Monday, 30 March 2020

Little and often

Given the new normal I’m going to try and post more regularly. I’m not keeping a diary but I have taken on a lot of projects (I work best with deadlines) which hopefully will mean I make or plan something most days.

So far I’ve got three book things on the go, a NWBA collaborative project on Magellans voyage, ‘ABC’ a different NWBA project with the deadline of about 2 months and next month’s instagram challenge which is ‘machine’.

 I’ve also got work to make for two other projects that were planned for exhibitions with the Art Society on the theme of ‘Rural’ and ‘Making your Mark – a response to six women artists’ (hopefully these will go ahead sometime in the future) .

And an email arrived yesterday from the organiser of our yearly project run in conjunction with Lancashire archives who says that we are going to try and run that using virtual resources (it’s not as good as using the real thing but a lot better than nothing).

So since I finished the hexagon book for the ‘are you book enough’ challenge I’ve been thinking about ideas for ‘ABC’ and ‘Machine’ and finishing the latest set of scarecrow paintings.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Knowledge is never wasted

Deciding that I need distracting and some deadlines in this new and strange way of living  I decided to have a go at the “are you book enough?” challenge, a book a month each on a different theme.
March’s theme is Hexagon.
40 plus years ago when I was taking A levels we all had to do General Studies. It was a new qualification and the teaching at the time was a bit ad hoc. Whilst most of my friends were taught topics such as politics and local government I manage two terms of patchwork (no idea where that was supposed to fit in the syllabus) led by the RE teacher. 40 plus years on it has come in handy.
Ideally I’d have liked to use a selection of more worn looking and feminine fabrics but because I’m even avoiding shopping at the charity shop I had to use the contents of the rag bag. The only stuff in there in a suitable weight fabric were two old pairs of pyjama trousers.
The difficulty now is uploading it to the instagram group.
 I’ve also managed a bit more scarecrow painting, not finished yet. Brighter colours this time using process colours and white.

Friday, 6 March 2020


I haven’t painted very much at all in the past few years (other than stage scenery) but I wanted to explore the scarecrow imagery a bit more before I started to work on monoprints.

I kept it simple. Some new paper I wanted to try out (Seawhites are making a cartridge paper out of recycled coffee cups), a base colour of process blue and white (that was leftover from a nude silhouette of Granny Ogg!) and a restricted palette of burnt umber, Prussian blue, cadmium yellow deep, crimson and titanium white acrylics.

I warmed up with a few simple imaginary landscape bits.
Then onto the scarecrows.
The dark red and green background were initially underpainting but when I’d put some white on the shirts I decided I liked the contrast and kept it.

The next step is a bit more painting and some experiments with monoprint.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

More progress

I’ve made more progress on two projects this week 

I scanned the etching plate of ‘Victoria reading’ and used the scan to get an accurate stencil to add colour to her hair by relief rolling on the inked plate.

I decided that black whilst being accurate was too dead so I used a Prussian blue for the intaglio. The hair is a rainbow roll of green (from process cyan and process yellow) moving into a process magenta. It’s the closest I could get to the neon coloured green, yellow and pink dye that she has used.
I’ve probably finished with this particular image but I have another one that I’m thinking of working on. It's my granddaughter also reading on a mobile phone. Serendipitously she was wearing bright green and pink.

I’ve also moved the scarecrows on a bit.

Charcoal sketches from memory and imagination. I think the next step for this is some mixed media work