Wednesday, 30 December 2015

one hundred little squares lit by one hundred LEDs - there's an idea

So I finished slicing up the wood. It is now tied into little bundles and stacked up on shelves. For later!

Back to the resins. Over the past few weeks I have got every resin (well almost) out to the garage.

I have sorted out the best ones and these are now polished ready to sell. I have photographed some of them and put them in an album on my Face Book page.


The rest are on sheets of perspex so I can look at them on the light box.

The idea is to have everything in one place so I can start this new piece.
10 x 10 resin squares and back lit by 100 LEDs.
I know as I start other things will happen but its always good to have a vague plan.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

making sawdust...

Been getting on with the next thing on my list. The new blade came for my saw so I've been ripping up the last of the big bits of oak I have and generally making a mess in my recently tidy garage.

Didn't think to put a dust sheet over the resins on the bench at the back so everything is covered in a fine film of dust.

But I have loads of lengths of oak.
No idea what I will do with them but there they are.
Love having materials around me that are full of possibilities.

Now I will sell my table saw. Much as I love it I don't use it much and it takes up a lot of space.
It's done it's job.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

not making art ...

I haven't made any art for a long time. Nothing has happened in my studio, I haven't used my sketchbooks, taken any photographs or even written. It's been over a year and the longer I was stopped for, the more I worried, and the harder it became to do anything about it. I hated going in my studio even and doubted I'd ever make anything again. I stopped.
But lately I even stopped worrying. I stopped expecting anything and as I stopped all that I started to accepted. Everything, even myself not making art.
And that was when I at last, got round to tidying my studio. A long overdue job. That year and a half I haven't been making art overdue!

I wish I'd taken some photographs before I started because it was outrageously messy and full of stuff I'd been holding on to, just in case, for too many years. But as I have lost the habit of recording things I didn't. Anyway the tidy took two weeks and was from top to bottom and ended with a van full of stuff going to the tip and a heap of wood being stacked on the wood pile. And as my studio became tidier and more spacious and as things appeared I haven't seen for a while it became a space I wanted to spend time in and I began to make vague plans:

*finish the bottle of resin
*finish off, sort and gather all the resin pieces together
*clear the resin out the way so I can do other things

*sort through the wood in the rafters
*process it with the table saw
*sell the table saw
*spend some days working with copper
*spend some days working with wood
*spend some days working with wax

The first bit of the plan 'finish the bottle of resin' is happening now. I've been using the few litres of resin I have left by setting everything that is delicate before it deteriorates. Butterfly wings, bees, dragonflies, snakes skin, birds feathers and wings.

The second bit of the plan 'finish off, sort and gather all the resin pieces together' is happening now. There are boxes of little resins all over the place in various stages of curing, sanding and polishing and I've been looking at them on a light box.

I have so many beautiful things and I realise many of them are just waiting for me to assemble together with light.

These butterfly wings.
If I do nothing else I will set together and illuminated these three little pieces of resin.

So I might get on with the fourth and fifth things on the list 'sort through the wood in the rafters and process it with the table saw'. But the third bit of the plan 'clear the resin out the way so I can do other things' may not happen just yet.

it may be I will start making art again soon
it may be that I don't
the important thing is
if the plan changes course
for one reason or another
i will follow where ever it goes
and not worry

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The Cornish Good Seafood Guide launch ...

Monday was the launch of the Cornwall Good Seafood Guide website at my favourite fish and chip shop Harbour Lights in Falmouth. Please look at this fantastic website and use it. It's there to help you make good seafood choices.

For over a year now I have been creating illustrations for this project as part of my job at Cornwall Wildlife Trust and I am quite proud to know l have helped in a small way to make it the great resource it is.

It was a fabulous job to be asked to do and I really enjoyed it but it was also incredibly hard and draining.
The hardest times were when I had to stop painting regularly because I had so much other Trust work to do then had to start again. I was very slow and my confidence and belief in myself as an artist completely crumbled but I had to keep painting. Thanks to my long suffering friends for being there and supporting me when I was dark and doubting everything. Mostly thanks to Marmite my companion through many fishy moments.

Incredibly, though I doubted almost every one I did, they came out OK. I didn't have time to illustrate all 68 species I was asked to do so Matt Slatter, Marine Awareness Officer for Cornwall Wildlife Trust, who I was working for, had to find illustrations from other sources. But I did 30 of the most important species and they are being used on posters, pop-ups and stickers and the prettiest ones will be sold as prints hopefully to raise money for the Trust.

If you eat seafood it's important to buy locally and from a sustainable source. This website is packed full of information to help you choose well.

For more information about the launch and the project go to Cornwall Wildlife Trusts Website

Saturday, 28 February 2015


I had seen a few posts come up on Face Book about #artchain but wasn't really sure what it was about. Then I was nominated by a couple of friends. As I am quite distant from my own work and very busy with other work and life at the moment I felt fearful of having to perform and post my stuff when I didn't really feel like it. But I also wanted to do it for my friends and because I thought maybe it would be good for me.

The basic rules for #artchain seem to be you post three pictures a day for five days of your work on Face Book with the hash tag #artchain in the title somehow and nominate someone else each day. Everyone does it their own way and for different reasons but basically its about sharing.

I decided do a mini retrospective of my journey so far as an artist and went right back to my student days and I ended up enjoying myself and I feel like putting the whole #artchain thing on here so it's all in one place.

So here it is

Day 1 #artchain I have been nominate by two artist friends to do #‎artchain‬ Thank you Suzy Sharpe and Tamsen Flack. Sorry I have taken a while getting around to it. I have to post 3 photos of my work for 5 days and nominate a new artist every day. Not sure I can nominate anyone as I don't know many artists and the ones I do know seem to have done it already. Anyway I thought I'd go back a bit and have a look at my degree and post graduate work. So day 1 is from Kinston Polytechnic 1986. My degree show. Big stuff in steel and bronze.

Day 2 #‎artchain‬  a few years on, some things from my post graduate show at the Royal Academy of Arts 1990 - lovely latex!

Day 3 #‎artchain‬ - so my art was smaller and more private for the next 15 years or so. Busy moving to Cornwall, getting married, working full time for Cornwall Wildlife Trust and having a baby. Just writing, dreaming in sketchbooks and occasionally painting small things for my friends.

Day 4 #‎artchain‬. 2006 onward drawing and writing and making digital collages in Photoshop. Eventually 2010 had a studio and could start to make again. I've put a 1990 latex piece along side a 2006 digital collage and finally a 2011 resin piece. Things are different and the same.

Day 5 #‎artchain‬. I was always outdoors naming the plants and the birds as a child but I got lost in London. It wasn't the best place for me. Now having lived in Cornwall and worked for Cornwall Wildlife Trust for more than twenty years I have re-linked with my roots, my curiosity and awe of the natural world and my being an artist. Now it's Me, Cornwall and the sea.

Not sure what happens now because I am still overwhelmed with life and work and still not making or drawing but it's helped me see that it's OK to stop and do other things. I am not a career artist. I just do what I love doing and sometimes that is making art and sometimes that is swimming and walking and enjoying being with my friends and family. When I feel good about things I will share and when I need to keep quiet I will keep quiet.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Cornwall's Invaders under Royal Scrutiny...

Wireweed, one of the non-natives 
on display. Photo by RYA Emily Whiting
Some of the specimens I did and some of my illustrations ended up in a display at the The London Boat Show recently.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust have put out a press release on it today so maybe it will be in the locals and it is a news item on their website... 

Jane Swan discusses the action 
boaters can take to reduce the spread 
of non-native species. 

Photo by RYA Emily Whiting

Wakame by Sarah McCartney, 
a non native seaweed recently found in Cornwall

Resin blocks of non native species incorporated 
into RYA's display. Photo by RYA Emily Whiting

Go to Cornwall Wildlife Trust website to read the article