19 Dec 2013

otter walking

click to animate

I'm illustrating a game for a kids reading development website woodofwords.org. I'm doing all the graphics and I am working with a writer and a games developer to put it together. It's fun! All the characters, trees, animations etc are created using text in a font called Prime Minister of Canada. Otter here is made up of an upside down C for his head, a D for his chest and a J for his body. His feet are commas.

14 Nov 2012

Walk through the autumn garden

Got to spend an hour or so in the garden this afternoon. I hardly went into the garden this year - not a mistake I will ever repeat again. No matter how hard I am working daily nature connection is vital for a happy soul.
So walk with me down the garden path. It's a dull late autumn day but it's mild and very quiet and we have the place to ourselves...

17 Apr 2012

What is going on....

....in my life?
well, I'm curating The Library of Lost Books
designing websites
beginning a new business
avoiding any exercise (and eating crap)
using Facebook (despite my avowal never to)
tweeting The Library of Lost Books, (but not enough)
spending money
dreaming about my summer holiday (Lake Como in Italy)
reading Robert Crais - over and over
dreaming bad dreams and waking up nervous


13 Feb 2012


I have been print-making all day.

I'm making some chapbooks to sell and raise some money for The Library of Lost Books.

They are made from pages taken from a book called I Codici e le Arti a Monte Cassino published in 1870, which makes the paper I'm printing on 142 years old!. It was a Birmingham Library skip find of course, and in pretty bad shape when I got it.

The prints are made by cutting images into erasers.

The book has a working title of A Pagan Chapbook.

Pages drying on the clothes airer. Sophisticated studio practice!

4 Feb 2012

Ice pictures

Finally, it is cold enough for me to make some more ice pictures. These are going to be made into little books, which I will exhibit in Leeds in March.
This picture shows the original inspiration for the ice pictures - the desire to capture somehow the beautiful frost patterns made on my shed-cum-studio windows

This is an image of the ice crystals taken inside the shed.

A couple of days ago I painted a blue square on the window,
you can see the ice crystals growing over it now.

And this is an ice painting. The crystals of ice make
patterns into the wet ink. Made outside at 6am this morning.

All the paintings made this morning.

1 Feb 2012

work in waiting...

...waiting for the temperature to drop below 23 F (-5 C) to make ice pictures....

...books waiting to join The Library of Lost Books....

...hand cut stamp blocks waiting to be printed...

23 Jan 2012

Self employed v employee

I work as a website developer/ content developer/ Photoshop illustrator 4 days a week at the moment. The 5th day and many weekends are spent being an artist. Today was my self-employed day, a good day, a wholesome, happy work-filled day.
Today I photographed 14 books for The Library of Lost Books, designed and cut 4 stamps for an artist's book I am working on, put out some washing, did a bit of shopping, had a great conversation with my daughter about her plans to go traveling in the Yukon, did some work on an Arts Council grant I'm applying for, photographed some beautiful trees against a stormy sky, did some knitting, prepared the fabric for a skirt I am making, cooked soup.

My goal is to shift the balance from employee to self-employed quite significantly this year. A day like today makes me work harder to ensure that goal is realised.

9 Jan 2012

Leeds Artist's Book Fair

Yep, it's that time of year again - and the making of books and zines for the Leeds International Artist's Book Fair has begun. This year I am concentrating on printmaking and multiples and really letting rip with the Aspie obsessional stuff. Thread, thread, thread and then some more thread! I nearly didn't go this year because of all the work that I am also having to do for The Library of Lost Books. But when it came to the crunch I just couldn't not go. Also it means that I get to spend a couple of days with Catherine and chinwagging about art - which is always good.

The Library of Lost Books is coming along well too. I have a great selection of old books which I am gradually uploading and cataloguing onto Flickr.
So far I have over two dozen artists answering the call. Sarah Bodman at UWE is very kindly putting the call out in the next Artist's Books newsletter and I am also hoping to drum up some interest at Leeds.

I hope 2012 is going to be a wonderfully creative year for us all.