't all be collage related, I want to keep it varied and fun! If there is anything you've wanted to try but didn't know how to get started please ask, or if you've tried any of the techniques I've demonstrated I would love to see - either link to the blog or join the art tutorial flickr group or both! (Oh and while you are there check out my whispers group, there are some absolutely fantastic pictures there by some very talented people.)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I needed a break from computers and websites so sat with my sketchbook and a magazine and cup of tea after the kids had gone to bed and did more sketches. I've got an idea for a wedding design floating around my head but can't quite pin it down, a contemporary version of a 1950's fashion illustration perhaps. I also want to do more editorial type stuff for my portfolio and another reason why I need to sort out my drawing issues. It's funny really because when I was studying illustration back at college in the early 90's, anything even remotely resembling art nouveau and too heavily drawing based was considered old fashioned and cliche but these days you see it absolutely everywhere. Over stylised girls with flowing hair surrounded by twiddly leaves and flowers and ornate typography is right up my street - I swear I was born 10 years too early, or too late, either would do! But of course I can't just go and do it because everyone else is, I need to find my own voice. Oh and go and get my hair cut, the drawing is inspired by a photo in the magazine, just look at that hair!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Sorry you're going to bored of all these but we are nearly finished! 2 sets of tree danglies.


I'm not doing much art wise while I finish putting stock onto my website but here is a journal page I finished last night.

Monday, November 13, 2006


More christmas danglies, this time tree decorations.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

AEM DAY 11 - Learning to let go...

I'm feeling a lot more comfortable in my artistic skin these days, all my hard work seems to be paying off at last! I spent my years at college being told to forget the style I had then and I struggled to find a new one I was comfortable with, which is how the collage came about and I dropped my drawing altogether. It was a process I had to go through but it's taken over 10 years to realise that my drawing is an important part of who I am and instead of apologising for the fact I could draw I should embrace it and use it with my collage skills and loosen up and somewhere in the mess and confusion the real me will emerge. Scary thought.

Above is a doodle using one of my calligraphy pens. I year or two ago I bought the new pilot parallel pens with brand new nibs that you could write on the edge of the nibs without losing the lines and for an impatient calligrapher they are totally wonderful. I usually use them for wedding stationery as they have a traditional ink thingy (forgot the name!) so you can use your own ink, gouache or watercolour mixes as well as standard cartridges and they write on almost anything. Anyway I thought I would try and draw with them instead of my usual rotring and experiment with the different lines you get with the wide nib. Then I pasted on a piece of indian handmade paper and see what happened. The lines of the drawing underneath showed through and when dry I drew over the top. Yum. Don't know if the finished result is any good but I enjoyed the process. And I it occured to me I have bottles and bottles of ink in a box I haven't used in a while so I might get them out next! Just like being back at college but without the stress of the critiques!

Friday, November 10, 2006


More christmassy things for the website, this time a beaded snowflake and a red star. These are quite big (between 4 and 5 inches diameter) and are gorgeous hung in the window. £8 each or £12 with added beads and mirrors on the line they hang from. The website itself will be open soon, busy busy busy!

Have also updated my portfolio site, if you look on the fine art page you will see a few paintings and collages for sale. Sorry about the sales pitch, normal service will resume shortly.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


A painting for my friends little girl, hope she likes it!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

AEM DAY 8 (minus the 5 I've missed!)

Today has been a sorting out kind of day today, my card/wedding shop was finished last week and I've been sorting through boxes of stuff and trying to photograph everything I have for this site as well as ebay, etsy, and my main portfolio website. I did manage to create a new header for my blog this morning before I got started (as regulars will have noticed I hope!) which was inspired by the new look for my portfolio site I created late last night. I am itching to do another painting (already got the title in my head) but I must finish the more practical stuff first!

Go to Art Everyday Month for more participants.


This weeks art lesson for Kamal's friend Patrick was to paint fireworks - I got a large sheet of black card and we all had a go and made a lot of mess (I'll be sweeping up glitter for weeks) and had a lot of fun!

Winter Exhibition - Time to Unwind

My 2 victorian ladies are going to be in the Cambridge Open Studios Group Exhibition to be held on the 25th (10 am - 6 pm) and 26th of November (10 am - 4 pm) , The Camstead Room, Cambridge Rugby Union Football Club, Granchester Road, Cambridge CB39ED. They are both for sale so if you want to snap them up before they go let me know! £200 each, 16 x 20 inches, mixed media on canvas ready to hang. I am sorting out prints and cards too if you prefer, watch this space!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Art Everyday Month

Like I haven't got enough to do already but I've decided to join Art Everyday Month. I do usually attempt to create something or other everyday but either don't get it finished or don't necessarily blog about it. So the next month may be a lot of fun or completely stressful and I wish I hadn't bothered or as dull as dishwater. I'm a little late starting as I only found out about it yesterday, my painting Smoke being the first candidate. Today's efforts are the christmas decs and danglies I've been making that are soon to go on etsy or ebay. Photographing them though is proving difficult as my house is very dark and some of the lightcatchers are a metre long. I did capture the above image and am playing around with it for a christmas card design.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Illustration Friday - Smoke

Acrylic, collage and image transfer on canvas, 16 x 20 inches

You can see how this was created here

Friday, November 03, 2006

Out of the mouth of babes

My Mum by Kamal, age 7

She doesn't play chess,
not even hide and seek
She's never doen a puzzle
and her nose is like a beak!

She's always on the phone
She never gets enough
by the time she gets off it
my dad is in a huff!

She really is lovely
especially with the hugs
When me and my sister goes to bed
She wraps us up like Bugs.

Thanks son. love you too ;0)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Postcard Swap

Look what I got in the post this morning! These beautiful postcards are the returns of my first altered postcard swap via artezine. Below are my efforts that were sent to the USA, hope whoever ended up with them like them!