Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Butter wouldn't melt...

Or so it appears... getting used to a new dog is a bit of a strange old thing... i thought I would immediately be madly in love with our new dog, but it just hasn't quite happened yet... although I'm sure it will. She is slowly weedling her way into my heart!! Apart from not liking sleeping on her own and trying to run away when she was let off her lead, she's behaving herself quite nicely (she must know that she's treading a fine line at the moment!!). She has learned her new name, learned how to sit, and gets in her bed when she wants a sleep, apart from at night-time. We tried putting her in the kitchen the other night and she didn't like it one little bit, and neary woke the whole county with her howling and barking. So, she ended up back upstairs with us, and we are slowy trying to move her downstairs. Watch this space... Tomorrow we are off to The Lakes for a couple of days... yes... I am being whisked away for my birthday and wedding anniversary to the place where we got wed. Can't wait.... oh and before you think we are deserting our new pup, she is being left in the capable hands of my auntie, who has kindly come to baby-sit!!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Everyone meet Pip

Our newest family member, Pip, who we collected from the Many Tears Rescue Centre in South Wales today. Ten hours round trip, 450 miles and a missed Screen Printing Workshop which I had booked ages ago, but it was worth it. She's a little sweetie, just settling in and finding her feet, I think she's going to be very happy here...

Tuesday, 22 September 2009


This piece is the biggestbird picture I have done up to now. I decided to try to 'upsize' after feedback from a colleague, and it's constructive criticism that like that makes me appreciate contact with other artists and people 'in the business'. It helps keep your work fresh and makes you take a step back and look at it from a new angle. It's so difficult sometimes to be able to be objective about your work as you are so personally involved with it, but opinions from others can really help, giving ideas about how you can change and improve.

Monday, 21 September 2009

last of the summer colour

gorgeous dahlias, the last of our summer colour in our garden.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

ideas, ideas, ideas

This is a peek at some of my development material for my buildings project i started last week. At the moment things are still in the baby stages, but I'm really really enjoying being back in the studio and working again. I have spent probably about 10 hours over the weekend on my work, which makes such a refreshing change. I've def got my mojo back!!

I have decided to 'up' the scale of my work and try to go a bit bigger. This is approx a3 in size, maybe a bit bigger, and it consists of lots of layered papers, envelopes, dictionary pages, music sheets, etc which I painted over and then gelled to give it a flexible feel, and I have built up layers of burnt umber and gold. It sounds gross, but it has ended up really textured and anttique looking, which I think will go with the old buildings.

In parts you can see the paper underneath the paint, which just gives an added dimension.

It isn't finished yet. But I have run out of weekend. Just off for supper and a bath now. Hope this week is as productive....

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Sketchbook Peeks

I'm not sure whether I've told you but I'm also writing for the Nottingham Craft Mafia blog. Each month I'm doing an interview with one of my favouriste artists and having a nosey peek into their sketchbooks. I think this is fascinating, as it gives an idea of how different people work and resolve their ideas. My first one was about Jane Reiseger and you can find the post here, and my second one was about Liz Cooley, whose images you can see above, and you can find the interview here.
I hope you enjoy...
I have some more great people lined up, so keep your eyes open for more great visual treats.

prepared pages

This is where you will find me today, working hard in my lovely warm studio. I have the whole day to spend on my work, a rare luxury these days, as it just seems I haven't had the time to draw, sketch, or make any new work for ages. So I'm revelling in it this morning and enjoyng every minute. I'm home alone, Steve is off making cider!!

Last night I got the chance to prepare some sketchbook pages. Since college I have always been drawn to layering and sticking and painting pages to make them a bit more interesting and inspiring than a plain white page. I've been using some recycled old papers I bought in a pack from Etsy, pages from old music books and odds and end I have in my huge paper box.

I also like painting my pages, and leaving them to dry before drawing on top of them. This one is an old tester tube of paint, which I just splodged onto the page, spreading it out roughly with the thixk paint brush. It's given me a lovely texture to draw onto, and the ink looks surprisingly clean. I also used some white gesso, which takes a while to dry but gives a more textured effect.

And here are the results. I've drawn from the photos and sketches I made in Newark the other day, and I think the old buildings look great on the antiquey-brownish faded papers.

Friday, 18 September 2009

the birds are back in town

i know, i thought i had finished them too! But whilst having a most treasured night on my own in the studio this evening and wondering what to do, I came up with an idea to recycle some of my work into cards. I have used up two pictures that I really wasn't happy with, chopped them up into pieces and have made some lovely 'original artwork' cards , which I hope to be selling with my original framed pictures in Nottingham very very soon... details to follow i promise!!

And we may have some dog news soon too, we have registered with a Border Collie Rescue place (and have our eye on a couple of their beauties) and we will be having our home check done soon. Hopefully we may be hearing the pitter patter of little paws in the very near future.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

out and about

I've been out and about on my travels today armed with my sketchbook and my pens, and I ended up in Newark. I have been meaning to go there for a while, the buildings are amazing, and it's surprising how much of them you miss when you don't look up above eye level! It felt great to get my pens and pencils out again and do some random sketching, where it just doesn't matter, you are doing it because it feels good to be drawing again.... although I hate it when random people stop and look at what you're doing!!

Sunday, 13 September 2009

AWOL - Sue's creative mojo

I have been a naughty blogger! Have been away on another holiday (Spain this time, to dog-sit for my friends three lovely doglets!) and have neglected my little old blog once again. I have had a lovely eleven days in southern Spain, full of sun and sangria, and am back now to take on the Great British Autumn. We even had a holiday from our holiday and when my friends got back from thier sojourn, we bogged off in our hire-car and went off to Costa de la Luz, which is a beautiful, unspoilt area of the Spanish coastline, for a couple of days. It's been grrreat, really relaxing, am still virtually horizontal!!

So, thats the reason my blog posts have been non-existent for the past couple of weeks. Before I went away I did get some of my work framed, ready for action, for my first 'stockist' in Nottingham. You can't really see the details but you get the general idea. I didn't want to risk unwrapping them, as, knowing me, I'd trip up out of the car on delivery day, and ruin them!!

And while I was at the framing place, I decided to get another piece framed, and I am just loving
the results (is that really big-headed of me to say??). I did this piece last year, after a winter holiday in Northumberland, inspired as I was by the big-wintry landscapes up there. It was made with wools, and various other fibres and threads, couched and stitched onto the backing. I may have another play with this technique again, and see where it takes me....

Which leads me onto my latest dilemma.... I have hit a bit of a brickwall with my work.... i've lost my creative mojo, so-to-speak... and I'm just waiting to be struck by new inspiration. I really feel like I need to get on with making some new work, but just haven't a flipping clue what to do. Maybe I'm just taking myself too seriously, trying too hard, and thinking of the end product before I even start a new project. Maybe I just need a good talking to by my sis, or just a plain old kick up the derriere, who knows..... what does everyone else do when inspiration doesn't strike.... top tips welcome (that's if anyone else still reads this!!)

Friday, 4 September 2009

nottingham craft mafia blog giveaway

Thanks to the lovely Kate Broughton, Nottingham Craft Mafia is having its first blog giveaway.... find it here

you gotta be in it to win it!!