Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer Workshops

Click for details of my summer workshop programme.

Contact me on the email address or number included if you have any questions or want to come along.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Book Part 3

Story 3 is finally finished. The flood told in the legend of Gilgamesh. In Egyptian style illustrations.

And now on to the next. The giving of Law. Any good legends, myths or stories I'd love to hear them.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sorry, I've been a bit busy

Sorry I've not posted in a while.

Stuff to catch up on.

I'm off to uni in September. Not Glasgow, as they decided that on seeing my eportfolio I was decidedly below their standards.

Huddersfield offered me 2 places, the standard of my work was so high.

Leeds College of Art just didn't like anything about me and turned me down flat, they didn't even ASK to see any work. However, it is my understanding that they turned everyone down. So I'm less bothered by that.

And sorry Lincoln, buit after the 2 offers from Huddersfield and little commuting time, I had to go there. Plus FABULOUS Dahling! facilities.

My time at Hillsborough nears its end. 6 more weeks and its all done and dusted. I'm going to miss everyone, although a couple of them will be joining me at Barnsley Campus of Huddersfield Uni.

I recommend a visit there. You walk in the front doors and the place SMELLS like a real art school, turps, sawdust and sweat. Yummers!

Healthwise I'm still struggling with painful knees, sore back and panic attacks, but hey! I went shopping the other day and managed to do £50 worth of food shopping. Forgot the eggs and the milk but a small triumph I think.

Open Up was good, with a couple of wobbly moments, but lots of visitors and some sales. Plus new contacts and meeting other artists nearby. Oh and a small party at the end.

My project won't be finished for the final show, but as my tutor said, an altered book like that is a lifelong project. Gulp. This may be the final straw that breaks the back of my sanity.

I'm looking forward to having time to catch up with other projects, ideas that have been rattling around my small brain, playing with new techniques and maybe running a couple of workshops from my lovely, messy, cold and draughty studio. Leave a comment with your email address if you are interested in print, textile and collage workshops, or any combination of the three.

Enough catching up now. I'm off for another cuppa tea and possibly yesterday's leftover veggie paella.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

365 Project Days 23 - 27

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

365 Project Days 18 - 22

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Experimental Printing

Collage with print on top. Also known as Chine colle. Something I've wanted to try for some time.

These are developing into more complex pieces with another layer of printing. Possibly another transparent layer of collage later, but I'll have a think about it. They are part of an edition of 15 for a voluntary group project for college across the HE students. Sorry the photos aren't really that good, it was late and I was exhausted after spending hours printing!

Monday, February 28, 2011

365 Project Days 12 - 17

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Book, Chapter 3 Sneaky peek!

First page finished. Next page is now underway.

Hope you like this style, I'm enjoying it a great deal.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

365 project days 5 - 11

This project is becoming strangely like a journal for me now, and I rather like that it is evolving into something other than a simple drawing project.

Monday, February 14, 2011

OMG I may actually have talent!

I recently entered a print competitin and found out today that one of my prints has been selected for the exhibition.

This will be happening at the Oriel Wrexham, Wales from 25th March 2011, to 18th May 2011.

I am so happy I keep jumping up and down!

This is my first submission for a selected exhibition and I really didn't think I would be selected my first time.

Now I really need to calm down and get on with some more work.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Book, Chapter 2 Completed

At last, chapter 2 the fall from grace is finished.
The story is the Bushman legend of Kaang, and can be read here.
And now for chapter 3!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

365 project

I finally bit the bullet and started a 365 self portrait project. The hope is that it will encourage me to draw everyday, and in doing it in a diary I won't be daunted by the blank page syndrome and will be able to keep track of when I've done them if I stick to doing them on the correct day.

My first efforts are pretty dire, but will improve with practice. Hopefully. It's not easy drawing yourself in a mirror.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


The house is quiet and empty, mum is next door supping strong tea with the next door neighbour and they are quoting the old swap the children dialogue that has been playing between them for 5 years.

I feel lost on my own, but at the same I enjoy the peace, the moments of freedom to do what I want, sit where I like and not be the cause of everyone's ill temper.

In my daze of quiet time pleasure I wander upstairs to the bathroom, and remember that they are hidden on the top shelf.

I have to climb onto the bath and the sink to reach them, they are kept on a high shelf to prevent 'accidents' happening - again. Why do they think I have so many accidents? Why do they think I stopped falling down the stairs once I discovered I could reach the medicine cabinet? Do they even think?

I have the cabinet door open now, and there they are, wrapped in wax paper and hidden behind some ancient Yardley perfume my mum was given for Christmas before I was born.

Sneaking back down stairs with them hidden in my shorts pocket, hoping that my mum is still next door, sharing tea and fantasies of a better life with the right children.

Outside I go, there is a place at the bottom of the patchy garden, past the disused dog kennel, and under the overgrown lilac trees. It is cool there, the sun is hot today and the ground is dusty dry, packed hard where happy children have played together, and where one unwanted child is penalised for her existence.

Under the lilac tree, filled with the sound of dozy bees and sharp chattering birds I open the wax paper packet and my breath is taken away by the beauty and purity of the edges on the blades. Clean, smooth and perfect, untouched by him and his pink face.

I take one out and run it along my fingers, edge first. Almost immediately a flush of the red stuff, dripping onto the hungry ground, swallowed incompletely by the dryness in the back yard.

I succeed in opening all of my fingers today, before mum catches me and wonders how I managed to have yet another accident. She threatens to tell him, but she won't. He'll find out later, will be offended by the signs of blood and won't look at me until they are healed, fully. They take an eternity to heal, I can keep a scab going for weeks. Its like being on holiday. I know it will end, but for now, I have peace.

Monday, January 31, 2011


Today began with the cat waking me at 2.30 am playing with motes of dust in my bedroom, skittering about the laminate flooring like a baby elephant. He then decided to pee in the bath and spent the next half hour sweeping in EVERY corner of the bathroom, my bedroom and the stairs.

At 4.30 after I had cleaned up any messes or presumed messes he had left I finally threw him - almost literally - out of the house.

My alarm clock goes off at 7 am. Long nights sleep then.

I finally scraped myself out of bed at 7.30, and started to get ready to drop the boy off at college and come to the studio. After throwing the cat out of the house again, off we go!

Halfway to college, I stop to let a bus pass me on a narrow stretch of the road and BANG! I am hit in the rear by a car skidding to a stop, using the rear of my lovely little van as a braking mechanism.

So today's early start, cracking on with the book and other things at the studio are now fully interrupted by telephone calls to insurance companies and garages.

We are both fine, just a bit annoyed, and wondering how much it will cost to repair the cracked rear body coloured bumper on my wonderful little Brian the box.

Monday, January 24, 2011

You Can't Change Your Mind Now

I did. I really did it.

I applied to Glasgow School of Art.


The selection of images to include in my e-folio took 5 days. Some went in, came out, went back in and came back out. Some didn't even make the first cut, then helpful friends asked why I hadn't selected such and such a picture it's their FAVOURITE.

Some were in until the final selection. Then were mercilessly binned as if so much rubbish.

One has gone in and I think it may have been a mistake to include it. And no Michelle it ISN'T the print of you. That was never in question. It is stunning and so are you!

Sketchbook pages montaged together in photoshop, life drawings crammed into one image, theming collections of drawings and paintings to match the completed works.

After which I had to write a folio statement. 12 hours of writing, rewriting, erasing and opinion gathering to get that looking like I actually know what I'm talking about and I have an idea who these artists are. Yeah OK, bluff and bluster.

Apparently its not good to admit that you think you blagged it onto your foundation degree when trying to blag your way into a really important art school. Huh? Who'da thunk it?

So now I wait. To see if I can hear the laughter from here, or to be invited for an interview.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Applications, alterations and augmentations

I have applied to university. That, I think, you all know.

I nearly didn't.

I went to uni a few years ago, but only completed 3 semesters. I had a major emotional collapse for many and varied reasons, but couldn't complete the course, didn't get the real support I needed to return and quit completely. It was, in short, a horrific experience.

And now I'm doing it all again. This time, however, I am not naively expecting everyone to be socially and politically aware. Or even intelligent. God forbid we waste education on the clever!

I put off applying, in fear and trepidation. What if I am rejected? OK, so I have put in insurance applications, just in case my first choice rejects me. What if something worse happens? What if they accept me and I fail all over again?

Right, Sam, pull your socks up, stop thinking negatively, you can and will do this, because this is the key to your future, you will be spending 3 years in a fantastic city in a historical building doing exactly what you love to do! How could it go wrong?

So the application went to my college tutor, who sent it back for corrections. Not the personal statement, apparently that was "so you", and was perfect in tone and expression. No some minor numerical details were needing adjusting.

At this point I could have completely chickened and 'just not got it done'. Failed by lack of time.

I made the corrections and sent it back. All that was needed now was a reference from my tutor.

It glowed, throbbing with bright fiery light that burned the eyes that looked upon it and the hands that held the flimsy copy, it was so good. I didn't recognise the person she was talking about. But at the same time, yes, that WAS me.


I might actually get in!

Ah but I still have to submit my portfolio. It will all go horribly wrong with that. bluff can only get you so far, but then you have to come up with the goods.

Looking at my work over the past 2 1/2 years I begin to see that, maybe, I may just about be able to squeeze a half decent portfolio of work out of it. Plus I have been printing a series of plates based on one drawing specifically for my portfolio. Just to show what I am capable of. That I can work in lots of different ways. I have ideas. I have skill. I have technical knowledge. I may even have talent.

And here is the latest addition to the portfolio. I really rather like it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Book, Chapter 2

First page completed of the next chapter in The Book.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Joy of Technology

I love technology. It can do so much for us. Look what I did with it.



I've not really animated anything before. I always thought it was far too difficult and time consuming to do it. Plus I didn't think I had the drawing skills needed. Ha! Little did I know!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

New Prints

I've been running 2 projects concurrently. I've not really got the time to do it, but I do it nonetheless.
The 1st project was highlighted in my last post, and that is moving along nicely, I spent 5 hours today working on that one.
The 2nd project is a printing project. I'm putting a print portfolio together, to tout around universities and anywhere else that seems like a good idea at the time.
Here are some of the prints I have been making recently.
Dry point on acrylic plate.
Lino print onto preprinted waste paper.
Lino print with scrim resist onto cartridge paper.
Reductive lino print onto print above.
Reductive lino print.
Reductive lino print onto pre-inked cartridge paper.