Al Dente


We did it! And people came to show … and smiled. All the work fitted together well, and we all sold enough to cover our costs. Al dente – a domestic theme, which sparked off all sorts of interesting images with a variety of approaches – Margie’s gorgeously coloured textiles, Denise’s beautiful prints of her Italian chef Grandfather, and Enrico’s wonderful quirky lamps made from colanders etc. My stuff included monoprints/roller paintings (don’t know quite now to categorise them), ink & bleach paintings, ceramic and paper paperbags, and ‘wallpaper’ – a long drawing – of tumbling pots on lining paper – one or two people asked me what the repeat on the design was! But no, it just went on and on.

Ideas are now brewing on where to take it next.

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It’s a bit of while since I last added to this blog, but before writing anything about our exhibition last week, I must mention an amazing week on the Outer Hebrides and Skye in early June. Perfect weather – island hopping in the north Atlantic. Who needs the Greek islands when there’s somewhere like this in the British Isles? I brought a long landscape format sketchbook and some watercolours along, and as I packed them, I thought they’d probably just stay at the bottom of the case and that would be it. But … no … I used them! I loved the wide open spaces, the dramatic landscapes, the white beaches and blue seas, the single track roads (all with passing places at regular distances), the isolated crofts, the skies. I took loads of photographs, but I don’t think any of them did the real thing any justice. I’ll include just one photo – just to prove I did actually use the sketchbook and paints. scotland20 copy.jpg

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The nearest I’ll ever get to choreography! Pleased to say these are from my own drawings. I wasn’t happy using random freehand cutouts before (a la Matisse), but using rollered drawings, positive and negative, was much better.

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Dynamic Drawing and Dance

Saw this on the City Lit website, and enrolled immediately. Excellent decision! Spent the first day in the studio at the City Lit, which turned out to be very valuable. Tutor Heidi Wigmore took us through a foundation for drawing the moving figure. We visited the English National Ballet’s rehearsal rooms at Markova House on the second morning, and watched and worked from dancers in practice. Great to be so close to them, and to see them as human beings, chatting¬† and laughing together. Continue reading

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Developed the idea of pots and containers further – braving it into colour as well as monoprint techniques. Was quite pleased with the result, although more work on developing a range of transparent tones must be done. Love the idea of transparency and layers, which really isn’t a million miles from the palimsest paintings, which are also about hiding and revealing things. Anyway, people seemed to like them in Margie’s lovely kitchen!¬† Result: Margie, Denise and I are aiming at a show in the gallery later in the year. There – it’s in writing, got to make it happen now!!IMG_1579 IMG_1580

Postscript to earlier post about the stools in the studio – went to Ai Wei Wei at the RA. Fantastic show – had to eat my words, as I was somewhat ambivalent about going after seeing his work at Blenheim, but thank goodness I went. I came away with a much clearer understanding and a profound admiration of the man and his work. And there were the stools as well…

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Pots and stuff

There’s always been something appealing about pots and containers – having been hooked on pottery many years ago. Now it’s not the urge to make pots (although perhaps I wouldn’t say no to having another go – always love the feel of clay), but it’s the shapes that intrigue me – reminiscent of the humans – heads, shoulders, bodies – a collection of characters, with their own little stories. Like the Duck talking to the Flash …


So … a bit more exploring and experimenting based what I did at the City Lit in summer, and encouraged by Margie asking for some images for her kitchen sale in aid of the hospice.












Not strictly pure printmaking, but using cut-outs and stencils, some of them going through the press, and adding paint with a roller.



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Norfolk …

… was wonderful. Perfect weather and wonderful empty beaches to walk along. Visited Houghton Hall to catch the Turrell ‘Lightscape’ before it finished. Loved Houghton – the parkland, the gardens, the artwork. St Elmo’s Breath was intriguing. Sitting in complete darkness waiting for something to appear was a strange experience, but weirdly worthwhile. Rachel Whiteread’s Hut was an unexpected treat too. The interior of Houghton was worth a brief look, but I’m afraid I switch off only too easily on tours of the interiors of stately homes. Much prefer the big outdoors, gardens and something more contemporary. We visited Holkham as well, and that is obviously run on a far more commercial basis, didn’t stay long – much preferred Houghton.

Also did some old airfield discovering. Always intriguing finding remains of old runways and buildings. Took some photos – the ones on the new iphone are remarkably good. Quite pleased with some of them. Also got some good stuff from the coast walks.


Archie on the beach at Burnham Overy Staithe. The rain clouds were gathering by this time.




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BBC Your Photos

Delighted to see this pic of reflections of two glass jugs on the BBC website a few weeks ago. 2nd time I’ve had something selected.

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We seem to be a bit of a breeding ground for chairs and stools at the studio. Or maybe just a dumping ground. Where on earth have they all come from?


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William Kentridge

Stunning! I’m going again. The man’s a genius. Film “More Sweetly Play the Dance’ with 8 large screens, 3 screen film ‘Notes towards a model opera’ and large drawings. Had to rush as I had a ticket for him in conversation at the RA. So glad I managed to see the exhibition first. More when I’ve seen it again with Marilyn next week. One pertinent fact (for me) – he was asked if he drew every day. The answer was no, only in the studio, but he carries a camera to make visual notes.

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