About Me

My photo
I am a cut paper artist and I live in Arlesey, Bedfordshire. I'm originally from a small village outside Salisbury - Winterslow - in Wiltshire. I use a scalpel (and scissors too) to cut into single sheets of paper that I then layer from behind to create bold and striking images of buildings and places, expressing my love of the English landscape and the natural world about me.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Paper flowers workshop......


Here are some more wonderful things created at the Broadway Gallery Family Art Studio workshop I ran back in October to run in conjunction with Rebecca Louise Law's exhibition that was on at the time. These were all created by a range of ages from 3's and up. 

Simple constructions of cut paper petals attached in the middle by glue-ing onto disks of paper and card, and then attached to a straw by using split pins. I glued them in place too for additional sturdiness. The straws were slight bendy ones, so it meant we could angel the flowers to a jaunty angle! A simple idea that worked really well. 

Everyone went home with handfuls of created paper flowers/collages and sculpture-ey things!!!




All these were made by one little girl!!

Chuff chuff!

Wiggly dangling ghosts......

Collage by a little 2 yr old.....

Spinning paper flowers......

Paper time flowers - one boys' fantastically individual and witty paper time flowers.....


I had to post these as just a separate group, made by one child on the Family Art Studio workshop at the Broadway Gallery in Letchworth Garden City on October 9th that I ran to work in conjunction with the exhibition by Rebecca Louise Law. I thought these were so utterly wonderful!!! They showed real wit and individuality.  I talked to the boy's mum and we talked a lot about his autism and how he sees the world so differently. She was fab So supportive of him and encouraging of his clear talents. What he made stood streets ahead in concept of the other children that came. It really was a real privilege to get the chance to help and work with him.



All the paper time flowers in a pretend pot..........

"The Dawn of Time"

"Eating Time"

"Explosion of Time"

"Bad/ Monster Time"

"Out of Time"

Cambridge Blues - cross fertilisation form a workshop.....new work!


Back in August, I ran the Family Art Studio drop in workshop at the Broadway Gallery in Letchworth Garden City. We made paper collages based on Willow Pattern Plates. It worked so well... you can see the blog post HERE  It set my mind thinking and running! What about Cambridge works in just blue?! It would be a real challenge and it would be something different too......I have been feeling a bit stuck in a rut lately. I'd met up with my friend Pauline that I met many years ago when we did our college degree together. She is a head of art at a secondary school and its always great to meet and chat about art together. She has been going to an evening class to do academic painting and one of the disciplines she is doing, is working in monochrome. The willow pattern workshop and Pauline's comments stuck in my head! To just stick with blues?! can I manage it and make something that works?!

Its funny that isn't it when something relatively insignificant thought sticks in your mind and stays lodged there.....

So I had a go and these are the first two of what I hope will be a real series, that I just want to entitle Cambridge Blues. I think its a cool title... gets my creative juices flowing. This is what is so good about running workshops. Its great meeting new people and enjoying the moments of making art together, but its also great inspiration for me and gives me lots of new ideas, a cross fertilisation really that sets me onto a whole new journey....




Weekend visit to Whitby Museum!!

We went back to Whitby Museum this last weekend! Whoop! its such a fantastic place. I think probably my favourite museum!! We were only staying in Whitby a couple of nights and visiting this place was ......a priority!!

Old fashioned but full of such a varied and interesting collection. There aren't any interactive displays, the labels are hand typed out and hand written - this is a place of another time. For me though it has great relevance. I am fascinated by the objects that are now defunct in our digital age - the sextants for example. I suppose I feel a bit irrelevant too... with my hand made craft art that I make. The obstreperous bit of me likes that I don't fit, likes that I am bucking whats all around me... but then I don't want to stay static and stuck in a place, which the museum is too. Interesting thoughts......

1960's and 70's Christmas cards.....

Beautiful Ammonites.....

Section of a totem pole......

Part of a large model of the Battle of Trafalgar! Its the Fighting Temeraire!

Victorian doll with such a sweet face....

Bridal Gallery gave me the heebie geebies.....

More veils and gorgeous Edwardian lace....

A touching Farther Christmas letter.....how different ones are from today's children.....

Round table workshop

Just recently at the end of November, I was asked by Hitchin Round Table to run a paper cutting workshop for the Christmas get together of husbands & wives. The aim of the workshop was for everyone to have a go and to wrap the activity around a festive Christmas meal in a local pub. The Round Table did the venue finding - The Highlander in Hitchin. I hadn't been before so I did a recce beforehand just to see the room. I knew the food was good from recommendations I had heard...my only concern was the amount of light available.

The quiet before everyone arrived. I had plenty of time to get set up. My workshop machine is well oiled and its great to get kitted up and ready....there is always that feeling of anticipation in the room before a workshop as imminently there is a room full of people that I don't know.....

Heads down and deep in concentration.......


Below are just some of the robins that were made. I took along pre-prepared drawn stencils of the robins so that they were ready to cut. I knew the light might be a bit limited - more ambient light available as its a function room for eating in, not a workshop space. So to counteract that, I prepared the robins on a cream Ingre drawing paper. It made the robins/birds look fantastically light and fresh. When we had finished the cutting, I demonstrated how to add colour and then the final flourish was to window mount them in precut mounts so that they were very much finished works of art to take away.







Wednesday, 14 December 2016

"Bedfordshire and Beyond" - latest exhibition at Central Bedfordshire Council's Xhibit space......


I have just had an exhibition at Central Bedfordshire Council's exhibition space - Xhibit - at Chicksands near Shefford. I was chuffed to get some coverage in the Biggleswade Chronicle! I have only lived in Bedfordshire for about 20 months so it was great to get some coverage and get to show the Bedfordshire based works I have made. The exhibition space is a lovely long wall with a display case.......you can see how the exhibition looked. On such a white wall I was surprised at how the colours really showed up so well. they looked really jewelled like against the clean whiteness. I still love the very black birch frames I use. I had a couple in white, but black do look fab - there is such a stark stylishness to them. It was a bit frustrating as the space wasn't open at the weekends, but at least it was another chance to get my work out and seen. Its also going to lead to some potential workshops with the staff at CBC, so thats great. 

Little acorns do grow unexpected things......

Great to get some coverage in the Biggleswade Chronicle!
A bit more close up.....
The lovely long white wall......
"Gannock House at Tempsford"
"Toddington Church Tower"

"Westoning Church"




I get to meet Michael Brennand Wood!

Back in November, I got the chance to meet textile artist Michael Brennand Wood! I went to a workshop for teachers/arts practitioners at the Broadway Gallery in Letchworth Garden City. It was a short notice thing - I was filling a place for a friend that couldn't attend, and I was very pleased to have got the chance. He talked us through the exhibition pieces that were on show in the gallery, explaining his use of materials and their context. He was an easy listen. His enthusiasm came over so clearly and his sense of exploration with materials and where they would take him. 

He explained how he often just worked intuitively with materials, letting them speak to him and take their own course. 

This is exactly the opposite way I work and it gave me a real injection of thinking about things in a different way. I don't have many happy accidents these days and though that way of working means I can make a very settles piece of work, a product in a way, it also means that it can be a bit predictable and samey. It was really good for me to be at the workshop. It felt like I was being opened up a bit.

Here are some of the sample workshop pieces Michael brought with him. He explained how they were made - simple frames which are then woven into, things tied onto, painted on, dripped on......all sorts of sculptural techniques used to make the surfaces vibrant and varied. Fabrics are used by ripping,tie-ing and threading and yarn used to wind round and across.










And here were our versions!!! Can you tell which one is mine?! Yes, the one on the far right with the cut paper. I tried to use the textiles supplied, but they are just too furry, woolly and...textiley! I just naturally gravitate to paper. All we did was to attach wood together with cable ties to make the basis of the frame, and then tie, weave, stick... anything we wanted, onto that frame.  I was rather pleased with mine. It made my mind open up and I had lots of ideas. What I liked most was the openness of it - its not in glass. I get a bit frustrated with my work as its stuck behind glass. It looks its best like that but it would be great to get the surface out in the free air.


Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Nanking Week - more photos and a family triumph!

More photos from the busy London Design Festival- Nanking Week weekend at Potters Park Field just near London Bridge. You can see below some wonderful examples of what children and adults made.  The whole weekend was just a free drop in, so throughout the day people stayed to make something small, or stayed for much longer where every family member made something too!

Learning together, making together.

What was so notable about the day was how many families came  and made paper cut outs together.They helped each other, shared the feeling of creating something impulsively, and you could really feel the sense of families connecting and doing something unhooked from electricity and the internet. A piece of paper, and some scissors and glue was all we needed, and thats why I love paper cutting so much. Its incredibly humble and accessible for everyone to do at an entry level, and yet it can become the most gloriously complex piece of art you can see when you look at contemporary paper artists.

Adult paper cut - that came out a bit like a wonderful pomegranate!

Red lipstick, pink ears and hearts on cheeks! such a lovely bear!

A bear... in glasses!

Royal cat!

The little girl who made this was five!

Smiley bear....

This set of photos below was a real triumph of the weekend. These were made by a family of two little girls and their parents. The girls aged 3 were not used to using scissors at all. The parents I think had just been scared that they were dangerous and had veered away from them using them. So with some gentle encouragement, the girls and the parents started making together. Its was lovely to see. Using scissors is such a good thing to do. It encourages greater hand eye coordination, develops visual understanding and builds muscle memory too. Its a really useful skill for developing handwriting and confidence too. The whole family seemed to really enjoy making these together and I felt really pleased that I was there to help them.

Family/child collage no 1

Family/child collage no 2

Family/child collage no 3

Family/child collage no 4

Whole families taking part through the day!

Tower Bridge looking magnificent at the end of a great weekend!