Monday, 26 October 2009

a pricked bum for christmas

I was told a story by a very dear friend one afternoon over a glass of sherry. She was born in the 1930s and told me that there was never much money for Christmas decorations. So she being the oldest was sent to go and get decorations from the woods. She used to ride her bike into the woods to collect holly and mistletoe. She used to tie the holly on to the back of the bike, and all the way home her bum was pricked by the holly. So the little sketches came about from the story, and then it was stitched to make the Christmas card. Like all good tales the story has been embellished slightly, in this case there was a little deviation in the out fit worn for collecting holly. But then again, how do you collect yours?
They will be going into my folksy shop later in the week.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Best salesmen in the world!

"much travel is needed before a raw man is ripened"
Arab proverb

I have just come back from a little wandering around North Africa.
I love so many things about this part of the world, a place full of Artisans around every corner where traditional skills are handed down from generation to generation with the greatest love and care. Wonderful people who are full of warmth, kindness and hospitality. The architecture in the Medina's is so hidden by forbidding doors. Once these doors are open you are sucked in and your senses are tantalized. The exquisite hand cut mosaics, the wonderful pink of the bougainvillea, fragrant honeysuckle and citrus trees and the fountains creating a sense of cool in the middle of the court yard in the stifling heat of the midday.
The thing that has tickled me the most on my travels is the amazing sales techniques used to get you to purchase goods. As I was sitting reading a book one day, I noticed a whole stream of merchants trawling down the beach with their wares, beautiful carpets, palm trees,( they really think you will get them back through customs in the UK) jewellery, the most succulent peaches, apricots, and dates, clothing, silver boxes to name but a few. If you can't get to them they will come to you. It got me thinking about how we sell things, especially cyber shopping. As an artist I make things and everything is for me about texture and how it feels, well that is completely lost through the screen. There is not that sense of truly connecting with that item as you are very reliant on just one of you senses rather than all of them.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

fluttering to you!

Let these butterfly cards flutter to you. There are 5 cards each one hand painted with ink and stick and come in their own handmade box. I would like to invite you to leave your name on my blog by November 1st and who's ever name is pulled out of the teapot, they shall be yours to enjoy.
Please take a sneaky peek at my shop
Good luck!

Name pulled out of the teapot was Oohmoo, they will be fluttering to you.
Thanks everyone

Friday, 9 October 2009

I am a fraudster

Bamboo graffiti and the stunning blue of the garden.

I am a fraudster. I have been going to the lovely Outcasts Knit night and fraudulently sewing whilst everybody else is knitting the most beautiful things. It's a whole language I don't understand and doubt I ever will. I am not very logical and can't follow instructions. I am one of those people who read the end first or not at all. So I really felt a bit of a fraudster there on Wednesday night stitching a Vietnamese Miner bird in a cage.Those miner birds really made me laugh when we were walking around Vietnam, they were everywhere in the shops spouting Miner bird Vietnamese.
I am rambling! Whilst I was at knit night we started talking about Morocco and the Jardin Majorelle, which is the wonderful garden of Yves St Laurent. It is more exquisite than you can imagine. Jaques majorelle designed the garden and then Yves st Laurent and Pierre Berge the artist restored the garden to it's former glory. It is a truly tranquil space full of rare and beautiful plants, architectural forms, all set off by the stunning cobalt blue buildings. It is so beautiful, you just want your magic carpet to fly you there to be captivated by the light and quietude and away form our grey skies.

Monday, 5 October 2009

phantom messages

For the last 3 years every now and again I am left a hand painted painted message sometimes pinned on my car, sometimes left in my art cupboard at a project I do some work at. I know the person who leaves them, I never see them, but it is always lovely to be left a phantom message. I have become very fond of these messages, they are always inspirational. I also like the fact that you never know when they are going to appear and if you will ever get another. I would just like to share today's wonderful message with the world.

Friday, 2 October 2009

re -occurring

a little bird told me

An artist's early work is inevitably made up of a mixture of tendencies and interests, some of which are compatible and some of which are in conflict. As the artist picks his way along, rejecting and accepting as he goes, certain patterns of enquiry emerge. His failures are as valuable as his successes: by misjudging one thing he conforms something else, even if at the time he does not know what that something else is.” -- Bridget Riley.
Did not sleep very well last night and was lying awake thinking about the stuff that was tumble drying round in my head, It's always a time where ideas come to me, or often when I am driving. I am a great experimenter I am not frightened to try new materials, ways of working, so lots goes wrong but also that enables happy accidents, that are more often than not my most successful stuff. But whatever I try there are still re-occurring themes that creep into my work. The fragility and power of the lovers, solitary women, the day after the night before, stripes, messenger birds and ethereal buterflies just passing through. I work on commissions for lots of different things, but still can't resist somewhere placing a sneaky stripe in or something from my re-occurring file in my head. These themes are so deep rooted, I can't remember when they started appearing in my work. Maybe they always have in some form or another.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

finishing things

I have just finished a painting after 4 years. In that four years it has probably only been worked on for a couple of days in total. It has been up on the wall, framed then unframed as bits weren't quite right. How do you know when something is ever finished? It's a fine line, between just so and completley ******* it up.
Is anything ever finished?