Thursday 31 August 2017

life drawing

Countless hours were spent at collage honing my observation and drawing skills, but now I rarely sit and draw for the sake of drawing.

I'm aware of observing the world with a drawers eye - counting, measuring, noting the space between objects, spotting interesting colour-way, tone, texture. Learning to draw changes how you look forever: inquisitive looking, sorting the world into shapes that fit together, attempting to forget what you're looking at in order to see it clearly.

This Tuesday I tootled up Leytonstone High Road and attended a class with East London Life Drawing. The assembled group were focused and companionable, and we lost two hours in the best possible way: in the moment, solving the problem of how to depict a living form on 2D paper. For me, it all came together when I got my hands on this red crayon, a blunt, early years type crayon with both beautiful and frustrating qualities. 

Monday 21 August 2017


My brief was to create an activity that could accommodate 300 participants a day, reference Hodgkin and Hepworth and result in something wearable within 20 minutes of making! This workshop was the result. Run during the Summer Bazaar weekend at the Hepworth Wakefield, our visitor total was 611 happy people - phew! With thanks to staff and volunteers Hilary, Lesley, Rachael and Haleema, also Sandra for help moving tables!

 Thoughtful layering of colour and texture

 Mr Happy


 Print head

Inventive child

 Our home for the weekend

Saturday 5 August 2017

outdoor play

Myself and Gillian Brent got our heads together in her Sheffield studio and invented this drop-in workshop for families in response to Howard Hodgkin: Painting India. Rain and wind meant our Outdoor Play workshop became indoor play in the bright and roomy learning studios at the gallery. We had a few utterances of 'wow' as children stepped into the space, one child calling the installation a laundry painting, which I loved! 

Our idea evolved from a sense of being able to walk into Hodgkin's paintings. Throughout the days, our walk-in painting altered, evolved and began again as 230+ participants pegged, tied and draped fabric, ribbons and drawings within the structure. They did this after exploring the gallery using an inventive pack containing questions, prompts, ribbons, fabric, a black card frame and bags containing cloves, cardamon, cinnamon and coriander seeds - connecting scent and painting in their own personal way.

As always, we couldn't do this without the support of the learning team and generous volunteers - a BIG thank you to them. 

 Ribbon response to Howard Hodgkin

 Dressed for the occasion!


 'Painting' with fabric

 Laundry painting

Small artist