Monday, 28 February 2011


i've been working in layers.... layers of paper, paint, ink, tissue, watercolour washes, glueing things down, painting over them, building up a picture of the materials I like to work with. I do have a huge box-file full of papers, cards, pictures, old music sheets, dictionary pages, old sewing patterns, etc which I can delve into and pick whatever speaks to me!!
I love the idea of layers and what they can represent. Layers laid down over time, layers of complexity, within ourselves, our life, our feelings.. or the layers we use to hide them.... hmmm...... layers, yes, this may be a new direction for me. let's wait and see....

Friday, 25 February 2011

new textures

i've been working on some mixed media collages today, trying to incorporate words, colours and textures.... hmmm..... lets see how it goes.... lots of new sketchbook pages prepped for tomorrow!! Just hope i get some more studio time this weekend as i spent most of the day being creative in the kitchen and cooking a yummy meal for tonight (thankyou Nigella!!) and cleaning my dirty house!!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

poppy fields

I waved goodbye to this textile piece 'Poppy Fields' today when I took it up to Karina Goodman, one of my stockists, at Studio 61 in Holloway, Derbyshire, the added bonus of a drive out there being I got to spend a couple of hours with my friend, chatting about our aspirations, inspirations and work. The sun is out and the rolling hills of Derbyshire looked truly beautiful, and it has inspired us to book a day out sketching in the open air in the next couple of weeks. Let's just hope we get scheduled sunshine to really make the day!! Jobs are all done and I'm off out to another friends for tea, so I'm just off to the studio now to do a bit more work!! I have the luxury of a weekend at home with not a lot planned so hopefully my creativity will continue for the next few days!!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

from the heart...

This was my messy workspace as of last week when I was beavering away to my hearts content, lost in new ideas and the possibilities of producing some new work just for me, right from the heart. I'm thinking of my art from a completely different perspective, not just thinking about drawing something that is pretty and people will want to spend their money on, but thinking about confronting things that are a lot more personal and mean more to me, and getting them out of my system, off my chest, if you like...

So tomorrow, I have my list of jobs prepared, i have a few errands to run, such as dropping off work at a gallery and paying cheques into the bank, then I hope to get busy in the studio again

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


always good to have some.... it keeps you going... And even if all you hope for doesn't quite work out the way you wanted you have to be thankful for what you have, and that you had the chance to hope and someone to share your hope with!!
Blimey O'Reilly, getting very philosophical with all of this new work aren't I??

Monday, 21 February 2011


something we all suffer from at some point in our lives, something which is cruel and painful, but something which can make us stronger.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

haven't done that for a while...

how long is it since i have used oil pastels? Ages, years... I'm trying to just draw/paint/sketch without a plan. It's been great to get out some of the materials I haven't used in a while, charcoal sketching... I forgot how satisfying that was!!

Have been away to a wedding this weekend, and it's been a while since I have been to a wedding. We had a great time, meeting new people and catching up with old ones, as well as drinking far too much wine, dancing to college faves such as Stone Roses, Smiths, Happy Mondays and the La's, and being the last ones on the dance floor!! Great weekend, just think it needs to be rounded off with an afternoon in front of the fire and a little snooze-ette, followed by a Sunday lunch with big yorkshire puddings and lots of gravy!!

Friday, 18 February 2011

delving deeper...

The pretty birds and delicate detailed ink illustrations have gone for a while... not forever, I must say, as they certainly have a purpose and a place within my work but for the next month I'm concentrating on something different, delving deeper into the things that I feel I need to do, things that make me 'me', things that make me happy, sad, thankful, things that make me think about who I am and who I have been. This is completely different to anything I have done before, and so far it's proving to be a bit of a revelation.... I'm enjoying the process and playing with ideas, and definitly not thinking about a commercial sell-able end-product. It's more about addressing certain things that definitely have played a part in my life since I took art up again after several years of not practicing at all and expressing things I have wanted to express, or ideas that have been in my head for a while. I don't know how it will all end up, and whether I will go straight back to my illustrations or my textile landscapes after this month of exploration, but I do know I'm enjoying what I'm doing, and enjoying making 'my' art because I want to.
I'm not sure I'll go into all of the details of how, when and why... as I'm not sure this blog is really a place for that at the moment, maybe it will become clearer soon. Ok, enough waffling, I'm off to start that book!! Have a good weekend.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

new book

this book has been highly recommended by a friend of mine. It's by David Bayles and Ted Orland and it's all about how and why we make art and the journey we go through in the process. It arrived today and I'm itching to read it. I think it will be just what I need at the moment as I have been having so many conflicting thoughts about my work, where it's going, why I'm doing it etc etc. I'll keep you posted on how it reads....
As for me, today I turned over a new leaf after some good advice last week, and rather than treating the day as a 'day-off' from my pharmacy job I actually treated it as 'a day at work in my art job'. I was up with the larks at 7am, walking Mac along the river at 7.45am and was back home and ready for work at 9am. I decided to have a bit of a change of routine, as it seemed recently I have been wandering aimlessly through the days that constitute my 'art-time' getting not a lot done as a result. Today I had my adminny to-do list to tackle for the first part of the day and then spent a few blissful hours in the studio, painting, colouring, crayoning, and making a mess, working on cheapo paper, and getting a lot of stuff off my chest.... a lot of what I did today was very personal, not particularly nice to look at, but I felt, for the first time in a long time, a real connection to my art. I'm hoping that by exploring things a bit deeper and on a different level I'm going to discover a new direction for my work.... let's see how it goes!!
The afternoon was spent with a friend of mine down at Loughborough Town Hall at a Creative Business Event about How to Get Customers to Your Stand. It was good, I learned lots and it has given me lots of marketing ideas and things to think about. Now it's time for bath, glass of vino and good thriller on ITV, curled up on the sofa with my boys!!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

on a roll...

I've had a great weekend up North with my folks and have come back home feeling all refreshed and relaxed, although a wee bit like I need an early night, after all the lovely things I crammed into the two days!! On the way back we called into IKEA at Gateshead and I have treated myself to a big roll of creamy backing paper for lots of big scribbles, sploshes of paint, marker pen, pastels, acrylics, and general mess-making this week in the studio..... I'm giving myself a month of exploring new ideas without any pressure of an end-product or amazing work of art.... I'm just going to forget all of my self-imposed rules of how things should be done, and I'm not going to think about things too much, and just do what I want to do..... ooh, can't wait....

Friday, 11 February 2011

just because

I finally overcame my 'lack-lustre' mood yesterday after a couple of conversations with a few people close to my heart and I started to paint. This might sound a bit like 'well... big deal' but I was beginning to think that I really had come to a full-stop with my work. I have been over-analysing everything, thinking too much about 'what ifs' and was being too much of a perfectionist. In my head, I felt I should be sticking to the rules of how things should be done, sounds really 'anal' I know, but I think this is just 'me', give me a list of things to do, or a set of instructions or a project brief and I'm quite happy to get on and 'do' but when the page is empty and I feel I have no direction, this is when I start to struggle. I know this now, so I had a very long conversation with myself (in my head) and have decided there are no rules, no pressure, things don't have to look like a masterpiece, and I feel a lot lighter... I'm persuing my art because I love it so I'm going to start an enjoy it a lot more, rather than pressuring myself to come up with the goods every time. Let's see how it goes....

Thursday, 10 February 2011

the colours of today

grey, cloudy, dreary, and slightly drizzly and damp and 'It' just ain't happening for me today!!
What to do? They say when the ideas won't come just go off and do something else.... i've been doing 'something else' for days now, and I think I'm starting to get a bit stressed out by my lack of creative activity, which is certainly not making matters any better! The dog has been walked, the studio has been tidied, dinner is sorted.... I want to go and make some new work but haven't the slightest clue 'what' it is yet. I feel I need to be doing something during my precious studio days, otherwise I might as well go to work and earn some money, and I sit and watch the minutes ticking by, blank page in front of me, getting more and more frustrated by the minute! And I know all of these feelings are completely counter-productive to what I am trying to achieve, yet I can't seem to change them.... What's a girl to do?? Is is just a matter of time, and am I just being too impatient.....????

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

a quote

'Creativity is essentially a lonely art. An even lonelier stuggle. To some a blessing. To others a curse. It is, in reality, the ability to reach inside yourself and drag forth from your very soul, an idea.'
- Lou Dorfsman
Found this on tinternet last night, thought it was quite apt.

Monday, 7 February 2011

hazy hills

another of my painted landscapes on textiles, inspired by the colours of an autumnal scene, quite hazy and dreamy I think.
Revisiting some of my older work may give me a bit of kick start onto something new, something I seem to be really struggling with at the moment. I sat and had a look thru my old college sketchbooks at the weekend, and one thing did occur to me, and that was how contrived the college ones were as opposed to my more recent ones that I have done just for me. I think at the time I must really have wanted to do my sketchbooks 'the right way' to impress the lecturers, rather than just pleasing myself and making them mine. One lecturer even told me I shouldn't write titles on each page.... well why on earth not, who did they think those sketchbooks were for?? It makes me quite cross to think about this now, but what the heck my sketchbooks are now filled as I want them to be.... although I do feel at the moment like I just wish I had a starting point in order to start filling another one up!!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

bit of a non-day

ok, today has been a bit of a non-day Sunday, as in I've been feeling a bit under the weather since yesterday and haven't felt like doing very much at all. I decided to attempt to spend some time in the studio, did a bit of tidying and sorting, and found some old textile landscapes that I was playing about with a while ago. Some of them look quite nice in frames, so maybe I can do that today. Ideas and inspiration for new work are still eluding me..... I feel like I want to start but just can't seem to find the energy or motivaton today....

Friday, 4 February 2011

colour inspiration

I'm on a slow journey back from the land of no inspiration, which is why in the last week I have had nothing to blog about or anything of any great consequence to show you!! My mind has been like one big blank piece of paper...... and it has been bugging me a little!!

I know myself well enough now to know that I go through these phases at the beginning of any new project or just as I've finished one piece of work, but saying that, it still annoys me, as the impatient person inside me just wants to get on and get started with the next thing NOW!! I know that the ideas will come and I'll have a bit spurt of creativity sometime in the near future but I'm just not sure when... it would be nice if I could schedule it in for tomorrow morning and have two long leisurely days languishing in my studio making the most of it!

So, in the mean time, I'm going to look through some books, some old sketchbooks, take my camera with my everywhere I go, and a sketchbook and pencil and try to jot something down every day until inspiration hits me... these photos above are from a drive out in the car earlier today, a walk in this wind would have been far too stressful (does anyone else get unexplainably stressed out by the wind??) the light was lovely, colours very wintry and the hills and fields were begging to be photographed! I hope this is the first step away from my creative-less-ness!!

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