The smallest of things…

Last week I did a mixed media, collage workshop called ‘3 and a bit’ where we played around with combinations and making things like this…

copyright ls-fish

look like this…

IMG_4040 - Version 2

Some collage papers were provided and one of the very few rules was if you took something out of the box, you’d be asked to donate something to it.



is a tiny piece I cut off a sample dropped into the box by one of the participants. And it inspired a satisfying series of work of which this…

Version 2

is piece number 1. Can you see where it’s been used?

Thanks Jackie.

In my experience I’m finding it a good idea never to disregard instinct. If something catches your eye – grab it and keep hold.

A day or two later, there were bees in my garden and I thought about honeycombs. Inspiration took hold. The net resembled the shape of them and suddenly I had an idea which I followed through to the completed image. I’m now doing a run of them as I’m enjoying exploring the colour, composition and materials. That little piece of fabric has so far generated possibly six pieces of work and a blog post. Who knows what may occur to me as I work on these? It may have further to travel yet.

Has anything inspired you lately? Have you let go of something you wished you’d kept? Or have you a stash of things just patiently waiting to be used? Go through them if that’s the case. Refreshing the memory of them might connect with something else in your life and create a path of enquiry. Maybe not everything will work out but what’s the alternative? A pile of unused collections is just junk. Sort through it on a regular basis and let the creative impulse take over. And don’t throw away little scraps. Just because they’re small doesn’t mean they’re insignificant.

Happy creating – let me know how you get on?



What is a sketch book not?

Are you, like me, one of those people who don’t favour the sketchbook for drawing in? Too precious? Too neat? I consider preliminary work to have an investigative nature. A freedom to explore, to make a mess, to discover. For me, loose paper is much more appealing. As soon as I get my hands on one of those gorgeous books with the delicious interiors and exquisite bindings I’m taken back to school with instructions of ‘neat handwriting in your best books please’. To some degree I’ve conquered it by buying the more simple type of book – I’m happy to splash around in there most of the time although I still consider it ‘for keeps’ which creates a small amount of tension. However. I can’t resist buying a nice sketchbook. It’s so gratifying. I have loads. So what do I use them for? Lists. As an artist I feel it’s paramount to record my ideas. I can’t explore all the ideas I have the instant I have them so I need somewhere to ‘dump’ the information. My sketchbooks are the perfect guardians of my bursts of inspiration and deeper considerations and reminders. They tell me where to go to look for information, store prompts for things I’d possibly forget and even hold one or two sketches here and there. Funnily enough, scratching rapid notes and making a mess in language form doesn’t bother me – it’s just when I try to keep drawings in them.


So here are my top 8 points I consider a sketch book not to be:

1 An object to be treated delicately – it needs to be utilised.
2 My ‘best book’ – it’s a working document.
3 Expensive – it then becomes too precious (although I’d put some great lists in it).
4 Tidy – I like to just dump it all in there.
5 An ornament – it’s not meant to be pretty. It’s not meant to be there just to show my friends how good I am (or not).
6 A work of art – art books are works of art not sketchbooks.
7 A placemat – cups of coffee should not be allowed to nestle amongst them.
8 Something to share – my sketchbooks are my thoughts. My office space. Private.

Do you have a list? Or maybe you have a different opinion of the humble sketchbook? Your comments would be welcome if you’d like to add them below?

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Drawn to a close…

And so the short course on colour draws to a close and away go eleven, well fed


and informed

blog photo

students to put their new found knowledge into practice.

It’s time now to concentrate on my upcoming abstract collage workshop – 3 and a bit.


*Please note. This is an example of the process and not an example of something that will be replicated in the workshop. The workshop will enable and encourage you to find your own solution and to produce something similar. It will concentrate on composition and design and be built around the theme – Sea, fish boat.

Email me at for further details or join my email list to keep informed of all future events.


What time?!…

Wow! Is it really February already? It doesn’t seem two minutes since I was floating around the kitchen in a paper hat stinking of eau de sprout and trying to drag my own body weight in dripping turkey out of the oven. Where have the weeks gone?

You’d think, after all that time away, this post would be lengthy, but alas, that’s not the intention. I’m posting to spread the word about my latest plan(s) – to run a colour workshop (or workshops depending on the response and if I can find the appropriate venues) and some full day, collage events. I’m also contemplating sketch days and workshops using drawing elements. As usual, I have a thousand more ideas drifting through the sea of grey matter upstairs, but slow and steady does it. One thing at a time.

Most of my agenda is still in the pipeline (or brain as I like to call it) – apart from the first workshop which is taking shape nicely. It may take me all year to implement it, but if you think you might be partial, you can fill in the form on my ‘classes’ page on this blog or email me at ‘ to register your interest. If you like, I can add your name to my new mailing list – which I’m battling away with behind the scenes but have yet to conquer.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it’s staying lighter, longer and the birds are singing again. Maybe we’ll all discover this year is going to be our year?

Don’t forget, you can follow me here too, if you’d like to? I’m pretty sure my other reader would like to have someone to chat to.

Happy art making, amigos.