I confess to talking with the story-sprites..a few spirits..and a variety of small, strange creatures! I can’t avoid them anymore..trip over a stone and you’ll find one! I’m proud and honoured to give them form and a voice!!!
Thank you Philip Pullman for your inspiration and your Grimm Tales, and to the wonderful Cycladic Museum, without whom these Tales could never “be”!!!
Finally! …. these first prints are traveling to the USA where they will watch over their new friends.
The characters from the tales, in their many and varied forms, are getting very excited, as their online shop is almost ready…..I’ve even seen some of them preening in front of a mirror!!! Let’s hope they are ready in time.
For a while my work has been based upon, or influenced by, a story that I have been working on for a long, long time.
Just when I think I’m happy with something… one of the characters appears and does something distracting, or a new character pops up and introduces themselves, demanding to be included in the current work.
Such is the case with these new characters.
Overseeing their “seadom” wisely. Always graceful, kind and benevolent.
Please let me introduce
(in the making)
This motif will be printed onto a cotton “sea”………watch this space!!!
When I was about ten years old, I attended a local school in Nottingham, England. It was an experimental school, we did a lot of art, crafts and drama, and I loved it. My favourite teacher was the craft teacher, a lady born before her time. She insisted on using what we had at home for lessons and never asked us to buy anything for the class. We used breakfast cereal packets as cardboard to make cards and boiled egg shells to make mosaics. She herself always brought wonderful things into the class for us to use: scraps of material, old wallpaper rolls, wool etc. I learnt a lot from that wonderful teacher , but one lesson in particular haunts me even now! It set the bar so high, that if I succumb, it is actually the bane of my life….
……….and that lesson was called Grinling Gibbons.
My fave teacher had taken us for a school trip where we visited a huge cathedral, unfortunately I don’t remember where. There was a lot of renovation work going on at the time so some of the wooden furniture had been pulled away from the walls. So far as I remember, she showed us how to do brass rubbing and had a fun time. When we were done, the teacher gathered us in front of a beautifully carved wooden choir stall and told us all about its creator, the great Grinling Gibbons.
Grinling Gibbons the sculptor, whose wood carvings took your breath away because they were simply out of this world, indescribably beautiful, an absolute feast for the eyes.
I mean just look at this…it’s a lace cravat carved out of limewood and shows each individual stitched thread. Now in the V&A, London, it once belonged to Horace Walpole who greeted French visitors at the gate of Strawberry Hill, his neo-Gothic villa in Twickenham, wearing this. Sadly the wearing of the piece probably accounted for some damage around picots on the lower edge
To continue on with my story, my craft teacher told the class to look carefully at the front of the choir stall before taking us to look carefully at the back of the choir stall. Then she took us all to the front again and asked us if there was any difference between the back and the front of the stall….and we realised that the back was just as perfect as the front! She told us that even though he knew that the back would most likely never be seen, he still put effort into making it as perfect as the front.
“The sign of a true craftsman” she said.
“The sign of a true artist” she enthused.
She didn’t say…he’s too much of a perfectionist………….
…and I had a major artistic epiphany!
The result of all this is that there are times when I can’t see the wood for the trees and I get bogged down in minor details instead of seeing the whole picture and getting on with things.
Anyways, the point is that I just spent way too much time making and experimenting with various hanging sleeves and tabs that will be attached TO THE BACK of screen printed wall hangings.
They aren’t difficult to make and actually won’t be seen anyways (!) but…you know…I wanted them to be perfect.
When I finished and rubbed the visions of perfectly carved wood from my eyes…… I took myself off and sat on the beach with a thermos of coffee and watched the sunset.
Really…enough is enough. Get thee behind me Grinling!!!
It’s not my fault!!! Blame Gibbons!
Mixing and testing my favourite colour for final Tree of Life prints with Alt-J for company!
Turquoise radiates the peace and calm of blue and the balance and growth of green with just enough yellow for zest and energy.
Focus on this color to feel instant calm, balanced with enough energy to face the world (and kick some ass if necessary)
* All products used in the studio are strictly non-toxic and environmentally friendly!!!
Test prints for Tree of Life in mauve.
Have been busy designing and hand painting the Cycladic Tree of Life design onto screenprinting frames and these are test prints.
The image is based on my illustrations of a story which is being developed and it’s a project that I’m very excited about.
Sadly, it seems I have to now put watermarks onto all my images if only to avoid any misunderstanding on “Fair Use”and copyright.