Wednesday, January 31, 2007

opposites attract

This a painting I have finished in the last couple of days entitled opposites attract. I find it hard when a gallery wants images for press releases four months before the exhibition starts. I am having a solo exhibition in May at Sarah Wiseman gallery entitled Birds and bunting. This will be the largest body of work I have ever had to produce but i am very excited about it. it will include drawings, collages and paintings

I wanted to mention the touring exhibition called Folk art and fairytales. Ten artists, including , Su Blackwell, Julie Arkell, Jennifer Collier, Rachael Howard and Jayne Lennard are exhibiting work which is based around storytelling, narrative, literature, poetry, fairy tales and folk art. It includes works made from metal, papier-mâché and textiles, as well as ceramics and jewellery. Here is the work of a few who are exhibiting.

Lowri Davies

Lucy Casson

Samantha Bryan

I will be back in a couple of days with some more great finds!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

It's TOASTie in here!

Everything is taking twice as long as normal so far this year. I had a strict diary/timetable planned for January and according to that I am 2/3 weeks behind, which is why I haven't been around much. You see, these blogs take me far too long, I haven't quite cracked it yet....I am also the worst person for getting distracted, and finding distractions! I can spend hours every night reading blogs, leaving comments and writing emails and something will have to change. Though I love it so my work load is suffering. I have new work coming in daily and I am way behind. Also, I am really excited that I am in talks about illustrating a childrens book and the time I am spending on this every night I need to start working on that. So for a while i will just be posting on a Wednesday, it will be a big one but just now I can only afford to spend one evening a week on it. I just need to get my head down for a bit .

I will leave you today with a few things I love this week!

Elly Wall ceramics

The colour combination in this print by Atelier Lzc (I pretty much love everything they do.)

This print by Beci orpin is on my wish wish wish list (I secretly think I am getting it for my birthday)

Wallpaper, I wish I knew where I found this I have just written "wood paper" in my notes?!?

and the wonderful world of Julie Morstad.

and finally the Toast sale, It is quite unbelievable!!!!
Goodnight, I'll be back soon xxx

Sunday, January 21, 2007

I'm ready....

.....and waiting. I hear that snow is coming. My friends have it and I want it. If I wake up in the morning and there is snow I think i just might pee my pants. I have an important meeting tomorrow and won't be back for a few days. Good things are happening, I may be able to share soon. Also, little Miss Sunshine comes out tomorrow on Dvd, this film is heart warming and bittersweet and sent me on an emotional rollercoaster, but ended with me laughing out loud and crying simultaneously, go see! xxxx

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

This is a detail of one of the four commissioned paintings on Cornwall. This is Penzance including the Jubilee pool (an art deco masterpiece). I am still working on them even though I was hoping to have them finished last week. I can't show it all as I know the couple read this blog so just a sneaky peak I'm afraid.
I got shampoo in my eye today in the shower after swimming. I haven't done that since I was a kid. I know now why I used to scream! xx

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I love buttons so much. On my recent trip to London I could not help myself in Liberty, I just had to buy a few, they have some beautiful ones. The thing is I never do anything with them. At the moment they just sit in jars and bowls and tubes everywhere waiting for jobs.
So anyway......
I had a revelation today! I have never felt completely happy in my studio since moving in 18 months ago. I didn't ever have the time to paint it white properly so I have the remnants of a toddlers sky and clouds inspired bedroom. I really need to redecorate and reorganise but it is such a big job there is just no time at all at the moment. I know I should really make the time as it is the space i spend at least 10 hours a day in there it really should be as important as the rest of the house.
So what happened? What revelation?
I lit a candle!!!! That's all, not just any old candle but a 'never a dull day' candle a dear friend bought for me. The smell is Vine tomato, and love it so. It reminds me of greenhouses and Summer and on a day like today, that has not stopped raining, smells and hopes of Summer are more than welcome. I thoroughly recommend this candle, it is a bit pricey but worth every penny, the added warmth and light just finally made my studio feel like home. It has most definitely changed my mood today and my studio is 'Hygge' at last.
This is a Danish word that I have been brought up with. I don't think I have ever been to my Mum's house without there being candles lit and a real feeling of Hygge. For a really good explanation of the word, go here or here. This is also a great shop in London, and this is one of my favourite blogs. So there we go, Hygge in a nutshell!

And finally, this wonderful piece arrived today from the lovely Julie at Handmaid. It is so much nicer in the flesh and I have just the place for it. So a very good day was had by all. Thank you!
Oh and I nearly forgot last nights Joanna Newsom was magical. She is so so talented, her voice is truly unique and sounds more sophisticated live than on her albums. She played with a full orchestra which was mesmerising. If you have the chance to see her on this tour, go see, you will not be disappointed if just for her kooky nature and performance. Goodnight folks.
Smell Summer! xxx

Monday, January 15, 2007

"Happy harbour"

We had a weekend of entertaining and visiting so last night we cosied up for a couple of films. My choice was June Bug. I have been wanting to hire this for months, seduced by the cover. DO judge a book by its cover. What a charming little film. It is character based film where the main character is an art dealer who is going to meet her in laws from a quite different culture for the first time. I loved it. Some of the stills were art themselves. So recommended. Then we watched Miami Vice. At this point I promptly closed my eyes and fell asleep!!!!!!!

Tonight, I am going to see the lovely harp playing, talented singer that is Joanna Newsom at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. I think it's going to be wonderful, I will let you know. Until tomorrow x

Friday, January 12, 2007

More spiced tea vicar?!?

Hello everyone and welcome to the International tea party, organised by the fantastic Risa.
I bravely posted a photo so here I am having my first cup of tea of the day from my favourite little mug by Royal Copenhagen. Lo and behold I realised I don't own a proper tea cup. How utterly un English of me!
To make up for that I am wearing my favourite
Orla Kiely teacup wellington boots to the party.

Later I am going to serve some spiced apple tea (dead easy) in these Moroccan style glasses from Ikea.

Makes 6 glasses
2 pints boiling water
3 tea bags
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups 100% apple juice or cider (cider is nicest!!!!)
Cinnamon sticks

Directions: Add tea bags to boiling water. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Add apple juice/cider and reheat. Pour into mugs. Add a stick of cinnamon to each.

and I am longing for this lovely cosy by one of my favourite embroiderers
Poppy Treffry

I would love a nice slice of cake or a biscuit or two but NO I am on a major diet so that in six months time I can fit into a wedding dress in July.
I hope everyone is having fun, off to finish some painting. Warm wishes to all xxx

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Come join the virtual tea party tomorrow. To find out more visit Risa's blog. This vintage illustration is delightful. I'd like a glass of wine rather than tea I think!

`There's PLENTY of room!' said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table.
`Have some wine,' the March Hare said in an encouraging tone.
Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. `I don't see any wine,' she remarked.
`There isn't any,' said the March Hare.
`Then it wasn't very civil of you to offer it,' said Alice angrily.
`It wasn't very civil of you to sit down without being invited,' said the March Hare.
`I didn't know it was your table,' said Alice; `it's laid for a great many more than three.'
`Your hair wants cutting,' said the Hatter. He had been looking at Alice for some time with great curiosity, and this was his first speech.
`You should learn not to make personal remarks,' Alice said with some severity; `it's very rude.'

See you all tomorrow. Project catwalk has just started again. That is it now every Thursday for me. There are not many programmes I watch but I love this!xxx

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Sara rocks

I have just been sorting through our photographs of Paris that remind me of this.

Sara Fanelli, one of my favourite illustrators......ever!

She fantastically combines drawing with collage with such charming results. This book
Pinocchio, is my favourite book of hers, they are all amazing, but this is pretty thick and has 190 pages of illustrations.

Off to spend the rest of the evening on the sofa after a very productive but tiring day!

Goodnight x

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Sky high

It is getting there......slowly, the sky has so far been about six different colours and I am still undecided on the dark after looking at yesterdays post where the sky was not yet started and white. There is something missing, something is not quite right! I included this photo mainly for the surroundings for Lesley (not the greatest work spaces) such mess! It has to be a weekend project for me I honestly can't think straight with so much going on around me. Speaking of which, here is my monthly CD stack. I like to listen to the same albums over and over so that I am so familiar that I almost shut off and don't hear it anymore, it is just comforting sound and I can concentrate fully on painting. I could not ever live without music! Talking of which I have been singing Baby its cold outside in my head for weeks now!

Thanks Shari! I loved your version though! xxx

Monday, January 08, 2007

Back to work

It feels good to be back in the studio again properly, even though it is a real mess, I don't have the time to spend a day tidying it, because believe me it will take a day.
I have a commission going on at the moment for a couple who came to see me a few months ago. I am painting four 90x90cm based around Cornwall. The places are special to them and are of Marazion, Newlyn and Penzance. This is the final one which I am hoping to have finished in the next few days. Deciding on compositions has been dificult, the four are being hung together so have to be fairly different but still work as a set. I will show you all four hopefully by the end of the week. Thought you might like to see the process again.

Maybe needs a focal point? I might add a seagull perched on a boat. (Talking of perching I loved
Lisa's post, and use of alliteration) This is just the first layer of paint, the sea needs either a darker or lighter shade over the top, but I will decide on the final colour of the sea when I decide whether the sky is going to be light or dark. To make these decisions about a painting I quite often need to be away from the painting and visualise it with my eyes closed. I have my best ideas when I am lying in bed in the dark, works for me!!!! :)

If anyone is interested I watched a film last night called Russian ark.
Since meeting my fella who makes films, I have learnt to look at films quite differently and really look at how it is made. Just as I would look at a painting or anything else I would look at how it had been constructed but I have never viewed film like this. So anyway, this is an amazing film as it is filmed in one shot! No editing involved at all, The ultimate directors cut. Imagine how difficult that is, 2000 actors getting it right in one 90minute sequence. It looks beautiful too and if you are interested in Russian history or Art it is one to watch.

The lovely Julie helped me out big time last night to finally get a banner put up here. I have been trying to figure it out by myself for weeks now and all it took was a simple email.......or six! Thanks again. I also treated myself today to one of her pieces she has up on Etsy. I can't wait to receive this from her. Lovely work!

Happy rest of Monday to you all xxx

Friday, January 05, 2007

Hello again!

Happy new year to you all! I hope it is a prosperous one for everyone!
I am feeling a little overwhelmed, confused and generally out of sorts so far this year. I have so much to catch up on I don't know where to start. If this year is as good as last then it will be amazing but I just know I have to be a lot more organised. I have exhibitions galore, commissions, solo shows, gallery stock ups and a wedding to organise. I am not at all being negative about it all just simply swamped. I know I need to start sticking to a routine and try not to be sidelined by reading blogs and generally spending too much time on the computer. Gosh it feels so good to write this stuff down, it feels the first step back into reality and my head is already clearing.
New Year in Paris was not really the dream I had hoped. Everything that could go wrong did. We were flying out on New years eve and our flight was delayed by 2 1/2 hours so we only just made it there in time for New year. We spent midnight up at Sacre Coeur but then there was real trouble in the crowd so we left rather scared and in a hurry. The following day the crowds everywhere were unbelievable so we didn't get to the top of the Eiffel tower. I didn't fancy a five hour queue, Sorry Sean. Then Tuesday when we had planned a day of galleries, they were all closed!!!!! Sean wanted to see the Mona Lisa and we had both been really looking forward to the Herge (Tintin) exhibition at the Pompidou. Most shops were closed too. So there we go, and there are so many stories I am leaving out.We can look back and laugh at least.
There were some really special moments though, like the Japanese guy that cut out this silhouette of Sean and I in one cut and just 4 minutes. We were in Montmartre and he sat us down and started cutting. People were fascinated and we suddenly had a crowd of about 40 people watching, it was so surreal but a lovely moment I shan't forget. The likeness is uncanny in parts and flattering but it is undoubtedly us! What talent this guy has and we only paid 10 euros.
I also discovered a fun little company whilst there called Madamemo. One of the dolls came home with me.
I am enjoying reading and catching up with all the New year blogs and it is helping me get back into the land of living as I feel the last couple of weeks have been a bit of a blur! It is taking time though. I really love
3191!, the new project from Mav and Stephanie, and I have my eyes glued to a few items on the Kim family auction. Go and check it out if you haven't already.
I spent yesterday tidying, organising and clearing my studio so now I am raring to go! Really!!!!
I may be back later with some photographs or tomorrow. Happy Friday xxx *Smiling again*