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Sunday, October 29, 2006


Day two of the recycling conference was a big success. There were four workshops. Fastenings, bags, paper jewellery and string. Yes string, an all day workshop about making string which I had deliberately body swerved in favour of paper jewellery . Fortunately for me the string tutor was very generous and showed me
how to make it despite the fact that I wasn't officially in that group and it was fascinating. I crocheted that thing sitting in my hand that looks like a scorpion from my paper string. It's a brooch, before you ask. I did make some other weird and wonderful items, one of which was claimed by a fellow student in return for recommending me to her school as a potential visiting artist.

The paper jewellery was a very freeform workshop with a lovely gentle tutor overseeing us. No structure as such but just fab to have the opportunity to have a whole day handing materials and playing without a distinct aim in mind. We were a very disparate group. An anaesthetist, a teacher of refugees, a fellow embroiderer with a strong recycling slant and me. Once we broke the ice we had a great old laugh, talking our way through men and menopause to string and sex. Spot the odd one out.

Super conference, great fun. Wish it could have gone on all week.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Just back from day one of the recycling conference. Excellent exhibition and some great speakers including Jac Scott. I embarrassed myself by saying I remembered seeing her work in a book. Yes, she replied, that would be the book I wrote. Crumpling of stout party. (me) Think I may have volunteered for something in the committee line of which more later. Considering having my mouth sewn up.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I'm going to a conference about recycled art at the weekend and taking part in a workshop on paper jewellery. I have a large collection of papers, some of them years old, waiting for the right creative moment. This is just a selection of what I'm taking with me.

With my usual unteachable attitude I don't expect to learn much but I am looking forward to being with other makers in a creative environment for a couple of days. Hope I can take lots of pics so I can share it with you.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Back to the scales

Went back to drawing class last week only to discover I'm a bit rusty. Don't you just hate it when you can't play Carnegie hall without practicing? Threw all my toys out the pram and declared that I didn't want to do the rotten drawing anyway and they couldn't make me, so there. (Figuratively that is, not literally.)

Subsequently got a grip and resigned myself to having to do a few warm up exercises until I feel ready to start jamming again. Phooh!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Whats under your bed?

Off to life class tonight - oooohhhh, scary, man! Going to do it though. Here is an online store belonging to one of my favourite drawing blogs. Perceiver till you get to see the portraits on the first page. If you see nothing, press the link underneath the blank space. You'll see the instructions once you get there. These are 'almost' blind drawings. I love the way this guy draws.

In the meantime here are some more highlights from my under the bed collection. I'm looking for a style but haven't quite settled on anything yet. I do love the mad, coloured ones though. Feel they are more me somehow.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

More Drawing

It's a couple of years since I've tried seriously to draw but last week really encouraged me. I've booked a couple of life classes this week. Been looking through some of my old sketch books. Here are some things that took my fancy when I saw them again with a fresh eye.

I wouldn't say drawing comes naturally to me. It's a big struggle. I admire people who can be very loose and free with their drawing like Egon Scheile and Felix Topolski.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Big Draw Day Six

This is what I feel like at the end of Big Draw Day Six. Today we trashed a museum with the help of too many children and too few helpers. The room was carpeted, with hessian on the walls which were hung with old masters, some unframed. The kids were manic with a capital K pouring ink into paint into water into paste and stirring with felt pens. They spilt goo on the carpets and their clothes, trod oil bar into the floor and smear it up the walls. The proper painting on the walls had a narrow escape. Needless to say the kids had a blast.

With wisdom beyond their years they realise that the process is all and quite happily walk away leaving all their chaotic, paint splattered artwork behind and toilet washbasins to match.

Despite this, it was a fabulous experience that I wouldn't have missed for anything. We filled the more civilsed part of the museum with all our drawing safety pinned together and draped over both sides of the banisters. Here is a small selection.

Hope you've enjoyed coming on this journey with me. I've certainly enjoyed having you here.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Big Draw Day Five

A very quiet day in posh town today with just a couple of children getting paint on their Armani. One lady who told us she had ME said she thought her portrait looked ill. We have found that people do tend to draw the thing that is most important to them or uppermost in their mind which is interesting.

Big finale in the local museum tomorrow and I have all the verve and enthusiasm of a wet piece of string right now. Lets hope for a good night and renewed vigor in the morning.

Big Draw Day Four

It was a two venue double Big Draw today. Firstly with some gentlemen detained at her majesty's pleasure and secondly in a very swanky new library situated in the heart of bandit country. The giveaway amongst the splendid sunken basins and minimalist fittings in the library loo was the sign asking you please not to steal the toilet paper or soap. So I didn't.

Personally I'm finding whole the Big Draw experience to be a real shot in the arm. It has reminded me how much fun drawing is and the more I do it, the more confident I become. My head is buzzing with workshop ideas and ways of taking my own work forward. Unfortunately sleep is out the window, hence the middle of the night posting. For your delectation, here are some of the more memorable pieces of today's work.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Big Draw Day Three

Today we had a big mad mental shopping mall draw. Slow start until we unrolled the wallpaper lining on the floor and taped pens to the end of garden canes. Then there was no stopping people drawing! Kids are great and just fling themselves down, get to it and do it. It was lashing with rain and we managed to set up our table under the one and only drip in the ceiling. A good opportunity for some wet on wet pen and ink.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Big Draw Day Two

Big Draw was a bit of a little draw today with only three ladies and a handful of children. There were three of us so we were able to give the ladies almost one to one attention and to draw along with them which was fun. Here are today's master pieces. More from the mall tomorrow.