Thursday, 4 October 2018

life drawing

Gave myself the treat of an evenings life drawing last week, my first in Derbyshire! This was the final drawing of the night, 30 minutes, charcoal. 

artist access to art colleges - derby university

Wonderful news! I've been offered a placement on the AA2A (Artists Access to Art Colleges) programme at Derby University. It will allow time, space and technical support to research and realise a project idea.

It was an odd experience waiting for an interview in the university I graduated from 25 years ago!

The first creative yes in my new life!

Tuesday, 2 October 2018


The tree hand embroidered onto this child's nightgown grows at the end of Englands Lane in Loughton, Essex. As a girl I remember sitting underneath its branches and colouring in my flower fairy book. This memory leads to the next, that afternoon I developed sun stroke and spent the rest of the day in our back bedroom, curtains drawn, being sick. This memory is vivid and hazy all at once.

Throughout my life I've held a soft spot for this gnarly hawthorn, probably growing before the housing estate was built in the 1940's. I'd often walk past it when visiting Mum. 

Last year my sister and I packed up Mum's house after her death and this spring, knowing I was leaving the London/Essex area and moving to Derbyshire I photographed the tree, intending to embroider it onto a girls nightdress. Now made I can see it's not quite right, Mum would have appreciated the work BUT there is another version that could be made, an embroidery onto a 1970's synthetic nightdress, less pretty, odd. Can I spend another 100+ hours hand sewing? 


All I need is to source or make a nightdress, I have a pattern from the era purchased from Ebay, but (annoyingly) its buried in a storage unit in Derby with most of my belongings...

For now, I'll take a breath and appreciate the focus and effort involved in making this.       

 Hawthorn dress in a holly grove

Thursday, 6 September 2018

long time, no post...

Hello! The focus of the last few months has been packing up my London flat and relocating to Matlock, Derbyshire. Yesterday I set up my new folding table and created a work area in the flat I'm renting with my sister while we find out feet in the town.

This is significant, a start, a small space in which to focus on my practice. I did my degree in Derby during the early 90's, so its a return to a much loved region. 25 years on I'm the same and different and hopeful for the new opportunities that will unfold with this geographical shift. 

Wish me luck!    


Embroidery and plant shadow

Wednesday, 13 June 2018


The closest knit of my Close knit project. Placed and photographed yesterday.  

Doreen, 2018


It was very pleasant two evenings ago to pick up my fine needle and make a start with embroidering my hawthorn tree image onto a girls handmade nightgown. After a long search for the right dress I purchased the nightgown in a vintage shop in Cromford, Derbyshire this February.

Resting on its small wooden hanger, haunting my living room, the dress called to me begin, begin... It had to be patient and wait but, finally, tiny grey stitches pierced their way through warp and weft. Picking up my needle brings me closer to myself, it makes sense, it brings me home.

This hawthorn tree is near my childhood home, I'd photographed it recently and created the tracing, musing upon my childhood, the forest, the lack, the wonder, the meaning behind taking needle to cloth for this solitary tree and the solitary girl.      

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

leytonstone life drawing

Life drawing from last night, 10 minute, 25 minute and 45 minute poses. It's an untutored class run by Jennifer Wolf, click here for details. Fantastic model yesterday and a different model each week, popular class with materials provided and focused atmosphere! Apologies for the average photos and nasty auto enhance - best I can do on a dull London morning.