Friday, 27 December 2013

When life is difficult

Recently it's been a tough time for me personally and, more importantly, for my family. Afteer afew sleepless nights, talks with good friends and words of wisdom from my lovely son I decided I must channel my sorrow and fears.
So I screen printed some hare backgrounds which went wrong to start with but I perservered, printed some Hare in the snow prints
did some bad knitting (I really like it but can't do it evenly!) and ate jelly babies
started a new book 
looked after little William who spent much of the morning asleep on me - what a comfort.
I tidied my study -gosh, I can see the carpet!, framed myself a hare print -just for ME (part of looking after myself) 

I made my first cup of tea in my 1st mug design (selling well) 
All these simple pleasures over a few days helped me, as did Barney, grandson number 1 bringing me flowers he'd chosen himself 'to cheer Gaga up'. Wow, you had to smile at his wacky choice! 
How fortunate I am to have wonderful family and friends around me, including my dear son Will back safely in the UK, more of him next time.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Busy December

What a busy month of activity with my art. I only took stands at a couple of fairs, one large and one small and both were fun; of course the large one was loads more work and totally exhausting, the small was delightfully low key. My new hare in the snow print was well received.

I print it in black or prussian blue and have a couple more to print before Christmas.
I entered 3 prints in this exhibition

and was lucky to have my hare at the front of the catalogue. I sold 2 prints but was really surprised to receive the following when I went to collect unsold work. 
Several of the 20 were printmakers, I think it's great to raise the profile of hand pulled print making.I think my work has developed this year; I love combining screen printing and lino cuts which allows for unique prints within a variable edition. One downside is that people have found it hard to choose which version they like best.
Cambridge Contemporary Art is one of my favourite galleries They recently asked me for 6 prints to be shown in their Christmas Show, which was exciting! I have had my first sale!
My 2 weekends of my own Christmas Open Studio have been very successful with lovely visitors, some returning and some new. I needed to print some more hare tea towels and aprons for the second weekend. 
The culmination of one visitor from Devon to my Summer 2012 Open Studio was the selection of my blackbird print for his Artist's Cards catalogue (a wholesale card company). He didn't reveal who he was at the time but wrote to me later asking to use it (for a fee of course!).
I'm pleased to see them sold with a contribution to Cancer Research.
Looking at their website I saw that they are out of stock and I've been told that they will re print next year.
To finish on a festive theme you may like this non-alcoholic mulled punch.
1litre red grape juice
1/2 litre orange juice
1/2 litre cranberry juice
10 tbsps demerara sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
8 cloves
2 sliced oranges
2 sliced lemons
1 tsp garum marsala
Tie the spices in a piece of muslin, heat the liquids and dissolve the sugar in a pan. Add the lemon and oranges. Simmer for about 10 minutes, add more sugar if needed and serve warm. This went down well at my open studio, great on a cold day.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Landscape, ivy, fish, penguins and doves.

As usual we've had great fun on my last 2 lino workshops.
Hilary's ivy was delightful, I loved the wreathe shape.

Jenny's country landscape demonstrated skilful cutting. 

A fe days later, more delights...
Sarah's fish had lots of movement..... 
Chris's cute penguins..... 
Jenny's dove looks as if it's flying with the swallows on my apron! Very simple and effective.
So 3 more people enjoying their first taste of lino cutting. 

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Nature and wildlife on Offa's Dyke walk

Remembering how beautiful our walk was. Abundant berries; is it going to be a hard winter or was it just a late Spring?

Art ona farmhouse roof. 

Beautiful design on a stained glass window. 
Interesting fungi! 
This is the Stinkhorn! so called because it releases a foul smell to attract flies. They land on the slime, pick up the spores on their feet and carry them to new locations, thus ensuring reproduction. Clever! 
The Fly Agaric is round when young, flattening as they mature. 
It is poisonous, the name coming from the custom of putting pieces of the toadstool into a saucer of milk to act as a flykiller.
Yellow stagshorn resembles stubby antlers; in dry weather it can be orange. It grows on dead coniferous wood in damp woodlands. 
Best friends. 
The boots that did the walking!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Saturday's Lino workshop

What fun we had on Saturday when Hilary, Janey and Mark joined me to learn about  lino cutting and printing. I really enjoy working with adults and as usual had a lively, hard working day.
Janey's fine cutting of Raspberry, her  border terrier. 
Marc's dog jumping in the air had lots of energy to it. 
Hilary cut a delightful blackbird. 

The print in a delicious prussian blue.
Janey's Raspberry in rubine red. 
At work on the press. 
Three in a row- how did Marc avoid my camera with his print?
Another lovely day spent with interesting people. 
After Offa's Dyke the boots have been scrubbed and are off to Cumbria for a few days walking. We're staying at Buttermere, in my favourite area. Hopefully we won't get blown away!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Back from Offa's Dyke Day 1 and 2

Sue, a good friend and I walked the southern part of Offa's Dyke 2 years ago and thought we'd like to complete it, so here we are, ready for the journey to Knighton.
Looking clean, fresh and dry! Our 1st night in Knighton was at The Fleece, a delightful B and B where Dana provided us with a 5 star breakfast which kept us going through the gloom; shame we couldn't see the views! 

Although we couldn't see far it was mild and quite atmospheric. 
Beautiful cobwebs on the gorse. 
Sheep waiting to be wormed. 
A snack in the rain to keep us going... 
and by lunch it was brightening up...... 
Wonderful ancient trees..... 
a peaceful scene 
and a view!
After a damp but fun 13.60 miles we arrived at Drewin Farm near Cwm, lovely.

It's surprising how much you eat when walking!!