Friday, 30 December 2011

last post of 2011

So, its the last post of 2011 and what a great year it has been. So it's now time for reflection and time to have a think about things to do for 2012.... and my head is full of ideas... As for this blog, I'm hoping to breathe some life into in and make it more informative and bring in some posts about other artists and designers whose work I like... watch this space...

Reflection-wise, 2011 has been, creatively, a very good year for me. I've spent more time making new work, which has been really well-received. I've expanded my product range into tea towels and also have been exploring ceramics and glass, I've taken part in several exhibitions, continued working with Creative 10 (the group of designer-makers I spent time with on the Nottinghamshire Creative Business course) and also I took part in a ten week Life-Drawing class which has renewed my enthusiasm for sketching. I've spent the last two evenings sketching from some images I've collected and have really enjoyed just taking a bit of time, starting a new sketchbook and just filling the pages, and not caring if they all don't turn out as well as I wanted. I've also been accepted into Design Factory, which I think I have mentioned, which I'm hoping is going to bring lots of new opportunities and the chance to work and collaborate with other designers....

So, it would be great to hear all about your achievements during 2011 and what you hope to achieve in 2012.... please feel free to leave a comment...

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

remember the tea towels?

Well i trust you all have had a lovely Christmas and are feeling all settled and content? I had a great one and we still have more family to see and give presents to over the New Year too, so even though my well-meaning husband took all of our gorgeous decorations down today while I was at the sales with my two nieces, the festive season isn't all over just yet.

I have been busy this afternoon reviving my Folksy shop after a period of hmmm... shall we say 'neglect'? It's been that long since I have been to Folksy that it has had a major facelift and it looking all fresh and new... it might be worth popping over there to have a browse if you ahve some Christmas money to spend... there are some lovely things to treat yourself to (my two tea towels included!!)

Friday, 23 December 2011

last post before Christmas

the last week of life drawing classes, i've defintely improved from week 1!!

Merry Christmas Everyone and I'll be posting again in Jan 2012!!

Monday, 19 December 2011


I'm actually feeling christmassy.... I never feel very christmassy so this is a departure from the norm, I don't know what's changed but I'm liking the lack of 'bah-humbug-ness' I'm feeling. I can't believe how it has crept up on us but it's nearly here and I'm really looking forward to it. We are having Steve's family round for Christmas dinner and just having a really chilled out time at home, it's more about spending quality time with nearest and dearest and just having a nice festive break (and a very scrummy lunch.... HIGHLIGHT OF THE BIG DAY!!)

So I have lots of plans for 2012 and have looked at last years 'wish list' of things I wanted to do... I've been reading over my old blog and also reading this one just to see how I've done (why didn't someone tell me to shut up about my bloody 'to-do' lists?? who cares!!). It's extremely satisfying to have increased my stockists, taken part in not one but 6 exhibitions, and also to have completed a Creative Business course which has made me a lot more focussed and eager to succeed. I have been accepted to join Design Factory, which I was over the moon about, and I'm hoping that this will open a few more doors for me, and help me with business plans etc. and have had the great pleasure to work with some fab creative people over the last year.

One thing I did notice about my blog, is it just reads a bit like a diary of what I'm up to.... not exactly the most interesting read in the world, so next year I have a few plans up my sleeve. I'll be reviving the 'Wednesday feature' on artists and designers I like, sharing some of their gorgeous work, and also will be resurrecting my 'Sketchbook Peeks' series I started for the Nottingham Craft Mafia a while ago. If anyone would like to take part, there are a series of questions to answer, links to provide, which will all be featured in the write-up and also I want some pics of your sketchbooks ('cos I'm nosey like that... and very interested in creative processes etc). So please get in touch, I don't mind which media you work in, as long as you use sketchbooks then you can be considered.... looking forward to that... email me via my website...

So better be off, I've a bit of work to do, and also an early night to have, this is a really busy week at my regular employed job, so I need all my beauty sleep and brain power to get through til Wednesday night...

Friday, 16 December 2011

penultimate life drawing class

how the time flies, it doesn't seem like may weeks ago I was just starting my life drawing classes.... and here I am, only one more week to go. It's been really enjoyable, great to meet a new groupd of creative folk, and really rewarding to see an improvement in my drawing skills. I think there are going to be a few informal sessions after Xmas where we can experiment with new media... looking forward to that!!

Today I'm doing housey jobs, cleaning and washing, and not much else, trying to do my last minute ordering online and it seems every website I have tried to go on has crashed!! I'm determined to not go out of the house and to the shops so I will sit here until the sites uncrash, eating my bacon sarnie, and do my shopping in my cosy house.

I think I will venture up to the studio later though to do some admin and maybe a bit of sketching, I need to get my plan for 2012 written too, and also look back at what I've done in 2011. Hope you all have a good weekend.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

from a giraffe to a dog to a dragon...

I know, weird name for a blog post, but I thought it sounded a bit more interesting than ducks III! Plus I haven't done Ducks III yet.... maybe later this week, let's see what that brings. It a busy week or two in the world of community pharmacy up until Christmas so I might not get much time to sketch but I hope to. I have lots of ideas brewing for 2012, I have to look back over what I've achieved this year (I think this is always a good thing to do as you can see how far you've come and it does feel good to see how far all the small steps have taken you). I also have my first trade fair to prepare for, so I'll be scouring the internet looking for lots of inspiration and also meeting a couple of the experts to grill them for some good advice.

But, I digress, back to the sketches.I got some time last week to have a look  in my sketchbooks and just do some random sketches based on a picture my godson did a few weeks ago. It was a picture of a couple of giraffes and as I was playing about with the shapes it transformed from a giraffe to a dog (some kind of wire-haired terrier type breed) and then into a dragon. It's strange how ideas develop... I do love looking into other artists sketchbooks to see how their ideas develop and how they use their sketchbooks. A few years ago i did a series of Sue's Sketchbook Peeks for the Nottingham Craft Mafia blog. I'm thinking that maybe I should give this another try for this blog, instead of ranting on about myself all the time.... I also seem to have left my 'featured' slot I used to do on Wednesdays behind so maybe I need to look at that again too....

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Ducks II

Second new orginal of the week... I completed this whilst I was invigilating the Art at Bartons Exhibition last week so I can safely say I used mny time well and was very productive (although quite chilly!!) Maybe when it's my turn next week I need to get up and do 50 star-jumps every half an hour to keep warm.

Monday, 12 December 2011

bobbing along

i finished the first duck/swan picture last week and have also just finished another very similar one, but landscape instead of portrait format. Will show you pics later in the week.

Well I had some great news on Friday... I was accepted to be part of Design Factory which I am really pleased about. The new intake of members will be happening this week, after the meeting to decide on applications so later this week my details should appear in the member prfile section of their website. I'm very excited to be part of this nationally recognised creative collective, which is renowned for promoting high quality innovative design and I can't wait to have my first meeting with them to discuss all of my new plans for 2012!!! It's just great to have been accepted and I think that it will fit in well with my plans for developing my work over the next twelve months.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

a few more photos from Art at Bartons

Nicola Lidstone

Travis Kelly

Julie Vernon


Dawn Turner

Barbara Coulam

Here are a few of my favourite pieces from the Art at Bartons Exhibition which is taking place for three weeks at Bartons Bus Depot, Chilwell, Nottingham. The artists and designers taking part are:

Friday, 9 December 2011

something new...

I've been wanting to show you this for a week now, but this is the first chance I've had to have a proper sit down and write about it. I have been lucky enough to be in touch with Dawn Turner from Shed 2 Studios in Ilkeston and we have talked about getting some of my designs onto her glassware and Dawn has kindly had a trial run and this is the very pleasing result. I need to decide what to do next with this idea and we need to look into things further but I really like the result of the black design on tghe milky white glass.... watch this space for details coming soon...

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Art at Bartons

This is where I have spent the slightly chilly December afternoon, invigiliating our latest group exhibition 'Art at Bartons'. It comprises of Creative 10 (the group I am part of) and Shed 2, a creative collective based in Ilkeston, Derbyshire. It is taking place in the gorgeous gallery space at Bartons Bus Depot in Chilwell, which has recently been the venue for The Carnival of Monsters Contemporary Art Exhibition.

If you are in the area please pop in and have a look, you may even want to do a spot of Xmas shopping.....

Friday, 2 December 2011

Life Drawing Week 7

here are a couple of my efforts from last nights Life Drawing class. We are working on tone, which means you get really messy and covered in charcoal and last night with the compressed charcoal we all looked like a bunch of chimney sweeps by the end of the session!! I'm slowly improving but I can't get the hang of the mid-tones, seeing the shades as blocks of colour rather than gently changing tone and colour.... hmm, well we have three weeks left and then some more informal sessions after Christmas which I'm really looking forward to. Have a great weekend everyone!!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Work in Progress

You might recognise this from my post yesterday of my sketchbook draft-sketch?? Well I decided to start and A2 original of this one today and this is how it is shaping up...

It's great to finally move onto some new ideas and work in a sketchbook and even better to take ideas to the next level, ie fresh sheet of my 'posh/saved-for-best' paper. I have been dipping in and out of some of my reference/inspiration books recently and have been drawn to the patterns in the work of Gustav Klimt. I'm going to try and incorporate this into this new piece in the water area, lets see how it turns out!! It's time to stretch my boundaries a bit more and try something new.... if I don't start doing this my work is going to stay the same for ever and I don't want it to become stale and samey. It's good to try something a bit different... don't they say 'variety is the spice of life'? I'll keep you posted with how this one comes along...

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