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Happy to invigilate … in Reading

June 2, 2018

Since retiring a little over a year ago, friends have encouraged me to do volunteer work. Perhaps, it was a good idea for me who struggled for a while thinking that being an artist was not purposeful. However, being an artist has proved to be a positive move and all I need at the moment.

Nonetheless, I have found time to visit local art spaces; we have one two new ones in Reading, some are simply a place (a corridor perhaps) where the art is hung and left for day or more without a monitor and with minimal direction, others require an invigilator and others might come somewhere in between. All a different experience none right or wrong. I can understand as an artist, requiring art space our needs are not always met for a multitude of reasons, so we have make the best we can.

So I have come up with a plan; a group on Facebook where we artists and/ or friends of artists who require help or can offer help when setting up an exhibition and in particular looking after a collection when it has been hung. Not to be the artist but a representative to welcome visitors to talk (or not) about the work and the artist. Just be an advocate of art spaces in Reading.  Happy to invigilate … as it says on the tin.


not going to be the poet laureate perhaps?

May 1, 2018

These last few days (or more) have been dark; so, I have binged (is there such a word) in poetry (or even good grammar) Listening, mostly while I work and that has been okay.  However, I have to be honest; what is it with poetry? Why so many words and those that don’t actually mean or sound as they should.  Then, the lengthy explanations … I think do know the answer; but in the darkness it wasn’t so clear … enough to say it was Spike Milligan’s reply to Casabianca by Felicia Hemans that made me smile and the world a lighter place.

Mug for tools or tea?

like the chicken or the egg?

there is no answer.


It is what it is ….

April 27, 2018

Alongside the ‘bike’ tapestry this week … smile as I am not sure which one should be in inverted comas; both ideas are incongruous … I have been weaving a still life. So, a teacup and saucer ‘painted’ with nettle yarn beggars belief; especially as I do enjoy drinking nettle tea and had nettle soup sometime.

so today’s decision; no more inverted comas; it is what it is.

Flax warp nettle weft

Camellia Sinensis

Coloured cubist cup

a good combo …

April 26, 2018

This last week or so I have been working on two quite different tapestries. One is on a bike frame using different yarns.  The second a smaller piece using some nettle yarn from Nepal.  The nettle called Allo grows tall in the mountainous areas.  The stems are retted and then spun into fibre by women using carved hand spindles.  Then dyed into jewel like colours.  The texture is rough and wild but it has a good nature that lends itself to my style of work well.

I will be sad when the stock goes and another adventure beckons.

Jewels to be woven

Asian hand spun nettle yarn

wound into tiny balls



Hope for Fruit …

April 24, 2018

I have a beautiful home and garden; my place of grace when times are dark. It cradles me when the world outside (or within) become harsh and too much to bare; it doesn’t take the pain away but it soothes my soul a while.  There is always something that makes me smile; like this quince bloom the last on of many.  I hope this year it will bear fruit.

Quince blossom is pink

Many, perfectly formed

Fruit so far unseen.

Is that Art … ?

April 23, 2018

I have been a full-time artist for a year; it has taken all that time for my dream to become less than a project and more a very nice way of life.  However, there are issues and some reamain a work in progress.

While I am an experimental artist and a good finisher and have a rich portfolio of work is not everyone’s cup of tea. But art is not always comfortable and it doesn’t always fill the requirements of curators of exhibitions.

My illustrated ceramic pots cannot be fastened to the wall, my embroideries are too large or simply don’t fit. My tapestries not seen as art.  My wood engravings are eyed with suspicion; how can one of an edition of twenty be ‘original’?

Fortunately, I am finding may way through the maize and accepting that not everyone will want a bike hanging on the wall over their fireplace albeit nicely ‘tapestried’ and have a nice poem (or haiku) is that poetry?

Recycled bike frame

Fixed in a mountain scene

Woven coloured thread.

Under the bed book …

April 22, 2018

In a few weeks I am going to Norway for 4 days, taking hand luggage.

With only a pad and pencil (s)  not yet decided on a pen(s) as they don’t travel well.

However, I am excited because I am going to write a book. Now, we all know I have ‘written’ books before and they don’t grace the shelves of any bookshop but they are books and very lovely (in my opinion)

I am not sure that I want to share more at this point; suffice to say inspired by the Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon and since the subject matter may not be so exciting, mine will be called Under the Bed Book and contain drawings and poems (haiku) gathered over the next few weeks.

To begin with; a drawing for a recent tapestry and a poem (Haiku)

Flat beside a fence

Espalier apple tree

At odds with nature.