Sunday, 26 February 2012

Just the beginning

Time has slipped by since my last blog post but that has been because I have been immersed in life. Going back to ballet at the beginning of 2012, has been the catalyst for relighting my passion for art and dance. I'm going to be in stage again in the dance school's show which is something I would have never dreamed of last year and I've been spending every spare moment, learning, exploring and making tiny bits and pieces of art. There seriously aren't enough hours in the day to do all the things I want to do and I still have to go to work. There are so many things I want to discover and experiment with and I am making an art journal, something that I have wanted to do forever. I can't believe I got to spend everyday having to dance and do art all the time at University, those were the days. I was lucky enough to get the time and space gift for Valentines Day in the form of studio space and now I just want to spend all my spare moments in there.

This is a card that I made today for my husband's birthday. It really is just an exploration of mixed media techniques but I was quite pleased with it. It really is refreshing to do art for art's sake, not because I have to, not to sell to make money but just to produce something that I'm happy with.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Time and space

The wonderful thing about being married and growing to love each other more as the years go by, is that every Valentine's Day is special and different from the last. I know that you can never really have too many diamonds but I do have a few and that is not really what love is about. I also have red wine and Black Magic chocolates but that still isn't what makes today perfect. My gift this year from my loving husband was time and space. He spent the whole day converting a space in our bedroom into an office so that the room downstairs can be devoted to a studio.

Every night I read about a particular inspirational artist and fall asleep dreaming of the ideas that their words have sparked in my ever restless imagination. I recently read that an artist felt that they could never have enough space or time and that is so true. To have my own space to create and time to do so, is the greatest present I could ask for at such a time where art has taken over my focus. Even better that my children have already enjoyed spending time in both the new office and the art studio.

Happy Valentine's Day

Thank you to my darling husband x

Sunday, 12 February 2012

The girl in the red coat

Not only have I finished my first piece of art for what seems like years but it's all photographed and listed in my Etsy shop. I'm of the opinion that now is the time to do all those things I've longed to do but have never got around to them. Nearly 20 years ago, I graduated from University and embarked on the rocky road of an artist and I really do not believe that I have put my heart and soul into it. Life has really got in the way of my artistic expression and career but that has of course added to my creativity.

It seems quite fitting really that one of those precious distractions that have kept me from my paint brushes should be the subject of my first mixed media collage. My brushes have in fact suffered over the years of neglect, caked in dried poster paints, glue and glitter and at the hand of the girl in the red coat. The collage truly is a collection of so many things that I hold dear. Whilst I was expecting Josie, I walked in Broomfield Park, everyday which is where the picture of Josie is taken. On each day for the first year of Josie's life, we went to the park until we moved to Canterbury. It still remains one of my favourite places in the whole world, just because it holds so many glorious memories. The photo in this piece was taken on a trip back there on Mother's day last year which makes it even more special. The greatest compliment is that Josie  likes the picture and that is all that matters to me. If it sells that we can spend the money on art materials and a cake together and if doesn't we get to keep the picture.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Feed the birds - idea collection

 I am working on several pieces of art at once because mixed media collage is a process of building and layering texture which inevitably requires drying time. Sometimes, like this evening, the gel transfer tree I've added needs to set for at least 10 - 16 hours and it doesn't help that the weather has become extra chilly.

Feed the Birds is the second of my mixed media collages since my inspirational Margate visit. Above are some of the ideas for the tree images I might use once the paint and gel elements are completely dry.

 The bird silhouette will be the finishing touch, but I have already cut a Lino block in anticipation after collecting all these images earlier today. I am also quite tempted to crochet a delicate shell border for the bottom edge which will give something else to search for whilst the gel transfer dries.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Inspiration Journal

Over the past few weeks, I have really been inspired to create some more artistic pieces. I still love crafting but am exploring how to develop what I've learnt over the last couple of years and combining it with the mixed media art I've loved forever.  There is no reason why delicate vintage lace can not be combined with tactile layers of oil paint and Hipstamatic photos. Text and writing has lifted my spirits when times have been tough and journalling as a documentation of life, has been something I've done since a child.
Inspiration journals and artists sketchbooks fill me with excitement and so I aim to put one together to try and collect all my ideas, techniques and the inspirational artists. Today I have been blighted by some nasty bug that has confined me to my bed. I watched a beautiful film about the life of Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo.

Sunday, 5 February 2012


Snow is a simple pleasure. I do love the way it softly blankets the world in pure white. Everything seems so much more peaceful and quiet. I like how gently the snowflakes fall from the heavy sky, how the whole world changes in the brilliantly luminous light.

 Charlie has been awake during the night for the past couple of days, looking out of his window at the snow and asking for us to come at look. He is just so excited. Snow has magically transformed his world into a play ground filled with new opportunities.

Snowy branches

A very happy little boy

Feeding the birds


Thursday, 2 February 2012

Texture, colour and light

I remember asking a good friend for advice just a short while a go when every day was dark and filled with self doubt and oppression. She told me that she stripped everything away until she was left with the essence of her being and started again from there.

Life is an endless battle of self discovery and balance. I don't ever really feel as if I've mastered any of it but I do believe that colour, texture and light continue to form the foundation of my soul. Just as Frank Sinatra's orange angora jumper stands out in my mind when thinking of the film Ocean's 11, the most emotionally satisfying expression of texture, colour and light has got to be mixed media collage.

So I've got out the acrylics, oil paint, PVA, tissue paper, ink, lace and vintage musical score and have started to experiment.