Friday, 6 December 2019

finishing fever

The finishing line is tantalisingly close. Perhaps I will get this tapestry done before Christmas after all...

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

new work in progress

It has been a long time since I last posted, oops! I have been working though, honestly. I just need to get back into the habit of documenting things.

Towards the end of September I started a new tapestry based on a small watercolour, oil pastel and pencil sketch I made capturing reflected light on a shoreline edge. The original sketch is roughly 14cm/ 5 1/2 inches square and the finished tapestry will be roughly 74cm/ 29 inches square.

There are lots of subtle colour and tonal blends and painterly marks to translate which is making it complicated to weave, especially since I haven't done any weaving since my last tapestry "tracing waves" in 2016. What can I say, I was clearly feeling artistically ambitious this year.

I haven't taken many progress shots but here are a few of my set up and some weaving details.

I've finally hit the half way mark which is very exciting. The other half, in theory, should be easier to weave so who knows, I might be finished by Christmas!

Saturday, 15 June 2019

North Ronaldsay Aran wool

This year I ordered a small amount of Aran wool to dye from North Ronaldsay as well as their 2ply wool. It's so chunky and satisfyingly squishy; I've really enjoyed working with it. Like the 2ply it comes in roughly 100g skeins, approximately 160m pre dyeing.

A selection of what I've dyed along with the inspiration tags.

"Hoxa rocks"


"Mirrie dancers"

I may have kept a couple of the "mirrie dancers" skeins for myself to knit hats...

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

pebble circles rug

A rug Mum made based on one of my new sewn pieces, "Pebble circles, I."  I really like how the lines have been translated and how bold the composition looks on a larger scale.

Although the rug is no longer in stock at the gallery it is available to order through the gallery website.

The rug on display alongside my "found on the shore" exhibition.
Rug is approx. 150cm square.

Pebble circles rug in progress on the rug loom.

Saturday, 1 June 2019


Another piece from my mini exhibition, "found on the shore", currently at the gallery. I finished it a couple of weeks after the other pieces and admittedly it got set aside and forgotten about whilst I started dyeing wool. It's finally framed now and hanging with the rest of the group.

size: 13.5 x 27cm (32.5 x 46cm framed)
acrylic paint and thread on canvas

Thursday, 25 April 2019

back at the dye-pots

Wayhey, I'm dyeing wool again! My North Ronaldsay wool order finally arrived last month but I was a bit slow getting near it as I spent some time setting up a dedicated dyeing space, separate from my painting. I've spent just over a week in my new space and it's much more efficient, I love it.

Here are the first few batches to come out of my pots:

There are four 100g skeins of each colour available at the moment. They're all North Ronaldsay 2ply pure wool, which works up like a fingering weight/4ply.

Somewhat typically my digital pocket scales broke as soon as I went to use them (to weigh out dye powders) so I couldn't refer to any previous colour "recipes." As a result these batches are one-off colour mixes, although I plan to recreate them once I get new scales as I really like how they turned out.

 "wet sand"

 "crashing waves, Hoxa"

"midsummer sunrise"

"blue Horizon, Hoxa"

 "Sand O' Wright beach"

"Birsay shoreline"

 "Warbeth rocks"

More colours to come soon! I also ordered some North Ronaldsay aran weight wool which I'm looking forward to dyeing.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

exhibition: found on the shore

Currently at the gallery I have a mini exhibition of new work inspired by walks on favourite beaches: pebble shapes, the repetition of circular marks found on pebbles, the ebb and flow of the tide and traces of waves left behind on the sand.

All the pieces have been executed on canvas using a sewing machine and often embellished with hand-stitching. I chose canvas as a surface to "draw" on for its strength, neutral colour and texture. I wanted a neutral surface in order to concentrate on linear qualities, however on a few pieces I applied acrylic paint to the canvas and then washed it before sewing, leaving faint traces of the paint. This created a more worn surface, subtle enough to not detract from the sewn marks.

I chose the sewing machine as a form of drawing as I find it creates a satisfying quality of line; both subtle and strong and with an inherent texture. Many pieces include hand-stitching where I wanted to achieve smaller or more intricate mark-making. Using a combination of machine and hand-stitching allowed me to explore a broad range of lines, from delicate to very bold.

 "found on the shore"
size: 13cm square
acrylic paint and thread on canvas

"pebble circles, II"
 size: 13cm square
acrylic paint and thread on canvas

 size: 13cm square
acrylic paint and thread on canvas

"pebble circles, I"
size: 13cm square
thread on canvas

 "ebb and flow rhythms"
size: 13cm square
thread on canvas

"pebbles and ripples"
size: 13cm square
thread on canvas

size: 13cm square
acrylic paint and thread on canvas

"scatters and traces"
size: 13cm square
thread on canvas

"tidal rhythms"
size: 14.5cm x 26cm
thread on canvas

detail from "pebble circles, II"

detail from "pebble"

detail from "pebbles and ripples"

detail from "tidal rhythms"

gallery view

gallery view

gallery view of the whole exhibition

All square pieces measure 32.5cm square including their frame and "tidal rhythms" on the far right is 34.5cm x 46cm including the frame.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

coming soon

I'm still alive, honest.

I have a small body of new artwork almost ready to share. Here's a sneaky peek of what I've been up to over the last few weeks.

I'm hoping to have all the pieces finished and framed over the next few days so all shall be revealed soon.