Posted in galleries and shops, inspiration

My latest fixation

Space.  The Nebraskan frontier.  Not even Nebraska, really – it’s possibly more about looking at large buildings in their bleak environments and making people look at that large embarrassing thing that some call ‘blights’ and ‘eyesores’ and ‘ugly’ and calling them something else like ‘lovely’ and ‘beautiful’ and ‘commanding.’

I could be anywhere

I first did this with a short series of works I titled ‘I could be anywhere.’  The above piece has travelled throughout the UK, making an appearance twice in London (100 square foot and Barbican Artists’ Studios) as well as last year’s VAS Open Exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy.

Other pieces in the series include:

I could be anywhere...warehouses


I could be GB


I have decided to veer off in a slightly different direction – a direction that is very much about looking at large slab-like buildings and seeing them in their bleak, low to the ground and big on sky environment.

I’m not going to say just yet what all this is going to be about because it’s an idea that is still formulating.  Sometimes I can be a bit precious about my ideas; I don’t want to speak of them until they are solid enough to become a thing.  Just know that some ground work has been laid out.  I have contacted a manager of a space and he and his team are quite happy to host a solo exhibition of this mystery work.  Me, tremendously pleased?  You bet I am.

Until next time….

(It’s rather a lot of fun to keep you hanging…)

Posted in galleries and shops, news

“Tell me a story…”

Tell me a story

Yesterday I met up with the divine Sabine to hand over the artwork for the Crawley WORDfest.  There was a bit of getting lost involved as me and directions and maps, well, the relationship isn’t good.  I end up getting stroppy.  It doesn’t cooperate.  One of us ends up in tears and it’s usually me.

I am happy to announce that once I did arrive at the rendezvous point, the artwork was received with delight.  That is always a good sign.  Scones were had, as was coffee.  I then clamboured back into my motor then headed back into the city.

I know a few days ago I was a bit of a tease about the sentence I chose to stitch into the fabric.  The piece is a night scene, Crawley high street, lamps lit and lights on.  People have commented that my artwork looks ‘comforting’ and I think with the colours I chose and the quilt-like quality of the piece, ‘comforting’ is a word to describe this work as well.  The sentence finishes it off beautifully:  “Tell me a story about when you were younger.”

This piece will be auctioned off at the WORDfest event.  The author of the book from which I chose the sentence will be presenting the work.  How thrilling.  I truly wish that I could make it down for this as I think it would be lovely to meet her and to be a part of all that energy and excitement.

In the meantime, I have ordered a limited edition of prints from The Garret Print Studio and will be selling these during Crawley WORDfest as well as from my own website.

Posted in galleries and shops, inspiration, process

Commissions and exhibitions

This week has been a hopping week. Today’s post is going to be a bit all over the shop as I have been all over the shops, all over the town, all over my work, completing things and sending them out the door before the sewing machine has a chance to cool down. Whirr whirrr whirrrrrr.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have been working on a piece for Crawley WORDfest. This weekend the work will be sent off to those very fine people and I hope very much that they will be pleased with the results. I went for a colour scheme that I hadn’t ventured to try before and was pleased with the results. As for the stitched sentence, I think it adds something rather special to the work. I will write about that project when WORDfest rolls around, which I believe is at the end of March.

Yesteday I completed a piece to auction off for a fund raiser to raise funds for the Fox Theatre in McCook, Nebraska. This little theatre has a special place my heart as this is where I saw E.T. and Annie for the first time. There were a few years in a row where E.T. was screened at the Fox. My Aunt Peggy took me to see E.T. the first time. We left at the end with me sobbing into tissues. That ending still gets me at this ripe age. When I was in high school, I was involved with two other people to create a backdrop for a Barber Shop show. What an opportunity and great fun to have a canvas stretching up several feet above my head and stretching out across the length of the stage. Then of course there was the marriage of Dave and Chanin which took place on the stage. How cool is that to get married on a stage. It was cool indeed.

Last night I had the good pleasure of meeting with the Curio Gallery crew. They are putting together an exhibition based on textile artwork created in a nontraditional way. I showed them my work and they seem quite happy to include me in the show. I also mentioned The Connecting Thread exhibition and this too may feature, depending on things like space and interest, of course.

And today, well, I contacted someone else about the possibility of a solo exhibition. I’m waiting to hear about how that request was received.

So that’s me, being randomly busy. I must now frame up the Fox Theatre and post it to it’s new home.


Posted in inspiration

WORDfest Crawley commissioned artwork

The other week I was lucky enough to receive a request to make an artwork for Crawley WORDfest.  I encourage you to have a saunter around their website as the gig seems pretty spectacular.  It’s a celebration of writing, literature with writing workshops, author talks, discussions, activities, and even some art makin’ fun to boot.  If I could drop my life up here for a few days, I would skip on down to Crawley town myself to indulge in that kind of fun.

So.  The commission.  Create a piece for Crawley, of Crawley, to be auctioned at a WORDfest event.  As they were requesting my usual style of crisp linear lines and a focus on a specific place, I was keen to do it and also keen to work with a different subject.  Edinburgh, don’t get me wrong, you’re my current love but sometimes you just have to indulge in something else to keep it fresh.  You know what I’m saying? (I’m only saying this creatively. Would hate for you to get the wrong idea about me).

As this event was focused on writing, I thought it would be a rather fun idea to incorporate text from one of the authors attending the event.  Possibly a local author and preferably something written about the area.

The challenge arrived at my door with Julia Crouch’s ‘Cuckoo.’  Right.  A work of fiction.  Set entirely elsewhere.  Possibly not the most ideal but you know, I like challenges.  The book was a good read and I now have another author to add to the list of the many that I like.  This morning as I was doing a bit of research on Julia, I found that this book was a product of NaNoWriMo (National Write a Novel in a Month).  Wow!  What a tremendous result.  I cannot tell you how this encourages me to participate in NaNoWriMo the next time it rolls around.

Dear reader, I am happy to inform you that I found the most delightful string of words to use in the artwork.  Ah yes.  I know this, I’ve said this, I hope children all over the world (small children and big children because even as adults we still are holding onto that smaller, fresher version of ourselves) are still saying this.

To add suspence, I’m not going to tell you what it is and I’m not going to post my work in progress.  I’ll reveal it a bit at a time.  At first I need to gain your trust, reel you in, make you a bit curious.  After all, isn’t that what a good story is all about?

Posted in inspiration, process

Because no man (or woman) is an island


‘Wild at Heart’ by Vanessa Foley

Nearly a year ago, I was at the Mushroom Works in Newcastle, invigilating my own exhibition, The Connecting Thread – a personal psychogeography. The show was open for public viewing a couple of weekends in March and it was all lovely and wonderful and the first time I had ever been surrounded by my own work.

On one particular day I was standing in the space chatting to my good friend Ian from the Centre for Life.  People had been popping in to see the show, some having read about it from one of many online entities, some having stumbled upon it and others confusing the space with the framers next door.  It was the last of these that brought Vanessa Foley into the scene.

From what I can remember, she was a completely delightful girl, beaming with all sorts of excitement about an upcoming exhibition of her work in the beautiful new building of the Newcastle Library.  Ian mentioned that the work on display in the gallery would be installed in the Centre for Life Bioscience Centre.  Perhaps Vanessa would be interested in showing her work in there as well.

And so that day passed and many more days have been and gone since then.  Yesterday I found out that Vanessa’s exhibition at the Bioscience Centre is on display.  I’ve seen some photos and my oh my, it is looking absolutely wonderful in that space.

The exhibition, ‘Wild at Heart’ is on display until the end of February.  Please follow this link for more information about the artist and follow this link for information about the exhibition.

Life is full of countless situations where paths cross, meet up, there’s a connection and although things don’t immediately play out, something eventually happens.  Chance encounters.  Ideas fizzing.  Things happening.  I love stories like this.