Monday, 28 September 2009


The exhibition in our village church this weekend was a great success. Lots of visitors and several pictures sold which all helps with the upkeep of our pretty church.

We held the first one just over two years ago and had these boards made to fit between the pews. Below you can see some of the pictures from the Green family on display... including an original Anthony Green for £8000. A little beyond the pockets of most of our buyers!

More from the Greens...

Plus plenty of fabulous paintings from lesser known but very talented local artists.

including some amazing botanical illustrations.

and landscapes of places near and far.

A beautiful variety of work including this little stitched picture by a friend called Sue Blackburn. I fell in love with it... and Stewart treated me, so it is now hanging in my hall.

Although it is called Desert it reminds me of autumn with the colours in the trees. And talking of autumn, whilst stewarding at the church on Saturday it was a chance to catch up with some hand sewing and I finished off these brooches in autumn colours.

A pleasant change from all the drawing!

Friday, 25 September 2009

The drawing saga continues...

The second lot of drawings received a more positive response from my tutor "Much, much better, but...." The "but" was about using more variety of marks and making marks over marks (all of which I thought I'd been doing). So out came the charcoal again and I tried a looser approach but to no avail. Another tutorial and now my charcoal drawings have been declared "too waffly." Back to the drawing board it is then! (I confess I do rather enjoy the challenge)

For the next part of my assignment I now have to desconstruct my drawings (don't ask because I'm not sure) and produce a further piece of work that builds on the essence and identity of my sketchbook... I'll keep you posted. Meanwhile I had a enjoyable life drawing class this week where I did the following:

A four and then three minute sketch above, this ten minute sketch below...

And the following twenty minute sketch. A relaxed couple of hours without worring about outlines or waffle.

And should you live within easy reach of South Cambridgeshire, this might be of interest.

Featuring some interesting work from Anthony Green, Mary Cozens-Walker and Kate Green... one of whom just happens to be my tutor! If you come on Saturday I'll be there... do say hello!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

More Drawing

Apologies that I've not replied to comments this week - it's been a little hectic to say the least. But as always I've read and appreciated every single one especially the kind observations about my drawings... unfortunately my tutor didn't agree! My tutorial started with "Your drawings are alright but you're a bit outline obsessed... they don't give any information..." There followed quite a lot of "Art School" speak about mark making, energy lines, opinion lines etc. after which I felt somewhat battered and deflated so say the least! But I've come back fighting!!! On reflection I do know what my tutor was trying to tell me and I can appreciate that the whole point of taking the degree is to move on and learn... not just to produce several pages of "nice drawings in a sketchbook." So there was nothing for it but to return to the lovely Matthew.... and instead of this...

There is this.... (nice bum!)

And I've moved from this....

To this....

And then feeling brave, and given that none of my men would pose in the alltogether I tried a more familiar subject and went from this...

To this... (yes, it is me!)

I think I need a lot more practise but I hope I'm starting to cotton on to what I'm supposed to be doing!
Anyway... moving swiftly on...
Julia of Marmaladekiss is hosting a seed swap on her blog and there is still time to join in.


I'm taking part and I plan to give away some of the seeds from these lovely yellow chillies. Toffeeapple gave me these seeds last year and I've grown about ten fabulous plants on my windowsill... it would be good to share them!

Monday, 14 September 2009

Busy Weekend!

It's been non stop activity here this weekend. Saturday started with a drive up to Peterborough to Art and Stitch where I was teaching a Tyvek Day. Ten ladies spent the day making flowers, seed heads and beads the results of which you can see here... didn't they do well!

I spent the day making a mess... the results of which you can see here!

A friend, Jenny, came to stay on Saturday evening and then on Sunday Jenny and I headed off to Cambridge for an ERTF lunch at Jesus college, collecting Mary Cozens-Walker on the way. We had a fabulous lunch, saw some amazing sculpture and were treated to a wonderfully inspirational talk by Michael Brennand Wood. On the way home Jenny and I were invited in for tea and cake with Mary and had a little tour of her studio which was wonderful... I now want to rearrange my studio (... room.) I didn't take my camera but you can see more of the lunch here and here... can you spot me?

Back home I thought I'd better do some homework. I haven't started my life drawing classes yet but I have recorded some life classes that were broadcast on Channel 4 a couple of months ago. The following couple of pictures were ones I made from a class taught by Maggi Hambling, whose work I love... I quite liked the look of the model, Matthew too!!!

I thought I would then try some "real life" rather than work from the telly but my men were very unsporting and refused to take their clothes off... Stewart said "Not so likely... it'll end up on your blog"... so here he is pretending to read (he was actually dozing!)

And Joe reading too!

And finally I thought I better pick the PIF winners... and here they are...

There weren't very many wanted to play and for a while I thought about sending each of you a gift... but then common sense prevailed and so Mavis, Maria and Twiggy... you will be getting gifts from me sometime in the next twelve months. All you have to do when you receive them is pay it forward to another three people.
I've got a week of more stewarding, teaching and homework... but I'll be back soon.

Thursday, 10 September 2009


The private view of the exhibition was yesterday afternoon and so far the reaction has been very positive. If you want to see more pictures you can find some on the ERTF blog and if you are really excited by what you see and you live in the Eastern counties then why not join us!

Completely unrelated, but long overdue are some thank yous as I've been the lucky recipient of some giveaways. First this beautiful felt and embroidery postcard from Micki which I love... thank you Micki.

And secondly these great cards from Monda which I also love... thank you Monda!

But that was not all... I had completely forgotten that I had also been picked for a PIF gift from Monda too and so along with my cards came this brilliant stitched paper collage... and

A fabric corsage.... which just happens to be perfect...

For my winter jacket! (Although I'm not sure what has happened to the colour in this photo!)

All of which means of course that I've got to pay it forward too! So if you fancy receiving a PIF gift from me sometime in the next 12 months (probably means next September!) then leave me a comment letting me know by Sunday evening. I will then pick three names using a complex system of bits of paper in a hat and those three people will get something hand made from me. All you have to do is promise to pay it forward to three more people once you receive my gift.

Monday, 7 September 2009

An Exhibition

One of the other things I've been working on over the summer was a piece of work for the following ERTF exhibition which opens tomorrow. If you get a chance to visit Cambridge over the next couple of weeks do try to pop in and take a look. There is plenty of exciting work covering many types of textiles, not only embroidery. And there is a shop selling all manner of lovely textile goodies. I'll be there stewarding an a few of the days so if you happen to spot me please come and say hello!

The following is a preview of the piece of work I had accepted together with my personal statement for this exhibition:

For this exhibition Gina has explored her role within the family. For most of her adult life Gina has felt herself defined by her relationships to others in particular Wife and Mother. This piece is about emerging from these roles as a woman in her own right… Moving Forward...

The Birth Of Woman

Thursday, 3 September 2009


I have finally finished all the work for my current degree module and everything has been packed up and posted off to the office for moderation on Monday. I usually take everything in person but I'm not able this time so I've been anxiously ticking off each item to make sure it's all there... sketchbook, journal, labels, CD of images and of course an example of the finished cocoons.

I made four, one to represent each of my four children.

My Personal Statement:
My work is about security and protection, in particular with regard to my children. It is about the journey from the safe cocooned environment experienced as babies to breaking free as adults. Self contained cells, start joined together but slowly start to break away. It is about the painful process of letting go.

I'm sure those of you sending your babies off to school for the first time this week will know a little of what I mean.

It has been quite a relief to get everything sent off. The new module starts on Monday which is the start of my second level. I'm now a third of the way through my course and it all feels as though it is about to move up a notch. The new module is Visual Studies which is a visual and practical study of the human figure and is one I've been looking forward to. I've signed up for life drawing classes which should be interesting.

Meanwhile I'm off on a train journey north of the border... a family party in Dundee. I'll be back on Monday with news of an exhibition!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

I do like to be beside the seaside

August Bank Holiday Monday... What shall we do?
I fancy fish and chips.. but not any old fish and chips.
I want fish and chips by the seaside... so we drive out to Southwold.

By the time we arrive the sun is shining so we park near the pier and walk along the promenade past the wonderful colourful beach huts all the way to the harbour.

And there we queue for about 45 minutes to get the best fish and chips ever, which we eat from a box whilst sitting on the jetty.

We then stroll back along the prom in the sunshine watching the holidaymakers, stopping by local shops and galleries, finish with a walk down the pier and then head back home. It felt like the perfect way to wind up the summer... after all there is change in the air.