Thursday, 25 August 2016


Having a few weeks off teaching means that I have been able to catch up on a little me time.
This means opening up my sketch books and trying out a few ideas
These are all rough ideas that I might like to develop into collagraphs.
From the usual birdie subject to  
 a combination of angels and
The angels are a blast from the past
and images that I explored years ago.
Can't wait to start the collagraph plate making.

Thursday, 11 August 2016


So I am meant to be having a rest. After a very busy few months I feel becalmed and I don't know about you, but that makes me feel panicky. I know I don't have to make, make, make....but the alternative is house work!!!
So I opened up the doors to the yard:ARTspace  and invited a bunch of creatives to come and play.
The monkey on my shoulder said, relax Sue, we are playing...I think everyone else felt the same. I offered gum arabic transfer, they bought marvelous stashes of fabric treasures and off we went. And we relaxed. I made them inky, they made me think textiles woooo!
Very quickly, because gum arabic as a technique is very quick, we all created some mouth watering results, surprising even ourselves as to how well the technique works on fabric.
The lovely Kathleen Murphy  delving into her stash. 
And then made this, and many other beautiful prints during the day.
Being gifted some beautiful embroidered pieces, I tried collagraph printing and then gum arabic.
Thrilled with the result.
The effervescent Caroline McCatty  shared her fabulous velvet because
it is a fantastic substrate to print on (yes we all learnt a new word). I can't wait to see this turn into a 3D piece.
I looks like Viv Sliwka is having fun?
And her drawings look so good printed onto these 
beautiful fabrics, very exciting to see this process being pushed to the limit.
Claire Cawte came with a project in mind and 
this looks wonderful, I can't wait to see her finished textile book.
But at the end of the day we are ladies who lunch, put a bunch of creatives together, say, bring food to share and colour plus taste is the result.
A well deserved break. 
The day has got me thinking, I love fabric and I am well out of my comfort zone here, thank you ladies for the inspiration and a day of laughs.

I will be running a Gum Arabic Transfer on Fabric workshop on 20 May, 2017 at the yard:ARTspace  

Monday, 1 August 2016


So last weekend my super talented friend Caroline McCatty and I made new friends.
Yes, we spent 2 grueling days on a taxidermy workshop learning how to stuff a crow. Now I do understand that this is not everyone's idea of a relaxing weekend and in the end it was not our idea of a relaxing weekend either. 
2 hectic days at the Islington Arts Factory under the gimlet eye of our tutor, Tonja Grung, Caroline and I tackled the intricate process of stuffing our crows. 
From the first incision, 
to dismantling it.
Around us the results of successful work
by other students.
Day 2 on the way to the workshop there was a sign that I was doing the right thing!
Less gore, more coiffure as the empty skins were washed
and blow dried.
Leaving us with clean birds
ready to stuff
wire and mount.
Hello Gary. 2 days later we all had crows to take home. We took ours on the coach, others on the underground and by train. I have to say it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. The skill and work that goes into taxidermy is unbelievable. The patience Tonja showed was unbelievable as we all had moments we could take no more!!
So back to my latest creation. Give me sometime to get over this first experience and I may have another this space.

Monday, 18 July 2016


The 2CV was packed and ready to tootle off to Waterperry Gardens, Oxfordshire to the biggest 
and the best arts event in the country...Art in Action. 
4 days in a marquee with 8 other printmakers demonstrating how to make a collagraph and print gum arabic transfer, well, that was what I was doing, other printmaking techniques were available in the tent. 
Wednesday was spent setting up my work 
and demonstration area with fantastic help from 
the lovely Rob. He was also in charge of establishing
Brown HQ. 4 nights camping with the wonderful facilities that the Art in Action volunteers provide to make us artists feel at home. 
Day 1 started off a bit chilly, but coffee is a great pick me up.  
The 2CV looked on while a hearty breakfast was prepared. 
With the sun coming through everything was set for the best Art in Action ever.
The printmaking tent was ready,
festooned with bird bunting all gum arabic transfer printed with my bird drawings and put together by the lovely and talented Caroline McCatty.
Ben Boswell was the man who had the tough job of keeping us all in order, brilliantly generous, fabulously organised, great fun to work with...and he had a lot to put up with from me!! 
So ready to start.
But I was not alone...I was humbled to be with some of the best print-makers in the country. 
Frans Wesselman, etchings and wood cuts .
Laura Boswell, Japanese woodblocks. 
Ian Phillips, lino cuts.
Debby Mason, Mezzotint.
Robin Mackenzie, wood engraving
Diana Ashdown, lino printing 
and the lovely Graham and Beatrice from New North Press. 
Last but not least Morna Rhys, etching. 
Our job for 4 days was to inform and instruct the 
visitors to Art in Action about our process.
It did not all go to plan, but this was the only disaster as I stepped into my ink.
I could have done none of this without the wonderful support of my little helpers. I have mentioned the wonderful, lovely Rob, but Kate also volunteered. 
As did Annie and Alison, 
Caroline who also made the bunting and Jo
The very glamorous Gwen who kindly made the aprons that everyone sported during the demonstrating kept me going as I flagged a bit on the last day. It is here that I have to say a great big thank you, for their energy, expertise and sense of humour, I could have done none of this without them.
Occasionally I was able to get out and visit a few other tents, the whole event was packed with artistic talent and the few mentions here does not do was wall to wall creativity. Lucy Jade Sylvester, one of my favourite jewellers.
Alex a fellow Hothouse 4 artist.
Sarah Morpeth, who has agreed to do a workshop at the yard:ARTspace next year.
And all of us could not have done any of it with out you, the visitors and this year was packed with interested and creative people.
Here are just a few of the lovely folk who
popped in to see
me in the
Printmaking tent. 
Thank you to everyone who listened to me explaining what a collagraph is,
who waited for my demos to begin, stayed to the end and bought work and leaflets. Art in Action is about sharing and meeting the makers. But it's lovely to meet you too. 
My 2CV had a small romance , but all too 
quickly a holiday romance comes to an end and after 4 fabulous days Art in Action was over.
All I can say is thank you to the School of Economic Science and Simon Buchanan for the care you take with us, for looking after us and valuing our creativity. Art in Action I will miss you.